Triennial Finger Lakes Trail Relay IV - 1990


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10 June (Sunday); 35 runners; 4- teams

West to East; Watkins Glen State Park (lower entrance) to Caroline (Rt. 79). Back to the original course, but heading east to finish closer to Ithaca. Good weather conbditions and some hard running.

Catherine the Great: Kris Wernstedt


  1. High Noon A.C.: co-captains Herb Engman and T.J. Pempel
  2. Atrocious/D.C. Harriers: captain DumpTruck Rossiter
  3. Illegal Space Lunatics (DQ): captain Reinhold Wotawa
  4. Organic Barkeaters (incomplete): no captain


  1. (Watkins Glen/Hector Backbone) - 12.9 miles: Start at 0700, from the east entrance of Watkins Glen State Park, Rt. 14 in downtown Watkins Glen, NY, to Route 79 and South Road in the center of Bennettsburg. 13.9 miles, mostly uphill.
  2. (Texas Hollow) - 9.0 miles: Start at 0930, from Route 79 and South Road in the center of Bennettsburg, to Schuyler County Route 6 at Van Lone Hill Rd, Catharine. (just north of the bridge across Cayuta Outlet). 8.8 miles, includes very steep descent into and climb out of Texas Hollow.
  3. (Connecticut Hill) 13.6 miles: Start at 1100 from Schuyler County Route 6 at Van Lone Hill Rd., Catharine, to FLT crossing of Porter Hill Road near Rockwell Road, Enfield. 12.1 miles, includes Connecticut Hill and some very rough footing on the descent.
  4. (Lick Brook/Jersey Hill) -16.6 miles: Start at 1300 from FLT crossing of Porter Hill Road, Enfield to Bald Hill Road at Comfort Road, Danby. 16.0 miles including extremely steep ascent of Lick Brook; about five miles of roads.
  5. (South Danby) - 11.8 miles: Start at 1530 from Bald Hill Road at Comfort Road, Danby to Coddington Road at Ridgeway Rd., Caroline. 12.0 miles 'across the grain'.
  6. (Shindagin Hollow/Caroline) - 13.3 miles: Start at 1730 from Coddington Road at Ridgeway Rd., Caroline to Route 79 at the Tompkins/Tioga county line. 13.9 miles 'across the grain' including the very steep ascents out of Wilseyville Valley and Shindagin Hollow.


  1. Tom Bugliosi (HNAC) 1:41:14, Steve Anderson (HNAC) 1:44:33, Cliff Balkam (ADC) 1:51:50, Bob Congdon (ISL) 3:30 approx., Ed Hart (OB) 3:30 approx., Jim Van Every (OB) 3:30 approx.. DNF: Dave Schleuning (HNAC) ; injury.

  2. Rob Licht (ISL) 1:10:18, Winton Rossiter(ADC) 1:16:50, Beth Drees (HNAC) 1:17:08, Rhonda Bell (HNAC) 1:41:20, Richard Branca (OB) 1:51:30

  3. Joe '2nd Ward' Daley (ADC) 1:40 approx., T.J. Pempel (HNAC) 1:52:44, Regis Carver (OB) 1:59:44, Terry Goodenough (HNAC) 2:23:29, Adrienne Zurmuhlen (ISL) 3:55:21, Richard Lawrence (ISL) 3:55:21.

  4. Kris Wernstedt (HNAC) 2:08:21, Doug Burdi (HNAC) 2:16:24, Kevin O'Donnell (HNAC) 2:30:37, Ljerka Ukrainczyk (ADC) 2:45:15. DNF: Harold Schultz (ISL) ; lost

  5. Herb Engman (HNAC) 1:38:51, Darius Deak (HNAC) 1:40:07, Cindy Brown (ADC) 2:00:20, Sue Dougherty (ADC) 2:01:26, Eric Little (ISL) 2:50 approx.. DQ:Christine Rossiter (ADC) 2:05:27 short course. DNF: Sean Pempel (HNAC) ; lost.

