January/February 2016 Newsletter

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Just like that we have been whisked into a new year. 2015 was an amazing year for us and we are excited to get a move on 2016 with all of you. There will however be a few major changes coming to #TrailsRoc this year.

HBO has stepped down as our SAS Coordinator. We will miss her leadership greatly but we are excited to announce that Amy Lopata is ready to take the torch and run with it. Literally.

Join our 3 weekly group runs. Trail Trots – Wednesday Morning Crew and SAS. Always free. Always fun.

In the coming year we will be forgoing most of our corporate sponsorships as we return to our roots as a true community organization. Runners, running with runners. We don’t want our mission and goals distracted by obligations to corporations, swag, or bottom lines. We want to run with you.

We are bringing you the Trail Runner Of the Year series again and we are stoked to join you on some of these great local trail races.

With all of these going on we will continue to build and fix the trails you love to run. Please join us and volunteer at a trail work day.

We will offer you 5 races again this year. Mess The Dress, 0 SPF, Mighty Mosquito, Ready Set Glow, and The Winter Trail Festival.

When we announced WTF 3 years ago, we wanted to make a race as affordable as possible for you. We decided a dollar per mile was a great price. Then we sat, crunched some numbers and we decided on something better. Zero dollars per mile.

That’s right. If you sign up for WTF in December – We won’t charge you. Not one penny. Not a processing fee, not a user fee. Nothing. All we ask is you show up and have fun!

So 2016 is here. another polar vortex is on the way – We can’t think of a better group of people to share these trails with and we can’t wait to follow your journey on the trails in 2016
Eric and the #TrailsRoc crew


Clean up:

We are busy taking care of Black Creek and Durand Eastman parks – We encourage you to get out in the parks near you and clear some debris. Make it easier to run, navigate, and enjoy. Look for our trail work days to be setup soon via Facebook.

We have partnered with the county and adopted 2 parks and will be announcing major projects in both of them:

  1. Black Creek Park host of Mess The Dress, Cast A Shadow, a new Dirt Cheap and a few XC races. We have already designed some beautiful new single track that we use in our races and we are sure you will use in future events n the park. Stay tuned for work days coming up

  2. Durand Eastman Park host to our Winter trail running kick off and completion picnics as well as home to this years Dirt Cheap. We have assessed the sustainability of trails at Durand – Rerouted a few trails and have planned a major trail building project to add miles of new single track in one of the most scenic parks in the county.

Both of these parks are vulnerable to overuse and/or poor trail use etiquette. Please remember to stay on trail, especially during races, and consider joining us as we repair damaged trails, build new sustainable trails, and create parks you will love to be in for years to come!
Group Runs: Always fun – Always free!

Tuesday Trail Trots – 6:00PM. An easy 4-5 miles. You should be able to run 4-5 miles consistently and we will lead you through the parks. We always have at least 2 pace groups available. Check our website for more details.

Wednesday Morning Runs- 6:00AM. We will post the schedule on our facebook page each week and the website is updated as we go.

SAS – Slow and Steady – These runs are on Sundays and are for those who are just learning to run. We go, as the name says, Slow and Steady. Check the website for times and updates.


Mess The Dress: On April 9th take on our 3rd annual Mess The Dress trail run. Runners get fancy to get muddy on this 5 mile (or 1 mile fun run) All proceeds from this event will go to the Willow Domestic Violence Center here in Rochester to prevent domestic violence and ensure every survivor has access to the services and supports needed along the journey to a safe and empowered life. Help us help others and have the most fun you have ever had at a race!!

Registration is open and this event does sell out http://www.trailsroc.org/messthedress

Mighty Mosquito Trail Relay and Ultra : On August The Mighty Mosquito is simple really – 30 Teams of 6 runners (or a limited few solo runners) will tackle a 3 loop course with each runner running each loop once. You will run trails the entire time -You will camp with your friends -You will listen to great music -We are planning on a showing of a trail running film festival at night -You will have as much fun as you have had at any relay before -Teams are already registering!!!!!!

Registration is open at http://www.trailsroc.org/relay/

#TrailsRoc: The App: An android version now available and fully updated – We know plenty of iphone users have found the app to be extremely easy to use and often very helpful!

Know a good trail that is not in our database? Send us your GPX data and allow others to share that trail with you. Contact TrailsRoc@Gmail.com with GPX or comments.






Anne, while fairly new to our trail community, has already become a welcome addition to our group runs and races. Here she shares what got her into trail running, and what the community means to her personally :


Why do I run?

