June 14, 2009

Northfield Mountain Race

What a beautiful day for a mountain race. Compared to last year's scorching temps (mid-90's, extreme humidity), this year's USATF NE Trail Championships were run in the high 60's. Though the humidity was still at 70%.

For sweaty proof see Scott Mason Photography.
Ken Skier was also snapping photos en route.
More photos taken at the race HERE (by Rose & Denise).

I was battling more than the uphills at Northfield. Early Saturday morning I was sick (I'll spare the details) so I chewed ginger, re-hydrated and hoped for a healthy performance. The cobwebs cleared at about mile 2.5 and after the water stop my turnover improved. Of course that's because at that point the course descends down the mountain!
(Stas, kZ, Trail Pixie, Dan, Bill and Susanne.
Michelle is taking photo.)

Next weekend is the Mount Washington Road Race, which I'll b
e "running." With this and my upset tummy, I was cautious about my ankles and didn't run all out. It would be a personal disappointment to "rumble-tumble twist & hurl" the weekend prior to MWRR! In the last 1-2 miles the Northfield course rolls along the power lines before turning left sharply to the downhill finish. While the fore runners are specks along this open section, the hills pass more quickly than expected.

This was the first Northfield Mountain Race for some of my running friends: Susanne T, Michelle R and Dan S, and I think also for Bill H. I am so impressed by their resilient running, miles raced and consistently speedy times! Julie O. ran a solid race, too. I watched her ascend the last steep slope working her side-step technique. I tried it and felt excellent going up hill, which might have been a first for me that day. Thanks, Julie.
I missed running with Brian G and Diane L, and of course speedster Paul Y, who introduced me to the course in 2008. Thanks to Donna S for cheering us up one of the steepest hills! I "re-met" and apologized to Chris, whom I clumsily "BUMped" into at The Pack. Thank goodness for a healthy sense of humor!
Accolades to all—green and seasoned—runners. No matter what their places or paces; it's participation that counts. This event proved once again to be seamlessly organized with a well-marked course, accurate timing and bountiful post-race raffle.

Only one furry oversight: VASCO was first canine overall!
Correction: Eric's wonder dog, Vasco, is speedy like a Vespa.
I was calling HER by the wrong name and gender, sorry!

Post-run Fun Feed: A bunch of us headed to The Wagon Wheel Restaurant for some treats. This spot is on Route 2 in Gill, Mass., about five miles from the mountain. Friendly folks serve great food and local libations surrounded by fun kitschy-kollector decor.
Hope to see you at the 6/19 Boxford 10k "mosquito" run!