2011 Traprock 50K

Ouch! Today was the second Traprock 50K in Bloomfield, Connecticut. Debbie and I both ran the three-loop 50 kilometer (31 mile) race at Penwood State Park. I’m a baby when it comes to the ultra distance. Meaning that I complain a lot and I don’t even run beyond 30 or 40 miles. The third lap was very painful. I took one hard fall on lap two that left me a little scraped up, but the worst injury was to my troublesome big right toe. I just can’t figure this thing out. Any time I race longer than 12 miles or so, I pound it. Today, it looks and feels like someone smashed it with a hammer. Imagine that.

I’ll refrain from posting a photo, but it isn’t pretty and I won’t need to get toenail polish for a while. I keep losing the nail, and I’m going to lose it again after today’s run. With my throbbing toe on my mind, I struggled to the finish after fading badly on the third lap. I kept stubbing it on the traprock, after which this race is name. With six miles to go, I jammed my toe on a root and saw stars for a few moments. The course is on rugged trails on this amazing traprock ridge. Debbie did the first Traprock 50K in 2010 and came back for more punishment.

She has been training heavily and has raced three weekends in a row (Bimbler’s Bash, Northern Nipmuck, and Traprock), so her third lap was nothing special, but she built a good lead on laps one and two and held off an impressive Sheryl Wheeler, for the win in 5:09, a nice improvement over last year’s time. I ran most of the race in sixth spot, but the “powerfade” put me back in tenth at the finish. I ran 4:51. My GPS data shows 4,307 feet of elevation gain and loss. That is a lot considering that the low point on the course is 410 feet above sea level and the high point is 757. That is a lot of up and down!

When I finished, I found a chair and sat down immediately. My legs were shattered. My face was encrusted with salt. I was satisfied, but beat up. My last epic was the Ironman Hawaii last October, but this was harder on the legs. After all, Ironman runs are only 26.2 miles. I can swim, bike and run, but running ultra-distance always hurts more. After the race, I told Debbie that I have no desire to go longer than 50K. I’ll leave the true ultrarunning to her.

The men’s race was exciting to watch. I got to see the top three runners several times. Dane Mitchell, Ben Nephew, and Brian Rusiecki waged a tense battle for several laps before Mitchell and Nephew pulled away. Mitchell eventually prevailed in 3:55, a stellar time on this course.

Race Directors Steve Nelson and Kevin Hutt led a fine group of volunteers. The course was marked very well and the aid stations were stocked. I survived on pretzels, bananas, and water. I carried Clif Shot gels and Clif Shot drink. The weather was nasty. Fortunately, it was dry. If it had rained like last year, it would have been a nightmare. It was unseasonably cold with the temperature hovering in the low-40’s (Fahrenheit) with a stiff wind that was particularly harsh on the open ridges. The race started at 8:30 A.M., but by mid-day, the temperature actually dropped just in time for the third lap. I was a bit uncomfortable in my sleeveless shirt and shorts.

The race drew a fantastic crowd of nearly 150 runners. There was a one lap 17K option and several runners did just one lap. I was proud that my youngest Roy Family first cousin, Danny Roy, came down from the University of Maine to run his first trail race. He took a few tumbles in the 17K, but had a blast. The hard-core 50Kers were also out in force and I saw a lot of smiles despite the cold. The trails were in good shape. It was fun to run on the Metacomet trail, which is part of the Connecticut Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails system that we love. Nelson and Hutt got strong support from our club, the Shenipsit Striders and also from the Bimblers Sound running club.

The Striders were out in force and we had our fancy new tent erected at the finish line. All of the runners got a nice t-shirt, the finishers got beer glasses, and the traditional traprock plaque went to the winners. I’ll be nursing my sore legs for a few days. That’s the bad news. The good news is that I’m building some endurance and I’ve got the 2011 adrenaline pumping and endorphins popping.

Race Results

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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 - - -

@renocxnats #cxnats @seven_cycles #sevencycles #teamhorstsports #horstengineering #crossspikes @horsteng #chapelofthebells #Cyclocross #lifedeathcyclocross Good day representing @horsteng at @renocxnats in the 45-49 age group. It’s a great course. The wind was blowing hard, but the sun finally came out. I’m happy with 37th place but should have made a move to get to 29th, which was 30 seconds ahead. That’s a long way when you are going flat out and cramping. 4,500 foot elevation was a factor. I’m disappointed that they cut one lap of my race when I wasn’t close to getting lapped by the leaders. You train this hard and come all this way; and you want to get the most racing for the $ and time invested. They only let 25 riders do the full six laps. The only positive to come out of that was that I watched fellow New Englander @adammyerson execute a perfect final sprint to win the Stars and Stripes again. Teammate @artroti43 had a good ride too. 
@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 🌏 #Repost @horsteng
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