Finger Lakes 50s: Mud, Mud, Mud.


This Saturday is the Finger Lakes 50-Miler. It will be my 3rd ultra in 5 weeks! I’ve never been a prolific racer, and I have no plans to change that. In my opinion, the chance of getting injured (or burnt out) increases significantly with [over]racing. With that being said, I really wanted to do these three races (Cayuga Trails, Vegan Power and Finger Lakes) so I figured I would give it a try!

Finger Lakes 50s has a rich history. Despite being in the middle of nowhere, past winners include Leigh Schmitt, Brian Rusiecki, Aliza Lapierre and Nikki Kimball.

The Course: The course is a 16.5 mile loop that you run three times (there is a .5 mile baby loop at the end).

It is not super hilly – there is +/- 4,000 feet of elevation (less than half of Cayuga Trails). This is the course profile for each 16.5 mile loop:


With that being said, this year’s challenge will be mud!! I inquired about the course conditions yesterday and here was the response:

“It was underwater yesterday. A lot of the trails were small streams…”

Well, there goes my plan! I was hoping for a smooth, runnable course that I could knock off in about seven hours. No such luck. Instead, I’m left trying to figure out which of my shoes will suck less (literally and figuratively) in that much mud (I’ve narrowed it down to Scott Kinabalu 2.0s and Inov-8 Race Ultra 290s).

Aside from the mud, the weather should be decent. It looks like it might be dry on race day and the temperature will top out around 80 degrees – not bad for July.

While I don’t enjoy running in mud (I’m way too much of a princess for that), I think it will be a fun race. There are some great prizes and I’m really hoping I can snag one. Going into this block of races, this was the one I wanted the most, so we’ll see what happens!

Do you enjoy running in mud?

If you had to pick between mud and hills, which would you pick?

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19 Responses to Finger Lakes 50s: Mud, Mud, Mud.

  1. I’m not a fan of mud runs…its hard enough to run let alone get all muddy, LOL! Best wishes on your race!!!!

  2. Sandy says:

    I’ll take hills over mud any day! Good luck at the Finger Lakes 50. Looking forward to your race report.

  3. 3rd ultra in 5 weeks!?! You are crazy!!! I don’t mind running in the mud and getting dirty, but not for 50 miles 🙂 Mud > Hills.

    Best of luck! Looking forward to hearing how it went!

  4. Jane Likes to Run says:

    I would pick hills. I almost lost a shoe in the mud the other week!

  5. charissarunning says:

    Good luck!! I’d probably take the hills over the mud any day!!

  6. Hey now.. The middle of nowhere? You mean the center of the universe. 🙂 :). Good luck!!

  7. runsonsyrup says:

    I don’t mind mud at all, and love getting dirty, but am also super clumsy so I need to watch my footing. Also, straight up running in water is blister city!! It’s hard to do without being able to change socks every so often. Have fun!! I’ve done ultras in the Finger Lakes region — it’s gorgous (and hilly!!)

  8. lljkline says:

    You’ve been racing awesome. I have no doubt you will repeat!

  9. Jessica @ VEGGIE RUNNING MOMMA says:

    If I haven’t said this enough lately.. you’re crazy. haha
    but, I still wish you the best of luck in all of your craziness 🙂
    and oh yea, I’m too much of a princess for the mud too. why do you think I don’t trail run. ha

  10. I would pick the hills!! I would slide down the hills if it were muddy 🙂 Good LUCK!

  11. Ellie says:

    I would pick HILLS! I actually don’t mind a good climb and Ithaca has my back on that. Do you think the fingerlakes 50s would be a good first Ultra?

    • Jason says:

      Normally, I think it would be a good one. I think it’ll be tough this year because the course is in such bad shape. The Green Lakes Endurance Runs (August, in Syracuse) are the perfect first ultra!!

  12. hmetz20 says:

    I would prefer mud, hills always get me. When you are choosing a sneaker to run thru mud with, what you looking for? A lighter sneaker? I actually ran in the “mud flats” at Ward Pound Ridge Preserve in the Bedford and I was having this discussion with the guy I was running with regarding what would be the best sneaker to use for muddy terrain.

    • Jason says:

      Great question – Ideally, I’d pick a shoe with pretty decent lugs – at least 5mm. Unfortunately, I don’t have any shoes like that right now 🙂 Inov-8 and Salomon both shoes that are excellent in mud!

  13. I despise mud. I hate being dirty – so much so that even color runs are torture. I guess I’m too much of a girly girl for that? I don’t know. I hate hills, but that’s better than mud!

  14. I’d choose dry hills over mud. It’s the worst when your shoes are just caked and every step feels like it weighs 5 pounds more than usual. Good luck!

  15. Pingback: Race Report: Green Lakes 100k | Must Love Jogs

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