What to do this weekend: 7/26/13

Great Cranberry Island 50k

The Great Cranberry Island 50k. Photo by Crow Athletics.

This weekend, four events (all now sold out) will highlight a large section of the trail and ultra spectrum.

First, there’s the Great Cranberry Island 50k Ultramarathon in Maine, which will serve as the Road Runners Club of America National Championship. Runners will complete seven loops on the tiny island, which might sound boring if they views weren’t so darn pretty and volunteers weren’t so unbelievably enthusiastic. Truly a one-of-a-kind race.

Not rugged enough? This weekend will also be the second running of the Bear Brook Trail Marathon in Allenstown, N.H. While we’ve described the Bear Brook trails as highly runnable, this is still a trail marathon on one of the most extensive trail systems in the state at the height of blackfly season.

Still not rugged enough for you? How about the Escarpment Trail Run from Windham to North Lake in Haines Falls, N.Y.? In 18.6 miles, runners will experience nearly 10,000 feet of elevation change. While there is some aid on the course, it all has to be backpacked in by volunteers. The website warns that this is not a race for the inexperience or faint of heart : “There won’t be people telling you where the trail goes, doctors to wipe your blisters, or a bus to give you a ride to the finish if you decide you can’t continue.” Yikes!

For those who like the idea of going without aid but are interested in more than 18.6 miles, there is the Wakely Dam Ultra, an unsupported trail race measuring a little over 50k through some of the most remote sections of the Adirondacks. This race sold out in less than 12 minutes—apparently a lot of people want to run really far in the woods with no support!

The bad news: All four of these are full. The good news: For those who were so torn by these tough decisions that they didn’t sign up for any in time, there are a couple of other options.


Bean Hole Bash Trail Bounce and Saddleback Mountain Run, Northwood, N.H.
Distances: 2.5 miles and 7 miles
Start time: 9:00
Race-day registration: yes


Soapstone Assault, Soapstone Mountain, Conn.
This race has a fun, unusual format. There’s a staggered start, so runners start in reverse order of expected finish time. Plus, you spend much of the race going up and down as you circle around Soapstone Mountain. Finally, it’s only $5.
Distance: 5.5 miles
Start time: 9:00
Race-day registration: yes

What to read

→A number of Vermont 100 participants have already written up their experience in race reports, including Nick Clark, Amy Rusiecki, Nate Sanel, and Ian Sharman.

→In other adventures, here’s an account of a recent one-day Pemi loop attempt.

→A public service announcement from Adventure Journal: Summer is half over. Don’t take the rest of it for granted.

→If you’re running on a trail and you see a small man with long hair and a big beard fly by you, don’t worry, it’s just Timothy Olson, runner turned vagabond.

→You may have seen a few weeks ago that Anton Krupicka was making a bold attempt to crush the record for the fastest time on Nolan’s 14, a series of 14 tough peaks over 14,000 feet in Colorado. New Balance gave it Kilian’s Quest type coverage. The last of three videos about the attempt is now available below. Here are links to the first two: Part 1 and Part 2.


  1. says

    Cranberry Island was a lot of fun, as always. Sad to see it go; this was the last year for it. My daughter had a lot of fun in her first camping trip and island experience, although I’m never trying to feed lobster to an unrestrained 14 month old while sitting on the ground again…