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.
It 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 IS NOT LIKE ANY OTHER ULTRA YOU’VE RUN BEFORE!
This is a grueling, gnarly, nasty course with approximately 14,000 ft. of climbing, much of it rocky and precipitous. To be sure, there are some runnable sections, but you will more often find yourself hiking uphill or down, sometimes hand over hand. Expect this course to take you much longer than your average 50 miler. That’s why we are allowing 24 hrs. to complete this monster. Because of its remote and difficult nature, there will of necessity be a limited number of aid stations, 8 or 9, and runners should be prepared to spend up to 3 or 4 hrs between aid stations. You will have to be reasonably self-sufficient. To make matters worse, the course gets progressively more difficult as you go along! And to top it all off, the average runner will have to tackle this hardest terrain in the dark.
So… There must be something that makes this race worthwhile, right???
Yes, the Catskills are truly scenic and wonderful, when you can look up every now and then to sneak a peak, and this will certainly become a memorable experience for anyone who takes on the challenge.