That’s so cool that you two got to see the train on the bridge. Thanks Jamie for the warning about the holes in that clearing. Sounds like I lucked out that I didn’t step in one when I did my night run there, but I will be back out there soon will be definitely on the lookout for them. I got a little bit confused on the transition from getting from the parking lot to across the creek as well, so it’s not just you.
Yes, the FLT officially goes right through the creek (as do @Ian’s races) but I always take the train bridge to keep dry. If there’s a train blocking the path, you can usually skirt around to the left and under the bridge, assuming the water isn’t too high.
Based on the previous stories, I knew I was in for a wild ride. With marathon training, fieldwork, and other summer travels I also knew that this was my chance to finish up the challenge (at least for a while). I headed out slightly later than I hoped, but still started running before 8 to try and beat the heat. I started with the Lick Brook side and easily found my way to the switch backs. I kept looking up to see how much there was to go and it felt never ending for a short while, but I made it up. I took a slight detour when the orange blaze trail hops out onto the first field, but thanks to other helpful hints here, I quickly realized my error and found the trail. Soon enough I reached the turnaround sign and headed back down. The view right before descending was so pretty, but I wanted to keep moving (at this point I was still feeling good). I am very thankful for the kind man that I found where you rejoin the finger lakes trail at the bottom. I couldn’t remember which direction I came from and he saved me from a long detour. I ran back to the parking lot and went straight under the bridge. I took a little slide in the mud on the concrete under the bridge but was able to stay upright. This was my first good save of the day. I quickly realized that this part of the trail was no less challenging and questioned what I was doing on just about every steep uphill climb. The run became more of a run walk as my legs were getting tired and I was getting hot. I decided complete in one piece was the goal, and gave up any idea of putting in a really fast time. This course really is a challenge. Just past 7 I was a bit confused about where the trail went as I didn’t think the white blazes up front were really the direction I should be going. At this point I lost any sense of what direction I was heading but looking at the map I figured it must be right. Eventually, I reached the turnaround sign much to my relief. I slowly made my way back to my car taking one other big tumble with another save to prevent a complete faceplant. My legs are dead but we made it.
Began the morning picking up Jesse Koennecke in Ithaca on the way to Lansing. We had met last year but this was the first time I really got to talk with him. Then it was simply trying to keep up with Adam, Aaron, and Dave as they breezed around the track without ever needing to shorten a sentence to take a breath. Met a lot of cool people and got to enjoy some of Adam’s Rhubarb bread, which was better than I could put words to.
After dropping Jesse back off in Ithaca I continued on to sacrifice myself again to the Lickbrook Treman gods. Had the fortune of running into the always super nice Amanda King, Liz Hartman, and (I think Jilene? It happed so fast) in the parking lot, who were just finishing their runs. I decided to take the Lickbrook path first this time, no poles, and a hand bottle instead of the hyrdopack. This was a good choice in hindsight as it was just too hot to be lugging around a pack. The trek up and down Lickbrook went super smooth this time without any navigational gaffs. I had made a point to get a count of the stairs in the “blue blaze” stretch and thought for certain I would remember it to the end, but now I am questioning my memory. It think it was 157 or 158, but it might have been 175? Anyhow, might be nice for those planning to do that climb in the future to be able to count the progress on the way up. Made a quick stop at the mobile aid station to refill the bottle and then headed off quickly west. After my first jaunt here, everything seemed to be in fast forward and it wasn’t anywhere near as arduous as I had remembered. Soon enough though, the heat, this mornings run, and yesterdays race finally began to bring me down to earth and I eventually started to do more hiking up the hills than running. There was lots of thunder but not a lot of actual rain. Passed someone about 2/3 of the way through listening to runGo directions and I suspected he was a Challenge person. Once I made it to the second turnaround there was a slight drizzle. At this stage, rain would have been a welcome event as it was hot even under cover of trees. Regardless, the trip back went relatively smooth and without incident. The rain never really materialized. Upon returning to the parking lot, the guy I passed had just returned as well from having done Lickbrook. So… I ended up meeting Mikhail Kern and chatting with him for a bit as I cooled down. It was his first shot at the course and he laid down a super quick time for how hot it was.
