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2013–#TrailsRoc style!

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A year-and-a-half ago, when Eric told me he was going to meet some guys from “the internets” at Red Robin for beer and discussion about a trail running group, I didn’t think much of it.  I mean, other than that it was weird that he was going to a restaurant with a group of guys he’d met on the Internet who wanted to talk about running trails.  I don’t think any of us could have predicted how that one meeting would change all of our lives profoundly and positively.  At that meeting, the guys decided to start #TrailsRoc, to bring together the trail running community and promote responsible trail use in Rochester.  What started small has become bigger than any of us could’ve imagined, and we thought it would be fun to look back at 2013 and all of the amazing, fun activities we did together!!
#TrailsRoc hosted numerous group runs! 
We had “learn the trail” days on weekends, a “Troubled Turkey” Thanksgiving morning run, Tuesday Trail Trots, Wednesday morning runs on the Crescent Trail, and Thursday headlamp runs (led by MedVed during the spring/summer/early fall and #TrailsRoc when the weather got colder and the days shorter).  Our own members even posted and organized group runs on weekends!  Logging thousands of miles together has really solidified several groups of runners, and we love seeing new faces, so if you haven’t joined us for one of our many runs, come on out!!!
Seneca Park--Trail Trots
Seneca Park–Trail Trots
Some of the "usual suspects" for Wednesday morning trail runs!
Some of the “usual suspects” for Wednesday morning trail runs!
#TrailsRoc celebrates its first birthday! 
We celebrated in style after a 0 SPF preview run.  A group of us gathered after the run in the Valentown parking lot for cold drinks and some mud cake.
Dirt and worms--delicious after a long, hard run!
Dirt and worms–delicious after a long, hard run!
#TrailsRoc coordinated and pulled off 3 amazing new trail races!!! 
We hosted our first trail half marathon, the 0 SPF on July 20, 2013.  What had been an idea for a fatass half (which many of the #TrailsRoc board members had already run the previous summer, courtesy of a course/organization by Matthew French) morphed into a “real” event with sponsors and prizes and a post race party in the rain!    We couldn’t have asked for a better group of runners and volunteers for that first race, and we got LOTS of great feedback about what a stellar event it was.
Runners at the inaugural SPF race!
Runners at the inaugural SPF race!

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When the idea for 0 SPF was conceived, other races were not on our horizon.  But we had so much fun with SPF that we realized we had to do another race!    I (Sheila) make no secret about being a relatively “soft” trail runner.  If you ran 0 SPF, you get a badass high five from me, because that is a seriously tough course.  Post-SPF, Eric and I had dinner and recapped on the positives and negatives of the race, and I said that we needed to have balance in our events, so we should do a “just-for-fun” race.  And so Ready, Set, Glow was born, and we invaded Dryer Road Park, normally a GROC park, for a night-time race on October 12, 2013.  I had envisioned people dressed up in glow gear, the course marked with glow sticks and a crisp fall evening.  Everything in my vision happened.  AND we had no injuries!!!!  It was amazing seeing runners (well glow sticks) coming down the hill through the trees!
The costumes at RSG didn't disappoint!
The costumes at RSG didn’t disappoint!
The glow sticks looked amazing coming down the final descent!
The glow sticks looked amazing coming down the final descent!
Course markings!
Course markings!

 

So of course, the hard-core board members of the group decided that after the fun of Ready, Set, Glow, we had to do another “tough” race–and the 0 Degree Winter Trail Festival (affectionately nicknamed WTF) was created.  It was a very cold, very snowy winter race day on December 14, but runners completed their 5, 10 or 15 mile race with smiles on their faces.  Hot soup, pizza, snacks and a warm lodge waited for them back at the start/finish area of Powder Mills Park.   After 3 fantastic races in 2013, we’re looking forward to adding 1 more fun run in April, Mess the Dress, which will put us at 4 trail races for the year!  We are so thankful to all of the amazing runners who put their faith into us as an organization by registering for our races.
cozy lodge; cold, snowy trails!
cozy lodge; cold, snowy trails!

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#TrailsRoc gives back! 
We really wanted to focus more efforts this year on volunteering our time to give back to the trail community.  We use the trails often, and maintenance is important.  We partnered with GROC at Dryer Road and the Crescent Trail Association to do clean up days on our courses.  Dave and Sean Storie built a new section of trail at Black Creek Park, which will be featured at this spring’s Mess the Dress 5 Miler.  We donated over $1500 in race profits to local trail organizations and the parks department to help them fund THEIR maintenance efforts.  We sent #TrailsRoc contingencies to man aid stations for the Cayuga Trail 50 and the Virgil Crest Ultras.  We are really looking forward to next year, when we will be hosting more trail clean-up/maintenance days (stay tuned to the website and Facebook page for more details) and working with more great local groups who love the trails as much as we do!
Volunteers cleaning up Dryer Road Park before Ready, Set, Glow!
Volunteers cleaning up Dryer Road Park before Ready, Set, Glow!
Our group at the #TrailsRoc Cayuga Trails 50 aid station!
Our group at the #TrailsRoc Cayuga Trails 50 aid station!

