In my opinion, the Tortoise and Hare is both safer and faster if you run it as the Hare and Tortoise. There are some steep and scary downhills: better to do them when you are fresh. Also, frankly, doing the Hare doesn’t take that much out of you, so there’s still enough in the tank for the Tortoise leg. My two cents.
So where did you start and finish to swap the critters? Just at Upper Buttermilk?
Then you could head down the hill fresh, turn around and come back up while still pretty fresh, and then finish off all the trails at the top without having to worry about it again.
There’s an “Entering the Fingerlakes Trails” sign on Yaple at the top of Upper Buttermilk. That was start and end.
I had the same idea to run “Hare and Tortoise” and did that this afternoon. I am not sure which is harder on the legs. Anyway, an advantage of H->T is that you can drink water out of the restroom spigot (the outdoor water fountains are not on) half-way through the race. Well, not half-way, it took me about 30 minutes down but 41 up. I parked at the curve before the Comfort Rd. bridge, ran down the access road. On the way back I followed the FLT connector to Yaple and then downhill to my start.
To set the record straight, the “Tortoise/Hare” name is from the original idea of the late Rich Lawrence, a quite slow runner who nonetheless enjoyed the trail races (he finished Tri IV 1990) and wanted a race where the Tortoise could enjoy it. In 1998 Rich was canoeing on the flood control channel and got caught in a “hydraulic” at the spillway by the railroad bridge at its south end. It doesn’t look dangerous but it is!
Two weeks ago I ran the course starting and ending and the small parking area on Comfort Road. I actually think it’s faster and easier to run the uphill last. Thinking about how close the finish is makes me less interested in walking or slogging up the steep hill and provides motivation to go faster on the rooty, gradual incline in the upper park.