FLRC’s annual Trail Circuit returned in 2021 after 2020’s pandemic-inflicted hiatus, and now that we’ve crunched the numbers, it’s time to announce our winners!
If you’re not up on how the Trail Circuit works, here’s the deal. For each race, every runner gets a score determined by dividing the winning time by their time, then multiplying by 100. So the winner gets 100 points, and everyone else receives a score under 100. (The FLRC Challenge uses the same scoring system.) The series has three categories:
- Pebblehead: The Pebblehead rankings are based on each runner’s top three races, and the Pebblehead awards are usually won by runners who’ve won or placed high in three races—Pebbleheads are our speedsters. The max score is 300, for anyone who wins three or more series races, and awards are given to the top man and woman. A tie is broken by calculating the average margin of victory.
- Stonehead: All qualifying races count, and scores are tallied cumulatively. The more races in the circuit you run, the more points you amass. Stoneheads may not be the fastest, but they’re our quintessential trail runners, grinding out solid race after solid race. Awards are given to the top man and woman. Rack up nine wins for a maximum score of 900.
- Boulderhead: The Boulderhead rankings use a simpler scoring system—1 mile equals 1 point, regardless of time or placement. The one runner who notches the most overall miles wins. This contest favors ultrarunners, especially those who are prolific racers. Finish the longest distance at all nine series races to earn a perfect score of 150.36.
A runner only needs to finish at least one Trail Circuit race to be included in the Stonehead and Boulderhead standings. Three or more finishes are required to receive a Pebblehead score. The 2021 Trail Circuit saw 606 runners finish at least one race. The nine races included in the series are:
- Super Frosty Loomis Snowshoe (5K and 10K)
- Thom B Trail Runs (8.5 miles, 17 miles, and marathon)
- Lucifer’s Crossing (a non-FLRC event; 6.66 miles)
- Tortoise & Hare (6.7 miles)
- Finger Lakes 50s (25K, 50K, and 50 miles)
- Forest Frolic (7K and 15K)
- Forge the Gorgeous (3.5 miles and 7 miles)
- Monster Marathon and Half Marathon
- Danby Down & Dirty (10K and 20K)
The Pebblehead title was the most hotly contested of the three categories. In the women’s scoring, Ellie Pell edged out Margaret Frank 296.36 to 292.91, while Amelia Kaufman wasn’t far back in third with 290.3 points. Ellie won the Thom B 8.5-mile and Lucifer’s Crossing races, then took a close second in the 50K at Finger Lakes 50s to garner a near-perfect score.
The men’s side was as close as it gets, with Adam Pacheck and Kristofor Norberg each recording three victories for 300 Pebblehead points. Adam took the top spot at Tortoise & Hare, Lucifer’s Crossing, and the Thom B 8.5-mile. Kristofor won the Forest Frolic 20K, Forge the Gorgeous 7-mile, and Danby Down & Dirty 20K. The tie breaker goes to Adam, whose average margin of victory was by 8.31 points to Kristofor’s 2.16. Dan Timmerman finished third with 292.37 points.
Sarah Ridenour is our top women’s Stonehead, repeating her achievement from 2019. Sarah finished strong at the six races she ran, accumulating 453.1 points. Perennial Stonehead contender Yvette De Boer took a close second with 451.63 in only five races. (Had Yvette run just one more she would have come out on top!) Margaret Frank was hot on their heels in third, building up 446.36 points across five races.
First Stonehead for the men is Gerrit Van Loon with 558.4 points. Gerrit ran seven of the nine Trail Circuit races, and his persistence paid off in both the Stonehead and Boulderhead competitions. Mark Morrison made the drive down from Syracuse for six of our races and racked up a score of 457.3 points for second. Brian Lee took third with 454.97 points.
In the Boulderhead contest, Gerrit Van Loon earned another chunk of hardware with a whopping 137.5 out of the 150.36 possible points. Gerrit’s winning résumé includes going the distance at Finger Lakes 50s for 50 miles, running the marathon at both Thom B and Monster—first place at the latter!— and finishing the Danby 20K, Tortoise & Hare, Forest Frolic 15K, and Forge the Gorgeous 7-mile. Mark Morrison again was second with 92.26 points, and Scotie Jacobs took third with 82.4 points.
Congrats to each of the winners! We have some rocky awards in the works and will present them sometime after the new year. Meanwhile, get ready to kick off the 2022 Trail Circuit with the Super Frosty Loomis snowshoe race on February 12th and Thom B Trail Runs on May 21st.