Sunday, June 1, 2008
Nipmuck trail marathon - June 1, 2008
Thank you, everyone, for your well wishes -- the day was a success except for Rob who had intestinal issues -all 3 of us finished without mishap and to the best of my knowledge, no one on the course got injured! Frank, Rob and I carpooled up to the Nipmuck forest area North of Hartford --while walking to the start, I saw so many friendly faces and it struck me that we have made so many friends through ultras -I bet I knew 20 percent of the field! We had to give our license plate number to get our bibs and the race director gave a big talk over the hazards of the course -first time runners had a sticker on their bbs that said 'high fall risk'!! ince we had all run the course before, we did not get one. Last year, our friend Joe tore his patella tendon and his girlfriend Jill had to stop -this year, she ran the full marathon and Joe ran the half. Anthony was missed as the GAC crew (Chris and Susan) came -they were asking abut him. This was a tough course -not so much ups and downs but sections with rocks and roots and slippery leaves. And mud. I started out in the back, not wanted to be stuck with faster runners in the rocky first-portion of the course...the first 12.4 miles is an out-and-back where you see everyone. Frank was way ahead of me at the first part, and I passed Rob when he stopped to go to the bathroom. I finished in 5:21 (Frank right behind in 5:22 - we finished together)and took 35 minutes off last year's time. Felt so much better than Greenbelt 50K, although the 50 miler did catch up to me, Chris, Frank, susan, and sarah in the end. I started with Lydia, Sarah, Jill and Joe and quickly moved ahead as felt good --it got hot and the trails dried out. The second portion of the course -also out and back was worse, with hills and rocky areas, and long steps to climb up ad down at the turn-around. But we also had a fun section of road to run on! I hooked up with Emma Ricanda from Long island, and jenny and Nathan. Then caught up with rank and another guy I had been running with -the last 3 miles were tough and seemed to go on forever. Finally we popped out of the woods to the sound of cowbells. The finishers' awards are birch-bark tree stumps! Sadly, they ran out of the tree stumps before Rob finished -I should have grabbed one to hold for him. We knew so many people and so the time spent before and after the race socializing was the best -Barbara came down from Albany; Jenny Chow and Nathan came from NJ.
This course is not easy but it is a great confidence-builder for the VT 100!!!!!!!!