CT's Hardest 50k!
This Fat Ass is a Graduate Level run, meaning you will be on some of CT's most technical and gnarly trails: first the Regicides (West Rock's "Blue" trail) and then The Quinnipiac Trail (another of CT's famed Blue trails). Hence, the Blue 2 Blue Challenge (h/t Alex McDaniel for the idea). There's probably a good 6,000 feet of climbing and the majority of it is extremely technical.
Course description: this is an out-and-back starting at West Rock Playground (alternately named "Amrhyn Field") in New Haven, climbing up the Westville Feeder Trail and depositing you onto Regicides for about 6+ miles of some of the gnarliest, rockiest trail you can imagine. Then, the fun really starts as you climb up High Rock to the intersection of the Q Trail. You will follow blue blazes down to the first aid station at Brooks Rd, then climb up to Mad Mare Ridge before a nice little descent to a one mile road section on Downs Road, crossing Gaylord Mountain Road, then continuing on asphalt before going back on dirt right before the Y Camp.
You'll summit Mt. Sanford at mile 12, then cross Route 42 near Holiday Hill before another climb up to the backside of Roaring Brook Park (home to CT's tallest waterfall). Then you'll continue on to the turnaround aid station where the dirt hits Cornwall Ave in Cheshire.
What in the...
Blue blazes all day! Here's the complete route on Strava: https://www.strava.com/routes/16495162 (sorry, I think the vertical gain is very understated)
Here's the interactive Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails map from CFPA: https://www.ctwoodlands.org/blue-blazed-hiking-trails/blue-blazed-hiking-trails-interactive-map
There will be aid stations at mile 5 (Regicides and yellow trail intersection- this will be water only), mile 8 (Brooks Rd), mile 11 (Downs Rd at the Y Camp; water only) and the turnaround in Cheshire at mile 16 (Cornwall Ave), so aid will happen at miles 5, 8, 11, 16, 21, 24 and 27 before finishing back at West Rock Playground at mile 32. I'll have stuff like Tailwind, pretzels, potato chips, Swedish fish, ginger chews, Paydays and Coke.
I'm also accepting donations of these types of things, but please- no money. In lieu of an entrance fee, please consider a donation to Connecticut Forest and Parks Association.
There will be NO course markings. You have two turns to make: the first is a LEFT at mile 7 from Regicides onto the Q, then a RIGHT at mile 25 from the Q back on to Regicides. If you end up at Sleeping Giant, you went the wrong way on the Q.
Designed to be tough...
There's a *strict* 12-hour cutoff and some of you will need all of that, this runs more like a 50-miler. So since that's the case, pacers are allowed! Have your friends bring you in- there's so many entry points along the trail that I'll let you figure all that out.
Local time: 8:42 AM
I'll also be enforcing *strict* cutoffs at various aid stations along the way- you must get to mile 16 by 2 pm, and mile 24 by 5 pm. The sun sets on May 11th at 7:59- civil twilight is 8:30 pm. I'll be packed up and gone by 8:15. Basically, you have to maintain a 22:30 per mile pace, or roughly 2.73 mph. C'mon- you can hike this whole thing if you want.
You'll also get one drop bag I'll shuttle out to Cheshire. When race directors are like "must be smaller than the size of a shoebox" I have to agree here. I have a tiny-ass 2009 Hyundai Elantra. Although I only expect maybe 10-12 of you crazies to come out to try the full distance, do not bring a duffle bag with your 100-mile race kit for me to schlepp out to Cheshire, please.
I'll be visiting all of the aid stations at different points during the day but could use some help- I understand that's a huge ask but we can figure out all the logistics in the coming 16+ weeks.
I understand this is less than a week after the Mixers' Spring Fling and three weeks before The CUT, so if it doesn't fit in your training / racing plans, sorry (not sorry). Come volunteer!
Or; you can always come out and do a shorter option- or come later in the day and get your pace on. Or, come run the first three hours, then help out at an aid station, then pace some poor soul in trying to beat the cutoff. Whatevs! No rules! Except don't be a douche.
If you haven't figured me out yet, I'm obviously the type that throws some shit at the wall and sees what sticks. Over-planners, micromanagers, anal retentives and OCD types hate me. I can live with that. I wear plaid shirts with camo shorts and Birkenstocks with socks, come at me bro.
This could turn out to only be like 3 or 4 people or could blow up like the West Rock Fat Ass- who knows? Either way, if you want a semi-supported long-ass run in what will probably be the best weather month of the year, come out and run it!