The Sunapee Ragged Kearsarge Greenway is a 75-miles loop that circumnavigates the Lake Sunapee region, passing through 10 towns, 3 State Parks, many State Forest Wildlife Management Areas, town forest, and hundreds of private property parcels. This amazing system is held together by a dedicated group of volunteers along wit the forward thinking of the many private property owners who graciously allow passage across their land.
Because the trail runs through several downtowns it is a great system for self-supported running treks and a fabulous training ground for long distant trail runners.
In September 2005 I decide to run the entire 75-mile loop and why not? With a runner wife slowed by pregnancy I could gobble up her training miles and recruit her for support. Other gracious recruits were Glen Halleck, PJ Lovely, Aaron Richer, Lori Richer & Erin Lovely, all hardcore athletes in their own rights, as well as my father who set up 3 pit stops for me complete with hot food, lawn chair and a scale. The run was perfect, injury free with splendid weather and only one bear encounter, the only thing missing was a full moon.
I started at 10:00AM in Newbury Harbor and finished up 21 hours and 50 minutes later with hopes of eating a big pasta dinner and the local eatery, but unfortunately it had closed at 8:00PM. So I thanked the small crowed of family and friend that had gathered and folded myself into the car for the drive home.
After completing the run I was interviewed by Jeff Miller, the sports editor for The Argus Champion, who ran an article shortly there after.
A correction on the time, I began my run at 10:00 PM with Glen Halleck out of Newbury Harbor and ran up and over Mount Sunapee, continuing clockwise on the SRKG.
My lowest point physically was on Trail 9 up Ragged, for some reason my energy as really low; luckily my older brother was there to drag me over Ragged. On Trail 10 I had some strange IT tightening that played havoc with my left knee, which resulted in a mental break, my wife was pacing me at the time, she talked me through the knee pain as I had slowed to a walk doubting weather I could finish.
I began my run at night, which worked out well; the Sunapee sections were a lot of road back then. In Springfield, Gile State Forest was another matter. PJ and I had a blast doing that section; it was really dark which made the footing difficult to see. I had hoped to finish in daylight, but ended up running Trail 14 in the dark, which was fine, since Fisherfield to the harbor is all roads, all the same I think Erin Lovely was think “what the hell did this guy get me into”.
I’ve done sports all my life, but don’t consider myself an athlete. I must confess any exercise I take on is for the sole purpose of ski fitness, my one true love (athletically speaking, love you Lori).
I got into trail running in Utah as a way to exercise my dogs and stay fit through the long hot summers. At the time I was big into MTB, but the mutts couldn’t keep up, with running the shoe was on the other foot so to speak.
My wife and I had a friend who ran for the U of U and her boyfriend put on the Wasatch Steeple Chase and he would run the Wasatch 100. I paced him and ran some ultras, but mainly just ran to be in the mountains with my dogs. When I returned to NH in 2003 I was still running, but my dogs had slowed, my new challenge was pushing kids around town from errand to errand. My old running partners are gone, but now I have a new guy who is built for speed and endurance, he’s the real athlete.