I was able to “shave” 3.75 hours off my previous escapade here, and although it wasn’t as quick as I would have liked it was still an enjoyable run none the less. Satisfied with putting this behind me, I headed up the road for some food and refreshment at Ithaca Beer Company. A nice IPA and burger hit the spot. Then it was all the way home with one quick detour to try the ice cream at Cayuga Creamery. All in all a pleasant trip.
Well, today was my first time running this trail, and it kicked my butt. I took a few wrong turns and had to double back a couple of times, and my watch decided to spazz out and end my work out after 3 miles.
That aside, this was a super fun trail. Well, at least the Treman side was super fun. The Lick Brook side was brutal. Great views along the way and I couldn’t pass up stoping for pictures. 100% doing this one again (after recovering).
Now off to Ithaca Beer Co. for some much needed post run nourishment.
First time running this trail for me too, and I agree with Bill—it definitely kicks your butt. I felt a bit like Indiana Jones! I’m not a trail runner so I restate everyone’s warning: this is not a regular (road) half marathon. It takes almost twice as much time. Remember to carry water and nutrition.
Regardless of whether you choose to do Lick Brook or Treman first, both start with a lot of uphill. I chose to preserve my energy and walk the uphill parts, so I was pretty slow, but I truly enjoyed the view. Most of the course is under the shade so it’s a good one to run when it’s hot. I was alone and I found the RunGo instructions pretty good. I made a stupid mistake on Lick Brook, turning left on a crazy uphill with a big tree before the river (while the left turn is actually after the river and then the uphill part starts)… as if I needed more uphill
I see people have different opinions on this, but I am happy to have run the Treman side first. Lick Brook is a crazy hike but Treman is the longest part, so I was happy to have completed that when I returned to the parking lot the first time.
FYI the turnaround of the Lick Brook section is now almost invisible because of the tall grass.
After the adventure, I went shopping at Wegmans and ate vegetable lo mein with sesame chicken… yummy!
Yikes! Sounds like we’ll have to weed by the King Road turnaround sign soon. Great run.
Kris and I (and Dior) chose this morning for this run as it looked like the coolest morning of the week. We got an early start so it was 51 degrees to start and 61 degrees at the end, delightful running weather. This is definitely a hard run… at least we humans thought so. Dior ran circles around us and still wanted to play when we got home. The trail was in good shape, even the wet area beyond Woodard Rd wasn’t too muddy. Warning however…there was a lot of poison ivy in that stretch between Woodard and the turn around. Watch where you step or wear long socks! Kris also had a tiny deer tick on her calf when we got back to the car. It was embedded, but hopefully hadn’t been hitching a ride for too long. All in all, a great outing. Gorgeous course, beautiful day!
Gill and I and our amazing trail running pooch ran this course this morning. Beautiful morning and a lovely course. Lots of birds identified through sound and the Merlin app, a few ticks, long wet grass near East King, the hoot of a barred owl as we made our way down Lick Brook. Glad we did the Treman side first. Challenging and fun.
Having now run this trail twice, I found that running Treman first was best for me.
My first time we ran Lick Brook first and I did well on that half of the course but fell apart on the Treman part. I was so tired and walked for many parts of the Treman ups and downs.
This time, I was fresh for the 4.5 miles mostly uphill on the Treman side and got to rest on the downhill back to the parking lot. Then I just walked the one mile up Lick Brook for a 20 min mile and then was able to keep running up to the turn around even though I was tired. So I basically had to walk one mile when tired instead several miles.
In the end I shaved over 20 mins off my time and was not as tired when I finished compared to the first time.
And I strongly encourage bringing water. I drank on the Treman side and then refilled at my car and still finished my water pouch before I got to the Lick Brook turn around. But then it was all downhill and I could wait for the water…
This is me next to the sign I did not see before embarking on the lick brook Tremain run. Afraid I must have confused many a runner as I was going against the current. I saw Gerrit van Loon and Margaret Frank. And I think Amelia Kaufman. But lots of others too. And Klaas van Wijk, but he might have been in the same boat as me, running rogue with no bib on the wrong day.
I had tried to do this run Memorial day too, but I got lost. Still haven’t managed to get Rungo on my phone. Yada yada.
