Raw results

Click here for raw results. Note that the definitive results, taking into account previous triennials, red hair, distance travelled etc. are above.

Nine of twelve teams completed all seven stages. From the raw results it seems the Ithaca Enclave (with a backwards 'e') nipped the Trumpled Hipsters, 19 to 20, but the race committee managed to knock both these scores down. The only all-female team and therefore winner of that division was the veteran Mighty Isis. The Bottom Feeders may have been last (compiling 73 out of a possible 84 points!) but at least they completed all stages (even 2E, see race report).

Here are some photos of the finish of stages 1W and 6E, courtesy of Adam Engst. All your favourites including Mr. "Respect for Gravity" himself ...

Namely, Rick Cleary, with his always-entertaining race report.

Cooked Results

After further review: Stage 5E (Connecticut Hill - Cayuta Lake) resulted in a large number of disqualifications -- either for illiteracy or bending the rules. The instructions clearly stated Stage restricted to under-19 or over-60, or Triennial veterans with at least four finishes, or slower runners -- this was intended to induce competition in the grizzled veterans or up-and-comers. Bottom Feeders (by definition slow), Newts (pacemaker man Fred Knewstub), Mighty Isis (eager virgin Nadia), Dabes Cronies (Steve Ryan, 'nuf said), and of course ATROCIOUS (Leroy) fit the bill -- but Steinbrecher (Desciples), winner of numerous trail races, in no way could be considered "slower" -- and he had only done 3 previous Tris (Latecummers VII, Cooljamarama VIII, Wheelies IX) -- so a definite DQ. Hipsters are also DQ, Tim Ingall (Hipsters) actually won stage 3 in Tri IX for the Stumbleheads. Same for Enclave (Quinn Thomas, 30, no previous Tris) -- those ringers should have recruited Ryan for this stage. Travis Tuner (34, Mountain men) the same. Beckwith (AIR), Talda (Haze), and Shaum (Stew) are OK since they finished near or behind Leroy, thus by definition SLOW.

So the revised points for 5E are: AIR (1), Cronies (2), Atrocious (3), Newts (4), Stew (5), Feeders (6), Haze (7), Isis (8), others (12 -- maximum points = DQ). We put this into the spreadsheet... after some ledgermain Atrocious came out on top as ususal.

Trash talk from HighNoon AC

(Not that it did them any good!)

From: Thomas Meyer
Sent: Tuesday, September 23, 2008 11:33 AM
Subject: Team Atrocious added to government bail-out list

Washington (AP)

US legislators grudgingly allowed the addition of "Team Atrocious" to the list of organizations to be bailed-out by the federal government in the latest incarnation of the administration's plan to use taxpayer funds to rescue the performance of firms that have fallen prey to their own witless self-deception and heedless risk-taking.

"It only seems fair that a team that has consistently cheated and stolen their way to the top should be given their fair share of the same package that is being delivered to Wall Street", team chair D. Rossiter explained to reporters in a press conference this morning in Washington. "We've used mark-to-model accounting for years, and now that an actual race is about to come up, we're reluctant to have to bring our shoddy accounting in-line with actual performance," he added, referring to the team's long-standing practice of crediting themselves with long-distance trail-running records based solely on projections using one of several models accepted by the running industry.

"Using our proprietary modeling, we've determined that our assets -- our team members -- are extremely valuable. Using estimatesd indoor 100m sprint times, we've confirmed that our team members would do phenomenally well at distances of 10 miles and up, on trails. They're quite capable of dominating this race just as our models have shown in years past. Hence, we see no need to actually compete; we've already credited ourselves and our shareholders with the results of the contest."

Privately held Team Atrocious stock has risen by 150% in the past six months as the details of the latest Triennial contest have emerged, once again clearly favoring the organizing team.

The years-long practice of fudging the books, however, is about to run into trouble with the house-cleaning that Congressional leaders are bringing to the running community. Team Atrocious will be required to deliver hard evidence that their team is capable of the performance their models claim, and will further have to compensate fellow contestants for any losses that they may have endured over the past several decades.

