2010 Soapstone Assault

The Soapstone Assault is a quirky little race that is beloved by those who know of the event. It never attracts a huge field, but it remains a Shenipsit Striders tradition. Today’s edition was started and finished by 15 intrepid runners who dared to “assault” Soapstone Mountain six times.

Like its cousin, the Soapstone Sampler, the Assault is run using a modified Dipsea Race handicap start formula. This year’s Dipsea had a most amazing result, with a seven-year-old winner, so it was appropriate that we continue our tradition of handicap starts for this mid-summer trail race. We didn’t have a young or old victor today, but you never know when you might get a surprise winner.

The Assault is somewhere between 4.5 and 5.5 miles. It is hard to get an accurate measurement because there is so much undulation and tight cornering on a compact course. The Assault isn’t known for its distance anyway. It is known for its elevation gain and loss, which is astounding given the distance. Those actual figures are also unknown, but running up Soapstone Mountain six times and down five (you finish at the top of the summit fire tower) is enough for most runners. Unofficially, there is 1,800 feet of elevation gain and 1,500 of loss.

Shenipsit Strider club mates, Scott Turco, Mark Bongiorno, and Bruce Giguere trained on the course for their Massanutten, Western States, and Vermont 100 runs; and “assaulted” the mountain up to 24 times in a session. They are pretty intimate with those trails.

Today’s race was won both outright and with the fastest actual time by Brett Stoeffler. He ran an actual time of 47:07. Accounting for his modest head start, his net time was 44:46. He caught Debbie Livingston on the Quarry Trail. She held him off for more than four miles, but ended up finishing second overall with the second fastest actual time of 52:35. She was followed by John Agosto.

The view from the tower was excellent. You could even see Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire, way in the distance. Everyone enjoyed themselves and the post-race treat was fresh watermelon. It was a great low-key race for a low-key day. I had Daddy Duty, registration duty, and I was one of the “timing guys.” Maybe I’ll run it again next year. Photos will be posted in a day or two.

Race Results

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This #lifedeathcyclocross stuff is true!!!! I crashed out of the Singlespeed Championship @renocxnats (on the dreaded off-camber) but not before having more fun. @artroti43 raced on the frosty course ❄️ at day break. 🚴🏽 We met a lot more @horsteng #crossspikes customers. I hung with little bunny hopper 🐰 Miles, the Junior 11-12 year old Silver Medalist.🥈I cheered for Nic, who represented @the_ccap in the Junior 15-16 age group. @sportstert and Iva came down from Tahoe to cheer LOUDLY for me. 🎺 I got my badly sprained ankle taped and iced. I had a beer. 🍺 I’m even looking forward to my red eye flight home ✈️ . Best of all, I’ll see @trailrunningmom and the kids on Sunday. I can’t explain the sensation, but despite the pain, I’m ready for next #Cyclocross season to begin... after some rest. #teamhorstsports #cxnats #horstengineering @parkavebikeshop #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross #crossiscoming You could say that at least for this week, I’m married to my #bicycle - - -

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@seven_cycles #sevencycles #horstengineering #teamhorstsports @bicycleseastct #crossspikes #cxnats #renocxnats #Cyclocross #crossisboss @therichardsachs didn’t have the race he hoped for but it was still great to see him @renocxnats and “pit” for him. He said he officially started his second off season, but first of 2018. @artroti43 and I played soigneur/mechanic for 90 minutes, but minus the massage! atmo #renocxnats #richardsachs #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #hauteframebuilding #Cyclocross #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross I previously hadn’t published this image, but it recently received an Honorable Mention in the 2017 @appalachianmountainclub Photo Contest for the People Outdoors category. Check out my blog (link in profile) for the interesting story of his photo (shot with this iPhone 6s), a trip report from this amazing Maine adventure, and past contest history. I love this image of two of my favorite women. I’m barred from submitting images to the 2018 contest, but I’ll be back in 2019. #appalachianmountainclub #baxterstatepark #katahdin Congratulations to Master Park, the Park Family, and the entire team at Park’s U.S. #Taekwondo at the Grand Opening of the new facility in the former VFW building. Our kids love it! So much better than being next door to the pawn shop and liquor store.😊#tkd 🇺🇸🇰🇷 This morning, the @trinitycollege Main Quad was bathed in beautiful sunshine ☀️but it was frigid and the wind was blowing! ❄️ The chapel was packed with an overflow crowd to celebrate the (shortened) life of a lovely friend. She will be missed. #circleoflife 🌏

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