Happy Fathers Day! A “gift” today from my wife and kids was the chance to get out for a long run. I started around 5:15 on the first of three circuits of Blueberry Patch, timing the start so I could start loop 3 with the FLRC group. We’re so close to the solstice I didn’t need a headlamp at the beginning. I felt really good through 2.5 loops and the group’s energy kept me moving along for the last 4 miles. The post-run watermelon tasted as good as it always does after 4-5 sweaty hours — like a cool crunchy slice of heaven but sweeter.
Had a lovely day run/hiking this course with the indefatigable @heathercobb3! Perfect weather, good company and no bugs made this a wonderful day in the woods. And we didn’t even get eaten by alligators (but I was pretty sure they were lurking in those swamps…)
It was great to run with you Gretchen.
Same here. Also great to put faces with names we see on the Challenge Leaderboard!
@jennarice and I carpooled to the Finger Lakes National Forest, where neither of us had ever been to run before (I had been to spectate FL50s), this morning. With the help of the outstanding RunGo directions, we hardly needed to do any navigation - our only real wrong turn came when a woman on horseback started trying to chat with us just as we were looking for the first turn off Burnt Hill Road.
The mud is not so bad anymore on most of the trails, but there’s still a section between milepoints 3 and 4 where the trail alternates between muddy and dry surface - a lot of the mud there also looked like it had recently been churned up, presumably by FL50s yesterday.
I was VERY proud of myself as we went into the back half thinking how I had managed not to fall on any of the trail courses this year, and then I fell twice in the last mile But since my first year in the challenge I fell more like 2x/course I’m very happy to take 2x total!
With this I am done with the challenge and just in time since I am going on a research trip for work from Thursday through August 2. But in the last days after I get back, I may have plans…
I did it! Last course Done!
And as I suspected, I saved the hardest one for last!
Man that was tough but I loved it!
If I ever needed proof I am not quite ready for trail Racing this is it
I figured it would be muddy, and I am not quite ready to sacrifice my new shoes to the mud gods yet
So I grabbed a retired pair of shoes and put my spikes on for the first time.
I absolutely adored these trails!
It was not my first time on them, but when I was on them last time it was a very different experience
Last year I rode these trails on horseback for an endurance race in the fingerlakes forest, and it was one of the best experiences of my life! And it was so nice to revisit the trails, even if I wasn’t on horseback cantering through the woods again.
As I ran the trails today, and hit the hills, I did miss riding though
But on foot, I am have gained a new respect for both Horses and People running these trails! Very technical, muddy, and trip hazards galore, but it is so great for ankle mobility, actually hips too, Well everything really
To move at speed, pay attention to terrain, and preplan steps and pathways, minimizing brushing up on plants (stupid ticks!) it is so very engaging.
I completed the course in once piece and tickfree
The verdict of my spikes though,
They were well worth it for the muddy sections technical parts of the trail.
On driveways/stones/road they are very loud and a bit unstable, but they are made more for winter
With the way the lungs are situated and fact I wear my shoes more on the outside of the ball of my foot, I felt a bit unstable and it did change my gait when I wasn’t in mud or trail, but overall I still think they were worth wearing for this adventure. The other thing I would note for anyone interested in these, is the do push down on the toe box, and that can be a little uncomfortable.
They did also help keep my trail gaiters in place so that is a plus
I have to say, Thank you for all of you who put this challenge together! It has been so much fun and such great motivation to learn new trails!
But I am not done with the courses just yet ^_~ Still have to get Matt through them all
Beautiful morning for Blueberry Patch. This was Simon’s last course in his personal challenge of completing 7 courses this year, matching his age of 7. He wanted to do this course instead of Black Diamond because it looked like a more exciting trail adventure. My husband Ian came along too, just for fun and more peace of mind in case someone got hurt. Ian’s big into cycling and hiking, but almost never runs. (He had already done a 2-hour bike ride at 5am, but was still up for joining us!) We all enjoyed the course, the mud was minimal, the scenery was lovely, and Simon happily jogged along pretty much the whole time, enjoying every little RunGo prompt. At around mile 6, we bumped into @caitlin-loehr hiking with some friends. I failed to take photos in the woodsy sections of the trail, but here are some nice grassy ones.
