2016 Soapstone Assault

After a one year layoff to attend the Speedgoat Mountain Races, we returned to one of our “hometown” races, the Soapstone Assault. We have been going to the Assault since 2000, which is a long 16 year span. The race has grown up quite a bit and we had a very strong turnout this year. Of course the race was dominated by Shenipsit Striders, which only made sense because Shenipsit State Forest and Soapstone Mountain is our “home field.”

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The format for the event, six ascents (five descents) of Soapstone Mountain, was originally a New Year’s joke amongst club members. Eventually, the joke developed into a race. The unique nature of the handicap or “Dipsea start” is based on the Dipsea Race in Mill Valley/Stinson Beach, California. The last hill is Killer Hill, which is also part of the Soapstone Mountain Trail Race course.

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Debbie has done this race 15 or so times, but this year, she was joined by our son for his inaugural race. It was great to see so many friends and teammates. Brad Pellissier and a bunch of volunteers coordinated the race. Special thanks to Rod Wilson and Jennifer Clark for the race timing. This isn’t an easy race to score! The markings were our best ever and we had monitors at each key trail junction. In the old days, this race had barely any markings and a lot of people make wrong turns. Richard Busa was famous for running twice the 5.5 mile distance thanks to all of his wrong turns.

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The weather was rainy, but muggy, and warm. The post-race picnic was fantastic. Jaime and Dominic Wilson did a fantastic job setting up the picnic and coordinating all of the pot-luck contributions.

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At $10 for non-members and $5 for members, this race, which is part of the Connecticut Blue-Blazed Trail Running Series, has to be one of the best values in trail running. The next race in the series is People’s Forest on Saturday.

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Race Results

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Day one of the @the_ccap Junior #Cyclocross Camp was awesome. #horstspikes #teamhorstsports #teamhorstjuniorsquad #lifedeathcyclocross #crossiscoming @trailrunningmom led another successful #Yoga at #Sunset for the #boltonlandtrust This year's venue was the #BoltonHeritageFarm It's been a tradition to move to a new spot each time. I got my first #cyclocross ride of the year in too! #yogini #yogi #shavasana Sightseeing on my second favorite road in #Connecticut #grassyhill #cycling #bicycle #sevencycles #horstengineering Camp was swell! @thecubscouts @boyscoutsofamerica #cubscouts #boyscouts #junenorcrosswebster I visited the new HQ of the @appalachianmountainclub that is under construction at 10 City Square in #Charlestown I had to ride by the #BunkerHill Monument at the end of the #FreedomTrail #Boston #sevencycles First time at the People's Forest Trail Race since 2011. This first image is the look of a dejected man who lost 25 minutes with a wrong turn on a big descent. That's costly in an 11 kilometer race. Even worse is that @trailrunningmom is the one who led him (and two other runners) off course! They survived. It was a nice day on the #FarmingtonRiver. #trailrunning #teamhorstsports #shenipsitstriders 🏃🏻⛰🏆 Another great #sunset at #windingtrails Two distant pre-swim thunderclaps turned the race into a #Duathlon which suited me just fine! It's nice to not come into T1 with a two minute deficit. #Triathlon #mountainbiking #trailrunning #teamhorstsports Once again, @trailrunningmom took the cookie prize for winning the special summit competition at the finish line of the #shenipsitstriders #SoapstoneAssault Here is a picture of a picture of myself taking a picture. @cwoodside59 put together a nice piece for the @ctforestandparkassociation quarterly. I'm looking forward to my next #carfreecommute #selfie #bicycle

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