Triennial Finger Lakes Trail Relay V - 1993


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19 June (Saturday); 66 runners; 11 teams

West to East; Watkins Glen State Park (lower entrance) to Caroline

Catherine the Great: Yvette DeBoer

We used the same course as the 4th Triennial. This year the trail racing boom finally caught up with the Triennial. A large number of runners didn't think the idea was so crazy... it helped that we had some really hard-core runners, ready for anything, most memorably the Buffalo-based Stotans. And, the Hash House Harriers finally made it to Ithaca.


  1. Bestial Barkeaters: captain Joe Dabes
  2. Stotans (Buffalo): captain David Cavall
  3. High Noon A.C.: captain Herb Engman
  4. Atrocious: captain DumpTruck Rossiter
  5. Finger Lakes Elite Women (FLEW): captain Janet Stein
  6. Hash House Harriers: captain Skull
  7. Wombats
  8. Subdudes: captains Knewstub brothers.
  9. Violent Femmes
  10. Oregon East (Williamsport, PA)
  11. FL Crazed


  1. (Watkins Glen/Hector Backbone) - 12.9 miles: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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.


Team Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5 Stage 6 Total
F.L. Bestial Joe Simpson Steve Ryan John Whitman Gary Burdick Joe Dabes Michael Cassela-
Time 1:49:07 1:17:58 1:48:38 1:59:54 1:39:47 1:52:04 10:27:28
Cumulative 1:49:07 3:07:05 4:55:43 6:55:37 8:35:24 10:27:28  
Place 3 2 2 2 4 2 15
Stotans Mo Burton Dave Cavall Jason Cavall Pete Yacobucci Doug Brown John Otterson  
Time 1:48:30 1:24:08 2:02:14 1:51:28 1:34:58 2:05:40 10:46:58
Cumulative 1:48:30 3:12:38 5:14:52 7:06:20 8:41:18 10:46:58  
Place 1 3 3 1 1 6 15
High Noon A.C. Will Ridell Karl Staven Jim Bisogni Scott Johnson Herb Engman Scott Roberts  
Time 1:48:40 1:16:20 2:09:50 2:15:42 1:35:08 1:46:44 10:52:24
Cumulative 1:48:40 3:05:00 5:14:50 7:30:32 9:05:40 10:52:24  
Place 2 1 4 4 2 1 14
Atrocious Jim Carmen Winton Rossiter Cliff Balkam Joe Daley DumpTruck Rossiter Caleb Rossiter  
Time 1:48:49 1:25:45 2:10:16 2:03:49 1:37:43 2:13:45 11:20:07
Cumulative 1:48:49 3:14:34 5:24:50 7:28:39 9:06:22 11:20:07  
Place 4 4 5 3 3 7 26
F.L. Elite Women Shelly Reynolds Sue Silvernail Yvette DeBoer Nancy Bailey Janet Stein Gillian Sharp  
Time 2:09:40 1:39:09 1:47:59 2:26:19 1:49:37 1:53:16 11:46:00
Cumulative 2:09:40 3:48:49 5:36:48 8:03:07 9:52:44 11:46:00  
Place 7 7 1 8 7 3 33
Hash House Harriers Joe Reynolds Henry Theissen John Czamansky Ron "Skull" Herreid Harold Schultz Bob Bellmen  
Time 2:00:51 2:08:20 2:11:45 2:20:42 1:49:12 1:58:35 12:29:25
Cumulative 2:00:51 4:09:11 6:20:56 8:41:38 10:30:50 12:29:25  
Place 6 9 7 6 6 5 39
Subdudes Rob Jacobus Dave Weiss Jeff Knutson Stan Schultes Mark Landon Dave Lambert  
Time 2:19:56 1:31:03 2:22:38 2:23:29 2:04:37 1:55:26 12:37:09
Cumulative 2:19:56 3:50:59 6:13:37 8:37:06 10:41:43 12:37:09  
Place 10 5 10 9 9 4 47
Oregon East Don Waltman Dave Becker Mike Thompson Irv Zablocky Larry Ryan Bill Molino  
Time 2:16:02 2:20:00 2:17:55 2:16:32 2:01:34 2:21:51 13:33:54
Cumulative 2:16:02 4:36:02 6:53:57 9:10:29 11:12:03 13:33:54  
Place 9 11 8 5 8 8 49
F.L. Crazed Rick Marshal Danny Guthrie Fred/Ron Knewstub Jeff Juran Jim McKee Ed Hart  
Time 2:31:45 1:35:58 2:11:01 2:22:12 2:15:36 3:10:01 14:06:33
Cumulative 2:31:45 4:07:43 6:18:44 8:40:56 10:56:32 14:06:33  
Place 11 6 6 7 11 11 52
Violent Femmes Beth Drees Kris Kopski Sue Fenimore Ljerka Ukrainczyck Ann Curran Lani Rogers  
Time 1:49:16 1:46:06 2:47:30 2:31:17 2:15:34 3:05:07 14:14:50
Cumulative 1:49:16 3:35:22 6:22:52 8:54:09 11:09:43 14:14:50  
Place 5 8 11 10 10 9 53
Wombats Carey Stoneking Hui Ling Lee Mark Staves Sheila Blackman Jason Brewer Scott Wetlaufer  
Time 2:09:40 2:09:05 2:21:20 2:47:50 1:47:43 3:07:09 14:22:47
Cumulative 2:09:40 4:18:45 6:40:05 9:27:55 11:15:38 14:22:47  
Place 8 10 9 11 5 10 53
Stage Winners Mo Burton Karl Staven Yvette DeBoer Pete Yacobucci Doug Brown Scott Roberts  
Time 1:48:30 1:16:20 1:47:59 1:51:28 1:34:58 1:46:44 10:05:59