#TrailsRoc hosted this year’s Trail Runner of the Year (TROY) series!
  Runners could participate in one race a month, and we scored overall results from each person’s top 4 races.  Winners this year received gift cards for Lori’s Natural Foods, and we had a big party at MedVed.  We also announced the winners (plural–SURPRISE!) of our first #TrailsRoc Trail Runner Sponsorship.  We asked YOU to dream big and you responded.  We ended up awarding Pete Lacey and Heather McLendon sponsorships to run their choice of trail races in 2014, and we can’t wait to hear how their races go and be there with them through their training!
#TrailsRoc received a couple of major accolades!
Trail Runner Magazine put us in their “dirty dozen” for top trail running clubs for the year!  AND we were just selected to host the USATF Niagara Region Trail Championships at the 2014 0 SPF Trail Half Marathon!  We owe both of those things to YOUR enthusiasm for the trails and what we do.
We think we’ve had a stellar year, and we owe that to all of you–the amazing trail runners of Rochester (and our surrounding areas).  So to each of you who has helped to make this year a great one for #TrailsRoc, we want to say thank you.  And we will see you next year, for more great fun and comaraderie on the trails!!!  We love you and think you all rock just as much as the trails do!!

Do trail races result in unnecessary damage to the environment?

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Each month I participate in the TrailRunnerMagazine “Blogger Symposium”. We handle somewhat controversial topics and clearly reader engaging topics. This month, we have been asked to write about the impact trail racing has on the environment and specifically does it cause unnecessary damage to the environment.

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As a trail advocate and someone who has been involved in the actual building and maintaing of our trails I believe the answer has a 3 fold design -Yes, No, and Maybe.

No: The trail being used is already designed and users are already on it. Races can, and indeed some are starting to act in much more sustainable ways. We at #TrailsRoc mark our courses with biodegradable materials. We have trail clean up and maintenance days before and after each of our races assessing what the trail was like both before and after.

We offer no cups at our water stops, and our aid stations are natural foods with as little packaging as possible. Our  fruits -veggies  come from local growers if possible. We sweep the course immediately following the final runner and clean as we go. There trail is left in better shape after one of our events than it ever was before.

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In each of our races we take the opportunity of an engaged audience to talk about proper trail use – We advocate for through mud not around. We explain proper passing (on trail not off). We discuss trash options and aid station options. We even put 2 of our races on a bus line – The bottom line though is that the trails here are already built and being used by people and I see far more beer cans, burned out fires in poor locations, and regular user trash than I ever do from our racers. Trail runners love the trails, the chances that they are causing further damage when properly advocated to is slim. So in short – No races are not causing unnecessary damage to the environment.

Maybe: I write about “maybe” here because not everyone seems to actually care about the environment like we do. Not every organization makes it a point to clean the trails and maintain the damage caused like we do. We also cannnot control what runners are doing once they are on the trails regardless of how much we advocate to them.  I say “maybe” only because not all races are bad for the environment, and much the same way that we advocate for Zoos to teach us about conservation we can utilize trail racing to teach about  the environment. The maybe in this post makes me a bit sad, because it rolls clearly in to the next answer which is “yes”.

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Yes – There are many trail races and race directors that do not choose to limit the impact and footprint they cause. They do not cap races, they do not repair trail damage after sending too many runners through a sloppy wet trail, and they do not advocate for a lower footprint through aid stations and water stops.

If a park does not limit their race numbers, it is still the RD’s responsibility to think about their footprint. Getting folks out and moving is never a bad thing….. until it is. Some trails cannot handle the number of runners that are participating in our events, race directors and trail advocates need to know what the limit is regardless of what the parks departments are putting in place.

There were multiple reports this year from Leadville and other high status races that gu packets, cups, and other trash were all over the trail – If this is not a negative impact on the environment I am not sure what is. Without the race – there surely would not have been trash everywhere those days.

At #Trailsroc aid stations we have gone cup-less. Runners are required to carry their own containers. They can fill, but we refuse to purchase paper cups, have them thrown all over the trail and end up in a landfill when there is a clear, and useful alternative.

Runners damage trails – more runners do more damage. The larger your race, the more likely runners will be passing off trail to get around slower runners. The more runners you have the more that will “go around” instead of through mud and slick spots creating a wider trail and increased erosion which will become permanent.

The larger your race, the longer the impact even if minimal on animal life in the area as well. This of course is not taking into account that very few if any trail races are ever on public transportation lines so the more trail races we have and the larger they become the more people we will have driving to the trail heads creating un-needed environmental impacts.

