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Escarpment Trail Run - Run

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Winham-Hunter, New York
United States
64F / 18C
Total Time = 3h 16m 33s
Overall Rank = 8/178
Age Group = M35-39
Age Group Rank = 3/27
Pre-race routine:

Not the smartest lead up, playing volleyball barefoot the day prior and landing on a rock. Left heel hurt to walk on, but I didn't anticipate it slowing me down. Slept okay at my mom's place, certainly worth it for the 20 minute drive to the start line. French Toast bake for breakfast, and The Running Supplement within 30 minutes of starting.
Event warmup:

Easy half mile on the warm up trail to make sure the pack was adjusted well.
  • 3h 16m 33s
  • 18.6 miles
  • 10m 34s  min/mile

Absolutely perfect weather for this.

Started in wave 5 based on a pretty conservative expected finish time I gave, but even so I was a little nervous leading my group up Windham. Got to the high peak a couple minutes ahead of schedule for the fastest end of what I had in mind. Either a good thing or a bad thing… but I felt good, so I chose optimism.

Lots of fun from Windham to the base of Blackhead. A few punchy ups where I “power hiked”, but lots of flats and downs here. Barely any mud to speak of too! Got to the aid station at the base feeling great, and energized by the fun crew and cheering from Danielle and Josh.

Then Blackhead. There is no strategy for this. It’s just a death march. Heart rate felt as high as a 5k, and I’m barely moving. Somehow walking slower is worse? It makes no sense. I think it must be over soon just to come around a corner and see another long brutal scramble to navigate. But then I hear the aid station - I think maybe I’ll just lie on the rock at the summit and ask them to pour water on me. But instead I see Coca-Cola and some soft flat trails, so I down a cup and take off. Amazing how you can go from feeling absolutely horrible to amazing in just a few minutes.

More fun down to Dutcher, feeling confident by being ahead of schedule still, I started taking more risks on the descents. Kept the rubber side down, and cruised into Stoppel for the final real climbing of the day, separated into 3 pitches. Some of these “look” runnable, but at this point power hiking is really no slower (and my legs gave no option).

I see the downed plane and know the worst is over in terms of climbing, but many tricky downs remain, some of which will certainly be wet and muddy. I manage not to fall on any of these parts, but do take my only spill of the day on open dry rock faces (go figure). Pretty minor, fatigued mind and body just not paying attention.

More and more spectators and other random hikers appearing, so I must be getting close. I make sure not to fall to my death at Artist’s Rock (yay), and step on the gas to the finish.

Couldn’t believe my time and place. Just incredible. Awesome awesome day!
What would you do differently?:

Given the result and being a first timer, can't say there is much else I would do different. Perhaps a harsher weather day would've tested my hydration and fuel strategy.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around chatting before eventually going to the lake for a little dip.

What limited your ability to perform faster:


Event comments:

Such an awesome race - incredible work by the volunteers to get as many aid stations as there are on this course. Would love to do it again in the future.

Last updated: 2023-08-01 12:00 AM
03:16:33 | 18.6 miles | 10m 34s  min/mile
Age Group: 3/27
Overall: 8/178
Performance: Good
Course: Point to point along the Escarpment Trail from Windham to North/South Lake. Rugged single track the whole way with lots of roots and rock scrambles. Two high peaks and some other climbing that adds up to about 5000 feet. Most GPS measures short of the 18.6, but that's what is listed on the trailhead sign.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2023-08-01 7:08 PM

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Niskayuna, New York
Subject: Escarpment Trail Run
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