  6. Adam Engst (HNAC) 1:56:55, DumpTruck Rossiter (ADC) 1:57:24, Reinhold Wotawa (ISL) 2:13:00. DNF, hypothermia: Aaron Pempel (HNAC) ; Hit Wall, John Saylor (HNAC) ; dropped out.


35 runners from four teams participated in the 4th running of the Triennial Finger Lakes Trail Relay on Sunday 10 June. 29 runners successfully completed their part of the footrace. Conditions were generally good: cool and overcast, with a few sunny periods early in the day, and a cold rainstorm in the early evening. Trail conditions were fair.

The High Noon A.C. (co-captains Herb Engman and T.J. Pempel) of Ithaca successfully defended their team title with a combined time for the six-stage footrace of 10 hours 35 minutes 11 seconds, for the approximately 77.2 miles of Finger Lakes Trail between Watkins Glen State Park and the Tompkins-Tioga county line at Route 79 in Caroline (pace 8:14 per mile, which is 'scorching' for a trail run). However, to do this they had to use 16 runners, of whom 4 DNF'd, defeated by their Lack of Respect for The Trail! The course-record time was posted by Tom Bugliosi, Beth Drees, T.J. Pempel, Kris Wernstedt, Herb Engman, and Adam Engst.

In 2nd place were the Atrocious/D.C Harriers (captain DumpTruck Rossiter) of Ithaca, D.C., and London (11:28:49). The Illegal Space Lunatics (captain Reinhold Wotawa) of Parts Unknown and Unknowable were DQ'd, having no finisher on the 4th stage. The Organic Barkeaters (no captain) of Ithaca fielded an incomplete team.

The "Catherine the Great" award for out-standing performance was awarded to Kris Wernstedt for his dominant performance among a strong field on the longest leg. The "Christopher Columbus" award for the runner who was most lost went to Harold Schultz, who got within a half-mile of the finish of his leg, on a public road, then decided he was going the wrong way, and followed the trail in reverse all the way back to Ithaca. He later made up for this lack of trail sense by hosting a very enjoyable post-race party at his mansion overlooking Cascadilla Gorge. Honorable mention for "Christopher Columbus" went to Sean Pempel and Terry Goodenough. The "Outstanding Novice" award was split among Beth Drees, Rob Licht, and Darius Deak.

There are now only four "veterans" who have completed each of the four editions of this race: DumpTruck Rossiter, Joe Daley, T.J. Pempel, and Ed Hart.

--- "Dump Truck" Rossiter, race director


Caleb Rossiter writes:

"What a tragedy it is when fate deprives a man of his due, and he carries the stigma all his an all-pro whose team never gets to the Stupor Bowl, like a man whose wife leaves him for another woman, like get the picture. (Yes, we see....)

"And tragedy is what befell the Spider in 1990, when he was unable to romp in Triennial because of a war wound....well, a wound obtained in the service of peace...and fell, forever, off the list of perfect triennialists. Having written a congressional report naming names, as they say, and naming atrocities and crimes, too, of the high command of the Salvadoran Army, I was warned through the US embassy by the death squads not to come to El Salvador (and how, you may ask, would the US embassy know the death squads? welcome to U.S. foreign policy). Since the newspaper that printed the report in San Salvador was torched, I tended to take this warning seriously. However, I was told that Venezuela was neutral ground, a Switzerland for this war, and so I could attend what we hoped would be frutiful peace talks there in the spring of 1990...fruitful because Congress had finally started to turn the tap off of the half a billion dollars in lawyers, guns and money it was giving to the thugs in Salvador every year; a greater share of Salvador's budget than even U.S. aid to Vietnam was...

"So enthralled I was by a fiery Commandante that I took my morning jog in a daze...and took one bad step off a curb in Caracas that blew my ankle out, and up in size to a soccer ball! The doctor said it would be better had I broke it, the sprain was so extreme. At Triennial, I could only watch and wish...My only dream now is to outlive Truck and Joe Daley, who are one Triennial up on me, so I can catch them before I die..."


Author: Dump Truck, cyrus621 (at)

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Last modified: Sat Aug 23 12:32:35 EDT 2014