Unofficial Thom Bugliosi Trail Runs 2020

Dear Stoneheads and Bark-Eaters, with these new and unusual times, the Disorganizers of the Thom Bugliosi Trail Runs are pleased to bring you the rites of spring once again, such as they can be celebrated. With approval from the NYS DEC and the Friends of Hammond Hill, plus support from the Hammond Hill Social Club, Mister Hector and Mister Eckshonn invite you all to follow the traditional course – at your own risk – and submit your run time and course notes to our Unofficial Thom B. 2020 Results page for publication.

From May 1st (or whenever you find trail marks) through the scheduled race date of May 18th, you are welcome to run 13K, 26K, or 42K to welcome the return of the flowers, find your peace upon the trail, and run in memory of those whose lives are cut too short too soon. Markings will be set with red arrow signs, orange and pink surveyor flags, and possibly orange/pink surveyor tape – any other markings, if any, should be ignored. If you go for more than a few hundred yards and don’t see flags, you probably blew a turn and should backtrack.

The 13K and 26K are simply one or two loops of the course. As before, the 42K is 3 loops plus a ‘baby loop’ that repeats the ascent from Camp Earth Connection up Blue 1, then Left on Yellow 6 and back down Y1 to the start/finish. Signage will be posted at the intersection of the Yellow and Blue trails.

Course maps and trail notices will be posted at major trailheads. You may start at the traditional spot on Hammond Hill Road outside the Camp Earth Connection gate – no traipsing inside, please, though you are welcome to book lodging with them directly if available. If the main parking lot is full, you may also choose to start at the top of the Canaan Road intersection on Star Stanton, or on the Red Man Run roundabout at the entrance to the Red 1 trail, which is accessible via Canaan Road (off Harford Road coming from Slaterville or Dryden). Simply follow the course from your start point, and don’t forget the ‘baby loop’ if you’re going for The Full Experience™.

If you would like to avail yourself of secondary parking, do note that these access roads are unpaved, so low-slung cars may wish to avoid these. Do not take Hammond Hill Road from the east unless you have a worthy off-road vehicle – there is a good reason for the “STAY OUT” sign posted off Harford Road – you may end up leaving a trail of car parts or a swamped car deep in the woods.

Those of you who are familiar with the course, please let the Disorganizers know if markings have been displaced, or simply reset the flags if you feel comfortable.

The Friends of Hammond Hill have published a trail use survey, which is being shared with NYS DEC and the NY Assembly. $18-20 million per year is made off timber sales, none of which goes back to taking care of the forests. Trail use is noticeably up, and maintenance of our outdoor playgrounds is largely left to volunteers. Please fill out the survey, whether or not you participate. Check it out for more details:

Since this undertaking is not under the auspices of the Finger Lakes Runners Club nor any other organization, please take due precautions as with any outdoor activity. Familiarize yourself with the course, check posted maps, and bring a charged phone and any needed supplies. Getting lost, injured, or dying out there is highly discouraged (though we hear the bark and leaves are quite tasty this time of year) – whatever happens, it’s your own fault.

We hear physical distancing is a thing these days, so please don’t lick the squirrels, squeeze the horses, cuddle the foxes, or kiss the mountain bikers, and give everyone plenty of space.

Once your thirst for the outdoors is satiated, feel free to post your results and trail notes here – we will publish them on our website – it’s on the honor system, but we’ll know if you’re making things up. Check in at

Yours on happy trails, looking forward to happier times ahead –

~Mr. Hector, with Mr. Eckshonn for the
Unofficial Thom Bugliosi Trail Runs 2020


Most excellent news! And fully in the spirit of the non-virtual race.

Another possible starting place is the intersection of Y1 with the “finish line” connector down to Camp Connection. Park at the usual spot and walk/jog past the trail kiosk on Y1, a gentle uphill, to that intersection. Then start downhill to the Camp Connection before turning left and then going uphill on Hammond Hill Rd. Then the finish of one loop is at the same intersection and you can then walk/jog out on Y1 back to your car.

I licked a squirrel the other day but it didn’t count 'cuz I was off-course on Y8. Thanks for marking the route and putting this all together!

I claim the following titles: (1) first finisher, (2) first reverse course finisher, (3) first starting-at-FLT/Red 1 intersection reverse course finisher, (4) oldest finisher, (5) youngest finisher, (6) fastest finisher (1:52:35). As of 01-May of course! some of these titles I may (!!) lose in the coming days. Since I proposed the race I felt it was incumbent on me to do it as soon as the course was open, but also because this is likely the muddiest the course will be in the next two weeks. Some sections (Y5 down near the creek, Y4 along the flat near the creek) are especially muddy and shoe-sucking even by Thom B standards.

