The Herc Embarrassment

The 1st Annual Herc Open Vermont Speed Hiking Competition was marred by the size and distribution of its cash prize list. What should have been an interesting event at Sugarbush Resort in Warren, Vermont, was overshadowed by a controversy that requires me to explore deeper issuses related to men, women, and sport. Despite the odd description and massive cash prizes, the Herc was just another trail race. It goes to show that when the wrong incentives ($25,000 prize list for a “local” trail running race) are established, then all sense of reason is lost.

The insane prize list for the Herc Open.

It is important to recognize that the significant majority of trail races in the United States, and nearly all in New England, have no prize list. The typical Grand Tree Series race might award a gift certificate to the top male and female runners, but more often than not, no prizes are given, or all finishers get some small medal or recognition. When Deb first learned about the Herc, there was an attraction to learn more. Who wouldn’t want to take a shot at winning $5000 (the 1st place prize of each category). Herc was not our only experience with a big prize list this year. The Pittsfield Peaks Ultra Challenge presented $2000 to both the men’s and women’s overall winners. Deb was the winner, so it is important to note that I am not being hypocritical, and I am not upset just because she didn’t get the top prize this time. At Peaks, the prize money could have been spread around a little more. 2nd place got no money, though all finishers got a nice hammer to commemorate the event.

The major issue at the Herc Open was that there were not separate men’s and women’s prize lists. $12,500 was split six deep in two categories: one for a 60kg (~132lbs) and over weight class, and one for under 60kg. This is idiocy. Unfortunately, Deb had sent in the $70 (expensive by trail running standards for a non-ultra distance race) entry fee before realizing how the cash was to be distributed. It seems that several of the women competitors were confused by this arrangement. Of course, many of the men got it right and it was learned that some of the top New England trail runners were “dieting” weeks in advance with dreams of beating up on the less than 60kg (mostly women) competition. Face it, if you are competitive at trail running, are male, and weigh under 132 pounds, then you are going to be pretty fast and strong. The weigh in was comical. You had to stand on a scale (no self image issues permitted at this race!) prior to getting your race number. It was also learned that at least one runner requested a second weigh in because he was just over. He was granted this wish, went for a warm up run, came back, and made weight. I had the image of high school wrestlers in full sweat suits jogging in a sauna flashing through my mind.

I don’t want this to get lost in my translation of the facts: I am livid about this situation. I have been a race director and volunteer many times (both running and cycling). I am a huge promoter of equal men’s and women’s prizes. Granted, field size is always a factor, and I have promoted races where a simple formula is used to distribute the prize money when far fewer women enter. However, Herc, and indirectly their sponsors and volunteers, were promoting something different. They were saying that women don’t matter and that men and women are NOT different when it comes to elite trail running. Sure, at some truly ultra distance trail races (50 to 100 miles and more), many elite women are just as competitive as the men. However, this race was advertised as 16 miles, and my GPS says it was probably more like 13 miles. This whole situation just makes me sick.

The scheme worked out perfectly for the men as they took the top six spots in both categories, splitting the $25,000 twelve ways and SHUTTING OUT all of the women. And, these were not pack fill women. They were some of the most talented off road and hill climbing runners in the Northeast. Do you think any women will show up for the 2nd annual Herc? Should they ask for their entry fees back?

Results

The 60kg and up category was actually LESS competitive because some of the best runners “made weight” and ran in the lighter class. It looks like the heavier weight class had two women out of 43 competitors. The lighter class seems to have had 16 out of 23. So, 7 men were in the class and 6 of them got paid big bucks for “beating” the girls. So, a total of 66 runners, and the $25,000 goes to 12 men. So who was the unlucky lightweight guy? Read on. Yep, I’m mad.

I guess we would have to investigate more. Deb sent an email to the race contact a week prior to the race, inquiring why they chose this format. She was curious. At that time, we still intended to go because Vermont is beautiful and she wanted the hill training. However, after discussing the race (with eventual light class winner) Ben Nephew at the People’s Forest Trail Race last week, she realized that there was going to be some “fierce” competition between the BEST male Northeast trail runners under 60kg and the majority of the women. This just didn’t seem logical. It turns out that the race contact never replied to Deb’s question. Did they want to avoid controversy?

