Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to check out the Cayuga Trails 50 course. Wow.
As you can see, right from early on, the course is rather amazing. However, even on some of the flat sections, like this one, you have to watch your step.
Here’s another flat stretch with a nice view!
There are lots of stairs on the course. Some of them are nice like these – some of them are just old boards/concrete stuck in the ground to prevent erosion. Those are a lot harder to run up!
As Ian, the race director, pointed out in his last email, the Upper Treman Gorge Trail is closed and won’t be repaired in time for the race. When I hit the “Closed” sign, I crossed a bridge, found this open gate, and went on through. Since there isn’t a new course map yet, I’m not sure if this is where the course will go or not.
This is the trail we would have been running up – as you can see, there is a gate blocking the way. How about that view though?!
The Old Mill is the first aid station (it will also act as aid station 5, 7 and 11). It’s a neat looking building and the section of the course after the Mill allows for some quick running. In fact, the entire section from “Old Mill” to “Underpass” is quite runable.
Shortly after the underpass, you get to the creek crossing. I think this is somewhere around the seven-mile mark (the first time through). When I went through, the deepest part of the creek was about two feet or so (of course, it’s supposed to rain quite a bit today). When you’re coming back through this area – toward the start – you may be able to jump the deep part because of the way the bank is set. No guarantees you’ll make it though!
My last picture is of the “steep hill” (Ian’s words, not mine). However, I can confirm that the hill is steep! In fact, as you can see in the picture, it’s steep enough that they gave it a plaque. I didn’t read the plaque, but I’m guessing it says one of the following:
Turn back now.
You’re so f*cked.
Sage was here.
“Are you having fun yet?” – I.G.
In all seriousness, I had to go down on all fours at one point – or at least three out of four – to get up one muddy, steep section. So there’s that! This section climbs about 750 feet of elevation over the course of 1.5 miles. It is legit!
Once I got near the top of the steep hill, I turned back and retraced the earlier sections of the course. Sorry I don’t have any info or pictures on the later sections – you can refer to Ian’s great descriptions on the race website.
My Impression of the Course
This course is awesome. It is extremely challenging. Not only do you have elevation changes to deal with (+/- 10,000 feet), there are lots of roots, plenty of downed trees that you have to jump over and creek crossings. This race will definitely be an adventure and I’m looking forward to it!
Do you like to preview courses before you race on them?