"Trumpled Hipsters" team member Tom Meyer pointed out that with the bail-out, Team Atrocious would once again duck the punitive aspect of the regulatory changes and simply pay other teams out of the fund provided by US government. "It's unlikely that those old farts will learn anything from this episode," he commented.

Nonetheless, the Hipsters plan to pull an all-nighter the day before the race to make up for any lack of preparation in the weeks leading up to the event. "Running Triple Hump repeats just hours before the first leg begins is the only way we can be sure we're sharp and in top form for the contest," Meyer explained. "We may be pounding the pavement so fast that you might not see us, but feel free to come out and get in a few repeats, too", he said by way of invitation.

Other Triennial teams could not be reached for comment.


  • Catherine the Great for outstanding performance: Yvette de Boer (first two-time winner, previous was 1993)
  • Catherine the Great's Horse's Rear End for outstanding performance but we are too modest in Atrocious to name one of our own Catherine herself: Joe Daley
  • Brokeback Mountain for unseeming togetherness, sensitivity, and sharing a punch card: Boris Dzizovsky and Andy Getzin
  • Reinhold Wotawa award (i.e., banned for life): Jeff Juran, for putting together a team and not showing up.


Race Director's Report Triennial Finger Lakes Trail Relay X 27-September-2008

It was dank, dark, and raining, but at least fairly mild, as we drove up Blackman Hill in Caroline for the start of the dreaded Shingadin Hollow stage -- this time made quite a bit easier by a dyspeptic landowner who has purchased, and therefore thinks he owns for all purposes, the hillside south of NY79 which is the traditional Tri stage points -- including the very first start in 1981. I wonder what that landowner has to say to the Haudenosaunee let alone the Great Spirit. What we need is a right-to-ramble law as in Scotland from which some of my ancestors escaped English opression. But I digress... out of the mist we could barely discern fellow Trilobites (as we affectionately call those who plan their training as a three-year cycle to peak for Triennial)... minus Lorrie Tily whose handicap was so massive that the starter, driving cautiously, had not arrived in time. She had wandered off into the blackness. We soon got the others going, a few well-prepared with headlamps. I was already inspired by meeting Tri veterans such as Tessa (who has manouvered Mighty Isis into Atrocious-like dominance of the female division); Brent, bottom-feeding all the way from San Diego, and Ron Knewstub with a new team name but same team attitude. But what was this Enclave with the last 'e' spelled backwards? I smelled professionals at work... When I saw Adam I realized that his Trumpled Hipsters were probably also all ringers. Where was the Stew team? On the cell phone, from bed, in Elmira.

During the first stage the clouds lifted a bit and there was some light, but the trails were wet, slick, and muddy. Blazes either disappeared in the gloom or were hidden by the abundant foliage from the past exceptional summer. This proved too much for my own teammate Sh'Tara, who couldn't find the top of the abandoned McGrath Rd and ended up bushwacking out of the woods about a mile up Old 76, running into a backyard, knocking on the door of friendly 76'ers who fortunately knew in which direction the trail crossing was, and even better, gave her the correct information. In fairness to Sh'Tara, living in Chicago makes it difficult to pre-run the trail... NOT!! when you have three full years to do it!! She also managed to run right by one of the orienteering checkpoints without seeing it. Well, all I could borrow were the faded controls from Eric Smith, so the orange wasn't too obvious, even though I tried to hang the controls so they would hit most runners in the face.

The condition of the runners finishing the first stage prepared the second stagers for their task. It was looking bad for Atrocious as the so-called Spider took his shirt off to reveal a massive belly swollen by two weeks of eat like a marathoner but don't train, topped off by a midnight snack of pizza and apple pie. But where was Bottom Feeder Matt Warfel? Well, as we later found out, with his car face down / tail up in a ditch somewhere up in the hills, trying to reconoitre the trail. After being pulled out, he drove to the start and off he went, using leaves as punch cards for the controls.