I have even seen posts on social media sites from race organizations showing the mud they went through. They are bragging about the knee deep, shoe sucking mud and bragging about the damage they caused without any mention of when they would be going back out to help repair those sections that they ravaged.

The short answer here is yes, trail races are causing damage. It may be unintended, but the damage is real, and it is not necessary.

So what is the answer? The issue then becomes what can we do. The sport is in a boom right now – Our races are filling up faster and they are expanding race caps. It is as always going to come down to policing ourselves. Trail races need to embrace sustainability. Race Directors need to put the trail itself above all else, especially profit. Runners need to be taught about proper use, and we need to show it through our own examples.

Right now some races are causing loads of unneccesary damage and that should be unacceptable to us.

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Season Ending Report

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While we have 1 more race on our own schedule for this calendar year ( http://www.trailsroc.org/wtf ) but the trail running season as we know it has come to a close. Before we need to bust out the snowshoes and cross country skis again, we decided to have a nice little celebration to recap our first Trail Runner of the Year Series.

Medved was gracious enough to offer us a place to host our end of the year celebration as well as supply us with some great prizes for series runners. The support offered us by Medved this year has been amazing and we wanted to thank them for all they did this year with us.

We had 8 (technically 9) races in our series this year – Runners would be scored on their top 4 results. In the end, Phil Nesbit and Heather McLendon came away with the series championships. Phil had a strangle hold on the mens competition winning 5 of the 8 races in our series  – As for the women it came down to the final races in Mendon where 5 women could have walked away as champion. Heather scored enough points racing in the 20k to secure the win.

Thanks to Loris Natural Foods and Medved – Both Phil and Heather will have great product to fuel and outfit their runs next year as we expect them to try to defend their titles!

This year #TrailsRoc also offered a sponsorship award – We set up an application and asked local runners to dream big. We wanted runners to stretch their comfort zones – to enter a race and find out who they really are as a runner. We had many great applications and spent hours debating who should be our winner. In the end we couldn’t decide on just one, and we voted to provide a male and female runner our support.

Heather McLendon and Pete Lacey were the recipients of this years sponsorship – Heather will be tackling the Rothrock Challenge and Pete will be taking on his very first marathon at the Segahunda Trail Marathon – Congratulations Heather and Pete – We look forward to supporting you in the journey to the finish line of your events!

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At the TROY Celebration we also announced next years series – We have 8 of the very best trail races in the area on our schedule – We hope you will run them all and rack up as many TROY points as possible. Some of our races do not have dates yet so stay tuned.

April – Muddy Sneaker

May – Medved Madness

June – Charlies Old Goat Trail Run

July – Our very own 0 SPF Trail 1/2 Marathon

August – Dam Good Trail Race

September – GVH Mudslog XC

October – Out oF Bounds Trail Race

November – Menon Trail Run 50k

Each race is unique – Each race is well organized – Each race is locally, home grown, grassroots.

Thank you to everyone who ran this year – We look forward to many more years of trails with you!

The legend of Kokopelli

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Many of you may not be aware of this – but there is an ancient trail runner among us when we are out running the trails. Kokopelli is a prehistoric God of sorts – more of a deity that you can find in rock paintings of the mountains and caves of the Southwest United States.

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Depending on where you get your story about Kokopelli, you will find a few versions of who he was – A fertility God – a rain maker – hunter – magic man -roaming salesmen- or, as we like to think of him – as a legendary runner.

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Kokopelli travelled great distances – playing a flute and carrying goods on his back. We love to think about Kokopelli as an ancient runner – delivering news and goods to villlages as far south as the Andes and as far east at the Mississippi Valley – Running – laughing – telling stories –

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We are glad to know we don’t run alone when we are out on the trails – If you ever felt there was more to this trail running thing than just what was “visible” it might just be Kokopelli dancing through the woods with you.

Our friends over at Trail Runner Nation believe Kokopelli can share his running powers with you. Check out their story, and get some Kokopelli for yourself!

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Girl Power

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Way back in June, we introduced you to the 4 founders of this fine organization here. A few weeks back we introduced you to one of our newest board members Sheila – Aka Sugar Momma with this post. Well, now it is time to continue introducing more of our group.

Fresh off of her Javelina Jundred 100 mile race We are happy to introduce you to our resident 100 miler – Lisa Murphy – AKA Emperor Cuzco!

You can’t send a trail group this picture… and not expect a trail name related to these guys

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Lisa joined us to help bring some female perspective to the world of ultra and trail running and we are happy to have her on board. We really look forward to everyone getting an opportunity to get to know her better. Please read below for a brief QA with her.

1. Why TrailsRoc? What attracts you to the organization?

The people are friendly! I met them all on the twitter, then started to recognize the hashtag on shirts at events, started standing next to them in the parking lot and before I knew it I was peeing in front of them on 20 mile runs!

