Sunday, May 16, 2021

Soapstone Mountain Trail Races

93 Handel Rd

Stafford Springs, CT 24K, 24 K - Virtual, 6K, 6 K - Virtual

Registration closes: Sun, May 9 @ 11:59PM

Event Overview

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 GPX and AllTrails maps will be posted in February, 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: 12:00 AM


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