Today marks the last day for me in Massachusetts. My family has been down in DC for the better part of a month, with myself finishing up work on the landscape front.
Over the past two weeks I've really spoiled myself...and the extra free time, I suppose, by doing some cool things in New England.
On Thursday, July 25th, two of my running buds and I signed up for a fast 5-miler in Uxbridge. Jay, a fellow teacher, and Jesse, my long-time partner in crime, decided it would be a "great" idea to run this race two days before the Bear Brook Marathon. Up until the gun, Jesse and I said it was going to be a casual run and that we would save it for Saturday in Manchester.
This wasn't the case...
I took it out somewhat conservatively but was still in the top five. Soon I was in third and reeling in the leaders. It would turn out that Jesse was right behind me and moving on all cylinders. We ended up fourth and sixth when it all shook out. Full results here.
On to Saturday and the Bear Brook Marathon. Jesse has a nice write up over on his blog and the only thing that I'll speak to was the trails. Bear Brook State Forest is huge. We ran 27 miles on non-repeated trail. That is awesome around these parts. No loops or out-and-backs, just running on new trail the entire race. Ryan Welts and Kristina Folcik did a superb job at race directing and I highly recommend everyone to partake in this race next year. Full results here.
The following week consisted of some Upton State Forest runs. A place that I explored by mountain bike and by foot many years ago. When I lived in Grafton with my parents I often visited this place. Now being back with my folks for the month of July, I took full advantage of this place.
This past weekend capped ten years of hiking in the Whites and my completion of the 48 4,000' mountains. It was rewarding and bittersweet at the same time. Having vacationed up there since I was 6-months-old really hit home on top of Carrigain. These mountains wouldn't just be a 2.5 hour drive away. The weekend consisted of tagging the Wildcats, Jefferson and Carrigain with my great friend Bill. I wouldn't have had it any other way.
Finally, my last run. Well, my last run as a MA resident I guess. I'm sure I'll be back, but who knows when. It just felt right. Running my 5k route that I ran when I was in high school. My route that I ran when I weighed 190lbs after graduating college. And now what would be my final run before my big move to VA. I'm sure I'll run this route again, but for now, I'd like to go out where it all started.
To the trails of New England, I bid you farewell. I will return someday to twist my ankles on your gnarly roots and rocks. To the endless winters and feet of snow that I just hated to shovel but loved to run in. I will miss everything you have to offer.
And to the trails of Virginia...I'm going to chew you up and spit you out. Be ready:)