Thursday, May 6, 2010
Sunday was Kelly's Birthday and we were en route to Shelburne Falls for a walk-around. Passing the Easthampton exit right around 9:30-ish, we (me) figured we had time to fit in a detour and a quick look at the 7th annual Derrill's Race going on along the Manhan trail, scheduled for 10am.
The annual race is in honor of Seargent Derrill Stoddard, a decorated Easthampton firefighter who died from Leukemia. The race proceeds are sent to the Cam Neely foundation for the care of cancer patients as well as other noble pursuits. Last year some of the funds went to repairing the Manhan trail's gaping washout.
We made it to trail side near the blown out Silk factories not far from the race route's turn-around and set up shop just as some of the leading runners were trotting past...
...soon followed by the pack.
The day had started out cool and cloudy but became instantly muggy as the sun peeked out and brought the high humidity to a broil, making for some mighty thirsty running...
...and a little delerium.
As they're wont to do, some firefighters and their volunteers were furiously tossing water at the problem, but eight ounces at a time.
And as they're wont to be, the townsfolk were extremely grateful.
In a double honor to the race's namesake, several of Derrill's cohorts ran in their heavy firefighting gear... Heat? This aint' heat.
It seems to me these charity-driven races have grown tremendously in popularity just the past few years. There were definitely a lot of runners in this one; just one more of the large community events dotting this town's annual calender.
The runners made their turn-around, dug deep and trotted on back down the steamy trail to the finish. Maybe have some ice cream.
The close cluster of the main pack began to slowly stretch and loosen up...
...until finally just a few determined stragglers were left.
And then, it was over on this section of trail.
The race was cool to see, and it's always good to see a charity event go off so successfully.
Now, it was time for us to go.
Shelburne Falls awaits...