Cayuga 50 was one of my two race nemesis. I had been in this race twice before and I DNF-ed on both of them. One from a rhabdo symptoms and the other one was from falling to a rock on my busted pelvis. But this time I came in smarter and stronger, I was ready what might come. The question was, would I have the will power to face the stairways to heaven out and back twice.
General Description From The RD
Cayuga Trails uses an out-back C-shape course configuration w/ a lollipop loop on the far end. The out-back configuration was chosen secondary to the FLT extending onto road and fairly unremarkable sections beyond each terminus. The result has allowed entrants to have the opportunity to see the race shaking out ahead and behind them in several points. It starts and ends in Robert H. Treman State Park where it ascends the gorge trail, passing through the Lucifer Fall’s area in the upper gorge and the Finger Lakes Runner’s Club’s Old Mill AS, before wrapping out/connecting with/descending on the Rim Trail. Both sections are double/triple track trail which was intentionally chosen to allow the field to accommodate packs while minimizing potential impact to more sensitive surrounding single-track. Once clearing IronHeart Racing’s Underpass AS runners will cross a creek and ascend single-track through and beyond the Finger Lake Land Trust’s Lick Brook Gorge. From there it feeds through to Buttermilk Falls State Park where it begins the lollipop loop, traversing the upper old reservoir, merging w/ a scenic park road and descending on the old Burma Rd to Trails Roc’s Buttermilk AS. From there it ascends the Buttermilk Gorge Trail on its way back to the start. Fifty milers complete two circuits, 40k’rs one.
The elevation gain is most likely somewhere around 9,000 though GPS devices have recorded as much as 11k+. It’s tough to get a handle on an accurate read given the nature of the tight gorges and inaccurate signals. There are creek crossings around mile 4, 7.5, and 11.5…hit again on the return so the feet will stay wet.
Manitou’s Revenge is a 54 mile ultramarathon through the Catskills beginning in Windham, N.Y. on the northern Black Dome Trail and then mostly following the Long Path from Acra Point all the way to downtown Phoenicia, N.Y.
This was my 2nd year of this annual madness mountain race. I still believe that this is the hardest 50 mile race in the North East, probably in US. Even though, this time, I came back with more experiences over the course and in ultra races, but I still struggled with injuries, especially from my nasty fall in Cayuga 3 weeks before.
A hardy test for trail runners of any level, The North Face Endurance Challenge New York winds along the western shores of the Hudson River and through the craggy foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Expect enough rocks and challenging terrain along the course to keep you engaged, but not enough to prevent you from running the majority of the race.
Runners can expect terrain changes from packed dirt to loose rocks, from tree roots to leaf-covered trails. The Bear Mountain Endurance Challenge course cuts to the chase, with some trails heading steeply uphill rather than zig-zagging at a gentler grade. Descents end in wooded hollows before the next rapid climb ending with breathtaking views. Make no mistake: this will be a tough test of off-road endurance.
Distance. : 54 miles
Finish Time : 17:13:32
Rank : #39 (overall)
Walking Into A Lion Den
This race was one of those races that made me worry for the whole year. Specially after I got injured and DNF at Cayuga 50 miles, 3 weeks prior to this race. This race at least 4 miles longer, about 4000 feet more on its elevation gain, definitely more technical, and it was probably the hardest ultra marathon race in Northeast. With 30 hours cut-off for 54 miles distance race, that was enough to keep my tail stay between my legs. On the top of it, I still feel not 100 percent recovered from all of my injuries.
So the whole time on the way to Windham, NY, I was so antsy and nervous. Thanks to the almighty that Maria, my crew master, was there and we spent most of our time go through the race detail. Kept my mind occupied. Yet, later on that night, I wasn’t able to sleep until the last hour.