WESTON, Mass. – It was close to 5 p.m. when Kevin Paige emerged from the woods and the finish line came into view. A look of relief and an exuberant grin spread across his face as he stretched his arms out wide with joy.
“You guys are still here!” proclaimed Paige, 47. “Oh my God! I can’t believe you guys are still here!”
Paige’s 50K race hadn’t gone quite as he’d hoped at the Trail Animals Running Club’s TARC Spring Classic on Saturday, April 22. His legs gave him problems after two loops of the five-loop course. Determined to finish what he started, he gritted his way through the ultramarathon, battled the elements and the trail, and earned his finish. After more than eight hours on the trails, however, he spent the final miles worried that he’d return to the start/finish only to find everyone had left, and his bag – with the keys to his truck inside – would be gone.
The Trail Animals’ motto is “Leave No Animal Behind,” however, and this day was no different. Paige was greeted with applause and open arms, and his keys were right where he left them so he could make it home to Manchester, N.H., that evening.
From the first across the finish line to the back of the pack, runners didn’t allow a steady drizzle or temperatures in the upper 30s to low 40s dampen their day or their spirits. Instead, around 350 runners took part in the Spring Classic, running in the 50K, marathon, half marathon or 10K, in what was one of the largest crowds ever for the seventh annual event. Continue reading Despite Rain, Runners Shine at Spirited Spring Classic