The trail was well-marked (I ran it in reverse but checked how it looked from the forward direction). Nice maps and notices at access points (I parked at Red Man run). But if you are directionally-challenged or even if you are good with directions but don’t know Hammond Hill I recommend strongly either going with someone who knows the course or at least bringing a map and comparing with the DEC trail numbers. The pink flags are fine. Only one problem – a HUGE pine tree smack across the trail right at the location where from Y1 you turn downhill to the traditional finish. So a runner has to crawl under the huge trunk, and on the other side notice immediately the pink flags and sign pointing downhill, rather than continue on Y1 to the parking lot.

Great job Mr. Hector etc. and now I’ve set out a marker – my tribute to Thom B.

Equipment note: I can’t say enough good about Saucony Peregrine trail shoes. Through sucking mud and rough rocky Hammond Hill Road they take all the beating you can give them. The tread is super secure and for what they do they are not heavy,

1 Like

You can claim all of the titles, Truck! I’ll just claim being exhausted…It was a beautiful day for a trail run! I agree, the trail was well-marked (only had a couple of stops to make sure I was still going the right way) and was glad for it - trail numbers no longer match ages old description I was carrying. So many thanks, @Mr_Hector! 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. Actually ran 14.04K according to my Forerunner 220. 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.
And here’s to my trusty New Balance MT-10s! Never lost a beat in the mud, water or rocks…

Here’s my experience racing the 13k for the first time. I usually go for the longest option at the Thom B and run much slower.

I was hoping to run one or two 13k loops at this year’s race, having only every raced the marathon and the now defunct 52k distances at the event. On the evening of May 1 I went up to Hammond Hill State Forest to take advantage of the marked route and hammer out a fast 13k loop.

Things started out okay on the initial climb and ensuing flat trails. It was a few miles before the recent rain muddied up the trails and made running difficult. My new pair of inov-8 Roclite G 275s handled well in the mud and slick leaves. I maintained a half marathon effort on the trails; through the mud and water, up and down rolling hills, and over wet leaves and roots. Physical distancing was easy. Overcast skies scared everyone away and I only saw two hikers the whole time, both from the parking lot.

Around mile 5 is where I began to tank, on the Y4 trail leading out to Star Stanton Road. Crossing Star Stanton, the gradual uphill on (I think) Y2 was a real grind until I hit the peak of Star Stanton Hill and began to cruise on the decent. The last two miles of this loop are among my favorite trails in the area for running. Smooth, fast, and mostly secluded. I really started to hammer after the final hard right turn on Y1.

Sprinting down to the hard left onto the unmarked “finishing chute” trail I was in for a surprise. A large downed conifer completely blocked the trail and the only way past was to climb straight over. I fumbled my way forward and hustled down to the dirt road, turned right, and ran another 100 meters to compensate for not having access to the actual finish line inside the closed private camp.

I clocked a 1:09:18 for my first time “racing” the single-loop course. I don’t know what to make of this. I think I’ve done faster than that in a training run or two, and Strava says I ran the loop in 1:06:57 to start the four-loop 52k in 2017. However, this time around I measured 8.25 miles on my newer Suunto 9, as opposed to 7.8 on my old Ambit 2. The old course also had a small section that’s since been rerouted. (Replacing a bit of FLT with Y4 just south of Star Stanton.) The reroute adds 0.1 to 0.2 miles to the loop, but is much smoother and easier to run than the lumpy and technical FLT. ’

I’m planning to go back sometime next week when the weather is good and race the 26k. I doubt I’ll have time to get out for the marathon and complete the Thom B Triple Crown. Thanks Joel for marking the way and recording times!

1 Like

Wow that is fast! especially for the conditions. As I wrote above, I was out on the same day 01-May but in the early afternoon. Yes the revised course with Y4 is somewhat longer and I think slower despite the better footing (not going across the four streams and extremely rooty FLT). I forgot to add the “finish sprint” to my run (although I didn’t start/end at the camp) so I’ll add 15 seconds to my time. I had noted the huge pine tree in my original post. My first thought was that it was a clever ruse by Mr. Hector to keep the mountain bikes off the trail. But on closer inspection it seems to be a natural blowdown.

I went back to HH today prepping for a possible 2nd crack at the Thom B – come on people, there are only 7 more days! till the 18th and so far only two have posted here. I can’t see the full results, it wants me to enter a result to see the results, but I already did that on 01-May. So I don’t know how many others may have done it. But now the trail is firming up and SOMEONE (not Charlie Leonard, I asked him) CUT THROUGH THE BIG PINE blocking the trail at the Y1/finish sprint junction – so no excuses!

I had a fantastic time hitting the trails yesterday. I can’t remember a Thom B with snow on the ground!! While mojo was not the same as toeing the line with a big crowd, after a lap, I figured “At this point, it’s unlikely I’d be seeing anybody in front or behind anyway!” After finishing one lap in about 1:06 or 1:07, I started really laying track, and putting in an honest day’s effort. On the second lap, the snow was already mostly off the trail, and I got in a bit of a trail tempo zone. I ran across Sandy G, Cat, and a couple others I may or may not have recognized in my haze practicing some trail style social distancing.