So, you can’t blame the guys (or should you), but the facts show that Ben Nephew, David Vona, Dan Verrington, Cliff Lentz, Dave Hannon, and Jack Pilla got a free pass from having to compete with the likes of Paul Low, Eric Morse, Mark Churchill, Dmitry Drozdov, James Sweeney, and Eli Enman, and literally beat up on the women. Their race was mostly for which of the top six positions they would take and how much the “amount” line on their check would read. Should they have spoken up? Would you if you had a chance to make that kind of money for running for two to three hours on a ski slope? How did the women fare? Well, this couldn’t be scripted any better. Kelli Lusk was 7th, Deb was 8th, Jennifer Johnson was 9th, Mary Churchill was 11th, and Diana Karls was 12th. Oh so close….just out of the  money! Only Zeke Zucker, who is light but also 63 years old, spoiled the chances of the women taking 7th through 11th, when he squeezed into 10th spot. Of course, you could argue that Zeke should not have to compete with runners a third to half his age anyway. I’ll cut Zeke some slack. Does the Herc Open age discriminate too? Is this is a classic case of women subsidizing men? Could it be that this has always been, and remains a societal problem? Well, that would be too heavy of a discussion for a blog post.

So what is Herc? Why would they taint their brand image by risking such a backlash. I guess lucky for them, 500 people didn’t show up to run. As a first time race, the turnout was extraordinarily light for such a huge prize list. Did they think they would attract more people with all that money? Herc is an Arginine supplement sold by Unither Nutriceuticals Inc. This is not exactly an FDA approved drug, but it is purported to promote vasodilation and support healthy circulatory function. It is no surprise then that half of the registration proceeds were being donated to the Pulmonary Hypertension Association. So, it is nice to see a .org benefitting from a race (as many not-for-profits do), but this one seems a bit self serving. I’m assuming that Herc needs the PHA to promote its product.

This race had nice volunteers. Off the record, several of them tried to distance themselves from the prize list controversy. The race was being supported by Run Vermont, the not-for-profit organization that promotes the popular Keybank Vermont City Marathon. Ironically, their own website makes a big deal about their Women’s Running Camp. Maybe some of the top women at  yesterday’s race should have attended. Maybe they just didn’t train enough to beat the men.  Maybe a nice chunk of Herc advertising money and sponsorship is paid to Run Vermont, and that kept their volunteers from speaking up about a wrong that should have been righted before the race started yesterday. I don’t know what happened at the awards ceremony. We avoided it, though given the chance, I would have grabbed the microphone and spoken my mind. If I spent enough time sleuthing this, rather than banging out my version of the events the morning after, then I could probably construct a conspiracy theory. At a minimum, I would find the person or persons who made this lousy decision. Whatever.

Oh, and what about the other sponsors? Should they be boycotted like Herc? Did they know what they were contributing too? Eastern Mountain Sports, Sugarbush, LARABAR, Lung Rx, Inc., GoLite, Vermont Sports Magazine, and the US Forest Service seem like equal opportunity organizations. I’m assuming that they try to treat women fairly. Maybe their public relations departments and boards should hear about this.

After this rant, I could be accused of complaining about “spilt milk”. Truthfully, I’m just trying to stick up for Deb and the other women who put as much time and effort into running as the guys. And, in Deb’s case, she does this by also juggling career and motherhood responsibilities. Running is for fun. The prize money means nothing, but when a race like this is promoted and lavishly advertised, then a wrong needs to be pointed out as stupidity. So, why was my name so far down the results? I was extremely disappointed because I wanted to win some money (in the heavy class) and then give it to the top six women. Well, I got lost. I could complain about the confusing course markings and how the short and long courses were marked with the same color signs, but I won’t. I blew it and I’ll take responsibility for that. I ran a couple of extra miles (mostly uphill) and got more value per dollar of my entry fee. Most of the other runners went the right way, but not Herc and the promoters, volunteers, and sponsors of the 1st Annual Herc Open Vermont Speed Hiking Competition. They are the ones who blew it, and big time!

Sugarbush Resort, Warren, Vermont.