2. What is your endurance background AND what makes you tick… why do you run?

I have only been running for about 7 years. I started with 5ks and quickly started doing marathons: rock and roll San Diego, Marine Corps, the infamous HOT Chicago one and I’ve done Rochester  3 times. I got into the ultra scene this year when I registered for AR50.  

After, I realized I didn’t train on hills and trails nearly enough, so I came back with that as a focus. That’s how I got connected with TrailsRoc via Twitter – after AR. I really started only seriously running trails this past summer. After meeting these crazies, I learned more about trail running in the first 2 weeks I met this crew!

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I also realized that running on the canal was NOT going to train me for the JJ100 that I signed up for. So I hitched my team to this wagon and haven’t looked back! I know that training with these guys this summer is why I did so well at the JJ100!!!

What makes me tick on a run? getting in the flow. being alone. the scenery. having to pay attention. you can’t just zone out – a root will wake you up for sure!

So it’s a balance of being calm yet intensely focused.

Seriously, running is the only time my mind is quiet. This has been a struggle for me since I have taken time off since the JJ100 for recovery. Not running has impacted my entire well-being. I am anxious to get back on the trial, yet also need to pay attention to a nagging hip strain that is not going away. I want that gone before I start training again.

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3. Why should people join TrailsRoc?

The crew is friendly, knowledgable, connected to the running community and amazingly supportive. plus there’s beer.

4. What is your favorite Trail Event?

I don’t have one yet – but I like the idea of a barely legal barefoot race on Crescent! (editors note) TrailsRoc is in the process of planning some fun events this summer- stay tuned

5. Where can we learn more about you? Blogs, twitter handles, etc..

@ooeygooeylady twitter
Ooey Gooey, Inc. on FB – over 11k fans! woop! (Lisa is humble- She is one of the countries premier and most engaging public speaker/trainer/motivator for early childhood education – In other words, she is teaching our teachers~)
Runner Girl Murf on the FB too – that page is growing…

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6. What is the most embarrassing thing you have ever done on a run?

Nothing. Yet. (random TrailsRoc memory over here though.. .We remember when Lisa tucked into the woods to pee, only to realize there was a different trail just on the other side where she tucked in and a man and his dogs happened upon her… embarrassing? maybe not… funny? For sure)

7. What is your DREAM race and why?

Not sure yet, shoot! I’m still learning that there are TRAILS IN ROC!!!!!

So there you have it, our very own Lisa Murphy – Emperoror Cuzco – We hope as you join us out on the trails you say hello. Look for the shirts with the #trailsRoc hashtag and say hello!

Cayuga Trails 50 Chat

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Many of you know that there is a new and challenging Ultra Race coming to our region this summer. We have heard much discussion on our facebook page, and much discussion at our events. To those of you who are not aware, The Cayuga Trails 50 is  open for registration and ready to impress you with it’s deep field, innovative course offerings, and challenging yet beautiful terrain.

Being run on June 8th, 2013 with a $12,000 cash purse including in race incentives on a beautiful course with historic stair cases? Please read on to find out more.

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We had an opportunity to sit down with Race Director Ian Golden late last week to discuss the upcoming race, and we wanted to share some of the more relevant, and  exciting pieces of that chat with you.

We hope you take a look at this race, the course, and the energy being put in to it, and consider it on your race schedule this summer.

It may seem odd to start a chat about your first ever running of this race by asking about next year, but it can show how organized and ready to go this race is, can you tell us about the exciting news we have been hearing about this course and the year 2014?

For 2014…yeah, pretty cool, we will be hosting the 2014 USA Trail National Championship. The truth is that not many events bid for the titles. It’s more work on top of a lot of work already on RD’s plates. I’m excited to host and it should for sure provide a bit more coverage of the event. It’ll be great to bring the 50 M championships east, with a larger event in terms of numbers, and be able to provide solid prize money to a trail championship event.

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 When/where did the idea for the event come from and why did you pick that area?

