March 2016 Newsletter

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March 2016

Hello and a Happy Birthday to #TrailsRoc. We turn 4 in just a few short days. From a simple meeting at Red Robin to 5 races, 3 weekly group runs, an app, and a dedicated trail work and volunteer crew, this organization has grown leaps and bounds in these 4 short years.

If you asked me what my favorite #TrailsRoc moment was I would have an almost impossible time deciding. From a crew of us hiking an aid station up Greek Peak mountain for the Virgil Crest Ultra aid station to the “Sea of Orange” that we have noticed at many local trail races to the board meetings that have gone hours too long because we are laughing and drinking together or to the early morning runs with headlamps and ice beards, how could I pick just one memory? The common theme across all of it though has been community.

When we started this organization we had no idea what to expect, we just wanted to talk about trail running, but the theme that has become the most important to us through all of this is you. Our community. In the past few years we have seen an explosion of trail runners in Rochester and many of you have been at group runs, competed in our races, or cleaned/built trails with us. This community would not be the same without all of your stories, your triumphs and yes, even your failures.

We have something special here in Rochester. Out of town runners always tell me this. They ask how we did it. How can they do it. Why is it so awesome here? I just respond and say we didn’t, you did. So thank you. Join us Sunday March 6th for our 4th birthday run. We will supply different pace leaders, great trails, and even some amazing cake. Sunday March 6th – 9am at Kreag Road Park. We will run some of the 0SPF course and have a chance to tell stories and hear from you what your favorite #TrailsRoc memory is!

Thanks for an amazing 4 years – Let’s bring on the future.


Eric and the #TrailsRoc crew


Clean up: 

Our first scheduled trail work of the year is at Pick Up The Parks day. Saturday April 23rd. We could really use a large crew so get it on your schedule!

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 the website.

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 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 in the park.
  2. Durand Eastman Park host to our Winter trail running kick off and completion picnics as well as home to some Orienteering events and a 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 AND shirt orders are open and this event does sell out

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

#TrailsRoc: The App:  Updates coming soon! Stay tuned!

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 with GPX or comments.




Chris has not only run some of the premier races in the area, he also is responsible for creating and running Rochester’s premier podcast, RUNNING INSIDE OUT. Please give it a listen. You can find out about his podcast at Here Chris shares what the trail community means to him

Trail running… running on trails… it’s funny, there aren’t many trails back in Buffalo. I ran from downtown to the waterfront a lot. I ran around Delaware park quite a bit. Nary a thought that I should be doing it in the woods.
When I came to Rochester I didn’t run at all. For like 10 years. Then I did run. One of them, “Flip a switch, enough sitting, get up and do something” decisions. And I began training for a marathon. 16 weeks of training through the summer, on the roads, by myself. Not sure what kept me running after that marathon, but it certainly wasn’t my love of the training cycle!
Eventually, something changed and I found myself in Black Creek park. Maybe I was running trails… maybe I was just finishing ‘nature walks’ at a little bit quicker pace. I don’t really remember. But I was enjoying the woods and realizing that we had a ton of great parks here.
My first trail race was during that marathon training cycle. It was the Dam Good Trail Run, put on by the Fabulous Fanton sisters Doreen and Michele. Of course, I didn’t know them to be fabulous when I signed up, but their website showed their race to be pretty fun and the location in Letchworth was unbeatable. And actually, I guess my first real interactions with any trail runners was at the Dam Good preview run a few weeks before the actual race. I didn’t really know what to expect as I was going at this myself. I had 14 miles on my training plan, so what the heck. When I arrived, it seemed like a lot of people at the preview run knew each other. The run was a pretty easy affair with a lot of chatter happening from front to back of the various clusters of runners. Not knowing anyone, I sort of kept to myself and made a little quip here or there, but not intruding on conversations among friends. As we progressed through the 2.5 hours, I learned that some people knew each other and others were there by themselves, just like me. After the run, people stayed and hung out with each other. People mingled, shared stories, snacks, and drinks whether they knew each other previously or had just met on that run.
Each following trail run, Medved Thursdays at first, random Facebook weekend runs and ultimately Trail Trots, was similar… first time runners mixing right in with regulars, 20somethings chatting with 50somethings, guys and girls effortlessly talking without pretense. Friendships were being made right in front of me! People always had interesting stories to share. It seemed like runs weren’t long enough and post-run hang outs ended to soon. There were lots of people to catch up with and lots of stories to hear. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I started running ultras.
But that kind of friendship and camaraderie is definitely why I started Running Inside Out Podcast. While we might have a few minutes on the trail, or time for drink and a stretch after the run, sometimes are stories are longer. Every runner has a story to tell and selfishly, I wanted to hear them all in great detail. And I thought that others might want to as well. That each runner’s story can be recorded, shared and woven into a greater story of our running community has provided more joy than I expected.
Damn, Rochester is a great place to run.




This shot by Mandy Applin showcases the FLT Letchworth Branch. It really was taken recently. Evidence that our winter has been a trail runner’s dream.


-Monthly Musings from Colonel Valone-

Hello TrailsRoc members, 

So march is here which means spring is upon us. This is the time of year that running on trails can prove to be a considerable challenge. The transitions between seasons can bring  ice, mud, snow and sun which can all combine to slow us down. Come on out for our group runs if you need some extra motivation. I myself have needed that motivation to get out, even with the mild temperatures. That’s where this great group comes in. We as a community have some of the most positive and helpful runners you will ever meet. Please don’t let the weather deter you from joining us.

There is an upside to this weather in that our course at Mess The Dress promises to be as muddy and wonderful as always. This year we have partnered with Willow Domestic Violence Center.  All of the proceeds from our race will be going to support women in need in our own community. We appreciate your support and can’t wait to see everyone at the event. If you haven’t signed up yet, hurry, it sells out every year! Please consider purchasing a race shirt as all proceeds go to our ever important trail work.

Other than the usual events that we put on, we also are celebrating our fourth birthday. This is an exciting time for me personally to be involved with an organization that not only is dear to me, but is also growing by leaps and bounds. Hope to see you soon and hear what you are excited about as we usher in another spring!

Thank you ,