17 Responses to “The Herc Embarrassment”


  1. 1 SL 12 August 2007 at 10:33 am

    Here is the text of Deb’s email sent the week before the Herc Open:

    August 4th, 2007,

    “I just wanted to be sure that I am reading the information correctly. Is it true that the prize money is by weight catagory rather than gender? That seems strange to me since a man under 60 kg would surely beat a woman under 60 kg. Most light guys are very fast and strong. What if both top prizes are given to 2 men?
    Thanks for youre response.”

    No response was given.

  2. 2 atkinsonvt 13 August 2007 at 11:39 am

    Hi Scott,

    I can not speak to why your wife’s email was not responded to, but I will tell you that the main decision makers for the HERC are all women. When I heard about the categories, I thought it was an interesting way to split up a race. Seeing the results, it is likely that the organizers will at least review this policy for next year. However, claiming ignorance that she didn’t know the categories before entering is not the fault of HERC.

    Zeke knew what he was getting into and did it willingly. And had a great time from what he said to me.

    Nobody involved wanted or wants to discourage women athletes and your portrayal of the organizers as discriminatory is totally wrong. It was a first year event that went off very well, with few exceptions. Are there bugs to iron out? Sure. But is it an embarassment? Hardly.

    Thanks for your constructive criticism.

    John

  3. 3 ARJen 13 August 2007 at 12:25 pm

    Thanks for the write-up, Scott. I entered the race knowing full well about the weight classes and despite knowing that I had no chance of winning a prize. I figured it was my kind of race and it would be fun regardless. I knew I had no chance of placing in part due to the fact that I am not that fast, I would be competing against men and because I would be in the heavier weight class. I joked with my friends that my goal was to be the top woman in the “fatty” division– something I thought I might have a good chance at after a reasonably good run at the Jay Mountain Marathon two weeks earlier (7th female overall). While I joked about the weight divisions, getting on the scale in a room of sub 115-lb women was demoralizing. In a day when so much pressure is placed on women to be thin, I felt punished for being over 132 lbs. When I got out to the course, my legs didn’t have “it” in them and I decided to call it a day and save my legs for another day. I have to admit, however, that I didn’t feel all that motivated to push hard out there without a chance to be ranked against my true peers. I was surprised myself at how strongly this would resonate with me. I even started to come up with conspiracy theories that we were all unknowing participants in a cruel experiment to see how well women would do against men when given the incentive to compete head to head against them. My sour grapes don’t have to do with not winning a prize– I knew going in that I wouldn’t win one. Rather, I simply didn’t feel valued as a female runner and that didn’t really make me feel like pushing.

    Just as Scott said, in the end, of the 12 prizes in two divisions, not a single woman went home with a prize. The women were punished for not being as fast as the men. This is despite some tremendous performances by women like Kelli Lusk, Deb Livingston, Jenny Johnson and others. The ironic thing is that the woman who owns the company devised the weight divisions in an effort to make things MORE equal for woman and men. Her belief is that anytime lines exist that categorize men and women as different (or people by race, religion, etc), they can never be equal. This is a fine argument for social policy, but let’s face it; men and women are not equal when it comes to athletic ability. This is not because women just don’t try hard enough. It’s largely due to very real, not socially constructed, physiological differences. Women have made huge advances in athletics since Title 9 and other advances that have leveled the opportunity for men and women to participate in sports. As more women exercise, train, compete and are encouraged to do, they will improve as a whole. But they are still different. The categories in this race did nothing to encourage women to compete–they discouraged them. If you want to promote equality in racing to women, create equal divisions, courses and prize structures as that which is available to men.

    The HERC Open 2007 is over. While the organizers have given out a ton of prize money already, I would suggest that they devise a plan to reward (in some small way!) those women who raced so well on Sunday. I truly believe that they were not trying to discriminate against women–quite the opposite– but in the end, a category structure was devised that made winning a prize unobtainable for all but perhaps the world’s very top, elite ranked women racers. And what about age? I saw some older runners out there that were simply remarkable. I thought the basis for the race, a steep, mountain speed hiking event, was a great addition to the racing calendar (although I would have liked to see more interesting terrain, like single track hiking trails). If the event is to be a success, it needs to learn from past mistakes and level the playing field for men and women. If they do so, more women will come, and they will bring others with them!