My original course for what started as the Iroquois Trails 100 in 2008 (now Virgil Crest Ultras) intended to use and be based out of Treman and Buttermilk State Parks. That course and staging didn’t pan out, mostly on account of night running over private property using the FLT, but I’ve always wanted to bring an event to those trails.
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What is it about those trails that you wanted to do something like this? Tell us a bit about your course.
The 2 loop figure 8 course, which starts in lower Robert Treman S.P., predominately makes use of Treman and Buttermilk State Parks (with a connection via the Finger Lakes Land Trust’s Lick Brook) covers some of the most scenic trail networks in the area. It’s pretty fair in terms of difficulty: 6,500 ft of climb (mostly short and steep) which splits the difference between the Finger Lakes Fifties 50M of 3,900 ft and Virgil Crest 50’s 10,000 ft. aircases constructed by the CCC/WPA.
StairsAndFallsIt’s about 80% trail and of that a mix of single to triple track. There are some pretty technical sections with significant roots/rocks, and others that are easy fast running. Depending on water levels come June, there are 6 creek crossings (3 should be pretty dry, one is usually knee to thigh deep), numerous waterfall passings, and ascents/descents on historic stone st
We are hearing some rumors that you will have a decent elite level field in for this event. We would imagine that this being the championship course some runners may want to see if this year as well. Is this true.
There is a decent field either in or considering. Several won’t have their schedules set until January. I’ve reached out to most of the names ultra people might recognize, or winners of major ultras. Some are still considering, some have event conflicts, some didn’t get back to me.
On the men’s side a few national names in so far are Dave James (USATF 100 Mile Trail Champion, 2nd USATF 50M), Jordan McDougal(USATF 50 Mile Trail Champion, NF 50 winner), and Ben Nephew (Escarpment legend, 3rd place North Face Bear Mountain), and regional including Daven Oskvig.
For the women’s field, a few national names that are in are Meghan Arbogast (10th female Western States ’12, 2nd JFK 50 ’11 behind currently injured phenom Cassie Scanlon who crushed it), Ragan Petrie (2nd UROC 100K ’12, 1st NF Washington ’11), and Jacqueline Palmer (4th UROC 100K ’12).
What are you offering for prizes/incentives? We are hearing some crazy ideas to keep it fun out there.In terms of incentives, these are only possible through a grant from the Tompkins County Tourism Program.  We have a $12,000 purse. Injecting prize money into ultras (although not new) is somewhat of a divided issue in Ultra at the moment, and can be somewhat of an issue as all sports grow. In directing a couple of other events, the Virgil Crest Ultras, the Catharine Valley Half…I’ve put on low key grass roots events with very little if any in the way of sponsors, prizes, or hype.
For Cayuga Trails I wanted to bring to the other side…sponsors, big money, big names, national if not international awareness/coverage…and do it over the trails that I have been most inspired by in the region, and that are meaningful to me (I live a mile from the course). If you’ve been to or read my reports from Virgil, you know that the entrants closest to the race, and which inspire me as much as any, are those that finish in the back of the back, but finish. I’m also inspired by the leaders though, the individuals that are pushing the limits of speed in Ultra, that are redefining what’s possible on that front.
I have several friends whose primary occupation at the moment is distance running and I’m not opposed to creating an additional opportunity for them to make money doing it. Does it change the face of Ultra a bit? Increase race entry fees? Create a situation where the masses are paying for the winnings of the leaders? Yes to all.
I know for me, as an occasional ultrarunner, I’m inspired by elites and I don’t mind if a bit of my entry fee goes toward making it possible for them eek out a living resetting the bars.
Some of the incentives will be spread throughout the pack, something that Karl’s done w/ Speedgoat. Whether it’s cash incentives, or the prospect of winning a pie for racing the next climb…I think it not only pushes and mixes it up a bit, but is also fun for spectators and entrants alike. The inspiration for these in-race incentives, or Prem’s, is rooted in watching a cycling criterium come through my prior location of Bend, OR each year. I was really entertained by the cyclists pushing for prem’s on given laps, they and the fans were into it.
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So you are the race director? That makes you in charge huh? Is that how you see it?
Whose in charge…well, I guess it’s me, and my shop the Finger Lakes Running and Triathlon Company here in Ithaca which allows me the flexibility to put on events on the side. I opened the shop in 2006 and am looking at another potential store opening in 2013. I’m for sure not a good businessman, still learning on the fly, but have loved most every minute of it. I like creating things, the shop and the events are flowing from the same vein and keep me living in and amongst the running world, even if reducing the time I have to get out and run myself.
So you mentioned you have a grant for this event, how about other sponsors. They help us get out and running so we would love to mention some of them here for you.
The sponsors on board are GU who will be graciously providing gels and brew on the course, Atayne (an awesome company with an awesome mission…check them out), and Scott Sports. Scott’s run line has been making really great strides in quality. It’s newer director of running is a friend Scott McCoubrey, the prior owner of the former Seattle Running Company, and RD for one of the premier 50 milers in the country, White River.
UltrAspire, a new hydration company has a pretty amazing contingent of ultrarunners designing their product. Year one was slick but with some kinks to work out…year two for them I think is where they’ll hopefully really become more mainstream in the trail running world. I’m stoked to have all of these guys on board. IRunFar, a site run by a good friend Bryon Powell will be on for media coverage more than as a sponsor per se.
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This all sounds awesome.. how is registration going? Is it filling up fast?
Registration went live about last week on the event’s website. We have about 60 entrants thus far, or 20% of the field. I guess it’s possible we’ll fill in a month, but it could trickle off a bit as well, we’ll see. Entrants fill out an online registration form and seal the deal by mailing in a check. The website (all of my websites) are created and managed by Ed Edington, a local Ultrarunner from the Rochester area. He puts in an amazing amount of time, all of it volunteer.
In any case, he was able to create an online registration page. Pairing that with payment’s by check allows the event to bypass credit card fees. Until Bank of America starts donating a portion of their profits to Ultrarunning, I’ll look to cut them out of the equation if possible.
That’s all good stuff, one thing our runners always want to know about is how will this course set up for spectators, families, friends, etc.
The course is very spectator friendly. The park trails are open to pedestrians through the event and have multiple access points. A family could plant themselves at lower Treman and see their runners 4 times during the race without moving more than a half mile or so.
We want to give a big thank you to Ian for sitting down with us and taking the time to help us highlight this fantastic new event. It looks like it will be exciting, challenging, supportive, and pretty local. We hope you will consider this race, and as always, we will see you on the trails.
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Medved shines the spotlight on you

