Archive Page 3

2019 Finally Spring 5K Trail Race

Yesterday we launched our spring athletics campaign at the Finally Spring 5K Trail Race. The Manchester Running Company puts on some fun local events and this one was less than 10 minutes from our house.



We have done it several times. It’s at the Porter/Howard Reservoir. Most of the course is on trails. Dahlia ran the one mile kids race and had a blast. Debbie, Shepard, and I did the 5K and had an equally good time.



We saw several friends from the Shenipsit Striders and Silk City Striders. We brought home some age group awards, which was nice. I haven’t run hard in a long time. I missed last year’s race because of my broken leg. My left ankle still isn’t right, but the more activity I do, the more it should loosen up. It’s good that it is finally spring.


Race Results

Bolton Land Trust Event: Plant-Based Snacks on the Go

Today Debbie hosted a Bolton Land Trust event at the Bolton Congregational Church. It was titled: Plant-Based Snacks on the Go

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I’m pretty fortunate to live in a household where my partner takes healthy cooking and eating seriously. The benefits extend to our kids, other family, and the community. She is putting even more effort into healthy cooking and nutrition as it becomes a bigger part of her career. Over the next few months, her website will evolve to include more resources related to culinary nutrition.

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Last fall, she went back to “school,” and graduated from the Academy of Culinary Nutrition. The Culinary Nutrition Expert Program was demanding, and she put a lot of effort into it. After more than four months of online coursework, live webinars, and lots of homework, she went on to become a certified instructor.

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The food at our house has been awesome. Her new skills are benefiting our entire family and we have learned more too.

Today, she taught three recipes to a group of 35 participants who attended the free event. She made Roasted Chick Peas, Strawberry Chia Pudding, and Chocolate Nut and Seed Energy Balls. These are three of her original recipes and are part of a regular rotation of both sweet and savory snacks at our house.

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She uses the best ingredients, which means mostly organic and locally sourced when possible. She offered practical information about how and where to find these items at the grocery store, at the co-op, or online.

We are almost exclusively plant-based at home. Our entire family is vegetarian. Debbie has been vegetarian for more than 25 years. I’ve been vegetarian for more than 20 years. The kids have been vegetarian since they were born. Nine years ago, I also gave up dairy and eggs, so my diet would be described as vegan. Debbie only cooks with plants, though we don’t restrict the kids from dairy and eggs if they consume them outside of the house, and ideally if they know the source of the food.

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This isn’t as easy with kids when they eat at school, at friends’ home, at restaurants, and at events. We aren’t militant about it, but they know that meat, fish, poultry or any other animal are not part of their diets. The dairy is particularly hard to police and we are understanding about it, especially when pizza is being served.

The answer to a common question is, “I feel great.” I’ve been plant-based for a long time now and if you are a follower of this blog, I’m pretty active. My diet is a key to my health, my strength, and my consistent athletic performance. I’m proud of my lifestyle which also benefits animals and the environment.

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I’m glad that Debbie was invited to share some of her wisdom with members of our community.

CULTRA Trail Running Podcast

I just finished listening to Episode 13 of the CULTRA Trail Running Podcast. The guest was Debbie Livingston, my spouse. The host of CULTRA is Art Byram, a longtime friend from the running community.


I had nothing to do with this interview. About a month ago, she asked me to stay with the kids while she went to Art’s house to record the episode. I didn’t know anything about CULTRA prior to her episode. I’ve been a little out of touch and spending less time on social media.

She returned, told me it went well, and that was that. After Art published the episode, it took me a few weeks to remember to listen. I finally got to it yesterday. I jumped on the spin bike after work and cued up the episode. I didn’t finish until my outdoor bike ride this afternoon.

It was really good and I highly recommend it. I’m biased but Art was a good host and Debbie was a good guest. Last fall, I posted about her appearance on episode 4 of the Trail Running Women Podcast. That was also a good interview.

Art covered a wide range of topics with Debbie and it made me smile. I knew all the stories that she shared, but it was fun to hear them through my AirPods. Art and I have a had a few adventures together in the past. One notable adventure was mentioned on the podcast. Nearly nine years ago in 2010, he and I did the second half of the annual Shenipsit Striders–Shenipsit Trail End-to-End Run. We got to know each other better over the course of 25+ miles on one of my favorite trails.

So if you want to learn a bit more about trail running, the ultra community, mental strength, healthy eating, family relationships, women in sport, and a variety of other topics, then check out the episode.

Check out the main CULTRA Trail Running site for all past and future episodes.