  4. 4 luskelli01 13 August 2007 at 1:07 pm

    Thanks for your comments and observations, Scott. I knew what kind of competition I was entering when I decided to sign up for it about 10 days before the event (using it at a prep race for a big European mountain race), but felt it was really a poor way to recognize performances at a race with this kind of prize money. The ironic part is (to even further show how much the weight categories make absolutely no sense), is that I would have been 6th (and the last money slot!) in the heavyweight division!

    There were a few items that need to be addressed for 2008:
    1. Make sure the weigh-in is accurate. I had some questions about the accuracy of the weigh-in based on my own personal one. I stepped on the scale and it read 114. The guy looked at me and said ‘113.’ Maybe the guy was taking a pound off the reading because the scale wasn’t calibrated correctly, but if categories are being awarded based on weight divisions, than it should be accurate, especially since some of the guys treated this like a high school wrestling meet.

    2. The aid stations for the last ‘five’ miles/second loop were inadequate. During the last few miles, I was overheating and having hydration issues in a big way, despite drinking at every aid station and pouring water on myself throughout the entire race. The race started too late (it should have started at 8am at the latest, especially since the majority of the climbs were on exposed ski runs during peak sun hours). In addition, I had to leave the race course at one point just to grab one cup of water. To avoid heat-related incidences and actually place the emphasis on safety (safety was stressed more than once at the pre-race meeting), the race needs to make sure there are adequate aid stations with at least water and cups available for runners, even if someone isn’t manning it. We can grab it ourselves, but it needs to be available.

    3. Lastly, it was my understanding that the intention wasn’t too discriminate against women, but that’s the way it turned out. The theory about weight class is totally ridiculous and means nothing. Men and women are different athletically and have different body compositions. When was the last time someone got busted for high estrogen levels or having PMS was considered an unfair advantage?…

  5. 5 uphillsneaker 13 August 2007 at 1:28 pm

    Interesting to read this. Looking at the results, it is very disappointing to see that the inevitable happened, and the men cleaned up every crumb. If even Kelli Lusk wasn’t in the money, the weight system sure didn’t work, and sure was unfair. The herc website tries to explain why they did it this way, comparing gender division to racial discrimination.

    Nice try, but dividing by gender works just fine in our sport (which, by the way, is called ‘trail running’ or ‘mountain running’, not ‘speed hiking’). And even if the field happened to be all one gender, dividing by weight is dangerous…many runners tend to be weight obsessed already, and don’t need this kind of added pressure to ‘make weight’ if they think they’d do better at a lower class.

    I think the purse was way too high for this race anyway. It changes the sport, and should be left to more knowing hands.

  6. 6 ARJen 13 August 2007 at 3:46 pm

    One additional comment… I had the chance to have lunch at the same table as Kelli Lusk and the Herc president, Martine. I brought up the categories and asked if it would be done the same way. I really wanted to explore the topic with Martine and I knew an elite runner like Kelli would be a great addition to the conversation. Martine explained her rational (summarized in my previous post) but admitted that she felt the weight cut-off was too high. Perhaps, she agreed, it should have been lower… maybe 125 lbs. ,so that most elite women would not competing against the men. While that weight would probably be difficult to obtain by most men, therefore helping the majority of the women, for women like me, it would just mean that I would be competing against more men! Like Uphillsneaker said, the gender divisions work just fine in our sport!

  7. 7 uphillsneaker 13 August 2007 at 4:14 pm

    Interesting, ARJen.

    Unbelievable, so her “fix” for the situation is to drop the weight threshold to 125 and then have more people starving themselves to get under. If her goal is to find the weight that balances out men and women, why not just have, geez, I don’t know, GENDER divisions maybe??

    This woman really needs to grab a clue and leave the sport alone. She’s trying to fix a problem that just isn’t there, and instead is creating them!

  8. 8 ARJen 13 August 2007 at 4:59 pm

    The message below is from Dave Hannon. He asked me to forward it to this blog:

    Scott:
    Great post here–ARJen passed it on. My two cents from, I think, a unique perspective in the eye of the storm: I spoke with everyone I could after the race (You, Deb, Jen, Kelli) about how it played out and got their opinions and thoughts (I’m a journalist by trade, so it’s what I do in these situations).

    I was one of the guys taking the money in the lower weight class and I agree it was a strange and unfair way of setting up the rules and performances by women across the board were overlooked in this format. (Note the RunVermont person giving out the awards went out of her way to mention Kelli by name as a gesture and, I think, a sign that she didn’t agree with it, but obviously their hands were somewhat tied.) I think we’re all agreed that it didn’t work, even those that came out on the winning end realize it.