Sixty-six runners from a record eleven teams competed in the 5th Triennial Finger Lakes Trail Relay, a relay race of six stages from Watkins Glen to Caroline on the Finger Lakes Trail, approximately 77 miles. The race was won by the Finger Lakes "Bestial" (also known as "Barkeater") team (captain Joe Dabes) in a course-record 10:27:26. Right behind were the Stotans of Buffalo (captain David Cavall) in 10:45:58. The women's competition was won by the "Finger Lakes Elite Women" or "FLEW" (captain Janet Stein) in 11:47:00, good for 5th overall.

Trail conditions were generally quite good. The weather started out muggy but improved during the day. On the first leg, the competitors took off from Watkins Glen park as if in a 5K (at 0630 no less!). The furious pace of the leaders was maintained right to the end, as five runners: Mo Burton (Stotans), Will Ridell (HNAC), Jim Carmen (Atrocious), Joe Simpson (Bestial), and Beth Drees (Violent Femmes) finished within 45 seconds of each other! The winning time (by Burton) was 1:48:30 on this all-uphill 13.9 mile leg. Carmen decided he hadn't done enough work for one day, so went and rode his bicycle around Cayuga Lake before heading to the Chariot for a well-deserved pizza.

On the second leg, Karl Staven of the HNAC opened up a 10-minute lead but became confused near the end, allowing Steve Ryan of the Bestials to come close to his 1:16:20 time for 8.8 miles. Winton Rossiter (Atrocious) posted a respectable 1:25:45, considering that he had just arrived from England for the event. All agreed that Texas Hollow is well-named.

The third leg featured front running by the Stotans' Jason Cavall through the long Connecticut Hill woods, but after the radio tower Yvette DeBoer (FLEW) and John Whitman (Bestials) took over from the fading Cavall. DeBoer kicked in from Riemann Woods to win by 39 seconds in 1:47:59 for the rugged 12.1 miles. The women's competition was essentially decided on this leg, as the Violent Femmes' Sue Fenimore finished an hour behind DeBoer.

The fourth leg begins with a long downhill trail to Shady Corners, then the brutal ascent of Lick Brook followed by about 8 miles of rolling woods and fields. Pete Yacobucci of the Stotans was in complete control, winning in an incredible 1:51:28 for the 16 mile leg (just under 7 minutes/mile), over 8 minutes ahead of Gary Burdick of the Bestials. Joe Daley of the Atrocious (2:03:49) gained 12 minutes on HNAC's Scott Johnson to move into third place. Ron Herreid of the Hash House Harriers (2:20:42) learned that it doesn't pay to run the Vestal 20K the same day as the Triennial.