On Michigan Hollow Rd. it was more of the same -- mud and rain -- and also some blood as Shelly "did a Grover" right at the stage 2 finish. Not a full face-plant so perhaps a "half Grover". Meanwhile Joe Daley was suited up in camoflage (green, brown and black), even at the risk of being shot and gutted by a Sarah Palen wannabee, and snorting to go. But a minute before off went Jim Miner, looking serious. Sixteen minutes later was the scratch start, with Action Figures from the Enclave, Hipsters and Mountain men in hot pursuit.

But at the top of Lick Brook there was Joe steaming down the hill in first place, and there he was at the finish Shady Corners, but only two minutes ahead of the Enclave's Nate Senner. Joe was watching his feet, not his head, and ran right under the last control at Lick Brook. Oh well, next time I'll hang them at waist height.

Stage 4 was the longest, with the most net elevation gain (up to the tower) with 2.2 miles of rough trail on top of Connecticut Hill tacked on to shorten the next stage. When I saw Yvette at the start I had a feeling... especially because she had totally dominated Connecticut Hill (Cayuta outlet to Porter Hill) in the other direction in Triennai V (1993) as a mere 30-year old to win the Catherine the Great award for out-standing performance, winning the stage outright. She did not disappoint, romping up the hill in 2:19 (1:58 scratch), although this time Michael Wunsch (Hipsters) and Erik Maki (Desciples) nearly caught her. A special mention here to my teammate Hermann van Leeuwen, who grew up in my present home town (Enschede, eastern Netherlands) but migrated to Buffalo some years ago. He tried to get a Checkers A.C. team together but in the end was invited to join Atrocious on this most difficult stage which he had never run. Never lost, properly cautious, and with full respect for the trail, he finished eighth.

I had planned Stage 5 for older, slower veterans who wanted to enjoy some more Triennials without destroying their bodies in training, for example (in fact, as designed for) my brother Winton, or perhaps eager virgins who are not ready for several hours of rough trails. Some teams were right in this same line of thought: Steve Ryan of the well-named Joe (Dabes) Old Cronies, Fred Knewstub complete with state-of-the-art pacemaker, Tim Patronski of the Bottomfeeders (he's only 31 but he is a bottom feeder!), Nadia Singh recruited by Tessa from the biotech lab at Cornell. But who was that lining up at the start but... Earl Steinbrecher Jr., Ithaca 5&10 champion, holder of numerous trail victories... Tim Ingall of the Hipsters, complete with racing stripe... Quinn Thomas of the Enclave (OK, I guess they're all fast). Earl finished in 46 minutes scratch (49 clock), definitely "driving too fast for conditions".

Towards mid afternoon the weather got nicer, and the sun began to shine on the wet wood. It was time for the two "simultaneous orgasm" stages, 6E and 1W, planned to come together at one of the most beautiful views in the Finger Lakes, Satterly Hill. And in fact youngster Seth Tucker (IC cross country) and veteran Jim Chely, both of Stew, almost did it: 1:37:28 and 1:37:10. That difference would be pretty good in a lot of marriages... Stew's Christina Bruner, scheduled for stage 1E, finally got out of bed and managed to double up on stage 1W, although having difficulty following the trail (yelling "help, how do I get out of here?" from the bottom of Excelsior Glen). Stage 6E was won by Alan Evans, also a star of Triennial IX, three minutes before Tucker. On 1W I was trying to hold off Action Figures but it was not to be, as studs Scott Bickham (Enclave) and Ben Logsdon (Hipsters) went flying by on the long, painful, never-ending uphill on Middle Road into Burdett. Too bad I didn't put a control in the corn maze. Speaking of landowners (remember stage 1E?) there are lots of really good guys, including the one at the base of Satterly Hill who lets the FLT run right through his agro-tourism business. The Hallow'een figures on the driveway and the "go back!" warnings to kids added a nice touch. Karen Grover, like most of her team-mates, had dyed her hair red because of some rumour of Joe Daley giving a "red-headed handicap" in Tri IX. Well, he's susceptible to feminine wiles, but our super-"volunteer" and stage 1W (and 4E) starter Herb Engman is made of sterner stuff.

