Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Winter Trail Running

The other day I received an email from my friend Streph regarding trail conditions in the Middlesex Fells. Streph does a lot of training on the rugged Skyline trail and completed a 19 mile training run in the Fells last weekend. He told the snow on the trails was compacted by hikers and skiers making running in trail shoes possible. In fact, he said running in the snow was easier than other times of the year because the snow had covered the rock, roots and voids in the trail.

With that in mind I went to Breakheart Reservation on Monday to see if similar trail conditions existed there. I have been itching to get in some trail running, sans snowshoes, all winter. When I got to Breakheart I was pleasantly surprise to see that some of my favorite trails were runable. I took a few short videos along the way. My digital camera isn't made to take high quality video but I think you will still get a feel for the terrain.

This first one was taken from the top of Eagle Rock, a 200+ foot hill, overlooking Pearce Lake:

This one is descending the snow covered Eagle Rock:

This third video was taken along a climb and descent on the Fox Trail near a large ledge:

This one is on the Saugus River Trail:

This is also on the Saugus River trail but taken along the river bank:

With a little luck, I should be able to make the weekly night snowshoe run in Lynn Woods tonight.


  1. Dan!

    I love the video. I especially liked the Fox Trail section. I skied that trail earlier this winter after our first heavy snow. I must have fallen five times trying to avoid all of the Hemlocks. You seemed to have done much better. The snow sounds a little wet. Maybe it's just the way the sound is picked up by the microphone. Conditions look pretty good, though. It sounds like you enjoyed it. Mud season is coming!

  2. Streph
    It was a mild day and the snow was a bit wet and squishy but I still had a blast. The Fox trail is one of my favorites.

  3. I like the visual trail report thanks, I may hit Blue Hills this Sunday for one of the Trail Animals morning long runs. Also what time at night do snowshoe Lynn Woods?

  4. Ryan, we usually go every Wednesday at 6pm. Shoot me an email if you're thinking about coming and I can give you the details. I'd like to try a Sunday Trail Animal run but I don't think I'm on the same level as you guys and couldn't keep up.

  5. Dan,

    Great videos....funny, as I watched them I actually feel a bit better. I can suddenly breath out of my nose and I think I feel a bit of those wonderful endophines......I actually havn't run all week because of this sickness I came down with. I hope to run some trails this weekend.

    Did you run with screws or just plain shoes? What pace do you figure you were running in the videos?

  6. Kevin,
    I ran with my Cascadia 3 screw shoes. I'm not sure of my pace. Depending on the trail/terrain maybe 9:30 - 12:00 pace.

    I'm happy it gave you some nasal relief! Take care of that cold.

  7. I haven't attend any of the Trail Animal runs yet but I'll be going Sunday you should come along I'll be taking it very slow just want to get one last shlllogg in before Hyannis. Hope to see c-ya there.

  8. Hey Ryan, Thanks for the offer but I'm doing a snowshoe race in NH on Sunday with Dungeon Rock Racing(The Lynn Woods Crew. I hope to make it down to Blue Hills when snowshoe season is over. Godd Luck at the Hyannis Marathon.


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