PGXC series this fall - and our home course

High Noon/FLRC:

After the hiatus in 2020, I’m happy to report plans are well underway for the PGXC series this fall! GVH Race Director Mike Nier has been in touch with me and Adam with a tentative schedule (way below) plus this additional good news: GVH is giving “a $500 stipend back to each club hosting a series race. This will be in addition to the series covering the site fees and insurance. We appreciate the host clubs and would not be able to have the series travel outside the Rochester region without your support. Use this money as needed to help the club to stay strong and prosper. The series cost will remain at the reasonable $70 for the 5 races to encourage participation.” How great is that!!

This year we are hosting race #4 on October 31, 2021. The question is: where should we have it? If you’ve got ideas please post them! In thinking about what makes a suitable site for a PGXC series race, here are some criteria to keep in mind.

  • A shelter or building for pre-race registration and post-race conviviality and warmth; if not a physical shelter then enough ground space for tents; power outlets for clocks, computers, etc.
  • Parking for 125-175 cars
  • Bathrooms, or a place for port-a-johns to be setup
  • Important course characteristics: enough space for 6k distance, wide start line for 200+ runners, ideally ½ mile from start before course narrows, mix of grass (open or lanes) and trail, hills and flat.
  • GVH has expressed a preference for a site on the west side of Cayuga Lake, such as, for example, Taughannock Falls State Park or Watkins Glen State Park.

In the recent past we’ve run at Taughannock (2018 & 2019), Watkins Glen (2017 & 2015), at the Cornell golf course in 2013 & 2016, and at Treman State Park in 2014. We’ve also run at Ithaca College and Stonehedges Golf Course in Dryden. FYI, Cornell, IC, and Stonehedges are no longer options.

If you’re aware of a large piece of property, public or private, that might serve for an XC course, please post here.

And, if you have a suggestion for the best use of the $500 give-back from GVH, we welcome that too!

Here is the working schedule for PGXC 2021:

Sunday Sept. 12, 2021 PGXC #1 5k: Long Branch -STC - New Course
*Sept. 19, 2021 USATF Masters 12k Championships (By Hook or By Crook) Highlands, NJ
Sunday Sept. 26, 2021 PGXC #2 5k - Everest Park - Auburn Pulsars
Sunday Oct. 10, 2021 PGXC #3 6k - Akron Falls Park - Checkers
*Oct. 17, 2021 USATF Masters 5k XC Championships Boston, MA
Sunday Oct. 31, 2021 PGXC #4 6k - Ithaca, NY - High Noon/FLRC
Sunday Nov. 07, 2021 PGXC #5 8K - TBD
*Nov. 14, 2021 USATF Masters Half-Marathon Championships, Syracuse, NY
*Dec. 11, 2021 USATF Club Nationals Tallahassee, FL

–Charlie Fay


We also looked into the Trumansburg XC course, but it’s too short and entirely around the school and has other issues. And although it seems Newfield has a course, as far as we can tell, it’s for junior high only and thus also too short.

Does anyone know where Watkins Glen High School runs their home meets?

Anyone familiar with the Finger Lakes National Forest? I’ve been to the Blueberry Patch campground area but not recently. What is that area and the Potomac Trails and campground area like? Do either have open spaces suitable for an XC start/finish in addition to trails? Sufficient parking? Any amenities?

Another idea thanks to Jim Miner: an area winery. Seems like a great idea with potentially a scenic site and perhaps access to a tasting room facility. There are lots of wineries around and between Cayuga and Seneca Lake. The question is whether any have sufficient land to accommodate a 6k XC course. Any suggestions?

There is a campground in the Blueberry Patch area and there’s a small parking lot. Probably the best staging area would be the Potomac Group Campground on Potomac Road – this is the staging and camping area for the Finger Lakes 50s. However, Unless you want to run through nearly all single track trails and cow rutted fields also littered with cow poop, the FLNF is not really conducive to a XC course. There’s not really any wide open field for the traditional XC start. Besides, working with the FLNF permitting process is pretty difficult and they take their sweet ol’ time with things (typical government bureaucracy – plenty of forms to fill out and lots of waiting).

What about the upper Watkins Glen State Park? We used to hold XC races there periodically.


Yea, that’s kinda what I thought about FLNF. Thanks Steve. We’ve been at the Watkins campground area (the upper section of the park) a number of times and it’s got a lot of attributes for XC. It’s definitely on the list.

The Watkins Glen course is a good one, but has a slightly awkward start and some hellacious hills, plus the parking was a real problem last time we were there. Taughannock is flat as a pancake and is pretty hard-packed for the spike fiends.

Personally, I’m leaning toward Taughannock, not the least because Watkins Glen feels too far away to be our “home” course.