June 17, 2009

Boxford State Forest 10k

Summer! With the sun setting later, mid-week evening races and runs become part of this season's fabric. Tuesday night the North Medford Club hosted their Boxford State Forest 10k at 6:30 p.m. in North Andover, Mass. It marked the 6th race in the Eastern New England Trail race Series.

$5 entry was affordable and everyone who ran could choose a prize! The club used sensible hand-written "bib-stickers" and finishing-place popsicle sticks and set up digital clock and accurate timing system! Participants of all abilities get a great race, tempo or training run through the Forest with a laid-back crowd.

Still, if you're looking for competition, it's here; there's a long standing team-competition between the NMC and G.A.C. Both teams were out on the trails. About 40 folks ran this "Bald Hill Bug Run," including a woman who was clearly pregnant—huge round of applause!!!

Results via NMC site are HERE (posted soon, I hope).

THE COURSE: The rocks and exposed roots and shaded muddy stretches add to this course's technical running. There were no major hills to ascend just some rollers along a lot of single-track. While there were a lot of squirrely turns, the course was well-marked on the ground with flour and/or white spray paint; it was very easy to follow. B
lood-thirsty mosquitoes added motivation to run faster!

A detailed park map of the Boxford State Forest is found under this rock.

THE REPORT: The temperature Tuesday evening was pleasant at 65 degrees, especially compared to last year's 95-degree heat wave. Still we were thankful for the water stop on Middleton Road at the only short stretch of asphalt. A bunch of GACers on bikes also cheered us on and offered special beverages to those who dared.

I ran with two women from G.A.C.—Cheryl and Kitty. Cheryl led the way with her consistent pace, Kitty chatted while I tried to stay with them like a little caboose. I walked the hills and didn't hammer the down hills (like I usually do). My quads were still sore from the Northfield Mountain Race two days before so I was cautious and treated this race as an organized fun run. Mount Washington is in less than a week and I would regret twisting/injuring myself. Thanks to Cheryl and the cooler weather I chipped off some time from last year's finish. Happily, the three of us (Me, Cheryl and Kitty) finished together laughing and smiling.

In the trail blazer category Rob full-charged ahead—perhaps trying to run as fast as possible away from his work cubicle! Michelle scarfed up the trail, too, finishing in the top three women! Dan managed to slip out of his work clothes into something more running comfortable and tick in a 55-minute easy effort. I thought I would be running "stag" at the Boxford State Forest 10k and was ecstatic to see my running peeps make their way for some mid-week play.


Laurel said...

Sounds like fun. Why is it that every time I see Cheryl during a race, she always seems to be leading a pace line of ladies? It must be that nice consistent pace of hers.

Anonymous said...

You must had fun on that! I love reading this post. Keep them coming! ; )

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