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This past weekend Medved and their management team were nice enough to allow us time to sit down with Ultra Running Star Krissy Moehl for an exclusive interview. We brought you that interview, and now we would like to tell you a little bit about the store behind that interview.

Medved Running and Walking Outfitters is a family owned business that has been operating in Rochester since 1984. They have a strong sense of community that is evident through the events and races that they put on for the area.

From the Medved site :

Over the years, our merchandise assortment has grown beyond our running roots. Besides a large selection of running footwear, apparel and accessories, we carry sandals, hiking boots, casual shoes, cross training and tennis shoes. We also carry a large assortment of outdoor lifestyle apparel.

If you like being active in the outdoors, or if you just want to be fit properly for a pair of shoes, we hope that you will let us help you.

We had an opportunity to sit down with Mort Nace the stores General Manager as well as a local trail running guru to talk a little bit about the store, Krissys visit, and the Medved Endurance Project.

Tell us a little bit about the store – What makes Medved special?

Medved is not just a running store – We like to think of ourselves as an outdoor and endurance headquarters. What makes us special though is how much we care about the local community. We live here, many of us grew up running here. There is a certain level of friendship that comes out of people who come to our events.

We give back to the community, it can sometimes be via food drives, it can be with the many races we host, or it can be simply through events like this, where for no cost to the community, people can come in and meet the stars and learn a little from people like Krissy Moehl!

Tell us some about the Medved Endurance Project. http://medvedrunwalk.com/Medved_Endurance_Project.asp

A few years ago, we began thinking about a project that could test peoples limits, bring together a community of like minded people, offer training opportunities, and let people who may have never met out on the roads or trails come together and forge relationships that would last (hopefully) forever.

We went to the Outdoor Retailer Show and Patagonia, one of the brands we love to carry here at Medved, and when we met with them, they were open to helping us find an ambassador of the project. That turned out to be Krissy Moehl.

Our biggest hope with this project though is that people would challenge themselves. If they only ran roads we wanted them to try trails. If you could only run a 5k, we would help you get to that 10k, 1/2 marathon, etc.

We have seen many people test their limits with us through this project and we were excited to offer it to the community.

What does it mean to bring a runner like Krissy to the area?

Well it is pretty exciting to be honest. It is something we really wanted to do for the members of the endurance project and something that we thought would really benefit the overall running community here in Rochester. Events like this have the opportunity to really motivate the every day runner and that is who we love to work with here at Medved.

Can you let us know a bit about some of the  off road events you have lined up for this winter that our readers may be interested in?

Our schedule (which is located here)  looks like this: 
1/5/13 Frozen Assets 5K Snowshoe Race (Harriet)
1/19/13 Medved Winter Challenge, two person four hour winter adventure race (Mendon Ponds)
1/20/13 Mendon Winterfest Snowshoe Race 5K, 10K (Mendon Ponds)

2/2/13 Cast A Shadow 5K, Six Hour Snowshoe Race and Relay

**new this year, a short distance race added in the AM**, otherwise our main event is at 2 PM with three person teams and solo racers compete over a set course (2 – 2.5 miles in length) racing to complete the most laps.

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We at TrailsRoc would like to give a heartfelt thank you to the crew at Medved for taking the time to sit with us and for allowing us to have so much time to sit and talk with Krissy about her running adventures. We hope you are as motivated by these events as we are, and we look forward to seeing you out on the trails!

 

Introducing some ladies to this show

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You are going to start seeing some awesome posts from a few lovely ladies on our blogs, twitter, and facebook. You will also see some events that are going to be geared more towards getting women out on the trails and enjoying nature. We know that some women just feel more comfortable with other women.

So without delaying this any longer we welcome  our first female member to the spotlight :

 

Sheila – aka: Sugar Momma

1. Why TrailsRoc? What attracts you to the organization?

I love TrailsRoc because it allows people who love running on the trails, regardless of their ability, a chance to meet up and do what they love together.   We are so lucky to live in a city with such phenomenal trail running and phenomenal runners!  I have never felt as welcomed into any community as I did the trail running community here in the Roc.

