Week #16 of 18 2023 Recap

Just 9 days left, @Challengers—Webscorer will stop accepting results at 11:59 PM on August 13. (You can keep running the courses after that, but they won’t count for the leaderboard.)

If you haven’t seen it yet, grab a copy of this week’s Ithaca Times to read Christopher Walker’s excellent article about the Challenge—lots of great quotes and photos from some of our stalwart runners.

The main competitions are shuffling a little, and as more people finish their final courses, additional changes are likely. Liz Hartman’s lead in Most Points for women increased by a couple of points this week, but Nora McIver-Sheridan could potentially move up if she converted a few of her third-place finishes to first-place finishes. Andy Klepack debuted in second place in Most Points for men after finishing his final course, and Jean-Luc Jannink’s tenth course puts him in third, with Patrick Milano still in the lead. The dark horses remain Mik Kern, who has three courses left to run, and Jay Hubisz, who has two remaining. Caitlin Loehr continues to hold onto first place in Most Miles, but Pete Kresock isn’t far behind. Finally, it’s looking like the @Fantastic-40s have the team competition sewed up and don’t need to pay any more attention to their elders.

Congratulations to all the people who have been logging their last course in advance of the final days. They include (deep breath): Mary Howard, Steve Ryan, Jessica Smith, Jean-Luc Jannink, Beth Osborne, Paula Kilts, Jesse Koennecke, Stephen Jesch, Matthew Plank, Ryan Vooris, Brenda Osovski, Bob Talda, Molly Doruska, Andy Klepack, Andrea Kiely, Tonya Engst, Sarah Von Schrader, Dan Verderosa, Michelle Woods, Sarah Giesy, and Michelle Dardia. I think that brings us to 56 completions so far, with the kids who completed Personal Challenges that the leaderboard can’t track.

All the emphasis on finishing goosed our mileage numbers this week, with a record 928 miles so far. That brings us close to 11,000 for the season, and I’m hoping we can break 12,000 in the remaining days. Blueberry Patch became our seventh course to break 1,000 miles this week.

Kudos to Steve Jesch, who completed the Challenge on July 29 and then turned around and finished again with our fastest FLRC 100K Ultra Challenge completion of the year on August 3. Steve ran all ten courses in 11:10:33, logging a total elapsed time of 16:48:10. Most impressive, he did it on the comeback trail after fracturing his hip in a bike crash in January. In the remaining nine days, will anyone else complete the FLRC 100K Ultra Challenge? You only need to carve out 24 hours of that time.

Remember, we have more FLRC Challenge shirts available now for just $20, so if you’d like one, you can order online and pick it up from me at an FLRC race, workout, or group run, or at the picnic. This second shipment is true to size in the men’s/straight style, so that’s available now if the slim fit of the first shipment is too small. The shirts are light and comfortable—perfect for summer running.

Speaking the FLRC Annual Picnic on August 24, please RSVP by August 10 so we can plan food. I strongly encourage all Challenge runners to attend to pick up completion medals, shirts, and course signs, and receive the acclaim you deserve! (I could use a few more volunteers to hand out medals and shirts and manage the swap table too.)

For those who aren’t devoting every run to finishing the Challenge, FLRC’s next race is Forge the Gorge at Fillmore Glen State Park on August 10. Register to run or volunteer, and Heather Cobb is hosting a group run to preview the course on Saturday. Our final Challenge group run will be on August 12 to help those who need to finish off Dryden Lake Lollipop.

A few of the best photos this week come from Pete Kresock, who documented his 26 Sweet 1600 completions (that’s right, 104 laps, with one more for the marathon) with this selfie on the Lansing track on August 1, and to Community Stars leader Ruth Sproul, who captured this scenic shot of running partner Anne Shakespeare on Lakefront Loops. Then Liz Hartman and Molly Doruska smiled their way to some fast Black Diamond Park to Park times, and Tonya Engst and Sarah Ridenour shared some mid-Dryden Lake Lollipop ice cream with Banyan Love.

Tune in next Friday to see where we are before the final Challenge weekend!