Week #11 of 19 2024 Recap

The weather was again rough for running this week between the heat and the rain. But that didn’t stop two @Challengers from tackling the Tough Trail Challenge. First, inspired by Amy Dawson’s completion of the Tough Tarmac Challenge, Scott Dawson logged our fourth Tough Trail completion and lowered the record for running time to 5:33:57. Then, taking advantage of the July 4th holiday, Pete Kresock dropped the running time again to 4:52:10, but due to a midday break for parenting, snuck in under the total 12-hour cutoff time by a mere 4 minutes and 20 seconds.

Surprisingly, no one claimed their medal this week, but we have 14 people on deck with one or two more runs to go—a cool, dry weekend could open the floodgates. Nonetheless, there was some movement at the top of the leaderboard, with Caitlin Loehr taking the top spot from Nora McIver-Sheridan, at least until Nora runs her Freeville Fly-In. Melissa Plank also moved into third for Most Miles, bumping Tristan Lambert off the leaderboard while he was away hiking the non-Challenge-compliant Mont Blanc. And, the @Fabulous-50s have moved to within 6 points of the @Fantastic-40s in the team competition—will this finally be the winning year for those of us who grew up in the 1980s?

I’ve had some questions about the FLRC Challenge rules of late, so I’ve revised them slightly to make two important clarifications:

  • Getting lost is on you: Although it’s acceptable to add miles to the middle of a Challenge run and subtract that time from the overall time, leaving the course has to be intentional. If you get lost and put in extra miles, you can’t subtract the time you spent lost. It’s just like getting lost in a race.

  • No stopping your watch mid-run: Similarly, if you have to stop to consult a map or tie your shoe, your watch has to keep running because you’re benefiting from the rest. Otherwise, the best competitive approach would be to complete each course with a combination of timed sprints and untimed rests, which is clearly not kosher.

I’m sorry that some people have been having trouble with the RunGo app this summer, and I recommend you inform RunGo support so they know there are issues. Many people have come to rely on RunGo, but navigation has always been part of the challenge. If you’re worried about a course, I encourage you to look at the map and bring a copy of the directions on paper. If you click the green Open This Route button for any RunGo map on a course page, there’s a Print button at the top. Just make sure to select the Print Backgrounds checkbox to get the map when printing. Alternatively, recruit a fellow Challenger to help or join a group run!

For photos of the week, I can’t resist sharing these images from the dog days of summer, modeled here by Forest (with Jamie Love and Banyan Love).

Scott Dawson is also embodying modern summer with this shot under sunny skies while still drenched from a pop-up thunderstorm.

Finally, Laura Taylor gets composition points for this perfectly posed selfie with the soft-focus Hammond Hill Hoctathon Challenge sign in the background.

There’s no group run this weekend because anyone seeking running company should sign up for Tortoise & Hare at Buttermilk State Park on Sunday. I’ll have the purple Challenge shirts there, so if you haven’t gotten yours yet, find me before or after the race.

Until next week, keep covering the ground!


I’ve shared the trail course .gpx files in a separate topic. They can be loaded to most .gps watches.

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