2017 Bolton Road Race

I think today was the coldest Bolton Road Race on record. I don’t know who keeps those records! Our hometown has been gripped by a cold snap as winter refuses to let go. Snow is in the forecast for next week, so we aren’t clear of the cold yet.

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Yesterday was actually colder than today. Both days, we had brilliant sunshine, but the stiff breeze made it feel even cooler. The five-mile Bolton course is a classic and ever since Dani Kennedy revived the race, it has grown in popularity. I saw a lot of Shenipsit Striders and Silk City Striders.

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There are other bigger local races, but they are driven by a huge marketing budget and the support of a strong following. Bolton is different. It is a true grassroots local road race, and the distance, one that used to be a classic length, intimidates people in a world full of 5K’s. The other thing that intimidates people about running in our town, is the hills. A big deal is made about “the Hill” on the BRR course, but that’s our attempt at marketing.

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Heck, if you advertised a big hill in a trail running race, it would create more demand, not less. The fact that the biggest hill on the course comes in the last mile, makes the course even more fun. I don’t want to hear any complaints about hills. OK, for a road race, it’s a pretty big hill, but as trail races go, the Bolton hills are mere bumps. Three weeks ago, Debbie and I ran the St. John Trail Race. That was hilly.

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The BRR is a family affair, and not just our family, but lots of running families. We saw many friends today. They all braved the cold with us. Last year, Debbie got her name on the Bruce Ralston trophy, which honors the first female Bolton finisher. I’ve tried many times to be the first male, and I’ve been second on a few occasions, but today, my consolation for missing out on the 40-49 age group win, was that I was the first Bolton finisher for the first time. I saw Thomas Paquette, the fastest Bolton runner around, but he was “jogging” the race.

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I had a race long battle with Melissa Stellato, who is one of the fastest runners in the state. She was so smooth. I started out rather conservatively, but moved up on the fist hill. I was five seconds behind her at the top and we were close to ether other for the next four miles.

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She would pick up a few seconds on the downhills and I would make them back when we went up. Around the three-mile mark, I actually thought she might pull away, but pulled even with her at the four mile mark. She chatted me up, but I was hurting and just wanted to push the hill to the finish. The first two guys were gone, so it was just the two of us with a few chasers another 20-30 seconds behind us. She said, “You are a beast,” which for me, is high praise! I thanked her and told her she was doing a great job.

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The last pitch hit hard and I slowed considerably, but everyone does. Some neighbors were cheering at the top, which was encouraging. It flattens out and then drops a bit and then there is a false flat to the line. I was able to hold off a charging Melissa and took third overall behind Brett Stoeffler and Kevin Vallez. Brett turned 50 this week, so I’m darn proud of him. He and I have battled many times over the years, but he is in a different class on the roads. On the trails, I’m usually a little closer to him, but he is just stronger.

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Last fall, Kevin had an incredible Manchester Road Race, and at 49, he has five years on me. It seems that with these two, the older you get, the faster you go. My time was 30:54. I’ve always wanted to break 30, and came within eight seconds in 2013, so I still have a shot at the goal. Following Melissa were Greta Broneill and Michelle Corrigan, though they were more than four minutes back. Melissa is amazing. She finished fourth overall, only nine seconds behind me.

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Debbie was third in her age group, but by her standards, today was an off day. Team Horst Sports were also represented by the Ricardi Family. Cole won his age group and Tom wasn’t far behind. I’m sure he was saving his legs for cyclocross season!

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Race Director Dani got great support from a cadre of volunteers including Brian Miller, who seemed to be everywhere. He was the race starter, he was at the finish line, and he did the race award announcements. Nothing is better than a hometown race. This event is an important community gathering for us and a great tradition.

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Today, we were joined by our son, who did his third Bolton.

Race Results

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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 🌏 #Repost @horsteng
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We just launched the #cxnats edition of #crossspikes News and it is chock full of great information. Click our profile for a link to the newsletter and info regarding @renocxnats pre-orders and on-site sales. See you at the Race Expo! #crossisboss 🚴🏽🏆 Brilliant sunshine☀️ at the @shenipsitstriders #newyearsday run. #shenipsitstriders #boltonnotch #hopriverstateparktrail #teamhorstsports #trailrunning ❄️🌲⛄️🏃🏻

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