2. What is your endurance background AND what makes you tick… why do you run? 

In high school, I played a ton of soccer, mostly midfield because I could run back and forth all game long.  I ran track for a couple of years to stay in shape for soccer during the brief lull between winter-indoor session and spring-outdoor session, but I never really liked it.  In college, I played occasional pick-up soccer games and would go to the gym to “run” on the elliptical.  After college, I continued my elliptical “running,” but insisted that I hated running “just to run,” even when I met a tall, handsome stud (enter Eric aka @roctherun aka Ber Beer Bear), who talked incessantly about running.  He tried, numerous times, to get me to run with him.  I tried, numerous times, to get him to ask me out on a “real” date.  A year or so after we started dating, Eric finally convinced me to go for a run with him.  I think I made it to the corner of our street, and I would’ve complained the whole way but I was too busy sucking wind.  It was a mess. I wish there was a more glamorous or legit reason for my running to have taken off–but I started running more seriously when I found out that Breuggers had a local 5k with free bagels post-run.  I believe I told Eric, “All I have to do is run 3.1 miles for free bagels?”  I ran a bunch of 5ks on roads with no real training and frequently said things like “I can’t imagine running more than 5 miles.”

That quickly changed as I began training for my first half marathon, the inaugural Flower City Half.  I was woefully underprepared, walked/ran from mile 7 on, finished the race, puked (for all the gory, embarrassing details, see below), cursed Eric out for signing me up for the half, and swore I would never run farther than 5 miles again.  A few hours later, I found myself wondering how much faster I could be if I trained smarter, now that I knew what to expect.  What they say about getting bit by the bug is true.  I’ve run 2 more halves since then, improving my time significantly both times (still not where I want it, but we’re getting there).  After the second, I mentioned in passing that I thought I could probably run a marathon at this point.  I thought nothing of my flippant comment, but Eric had other plans.  I came home from work 2 days later, and he proudly announced that he’d signed me up for the Corning Marathon. While running the marathon was a huge accomplishment, training for it was even more so.  The 4 months of marathon madness were an amazing personal journey for me.

2 summers ago, I ran my first trail race.  Walking up a hill (*ahem, mountain) by myself, I was near tears.  I finished the race more miserable than I’d ever been (except for after that first half marathon) and again told myself never again.  Except that I love being outside.  I’ve always loved hiking.  I had anticipated running my road pace on trails and was upset about how much slower I was on trails…until Eric and I compared other peoples’ road times to their trail times and I realized the two were incomparable.  After reframing my expectations, we started running more trails.  I realized I LOVED it.  Trail running is so much harder than road running.   It’s more rewarding, physically and mentally.  The camaraderie of trail runners is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced and being able to work out in the natural beauty that surrounds us is just amazing.  I still like running on the roads, but trail running is a pretty amazing option!!

3. Why should people join TrailsRoc

TrailsRoc is a great opportunity to meet new people.  I love meeting new runners because everyone has a unique view, a unique story, and something to teach.  It’s always cool to make new friends, and I am so grateful for all of the amazing people who have come into my life as a result of my involvement with TrailsRoc and running.  I can’t wait to meet more people, so come join us!!!!!!

4. Your favorite Trail Event? 

Just one??? I’m going to go with the GVH Mudslog here in Rochester.  A trail race WITH some serious obstacles, including a swim, horse jumps and a whole lotta mud.  It was easily the most fun I’ve had running!

5. Where can we learn more about you? Blogs, twitter handles, etc.. 

Follow me on twitter @shme105.  I’ll also be adding blogs on this site now.

6. What is the most embarrassing thing you have ever done on a run? 

Aside from the almost weekly tripping (thereby destroying the knees of a couple pairs of running tights and permanently scarring my knees), my most embarrassing running moment would be at the finish line of my first half marathon.  As previously stated, I was super unprepared for the race.  I had no hydration plan, but Eric had mentioned that I should drink at water stops.  So I did. Every.  Water.  Stop.  EVERY 2 miles, I drank a full cup of water.  Around mile 7, when you hit the part of the course that cuts through the cemetery, I started feeling nauseous.  I switched to walking, fearful of what happens if you puke on a grave (bad karma, right?).  I ran/walked the rest of the course, continuing to drink (I have no idea why) at every water station.  As I crossed the finish line, I realized I was going to vomit.  I pushed by people, grabbed a medal from a startled volunteer, pushed another one holding out a finisher’s mug out of the way, and promptly puked. Time stopped, thousands of people were staring at me, I was in my own little special time warp.  And then my knight-in-shining-armor came up to me and asked, “Ummm why are you puking into your hand? You know you can’t catch it, right?”  At which point I woke up from my time warp, looked down, registered that time hadn’t stopped, just the people in the immediate vicinity were staring at me, and horrifyingly I was puking into my hand, and the puke was trickling through my fingers to the ground.  Thank goodness a nice girl nearby grabbed me some cups of water to rinse off my hand, because Eric was too busy mocking my attempted puke-grab.  To this day, I frequently get nauseous post-race, and Eric and I are convinced that it is in my head.  So if you see a girl dry heaving at the end of a race, it’s probably me.  Come say hi–and bring a cup of water for me, just in case!  🙂

