Monday, September 23, 2013

ECTA 10 mile trail race - Hamilton

Half mile into the second loop. This photo by Krissy is one of my all time favorites. 
This race as part of the North Shore Trail Series. ECTA - Essex County Trail Association conserves and purchases land around the county so my dollar is going to a great resource and service. Furthermore, this race bounces around Hamilton showing runners the various trails in the area including private land opened up just for the race. Thus the start and finish - even the overall distance will vary year to year. Each runner got to enter a raffle and a chance at gaining entry into the Stonecat Trail race in November. I was hoping to win an entry and had several others pulling for me but it was not meant to be. The race waited for the train to pass by at 9:07 and we started off within minutes as we were to cross the train tracks in the first mile. CMS-mate Joe Shairs took the command with David Long and I in tow. David and Joe would trade spots over the next three miles while I kept my head down and focused on footing and proximity. The course is a mix of everything you expect in a New England trail run. There was nothing technical however for footing but you had to pay attention. I pulled beside Joe after three miles and took the lead leaving Appleton Farms. The course got twisty on single track heading back to the half way point (also the start / finish line). I came through 5 miles around 31:15 or so and began the identical 2nd loop. David Long was not too far back and Joe not too far back from him so I had to keep on pressing through the trails. I could feel my legs were much more tired. I some time to think and came to the conclusion around 6.5 miles that if anyone wins a race in the trail series that an automatic lottery by-pass should be granted for the Stonecat Trail Marathon. I started to pass runners who were still on their first lap and I had less than a mile to go. I had to be careful passing them on the single track trail and I made sure that I communicated my passing on the left of them while also supporting their efforts. I crossed the line in 1:02:45 in a pretty tired state but at ease picking up a win in the trail series. I earned the trashed plantar in my right heel that cropped up after Lone Gull the previous weekend. David was right behind me in 1:03:11 and Joe came through in 1:04:55 (top master). The poor guy was limping into the finish and hobbled around post race. I know we both took Sunday off to let the wounds heal. Rumor has it that we plan on running 30 kilometers all while being surrounded by water.
Krissy caught me smiling. I was surprised to see here out there in the swamp.

Joe and I carefully calculating our steps. Photo by Roger Perham
ECTA 10 mile trail race photos by KrissyK

1 comment:

  1. That course looks awesome - and a wee bit dangerous.

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