Michael and I signed up for the Sugarloaf Uphill Climb, a 2.2 mile race up Sugarloaf Mountain in Carrabassett Valley with roughly 2500′ of elevation gain. The average pitch was 20%, but at its steepest was 30%. The race was advertised as being 2.5 miles, so we were both surprised when we turned the last corner to find the finish line.
The race started from the quad lift
We ran up Binder Trail to summit
The finish was a few hundred feet below the true summit
Date: 11 October 2020 Distance: 2.2 miles Pace: 18:04/mile Elevation Gain: 2362′
This summer I attempted to run all of the Belknap Range mountains in a single run, but bailed because I didn’t bring enough water. I returned to run the mountains I missed for a long training run. It was a beautiful day and the trails were runnable.
Parked at Straightback Mountain Trail on Jesus Valley Road in Alton, NH
Hiked Straightback Mountain Trail to Jesus Valley Trail
Straight on Jesus Valley Trail to Main Trail
Ran right on Main Trail to Mount Major and then back to Quarry Spur Trail
Right on Quarry Spur Trail to Quarry Trail
Right on Quarry Trail to North Straightback Mountain, East Quarry Mountain, West Quarry Mountain, Mount Rand, Mount Klem, and back to intersection with Red Trail
Right on Red Trail to Mount Mack and Mount Anna
Left on Blue Trail to Straightback Mountain
Right on Straightback Mountain Trail back to parking area
Date: 27 September 2020 Distance: 10.1 miles Moving Time: 03:08 Pace: 18:33/mile Elevation Gain: 2958′
I needed a long mountainous trail run for my training schedule, and Jeff came along to try out some trail running. We decided on Mount Israel to knock off a 52 with a View peak and do a little red-lining. It was a cloudy day so we had no view, but we saw some bears. A cub crossed the street on the drive in, and I spotted another while we were running along Guinea Pond Trail heading toward Sandwich Notch Road. In all my years running and hiking in the White Mountains, it was only the second time I’ve seen a bear.
Parked at Mead Base parking
Hiked up Wentworth Trail to Mount Israel Summit
Ran down Mead Trail to Guinea Pond Trail
Turned right on Guinea Pond Trail to Guinea Pond Side Path and Guinea Pond and back out
Turned right on Guinea Pond Trail following it to High Water Bypass and on to Sandwich Notch Road
Turned left on Sandwich Notch Road to Bearcamp River Trail
Turned left on Bearcamp River Trail to Beede Falls and back to Sandwich Notch Road
Turned left on To Lower Falls Trail to Lower Falls and then back to Bearcamp River Trail
Turned right on Bearcamp River Trail past Cow Caves to Mead Base parking
Date: 09 September 2020 Distance: 9.4 miles Moving Time: 02:33:09 Pace: 14:16/mile Elevation Gain: 1973′
Completed Red-Lining Trails: Guinea Pond side path Mead Trail Wentworth Trail Bearcamp River Trail
Not surprisingly, the races I planned to run this year were cancelled due to Covid-19. So I was pretty pumped when I heard that the Beast of the East half marathon was going to happen. It had been on my radar for a couple of years, so I signed up for it right away. Bibs were sent out to runners and the start was done in heats of 50 people socially distanced by cones with bib numbers on them spaced out six feet apart. I was grateful for some normalcy and the day was perfectly cool and dry for a race.
The race started from the beach at Echo Lake
Ran south on Echo Lake Trail to Bryce Path
Turned left on Bryce Path to Bryce Link
Turned right on Bryce Link to Cathedral Ledge Road
Followed an unnamed trail along Cathedral Ledge Road to top of Cathedral Ledge
Jumped on Bryce Path to White Horse Ledge Trail
Turned right on White Horse Ledge Trail to White Horse Ledge and on to Red Ridge Link
Turned right on Red Ridge Link to Red Ridge Trail
Turned left on Red Ridge Trail to Moat Mountain Trail
Art the top of the ridge, turned right on Moat Mountain Trail to North Moat Mountain summit and continued down to Red Ridge Trail
Crossed the river to take Red Ridge Trail back to Red Ridge Link
Turned left on Red Ridge Link back to White Horse Ledge Trail
Continuing right on White Horse Ledge Trail to Bryce Path
Turned right on Bryce Path and headed back toward Echo Lake Trail
Continuing left along Echo Lake Trail to the beach at Echo Lake and the race’s finish
Date: 20 September 2020 Distance: 13.1 miles Pace: 16:30/mile Elevation Gain: 4429′
Time: 03:35:13 Place: 81/130 M40-49: 20/31
Completed Red-Lining Trails: Red Ridge Trail Red Ridge Link Bryce Link
As part of our 50k training, Lindsay and I had a 14-mile long run to complete and decided to visit Camden Hills State Park to get in a combination of trail running and hiking. We’d been stuck in Portland for the previous two months due to Covid-19, and this was our first day-trip to get away and forgot things for a few hours.
Parked at Camden Hills State Park off Route 1 in Camden, ME
Ran Ski Shelter Trail to Bald Rock Trail
Turned right and hiked Bald Rock Trail to summit of Bald Rock Mountain and down to Frohock Mountain Trail
Turned left on Forhock Mountain Trail and connected back to Ski Shelter trail
Turned left and ran Ski Shelter Trail and ran back to Cameron Mountain Trail
Turned right on Cameron Mountain Trail and ran to Cameron Mountain and retraced back to Ski Shelter Trail
Turned right on Ski Shelter Trail and ran back toward parking
Ran up and down Megunticook Trail for extra miles before returning to parking lot
Date: 16 May 2020 Distance: 14.1 miles Moving Time: 03:08:24 Pace: 13:23/mile Elevation Gain: 2264′
I had been running on trails most of the year as I found them more enjoyable than road running, and easier on my legs. I typically stuck to flat trails around my house, but on a whim I decided to run up a mountain. If a very small mountain.
From the small parking lot on Webbs Mills Road I followed the Bri-Mar Trail to the summit of Rattlesnake Mountain and part way down the far side. The trails branched out in several places and crossed what were likely old roads, so some guesswork was needed. The run was just under 3 miles with 700′ elevation gain and took me less than 40 minutes to complete.
2017 has come and gone and now is the time to reflect on all that was accomplished or not. This year was definitely one of the more exciting years for me adventure-wise. But, looking back on my goals from the end of last year I’ve noticed that this year also appeared to be a transition year for me. More on that in a bit. First, here’s a rundown of my goals for the year and whether or not I attained them:
I have been trail running for a year or so but on mostly flat trails near my house. After a few excursions to small mountains in my area, I decided I wanted to try out a long run with more serious climb. I picked out an area on my White Mountain National Forest maps that looked good (I had heard Blueberry Mountain was nice) and headed out.
After having some trouble finding the trail head (pro-tip: the road is called Stone House Road, Google Maps says Shell Pond Road) I parked in the lot by the Stone House gate and started my run.