Chesterfield Gorge Ultra

Welcome to Western Mass's only Trail Ultra! 

Distance: It's up to you - we are prepared for folks running 50k, 50 mile, 100k, and 100 mile, but you can stop at the end of any full lap and get credit for the appropriate distance (if you're in between the distances above, we'll put you on the results for the longest distance that you officially completed, just so that we don't have randomly small results).
"Bonus Miles" Challenge: after running 100, go out for more 15.5 mile out-and-backs in the 30 hour time limit at no extra charge!  We'll be there, and be awake...so keep on running if you want!

Sound like fun?  Sign up here.

There are some major benefits to this race as an ultra, particularly if you are looking for 100 miles (and maybe a bit more, even):

1)  Elevation Gain/Loss:  The course is rolling, with approximately 1,000 feet of climb every out-and-back.  Some folks will be able to run the entire course, while others will have a well deserved reason to walk!

2)  The Course:  The course is very easy to follow.  The trail is straight out along the river, and then straight back.

3) The Company:  You won't be all alone, since you will pass people on the out-and-backs.  There are three aid stations every 7.75 miles.  If you are still going on Sunday morning, you'll be joined by the 25k trail race folks with their fresh energy!

4) Crew Access:  Your crew can cheer you on (and support you) at the far end of every out-and-back. 
    1) The starting line at Chesterfield Gorge Reservation at River Road, West Chesterfield MA.
    2) The turnaround point on Old Worthington Road, Huntington MA.
 These two locations are approximately 15 minutes drive away from each other.

5)  Drop Bags:  Runners may leave a drop bag at the start/finish area if they don't have crew.

6)  The Price:  We are trying to keep the price as reasonable as possible, however with a relatively new race we need to budget for a few unexpected things.  As mentioned before, all proceeds go towards the Hilltown Land Trust, so any excess funds will help protect land in western Mass.

7)  Flood zone:  The turn-around point is in a dam flood plain.  While it's rare that the area would be need to be flooded during the summer - it's possible.  If this occurs, the race course will be adjusted as needed.

 8)  Weather warning:  This race is held during the summer, but this is still New England.  It might be hot and humid, but temperatures also might drop pretty low during the overnight.  Plan accordingly!  The Chesterfield Gorge is typically about 10 degrees cooler than Northampton and Amherst weather - and much of the course is shaded (although there are some open fields that may heat up in the afternoon sun).

9)  Aid Stations:
    1) Start/Finish Point at Chesterfield Gorge Reservation.
    2) Halfway Point, 3.5 miles from the Start/Finish Line (approximately 12 miles on your return trip)
    3) Turnaround point at Old Worthington Road, 7.75 miles/12.5k

10)  Nourishment:  We'll have all the basics needed for a race!  For hydration, we will have water, energy drink, and soda.  During the night there will be hot soup.  For food, there will be the standard  cookies, candy, chips, pretzels, fruit, etc.  There will likely be grilled cheese sandwiches, bacon, turkey sandwiches, and other 'real foods' along the way.

11)  Medical:  We do not have medical checkpoints or medical personnel at the aid stations, so be sure to monitor yourself constantly during the race.  All local emergency services will be on standby.  If your health is in question, please remember that "DNF" can mean "Did nothing fatal."

12)  Pacers:  Pacers are welcome to any runner once they have completed 30 miles.  Muling, unfortunately, is not allowed.  Pacers can leave a drop bag in the start/finish area also.  Pacers are allowed to eat and drink at the aid stations.  As long as you only have a single pacer at a time, you can switch them out however you want.

13)  Guidelines:  If you are stopping, you must let a race official know.  Per USATF regulations, we discourage the use of headphones.  Otherwise, have some fun out there!

14) AWDs: We think that Athletes with Disabilities are awesome and welcome them to participate at this event!  To learn how it all works, we will follow the general rules as set forth here.

15)  Headlamps:  Runners will want to be sure to have a headlamp with them for overnight running (duh, right?)

Contact Info:  Let us know if you have further questions that aren't answered here.  You can contact the race director at racedirector_at_7sisterstrailrace_dot_com.

2 comments:

  1. What a fabulous race, Amy! Congratulations and I am already thinking about next year and I am sure all this year's participants are too. Tremendous.

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  2. I am a challenged athlete. This was a challenging course for me. The scenery was amazing. The course was easy to follow. Great positioning of the aid stations. The volunteers were friendly and extremely helpful. The race director is amazing. The price was extremely reasonable. For people considering running this event: if you are camping overnight bring a hoodie, sweat pants, or something warm to sleep in and insect repellent.

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