I have to say that while in general, I really miss the super technical section of FLT that is no longer part of the official course, I didn’t feel like doing it on snow yesterday. I always enjoyed putting ground on folks due to more experience with gnarly downhill sections, but yesterday it would be unncessary.

When I came to the finish (Thanks a billion to those whoever worked to remove that monster pine from the trail!) and I came to the road, I felt I had to add another sprint down the road to simulate the true finish at earth connections. I came in a hair until 2:11 for my finish, and was very grateful for an outstandingly marked course. Thank you Joel for your work on this, and on getting permission to hold the virtual Thom B and keep it going yet another year, uninterrupted. Cheers!


Damn Jay, I saw on Strava that both your laps were a few minutes faster than the single loop I ran all-out last week! I plan to give the 26k another go sometime this week and I’ll be eating your lingering dust the whole way.

I never liked this section as part of the race. The lumpy surface and all the roots disrupt the flow from the rest of the loop and its mostly smooth and hard packed surfaces. I’m not one to shy away from difficult trails, but I always thought this FLT part didn’t “fit in” and I’m glad Joel took it out.

Does a virtual race fail count as a DNF? Yesterday I went up to Hammond to virtually race the 26k. It was low 50s and sunny at my house in Fall Creek when I got ready to leave at 9:30 a.m. The babies started crying and before I knew it I was arrive at the Hammond parking lot at noon, light rain was just starting, and I was cold as soon as I got out of the car.

I hadn’t planned for the weather to turn like that and was only wearing shorts and a t-shirt, with no extra clothes in the car. I made good time up the initial dirt road climb and was greeted with numb hands as the wind really started to pick up. I continued down B1 a bit and decided to call it when a steady downpour of hail started stinging all over my bare skin. I finished up Thom’s Victory Lap, retrieved my stashed bottle, and bolted back to the car all but victorious. I’ll try again later this week when the weather is better. Lesson learned: always bring extra clothing options to Hammond!

1 Like

Yeah, I know I’m likely in the minority there. It used to be one of the most gnarly sections of trail in the race series. Not at all meaning to throw any shade on Joel’s decision to scrap it :). I do have to admit I got super confused on the first loop wondering where the heck I was when the markings took me past the old turn-off and I didn’t notice, and then I came upon the road and almost turned around, thinking I screwed up (the markings were perfect…I just have that section burned solidly into my brain from directing the race a handful of times with Melissa).

Just read your aborted attempt - the weather this year is just nuts!

And to add one more thing…I noticed your words about the GPS: On lap one, I was at 8.02 miles. Lap 2, I was 16.2 when my feet touched gravel road.

I believe the gnarly FLT section of the Thom B course was removed because the Finger Lakes Trail Conference suggested it due to so much deterioration of that section of the FLT. And since there was a way around that section to get back on the Thom B course, it was a no-brainer to avoid this section for the race. I think this is the second or third year for the re-route.


I also had to cut short my Monday midday run to an hour because of the hail. Even though I had grabbed a windbreaker when heading out the door, anticipating rain based on the weather radar, it didn’t occur to me that it would be something harder. Ouch!

But I made up for it Tuesday by going long in Hammond Hill’s cool sunshine and breezes. I covered 50K using the combination of Thom B and other trails I detailed previously, with one small loop (in the company of Sandy G) and two big loops (plus an extra half mile to satisfy my GPS). A perfect way to spend a low-work-responsibilities day. (Just don’t tell my boss :wink:

So… Mr Hector… the results are in… please summarize here. I can’t see the full results after I entered mine. Nothing on the FLRC site either. Maybe only myself and two others who posted here (Jay and Pete) completed it? Anyway thanks for the work you put in to mark the trail and square it with the DEC and Mike Ludgate.

When I submitted my 26k time a day or 2 before the deadline I was able to see what other people submitted. There were 10-12 of us who ran the race, and I know of several more who were planning to on race day, May 16.

Copying from the other thread –

We’ve had a pretty good turnout with 16 folks having recorded times so far – results below – and folks can add their times here. Highlights include:
-former RD Melissa Hubisz taking the women’s “win” in the 13K
-Bob Swizdor and Gerrit Van Loon coming in 4 minutes apart as the two 42K runners
-Pete Kresock submitted times for both the 13K and 26K
-John Hohm taking down the pine tree across Y1 near the finish, then running a very solid 13K
-Eric Sambolec going under an hour for the 13K, later helping take down course markings

…some flags are still up, and will be taken down in the next couple of days.

Happy trails!

Results in Spreadsheet form

1 Like

Re: course re-route, I know the FLTC folks always appreciate minimal trail impacts… although the logic was mainly to minimize bottlenecks on sub-optimal trail conditions and not disrupt the flow we get into along that lovely section of Y4. Gary and I agonized over it somewhat – but it’s just a trail :slight_smile:


@Mr_Hector Looks like this Google doc is private. There’s a way to change the setting and make it visible to anyone who has the link.

I had the same problem.