The fifth leg featured a battle of the local team captains Herb Engman (HNAC), DumpTruck Rossiter (Atrocious), Joe Dabes (Bestials) and Janet Stein (FLEW), as well as last race's winner of the Christopher Columbus (most lost) award, Harold Schultz (Hash House Harriers) over the hilly 12 miles of the South Danby section. Engman put on a show for the home folks (he lives within a warmup jog of the trail) and pulled away for the win among this group, although outkicked by the Stotans' Dave Brown in 1:34:58. Rossiter and Dabes followed three and five minutes later. Schultz managed to find the finish just ahead of Stein in 1:49 plus. This was very important as he was to host the post-race party at the Chariot restaurant. Jason Brewer of the Wombats suffered badly after going out with the leaders, finally finishing in 1:47:43.

The sixth leg (13.9 miles) is considered by many to be the most difficult, including three major hills, the first being the sadistic ascent out of Wilseyville valley after about two miles of 'easy' running. Only 31 minutes separated the top four teams at the start. Knowing that the race was on the line, Scott Roberts (HNAC), John Otterson (Stotans) and Michael Cassela-Blackburn (Bestial) took off hard, along with Gillian Sharp (FLEW) and Dave Lambert (Subdudes). Caleb Rossiter (Atrocious), although among the team leaders, held back due to the fact that his maximum distance for the last five months had been 10 miles. Roberts blasted away on each hill to end up with an unbelievable 1:46:44, about 13 minutes faster than the winning time in the 4th Triennial! and burying the Atrocious to 4th place, as Rossiter whimpered home in 2:13:45. Cassela-Blackburn was only 5-plus minutes behind, sealing the victory for the Bestials. Sharp recorded an outstanding 1:53:16, icing the women's title for the FLEW. Bringing up the rear for the Finger Lakes 'Crazed' team was Ed Hart, now one of only 3 runners to have completed all five Triennials (the others are DumpTruck Rossiter and Joe Daley).

The number of truly outstanding performances (Roberts, Yacobucci, DeBoer, Drees, Sharp) made it difficult to decide on the award for out-standing performance (Catherine the Great) but in the end it was awarded to Yvette DeBoer. No one got lost enough for Christopher Columbus, although Don Waltman (Oregon East) never did find the trail from Satterley Hill to Bennetsburg. He followed the sun and NY79 to the finish, thus displaying too much common sense to put him in the company of Wotawa, Schultz, or Furman. No one cut the course, so no Oliver North award either. Several spur-of-the-moment awards were given by consensus at the post-race party, including the "Carl Sagan 12 Moons over Jupiter" to Shelly Reynolds, "Timothy Leary Long Strange Trip" to Winton Rossiter, "Sir Edmund Hillary" to Ljerka Ukrainczyck, and others I don't remember.

Many 'firsts' were recorded in this fifth edition of the race that began in 1981. First women's teams (FLEW and Violent Femmes), first out-of-town teams (Buffalo, Williamsport, Painted Post), first leg won outright by a woman (Yvette DeBoer), most teams (11), least DNF (zero), least DQ due to inability to follow the trail (1) - this probably due to the high level of preparation of most teams and that the FL Trail Club had recently spruced up the trail for a cross-Tompkins County walk. The best-runner record for the course is now 10:06 (Burton, Staven, DeBoer, Yacobucci, Brown, Roberts) or 7:52/mile.

The saying that "the race is to the prepared" was borne out by the victorious Bestials, who did not win any individual legs, but never got lost and always were close to the leaders.


Caleb Rossiter writes:

"This was the most fun of any race year, because of the arrival of...the Stotans. We thought we Atrociosts were nuts -- we were amateurs, children at play in the nursery compared to these guys...about 10 people in a ratty van, belching, burping, clutching beer bottle at 7 in the morning. It also was a great year because of the number of teams and the number of serious runners who were scouting and training on the trails and even peaking (!) for Triennial...I ran as fast as I could through the dark and stormy woods of the final stage, due east down and up Shindagin Hollow, but was nowhere near the pack of youngsters...I realized that something had to be done to bring the ancient rimburners or Atrocious back into the peleton: either train harder or change the rules... the choice was easy..."

Author: Dump Truck, cyrus621 (at)

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