Nipmuck South Trail Race 2015

Starting Instructions. Photo property of Scott Livingston

On Sunday, June 28, I joined a large group of fellow Shenipsit Striders to race the Nipmuck South Trail Race.  This was a 14 mile out and back on the Nipmuck Trail, starting from Mansfield Hollow park.  The race is part of the Blue-Blazed Trail Series, a series of races throughout Connecticut showcasing our amazing Blue-Blazed trails.  

The weather the night before was RAINY!  I woke up and got ready in a downpour, seriously reconsidering my choice to prereg.  I had gotten home around midnight the night before from work, and wandered around bleary-eyed trying to rustle up my stuff (shoes…. check.  shirt… check.  shorts…. check.  good thing trail races are low maintenance).

Luckily, the rain had slowed to a barely-there drizzle for the race start, and stopped completely shortly thereafter.  It is always a lot of fun to chat with other club members pre-race (and during!).  I caught up with some that I already knew, and befriended more that I hadn’t met yet.  It is a large group of all ages and abilities, which is really fun!!

Puddle splashing – photo property of Scott Livingston

This race was a good way to gauge my fitness.  The weather was perfect for running, cool, overcast, and damp.  The rain made for slick conditions on the trails, with lots of muddy spots, creek crossings, and wet roots and rocks.  The course was a mix of double track, some road, and singletrack winding down to the river.  I went out conservatively, falling into a small pack of runners who took turns leading.  3 miles in I tripped and went flying knees-first into a rock.  Luckily I got my hands out in front of me to slow myself down, and only ended up with a lightly scraped and banged up left knee.  Could have been a lot worse!

Boo-Boo Knee – photo property of Scott Livingston

I felt fantastic once we hit the turnaround, and pushed myself for the second half.  The singletrack felt great!  The long road uphill (which was a great downhill on the way out… bastards) was another story.  I need to get a little hill work and speed into these legs!

 
Overall I was really happy with my run.  I even ended up winning my age division, sweet! The race was well organized and a fun course.  I know what I need to work on to make myself better.  This race was also part of a “trilogy” (Soapstone Trail Race and Goodwin Forest being the other two).  The two speedsters who won Nipmuck South (winners took home local maple syrup and honey) also won the trilogy and got homemade apple pies.  And this is why trail running just kicks ass.  
The picture just doesn’t do the mud justice

 

mile splits

 

 

 

Next up… some serious training to get ready for the Escarpment Trail Run in July.  This should be a doozy!!!
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