From the desk of the President
Our home of Rochester, NY hosts a hidden gem of outdoor life tucked away right up here on the shores of Lake Ontario. Monroe County offers 21 county parks, most with runnable trails. The towns within the county have countless parks with miles of trails. Many residents in the area have shown a great interest in public use trails and have granted easements for trails like the Crescent Trail and the Seneca Trail. Further south, Letchworth State Park boasts over 100 miles of trails and Ontario County hosts the Bristol Hills Branch of the Finger Lakes Trail among other trails.
Neither Buffalo nor Syracuse can match the public lands that we here in Rochester have. We consider it a blessing to have so much of it and we also consider it our duty to protect and preserve these lands.
Our Certificate of Incorporation is very clear – We were formed for the purpose of fostering the sport of trail running in the greater Rochester, NY area for the benefit of amateur runners and outdoor enthusiasts. We are organized to pursue this through a variety of means which includes working with land owners, governing bodies, and other user groups to “maintain existing trails, to develop new trails, and to help keep regional trails open to trail runners”.
As many of you may have seen, the use of public land has oddly enough become somewhat of a political striking point of late. As a 501(c)(3) organization we are unable (and honestly unwilling) to make a political endorsement of any one side, but we do believe that our mission calls on us to constantly and vigorously advocate for public lands so that they may always remain open to the public and available for your use as runners.
Almost every single group run/training run/trail race you have been on is the result of our local level of support for public lands. As you watch these national debates play out, keep in mind and treasure the local lands we currently have and help us preserve and protect them when needed.
In the end, as outdoor enthusiasts, we want our trails to be a place that you can go to find an escape from turmoil and we hope that you can always find common ground here with us while the dirt is under our feet.
-TRAIL NEWS –
Group Runs: Always fun – Always free!
Tuesday Trail Workouts – 6:00PM. A change to these runs! We will now use Tuesday evenings for hard workouts. We will organize either hill work, speed work, or longer hard runs. This will be done in a way that ANY pace can show up. Join us and learn about these great workouts
Wednesday Morning Runs– 6:00AM. We will post the schedule on our facebook page each week and the website is updated as we go.
TLC (formerly SAS) Our “Trail Learning Crew” Will work with the same concept of SAS but will now include more of a structured “learn the park” style runs. Days and times vary so for more information on these group runs check out http://www.trailsroc.org/tlc
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!) :
Saturday April 22nd at Black Creek Park – Time and Location TBA soon
#TrailsRoc: The App: Updates coming soon! Stay tuned!
Know a good trail that is not in our database? Keep sending us your GPX data and allow others to share that trail with you. Contact TrailsRoc@Gmail.com with GPX or comments.
Filthy Formal 10k -We have completely revamped Mess The Dress and renamed it the Filthy Formal. We are moving from a 5 mile race to a 10k race and showcasing some of the beautiful single track that many of you have been helping us build in the park. Don’t worry though, we keep all of the mud. For registration information please visit http://ultrasignup.com/register.aspx?did=44209
This year we have partnered with the Settlement Houses of Rochester as our beneficiary. We dropped the price of the race to just 10 dollars and would love for this to mean you are able to give a donation to the SHR instead of paying more in registration.
For more information on the Settlement House, click here.
March/April Runner Spotlight
Sean is one of #TrailsRoc’s founders and has numerous races on his running resume. For the last few years Sean has had his sights on finishing the Beast of Burden, a local hundred miler run entirely on the Eric Canal. Here Sean shares his experiences and reflections on finishing his biggest race to date:
Two steadfast mantras I’ve been told about running ultra marathons;
1) Ultra running is an individual sport.
2) Don’t run a 100 mile for anyone but yourself.
I’m nearing mile 87.5 of my 3rd attempt to finish the Beast of Burden Winter 100 Mile race, and I’m ready to throw both these philosophies into the bitter winds sweeping the side of the Erie Canal. It’s not so much that I don’t believe in them, in fact I’m sure sticking to these rules has led plenty of folks to finishes… they’re just not going to work for me.
Mile 87.5 is the last major aid station I’ll check into on my way towards the finish line, and the comfortable lead I built early in the race over the 30 hour cut off has dwindled. I don’t know this for certain as I never wear a watch, but the sun rising steadily higher overhead tells me the story pretty clearly. I will not have time at the turnaround to rest and reassess my situation, I need to keep moving. This means before I reach the Aid Station I’ve got to take good mental stock of what my body needs to get this race done. One problem. My brain is ultra mush.
Luckily for me, ultra running IS a team sport. My crew has everything I need ready to go. They don’t give me an option to sit, to try to think, to assess. My job is to move and they’ve taken over the role of my brain.
As I stumble into 87.5 the best people I know feed me, they dress me, and I’m out the door in under 2 minutes. Probably my shortest visit to aid in a race that will take me well over a day to finish. I’m jumping ahead though, the finish line is still miles and hours ahead of me. Getting there will take reaching down to parts of me I’ve never had to visit.
This is where rule 2 comes into play. This is where you’re supposed to say to yourself “I want this”. One problem, I don’t care. OK, that may be an overstatement. I want to finish, I just don’t want to finish as badly as I’d been telling myself I would for weeks leading up to the race. I thought with only 12.5 miles to go I’d be confidently digging deep and striding towards my first 100 mile finish. I’m not, I’m struggling. I can’t find a reason that I HAVE to finish besides… my friends, my family, all those that gave up their weekends over the last three years to help me achieve my goal.
I can only think of my pacers, my crew, my beautiful wife, my steadfast father, and my kids as I stumble slowly towards 100 miles. I don’t NEED the 100 for me, I need it for them. I need them to know every minute they gave up for me meant something.
I won’t finish 100 miles for me, I’ll do it for all of you. Thank you for your support, your strength. Thank you for being my inspiration. Thank you for everything. When I’m handed that belt buckle know that it won’t mean nearly to me what all of you do.
Many of us were there to witness the above race in some capacity. No matter the terrain, a hundred miler is hard. Very hard. Through sheer determination and grit, Sean was able to finish a race that had eluded him for the past few years. It goes without saying that his accomplishment was just as important to those around him as it was to him. The support we have in this community is unique and allows us to do things we otherwise might think impossible. Sean never gave up. You won’t give up. We won’t let each other. It’s that simple.