Do you trail run? Do you prefer racing on a mountain bike? Is equestrian trail riding your passion? Or, how about enjoying the views as you paddle downriver? There is still time to enter the 3rd Annual ECTAthlon sponsored by the Essex County Trail Association! This is a friendly relay competition held at Bradley Palmer State Park in Topsfield and Hamilton and on private trails in Ipswich where teams or individuals compete in running, mountain biking, horseback riding and kayaking events.
This unique event, which will be held on Saturday, June 1st, was envisioned as a way to bring diverse trail users together in a fun and exciting way, and to highlight the incredible network of trails in our area. The June 1st date also coincides with American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day, a series of nationwide events celebrating trails and trail access.
The event begins at 10:30 am at Bradley Palmer State Park. Runners will start off the relay with a 3.5 mile loop through the northern part of the park, returning to the start where they will pass their number over to their mountain biking teammate. Mountain bikers follow a similar course through the park and into nearby Black Oak Farm, about 3.8 miles. Riders and their equine counterparts will then follow a 4-mile course through private trails east of Winthrop Street. This “optimum time” course challenges riders to pace themselves to fall within a predefined time range - times too fast or too slow will be penalized. Finally, kayakers will meet their equestrian teammate at the north end of Winthrop Street where they will launch into the Ipswich River and paddle to Peatfield Street in downtown Ipswich.
Teams will race to cross the finish line in downtown Ipswich, where they will celebrate with lunch and live music during the awards ceremony. Friends and spectators are welcome to attend the post-race celebration. In addition to prizes for first through third place teams, there will also be awards for the Highest Combined Age, Lowest Combined Age, Best Team Name and Best Team Attire!
If you need help finding team members, contact ECTA and they will help you put a team together. There will be a pool of equestrians willing to help complete a team. Entry fees are $50 per person or $200 per team and proceeds benefit the Essex County Trail Association, a non-profit organization that helps to maintain and protect access to the trails and open lands in Ipswich, Hamilton, Wenham, Topsfield, Essex and West Newbury. For information, call 978-468-1133 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to download a brochure of the event.
Click here to view the 2011 course map (very similar to 2013)
Visit our Facebook Page to see photos of past events and to see updated information!
Thank you to our 2013 Sponsors!