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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@thecubscouts #pinewoodderby never gets old. Pack 157 Bolton, Connecticut #cubscouts So that little injury caused by my @renocxnats crash on Saturday afternoon wasn’t so little after all. It’s a broken leg (fibula). Prognosis is good, but it hurts like heck. My blog post report with blow by blow details is linked in my profile. #cxnats #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #crossisboss - - -

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 - - -

@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 🌏

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