Killington, VT

Last weekend, we squeezed in a great family ski/snowboard trip to Killington, Vermont. At three days, this was our longest ever winter alpine adventure. We had been skiing/riding two days in a row a few times, but never three.



The conditions were pretty good for New England in February. The kids did half day lessons on Saturday and Sunday. Both of those days, the weather was cold and windy (particularly in the morning), but the sky was clear and the sun shone brightly. We rented a condo right off the main Killington access road. We were able to walk to Snowshed and Rams Head base lodges in the morning and we could ski/ride back in the afternoon as a trail went right to the complex.



On Monday, it snowed about five inches, so there was a layer of thin powder on the slopes. We had a lot of fun spending time going up and down the mountain together. Debbie and the kids ride and I ski.



Both kids’ skills are progressing nicely. While the kids were in lessons, Debbie and I got a few long runs in together. It was great to be at Killington for the first time in a long time. I only skied there once, and that was 30 years ago. After that trip (my first ever), I didn’t ski for more than 10 years. Then, I had another long break before getting into skiing more seriously as a 40+ year old.



Debbie is a Killington pro. When I met her in 1999, she was a snowboard instructor at Killington. It was her third season in Vermont. In those days, she spent a lot of time on the mountain. My relationship with Killington is more as a summer adventurer. I did the Killington Stage Race (road cycling) six times (1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, and 2000). That’s a lot of Vermont bicycle racing!



Both of us did the Killington Klimb in 2003. That was a unique Memorial Day Weekend trail running race from base to summit. You were allowed to take any route you wanted and the winner was the first one to the top. Debbie and I also summited Killington during our Long Trail End-to-End hike in 2005. Each morning of our recent trip, she and I got out for a run/ruck. On the last day, we saw a great sunrise.


We love the Killington area and have fond memories from all of these past adventures. It was great to share them with the kids.


Telluride, CO

Last week, I was back in Telluride, Colorado for only the second time. I was last there in July of 2017, but that visit lasted only 20 minutes. Despite its remote location, my prior visit was so short because it was during the Hardrock Endurance Run. I was pacing Debbie and after running through the early morning hours, we descended to an aid station at the far end of Telluride village around the 72.8 mile mark of the race. Hardrock was an entirely different kind of adventure that is worth reading about if you haven’t seen the story before.


After spending just a few minutes in the aid station, we began the long climb out of the valley. I stayed with her for another 10 miles up and over some serious mountains until we hit a massive descent to reach the Chapman Aid Station. There I switched with my cousin Danny Roy, and he paced her to the finish. The 1/4 mile of asphalt from the trail to the aid station was the only pavement on the 100.5 mile course. On my recent trip, that same stretch of pavement was covered in snow and ice. I was in town for a quick but intense winter adventure with some business friends.


We arrived on Tuesday and I immediately went for a run to test my lungs against the thin air. The town is at 8,750 feet, but we stayed in Mountain Village which is around 9,540 feet. Our rented house was even farther up the “hill” at an elevation of  more than 10,000 feet. The lack of oxygen felt just like it did during Hardrock.


We filled all day Wednesday and Thursday with skiing at Telluride Ski & Golf Resort. Day 1 we covered more than 27 miles and 27,000+ feet of descent. Day 2 was 32 miles and more than 30,000 feet of descent. We didn’t have fresh snow, but there was a nice groomed base, and the weather was spectacular. We had bright sunshine, a tolerable temperature, and for three days, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. I could go on an on about the quality of the skiing and the beauty of the mountains, but I’ll simply say it was awesome.


I’m not a great skier as I came to the sport late in life. However, I’ve improved dramatically, and that is satisfying. I missed all of last year with my broken leg, suffered at the January 2018 USA Cyclo-Cross National Championships, so its been great to be back on the snow. I last skied with this group in Vail back in January 2017.  I was stoked to be on a big mountain again. My only warmup was a day trip to Jiminy Peak in the Berkshires last month.


After two days of skiing, we had an entirely different kind of adventure. On Friday, we took snowmobiles on a backcountry adventure with guides from Telluride Outside. The destination was Dunton Hot Springs, a resort deep in the San Juan Mountains. We spent several hours experiencing the remoteness, and then we had a really nice lunch.


This was a unique experience. I’m not a fan of off-road vehicles (ORV’s) and have worked hard to keep them off the trails (spring/summer/fall) in New England. However, snow machines are a little different. They are still noisy and they pollute, but they don’t do damage to trails like all-terrain vehicles (ATV’s). This was my first close up experience with snowmobiling, and even though I won’t be pursuing the activity, it was good to try it.


