Archives for posts with tag: Northampton

I will be missing the running scene of Western Mass. When I moved here 4 years ago, I was truly surprised by the volume of local races and talent present in the Valley. I join SMAC and I met remarkable people both on and out of the road; if I got faster, I know whom to thank.
During the summer, the Valley thrives with running series: the SMAC Race Series and the Northampton XC 5k.

The latter is a fun, local series held every Tuesday at 6:30pm at the Northampton Community Gardens. The route bridges between cross-country and trail: 5k long, it’s not an easy course and it took me a few times to get a handle on it. I learned a lot about racing by running it pretty regularly for the past 3 months: I learn the course and the people running it, when to hold and when to pick the pace.

I’ll be missing this little gem.

XC Runners at Noho XC

the race



Some times I feel the need to video-record me when I run to evaluate form and posture; I never came around in doing so, maybe one day, but in the mean time here is the video of the finish line of the Hot Chocolate Run: fast-forward to 6:55, I’m passing on the right.

Mi è appena arrivata un’email dagli organizzatori della Hot Chocolate Run con un paio di filmati della gara: la partenza e l’arrivo. Non sono riuscito a trovarmi nel filmato della partenza, ma – se proprio, proprio volete vedermi correre – sono al 6:55 del filmato che trovate in questo post, sulla destra.


Thanksgiving races used to be the informal end-of-the-season races, but since 2004 Hot Chocolate Run, placed in the first Sunday of December, became the last run of the year. The race – a 5k through downtown Northampton – benefits Safe Passage, an organization supporting women and children victims of domestic violence, and helps raising awareness to the issue; a good cause to run for.
Waking up at 7am, I checked the outdoor thermometer which was showing a temperature of 25F; looking out the window into the morning frost-covered backyard more strongly remarked the wintry season. The sun was still down on the horizon, and I decided for the long shorts and the long-sleeve shirt of NYC 2009; it’s always nice to check out the various team and races shirts people are sporting with pride at runs.
After warming up with a shower and a quick breakfast, I walked out my apartment and started to defrost the windshield of the car, another of the many reminders that soon enough the ground will be covered by snow and ice. As I was driving to Northampton, I planned the race: I didn’t feel like racing, surely am I not trained for racing – especially short distances; in the last weeks I mostly cross-trained and did some circuits. I made my mind for a conservative 22 minutes run, which should be brisk, but slow enough to gauge recovery and legs. I tucked myself behind the crowd at the 5k 22:00 – pace 7 min/mi sign and waited for the gun.
the rest of the post and Italian version