Pisgah Mountain 50K Trail Race

17 May 2012 06:00
Jean-Loup Fenaux
Focus on a race Interview

Hello, on September 16th 2012, you’ll be organizing the Pisgah Mountain 50K Trail Race. Can you tell us where it is located?

The Pisgah Mountain Trail Races 50K and 23K start and finish in the center of Chesterfield, New Hampshire, a small historical town located in the Southwestern corner of the state overlooking the hills and mountains of Vermont.

How old is the race and why was it created in the first place?

The Pisgah Mountain Trail Race had its humble beginnings in the mid-80’s beginning and ending at different sites within Pisgah State Park, the largest state park in New Hampshire. The race has been running consecutively since 1997 from the Chesterfield location. The race began and continues as a fundraiser to benefit the Special Olympics of Southwestern New Hampshire.

Credit : Pisgah Mountain Trail Races
What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it? I

Since Pisgah State Park is a wilderness park of 13,000 acres, we have a variety of trails, old logging roads, single-track trails, Pisgah Mtn. vistas, various ponds, wetlands, and old growth forests.

The race trails span three bordering towns; the course is considered moderate to strenuous. The race does begin on pavement for 1.5 miles, and ends on a paved road of 1 mile.

We have 4 manned and 3 unmanned water stops water, Gatorade, and assorted snacks. Our runners are quite faithful to this race and comment positively on its beauty.

The trails are well marked and well maintained. We also have marked maps of each race for runners to carry with them as desired.

Credit : Pisgah Mountain Trail Races
Have you planned festivities around the marathon?

We generally have about 150 athletes who travel to this race from Canada, and various locations in the USA. Last year we held our largest race with 200 runners.

We provide bagels, coffee and thirst quenchers at registration; we have a beautiful (weather – permitting) lawn area and finish line, with beautiful vistas of Vermont, where runners and their families and friends congregate, eat barbecue and share race stories.

It is a laid-back friendly gathering which lasts throughout the day.

We also do a lot of soliciting and try to offer a variety of prizes which runners can choose from as long as they last. We do have a prize for the last finisher.

The race finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to the Pisgah State Park before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?

We have found through the years that the majority of our runners drive or fly into the region either Saturday afternoon or evening and leave race day or the following day, returning to their regular schedules!

Credit : Pisgah Mountain Trail Races
Since we are located in an idyllic area people who travel will stay either in Brattleboro, Vt. or Keene, NH. Each of these quaint cities has an eclectic variety of restaurants for those who are interested in eating out. We have the Chesterfield Inn, located within 3 miles of race headquarters. This is often a destination inn, and quite lovely with an excellent cuisine.

In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of ahotu Marathons to make them register for the Pisgah Mountain 50K Trail Race?

Our runners love the beauty, the ambience and the trails, many return year after year for all these reasons and we are a great deal! You will come away with a great race experience and some new friends!

There are personal experience stories to be found at the pisgahmtntrailraces.blogspot.com, as well as pictures of the park.


Interview with Chris and Gary Montgomery, Race Directors. Chris and Gary love being in the woods and have a history of running trail races. They took on the Pisgah Race in 2003 and found that they enjoyed providing this great experience to other athletes and their families. Although there is a tremendous amount of pre-race preparations, they put their heart and soul into making this a pleasant experience for all who participate. They also have spent their summers providing free Fun Runs to runners of all ages (toddlers to seniors) and abilities in the Brattleboro area since 1999! And they will begin a new season this May.