As an ultrarunner—and one who probably doesn’t put in the kind of mileage I should anymore, now that I’m officially old (just turned 60)—I decided to make my 19-mile COVID-19 Fund Run adventure a series of 19-mile adventures. Specifically, I’m running 19 miles on the same self-designed course at Hammond Hill every other day this week (just hiking or jogging a few miles on the in-between days). So far, so good, with three installments down and one to go, despite the quasi-deluges Sunday and Thursday nights. Surprisingly, my time has remained steady at 3:31 +/- 45 seconds, regardless of accumulated stress on my body, ambient temperature, mud/slop/trail-morphed-into-stream, downed trees, and whatnot, including stopping to wave “Hi!” to two little red efts this morning—the first I’ve seen this season. Hope all your runs are similarly delightful. Let’s hear about 'em!
Hi Nancy, do you mind sharing your custom HH 19-mile course? A sequence of DEC/FLT trail #s would be enough to follow it. I am curious because I know all the trails and thinking how I’d put together 19 miles (which I could not do in one go, but would be a nice variety).
My route involves some unmarked trails, so it’s a little complicated to describe, but here goes:
From the parking lot, head up Y1, turn right on Y6 at the T at the top , then right on B1. Follow it to all the way to Hammond Hill Road (but along the way note that at the one-mile mark from the parking lot, according to my GPS, there’s a cross trail, which I think was another snowmobile trail once upon a time). Cross HH Road to stay on B1 and run the blue loop and back to HH Road, then turn right. Make your way around the swampy bits to the left turn on the snowmobile trail, and take the snowmobile trail back to where it again coincides with B1 and then turn right on that previously mentioned unmarked cross trail. Take that until it plops you out on the snowmobile trail; turn left and take that up to where it intersects with B1 and turn right. Proceed on the Thom B course (Y5) for about half a mile until, after crossing Canaan Road you see Y8 on the left. Don’t take Y8, but turn right on the unmarked trail immediately across from Y8 and follow that winding trail down to
where it plops you out on Y7. Turn left and take Y7 back up to where it intersects with Y5. Turn right and follow the Thom B course (Y5 to Forest Rd to R1 to R2 to Y4 to Canaan Rd to Star Stanton to Y3 to Y1) all the way until reaching the T that would take you back to the parking lot/finish line, but don’t go down; instead go straight on Y6. You’ve now gone a little under 12.5 miles. For the second loop, take Y6 to Y5 to a right turn onto the unmarked trail across from Y8, back up Y7, and again right on Y5. This time, don’t go down Forest Rd, but proceed on Y5 straight through to Y4 and continue as before with the Thom B course. When you get to where Y1 heads back to the parking lot/finish line, you’ll likely be a little over 18 miles, so toodle around on Y6 and the flats of Y5 for about 1/4 mile, turn around, and then return to the parking lot via Y1 for 19 miles. And there you have it.
Thanks Nancy! I will try this in pieces. I think I recognize the unmarked trails in your description.
Good grief, Nancy! I used the Hammond Hills trails to do my 19K today, and if not for the pink and orange flags left out by some helpful soul (that means you @Mr_Hector, and your accomplice) I would still be out there. Beautiful day for a trail run - and walk when the run is no longer possible! Followed the well-marked Thom B course (only had a couple of stops to make sure I was still going the right way) and was glad for markings - trail numbers no longer match ages old description I was carrying. After the 2nd mud puddle gave up and just ran through them - and only fell once, right between a young couple out hiking. More embarrassed than hurt. Only glitch - missed the last turn off Y1 because a well-meaning young couple was practicing social distancing right in front of the flags! Realized mistake when I saw cabin used to start Frosty Loomis, so like the good trail runner went back and finished. Memories popped up all over the course - recall turning onto B1 the first time I ran Thom B as a novice trail runner thinking “here I go, into the breach”…recognized the R1/R2 intersection as the spot I once gave water to a dog on a hot day. Finished up on Hammond Hill road as there was activity at Mother Earth I didn’t want to disturb. Still had 5K to go and gave thought to completing Frosty 5K course, but didn’t trust my memory as to the turns so improvised using Thom B “baby loop” and Y1…just as well, because I was reduced to a (power) walk…just fast enough to stay ahead of the bugs.
Today’s run rather shocked me. Going into this week, I had expected I’d get slower and slower as the week wore on, but it didn’t turn out that way. My times were 3:30:40, 3:30:04 3:32:20, 3:25:13. I’m not sure how I managed to lower my time by so much today, especially since it was my first warm-weather run this year, which was absolutely lovely, but which I also expected would wipe me out. No red newt sightings today, but I had the pleasure of bumping into Charlie and Ann twice (first with their dog and granddaughters, and later with their dog and Ann’s horse), as well as Emily (on her bike), Sheena on the red trail, and Dave Jones on yellow 4, various hikers, and a couple of other cyclists—still, fewer people out there than I would have anticipate on such a spectacular spring day.
Lots of places to be running aside from Hammond Hill; where did other people go?
I can’t run right now due to plantar fasciopathy, and although I hiked 5.1 miles today, I wanted to do something a little more numerically appropriate. Our pond is about 100 feet across, so I donned my wetsuit, boots, and gloves, and in about 19 minutes, did roughly 6 lengths of pond running (plus a little) to hit the necessary 623 feet that matches with 190 meters. (Pond running isn’t fast, and it was just warm enough in the wetsuit, and wow, is my aerobic conditioning shot compared to last summer when I was doing an hour of pond running regularly.)
No Strava track, but here are the pix!
I split mine into three ~6-7 mile sections on the Cayuga Trail since no way I can do 19 straight these days. Ian’s traveling to specific locations inspired me (and some others, it seems) to do the same.
If you follow FLRC on Twitter, you’ve probably seen these already:
Ian’s video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrbVvqRrJQ0
My day 1: https://twitter.com/stevedesmond_ca/status/1255654592878186499
My day 2: https://twitter.com/stevedesmond_ca/status/1256303754686664707
My day 3: https://twitter.com/stevedesmond_ca/status/1257350055356481543
Scott Dawson’s video: https://vimeo.com/414312797
For my Fund Run, I wanted to do something silly and crazy but also get in the 19K that I signed up for. The best solution that I could think of - 47.5 laps on the track. My effort was inspired by my friend Bill Aronson in Portland who organizes an annual track half marathon on the first Sunday of February with a small but deep field runners. My only time running it was in 2018 when I ran 1:22 and couldn’t even break into the top 10. I wanted to recreate that experience in upstate NY except all the tracks in Ithaca (Cornell, IHS and IC) were closed.
On Saturday, I drove out to Groton High School which to my understanding has the only track open in the area. I had never been there and didn’t really know what to expect, but I was thrilled that I made the 25 minute drive there. The track in Groton is extremely scenic with a hill bordering the back stretch and a trail right by the track. It is very similar to the Duniway park track in Portland where Bill organizes his race, so it was particularly nostalgic that I was choosing to do a mind-numbing number of laps for my 19K in a very similar setting. Except for a couple of walkers in the outer lanes, I didn’t encounter anyone and was able to get my 19K done in ~73 minutes. More importantly, I plan to return to Groton High School for more scenic workouts so big thanks to Pete for organizing the fundraiser which allowed me to discover this track.
Strava link for 19K on the track - https://www.strava.com/activities/3385339763