Monday, June 18, 2012

Summer Solstice Trail Run

Sunday, June 17, 2012
Got up early and headed out to Gay City looking for some action.
Wait a minute ...  let me try that one again:
Got up early and headed out to Gay City State Park looking for some trail-running action at the Summer Solstice 5.5 Mile Trail Run being held there.

Results here.  6th overall out of 207.  6:44 pace.
The first 0.4 miles were uphill on asphalt; not what I was looking for.  The legs were feeling a bit wobbly from running 15 miles fairly hard in Arcadia just 24 hours earlier and 8 miles with Tom the day before that.
The rest of the course did not disappoint.  Entered the trail just behind Helmet, who for some reason was wearing a bicycle helmet.  Did he realize he had it on?  Just ahead of us, a guy branched off the trail and took a bypass which we could see in the distance would cut a huge amount off our course.  Some guys yelled at him; I was upset too but just tried to let go of "Rosie Ruiz".

Part of the trail
When the trail widened to double track, I passed Helmet and about 3 other guys, when all of a sudden I heard a guy who repeatedly sounded like a cat trying to hack up a furball.  It sounded disgusting and I was thrilled when I passed Furball and put him out of earshot.  Next a guy in his early 30s with black knee high socks, "Socks", flew past a bunch of us on the left.
The trail meandered with a number of switchbacks and uphill climbs, before a long downhill section on a dried up stream bed of rocks.  I put it in gazelle mode and look who's around the corner:  Socks and Rosie Ruiz.  See you later, I'll take it from here, boys!
A bridge across a river and a long uphill climb through rocks brought me to mile 4, by which time my legs were toast.  I passed a few more through mud crossings and for the last mile I could hear someone right on me.  Finally as we came towards the end of the trail, "Lanky", a 6-foot plus giant, flew past me.  The trail finished and there was about 0.2 miles to go, downhill on asphalt the whole way.  I set Lanky in my sights and picked up the pace and caught him.  Uh oh, he looked at me and pumped it up a gear and ran side-by-side with the finish in sight now.  Sorry, Lanky, but as Jonny aptly put it regarding downhills, this is prime gazelle habitat, as I found yet another gear and picked it up past him sprinting through the finish.
Summer Solstice finish
My division award

Post-finish, had a Long Trail "Blackbeary Wheat", which was nice as it was ice cold as opposed to the warm water.  Caught up with the two people I knew, including Hartford Marathon Foundation executive director Beth who was discussing Surftown with me.


  1. Ha, ha, fun race report, sounds like the solstice brought out all the freaks, just imagine if it'd been a solar eclipse?! Nice job, especially on far-from-fresh legs!

  2. Sorry Lanky, you just got Gazelled! Nice race Jeff!

  3. Jeff - sounds like the run was a blast. Sorry I didn't make it to Gay City with you. I'm hoping to make it next year. Great job!!

  4. Congrats. Great race and report!