The Nipmuck Trail Marathon is a classic old-school trail race now in its 36th 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:
- 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.
- 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…
- 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 - 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.
NipMuck offers three options for those who want to take on the Muck:
- NipMuck Trail Marathon
- The original NipMuck event. This 26.4 mile race on Connecticut's Nipmuck Trail offers it all: rocks, roots, mud, wood bridges and everything in between. A challenging trail race, and one that can't be missed!
- NipMuck Relay
- We are excited to offer a relay option to runners who want to tackle the NipMuck experience as a team. Relay teams consist of two runners, one of whom will complete the first half of the NipMuck course and the second runner who will complete the second half of the course. This event is perfect for runners who want to participate in the NipMuck experience but aren't ready for the full marathon distance, parents who want to bring the kids but both want to run in the race, or maybe pairs of speedy folks who would like to see an insanely fast time on the notoriously tricky course.
- NipMuck 35 Miler
- This special option is being offered in celebration of NipMuck's 35th anniversary - 35 miles of NipMuck goodness. Not for the faint of heart! The northern section of the NipMuck course is extended an extra 4.5 miles, and there will be an extra aid station at the extended turn around point for the 35 mile runners. The regular NipMuck cutoff times still apply - so runners will have to be extra speedy to meet the cutoffs. A serious challenge for serious runners!
Community of Races
NipMuck is a participating race in several area race series
NipMuck is the final race in the CFPA Blue-Blazed Trail Running Series. Participate in each of the BBTRS races to earn points - points winners receive a unique award at the conclusion of the series!
All participants who complete back-to-back finishes of the challenging Cat's Tail Marathon and NipMuck Marathon receive a finisher's award for their accomplishment
NipMuck is a participant in the WMAC Grand Tree Trail Race Series
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.
Local time: 7:11 AM
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 3:15 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.