The Mendon Trail Run is on Saturday. It will be my last race of the year. In fact, it will be my last race for the next six months!
The course is tough. It boasts about 5,000 feet of elevation change. Cole Crosby, last year’s winner, described it as “deceptively challenging.” The course is a little different, but I suspect that description still fits.
The weather is still up in the air. The temperature is going to be in the low 40s and the winds will be between 15mph and 25mph. It’s going to feel cold! As an added bonus, there may be rain showers or snow showers. Welcome to western New York!
For a local 50k, the field is pretty stacked.
Daven Oskvig signed up in the 11th hour. He holds the third and fourth fastest times ever on the course. While he is certainly one of the favorites, he did run a trail 100-miler only three weeks ago (he won Oil Creek in 18:18:58).
There are also some outstanding local runners. Andrew Bucci has run 3:08 for a trail marathon. Aaron Mulvaney completed the Philadelphia Marathon in 2:33:40. Michael Hoffman ran 2:43:03 at the Boston Marathon. Dan Nix broke 1:20 at the challenging Lake Placid Half Marathon.
I think Aaron has to be the favorite. 2:33 is a legitimate marathon and Daven will be running on tired legs, whether he admits it or not.
On the women’s side, Nicole Virdone ran 4:41:51 for 50km earlier this year. She’ll be up against Sarah Wilcox, a sub-four hour marathoner. She’ll also have to deal with Michelle Mckamey, who just ran 3:27:47 at Wineglass.
I think Nicole is the favorite. However, she ran Can 50 less than a month ago, and she might still be feeling it. I’d say the women’s race is too close to call!
The full list of entrants is available here.
As far as my own race, I’m hoping to be somewhere in the 3:45 to 4:00 range. I think that’s realistic if the course isn’t too muddy and the weather cooperates. I’m not sure what Aaron and Daven have in mind, but I think this thing will go out quick. I’m inclined to stay back early and run hard late in the race. I’ll be sporting bib #70. Hopefully, I can finish off the year on a positive note.
Also, for me and a few others, there is a race within a race! This is the final event in the USATF Niagara Ultra Series.
I’m currently trailing Michael Bray by just a little bit for the overall men’s title. I need to run 4:12 or faster in order to win the series. However, if Michael runs under 4:40, then I need to go even faster! He ran 4:53:04 last year, so this should be interesting!
Check back early next week for my recap!
Apologies if I omitted your name or messed up your time – let me know and I’ll fix it!