The second annual XTERRA Northeast Trail Run Series officially kicked off April 8th with the XTERRA Shepaug Run Raiser in Bridgewater, Connecticut. The day proved to be a true festival of running with 10K, 25K, 50K, and 80K courses.
“Two feet of snow melt and seemingly endless rain turned the 10K course into an energy and soul sucking mud run,” said race director, Austin Planz. “Luckily, memories of the torture were quickly replaced by smiles as runners shared stories of survival over bowls of post race grub.”
Michael Lapsa was first in the 10K with a time of 55:50. Jackie Smith came in for the women in 1:06.
The 10K has a gentle elevation gain of 634 feet, while the 25K includes over 2000 feet of uphill, metered out over the entire loop. The 50K and 80K runs are two and three laps of the 25K course, respectively.
“The end of loop one was great,” said XTERRA Ambassador Simon Edgett, who won the 50K. “I crossed the line side by side with Raphael Sarfati, who went on to win the 80K. I stopped and changed my shoes and socks before heading out onto lap two. Even though my feet were only dry for about ten minutes, it was definitely worth it for my state of mind.”
Knowing he was in the lead kept Simon Edgett going strong. “I carried pieces of paper with my goal split times on one side and my favorite quotes on the other. One of the quotes was ‘Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear--not absence of fear.’ which is attributed to Mark Twain.”
Dmitry Girgoryeu and Kira Ragazzo took the 25K in 2:10 and 2:27, respectively. Simon Edgett came through the 50K in 5:44 and Jennifer Kimpel was the women’s champ in 7:57.
Raphael Sarfati finished in 8:09:57; over two hours ahead of second place Ramon Bermo.
“I would like to thank all the runners for their wonderful spirits and upbeat attitudes under challenging trail conditions on a rescheduled date,” said Planz. “Good people make good races.”
Learn more about running your first ultra.
Complete race results can be found here.
Next up in the XTERRA Northeast Series is the XTERRA Wawayanda Trail Run on May 7th in Hewitt, NJ. Points will be given for the 25K, 50K and the 80K at the first three races and the 20K at the season finale held in Syracuse, NY on August 13th. The top athlete in each age group and the end of the series will be rewarded with free entry to the XTERRA Trail Running National Championship in Ogden, UT on September 17.
Photos courtesy of Ransom Edgett