I met Matt Estes by chance at the West Hartford Reservoir this past summer. I had just finished a long run and decided to do a little cool down. I was running behind Matt who was carrying a water bottle. I figured he was going long, so pulled alongside to chat. After talking a bit, I learned that Matt has won the HURT 100 and Masanutten 100. Wow! I thought I was an ultrahead! It was great to find someone to run with, but I never expected that the winner of those 2 races was living right here in CT.
Matt and I managed to meet for a run a couple weeks later. He was peaking for the Vermont 50, and I was not in peak shape. It was hot and I was hurting after we logged about 24 hard miles in about 3:06. A couple weeks later, Matt won the Vermont 50. Way to go, Matt!
I saw Matt from a distance at the Hartford Marathon. He clocked a PR at around 2:41 or so, and I hobbled in at 3:04.
He got busy with studies after Hartford, so we hadn't had another chance to run together. So, I was really psyched to run with him today! Our plan was to do 2-2.5 hours at a comfortable pace. Matt said he hadn't been getting in a lot of mileage, but I was still a little concerned that I might not be able to keep pace with him in the snow and ice.
Matt said I looked like I lost weight. I adopted a Vegan diet shortly after I ran with Matt last, and I have lost about 5 lbs. I also trained hard in November and December.
We ran the first 4.5-5 miles to the far side of my normal 8 mile loop, and Matt mentioned that it would be cool to get up to Heublein Tower. We had just run a big hill, so I wasn't sure how much I had in the tank for another big climb. I felt good enough to get up it, but didn't want to hold Matt back. We headed toward the hill and Matt talked about his record setting traverse of the Metacomet Trail (the path we happended to be on at the time). Matt ran the entire 67 mile trail in a bit over 11 hours a couple years ago. Nice work Matt!
Heading up to the tower, I was leading the way. I wanted to walk in a couple spots, but didn't want to slow Matt down. I just kept my head down and kept moving my feet while attempting to keep my heart rate at a manageable level. Near the top of the climb, the trail crosses the autoroad leading to the top. I was so happy when I saw the road, I had to let out a big hoot.
Matt led us the rest of the way to the top and we took in the view before heading back down. I think it must be one of the best views in CT. It took us about 1:15 to get to the top, so I figured we were on pace for 2.5 hours.
The run back was mostly downhill or flat, so we brought it in at 2:15. I'm guessing our total distance was only around 15-16 miles, but we were slowed by the snow/ice and some climbing. Matt felt a bit fatigued and was having a tendon issue, but I expect he'll be blowing my doors off in a week or two. He's motivated for some big races this year, and I'm hoping we can help keep eachother motivated toward some good results.