Sunday, May 18, 2008

Soapstone Mountain Trail Races

93 Handel Rd

Stafford Springs, CT 24K

This Event Took Place Sun. May 18, 2008

Pre-race speech

For the 24k race we ask that you finish the race in 6 hours. If you feel you can’t finish the race in the time allotted, please contact the race director.

Covid Safety
All runners are required to wear a mask or face covering at all times with the exception of when you are running in the race.
If you don’t feel well the day of the race, please stay home for the sake of other runners and the volunteers.
There will be no awards ceremony or food served after the race. Awards will only be for the first place overall winner of male and female runners. The award this year will be a free entrance to any future Shenipsit Strider race. Individual age group winners will be recognized.
No spectators will be allowed at the race and no congregation after the race. Next year we can get back to normal.

Reddington Rock Riding Club
93 Handel Road, Stafford Springs, CT

Bib Pickup
Bib pickup will be self-serve, alphabetically by last name. Please be sure you have the correct bib and make sure that it is visible from the front. Our aid station volunteers will be recording your bib numbers to make sure that we don’t lose anyone. If you are injured or can’t finish the race, please let a volunteer know so we won’t be looking for you in the woods after the race.

Race day Schedule
8:00 am: Bib pick-up. Bibs will be self-serve by name.
8:45 am: Head to the start line and maintain 6’ seperation.
9:00 am: 24k Race will start 3 runners at a time every 10-15 seconds.
9:15 am: 5k will start with runners starting 3 at a time every 10-15 seconds.

The start
We are doing a rolling start to the race with no waves or staggered start times, 3 runners at a time, 10-15 seconds apart. Runners will start as you line up, if you plan on competing for the gold you will need to get up front.

The Race
The course is marked with white dots and arrows and will be flagged/marked for race day. The white dots are ONLY in the race direction. AllTrails or GPX traces are available for the route if folks want that backup.
There are a few changes with the course in order to eliminate the two way traffic and a change and to accommodate the rolling wave start. This year the race is starting from the RRRC where it finishes instead of on the dirt road. Runners will cross the timing mat, three runners every 10-15 seconds. From there all of the runners will run down towards the dirt road and turn right on the dirt road. All runners will run the 6k course and near the end of the 6k race when you get back out onto SodomRoad the 24k runners will go right and the 6k runners will go left. There will be a course marshal directing as to which way to go.
The 24k runners will cross Gulf Road, so look both ways before crossing, because there will be no crossing guards. After you cross the road continue all the way through the parking lot and take a right a few hundred feet from the gate. This is where the fun begins, and is the start of “Killer Hill”. Continue past the tower and pick up the blue blaze. From there the course continues to be marked with white dots and white arrows. There will be some yellow flagging on the way out and blue flags on the way back. Additionally there will be cardboard, black arrows stapled to the trees where there are tricky intersections.

Aid stations
This year we will be cupless, so please be prepared to carry your own water container. There will be three aid stations about four miles apart, which will have water and individually wrapped chips. The volunteers will record your bib number and fill your flasks or bottles. No aid is provided on the 6K course.

The Finish
Upon completing the race we ask that you don’t hang around or wait for other runners. Please wait in your vehicles or meet up somewhere else. Results will be posted on-line only.

Event Overview

**April update**
With the state's current guidelines for races, including wave sizes and necessary safety measures, we will be capping the Soapstone 24k at 150 runners and the 6k at 50. Everyone over the cap will have the option to run the race under the virtual option.

COVID MITIGATION: We will require everyone to wear masks before and after the race and at the start. While running, please put on a mask in aid stations and when passing runners on the trail. Vaccination status does not relieve you from these requirements. If anyone can't abide by these requirements, please contact us to have yourself removed from the event.

Virtual Options
Anyone who would prefer to race "virtually" on the actual race course will have that choice at registration. You will have from May 8 to May 23 to run the race course on your own and report your time at Ultrasignup. The course GPX and Alltrails map will be released soon and we highly encourage everyone to do some practice runs on course using the map. Our virtual racers will receive the race swag and be listed in the virtual event results.

In Person Option with COVID changes
We are opening registration but will not collect fees until we have reviewed the spring state COVID guidelines. THERE WILL BE NO DAY OF REGISTRATION. We expect to have more information in March and will update the COVID changes needed at that point. It is expected that we WILL have to cap the number of entrants (race size TBD, but we expect to be to let in ~50) and will need staggered start times. We will use a First Come First Served method to determine who gets into the in-person race. Anyone on the waitlist after we have capped the registrant numbers will be given an option to convert to a virtual event.


The Soapstone Mountain Trail Races are popular, long-standing races in North Central Connecticut. There are two races on event day: a 24k (approx. 14.5 miles) and the Jerry Stage 6k "Sampler". This is in honor of the many years of love, sweat and tears that Jerry Stage put into these races. Both races run through the extremely beautiful and scenic area around Soapstone Mountain, Shenipsit Forest State Park. Race course AllTrails Maps:
The first 4 miles of this route is the 6k course.
NOTE This is from the start/finish from the Gulf Rd Shenipsit State Forest lot - The race DOES NOT start/finish at Gulf Rd on Race Day. Race Day parking area is private property.

We highly recommend you get familiar with the course, particular if you are running it virtually!
Participants in the 24k race climb to the peak of Soapstone Mountain. The races are put on every year by the Shenipsit Striders, a 45 year old trail running club in north-central Connecticut. Walkers are welcome in the Sampler.
24k Course
The first 2.5 miles of the 24k and the 6k are the same. The course travels along a slightly downhill dirt road before veering right onto an ATV trail. Passing a pond onto a single track trail, turns left onto a dirt road and right back into single track. Soon coming out onto dirt road where you take a right to cross the paved road (Gulf Rd). After traversing the parking lot, the trail makes another sharp right where participants are challenged with the first difficult climb - a very steep 1/2 mile trail named "Killer Hill". Once at the top of the hill, runners travel by the Soapstone Mountain observation tower and then run down a steep descent. Following the downhill, the trail becomes a series of switchbacks and rollers through the woods - though it's challenging, the rollers aren't steep enough to dramatically alter one's overall pace. There are brook crossings and a muddy stream descent. There are lots of rocks and roots to twist ankles on. Watch your footing! There are also many crisscrossing trails, so keep your eyes on the white dots and flagging. Towards the latter half of the race, the course has one more significant climb up a single track, followed by a steep descent on a dirt trail continuing on dirt road and finishing on single track to end the race in a grassy field surrounded by family and friends. In areas where the trail overlaps, splits or is tricky there will be additional flagging.

Jerry Stage 6k "SAMPLER" Course
This race starts on the same dirt road as the 24k, turns right onto single track within a 1/2 mile and then meanders through thick forest before turning left on the same dirt road at the 24K and right back onto single track trail, then left onto more dirt road, a right hand turn into the woods and finishing on grassy field. The course is marked with flagging and signs.


Proceeds will go to trail stewardship organizations in Connecticut, such as the Connecticut Forest and Park Association, Joshua’s Trust, and Northern Connecticut Land Trust.

Local time: 5:15 AM


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