We’ve completed the 2023 FLRC Challenge, and congratulations to the 98 people who claimed a finisher medal! 173 people registered and 140 people ran at least one course, giving us a 70% completion rate among those who at least started.
Before I get to this year’s winners, let’s have a round of virtual applause for everyone who participated, particularly those for whom completing all ten courses required significant effort. It’s impressive when someone runs all ten courses in 24 hours for the FLRC 100K Ultra Challenge, sure, but it’s no less of an achievement when someone works their way up to covering 13.1 miles for the first time ever or when a young child completes a Personal Challenge.
Although our top leaderboard spots didn’t change in the last few days, the competition was still fierce.
Liz Hartman won a hotly contested Most Points for women, trading places with 2022 champion Nora McIver-Sheridan, and Jilene Demont was again third.
Patrick Milano never had any significant competition in Most Points for men, but Mik Kern recorded the final time of the entire Challenge to claim second place, and Jay Hubisz improved his Lakefront Loops 5K time by over 2 minutes on the final day to take third.
Caitlin Loehr won Age Grade for the third year in a row, improving her percentage each year, with Liz Hartman in second, and Jean-Luc Jannink in third, marking his third year in that position.
In Most Miles, Pete Kresock came on strong in the last few weeks to reclaim the title he held in 2021 (shared with Karen Ingall that year), though Caitlin Loehr didn’t make it easy. Even with an Ultra Challenge completion and six Lakefront Loops 5Ks in the two days leading up to the final weekend, Pete ended with just a 24.3-mile lead. Jamie Loehr quietly took third.
Ruth Sproul repeated as our Community Stars winner, thanks to running with Anne Shakespeare and posting photos from many of her runs. Caitlin Loehr and Jamie Loehr were second and third, also due to lots of social running and sharing. But I want to thank everyone who posted about their runs this year—it was entertaining to read your accounts and see your photos, and we all know each other better for it.
In the Team Points competition, the @Fantastic-40s repeated their win from 2022, staving off a brief challenge from the @Fabulous-50s and ending with a 19-point difference. Clearly, the @Fabulous-50s and @Thundering-30s (third, 15 more points back) have to do more recruiting in 2024 to give the @Fantastic-40s some competition!
Although these top spots come with bragging rights, the FLRC Challenge prizes go deep, with 44 runners garnering over $1500 in prizes, which will be credit at the Finger Lakes Running Company (soon—I have to put the list together for Ian). Check the Awards page to see how much you’ve won.
Three people completed the FLRC 100K Ultra Challenge this year: Dennis Stadelman, Pete Kresock, and Steve Jesch, and Pete did it twice. They’ll all be receiving custom FLRC Challenge signs commemorating their achievements. And be sure to read their reports!
Our overall mileage was down from last year. We didn’t have as many mileage monsters this year, and bouts of problematic air quality and violent storms cut into several weeks. Still, we covered a total of 12,619.9 miles, which is 4.5 times across the United States or 482 marathons.
Finally, I want to acknowledge our sign winners. Those who ran the most times on a particular course take home that course’s sign, and if there are turnaround signs, they go to the subsequent finishers. The people who owned our courses this year are:
- Sweet 1600: Patrick Milano with 118 runs
- Ellis Hollow Creek Crossings: Bob Walters with 46 runs
- Lakefront Loops 5K: Kim Jackson with 40 runs
- Lime Hollow: Julie Barclay with 12 runs
- Cornell Scenic Circuit: Caitlin Loehr with 30 runs
- Six Mile Creek: Pete Kresock with 13 runs
- Black Diamond Park to Park: Caitlin Loehr with 20 runs, followed by Jilene Demont with 15 and Jamie Loehr with 13 (it has three signs)
- Blueberry Patch: Banyan Love with 13 runs
- Ludlowville Loop: John Hummel with 6 runs
- Dryden Lake Lollipop: Jamie Loehr with 8 runs
Patrick Milano’s 118 Sweet 1600 efforts eclipsed his 100 efforts last year, but the most compelling competition was Blueberry Patch, which featured an incredible back-and-forth between Banyan Love and Jilene Demont (who won her last-week effort for a sign last year on the East Hill Dryden Rail Trail course). Jilene went into the final four days with 8 completions and ran Blueberry Patch each of the last three days to end up with 11 completions. But Banyan ran it once on August 9, three times on August 10, an astonishing four times on August 12, and twice more on August 13 to end with 13. The lead flipped back and forth several times, but in the end, Banyan prevailed.
There are many more tremendous achievements and great memories from this year’s Challenge, and I’ll hit some of the highlights at the award ceremony at the FLRC Annual Picnic on August 24. Make sure to come to get your medal, signs, shirts, and general accolades! (If you’re out of town, get a friend to pick things up for you.)
Thanks to everyone for participating, and we’re already starting to discuss new courses for next year’s FLRC Challenge, so if you have ideas, let me know.
See you at the picnic!