June 01, 2009

Pack Monadnock 10 Miler

A humbling 10-mile road race and the 2nd race of 6 in the 2009 NE Mountain Circuit.

"The Pack route climbs 2000 feet and drops 300 feet in 10 miles. The course is mostly paved with a couple of stretches of dirt road from Wilton to the summit of Pack Monadnock. "Pack" means "little" but there's nothing little about the final clamber! The first mile is a tough long rise and the next seven miles are rolling hilly roads. The 8 to the 9-mile mark are a major test with a long climb on route 101, then a brief respite before turning into Miller State Park. The last mile in Miller State park has grades steeper than Mt Washington (11.5% average). The final 200 m has a grade of about 30%."
(Adapted from

2009 Pack Monadnock RESULTS.
"Back-of-the-Pack" Photos by Ken Skier.

I ran conservatively, took many walk breaks, and kept positive along the highway stretch. Except for that route 101 cambered section, the scenery is awesome, especially the final view from the top of Miller State Park. My favorite aspects of this course are the earthy farm smells, and running past horses, mini-ponies and chickens.

Meeting up with Julie was a delight and we ran together along the highway to the finish. Thank goodness for her, her family cheering squad and seeing Susanne at the top! I was plum-QUAD-tuckered and she taught me a fun side-stepping technique. By changing the angle of the foot on ascent, different muscles in the leg are employed. Pretty straight-forward. My legs felt really good while running this way. Tim informed me that Simon Gutierrez has also used this method during sections of the Mount Washington Road Race. Come June 20th, this cute side-step will surely come in handy.

In the 2008 Pack Monadnock I was faster. But this year I felt better overall during the entire 10 miles, due to proper hydration with Nuun, and a more overall positive & healthy mind-frame. This year my GPS tracked 10.22 total miles, which was probably from all my zig-zagging to check out farm animals. No regrets.

Trail-Pixie's Packs
2008 1:53:18
2009 1:54:53
  • Comic Relief: risk-taking chipmunk dodging a runner's footfall.
  • Post-Race Tummy Treat: Michael M's raw cookie.
  • Cat Walk Moment: feeling organic "kitten-cotton" against skin.
  • Introducing Susanne T to the Pack;
  • Knyuck-knyuckin' it up with folks;
  • kZ's ZipCar shuttle service!


Dan said...

Oh, I certainly need to learn this side-stepping technique.

Unknown said...

Look at that great big smile on your face...just seeing that can make a persons day!!! Congrats on finishing a tough race...and I am in LOVE with that kitty...wish I could have sucked it up but alas my tootsies were toast minus the marmalade....

chris mcpeake said...

Well done. Congrats on a great race