2016 Bolton Road Race

One of the best races of the year is our hometown race. The Bolton Road Race celebrated its 38th year today. We haven’t done 38, but over the past 16 years since Debbie and I have been together, and over the past 11 that we have lived in Bolton, we have done many. This year’s race was unique in that it is the first time I’ve been to a wedding at a race. I had fun as a freelance wedding photographer.

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Faith Raymond and Joseph Strafach got hitched in a civil ceremony in the Bolton High School cafeteria just before the start of the five miler. It was fun and inspiring to witness their running love story culminate with the ceremony. I saw them walk down the aisle and then minutes later, they passed me on the first hill of the course. I shot a little video as proof that they dropped me going past Pesces Farm. I’m sure that this is just the beginning of the journey for them. They probably have lots of roads and trails left to run together.

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The race has grown every year since Dani Kennedy took over as Race Director. She did another bang up job, bringing 321 runners to the finish line safely. I always look forward to seeing her cheering at the top of the last hill on the course. She as there again this year, offering encouragement to all the runners who passed. This was one of the bigger Bolton Road Races and overflow parking was required at other venues in town. The weather was glorious as this non-winter delivered another mild day. Shorts and shortsleeves were all you needed. The race drew many volunteers from the Bolton Booster Club, the prime beneficiary of the race proceeds.

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Those proceeds were boosted by many great sponsors, including our family business, Horst Engineering, celebrating its 70th year in 2016. Several other notable family businesses also supported the race. Worth mentioning are Munson’s Chocolates, also celebrating its 70th year, Highland Park Market, and Shady Glen. The race was the Road Runners Club of America Connecticut State Five Mile Championships. Debbie went for a long run before the race and met us at the start. I jogged the two miles from our house, and my parents were kind enough to drive the kids and meet me there. Debbie raced hard and earned first place in the 40-49 age group. She had a fun “battle” with our friend, Kathleen Shaw, who wasn’t a fan of the Bolton hills, but finished just behind Debbie in the age group.

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I ran with our son, who finished his second Bolton Road Race. Our daughter walked the “two-miler” with my parents, Lynn and Stan. Thank you to them. She wanted a gel, and the family rule is that you only consume energy food when you race. She “earned it,” but I still haven’t figured out how a little body can process so much sugar.

 

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The top three men were Alex Norstrom, Jacob Gurzler, and Adam Seften. Alex ran a 27:00 flat, which is a fine time on such a hilly course. Adam was the first Bolton finisher and earned a spot on the 38-year-old trophy honoring that achievement. I came close a few times, but with these young guns, it’s unlikely that I’ll ever get my name on the trophy. Maybe one of our kids will earn that spot down the road. Good news on the gender equality front: after 38 years of men’s names going on the trophy, this year, a new trophy and tradition was started to honor the first female finisher from  Bolton. That honor will go to Debbie, which makes me smile. She was fourth woman behind Melissa Stellato, Sara Belles, and Kelly Labanara. Melissa had a fantastic race, and finished in 10th overall in 31:58. Another notable performance worth mentioning was Brett Stoeffler who ran 29:44 for fourth overall, just days after his 49th birthday. Several other Bolton residents earned age group awards, including Laurie Brooks, Ned Kennedy, and Kevin Glenn.

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Five mile races are kind of rare, so if you have never raced the distance, join us in 2017 for the 39th Bolton Road Race. I can’t promise that there will be another wedding, but maybe a trend was started today. You never know.

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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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