May 28, 2013

Last week I joined Debticonn which is a group of runners trying to run a race in every town in Connecticut. I was at the Burlington Shine On 5k and saw a few guys that seem to be everywhere I am. I asked what they were doing and the history of Debticonn was explained. One requirement when signing up is to record where one has run. My current total is 22 towns. Not a bad start but obviously I have a ton of work to get to all 169 towns.

My recent runs are improving. I am making a conscience attempt to run faster. Technically not "speed" work but I try to do some 9min/mile segments on each outing. There is definitely an improvement in my average pace per run. Yesterday, Memorial Day, I did the loop through the center of Burlington which is 10.5 miles. Lots of hills but a perfect morning for running. Very enjoyable and an average pace of 10:55. Not bad considering the large hills. Today I went around Lake Garda with a distance of 7 miles at a 10:58 pace. I probably shouldn't do 2 "hills" days in a row. This week is good for such a challenge because I'm OK with big mileage early in the week but must taper towards the weekend as the Iron Horse Half Marathon is Sunday. This is always my best times for a half and I hope to have another good finish this year.

May 10, 2013

Redding Road Race-"A Run For The Cows" Half Marathon

At the finish
The "Run For The Cows Half Marathon" was my 5th half in 2013 and was the best to date. This race is in its second year. Based on a few sources it sounded interesting therefore I signed up. It was well worth the $75 fee as it offered plenty of fun and a good race. It is based on New Pond Farm in Redding Connecticut. A beautiful country setting with white fences, rolling hills, a pond, and of course....cows. The race director, John McCleary, did a wonderful job organizing the race and notifying participants of details. His emails and newsletters were entertaining to read and very informative. Once I arrived on race day the fun continued with music, animals, and a drone! They had a drone/helicopter floating around with a camera taking pictures from about 50' in the air.  Fascinating since there is so much news about drones these days. At the beginning of the race it followed us in the field snapping pictures on the way. One is below.
Picture from the drone.
 Lea Crown was the only person from our "Brickyarders" group also in the race. In fact she is the one who discovered this gem. The race started on the farm wandering through a field and around the pond. Soon we were out on the streets like most races. Throughout the day the traffic was light on the rolling hills. There were plenty of aid stations throughout the day as well as port-o-potties. We passed many beautiful homes along the scenic route. At one point in the race we descended down a dirt road on a huge hill in the woods. Near the end we meandered through a small park before heading back to the farm. In the end we ran through a barn, then a garden under grape trellises, and into the back yard and the finish line. Food at the end was great while we listened to a very rocking band. The band members were young teenagers but you wouldn't know it as the cranked out old rock tunes.
Lea Crown in the barn before the finish.

Heading through the grape trellis.
I finished in 2:07 which is basically my norm these days. If the course was less hilly and I did not take a port-o-pottie break I may have finished under 2 hours. But that didn't matter because I had a great time.
Link to results: Results
I have run many half marathons and this is now one of my favorites. I definitely will return next year to run for the cows once again.