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Wapack Trail Race Report September 1, 2013
Unlike last year's low humidity and temperatures in the 60s, this year's 96 Wapack finishers experienced very high humidity and temperatures around 80 degrees. Except for scarce cooling breezes along the ridges, this was not a day for course records and none fell. It was fortunate that the sun did not stay out for long to compound the heat build-up that the runners experienced. Runners came from all six New England States, New York, and Virginia.
Taking first place in a time of 2:40:55 was 38-year old Ben Nephew of Mansfield, MA. Close behind was the course record holder, 48-year old Dave Herr of Canaan, VT. When they finished the race, they each thought they were one position further down in the results because they were behind another runner at the turnaround. However, the front-runnerís inexperience got him lost somewhere on the way back. The trail that is well-marked at hiking speeds can be easily missed at racing speeds! It is hoped he comes back in a future year to run the race with more success.
On the women's side, last yearís winner Kelsey Allen, 30, of Colrain, MA, once again comfortably led the field, finishing in 3:21:38. Second woman over the finish line was Alexandra Jospe, 29, of Newton, MA, in a time of 3:32:42.
The Wapack Trail goes from Greenfield, NH to Ashburnham, MA and the race is run out and back over the 9 mile section from New Ipswich, NH to Ashburnham. There are four peaks to go over in each direction and the total elevation climb for the 18 miles is about 4,000 feet. To put these 18 miles in perspective, the finishing time of a runner in the Wapack Trail Race is very close to the time they can run a road marathon, though that is about the only thing those two types of running events have in common!
The Wapack Trail Race in 2014 will be held, as usual, on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend.