2013 Cayuga Trails 50

Saturday’s inaugural Cayuga Trails 50 was a really good event. We made the trip to Ithaca, New York so that Debbie could run the 50 mile trail race. The start/finish was at Robert H. Treman State Park, which was our home for the weekend. We drove up on Friday afternoon and camped 1/4 mile from the finish line, which was about as convenient as it gets.

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The race made use of the trails in the park and near the park. The course wound its way through several aid stations multiple times. The start/finish was blessed with an amazing playscape, so our kids and about a dozen other children were suitably entertained.

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For a first time race, Cayuga was promoted and produced very well. In 2014, this race will be the USATF 50 Mile Trail Championships. Race Director Ian Golden also promotes the Virgil Crest Ultras, so he is no rookie when it comes to holding a big event. He and his team of volunteers did a fine job of putting on Cayuga. He brought in loads of sponsors, which permitted an uncharacteristically large prize list for an ultramarathon. It wasn’t all slick production. He instilled some character in the race and even started the runners by blowing through a ram’s horn.

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That prize list attracted some top talent on both the men’s and women’s side. Part of the prize list was fueled by a grant from the local tourism board, which was a nice touch. It is great to see trail-blessed communities promoting trail running. Debbie wasn’t in the money, but I still support the prizes for those who were. The race still had the requisite apple pie prizes, but a little cash always helps a trail runner’s budget.

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Debbie struggled mightily, but kept plugging along and got to the finish in just under 10 hours. It was an emotionally and physically draining day for me with responsibility for both of our kids and crewing duties. I love to see her run up front, but she and I are both learning that juggling family, work, community, and athletic responsibilities is a challenge. I hit my 40 last year and she is approaching hers in 18 months and the days of focusing solely on sports are long gone. No excuses for either of us…I’m really proud that she found her way to the finish line, though I know she was hoping for better legs on a big day.

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The men’s race was very competitive with Sage Canaday winning in 6:47. He was followed by Matt Flaherty, Jordan McDougal, Brian Rusiecki, and Yassine Diboun. There were several other notables in the top 10, including long time friend and New England runner, Ben Nephew. In the women’s race, Kristina Folcik had yet another breakout performance, winning in 8:23 and finishing 12th overall. She was followed by Sandi Nypaver, Amy Rusiecki, Jessica Snyder, and Jacqueline Palmer.

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I was really impressed with Kristina’ s effort. She pushed hard and took over the lead when Cassie Scallon slowed after suffering what appeared to be a hamstring injury. Overall, I was impressed with all of the runners. There were some awesome age group performances right on up to 60+.

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The day dawned damp and muggy after heavy rain on Friday. It rained on and off throughout Saturday’s race and sections of the trails were waterlogged. The race had more than 10,000 feet of elevation gain and there was a mix of hard packed trail, rough paved trails, and rugged singletrack. Debbie said that the surface and terrain wasn’t as challenging as she expected, but it was still a tough course. The results show 133 of 164 runners finished.

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In addition to seeing Debbie at the start/finish (North Shelter Aid Station), we saw her at the Underpass Aid Station, Buttermilk Falls Aid Station, and Old Mill Aid Station. The race was a good one to spectate and the scenery was beautiful. I didn’t get deep onto the trails during the race, but on Deb’s recommendation, I got up early yesterday morning and ran the section of trail between North Shelter and Old Mill. That section on the Gorge Trail took runners past the impressive Lucifer Falls. It was spectacular.

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We saw a lot of friends this weekend and it was fun to hang out. Ryan Welts was crewing for Kristina, and we saw him at several aid stations. It was nice to catch up with him. Anthony Eisley was crewing for his wife, Carly, and it was nice talking to him. We hadn’t seen Amy and Brian Rusiecki in a while. Gary Hebert was there from the Shenipsit Striders. I got to meet Meghan Hicks in person. She was covering the event for www.irunfar.com. Last month, she spoke with Debbie and me via phone from her home in Utah as part of a project she is working on for Trail Runner Magazine.

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Meghan is a native up upstate New York and she came out to support this event. She spoke on a panel of ultrarunners as part of pre-race festivities that started earlier last week. We also got to hang out with our friend, Kelly Wilson. She met us in downtown Ithaca on Friday night at the race check in, then joined us for dinner at the Moosewood Restaurant. We had only been there once before, on a previous trip to Ithaca for the Finger Lakes Fifties. We had another great vegan meal.

