Mount Tom Trail Run

Debbie and I spent some quality time outside today. We’ve been doing outdoor adventure together for 23 years, so today’s trail run “date” was a mini-celebration of our time together.

She scouted a newish FKT on the New England Trail (NET) from the Manhan Rail Trail in Easthampton south to Whiting Street Reservoir and back. We were aiming to beat 3h8m4s and we are lucky that we did 2h57m09s. This morning when we checked the route on the FKT site, that was the fastest women’s time.

However, when we checked Strava after our effort, we realized that someone had just put up a faster time, 2h57m27s on October 2nd, a week ago. It hadn’t been uploaded until today. By the time we got home and logged back in, it was there. Thankfully, we hammered the final descent of Norwottuck.

The entire ridge up and over Mount Tom is rugged. Last year, we took the kids for a hike on this section of the NET, and of course, in 2020, we did the entire trail, albeit at a much slower pace. Today, it was fun to revisit this section and hammer it.

The weather was spectacular. It was perfect running conditions with bright sunshine and a cool temperature. The leaves are looking great and though some have been falling, the trail was not completely covered with them. The dirt was moist. When we were here in 2020, it was hot and dry. This time, the footing was better.

I was strong on the uphills and Debbie led the way going down. We both had fun cruising around the Whiting Street Reservoir. We hit the halfway mark (7.5 miles) in 1h36m, but the second half ran much quicker because we came back in 1h21m. The reservoir is at 400 feet, whereas the start/finish at the rail trail is at the same elevation as the Connecticut River, which is basically sea level.

Debbie took a hard fall on the gravel road with 1/4 mile to go. It was a real bummer to crash that late in the run, but she stepped off the edge of the gravel, twisted her ankle, and slammed her already tender knee into the ground. She hit her elbow too. Recovering and getting going again cost a little time, but in the end, we had enough to spare. Despite the fall, we had a lot of fun and followed up the run with a nice lunch at Nourish in Northampton.

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