In a word, though, gnarly (dude)! By the time you hit mile 9 or 10, it’s just you and your runner’s high, nothing civilized about it. Up and down and up and down and in and out and in and out. Gerrit told me once, when he runs these long races, all he thinks about is form. And I get that. Running past Charlie Fey, who was volunteering at the Skunk back in April, he called out “Smooth into the finish”. Best advice ever.
I did the lick brook side first because I did not want to be running down that hill with exhausted legs. The last stretch coming back from the Treman side does allow for some smooth running too. So, good fun was had by both my legs and my little pea brain.
Robert H. Treman State Park is one of my favorite places in the world. This is not an exaggeration. The trails are a perfect combination of well-maintained and just wild enough, and there’s something about the feeling of running along the forest floor surrounded by grass and ferns and tall trees that just can’t be beat. Not to mention the rest of the park: swimming, camping, etc. But today I was here for the running.
I was planning on the forecasted rain to help keep me cool this morning.
Ron Howard narrator voice: there was no rain.
07:57am, 00.0 miles
I actually got up early this morning! I guess I was pretty excited to do this?
I had stashed a drop bag at Woodard Road, which I crossed at 3.5 and 6 miles, downed some Gatorade on the way out and scarfed a banana on the way back down. I was better about slowing down for a couple minutes and not just blowing through, and that definitely helped me regain some energy.
On the way back down I crossed a hiker and an ultra runner with poles at the same time – a little crowded for single-track – but other than that it was a quiet morning.
09:43am, 09.3 miles
I came into the Yaris aid station feeling good. I chose the Treman side first because that long flowing downhill at the end would have been wasted after 12 miles. Chugged half a liter of water and headed out towards the tracks.
The inlet looked like it was only about a foot deep, so I just took the water crossing. It was more like 2 feet, but still nice and refreshing, and my socks and shoes got rid of most of the wetness fairly quickly.
I knew what to expect for Lick Brook: even if it has been 9 years since I did CT50, you don’t forget that sort of thing. Maybe it’s just because I was already pretty spent by that point, but it actually didn’t feel too bad, hiking up. By the time I made it to Town Line, I was back to a shuffle, which shortly turned back into a proper jog. The way back down felt smooth and quick, though my legs were definitely solidifying by this point.
I crossed the tracks via the bridge on the way back, apparently with good timing, as a train came by within 5 minutes. Once I heard the 13 mile alert, I hammered it in pretty hard --6:49 pace, according to my watch.
10:27am, 13.2 miles
This was my longest run in 9 years (since CT50 in 2013), but overall I’m quite happy with my current endurance level. I’m definitely looking forward to doing this a few more times as I continue to consider giving Virgil Crest another go.
Challenge completion celebratory chocolate bar in the woods!
These race reports are so much fun. Thanks for sharing!!
A post was merged into an existing topic: 2022 FLRC Challenge completed!
It was a beautiful clear day. Anne and I had vowed to be on the trail by 7am, and we were. Not too hot, still only high 50’s when we started. Our plan was to hike the route, heading first toward the Treman side. I carried a bottle of water and Anne had her Camelbak. I tried to walk at a fast clip, and soon the traffic faded into the distance, birds singing, saw a few newts, a couple snakes, the gentle sound of rain in the trees -wait, that’s not rain, that’s the gentle sound of gypsy moth poop falling through the trees. Oh well, glad I wore a hat. And lots of insect repellant to ward off ticks. (Would’ve worn higher socks if we’d noticed Gill’s note about the poison ivy). But before we knew it we were at the turn-around and headed back toward the cars. My breakfast oatmeal was sticking with me pretty well, but I stuffed a couple bites of a peanut butter sandwich down just after passing the parking lot. The Lick Brook side got real when we got to the switchbacks and steps. My butt muscles got tired! But we did it. Challenge completed!!
We drove over to the Lower Treman entrance and had a picnic of Gorgers sandwiches and watermelon to celebrate.
Well, I told myself that if the weather was decent, I would give Lick Brook & Treman FLT course a go this weekend. I needed a longer trail run and wanted to play with my hydration vest prior to FL50 (25K for me).