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Yesterday morning, after my run, and more time at the playground, we took our kids back up to the Old Mill. We checked it out and learned all about the hydro-powered grain milling process from 150 years ago. Then, we did a loop that included the Rim Trail and Gorge Trail. We wanted to show the kids the mighty Lucifer Falls. They had a blast, and it helped that it was warm and sunny. After the hike, we loaded up the van and stopped back in downtown Ithaca. We had lunch and a monster dessert at Waffle Frolic, and then did some window shopping at a toy store. The road trip back to Connecticut was a relatively uneventful five-hour drive. All in all, it was another fun weekend.

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Thanks again to all of the volunteers and congratulations to the runners who tamed a new and difficult course.

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Race Results

Printroom Photos

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@thecubscouts #pinewoodderby never gets old. Pack 157 Bolton, Connecticut #cubscouts So that little injury caused by my @renocxnats crash on Saturday afternoon wasn’t so little after all. It’s a broken leg (fibula). Prognosis is good, but it hurts like heck. My blog post report with blow by blow details is linked in my profile. #cxnats #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #crossisboss - - -

This #lifedeathcyclocross stuff is true!!!! I crashed out of the Singlespeed Championship @renocxnats (on the dreaded off-camber) but not before having more fun. @artroti43 raced on the frosty course ❄️ at day break. 🚴🏽 We met a lot more @horsteng #crossspikes customers. I hung with little bunny hopper 🐰 Miles, the Junior 11-12 year old Silver Medalist.🥈I cheered for Nic, who represented @the_ccap in the Junior 15-16 age group. @sportstert and Iva came down from Tahoe to cheer LOUDLY for me. 🎺 I got my badly sprained ankle taped and iced. I had a beer. 🍺 I’m even looking forward to my red eye flight home ✈️ . Best of all, I’ll see @trailrunningmom and the kids on Sunday. I can’t explain the sensation, but despite the pain, I’m ready for next #Cyclocross season to begin... after some rest. #teamhorstsports #cxnats #horstengineering @parkavebikeshop #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross #crossiscoming You could say that at least for this week, I’m married to my #bicycle - - -

@renocxnats #cxnats @seven_cycles #sevencycles #teamhorstsports #horstengineering #crossspikes @horsteng #chapelofthebells #Cyclocross #lifedeathcyclocross Good day representing @horsteng at @renocxnats in the 45-49 age group. It’s a great course. The wind was blowing hard, but the sun finally came out. I’m happy with 37th place but should have made a move to get to 29th, which was 30 seconds ahead. That’s a long way when you are going flat out and cramping. 4,500 foot elevation was a factor. I’m disappointed that they cut one lap of my race when I wasn’t close to getting lapped by the leaders. You train this hard and come all this way; and you want to get the most racing for the $ and time invested. They only let 25 riders do the full six laps. The only positive to come out of that was that I watched fellow New Englander @adammyerson execute a perfect final sprint to win the Stars and Stripes again. Teammate @artroti43 had a good ride too. 
@seven_cycles #sevencycles #horstengineering #teamhorstsports @bicycleseastct #crossspikes #cxnats #renocxnats #Cyclocross #crossisboss @therichardsachs didn’t have the race he hoped for but it was still great to see him @renocxnats and “pit” for him. He said he officially started his second off season, but first of 2018. @artroti43 and I played soigneur/mechanic for 90 minutes, but minus the massage! atmo #renocxnats #richardsachs #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #hauteframebuilding #Cyclocross #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross I previously hadn’t published this image, but it recently received an Honorable Mention in the 2017 @appalachianmountainclub Photo Contest for the People Outdoors category. Check out my blog (link in profile) for the interesting story of his photo (shot with this iPhone 6s), a trip report from this amazing Maine adventure, and past contest history. I love this image of two of my favorite women. I’m barred from submitting images to the 2018 contest, but I’ll be back in 2019. #appalachianmountainclub #baxterstatepark #katahdin Congratulations to Master Park, the Park Family, and the entire team at Park’s U.S. #Taekwondo at the Grand Opening of the new facility in the former VFW building. Our kids love it! So much better than being next door to the pawn shop and liquor store.😊#tkd 🇺🇸🇰🇷 This morning, the @trinitycollege Main Quad was bathed in beautiful sunshine ☀️but it was frigid and the wind was blowing! ❄️ The chapel was packed with an overflow crowd to celebrate the (shortened) life of a lovely friend. She will be missed. #circleoflife 🌏

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