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Downtown Temple,NH

Monday, May 3, 2010

Seven Sisters Trail Race

The start of the race
I knew this race was hard. I ran it once in 2008 when temps were in the 40's and overcast. What I learned yesterday was this race is brutally hard when it's sunny and temps are in the mid 80's. It was probably the worst racing experience I've ever had. So, I'm not going to spend a lot of time talking about it. I think you'll find people either love it or hate it. There is no in between. I'm in second camp, I hate it.
The final descent
The out and back 12 mile course takes you up, over, down and across the peaks in Skinner State Park in Hadley, Ma, known locally as the Seven Sisters. It will leave you battered, bruised and bloodied. Challenging does not begin to describe this insane course.
During my leisurely 2hr and 45min trip I consumed:
  • 60+ oz of water
  • at least 6 Endurolyte tablets (they did their job, no cramps)
  • 4 Honey Stringer Gels

I physically bonked at least 3 times during the race, with my legs nearly refusing (or able) to take another step. Without the Honey Gels I'd still be out there. If you're considering this race, don't ask my advice. You can always read Chris Dunn's account of his first (and most likely last) experience if you don't believe me. Of course, you could check out the pic of fellow aR teammate Rich Lavers below (taken minutes after finishing). Need any more convincing??

7 Sisters Carnage

A few folks from Locallyrun.com were kind enough to take some pics and video of the race.
Pics from the Start

Pics from the Finish

Short video from the race

A list of fools who ran today can be found here.


Deb said...
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Alex Waid said...

I ran yesterday and believe it was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I bonked hard about mile 9 and just plodded on from there. I made it to the finish, even passed a good half dozen folks in those last three miles... the whole thing was just tough as nails. Still, I'll be back next year.

pbazanchuk said...

'08 was the last time I raced there as well. 40F is perfect.
I commented on Chris's blog that I set a 65 deg limit to actually pay to run there. From all I've read I made the right choice.
It's never the same (ie fast) as race day, but with the start 8 miles from my house it's easy to pick a cool weather day to run there.

Steve Wolfe said...

Paul, Yeah, I knew what I was getting into as far as the course but I never really thought about the impact of the weather. Heck, I wouldn't run a 5k if the temp was over 80. It was crazy out there. A whole lot of us were suffering. I'm pretty sure I'm done with this one. I'm glad I've done it a few times but it just isn't my kind of race.

Scotty "PHAT" Graham said...

Steve you are a nut case!!! But then again I did 3 races on Sunday and was feeling like I could have done 3 more. Of course I was the starter for a 1 mile fun run, a 5K and a 10K in Westford, MA. Good luck at Big Lake. This will be the first time I've missed it. Got to keep the wife happy some how.

Jaymanruns79 said...

Steve, Good job at 7 Sisters, that is a brutal course so anybody that finishes it derserves kudos esp. this year with the heat. Hopefully I can get in some good training and be back in shape and we can race against each other in some upcoming races or snowshoe races. Its tough being a new father and finding the time to train. Be Well, Jay-Man

Steve Wolfe said...

Jay, hopefully we can race head to head before snowshoe season :-)
Soapstone Mt is on deck for me.