September 23, 2009

Laser Trainer

I admit, this post title is a bait and switch (pun intended). No, it's not about new running gear but about new pet gear. The little laser cat toy, ah-hem, "cat training device," drives my cat, the Wookiee, crazy.

As an indoor cat, it's important that he supplement his rigorous sleeping schedule with regular exercise. In addition to his avid bird-feeder watching and pouncing, his daily mouse-fetching and retrieval, and his laps around the apartment during imaginary hunting expeditions, this little laser adds variety to his work out.

If above does not tease you, try this: Laser Trainer.

Check out Breakheart Dan's recent post Have Pets Replaced Children? take a look. Now, if I could just train my cat to trail run with me.....

September 17, 2009

Vermont 50 mile Relay

(Field Pond in Harold Parker State Forest and an early fall sunset, Andover, MA)

Fall is one of my favorite running seasons. The crisp air, colorful mountain blushes, fewer bugs and a buffet of trail events from which to choose more than make up for its shorter days.

Over the first official weekend of fall, I'll be exploring Brownsville, Vermont with friends while running on a 3-person relay team, Hairy & the Tortoises, in the Vermont 50 Mile Ultra Run. Initially I planned on the VT 50k but I recently ran a trail 50k at the end of August and I don't want to risk fatigue or injury going into the Stone Cat Trail Marathon in November.
So, the relay option is a sensible way to get in the distance and climbing over rugged trail terrain, as well as to sample a beautiful course through a lot of privately owned land. (Thank you, VT Folks!) The first leg is 12.3 miles, the second is 19.6 and the last is 18.1 miles. I'll be the tortoise in the middle on leg #2. Purr-fect!

In addition to a relay, the VT50 offers a 50 mile Mountain Bike Race and 50 mile Ultra Run and a 50k. These start and finish at the Ascutney Mountain Resort while the course rides/runs through Hartland, Windsor and West Windsor.

Hairy & the Tortoises will follow up post race!

The Run Scout is a terrific site with
interactive and satellite maps (for many places/races).

September 07, 2009

Wapack Trail Race

I meandered along the Wapack Trail (starting from Windblown) to take photos of trail racers and friends, take in the views, and to take time to recover and reflect. While it would have been a treat to participate in the full distance, my eight-mile power-hike—with spurts of wogging—was a wise and timely choice.

For more information (& MAPS) about the Wapack Trail check out Friends of the Wapack.

Here's a course description from the Race Director, Paul Funch:

"The race is 17.5 miles. The course is an out-and-back that follows the Wapack Trail between New Ipswich, NH and Ashburnham, MA. There are four major mountains in between: Barrett, New Ipswich, Pratt, and Watatic, from north to south. Total climb is said to be about 3,700 feet. On a clear day, you can see for miles, including stunning views of Mt. Monadnock to the northwest..."

Below is a link to photos of many runners in the 2009 Wapack Trail Race.
  • RESULTS. (Scroll to bottom of results for excellent race write up by Paul Funch.)