May 2016 Newsletter

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May 2016

We are full on into trail running season and I could not be more excited. Some of the regions best races have happened or will be happening in the next few weeks and months. It is encouraging to see so many runners joining us on the trails to race and train.

Sharing the woods with you and learning your stories as you add to the vibrant community that we are a part of has left me refreshed after each run together. With the pressures of life around us, it is important sometimes to just put things aside, hit the dirt for a few miles and return to your regularly scheduled life refreshed and ready to tackle the days ahead.

Many of you have given me exactly what I needed on the days when I needed it most and we here at #TrailsRoc hope that we can offer you that same experience. Join us at our always free group runs, check out our races, and compete with us in the TROY series.

The TROY series standings have been updated. This year we have included a masters category for you and can’t wait to see how it plays out!

See you on the trails,

Eric and the #TrailsRoc crew


Clean up: 

Our first scheduled trail work of the year was at Pick Up The Parks day. Saturday April 23rd. We managed to build a 150 foot walkway to fix some of the worst trail in the park. We back filled low areas that constantly muck out and we cleaned as much of the park of garbage as we could find. Thank you to those who joined us. Here are a few photos to show you the progress our volunteers made :



Our next day is Sunday 5/15 at Durand-Eastman Park – We will be cutting some side hill trail to make it flat and sustainable – Bring shovels and digging/leveling tools and help us finish the alternate blue trail we created last fall!

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.

If you are new to group runs we have some group run etiquette pointers below for you.

1.  Show up for group runs a few minutes early to make sure that the waiver is signed.  Please be considerate of other runners, get there a few minutes early and come right over to sign the waiver. We start our runs on time so plan for this.


2. If you are at a group run, you are not at a race or workout.  We typically do not push the pace on our group runs because they are designed to be casual groups where we talk, laugh and hang out.  Please do not push the pace.  Stay behind the group leader and enjoy the run.

3.  Mud.  First, it’s really important to go through mud, not around it.  Going around widens the trail and does damage to plants on the sides of the trail.   Second, if the trail is particularly muddy, stay off it.  Running through too much mud can cause irreparable damage.
4.  Please join us for our upcoming trail work days–you use ’em, so help us to build/clean them up (and get in some nice cross training in the process!).
5.  Right of way.  Trails are multi-use and it is unlikely you will be out and see no one else.  Bikers should yield to hikers and runners (although you should be cautious if you see them approaching because if they don’t know this you could get hurt if you assume they are going to stop for you).  Everyone yields to horses.  People going uphill have the right of way.  If someone needs to pass you, just politely step out of the way  If you are passing someone, give the person a heads up by letting them know you are passing (and passing is typically done on the left).
6.  Be safe!  For lots of safety tips, you can check our previous posts  When you leave your car, don’t leave anything visible.  Try not to wear headphones or if you do, keep the volume down low so you can hear people trying to pass you and be more aware of your surroundings.  Run with someone or at the very least tell someone where you’ll be and what your general planned route is.  If you don’t have it, downloading our app isn’t a bad idea–if you get lost on a local trail, it could help you to navigate your way out.
7.  Four legged friends.  If you bring your dog to a group run, please either keep it leashed or have it on voice control. Each park has leash laws that we must follow.  Be respectful of people who don’t like dogs, are allergic to them, or are even scared of them.  Also please remember a bag to clean up after Fido!



O SPF: Perhaps the hardest 1/2 marathon in the region we are happy to bring back for a 4th year, the 0SPF – Registration is sold out – but the wait list is open here . This race is a fundraiser for both the Crescent Trail Association and the Victor Hiking Trails as well as the Valentown Historical Society. Join us on some of the best single track, most challenging climbs, beautiful scenery in the area as well as stepping onto the high point of Monroe County!

Mighty Mosquito Trail Relay and Ultra : In 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 so don’t get closed out!!!!!!

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.







Jeffrey is always a welcome sight at trail races and group runs. He always has a welcoming smile and as of late has been eagerly taking on tougher challenges. Recently he completed his initial ultramarathon in the toughest of conditions and completed the popular Goose Adventure Racing Muddy Sneaker event. Here Jeff shares a little about himself and his perspective on our community :

Hello, my name is Jeffrey McBeth, and I aspire to run trails. Trail running, or running really, has not always been a desire of mine. I grew up in a family that loved and respected the beauty of our country (as a youth I spent more Thanksgivings at a picnic table in a National Park eating turkey loaf and club crackers than any of the more traditional traditions).

But also as a youth, every Western US pollen had a death wish for me, heights make me swoon, and my father’s abandoned career as a tech nerd beckoned. And so, I let lethargy, and injury, and the warm glow of computer monitors envelop me. Oh, I’d lie to myself and say that I could hike if I wanted to. I muddled through being a scout master for a while. But it is hard to share your love of the forest when half a mile in to a hike, you are panting and wheezing.

