by Lindsey Madison
To close out the summer, Quarry Road Trails hosted the inaugural Quarry Road TrailFest with a 5k fun run and 15k challenge trail race on October 30th.
I have my sights set to tackle my first Half in Millinocket in December, so I was eager to get my mileage up. What better way than a 15k trail race through the woods of Quarry Road Trails? To add to the fun, two other Striders and I dressed up with the theme of "Cook-out Essentials", dressing as a Hamburger (Heather Cable), Ketchup (Ron Peck), and Reye's Mustard (myself).
The course was two laps of a 7.5k loop. It started in the middle of the big field near the yurt, followed a single track trail up The Big Hill, and then joined with South Koons to head down the hill. We then did the North Koons loop before continuing across the field, and down the hill toward the stream. We followed along the Messalonskee Stream for a stretch and then returned to the big field to repeat the loop.
The race was advertised as a challenge and with the hills and water features, it lived up to the hype without being extreme. The single track trail up The Big Hill was dry and leaf free, making the climb nearly pleasant. Watching my steps over the rocks and roots distracted me enough from that lactic acid burn building up in my legs. Sailing down the South Koons trail (also leaf free) was practically delightful! At the bottom of the hill, the boggy trail that ran along the Messalonskee fulfilled the promise of the race director, Jeff Tucker. My shoes did indeed get soaked, despite my best efforts to hop over the puddles (ponds) in the trail.
Overall, the race was quintessential type II fun!
The after party was a perfect reward. It featured beer from Cushnoc Brewing, grilled food from Grandpa's Kitchen, an awards ceremony, and a raffle. It was an all around pleasant time relaxing and chatting with the other runners. I am looking forward to tackling this race again next year!
Full race results from the Quarry Road TrailFest 5k and 15k races can be found here.