It seems like this was the place to be this morning! I did two laps to make up my long training run for the weekend, and it was absolutely gorgeous out in the forest. I also bumped into @caitlin-loehr hiking the course with friends!
I saw lots of lovely butterflies, and birds, including a heron (who flew away before I could take a photo), and was serenaded by green frogs and an American bullfrog in the ponds. I also saw 21 (!) efts, which made me Very Happy Indeed.
Anne and I ran Blueberry again this morning… and, given the hard rain storms of the last couple days, yes there was mud. But the main impression of this area is still that it is so beautiful
It’s great to see so many runners enjoying the Finger Lakes Forest on Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ’ lands. It has been a muddy summer on the trails and the insects were swarming yesterday. Better not to stop running!! But beautiful, as always.
Today Erin and I embarked upon what will be her last Challenge course (despite her ongoing push back because she is a bit stubborn like her mama and really wants to do the last two courses) and there was so much to see (birds, toads, frogs, and yes there were flies) that we never did play our game of “I spy.” The Deet handled the bugs for us reasonably well though I went light with it. Some sections of the course now are quite overgrown and some plants reaching out to the trails to say hello have thorns (ouch).
And there was so much mud! I’m used to running right through it and have found that you sink in less than when you walk through it. But for Erin this was a crash course in “It’s okay to ruin your white socks” and “it’s okay that your light gray sneakers are in ankle-deep mud.” It’s all okay (and yes, I’ll be cleaning shoes tomorrow ha!).
In the later miles I recognized the trails and was overjoyed to pop out of the woods to cross the road to where the cow gates lead to the pasture with that lone tree…and all the views…straight from the FL50s just last month. It spoke to my soul and it felt good to be back here.
Guess this means she’s done and I have one more to go!
New flash: still muddy!
Very glad to have saved my last pair of running shoes to use as beaters. This was the perfect opportunity. Lot’s of mushrooms of all kinds out along the trail. Bugs provide good motivation to keep moving.
Just finished up the Blueberry Patch Run with Bob Congdon. Nice morning. The story of the run coincides with other’s’ adventures.
Hit the course early this morning with reluctant trail runner @KimJ A tad bit muddy but the humidity and bugs weren’t bad! Ended up being a really enjoyable run and Kim did great! Although she did get her white socks dirty as I predicted….
Congrats Kim. Another one down.
Starting out at 9 we met at the trailhead with Courtney, for Matt’s last course and Courtney’s 3rd to last. (I don’t know how to tag her in this )
(she ran the trail while Matt and I hiked )
Trail was great, weather was amazing.
So many mushrooms!!!
I took like a bagillion pictures but here is a few.
Found fresh ripe blueberries
Love me some trail snacks!!
Came across another challenge runner who recognized me Hello again! You were so quick didn’t catch your name
Victory pizza for Matt’s completion!
Obligatory mud pic
@mplank I realized a few minutes later that you would have no idea who I was, but yes, I recognized you from your posts here. Glad you guys had such a great time. I would love to know at about what mile mark you were able to find the blueberries. I have kept my eyes open for them but haven’t found them yet. One of the things that I miss out on in my hurry to run these is that I miss a lot of the little details and things you don’t notice unless you are paying more attention to your surroundings. I think it’s great that you are taking the time to take pictures and enjoy the time out there. I need to start doing that more myself.
Completed the blueberry challenge course thanks to Stephanie Mulinos who led the walk and another friend who came along for the fun. No running involved on this course. We took our time, it was muddy but it didn’t rain! Not my favorite course but got er done challenge is completed as well.