FLRC Challenge courses

You can read all this on the main FLRC Challenge page, but here’s our final list of courses for discussion (some of the course pages aren’t fully complete yet, but they will be by the time they’re open for running). You can see them all on a map too.

  • East Hill Rec Way (1 mile, road): Easy and fast, this 1-mile slight downhill course is a favorite of speedsters and walkers alike. Try for a mile personal record!
  • Cornell Botanic Gardens (2.4 miles, road): What could be lovelier than a run around the glorious F. R. Newman Arboretum in spring, summer, or fall?
  • Waterfront Trail (3.1 miles, road): Starting and finishing at the Ithaca Youth Bureau in Stewart Park, this flat out-and-back course takes you along the shore of Cayuga Lake and past the golf course.
  • Tortoise & Hare (5 miles, trail): Buttermilk State Park hosts this traditional FLRC trail race course, which rewards those who climb the hill with beautiful trails at Upper Buttermilk.
  • Danby Down & Dirty (6 miles, trail): A classic autumn FLRC trail race, this 6-mile course in the Danby State Forest takes you on the scenic Abbott Loop.
  • South Hill Rec Way (7 miles, mixed): Start at the playground and run out and back on all three legs of the South Hill Rec Way in any order you want for this course.
  • Thom B. Trail Run (8 miles, trail): You’ll head out toward Dryden to Hammond Hill State Forest for the Thom B. Trail Run course, another longtime FLRC trail race.
  • Forest Frolic (9 miles, trail): Kennedy State Forest in Virgil is your destination for FLRC’s popular Forest Frolic course on the other side of Greek Peak.
  • Black Diamond Trail (10 miles, mixed): Start in Cass Park and run toward Trumansburg for this speedy 10-mile out-and-back course that’s sure to be a hit with distance specialists.
  • Pseudo Skunk Cabbage (13.1 miles, road): With a start/finish at the Ellis Hollow Community Center, this half marathon follows some of the same route as FLRC’s marquee race, the Skunk Cabbage Classic.
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My hope is to be able to install signs for the East Hill Rec Way and Pseudo Skunk Cabbage courses this weekend, so those will be the first to open. Next up should be the Cornell Botanic Gardens, Waterfront Trail, South Hill Rec Way, and Black Diamond Trail, once the snow and ice melt and they’re runnable again. The trail courses will have to wait a bit longer given the deep snowpack out there right now. Signs will look like this (with a nice waterproof sticker in place of the paper I was using for a color test):

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I should ask, since I’ve checked out the Cornell Botanic Gardens personally, but I haven’t been to other courses in the last few weeks.

What are the conditions on the Waterfront Trail (from the Ithaca Youth Bureau over to the old Haunt), the South Hill Rec Way (all three legs) and the Black Diamond Trail (first five miles)?

Stewart Park is all clear after yesterday’s big melt, not sure about west of the bridges though.

Woo! I’ll check it out this weekend and hopefully start the process with the Ithaca Youth Bureau to get the sign installed next week. (We have to get the spot approved by DigSafeNY, presumably so I don’t accidentally cut Ithaca’s main fiber optic cable or create a geyser from lake water pressure. :slight_smile: )

And I’m off to check the Cornell Botanic Gardens course in the Newman Arboretum in a few hours… Let it melt, let it melt!

Sadly, the Waterfront Trail course still has a major icy section after crossing the bridges from Stewart Park, and the Cornell Botanic Gardens has two hills that had lots of snow and ice on them Friday due to not getting any sun. @bobtalda said the Black Diamond Trail was really nasty, and the South Hill Rec Way never melts quickly.

The forecast has much warmer temperatures starting next Monday, so hopefully those will clear at least a couple of courses for us.

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