A friend of ours, Ben Pangie, is putting together a new ultra race for this August called Six Hours in Paradise. The race will be held in Paradise Park, located in Windsor, VT, and it will be a 6-hour race on a short loop (or series of loops) course. Ben’s still working on the exact course layout, so he invited a bunch of local runners to come do a course preview this past weekend and give feedback on the trails. There’s nothing I love more than exploring new trails, so I was all over this chance to get in a long run in a new place with other runners.
There ended up only being five of us, including Ben, but I had a great time meeting a couple of new people, and the trails were spectacular! Ben started us off by leading us through three different loops, totalling four miles. The park is fairly small and has about 5 miles of trails, so this was just enough of a tour to give us a sense of how everything is laid out. Ben had to leave at that point, and the other runners stayed for varying amounts of mileage, until finally I was the last runner standing. My goal was to get in 20 miles for the day, so I continued looping through the park and exploring all the new trails I came across. I entertained myself by taking pictures and experimenting with different trail combinations until I found my favorite sequence. I found that there’s enough variety and so much to see that I never got bored!
Here are some pictures of the beautiful trails, scenery and wildlife you’ll see if you come to Six Hours in Paradise:
View of the water tower from the Water Tower Loop
Wild flowers in the picnic area
Spring greenery everywhere as I head towards the Lake Trail
The Lake Trail: possibly my favorite part of the whole park!
Check out the turtles on the log!
Crossing the Main Dike to run the Meadow Loop
There were LOTS of turtles sunning themselves all around the sides of the lake!
I couldn’t get enough of these guys!
The meadow loop with a beautiful view of Ascutney in the background!
My favorite part of the meadow was that it was lined with bird houses, most of which were actively in use!
More pristine single-track on the Hubbard Brook Trail!
The brook is beautiful and refreshing (I stopped to wash my face and arms once it got hot)!
The most challenging trail in the park is the Ridge Loop with it’s STEEP hills.
It’s also probably the most fun trail though, once you’re on top of the ridge.
Just in case the pictures didn’t already say this loud and clear, I’ll spell it out: you should definitely run this race.
Unfortunately, for Peter and I, the timing is bad–it’s less than a week after our 6-day stage race in Colorado. I’m not expecting to be terribly mobile that soon after the TransRockies Run, so I don’t think I’ll be competing in the race. I do hope to come volunteer and cheer on the runners though, and I’d love to see you there!