Tuesday, July 15, 2008

TRILOGY - PART TWO - "A 59th Place Winner: Skyline Trail Run 2008"

The race application states:

The Skyline Trail run is 7.2 miles with 1800 feet of climb on the Blue Hills Reservation North & South Skyline Trail and Bugbee Path. The trail is extremely rocky and steep and demands balance and agility. Expect views of Boston along with staircase steep climbs and tumbling rock down hills.

For those fool enough to be standing at the base of the Blue Hills Ski Area, the race director reminds the runners that this is perhaps one of the most dangerous and challenging trail races in New England. Additionally, encourages any runner that if at any time they decide that the race is not for them then they may quit, but must let a race official or volunteer know so that they know if they have to go looking for bodies along the course if racers don't return, which would be funny if he wasn't straight faced as he spoke the words.

I happened to be one of those fools standing there at quarter of eight. I was definitely prepared for the possibility of it being a truly blood and guts race, and when I saw the times of my old friend and training partner with Greater Boston Track Club back in 1999, Ben Nephew, who is now one of the regional trail studs, I knew the course was going to be a beast.

Before I launch into my race report, let me first say that I have been training on trails, running longer distances, did a 90 minute long run around Lynn Woods a few weeks prior, and had raced on trails with the Tri-Valley Front Runners, my current running club, at their Woodland Summer Series, but nothing can aptly prepare you for running the Skyline unless you train on the reservation, or are a veteran of the Escarpment or Seven Sisters Races.

I came to the race lightly considering myself a trail runner, but not a trail animal. Little did I know, this race would allow me to earn a few of those trail animal stripes.

I will compose the rest of this installment when the hours are back on my side.... I need sleep!

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