Thoughts about the "remote" 5K course in the FLRC Challenge?

@Challengers, as I’m building the courses for the 2024 FLRC Challenge, I’m curious what people thought about being able to consider any 5K race as a Lakefront Loops 5K completion. I know some people did use it, especially with FLRC’s Women’s Distance Festival 5K, Twilight 5K, and Fillmore 5K, but did it encourage entering 5Ks while away from Ithaca too?

I really like how the Sweet 1600 gets people out on tracks far from Ithaca and sharing pictures, and that will remain a fixture. But should we keep the Lakefront Loops 5K course as well so we can continue to accept “remote” 5K completions? No promises either way, but please vote to help my thinking!

Should we keep the Lakefront Loops 5K course and allow other 5Ks to count for it?
  • Yes
  • No
0 voters

BTW, I’ve already tried to think about other flat 5K courses but haven’t been able to come up with one I like as much as Lakefront Loops—the Twilight 5K course isn’t much different and the Ithaca 5&10 course, for instance, wouldn’t work well at all for the Challenge because it uses busy city streets and Ithaca High School. And Lakefront Loops is both really scenic and already measured.

An idea - what about doing the May Day 5k route in Tburg as part of challenge? It starts at school and runs through village. Small modification from actual course needed because it runs through the bus area which is only open for race but easy to change. Bathrooms available and I could help coordinate through school folks.

Does the 5k have to be a flat road/paved trail? Could it be a short trail loop like maybe Buttermilk Falls or something like that? Or can you get a 5k on the trails through Cornell Lab of O?

Although I didn’t use the remote option I think it’s good for those of us that don’t live in Ithaca. With all the driving the challenge entails it’s nice that one of the shortest courses has the option of being more convenient/local. (Sorry @amy-dawson but it is very unlikely that I will drive an hour to T-burg to just run a 5k).

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I like the concept of the remote 5k but it seemed like hardly anyone used it. I think you should eliminate the remote spect the make it simpler.

A few options for a new 5k road course:

The Groton Labor Day 5k is a nice course (and includes half a mile of dirt rail trail) but you’d probably have to move the finish off the Groton HS property.

You could also consider a modified Lakefront Loop that uses the new pedestrian bridge over the inlet, at the former dead end of the Waterfront Trail to the sourh.

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That’s fair! I just suggested it since Adam was looking for a long one in Tburg. Was thinking if the long one didn’t make it in, then maybe a 5k would work here instead.

I haven’t used the virtual 5k option either but like that it is there.

I used the remote 5k for a race in Ocean City NJ, plus several local 5k’s. It definitely encouraged me to enter more races. I think it’s a great option!

Thanks for thinking of the Groton Labor Day 5K Course, but the trail portion is posted by the landowner and only available to be used on race day with special permission from the owner.

Thanks, all! It’s looking like most people are generally in favor of keeping Lakefront Loops 5K and the remote 5K option, which is where I was leaning anyway.

My desire for the local 5K course to be flat and fast comes from the competitive aspect—I don’t want the local 5K course to be more difficult than what people could run elsewhere such that the local times are guaranteed to be slower. If the Challenge used a hard, hilly course (or worse, something on trails), the people who would run the fastest for the 5K would do so on remote courses where few others would have the option of competing. Lakefront Loops is, by design, a level playing field.

Many regular 5K courses don’t work that well for the FLRC Challenge because they assume significant use of a school or institution that would be in session during weekdays for much of the time the Challenge takes place. Or they use city streets that are controlled by course marshals during the actual race, or have restrictions such as @ks_eggs mentioned for the Groton course.

I do think that I’m going to require a post with at least a link to results for any remote 5K submitted for Lakefront Loops—if you’re going to run a remote 5K, you have to tell us about it. :slight_smile:


I appreciated having the remote race option as well, being an out of towner. I think I logged at least three 5k races for this. Since webscorer didn’t differentiate between a race or LFL, it is hard to really know how much it was taken advantage of overall.

As much as I enjoy seeing things changed up, it is hard to argue the setting and convenience of the Cass Park area for a nice flat 5k. Maybe just a minor tweak to eliminate the ambiguous turnaround at the “cracks”?


Yeah, it’s a good course. There’s no way (that’s better) that I’ve found to avoid the turnaround at the cracks, but I did add a band of blue marking ribbon to the post that’s to the left there, and I’ll make sure that’s still up next year. I’d love to make it more obvious, but it turns out to be a NYSEG post, so I don’t dare mark it with anything that identifies us or is more permanent.

If the start was moved slightly, then maybe the turnaround could align exactly with either of the two metal (electrical?) boxes on the course?

Upvoting the idea of adjusting the course to add a new bridge crossing, if it works/isn’t too complicated - love a bridge crossing! Lakefront Loops 2: Electric Boogaloop


I don’t think that works because the start and finish are in the same place, so their position doesn’t affect the length of the out-and-back.

Love the name and will keep it in my pocket for a future course! I’ll have to check with Tim Logue, but my understanding is that the new bridge doesn’t really go anywhere useful yet. Eventually, there will be a trail all the way to Buttermilk, but we’re not there yet, I don’t believe.

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Will the city allow you to mark the turnaround with a painted arrow on the pavement?

Definitely not. Just being able to add our start/finish sign to an existing post is a stretch in that regard because the city is extremely concerned about people putting up whatever signs they want in the parks.

Do you mean the new bridge that crosses the inlet so that you can go from Wegmans to Floral Ave? I ran over it recently and liked it. It’s definitely more fun than the oscillating ones in Stewart Park. But the only way to use it would be if the course started somewhere between Meadow St and the lake, so there would need to be road crossings…

Yep, that’s the one. It will be very cool eventually once the trail goes all the way to the Bridge to Nowhere at Buttermilk.

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