Runners Go Off-Road For Horse Guard 5K Race
For runners accustomed to a level and smooth surface, along with dry conditions, the Second Annual Second Company Governor’s Horse Guard Iron Horse 5K on October 13 provided an extreme contrast to the norm.
In addition to a hilly, off-road course that was sure to inflate pace times across the board, rain made for a soggy, muddy-in-spots, slower course on the scenic grounds of Fairfield Hills. Fewer than two-dozen runners, thanks in part to the not-so-pleasant weather conditions, participated in the race, which benefits the Horse Guard.
Mark Mitchell, 37, of Arlington, Va., won the 5K trail race in a time of 28:12. Mitchell was visiting his parents, Geraldine and Paul of Sandy Hook.
The race winner said he typically runs road races, and this was a nice change of pace.
“You don’t get as much traction. You’re slipping all over the mud,” Mitchell said. “I always run road races, and this was way more fun. I’ll definitely come back for it next year. It’s fun to run through the woods and dodge the roots.”
It was a close finish as Tony Muffatti, 63, clocked in at 28:17 for second place. Chris Soler, 31, was third in 32:34.
“It was a different course. It’s fun, though. It’s one of the best runs I’ve done this year,” said Soler, who has participated in about a dozen races in 2018.
Emily Locher, 43, was the top female and placed fourth overall with a time of 33:06.
“It was perfect; it was challenging. The trails are in such amazing shape,” Locher said.
“A little wet today, but awesome trails — it was beautiful,” said Kathy Englund, 52, who placed fifth in a time of 33:25.
Rick Jennings was also among those pleased with the course conditions given the weather and said he will return to run it again next fall.
Jack Fulton ran with his dog, Lucy. “She can go forever,” Fulton said of his rescue mutt. Fulton has a lot of steps in him, too. He ran the race to knock his 151st town off the list as he works his way toward completing a race in all of Connecticut’s towns and cities through the Run 169 Towns Society.
After the race, participants got to tour the Horse Guard complex, including tack room and stalls, and see the horses.
“We get a chance to interact with the community,” Horse Guard Private First Class Bonnie Cypher said.
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