Danby Down & Dirty, Tortoise & Hare, and Thom B. courses now open!

I’m extremely pleased to announce that I’ve opened not one, not two, but three more FLRC Challenge courses! That brings us to nine of ten, and after @gplwoo’s report this morning, it sounds like I can open the final Frolic course this weekend.

One note: These are true trail courses (windy, twisty, and with turns), and while anyone who has run FLRC races on them should be able to find their way, I strongly recommend anyone who has not run them before go with a friend who has or make sure you can use the RunGo directions linked on the course pages beforehand. At a bare minimum, make sure you have a cell phone with you, though service is often spotty on far-flung trails.

Danby Down & Dirty

The 6-mile Danby Down & Dirty course start/finish is at the trail sign just before the parking area, making the course a bit shorter than the traditional Danby Down & Dirty course. You’ll run down Michigan Hollow Road, turn right into the trails, and follow the normal one-loop course of the traditional Danby Down & Dirty course. When you get back to Michigan Hollow Road, you’re done—you do not need to cross the road for the traditional little loop at the end.

The course starts at the parking area on Michigan Hollow Road, just before the intersection with Smiley Road.

Tortoise & Hare

The 5.4-mile Tortoise & Hare course at Buttermilk State Park starts on the path next to the bridge from the main Buttermilk parking lot. It then heads back through the parking lot, up the hill, and around Treman Lake before returning on the same course.

There is paid parking within the park, or you can park at one of the businesses slightly closer to Ithaca on the south side of Elmira Road and jog over to the park.

Thom B. Trail Run

For the 8.5-mile Thom B. course, you can run either direction, of course, but we recommend heading down the road to the traditional start of the Thom B. trail race, continuing on up the hill and then turning left onto the trails like normal. Toward the end of the traditional Thom B. course, you’ll continue on the trails to the parking lot instead of turning right to the usual finish.

This course starts at the kiosk on the trail just off the Hammond Hill parking lot, where there is generally plenty of parking.

Any questions, just ask, and have a great time on the trails!


Exciting! I’ll share the news on Twitter and facebook this evening.

:rocket: anyone wanna do a ~9min pace Thom B around 3pm tomorrow, assuming this Moderna-induced fatigue wears off by then?

Normally I’d love to join you, but I’m still babying my calf after last week’s blowout.

Hi Adam, I think parking is free at Buttermilk until some date later this spring, possibly Memorial Day weekend. Linda

Alas, it looks like they started charging on April 1st at Buttermilk (and going through the end of November). But it’s free after 6:30 PM.


However the old Coldstone Creamery building just a few hundred meters down the road toward Ithaca is vacant, so there should be no problem parking there.

And @bobtalda notches the first effort on Tortoise! How was it, Bob, and what distance did your watch capture?

It was great! Trail was in fantastic shape…but I have a confession or two. First, I had my dog with me so it was much a walk is a run - and we tended to deviate from the trail . Also, my watch ran out of charge halfway through so I don’t have a good distance for you. Didn’t prepare well for this obviously. I’m going to run it again Saturday morning - will have a better answer then

Thanks Adam, we were at Taughannock yesterday which was free, and I assumed that Buttermilk would be the same. L.

Wardrobe malfunction that ruined my time aside (watch out for those hidden roots) a lovely if not slightly hot afternoon on the Thom B trails – shout out to @caitlin-loehr and @AnaR who I saw out there, as well as whoever else was moving at a decent clip but hasn’t submitted a time yet!

At least now you know it’s time for a new pair of trail shoes—none of this “how many miles is too many” questioning. :slight_smile:

Looked it up, I’ve had them since 2014, and put in about ~600-1000 miles on them, including my retirement-inducing Cayuga Trails 50, so they lived a good life. By far my favorite trail shoe ever, and one of the few models I’ve ever bought more than once – they’ve been discontinued for years though, and I’ve struggled to find a good replacement, hence why I kept wearing them!

They’re not ruined, it’s simply ventilation for your little toe. :joy:

The map for Tortoise does not show a loop of the lake, it shows a section of the orange FLT spur then out to the road then back Comfort Rd, down the service road, then left across the creek to rejoin the trail on the W side of the lake. Is this correct? Or do we loop the lake? Also it looks like the Bear Trail in both directions.

I created a separate post about this but the RunGo directions were AWESOME when I tried it out on the Tortoise course this morning! Wow!!!

Sorry about that! Yes, the map is correct, and the Tortoise course (both for the in-person race and the Challenge) merely runs alongside the lake, not around it. That description had been left over from a hazy memory of course and then I failed to excise it when finalizing the page.

Great to hear—thanks to @Petorius for creating those!

I am definitely back in the stone ages when it comes to trail running… I use my eyes and sense of direction. And since my phone has no data plan I couldn’t use Webscorer in real time (QR code) or RunGo even if I wanted to.

Not that you’d need directions on such classic FLRC courses, but RunGo should still work regardless. You’d just have to load the course when you had Wi-Fi. When you’re actually running, it relies solely on GPS, so it doesn’t need any sort of Internet access.

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A brief update: I added some navigational backup options to these three course pages. They won’t necessarily help you follow the courses, but if you were to take a wrong turn, they might help you get back to your car. RunGo will alert you if you go off course, but I’m not entirely sure how well it will help you recover if you want to abort the run and go home.