Sunday, April 25, 2010

Blue Hills Trail Race Report

After a very restless night I reluctantly crawled out of bed at 5 am to get ready to run my fourth race in four weeks. This week it would be race #2 in the Eastern New England Trail Race Series, the Blue Hills 10 mile trail race in Milton, MA [results].  My goals for the race were simple.  Run faster than last year and run all but the steepest hills. That sounded easy enough but I felt very sluggish during my warmup and was questioning why I ever got out of bed.

The Blue Hills course is a blend of dirt roads, wide trails and some technical single-track.  There are several climbs, some of them steep but also some flat terrain were you can get into a good running rhythm and make up for lost time on the hills.  The total elevation gain per my Garmin was 1,104 feet.  The first and last 1.5 miles cover the same trails but are run in the opposite direction. The trails were well marked and key intersections and turns were marked with chalk or had a volunteer pointing out the proper direction.

Ten miles close to Beantown.

No monsters hills but plenty of climbing.

The race starts uphill on paved road but shortly thereafter turns onto a dirt fire road.  About 1/4 mile into the race I heard someone call my name.  I looked back and it was my friend Betty who I met last year at the MorFun Wapack race.  She had run Boston, and I a 50K a week earlier, so neither one of us were expecting to run 100% today.  We ran together for the next two miles as we worked our way though the field. A little after the two mile split we hit the first real climb of the day and Betty dropped back  and started to walk.  I kept moving and didn't see Betty again until after the race.

My knee started to bother me about four miles into the race. It wasn't as bad as it was during the 50K last weekend where it affected my stride but still painful enough. Except for the knee, I was feeling good and continued to past several runners between miles four and five.  After mile five I was pretty much on my own for the rest of the race.  I think I only saw and passed about five or six runners in the last five miles.  I pushed hard though miles 8-10 which help me to run the last five miles three minutes faster than the first five. I love running negative splits! 

Overall I was pleased with the race. I ran much faster than last year, ran all the hills and finished strong over the final three miles.  My knee is still and issue but I'll continue to stretch and take Motrin for another week (or two) before I make a doctor's appointment.  I hate going the the doctor!

Until next time....


  1. Is Tyngsboro near you? The PT place I owe my life to (lol) Ramsey Rehab, has an office they could help you out. I can't say enough about them. Don't put it off, as the sooner they can start working with you, the sooner you will feel better! I am amazed that will all the pain I had in my foot I am running on rediculously rocky trails with minimal pain!

  2. Nice report Dan and congrats on the pr for this race : ) Ice that knee you!!!!!

  3. Nicely done, Dan! Listen to the ladies, rehab that knee. Of course, I am one to talk, as my hip basically turned a planned four hour ultra trail run into a 10 mile road run with a little bit of trails. Like you I'll try to stretch, ice, foam roller a little more before calling the Dr. :-)


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