Today was the Nipmuck South Trail Race, the second of the Shenipsit Striders 2015 races, race five in this year’s Connecticut Blue-Blazed Trail Running Series, and race eight in the New England Grand Tree Trail Running Series. Thankfully, Mansfield Hollow State Park is only 25 minutes from our house.
I really didn’t want to go far today. Debbie went early to help with the pre-race stuff and I followed with our kids. We got there just before the start, grabbed some shots, and then drove to the seven mile turnaround on Old Turnpike Road, just off Rt. 44. Nipmuck South is a generally flat course with some tricky footing (rocks and roots) in spots.
The heavy rain that started last night and continued into this morning made for a bit of a mess. Thankfully, the Nipmuck Trail drains well and the mud was only in select spots. I happened to find one of those spots near the turnaround aid station that was manned by David Merkt and Nicole Gibeau. The total length of the course is 14.1 +/- miles.
There were a lot of Shenipsit Striders, as you would expect, in attendance. Some volunteered, some ran, and some did both. There was a tight battle for first place, with Brett Stoeffler prevailing over Todd Bennet. Jim Harron was third. First female was a dominant Kehr Davis. She finished fifth overall. Eric Wyzga had to work very hard to keep her five seconds behind his fourth place spot. Kehr was followed by Darby Dustman, who was only 15 seconds in front of Debbie, who grabbed the third spot.
I saw a lot of smiles on the trail today. The rain and cool temperature made for great running conditions. No one was deterred by the mud. Race Director Scott Edington organized a good event on behalf of the club. It was another fun trail running event.
The two overall winners earned a jar of honey and a bottle of maple syrup. They also earned apple pies from NipMuck Dave for winning the “trilogy” series that included the Soapstone Mountain Trail Race, Goodwin Forest Trail Run, and Nipmuck South.