Thursday, January 31, 2013

This Weekend on the Trails

Saturday, February 2

Exeter Snowshoe Hullabaloo 4M - Exeter, NH
Four miles of tight, twisted single track in Henderson-Swazey Woods. Plenty of small hills to keep you breathing hard the entire way.  I don't think this will go off as a snowshoe race.  There just isn't enough snow in the area.  Check the race website for updates.  Maybe it will end up being a trail race. It's all good!

Winter Wild Uphill Series, Ragged Mountain - Danbury, NH
Run, snowshoe or ski 3 miles up to the summit and back down again along an established ski trail.  Unorthodox but fun! 

Sunday, February 3

Cape Cod Frozen Fat 25K & 50K Options - Barnstable,MA
This race is on Sandy Neck beach in the middle of the winter so conditions can be brutal.  Cold temps, strong headwinds and soft, shifting sands are the norm.  This race is not for wimps. Sounds like a good time to me.  Actually, some of my ultra running friends (see photo) have done this race (more than once) and they raved about it.  I hang with some crazy people!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

2013 Grand Tree Trail Race Series Schedule Now Set

For all of you who like to plan your race season around the Grand Tree Series, the 2013 race schedule is now posted on the WMAC website. Long-time early season race, the one I love to hate, Northern Nipmuck in CT has been dropped from the series. All the other races from 2012 are on the 2013 schedule so there is much to be thankful for. With a lot of luck, a WHOLE lot,  I may be able to run one of these before the year is done. We'll see..

Thursday, January 24, 2013

This Weekend on the Trails

Saturday, January 26

Side-Hiller 4M Snowshoe Race, Center Sandwich, NH

The course is a mix of single-track and groomed trails. Three miles are in the woods with rolling hills and one steep 200 foot up and down hill as you enter the woods. The race is part of the WMAC/Dion and Granite State Snowshoe Race Series so you can earn double points without running double miles or paying double entry fees. Now that's a deal you can't pass up!

Tubbs' Romp to Stomp out Breast Cancer 3K & 5K, Stratton Mountain, VT
Here's your chance to wear pink and raise money for a worthy cause.

Sunday, January 27

Curley's Record Run 3.7M Snowshoe Race, Pittsfield, MA

The race is held in Pittsfield State Forest and is a grueling mix of double and single track trails that climb almost 700 feet in one mile then descend about 800 feet down a 1920's ski race trail. There a saying that goes something like this, "The race is very popular with snowshoers, especially just before the race.

Curley's course elevation profile.
Yikes!  Glad I'm sitting out this one.

The race is part of the WMAC/Dion Snowshoe Race Series and is also the Massachusetts and Connecticut Championship race for 2013.

Bellville Pond 10K Trail Race, North Kingstown, RI

A trail race in January?  Yeah, that's what I'm talkin' about!  This scenic 10K course follows rolling wooded trails through Ryan Park. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

100,000 And Counting

Sometime last August, when I wasn't paying attention, Breakheart Trail Running reached 100,000 page views.  It has since surpassed 111,000 views.  That's pretty good considering I haven't had much to write about over the past two years due to injuries, etc. I thought it might be fun to see how BHTR got to 100,000 views by looking back at the 10 most popular posts of all time.  

1. The Boston Marathon - Reflective Perspective April 6, 2010 - 3955 views
I'm not surprised this post is number one.  The Boston Marathon is the oldest and most prestigious marathon in the United States and road runner outnumber trail runners by 100 to 1. (I totally made up that stat). I consider this one of my better written posts.

2. Product Review - Inov8 Roclite 319 November 17, 2011 - 2305 views
Inov8 is very popular among trail runners and their shoe line keeps growing year after year.  This is my favorite Invo8 model for long distance training and racing.

3. Bay Circuit Trail Section 2 - Boardwalks and Water Crossings Galore April 18, 2011 - 1321 views.
My section runs on the Bay Circuit Trail helped increase awareness that this 200 mile gem even existed.  After my series of posts, I received several emails from people looking for more information about the BCT.  I even got one from an AT thru-hiker who was planning a BCT thru-hike. This particular run with friends Em and Rob was a blast and I have fond memories of all my BCT runs.

4. This Weekend on the Trails May 7, 2010 - 1114 views
OK, this one did surprise me but I think I know why it ranks so high. This post happened to include information on a few very popular races that were scheduled for the upcoming weekend. I'm sure people searching for information on these races were directed to my blog.

5. Product Review - Cool Off Bandana August 17, 2009 - 816 views
Heat is my kryptonite and based on the number of hits on this post I'm not the only one.

6. Product Review - Everything You Don't Want To Know About Iliotibial Band Straps May 1, 2011 - 659 views
I developed ITB syndrome in the spring of 2010 and it's plagued me every since. It's a common problem among long-distance runners. I've tested several difference straps and had mixed results. With treatment ITB syndrome usually goes away. Mine never did. Nor has my plantar fasciitis. Just lucky I guess.

7. Product Review Inov8 Roclite 295 June 13, 2011 - 559 views
This is my second favorite Inov8 model. With it's sticky rubber sole it's a great shoe for running in wet conditions.

