Looking for a footing-friendly, low-key run through the woods? Have a go at Gail’s Trail Run in Huntington State Park, Redding, CT. This year approximately 130 runners took off on Sunday, December 11 at 8am for a 5.2 mile loop which included some challenging elevation changes and great scenery. The trail is mostly a two-track which provides for plenty of room throughout, making passing easy and providing good vision.
I especially liked the start/finish area. No major fanfare, blaring music or armies of volunteers. Instead, a very parochial atmosphere where you don’t even show your ID to get your number and (cool) hoodie. If you’re pre-registered, your name is there just as it should be. One porta-john, a table with a jug of Gatorade and a few gel packs. Simple. Right level of organization. Let’s just run this thing.
Some people run with their dogs. A handful of stud runners, but not there for PRs or qualifying times. Just give it your best and let the finishing times take care of themselves. At the start we meander up the trail until the starter says to stop and hold, then a short beep and we’re off. No overhead digital clock or balloon arch. We’re in the woods after all, respecting nature.
Runners are polite, respectful when passing or being passed, and no one crows about being in the top 10. On this 23-degree day the winner wears shorts and a tank top. The benefit is for pancreatic cancer research, and the event honors Gail Connor, who passed away from the disease.
Well done organizers, I’ll definitely be back next year. This was a really great event.