    But all of this aside–it does bring up an interesting question and perhaps it’s the reason Martine organized tge race that way:
    Is there a non-gender specific way of awarding prizes that makes it more fair? Is there a way to do it right so that men women and children are all competing for the top prize?

    We’re certainly conditioned by tradition to splitting things up by gender, but perhaps Martine was just trying to get us to question tradition and historic norms? I think we’d all agree this “experiment” didn’t work well (again, I say that as one on the winning end of this thing) but maybe it’s this discussion we’re having that was the goal.

    I don’t think dropping the weight level down is the answer–while it likely would have worked in this situation (would have bumped me and Ben out, I know for a fact and brought Kelli and Deb into the money) I really don’t think that’s the right “message” to send especially to female runners. Thin=win.

    What’s the answer then? Is there a non-gender, non-weight method of awarding prize money? Maybe if we can come up with one and pitch it to Martine for next year’s race it would be the event she imagined and make it MORE fair for women? Make it a true competition between everyone? (Instead of the usual Kelli and Paul walking away with top honors in their respective divisions, it would be Kelli VS. Paul for top honors OVERALL–imagine it!)

    Just my two cents. Send hatemail to Ttroll71@aol.com.
    -Dave Hannon

  9. 9 steele66 9 January 2008 at 8:53 pm

    Wow, how the heck did I miss this back August.

    Well, here’s another perspective from the back of the back.
    I did the long course as well. I DNF’d. Made it back to the starting line but missed the cut off time. This was my first trail race EVER ! What a way to start, but I wanted to push myself hard.
    I have gained some weight the last few years and wanted to see just how pathetic I had become. Still very active, former collegiate cross country runner, age grouper triathlete, very compeitive during those years. So I have been hiking a lot lately and doing some light running so I figured what the heck. I knew I was going to be in for a long day when I heard at the race meeting “this course is the toughest course east of the Mississippi”. I laughed it off when the race volunteer who was doing the sign up sheets asked me if I was doing the short or long course and when he said long, said “you are crazy, you are never gonna make it”…fair enough, my 240lb frame (5’10”) deserves that kinda jab.

    I said, it’s fine, I am gonna try it anyway. First off, thank GOD, I did not preregister. The preregister fee was $90 and for that kinda cake, with my like I would have sprained my ankle in the days up to the race, so I figured I would sign up when I got there..wich I did. Luckily for me, at race day sign up, the fee had magically dropped to $50.00. Great news for me, but I would have been pissed off if I was one of those that paid the $90. The decrease in fee may have been due to the fact that there were a lot o no shows.

    I can only assume that the turnout was somewhat for 3 main reasons.

    1. The $90 fee is a bit steep for the weekend warrior (at least you thought it was going to be $90).

    2. The course was advertized as a brutal course and I think it was..that may have kept some away.

    3. The prize money/weight category blunder.

    First of all, speaking to the first post on this blog, potentially thinking that some of the other sponsors were anti-women or supported some sort of gender bias is a freaking joke. The EMS folk probably had little or no idea about how the prize money was going to be distributed, nor would that be something they would normally get involved with. The race was a “First time” even put on by a company that DOES NOT DO races…..so they made a few blunders.
    Hopefully they will learn.

    Most sane, well educated folk, come to accept and even embrace the fact that men and women are NOT equal in certain types of athletic events. Anything where speed and strength are a huge factor, there is going to be a male advantage. Cycling, running, swimming, etc….
    The only athletic events where a woman has an equal shot at beating the top man is perhaps bowling, pool, etc. Something were SKILL is more of a factor, not strength. Even when they let the top women golfers play in the men’s event…they don’t do well (compared to the top men). This has been an accepted fact for years..why the organizers at Herc wanted to challenge or experiment with this is comical. I would be mad to if I was a women that would have cashed in, if she finished like she did at Herc at a regular type event with conventional price money categories.