It was cool and drizzly this morning. I decided to start with the Treman side and immediately was questioning why I thought this was a good idea. My legs were tired and heavy. I came upon another runner within the first mile and learned he had just started the course as well. I did not ask his name, but we ended up crossing paths two more times.
The up and the down and the fear of poison ivy. I just kept moving forward. I was pleasant surprised how quickly the return to the parking lot was, but I was aware on paper of what lie ahead of me.
The trestle crossing was a bit scary, mostly I was concerned about putting my foot between railroad ties. Then it was the back and forth and back and forth and back and forth up the hill. The scenery was beautiful!!!
Near South Hill Cider, my Garmin started freaking out and sending alerts to my emergency contact. I have no idea why it thought I was in danger. But I had to text my husband to I was fine and to ignore the alert and also figure out how to stop it. I did not enjoy when the orange spur trail got really narrow. I didn’t see the turnaround sign at King Road, but I just followed the RunGo directions.
Technology failed me again. I guess my Garmin stopped tracking with the emergency alert and then I was locked out of my phone to stop my backup up trackers. Oh well.
When I was done, I was done. I had zero desire to go anywhere but home. I showered immediately, taking care to wash well to hopefully avoid a poison ivy reaction!
What an amazing run this morning! So fun to go early and meet up with the group run at the end for delicious watermelon and oranges and some great camaraderie.
Kieran (our son who is home just for a week) needed to do a 12 mile run this morning according to his training schedule. Since the group run was happening at Lick Brook this morning we thought this would be a great excuse to take him on a trail run. Kieran now lives in Urbana IL so he really enjoyed the woods and shade but the hills were perhaps a little more than he expected! Jamie suggested we get up early and do the Treman side first and then catch the group at Lick Brook. This worked pretty well as we finished the whole course at the same time as the group doing just Lick Brook.
The Treman half of the run went pretty smoothly though I will say the weeds on the side of the trail have gotten VERY tall. Tall socks won’t protect you from poison ivy anymore. Kieran and I were going at a pretty good clip the whole time so I didn’t stop to examine the weeds but I am pretty sure I spotted poison ivy in a couple of spots. We scrubbed our legs with soap upon returning home and now have our fingers crossed.
To add a bit of excitement on this section, Kieran and I saw a black bear high-tailing it away from us as we came cruising down the trail. We came upon it pretty quickly so were lucky it heard us coming first. No babies is site, I always worry about getting between a Mama bear and her cubs.
We also enjoyed meeting up with Matt on the trail twice. He had the same idea we did this morning and started the Treman side just a bit before we did. This course completed his challenge. Congrats!
The other funny thing that happened on the Treman side is that we passed the same hiker twice, once when we were heading out and then again coming back. The second time past he asked if we were related. We said yes and then he asked if we were grandmother and grandson! What the heck, do I really look that old that I could have a 24 year old grandson? The comment only made me run faster!
It was great to make it back to the base camp but the group run had already left. The hill was as brutal as you would expect, even after the switch backs it just keeps going up. Soon we caught up to Tonya and then a large group of ladies. At the turn around we said hello to Adam and the guys but had no time to lollygag, though Adam ran with us for a bit which was super nice. Kieran set the pace heading down the hill which I was grateful for and before we knew it we were crossing the trestle and heading in for the finish. We really enjoyed hanging out with the group chatting and waiting for Jamie and Tonya to join us.
Three cheers to Adam and Tonya for bringing us all together with these challenge courses!
Do I really look like his grandmother???
I couldn’t convince the family to stop at Eddydale for some fresh strawberries (huh?) but they did allow a quick stop at TJMaxx to do a errand, they waited in the car.
Nice job Loehr family! And you do not look like his grandmother.
Hot and steamy! We started this with the Saturday morning group run, running the Lick Brook section first and then stopping for a fantastic watermelon break before continuing on to the Treman / FLT section. Everyone was in good spirits despite temps in the 90s (next time we agreed we should start earlier!) and ample poison ivy.
Stopped at Franco’s for a slice and soda. Maybe it was the heat, maybe it was the mileage, but it was the most delicious pizza of my life.
No grandmother runs at your speed! You guys look awesome, and congrats on running all the courses twice!