2011 Soapstone Assault

Today, the Shenipsit Striders hosted the Soapstone Assault at Shenipsit State Forest. This race is an annual tradition. In past years, it has been run under the handicap/age/gender graded start scoring system that is the hall-mark of The Dipsea Race. To keep things simple today, we went with a traditional mass start. 23 runners toed the line at 8:30 A.M. for the 5.5 mile jaunt around “the mountain.”

The race “assaults” Soapstone Mountain six times on six different trails with the final ascent going up Killer Hill to the top of the fire tower on the summit.

There was no fee for today’s race and we had a nice spread at the top, with muffins, bagels, bananas, grapes, cherries, peaches, brownies, and a bounty of other fresh food. Brett Stoeffler has mastered this course and he toured it in 45:15 for the win. He was followed by his nephew, Connor Gagliardi and ultra-man, Ryan Welts.

Debbie Livingston was first woman and fifth overall in 55:46. Kristina Folcik was second and Regina McGillivray was third. This race was a great get-together for the Striders. Now that we are taking over the now that we are taking over the NipMuck Trail Marathon on October 2nd, the Assault has become our mid-summer classic.

Our club got great support from everyone, including those who ran. Special thanks to Tom Curtiss, one of the original Shenipsit Striders, who came out to mark the course and man the aid station, as he does every year. The weather was glorious, and the view from the tower was fantastic. We could see clear to Mount Monadnock in southeastern New Hampshire. I handled the timing, photography, and Daddy Duty. Bring on NipMuck later in the fall!

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