Another good "simultaneous" performance was put in by married couple and Purple Haze teammates Chris (6E) and Joe (1W) Reynolds: 2:31:03 and 2:29:01, although Chris when it looked a lot fresher at the finish (actually, she always does...)

Post-race party at the Bleachers in Watkins Glen... hey, if you want a sports bar, with friendly staff, a knowledgeable bartender, big-screen TV's, a pool table, good bar food, and local colour, that's your place! Thanks to Joe Daley for organizing this, it went smoothly and efficiently. An unexpected development was the intervention of a patron to buy us all a round, in honour of his daughter who had run XC under Joe Reynolds at Watking Glen HS and then died of leukemia at 20. The heartfelt speech by her father reminded us of how short life is, and how much we should appreciate the time we have -- and what better time can you have than running the Triennial?

See you in 2011. It seems that the fall date is preferred, so we'll stick with that unless I hear good arguments for spring. Well, maybe I'll change it anyway. Who knows? The race committee will be savouring this one and plotting for the next.

D "Truck" Rossiter
Race Director
Atrocious team captain

Race information

This was a participation run, which means we kept records but took no responsibility.

The race: Relay teams of seven runners covered approximately 125 km of the Finger Lakes Trail, six stages east to west starting from Blackman Hill in Caroline (Tompkins County) to Satterly Hill in Burdett (Schuyler County), and one stage west to east from Vanzandt Hollow in Townsend (Schuyler County) to Satterly Hlil Stages ranged from 7.5 to 13.9 miles of rugged hiking trail. Cross-country place scoring, points for stages were summed, handicap starts based on age and gender.

Teams consisted of at least seven runners, one or more per stage; if more than one, slowest runner scored. This event was only for well-conditioned, experienced trail runners. Fitness of the runner to finish their stage (physical condition and trail racing experience) was the responsbility of the team captain, organizers took no responsibility.

Qualifying: Although the Finger Lakes Trail is open to any pedestrian, all runners who took part in this participation run had either (1) completed a stage in any previous Triennial; (2) completed a FLRC or similar trail race of 15km or more since Triennial IX, at a pace of at least 8kph (5 mph); (3) completed a run-through of their FLT stage in the past year at this pace. These standards were to ensure that all runners knew the reality of trail running in the Finger Lakes.

The course: The Finger Lakes Trail between Blackman Hill Rd in the town of Caroline (Tompkins county) and Vanzandt Hollow Road in the town of Dix, Schuyler County. The trail is described on maps M14 through M18 (5 sheets), available from the Finger Lakes Trail Conference, 6111 Visitor Center Road, Mt Morris, NY 14510, or order at their web site. They have GPS'd the entire trail but had not released the waypoints to the public as of race day.

The trail on the ground is what must be followed; there may be re-routings not shown on the map. The main FLT is marked with white blazes, double blazes indicating a turn ahead. At most road crossings there are yellow and green FLT signs. Marking is generally good, but there may be recent events such as treefall, logging, floods, and latter-day landowners who have cut off access that make the trail difficult to follow. Participants should have pre-run their section of the trail if at all possible.


We put some orienteering checkpoints on the trail which runners had to record on a punch card. Here's one of them, in the sun and in the rain, on the main (white-blazed) trail just before the flats at the base of Lick Brook

Each red punch (hanging down from the control) has a unique pattern of pins. Thanks to Eric Smith for loaning his personal controls!

Support: Teams had to support themselves. Organizers will provide starters / finish recorders / checkpoint monitors.


Listed start times are for scratch runners; older/female start earlier according to handicap tables which were distributed to team captains and leg starters

All the staging points are included in a KML file which can be viewed in Google Earth.