I started “running” a few years ago at the age of 48.  I know, kind of late, but every runner has a story, don’t they?  I am no different.

I had never wanted to run, as a matter of fact, I couldn’t imagine why people liked it.  Growing up, I did compete in track (sprinting and hurdles), but never “cross-country” or long distance.  Gross.  I also played volleyball for a very long time, from the age of 13 until maybe 40 when I was no longer able to rely on my serve and was side-lined (awful).    So…busy raising my kids and trying to maintain a blended family household took most of my time between 40 and 48.  In the back of my mind, I was still an athlete, but in reality, I wasn’t feeling much like one anymore.  Unfortunately, I was losing the battle of a blended family and second marriage, my mom was succumbing to vascular dementia and I was struggling to find peace.  So, I decided I was going to run.  Why not, I have 2 feet, right?

I made it about a block.  Sucking wind and looking at my lame 3 year old sneakers, I couldn’t believe it.  I couldn’t run!  What?? But, I’m an athlete! Aren’t I?  Hah.

At that very moment, walking back to my house, head hung lung and feeling diminished, I saw my neighbor.  Now this young mother of at least 3 toddlers at the time was a runner ( she now has 4!).  She and her husband had recently taken up running and never seemed happier.  I told her of my running woes, and she lite up like a candle and encouraged me to try the “couch to 5 k method”.  I thought, a fad, I hate those things…but, maybe I will try it.  I offered my thanks but wasn’t feeling too optimistic.

So, I reluctantly looked up this “couch to 5k” thing…and since it was free and it seemed like a logical approach to running a 5 k in 6 weeks, I decided to give it a go.  Of course, I would get up and run at 5:15 in the morning so no one could actually “SEE” me trying to run.  This course with the walk a bit, run a bit, time yourself was actually pretty awesome.  I was running!  I remember running my first mile, my first 3 miles and crying the day I turned the corner on my road when I first reached 5 miles.  Something I NEVER thought I could do.  Now, it wasn’t a full-blown tear fest, but I did actually have a few tears come down my face when I reached that milestone.  I was so incredibly happy and amazed.  And, I started to run outside, in the DAYTIME, when people could actually see me run.

For the first 3 years, I ran alone, listening to music, mostly canal path running.  It was good.  It was alright.  A neighbor had asked me to try a trail run with her, she said it would make a faster road runner and that is was fun.  We parked at Garnsey and she took me and another neighbor lady runner onto the Crescent trail up the backside of Chair hill to the church and back.  OMG, why did I ever do that?  What a dirty trick, she knew I couldn’t do hills.  Back to the canal and headphones.

Twitter enters into the picture.  Ben Murphy has a great twitter page.  I started following him and his posts of trail running.  I also had talked to another male friend who actually liked running trails at night with a headlamp on!  What a nut!!   Then…it happened.  Ben had an free bib for the 0SPF last summer and posted it on twitter.  I hadn’t done a half marathon yet, so why not do it on a trail?  Are you still reading this?  I threw my hat in ring, and “won”!!  LOL.

To prep, I metup with Ben and the WMC for a couple of runs at 6 am on lovely summer mornings.  Phew, this was tough, and no music!  I loved it.  HBO was usually there with Ginger and she encouraged me to keep it up and taught me how to run down the hills like popeye.  What a great group of people I thought.  This was awesome!  So, the 0SPF came,  I was not really prepared for that long of a distance and those hills, and talk about dirty trick!!  The power lines at the end!  But, I DID IT!!  I finished in 3 hours and something like 40 minutes.  It wasn’t pretty.  But I came back, and I keep coming back.

For me, running gives me an inner peace and relaxation I can’t find any other way.  Sometimes on runs, like this past weekend, with a group, I will hear “ Are you okay ,you’re quiet?”…  I am fine, I am listening, I am at peace.  I am happy.  I am a runner.


This photo by Lisa Valone showcases the overlook of Harriet Hollister Park, site of Goose Adventure Racing’s annual Frozen Assets Race




Monthly Musings from Colonel Valone

Hello TrailsRoc members,

The new year means different things to us all. Some find it a way to begin again, to establish a new routine and set new goals. I like to look at a new year as a renewal of sorts and not as a chance to set resolutions that,in all honesty, I was never very good at keeping. However, if I look at this season as a time to recommit, then I believe I will be more successful. Recommitting to what I hold dear in my life, including this great organization and community. Instead of prattling on and repeating what Eric has said so well above, I want to just encourage you to check out our new website, join a group run , or sign up for a race. Reaching out is all that you need to do. The rest will fall into place for you. Thank you for being a part of something so very special.