The Badgerow Last Man Standing was on Saturday. This was a new race in Greece, New York. The course was a 1ish mile loop that you repeated over and over (and over and over). However, each loop, you had a little less time than the loop before. I’m pretty sure we were all having bad flashbacks to high school track practice.
For the first loop, you had 20 minutes. Second loop 19. Then 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11 and 10. Then, there were five loops at 9 each, one loop at 8:30 and a few at 8 minutes. It would have gotten quicker still, but nobody made it that far!
First, let me say that the Rochester trail running community is awesome! #TrailsRoc was out in full force on the chilly, but otherwise pleasant morning. I’ve been around other running groups, but this one is like nothing else. They are like a family, and they treat everyone else like a family member too!
A little about the course – the loop was 1ish miles, but I think we all agreed it was a whisker on the long side. At the beginning of the day, it was frozen pretty solid and ran a little on the fast side. Ironically, we didn’t need it to run fast at the beginning because we had a decent amount of time for those loops! As the day wore on, the trail started to thaw, and it got quite a bit more difficult, as mud emerged everywhere. With that being said, this is March in Central New York. On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 being a smooth singletrack and 10 being knee-deep mud), I’d say the loop was a four. It was definitely doable for first-time trail runners.
My strategy: I wasn’t sure how to handle this at the outset. I knew the most practical approach would be to run relatively close to the cutoffs (but not too close). That way, you turn it into more of a long run than a speed workout. With that being said, I went with the speed workout approach. Well, kinda. I broke the course down into two parts. There was the first 1/3 of a mile, which was pretty smooth and included one stretch of decent, firm trail. I ran it hard every time. Then there was the final 2/3. This included mud, a bridge that was a little slippery, more mud, a couple of logs to jump over… and more mud. I ran this a bit easier every time. It ended up being a really good workout and the approach was successful.
I definitely recommend this race to others – it was lots of fun! The race calendar is pretty light in New York over the winter, and this was just what I needed! In a more typical winter, there would be a snowshoe option – just something to keep in mind in the future! Thanks to Eric and Sheila and everyone else who helped out with the race. And to all the people who were snapping pics along the course – thanks!