Dare Mighty Things

"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those timid spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." -Teddy Roosevelt

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Exeter Trail Race Preview

Exeter, NEW HAMPSHIRE--This morning I met Ri, Sarah, & Mike at Fort Rock for a preview of the course for June 20th's Exeter Trail Race presented by TEVA. This will be acidotic RACING's first true trail race and Ri & Sarah's debut as RDs. The 10 & 4 mile courses begin on the same trail starting at the parking area of the Henderson-Swasey Town Forest. At roughly the 2 mile mark the two races diverge as the 4 milers will loop back to the start/finish while the 10 milers ditch under RT 101 through the tunnel to the Oaklands side of the network. Once through the tunnel there's another 6 miles to negotiate before coming back through the tunnel and finishing on the same course as the 4 milers. I've ridden at Fort Rock a time or two and it's definitely some of the sweetest and sickest mountain biking around. The roots, rocks, bridges, drops, and turns are plentiful enough to challenge even the most technical rider. As a trail race, the course that these two have set-up will have no rival in these parts. I've never raced on such technical trails and I suspect not many other competitors on June 20th will have either. Constant focus must be directed a meter in front of your feet as you work to pick the cleanest line through boulder fields and tree roots. Running behind another competitor (as I did with Ri for most of the run) significantly reduces sight lines and the follower is virtually at the mercy of the leader to chose the best footing. For the mountain goats in the audience there's not much (or any) significant elevation changes. Although what it may lack in elevation it more than makes up for it in turns. Mountain bikers hate riding straight lines and have designed the trail network as a two wheeled amusement ride. If you enjoy running trails you'll love this race. I don't think I've ever done a 10 miler (woods or roads) at 8:00 mile pace that has gone by any faster. I was actually a little disappointed when it was over. But alas, in two weeks I'll be back to hammer it for real.

PS. We've secured some awesome prizes from Nathan, Sunday River, Wheel Power, Serendipity, and of course Redhook. Those familiar with the prizes at our snowshoe races will not be disappointed with our trail race prizes! Registration is now OPEN!


  1. Chris, I can personally vouch for Fort Rock having some of the most technical trail running around. I've done trail races with similar terrain but not 10 miles of it! I was running alone and I was tripping over all kinds of rocks and roots. I can't imagine how difficult it will be during a race, following other runners. Hope I can make it.

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