Gorge Aprés Gorge: Best Little Walk/Run in the Hilltowns

Gorge Aprés Gorge: A Run in the Woods

The Sunday morning following your Thanksgiving dinner gorge, rise and shine to join friends and neighbors for the 10th annual Gorge Aprés Gorge run/walk at the Chesterfield Gorge in West Chesterfield, MA. Community members are invited to embrace winter by being outside with friends and neighbors in a three mile out and back run/walk/bike/snowshoe/ski along the beautiful Westfield River. It’s a free event and all are welcomed! It’s a family affair. 5K at 9am.

It was a simple yet wonderful idea: reconnecting with friends and neighbors, on a brisk walk in the beauty of the outdoors, was the perfect antidote for the stresses and overindulgences of the holidays.

Evidently it was an idea that had legs, because this year on Sunday, December 1st, 2013, the community-organized “Gorge après Gorge” celebrates the 10th anniversary of its free, family fun walk, and the 4th anniversary of its 5k trail run at the Trustees’ Chesterfield Gorge.

Leslie Anne Charles, one of the event founders, described it as “a grass-roots, seat-of-my-pants type of event,” which turned out to be very successful. “Most people who come one year make it to the following year’s event.” A fun fresh air event that initially began with a few dozen folks has now blossomed, as word of mouth to new friends has spread.

The “best little run in the Hilltowns” will kick off at 9AM and follow a well-marked course – the dirt fire road – which is a slightly hilly out and back along the wild and scenic Westfield River, starting and ending at The Trustees’ Chesterfield Gorge. Hot chocolate, coffee, and tea will be waiting at the finish line (And you’re invited to bring your own treats to share.)… Prizes will be awarded for overall and age group winners. Timed race winners will receive unique, top finisher awards (knitted hats!). Bonus: All finishers receive a cookie medal. Participants can register online, and the field is limited to 100 runners.

There is no need to sign up for the ambling, rambling, free family fun walk (or run, bike, xc ski, or snowshoe, depending on the weather!) starting at 11AM. All are welcome, and more hot chocolate, coffee, tea will be served to warm up after.

On a more solemn note, this year both race directors of Gorge après Gorge ran, and now feel forever connected to, the Boston Marathon. Leslie Ann Charles and Tanya Rapinchuk would like to make a contribution to those affected by the events of that day and plan to donate a portion of the proceeds from the 2013 Gorge après Gorge to the One Fund for bombing victims and their families. The Zephyr Rapinchuk Memorial Fund – another cause close to the heart of the race’s organizers – and The Trustees of Reservations will also benefit from the proceeds. So come celebrate the love of life, running, friends and family: seize the day!

Published November 2013

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