The Nipmuck Trail Marathon is a classic old-school trail race now in its 30th year. It is held in the quiet countryside of eastern CT and is run
as a double out & back along the blue-blazed Nipmuck Trail.
WHAT IT'S NOT: These days you have an overwhelming array of
choices for outdoor adventures. This race seeks to preserve many of the
qualities from the early days of the New England trail racing scene.
You won't find:
- Festival: We aren't striving to create a massive festival
atmosphere with a half-dozen different race formats, post-race massage
tents, live bands or free beer. In fact, the race 'venue' will
materialize out of nowhere at 6am on Sunday morning on a quiet backroad
in eastern CT.
- Gimmicks: You want climbing walls, flaming hay bales,
electro-shock treatments? Go run Tough Mudder or a Warrior Dash.
All of our obstacles were created by Mother Nature - rocks, roots, mud -
and are what they are - the original obstacle course...
- Technology: No chip timing, no large screen video, no
live results feed, no PA systems, no inflatable finish line arches.
Timing the old fashioned way - with a stopwatch and clipboard, results
posted 'live' on the side of a tree every 10 runners or so.
- Excessive Trail Markings: The course will not
be streamered from start to finish. This course follows the Nipmuck
Trail, which is very well marked with blue blazes but it is still quite
possible to go off course if you're not paying attention. We'll put out
signs at major trail turns - but basically the onus is on you to
watch for the blue blazes and stay on course. TIP: Don't trust that the guy/gal in front of you is paying attention - many have been led astray before you.
- Pre Qualifications: In the past you may have needed prior trail running credentials to get into this race. No more. This is not
an easy trail race and we caution newbies not to underestimate the
Nipmuck, particularly if you've only recently come over to trails from
road running. If you want to make sure you've got what it takes, we'll
be organizing training runs on the course in July & August - come
get a preview.
- All proceeds after expenses are donated to local trail stewardship
organizations. Sure, we 'could' make the entry fee cheaper and still
cover our costs - but we want to make sure these trails are maintained
and preserved for generations to come so pony up and support the cause.
The NipMuck Trail Marathon race course follows a 13 mile segment in the middle of the 36 mile Nipmuck Trail starting on Perry Hill Road in Ashford. The marathon runs south for 6.2 miles down to Rt 44, then back to the start, then north for 7 miles to Boston Hollow Road, then turns around and back to the finish at Perry Hill Road.
60% of your time will be spent in the second half of the race due to hills and a bit more distance. We'll have people out there if you choose to do a marathon in up to 8 hours, the time limit for this race. We will be enforcing a 3:00 cutoff at the mid-point and 5:20 at the 2nd half turnaround. Please respect our volunteers who are putting in a long day in the woods on your behalf and do not continue if you don't make the cutoff.