Read my first experience SWATing in Atlanta here.
At the end of August, I volunteered for my second Ragnar of the year and I took on the Red loop manager position again. Since the race was up in the woods of Massachusetts, I flew into Hartford and drove 1.5 hours north to Northfield Mountain. I got in earlier than most of the other SWAT crew, so I had my own car rental and picked up some extra supplies before heading to the venue to help with setup.
After a catered dinner at the venue, the loop managers all headed out on their loops. All three loops stuck together for awhile before Green headed off and Yellow and Red continued to climb. There were major climbs on both Red and Yellow and it was definitely a tough night run, but there were also some good sections of downhill on the back-end of the leg, so you could pick up some speed if you wanted to.
Thursday was spent finishing village setup, making sure our loops had enough signs and putting out some extra motivational signs. Near the water stop on the Red loop, there was a short detour that runners could take to a scenic overlook of the reservoir. I put a sign at the top to let people know about the detour (though after all that climbing, an extra 300 feet isn’t on everyone’s to-do list). I’m glad I took a few minutes to check out the reservoir, but I’ll admit that I only made the detour once!
This venue was different than Atlanta as our hotel was about 30 minutes away, so when we left the hotel Friday morning, most of us weren’t going back until Saturday night after dinner. This meant I had to pack all my running gear, extra layers for my late night transition tent duties and my sleeping bag and anything else I would need for the next two days. Despite the trails being dusty, they were beautiful.