I’m going to skip a lot here, but eventually, four guys defied all sanity and met at a Red Robin to talk about how wonderful Rochester is. It turns out, that I already knew two of the four families involved; and as I began the outdoor portion of my discovery of who I can become, those two links (Ron and Ben) pulled me onto the trails and reunited me with my love of the forest.

We discovered that those trees behind our house led to a magical place (Ellison Park, and Ron’s Coyote 4×4 (my trail frenemy). Elnora (my wife) and I have pulled our kids along with us, and we have been singularly blessed with the change that it has made in our family. We’ve hiked the Crescent Trail end-to-end last summer as a family. We’re slowly working on the Seneca Trail. Towards the end of March 2016, we embarked on a family goal to hike 100 miles on the North Country Trail system (you should too! Shoot, if you are running the FL50s, or Twisted Branch, or Cayuga 50, you’ll be most of the way there in just a day). Due to the trails of upstate New York, I am more in love with my wife, a better father (with a long way to go), and a kinder, more healthy human being.

Because of deep family ties with the National Forest system, and the desire to see how far I could push myself, I selected the Finger Lakes 50s as the site where I would attempt my first 50k run. My longest run up until a week ago was at that race two years ago, when I had completed the 25k loop and collapsed into a chair, happy. I’ve been fighting with lower leg issues this year, and have talked myself out of abandoning my goal nearly every single day of the year. So, last week, with a plan to explore 10 miles of the Palmer’s Pond 50k course, then spend a day volunteering and cheering on this delightful community, I packed my bags and drove to West Almond NY.

The weather was beautiful (and insane), my body was working tolerably well, and every person at that event was so encouraging and helpful, I fell into surpassing my wildest expectations and completed the whole course. I was the proud owner of an accidental 50K. The soothing (visual and podiacal) mossy covered roots and trees, the turbulent patterns of snow flakes as they tumbled through the air, the excitement at greeting friends as we passed each other, all served to make for a perfect day. In fact, to steal a line from C.S. Lewis, I was surprised by joy. To be surrounded by a land I love, supported by people I love, doing (for a moment) something I love. I could not wipe the grin from off my face.

Ron Heerkens has this canned speech (we all do it) about how if you can run a half marathon, you can do a full. And, if you can do a full marathon, you can do 50k. You know, he is right?

So, I’ve always said that the 50k was going to be a one and done. But, I’m still doing the Finger Lakes 50k. I’ll still try to find ways to support the our community that has given me so much (hey, trail work days are coming back!). Looking forward, I hope to dig deeper into the National Parks now that I can move through them off road. I was young in Northern California, so exploring the Dipsea route is a dream. I was a teen in Utah, and there is a stage race through Bryce, Zion, and the Grand Canyon that I would dearly love to do. I am an adult in Rochester, and these forests beckon to me every moment.

I’ve blathered on much too long about myself and what’s been happening to me lately. Let me tell you a story about you.

Near the end of 2013, I finished my longest ever trail race ever. It was the Mendon Trail Run. I had just run six miles over gruesome terrain, and I was exhultant. As I came into the finish along the side of the grassy hills, there was no one that knew me, knew what I had just done, knew what I was feeling. I passed the line, got into the car, and drove home; swearing I would never do that again. On the second day of April 2016, as I nearly crawled up a muddy slope to the aid station, 10 miles further into a run than I had ever been before. I was exhultant. A familiar cry rose from the spectators “One more loop! One more loop!”. I was swarmed, people shoving food into my hands, water into my pack, sending messages to my wife warning her she’d married a mad-man, claps on the back, high fives, photographs, the works, and off I was to complete my first ever ultra marathon when all I had wanted and planned for was 10 miles in the woods. I  am hesitate to drop names here, because so many people said so many nice and accidental and beautiful things to me in the weeks leading up to the Palmer’s Pond 50k. I hesitate to drop names here, because so many people knew me, knew what I was doing, and what I was feeling and I would inevitably forget some of you. You know who you are. You work hard to care for the bounty of beautiful trails with which our area has been blessed. You stand around in horrible weather to cheer for people you hardly know. You care for the slow. You exhult in the woods. You have changed me into a better man. You wear the orange and hashtag. You make the #TrailsRoc.



This photo by Eric Eagan highlights the beauty of the Mighty Genesee as some of our #Trailsroc runners cross the bridge near lower falls to make their way to many of beautiful trails that Letchworth State Park offers

The Colonels Corner

Trail racing season is in full swing. I see social media pages overflowing with race pictures full of smiling faces and highlighting new individual milestones. I love when we are able to share our stories and find races and events that we otherwise would not have known about or become a participant in. This is just one of the great facets of our community, where personal goals become group goals. Sometimes all you need is that little bit of encouragement and company to get you out of your comfort zone and give you that confidence to achieve some wonderful things. I know this because that’s what all of you do for me. For us. We cannot wait to hear more of your stories this summer. Thank you