Race: Mt. Toby 50K
Runner: Coach Cody Frost
Race Date: 04/09/2022
Location: Sunderland, MA
Results: 6:25:04, 13th place
Strava Activity Link: https://www.strava.com/activities/6955753518
3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?
- A little bit of everything, awesome single track, some jeep roads and some super steep technical climbs/descents and lots of climbing in general, especially for Massachusetts
- The awesome RD and volunteers who pulled this together and made it fun
- The low key nature of this race
Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you
Nothing! It was great all around (even the crazy rain!)
Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?
There is a small cave section that you pass through. The volunteer team has to give you a headlamp and you drop down into this wet cave, squeeze through a tight section and climb back out the other end. Almost like a short spelunking section!
Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?
I spent some miles running with great company. Met a guy who flew in from Louisiana to race this small Massachusetts 50K which was really cool. For me, I just love the feel of a no frills race like this where you can hang before/after with basically the whole team who put the race together and all the runners.
Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner
Practice some steep hiking and descending to help coming up and down Mt. Toby
Lessons you learned that will help you next time around
Don’t push the 1st downhill too hard! Save those quads for later in the race.
Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race
It will be muddy even if it isn’t raining. The race is early April and there is snow shed coming off the mountains. It rained all day so things were a little worse for us but there was some nice thick mud sections that made your feet feel like cement blocks when you ran through them.
Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?
Really pretty course but no real clearings to get a long distance view if that is what you are into. This is more of a deep woods type of vibe
Difficulty – Is it a tough course?
Definitely a tough course. There are some long climbs, steep climbs as well as some gradual climbs. Not much flat! Between that and the mud, rain, etc. it made this course pretty tough.
Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?
This race was really well organized. Amy knows what she is doing and her team was amazing.
Competition – Is there a strong field?
It’s a pretty wide field with some strong competitors but it isn’t going to be like a Lake Sonoma crowd.
Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.
You will want to download the GPX map to your phone/watch – there are lots of twists and turns and while the course is well marked, some of the flags are known to get taken down by walkers, etc. who use the trail.
Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?
Typical aid station food and drink with a great crew running the show.
Weather and typical race conditions
Ahh, this year was a bit of everything. Started off cloudy, then light rain (just enough to cool you off) followed by steamy humid sunny weather, followed by a downpour of rain for a while, then humid sun again, then downpour until the finish. It made it interesting! This race is in April in New England so expect it to be wet and muddy on trail even if it isn’t raining that day
Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next runner?
Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?
Crew can meet you at most of the aid stations – just not at the top of Mt. Toby.
How’s the Swag?
They had buffs or a sweet tin cup. I opted for the cup since I know have a decent buff collection
The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?
If you like the small, local vibe on a tough course then this is for you. I would not expect to set a PR though. For me, 4 out of 5 – I’d go back!
Cody Frost is a coach with Team RunRun. To learn more about him or to work with Cody, check out his coaching page.