8. Hamster Run March 7, 2008 - 548 views
This post is from the last time my SI joint was causing a lot of problems for me.  I was avoiding trails and hills so I was running workouts on a quarter mile track.  I ran so many loops I felt like a hamster on an exercise wheel.  I imagine all the folks looking for information about hairy rodents were disappointed when the stumbled across this post.

9. 2010 New England, New York & New Jersey Ultra Marathon Race Schedule and Results January 13, 2010 - 524 views
This is when I must have had way too much free time on my hands!

10. Traprock 50K Race Report April 18, 2010 - 490 views
This is one of my favorite races. A challenging course, great RDs and volunteers.  I wrote an article about my race experience that was published in Ultrarunner Magazine.  I'll probably never have something I write get published again. I should have kept that issue.

There you have it. The top ten posts since I started this blog in 2008. They only amount to 12,000+ page views.  Don't ask me to figure out where the other 99,000 came from!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

This Weekend On The Trails

I decided to resurrect my "Weekend on the Trails" posts. I stopped doing this a couple of years ago (maybe longer) because I was too busy training and racing to keep up with this series.  Now I have plenty of free time to search the internet for the best races in the greater New England area so you can spend your time doing something more productive. Like watching reality TV. :-)   OK, let's get to it!

Saturday, January 19

Hoot -Toot, and Whistle 5K Snowshoe Race, Readsboro, VT

The course is point to point, very gentle grade single track on the Catamount Trail. The Catamont is the longest XC ski and snowshoe trail in North America. It travels 300 miles from Readsboro to Canada along the Deerfield River on the Hoosac Tunnel and Wilmington Narrow Gauge Train Rail Bed.  Fear not, you don't have to run 300 miles, only 3! This race is part of the WMAC/Dion Showshoe Race Series.

Whitaker Woods 4M Snowshoe Scramble, North Conway, NH

The course consists of groomed trail and twisty singletrack.  I hear the groomed trails are very fast but snow cover in the denser woods is a little spotty but adequate. This is based on recent recon done by Kevin Tilton and Jim Johnson.  This race is part of the Granite State Snowshoe Series.

Sunday, January 20

Bradbury Squall 3.5M Snowshoe Race, Pownal, ME
I don't now anything about the course other than it's in Bradbury Mountain State Park and does include singletrack trail.  The race is hosted by Trail Monster Running so you know it will be a first-class event.

Yes, I know this a very lean race schedule but it's winter in New England. What can you expect?  Just hold your horses, there will be more than you can handle soon enough.

Happy racing!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Walking 1000 Miles

I walked over 1000 miles last year. It’s not really something I enjoyed doing but I did it anyway. Here are some thoughts and observations from wandering the streets of my hometown.

1. Walking hurts my feet. Running 30 miles in the woods bothers my plantar fascia less than walking three miles on pavement.

2. If you’re in a hurry to get somewhere, don’t walk.

3. You notice more about your surroundings when you walk vs. running. This is not always a good thing.

4. Walking is not very popular in my town. Running is even less popular. I saw only a handful of walkers and runners all year but I saw hundreds if not thousands of drivers.

5. Where are all these people going and why are they in such a hurry?

6. Most drivers prefer to swerve around you or cut in front of you when you are in a crosswalk. Stopping to let you cross the street is their last option, and when they do it, they do it with a scowl.

7. I walk slower than I run but the difference is not that significant.

8. A car full of young people cannot drive past without screaming some foolishness out the window at me. I was young once. I wonder if I was as obnoxious as today’s youth.

9. Dogs like walkers more than runners. Some dogs.

10. RUNNING a 100 mile race is out of the question. Maybe I could WALK one? NAH!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Vote for Breakheart Trail Running!

I received an email (see below) a few days ago from Christy at  She discovered my blog several months ago while doing some research, liked what she saw and has been following ever since.  Her email was to inform me that Breakheart Trail Running has been nominated as one of the top 100 fitness blogs for 2013.  I can only assume her decision was based on previous posts and not current content since 2012 was a real down year for me.  I hope 2013 will bring some new and exciting adventures to Breakheart Trail Running and I'll be able to share them with you.  In the meantime, please stop by LeapFitness and cast your vote for BHTR!

Thanks for your support!


"Hi Dan, 

I noticed one of your posts whilst I was researching an article, and had to have a peek at your site!  I really like the personal take you have on running and exercise, and had to add you to my bookmarked list!
Several months later, and I have to say I love your blog!  It's so informative and so much fun!  I'm still building up the courage to do a marathon, and hope to take on an ultra eventually!  Your pictures are so cool; the places you run look amazing!

Mike and I have put together a list of our favorite 100 Top Health and Fitness blogs to watch in 2013, and you were an obvious choice!  For a bit of fun, we've asked for the public to vote for the winners!  You can see the contest page here

We’ve also created a voting button that you can add to your site to ask your readers to cast their vote!    So please feel free to add the attached button to your site and send your readers to vote for you here:  

There are so many fantastic fitness blogs out there that we're hoping this will help spread the word, help people with their motivation... and send you new visitors!"

Good luck


Christy Hansen
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