Today, we returned to the Bimbler’s Bash for the first time since 2011. We also ran the race in 2009 and Debbie ran it solo in 2010. This year, the 7 +/- mile Bash was the first race in the inaugural Connecticut Blue-Blazed Trail Running Series.
The course is a rugged loop through Westwoods in Guilford. All proceeds from the event are donated to the Guilford Land Conservation Trust. Debbie, David Merkt, and I represented the Shenipsit Striders. I know there were other Striders in the crowd. The Bash is one of the largest trail running races around.
We had brilliant sunshine, though it was still cold. The temperature was 39 degrees Fahrenheit when we started. It warmed up a bit more by the finish. With all of the recent snow/rain, the course was quite wet and muddy. That likely slowed the times a bit. There was a lot of ground cover (leaves, twigs, etc.) but no larger branches. This race is known for rocks, which it has plenty of.
Thanks to the son of a friend of a friend, we had on-site childcare. Both Debbie and I got to run. This is our version of a “hot date.” We didn’t get to spend much time on the trail together, but we each got a chance to enjoy the woods. We saw many other running friends today.
The Bimbler’s Sound running club, led by Race Director Jerry Turk, did a fine job with the course. I remembered a lot of volunteers from past years. Neither Debbie or I are up to speed yet, but we both enjoyed the hard effort. I ran in a group of three for much of the race, then it was a group of two. Then, I was dropped and was in a group of one. I was stronger on the ups and weaker on the downs.
David had a strong run for 5th place. He and I were both rewarded with the traditional Bimbler’s chocolate bunnies. I was a candidate for the “Best Blood” competition, but I opted not to enter because it wasn’t “liquid” enough. Jerry prefers real gore and my injury was minor compared to some of the others I saw. I didn’t even fall. I was taking a sharp left and didn’t negotiate the corner in time. There was a sharp stick jutting out and I caught it with my back, which is pretty scraped up. Ouch! Still, it hurt so good.
With 1/2 mile to go, it was great to hear the “piper” again. I love that sound calling you back to the finish line. Debbie and I had a piper at our wedding in 2001. Every wedding and every race should have a piper! Congratulations to race winners, Todd Bennett and Darcy Lucas; plus all of the age group winners. More than 200 people finished the race.
Brunch was once again, at the Shoreline Diner & Vegetarian Enclave. We enjoyed the meal like we always do.
Several of my Team Horst Sports mates were racing elsewhere this weekend. I missed the Tour of the Battenkill again this year. I’m not in that kind of cycling shape. Maybe 2015.
Next up in the Series: Traprock 50K. From talking to Debbie, I know that folks are already registering for the 30th anniversary Soapstone Mountain Trail Race. Hopefully we see a lot of Bash finishers coming north (we came south) to double the distance and run our 24 kilometer classic.