    The reason the prize money was so big was simply a marketing ploy…they just wanted their name out there, to generate a little buzz for the company. If that cost them $25 grand, that is a drop in the hat to most marketing budgets. It obviously was NOT to try to attract elite top runners from around the country….look at the finishers…only a few out of staters. It was for marketing reasons, so don’t get too bogged down on trying to discet their motivations…Herc was not being gender bias at all…I think they just screwed up the prize money distribution cuz the organizers are new to game…..a little wet behind the ears……newbies, that’s all.

    Now, back to the course. Yes, I saw most of the people who took that wrong turn where the short and long course went in different directions. The little paper plates were CLEARLY marked if you had any sort of experience with cross country running..it pointed an arrow that said “1st loop, long course and had an arrow”..and the other plate said “2nd loop, short course” or something like that and pointed a different direction. I thought it was obvious and MOST people went the right way. But when some of the front runners make the mistake, then people just follow them without thinking…..one BIG suggestion for next year though would be to simply put a volunteer stationed at this spot….having people go off course is pretty much the biggest fault a race can have…don’t make that mistake twice. Again, most had no problem, but I think at least 20 people went off course and if ONE goes off course, it’s too many.
    Put a freaking person there…don’t let it happen again.

    For those who took the wrong course, it was a BRUTAL mistake..the hilly terrain was comical. At one point I almost fell backwards.

    I too was hoping it would be more fire roads, etc..and less ski slopes..basically they took a tractor and mowed about a 4 foot space up and down the ski slopes…..I did enjoy the course though and will be back next year with better training behind me.

    I thought the aid stations were adequate and had no problems.
    There were TONS of flies on the course, I did not expect that.

    One thing that kinda bugged me though is that on the website and race application it said there was a 6 hour cut off to be an official finisher… then at race day , they changed that to you had to be back at the starting line (about mile 12) in 4 hours…so they changed the cut off time the day of the race. For those of us whose goal was to simply FINISH…that was a kick in the face..you can’t do that.

    Overall I had a good time, was a bit dissapointed I did not finish, but I gave it my all on that particular day. Now I know what that course delivers are far as elevation gain/terrain is concerned and will train harder this coming year.
    I will be back for sure.

    Definitely fix the weight category fiasco, drop the entry fee down to about $50 and make sure no mistakes on the course can occur.

    Looking at the finish list, compared to the starting line, I would say about 25 people DNF’d. That eased the pain just a tad to be able to swallow my own DNF….but I will be back with a vengence next year.

    I think the original poster had to much of a conspiracy hat on though….the organizers of the race were amateuers and made some planning errors….nothing more then that…..the fact that they ponied up 25 large in prize money did not change the fact that they were still newbies as far as organizers are concerned.

    …oh and to the lady that felt self concious getting on a scale at the race…I would agree with you if we were at a fashion show or tea party…..but at a running/trail race, your fellow runners were NOT chasticing you under their breath or behind your back…you have been around these sort of people in your other racers…runners are not that sort of ilk. You know that. That was a weak argument.
    Because the organizers already goofed on putting in weight classes, they had to be consistent with the goof by at least making sure they put people in the right category. Come on now, you said you finished 7th in the women’s division at some other prestegious race not too long ago…..I can guarantee that you destroyed many other women who weighed less then you…..you should not have been so distraught about getting on scale in front of “these” type of people, your own kind. Besides, they told you on the website and race application there would be a weigh in.

    ..looking forward to next year.

    Problem is, I have absolutely ZERO hills/mountains within 50 miles of me that would simulate anything close to what I endured at Herc…but I will have to make due.

  10. 10 steele66 9 January 2008 at 9:12 pm

    wow, is their going to be a race next year even?
    The company website is gone !!!

    …it was http://www.buyherc.com

    ..it’s a dead link now.

  11. 11 steele66 10 January 2008 at 10:00 am

    Just emailed the company today.

    The Herc Vitality drink mix is off the market and has been discontinued..the website is down……and the company assured me there would be NO Herc Open this coming year.

    ..guess it was one and done, too bad, I liked the race.

  12. 12 jstover33 27 January 2008 at 5:40 pm

    Those of us administering Pennyslvania’s Bald Eagle Mountain Megatransect followed the Herc race since it got New York Times coverage. Guess that is what 25k in prize money buys you.

    Anyway, for those interested in what we think is an exceptional trail run/endurance hike check us out at http://www.ultrahike.com. We have a cut off 600 persons this year (up from 500 last year). We filled up last year and already are at 100 for an event in October!

