2011 7 Sisters Trail Race

Today, Debbie and I ran the 7 Sisters Trail Race in Hadley, Massachusetts. It was the 21st annual edition and Debbie says she has run 11 in a row. My race wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad. It was just a race, which is fine. I felt OK and ran within my limits the entire 12 miles, which was a goal, so I’m satisfied with my 22nd place performance. I was four minutes quicker than last year’s awful edition, but 10 minutes slower than my fantastic 2009 race.

My race number was 217 and I crossed the line in 2:17:00. Race Director, Scott Hunter was so impressed that he said my timing feat was better than winning. Well, I don’t know about that, but it was a gloriously sunny day on the Holyoke Range, which is all that matters after the long winter and wet spring. The sun was brilliant today, but the temperature was cool, which made for good running conditions.

The trail was mostly dry and clear of winter debris, which is super. I’m sure we have to thank the Friends of Mt. Holyoke Range, the Appalachian Mountain Club, and others for the cleanup on the M-M Trail (New England Trail). Thank you!

Debbie had a good race. She was 2nd woman and 30th overall. There were more than 250 starters. The race has maintained its popularity, thanks in part to its challenging nature and its public relations, like a recent feature in Running Times.


I noticed that there were many Canadians who drove down from Quebec to take part in this year’s race. The first woman wasn’t far behind me. She had a fine run. We left the venue and normally results are slow to appear on the Internet, so it will probably be a few days before I can post a link. We will see. The battle up front included the usual suspects, including Brian Rusiecki and Ross Krause. At the turnaround, I didn’t see Ben Nephew, but there were a few guys I didn’t recognize.

After the race, I saw a lot of folks limping around the parking lot on sore legs, but I didn’t see any major injuries, which is a good sign. It was nice to have some friends cheering for us near the Summit House. The pick-me-up was welcome. It was also nice to run with old friend, Ernie Lawas. He and I stuck together from the six-mile mark until about 1.5 to go when he put in an acceleration that caught me off guard. He got such a gap in a short period of time that I thought he might have taken a wrong turn. But, I knew better. He had been biding his time behind me and wasn’t putting out an effort at all, so he had the juice in the last couple of miles and I couldn’t respond. It was nice to see him and nice to see him running well.

Of course, it goes without saying, but I must repeat that my mother-in-law, Barbara Schieffer, is a fantastic crew mate! She came along to watch our kids for her fifth Sisters in a row so that both Debbie and I could run. She is an all-star! The Shenipsit Striders were entered in the team competition for the New England Dirt Cup, so I’m curious how we did. Next race in the Cup is our club’s race, the Soapstone Mountain Trail Race. Debbie is the Race Director, so for the next two weeks, the house is going to be a beehive of race activity. I love this time of year!

4 Responses to “2011 7 Sisters Trail Race”


  1. 1 parmpadgett 1 May 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Great post, Scott! Glad Ernie is well and its fun to see a picture! We are registered for Soapstone and looking forward to seeing you there. This year our kids will be with us, so count on two more bodies to help out!! I’ll give a call before we come down. Take care!

  2. 2 parmpadgett 17 May 2011 at 7:41 pm

    Just looking through some of your posts….Charlie finished 38th in the 6k sampler at Soapstone with a time of 38:00! A different but perhaps equally impressive timing feat!


  1. 1 2011 North Face Endurance Challenge Bear Mountain « Life Adventures Trackback on 8 May 2011 at 11:09 am
  2. 2 2012 7 Sisters Trail Race « Life Adventures Trackback on 6 May 2012 at 9:03 pm

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