Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Groton Town Forest Race

This past Sunday I made my way North-West to the lovely town of Groton for 22nd race in the 2009 Grand Tree Trail Race Series. I’ve want to run this race ever since I took up trail running three years ago. The 12:30 start time is what kept me away for so long. I could never get excited about the thought of running a mid-day race. I like to get my pain and suffering out of the way in the early morning hours! This year, I had an incentive to finally make the effort. Fellow Stone Catters Trail Pixie, Trailgrrl, and KZ would be there with an added bonus of a post-race gathering at Trailgrrl’s pad when the dust of the race, I mean mud had settled.

The course is a constant up and down, twisting, turning confusing mess of fabulous single-track with brief stints of wide trail. There are enough rock and roots to make it interesting but overall I’d say it’s one of the less technical courses in the series. But that doesn’t make it any less fun. On the contrary, the terrain is constantly changing, up one minute, down the next. Pine needles cushioning your feet at one moment give way to rocks or slippery roots aiming to give you a harsh wakeup call if you fail to notice the change in a timely fashion.

I wanted to run hard at Groton so I took off at fast pace (for me) down a flat road of crushed-stone in hot pursuit of my fellow dirt dogs. I was wearing my Inov8 320s and they didn’t offer much protection from the stones under foot. After crossing over two sets of railroad tracks and fields of tall grass and weeds, the single track running began. My feet were thankful for the change. Once onto the trail I made a decision to run as hard as I could for as long as I could, and to RUN all the hills. I also said to myself, “Do not get passed.” That worked for 9.3 miles. Unfortunately, the race was 9.5 miles and two heavy breathing, loud snorting, fleet- footed psychos blew by me in the home stretch.

Typical Groton (Coolrunning.com)

Overall I was happy with my race performance. I passed several runners during the course of the race, ran all of the hills except for maybe 10 hiking steps (most of the hills were short and steep), and I even beat some people I usually don’t. I finished about 5 minutes faster than expected and I had NO kick in the end so I know I gave it 100%. OK, maybe 98%. We can always try harder! Post-race relaxing, and eating and drinking ;-) with the about mentioned suspects, plus Bill, Stas, Garry, Nancy, John and Bob (I hope I remembered everyone’s name) capped off a perfect autumn day.

It’s good to be in Groton….


  1. Sounds lovely! And hard! Good job on the run. I hope that one day soon I'll be able to leave it all on "the running field", or however the expression goes...

  2. great job, way to work those hills. Looks like a fun course

  3. Yay! Sounds like an awesome time was had!!!
    Don't s'pose you are headed to Busa Bushwack this weekend... ;) Its not too hard, nice trails and not technical...

  4. Julie, I entered Busa but now I have a family commitment and can't run it. The rest of the gang will be there though. Have fun if you go!

  5. Great job Dan! I am really hating not being out there with you guys to participate in the fun!

    -Radar :-)

  6. Did you get your final time? This race doesn't post the results on the internet.

  7. Dan,
    Awesome race! I never saw you after the start started...you were off like a bullet!! Speedy McSpeederson is yer name...trail running is yer game hehe


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