    Check out the blogs about the Megatransect. I don’t need to give you a sales job. We already have 14 states represented for ’08, but few from north of us n central PA. Check it out and give it try. If you do, you will be back.

    Prizes? We have lots to give away – randomly. All finishers get a medal. Last year we had long-sleeve Asics performance shirts. We might do sweatshirts this year.

    Free beer too…

  13. 13 jstover33 27 January 2008 at 6:08 pm

    Forgot to mention the Hyner View Trail Challenge April 19th near Renovo, PA. A superb event too organized by many of the same people that keep the Megatransect going.

    See: http://www.hikerun.com/index.html

  14. 14 jstover33 27 January 2008 at 6:12 pm

    for some reason the Megatransect web link is not working right.

    try: http://www.ultrahike.com/home.htm

  15. 15 hynerview 1 April 2008 at 6:19 pm

    I have to agree with jstover on this one. 25K can’t buy you a good trail event. I am the race director of the Hyner View Trail Challenge in PA. Last year was our first year and we saw 432 runners toe the line. No money, no big gifts, or even age groups. This year we have 652 signed up and we even had to cut registration off a month early. 14 states, Canada, and Germany are represented plus our reigning champ from Boulder, CO. True trailruuners fueled by passion, not GREED, come to our events. Trailrunning is about singletrack, rugged, steep paths that cross streams and take you to awesome vistas. When did the “road running” virus infiltrate trail events? There not about money, cutting weight, or getting your stupid name on a plaque. It’s about grinding it out on a tough course and then sitting around with a burger in one hand and a brew in the other while recovering with fellow trailrunners. Just ask Dick Vincent of the Escarpment Race in the Catskills. A true trail event without the extras. And he fills up every year. I would put any trail event by Vincent, Ron Horn, Jeff Stover, or the PA Trail Dogs up against any other east coast trail race. They offer some of the most difficult courses, feed you well, and don’t rob you of $90. And by the sounds of it, they have more true trailrunners on the course.

  16. 16 SL 2 April 2008 at 7:14 am

    I’m glad to see that the HERC trail race debacle is still generating reactions. Yes, the true trail race season kicks off this Saturday in New England. The Grand Tree Series opener is Northern Nipmuck. It is 16 miles of rugged single-track starting and finishing at Bigelow Hollow State Park in Union, CT. It is all about the running.

    http://www.runwmac.com


  1. 1 More North Face Endurance Challenge Thoughts « Life Adventures Trackback on 15 April 2008 at 9:47 pm

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@trailrunningmom led another successful #Yoga at #Sunset for the #boltonlandtrust This year's venue was the #BoltonHeritageFarm It's been a tradition to move to a new spot each time. I got my first #cyclocross ride of the year in too! #yogini #yogi #shavasana Sightseeing on my second favorite road in #Connecticut #grassyhill #cycling #bicycle #sevencycles #horstengineering Camp was swell! @thecubscouts @boyscoutsofamerica #cubscouts #boyscouts #junenorcrosswebster I visited the new HQ of the @appalachianmountainclub that is under construction at 10 City Square in #Charlestown I had to ride by the #BunkerHill Monument at the end of the #FreedomTrail #Boston #sevencycles First time at the People's Forest Trail Race since 2011. This first image is the look of a dejected man who lost 25 minutes with a wrong turn on a big descent. That's costly in an 11 kilometer race. Even worse is that @trailrunningmom is the one who led him (and two other runners) off course! They survived. It was a nice day on the #FarmingtonRiver. #trailrunning #teamhorstsports #shenipsitstriders 🏃🏻⛰🏆 Another great #sunset at #windingtrails Two distant pre-swim thunderclaps turned the race into a #Duathlon which suited me just fine! It's nice to not come into T1 with a two minute deficit. #Triathlon #mountainbiking #trailrunning #teamhorstsports Once again, @trailrunningmom took the cookie prize for winning the special summit competition at the finish line of the #shenipsitstriders #SoapstoneAssault Here is a picture of a picture of myself taking a picture. @cwoodside59 put together a nice piece for the @ctforestandparkassociation quarterly. I'm looking forward to my next #carfreecommute #selfie #bicycle #windingtrails Kid's #Triathlon

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