2013 Shenipsit Old School Trail Half-Marathon

Today, I was a last minute “entrant” in the 1st Annual Shenipsit Old School Trail Half-Marathon. With no Northern Nipmuck Trail Race on the traditional Saturday before Easter, there was a void until Ron Starrett and his gang filled it with this fun race. The Shenipsit Striders threw their weight behind this self-timed affair and filled out the field with most of the runners. The start/finish was at the commuter lot off of Exit 67 next to Walker Reservoir in Vernon, Connecticut.

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The approximately 13 mile out and back course included one of my favorite sections of the CFPA-managed/maintained Shenipsit Trail. Other sections traveled on other favorite trails in the beautiful Belding Wildlife Management Area, in Valley Falls Park, on the Hop River State Park Trail, and in Freja Park in Bolton. The turnaround was at the old drive-in just off Rt. 44 west of Bolton Notch. We had a glorious spring day with a light breeze, cool air, but brilliant sunshine. The sky was a deep blue with puffy white clouds.

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It was a rugged well-marked course with a fair amount of elevation gain and loss. There was a lot of post-winter debris on the trail. There were several sections of ice and snow and there was a little mud. I had three hard falls including one where I didn’t think I was going to get back up, but I did. I slammed my right big toe into root and it sent me flying. It was great to see some of our runner friends come out of hibernation. NipMuck Dave graced us with his presence and even Jack the Puppy did the 13 plus he went out for another 7 with his Mom, Kristina Folcik and Dad, Ryan Welts.

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Last night, I went to the recently expanded New Balance store in South Windsor to search for high quality footbeds with better arch support. I ended up walking out with the new insoles in a new pair of trail running shoes. It was too easy to just try them on and leave them on. I haven’t had a pair of New Balance shoes in more than 10 years. It must have been serendipity, because yesterday, Debbie cleaned out her locker at Court House Plus and brought home a bunch of my old gear including a vintage pair of New Balance road runners.

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So, with brand new shoes and no break-in period, I tackled the Old School course today and other than the toe, didn’t have any foot issues. I got a chuckle when several other runners spotted my new shoes and recognized the model. Who has time to read shoe reviews? I wish I had time! I just walked into the store and said show me a pair of good trail runners. It was that simple. It is going to take more work to get my “trail legs.” I was clumsy and slow on the descents and my quadriceps are screaming tonight. Regardless, I had fun  covering the course in 1:53:05. I ran the last four miles with Mike Reed, which was cool. He told me that several years ago, Debbie and I helped him prepare for a Long Trail trip. We are LT End-to-End Mentors and help dozens and dozens of hikers every year. It was nice to place a face to the name/e-mail.

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My vote is that Ron and crew do this for real in 2014. I’ll be there.

Race Results

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Good day at #mountgreylock @trailrunningmom ran her 20th consecutive Mt. Greylock Trail Race. I did the 5K with the kids and then rode to the top. Trophies went to Deb and Shep. #trailrunning #cycling #shenipsitstriders #teamhorstsports 🏃‍♀️🚴🏽⛰ 🏆
Good to be back at #windingtrails for the Summer #Triathlon Series. #mountainbike #trailrunning #sunset
Livingston Family firefighters. 🔥 👩‍🚒 🚒 When @trailrunningmom “smoked” the obstacle course AND added some push-ups for good measure, the Chief pulled out his business card and made a pitch for her to join the squad. I thought I was the competitive one, but she can turn anything into a competition! The kids had a blast too at family day.
From race directing to @thecubscouts directing. Proud day for our son, @trailrunningmom and the rest of #cubscouts Pack 157 Den 5 as they earned their Arrow of Light. Four of her boys are moving to @boyscoutsofamerica #scoutsbsa after five years of fun and learning.
Little D and I ran the @shenipsitstriders #soapstonemountaintrailrace Jerry Stage Sampler 6K with a bunch of other crazies! Tackling the infamous Sandpit with its 40% gradient and slick conditions was great fun. #trailrunning #shenipsitstriders #teamhorstsports 🏃‍♀️⛰
Start of the @shenipsitstriders 34th annual #soapstonemountaintrailrace This is the 15th year as Race Director for @trailrunningmom #trailrunning #shenipsitstriders #teamhorstsports ⛰🏃‍♀️
REWARD: Less likely to be $1 billion and more likely to have hops 🍺 or grapes 🍷 in it. Best suited for those in CT. On Monday at the end of my #carfreecommute to @horsteng I realized I lost one of my two custom orange/black @dillpicklegear panniers on the way. Within an hour, I retraced every pedal stroke in reverse. My route was Bolton to Manchester to S. Windsor with sections of @eastcoastgreenway and #wickhampark The only item in the bag was a brand new @lifeproof iPhone 6s nuud case in Hot Pink. That’s another story, but it was on clearance and I got a deal! It was in the unopened mailer/package ADDRESSED TO ME. I rode the route again on #biketoworkday today and no luck. At this point it is going to have to find me. So sad. I still can’t believe I couldn’t find it which means someone has it. Maybe they are a #goodsamaritan But no luck yet. Keep your eyes peeled!
After a full day at the CFM( Safran and @geaviation ) supplier conference, I explored the emerald green urban oasis known as #burnetwoods The sights, sounds, and smells (other than the dead possum) were delightful. @cincyparks #trailrunning #cincinnati
@trailrunningmom had a great week! She topped it off on #mothersday by spending some quality time with her favorite @disney character.

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