7. What is your DREAM race and why?

My dream race changes all the time.   But no matter what race it is, I just want things to go exactly according to plan.  I’m a big time planner, so having things go perfectly would be fantastic.  That being said, I’d love to do Segahunda someday and I’d really love to do an ultra, though  I’m not sure which one or how soon in the future…

Stay on the trails this winter

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Winter is coming (or is it here already?) and for many people that means heading inside to run on the dreaded treadmill, or sticking to well plowed roads and sidewalks.

In Rochester, the treadmills are the same as everywhere else (boring), but good luck finding those “well plowed” roads or even shoveled off sidewalks.

Well this looks safe, no?

So what can you do? How can you keep running trails all winter long? Can you make it fun? Safe? Full of Adventure?

Safer and better views

Besides dressing warm, which has been discussed at length, what can you do to really enjoy the trails in the Winter.

What are your choices? Where can you save some money? Where can you spend and get the best of the best?

1. $ Screw Shoes – simple, easy, effective in shallow snow, ice, and even mud.

2.  $$ Sole Spikes – Tougher and grippier than screw shoes, with a bit more cost. They should hold up better than sheet metal screws.

3. $$$ Yax trax – Lots of options with this company – They do a great job and don’t clog up with ice and snow like some options.

4. $$$$ Micro Spikes – Hardcore – grips the heck out of ice. Feel a bit thick under the shoe, but you sure as heck won’t slip!

5. $$$$$ SnowShoes – There are tons of choices, just search around. Most taper towards the back to make sure you don’t get heel clipping. These have crampons attached to grip any surface, and of course, help you stay above the snow!

If you don’t want to buy. Rent. Contact Fleet Feet Rochester or  Medved Running and Walking for rental options.

Check out this photo from Medved of a snowshoe runner right here in Rochester!

What about running in the bad weather/conditions though?

1. Slow down – You will have much better footing if you go just a tad slower.

2. Pay attention – I have seen many runners trip on roots just from not looking on trails. Snow, ice, and mud are the same. Look for it. Be prepared for it.

3. 2 steps is better than 1 – We have written about this before, but don’t chance jumping over logs with a huge hop. There may be a streak of ice on the other side. Take your time, figure it out then go.

TrailsRoc's very own Eric Eagan sporting SoleSpikes to grip that ice at SnowCheap last year!

How do I run in snow shoes?

1. It is almost exactly the same as “regular running”.

2. You will need to lift your knees a bit higher. This helps you clear the snow and not catch the toe or crampons on the ground.

3. You may need your stance to be a bit wider, so just pay attention to this.

4. Snowshoes will kick up snow on your backside. Plan your clothing for this. Hard shells beat fleece as the snow bounces right off.

Snowshoe runners at the 2010 Lake Effect Snow Festival

Other Tips

1. Practice with both the bindings and shoes at home or close to home. The trail head is no time to experiment.

2. Avoid the deep fluff the first few times out. A well groomed trail is easier to learn on.

3. Rent before you buy… you might not love it.

So there you have it. Winter running, especially on trails can be an amazing experience. Find out what works best for you, and get out and enjoy the trails. If you have any awesome winter trail photos, we would love to have you share them on our facebook page, send them our way!

 

 

The North Face Victor Now Open

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The North Face Victor was kind enough to let us meet with Mike Wolfe this morning and we had a chance to sit and talk with the District Manager Tom Zullo.

   

Tom, we are happy  The North Face here in town as it adds to the outdoors appeal this area has, but why Rochester? Why Victor?

Well, the store here (which is a new build) is really designed to look and feel outdoorsy and the aesthetic of it fits in so well with what is going on around it in Victor. Other than that, the Northeast has been good to The North Face. While we are an all year brand, with gear and clothes for all seasons, sometimes people associate us as a “winter” brand and so we do really well in the colder climates such as Victor.

There is a global movement towards outdoor activity, and we felt Victor, and Rochester are helping to lead the way with that. The Finger Lakes, Lake Ontario, Ski Country, and runners like yourself make up a big population of who we hope to serve!

What can we expect The North Face to bring to the Rochester region?

Well we hope to continue to offer events like this weekend, but also notice that we are an endurance brand, we hope to bring that attitude to the area. That people can and should push themselves and get out and enjoy the outdoors that surround us. We have fantastic partnerships in many retail areas in Rochester but this store is our entire brand. Everything you need is here.

We went inside to check it out, and we agree.. Everything you need to enjoy the outdoors is right there in the store! Stop by and check them out:240 High Street in Victor, NY