By Saturday evening, I was back in Connecticut and yearning for my next Colorado adventure. Last December, Debbie struck out in the Hardrock lottery for the second year in a row. She has one more year of eligibility after gaining three years of grace following her 2017 finish. Hopefully her name comes up again and we get back there in July of 2020. Otherwise, we may just have to plan a family trip to Telluride. I’m already itching to get back and see those beautiful mountains again.


Bicycles East and Seven Cycles

Last Thursday, Bicycles East hosted an “Evening with Seven Cycles” event at their shop in Glastonbury, CT. Debbie and I were stoked to have six of our bikes on display.



The event was the “grand opening,” to celebrate Bicycles East becoming an official Seven Cycles dealer. My relationship with Seven goes way back–the go back to before their founding. In 1992, with help from my grandfather, and after working a lot of overtime (in the turning department) at Horst Engineering, I saved up and bought a Spectrum Titanium. I still ride that beautiful bike. Tom Kellogg designed it, but it was fabricated at Merlin Metalworks, the legendary Boston area titanium frame building company.



Several of Seven’s founders, including principal founder Rob Vandermark, cut their teeth at Merlin. Rob was a welder, and he may have even welded my Spectrum. The bike went back to Tom Kellogg for final finishing. I raced that bike in more than a hundred road races, including all of the Belgian kermesses that I competed in during the summer of 1994. The fact that my grandfather, who learned metalworking at a German bicycle factory in his teens, helped me get that bike makes it one of the most special in my fleet.



Merlin folded, but the seeds were sown for the founding of Seven more than 23 years ago. I acquired my first Seven about 15 years ago, a Tsunami cyclocross bike that I raced all over New England. I even raced it at the Cape Town Cycle Tour in South Africa. It wasn’t long after acquiring the Tsunami, that I got my first Sola mountain bike.



I’ve been affiliated with Team Seven Cycles since 2010 when they built me a custom Kameha SLX for the Ironman World Championships. I’ve been fortunate to benefit from the relationship and have been an ambassador for the company ever since. I have several Seven’s now, as does Debbie.



So, it made sense that Bicycles East, a key Team Horst Sports sponsor and partner, should become a dealer. The team at the shop has been working on my bikes for several years now. I had an opportunity to make a connection between the two companies, and I’m confident this will be a great relationship. Bicycles East has a world-class bike fit studio and they run a very smooth operation. Owners Steve and Deb Dauphinais put a lot of pride into their small business and it shows.


So, if you are local and want to see a Seven up close, you can check some out at Bicycles East. Of course, you can also always visit my basement.

Team HORST Sports

I often mention Team Horst Sports in race reports, but I don’t often talk about the history of our squad. Last night, we held our 2019 kickoff party, which has been a tradition. For many years, we held a holiday party in December to celebrate the current season, but in recent years, we have done a January event that celebrates the prior year and kicks off the new year.

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The team was founded in the fall of 1997. It was born at the Killington Stage Race. Several of us were staying together and competing together, but we were technically on different teams. I recall one evening discussion in particular. It was after the day’s stage and since we were split between four or five teams, we didn’t have the numbers to control the race. We were technically racing against each other, but would have rather been able to work for a common goal. Teamwork in road cycling is vital, but at the time in the New England amateur ranks, it wasn’t common.

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The upgrade system forced individualism. The best riders would zoom through the ranks and end up in the next category on their way to the elite ranks. In those days, it went 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and if you were good enough, you could go pro. We were just weekend warriors, racing as Cat 3’s, but we wanted to keep getting better. That first discussion led to the formation of the team. There were some doubts about the organization and financing, but we resolved those issues without much of a fuss. Arlen Zane Wenzel volunteered to lead the effort, and I said I would speak with my family about throwing their support behind the team.

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All of these years later, HORST Engineering remains the lead sponsor and AZW is still the Directeur Sportif. That continuity has sustained the team over a period of time that has seen so many other teams come and go. We formed the squad, placed our first clothing order, and had a fantastic 1998 season in which we were voted New England team of the year. With excellent teamwork, we helped three of our members upgrade to Category 2 and though it had an impact on the team (splitting us between categories), it didn’t hurt us. We adjusted and that was the first of many evolutions.

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In the early years, there really was a “season” because we had a more narrow focus: road cycling. Now, we are a broad-based endurance sports team with year-round training and competition. We compete in road cycling, cyclocross, mountain biking, gravel riding, trail running, snowshoe running, skiing, triathlon, obstacle course racing, and many variations of these sports that involved cycling, running, and swimming.

