Living

Ghost rail raceraises funds for conservation

Thursday, October 14, 2010

By COURTNEY MacKAY

Correspondent

For runners looking for a challenge, a 15-mile scenic run through Milford and Brookline is on tap for the second annual Ghost Train Rail Trail Race on Oct. 24.

Although there is no ghost story behind the title of the 15-mile run, organized by Steve Latour, it is named so because its spans a section along the original rail bed of abandoned train tracks that were built back in the 1880s.

“It’s a nice little trail off in the woods,” said Buddy Dougherty, of Brookline, member of the Brookline Conservation Commission. “It’s pretty tranquil, fairly flat.”

Last year it began in Brookline, so to switch it up slightly it will begin at the Milford DPW this year.

“It was pretty well attended for the first try,” Dougherty said.

With a $20 entry fee, all proceeds go to the Milford and Brookline conservation commissions and last year they raised about $600 for each group. The money is used to maintain the trails.

Running on trails rather than tracks and roads has benefits and pitfalls. There’s the lack of cars, animals and concrete paired with the scenic atmosphere that bolster the race. But the trails pose the risk of natural crevices and other footing obstacles to which one might not be accustomed.

“I’m not going to say it’s not challenging,” Dougherty said. “You have to be in pretty good shape to do it.”

During the race there will be three aid stations. At the start/finish line there will be water, Gatorade and snacks for after the race. At miles 4 and 11, at Four Corners, and at Lake Potanipo, located at mile 7.5 and the turnaround point of the race there will be water and Gatorade.

“If the weather’s great, it makes it better,” said Chris Constantino, of Milford, alternate member of the Milford Conservation Commission.

The trail will be marked with ribbons and everyone running should be aware of all the roots, rocks and old railroad ties while they are running.

The race can always use more volunteers at stations and to hand out awards at the end of the race. If interested in helping, go to the Milford DPW Sunday, Oct. 24, at 7 a.m. The race begins at 8.

“It’s just a lot of fun,” Constantino said. “It’s a great spot to run.”

To register to run in the race visit www.runreg.com. For more information on the Ghost Train Rail Trail Race visit sites.google.com/site/ghosttrainrailtrailrace/.

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