Come join us for a fun run or walk around beautiful Gates Pond located off of Taylor Rd. in Berlin, MA. The course is either 1 loop for walkers (~2.4 miles) or 3 loops for runners (~6.4 miles) around the gently graded Gates Pond. The course is non-technical and a combination of paved fire road and soft trail which is canopied by large pines and affords beautiful views of Gates Pond. The course will be run in a clockwise direction.
Family (under 18 free!) and Dog Friendly
Gates Pond is a lovely location to take a stroll with the whole family including your well behaved fury friends. Please keep all dogs on leash while the event is ongoing. Please clean up after your dogs! There are trash bins available for waste disposal. Children under 18 are free to join an accompanied parent or legal guardian. The parent or guardian must sign a waiver on behalf of their child/children.
Got Water Buffalo? A history behind our kooky ultra running group
This race is being held in the memory of our good friend Jeremy Eschelbacher, husband, father and ultra-marathoner. We encourage you to read the story behind our awesome T-shirts and our good friend Jeremy.
Club Name: Ultra Runner Water Buffalo Faction (An Unauthorized Division of the Highland City Striders)
Incorporation Date: December 7th, 2013
Jeremy Eschelbacher: "Not saying I'm in but this is something we should talk about...www.coachweber.com/ultra_training_paces.htm"
Jeremy: "Still not saying I'm doing the 50 in June...but I did order a pair of trail shoes last night"
Thus was the beginning of an ultra-adventure. A small subdivision of the Highland City Striders thought that, as a group, we should try and train for an ultra-marathon. We had also decided that none of us would EVER consider doing this on our own (now THAT would be crazy), but as a group, with our running forces combined, we could do it. For those not in the know, an ultra-marathon is any race over the distance of 26.2 miles. There's an eclectic mix of people who have a serious passion for this sport and they take on all shapes and sizes. All of us strive to be the gazelle - effortlessly gliding over the rocks and roots, always knowing where to plant our feet so we don't end up on our faces. In reality we all probably start out more like buffalo, aimlessly stomping at the ground in front of us, crashing through the brush and when we fall, we fall hard.
Of course our brave group decided to start training in the dead of winter, in New England, and in addition to running ludicrously long distances, we were attempting this on the unforgiving trail terrain of the North East. Conditions in early 2014 were not horrible but there was a significant amount of sloppy wet snow in the woods and none of us had ever run trails in those conditions. Needless to say, training was HARD. During one particular run in Callahan State Forest, one of our beloved was having a rather rough day. Every step was a struggle, her lungs felt like they were bleeding and she kept slipping and sliding on the slushy wet snow. While some of us floated along our fellow runner announced she felt like a buffalo trying to get through this run, huffing, slipping and falling several times. In the wet conditions we agreed we were more like water buffalo roaming through the woods at which time Jeremy interjected and said "Well, everybody's got a water buffalo" and started singing.
Veggie Tales, The Water Buffalo Song - Silly songs by Larry:
"Everybody's got a water buffalo. Yours is fast but mine is slow. Oh, where we'd get them, I don't know but everybody's got a water buffalo.
I took my buffalo to the store. Got his head stuck in the door. Spilled some lima beans on the floor. Oh everybody's got a water buffalooooooooooo!"
Needless to say we couldn't stop laughing and a new group of trail runners were born. We made a subdivision of the Highland City Striders dedicated to trail running and aptly named it "Ultra Runner Water Buffalo Faction * (*An unauthorized division of the Highland City Striders)" with the slogan "Got Water Buffalo?". While some of us may never run like a gazelle, the spirit and comradery of the Water Buffalo group lives on!
Registration starts at 7AM and will be located near the gate to the beginning of the trail. Take Taylor Rd and drive to the end. There is a small parking lot so you may need to park on Taylor Rd. Be sure to bring some bug spray. Children 18 and under are free but we ask that a parent or legal guardian participating in the race sign a waiver on their behalf. The course will be self timed so be sure to note your time when you pass the finish line!
Event's current local time: 4:59 PM ET