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We started as group of “mostly single” guys racing in their 20’s and 30’s and are now a group of “masters” athletes in their 40’s and 50’s. We even have a few members whose racing age is 60+. Also, we are co-ed. We have had several women members over our history. In addition to the adult athletes, we also have the CCAP Team Horst Junior Squad with member children between the ages of 8 and 16.

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The team has evolved since our founding in 1997 and those of us who have been around since the beginning are older and wiser. We are better athletes than the one-dimensional competitors of those early days. We are proud of our history and appreciate the longtime support of our sponsors, particularly, HORST Engineering, the family business that I lead.

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We have reduced our “sponsors” to a small number of organizations that share our core values. Bicycles East came aboard three years ago and it have been valuable partners. They hosted party we had  last night. J. Rene Coffee Roasters and their VICTUS Coffee brand has supported us for many years.  Our uniforms are from VERGE Sport. We also get a little support from Rudy Project and Picky Bars. We have had other fantastic sponsors over the years.

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Over two decades, we have had many great teammates. Some folks have retired, and some folks have moved to other teams, but they will always be part of the Team HORST family. There has been very little drama, and that has allowed us to maintain relationships for a long period of time.

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We have been involved in a lot of events. For years, we promoted the Frank-N-Horst Cyclocross in Keene, New Hampshire. We held the first ever cyclocross race in Hartford, Connecticut with the 2003 Connecticut Riverfront Cyclocross. We did a race in Rockville called the Fox Hill Cyclocross. For years, we helped Benidorm Bikes with the Chainbiter Cyclocross. Our team members have been involved in the cycling in running communities in so many ways.

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Our orange and black “kit” is very visible. I don’t go a week without someone telling me that they saw a team rider on the roads of southern New England. Our riders have been spotted all over the country, and we aren’t that big of a group! The team has been good for our business and our business has been good for the team. We first developed Cross Spikes for members of the team. Our teammates did the research and development.

We will continue to evolve in 2019 and beyond.

Horst Engineering Family of Companies

Cross Spikes™


This was the 21st consecutive #mtgreylock trail race for @trailrunningmom We opted for the short course “5K” and were joined by the kids. #trailrunning #shenipsitstriders 🏃🏽‍♀️
Yesterday’s #belltownthrowdown #mountainbike race capped a great spring season for the @the_ccap #teamhorstjuniorsquad and #teamhorstsports 🚵‍♂️ 🏆 🥇 #mountainbiking #crossspikes #horstengineering
Start of the #springstreetmile women’s race. Top woman was 4:22. Fastest male was 4:02. I went 4:56. It helps that it’s point to point and has a net decline of 135 feet. Regardless it hurt. @trailrunningmom and I warmed up with four trips up Case Mountain on the trail. That’s more our style! #roadrunning #trailrunning 🏃🏿🏃🏽‍♀️
From Windsor to Waterbury: I was happy to represent @horsteng at @naugatuckvalley for the What’s Cool About #Manufacturing Video Competition Awards. Good stuff! Oh...and we are hiring! 🙂 ### #precisionmachining #machining #aerospace #manufacturing #advancedmanufacturing #centerlessgrinding #threadrolling #instamachinist #cncmachining #fastener #familybusiness #horstengineering #sterlingmachine #madeinconnecticut #madeinmassachusetts #madeinnewengland #madeinusa 🇺🇸✈️
This won’t be the first @morrisgroupinc video posted in the next few days, but the #machining of this basketball hoop/net 🏀 is super cool. This is full 5-Axis milling on an amazing machine. @horsteng doesn’t make nets, but we work with Morris and we’re excited to visit their open house. Oh, and I’m rooting for the @raptors #precisionmachining #aerospace #manufacturing #advancedmanufacturing #instamachinist #horstengineering
The Goodwin Forest Trail Runs capped an excellent Connecticut Trails Day Weekend. #shenipsitstriders #teamhorstsports #trailrunning
The sights and sounds of #memorialday | Cycling, 🚴🏽, marching, and Family Day fun. No audio/video of us cleaning the basement. 🇺🇸
Yesterday was a full day of adventure with @trailrunningmom in #vermont Stage 1 🏃🏽‍♀️ was a run/hike on the #LongTrail from Woodford to Manchester Center. Stage 2 🚴🏽 was the ride back along the Battenkill River on some lovely paved and gravel roads. #trailrunning #evergreening #teamhorstsports #shenipsitstriders #sevencycles

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