The committee met in temporary bathtubs on several continents, consulted with the Matriarch of Team Atrocious (90 years wise), and went on further fact-finding missions to the foothills of the Himalayas, Limpopo National Park, the beaches of southern Brasil, the battlefield at Waterloo...
So what did we decide?
- A two-day participation event,
Saturday from the FLT sign in Lafayette Park, Watkins Glen state park to NY 79 in Caroline at the Tompkins-Tioga line; Sunday in the reverse direction.
- Eight stages -- in reverse order day 1 and day 2
- Runners must do the same section of the FLT on both days.
So for example the person running stage 8 on day 1 (finishing at Tompkins/Tioga line) will run stage 1 on day 2 (starting the same place, reversing direction.
- No handicaps -- all runners on a stage start together
- Stage starting times to ensure finishing before dark, fastest teams should be able to complete a true relay (runner on one stage finishes before teammate has to start next stage)
- Total time scoring. Time penalties or bonuses deducted or added according to the rulebook.
- Additional rules to be announced one week before the event -- hint: make sure to have your copy of the official FLT maps, including
private vs.\ public lands.
- Post-race party in Lafayette Park, Watkins Glen on Sunday
The course: The Finger Lakes Trail is described on maps M15 through M18 (4 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 and will sell these also. But the trail is not static...
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. Road crossings are marked by 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. If at all possible, participants should have pre-run the part of the trail they will run on race day. Make sure to check out the latest trail conditions from the FLTC!
Most recent printed and the on-line FLT maps are out of date!, check the FLTC web site for the latest reroutings. Some known deviations from printed and on-line maps:
Map M17, between Durfee Hill Rd. (at mile 17.3) and Heisey Rd. (at mile 18.7) is closed by landowner obstinacy (forgetting the land belongs to the Great Spirit of the Haudosonee). New route (west to east): From Durfee Hill Rd. at pipeline (stage point) downhill to NYS 96B,
SE on NYS 96B for 0.5m southeast (CAUTION: stay alert and stay well off the shoulder of the roadway, run on the side of the highway facing traffic); turn left (E) onto Heisey Rd. and follow for 0.5 mile; at the top of the hill rejoin trail where Roundtop comes in from the left.
Runners may deviate from the trail by up to 50 m while remaining on public lands or public roads.
Support: Teams must support themselves -- this is a participation run. Organizers will provide starters, recorders, and roving monitors.
Qualifying: Although the Finger Lakes Trail is open to any pedestrian (except on Feb 7), all runners who take part in this participation run should either have (1) completed a stage in any previous Triennial; (2) completed a FLRC or similar trail race of 15km or more since Triennial XI, at a pace of at least 8kph (5 mph); (3) completed a run-through of the part of the FLT they plan to run on race day in the past year at this pace. These standards are to ensure that all runners knew the reality of trail running in the Finger Lakes.
This is a participation event and is only for well-conditioned, experienced trail runners. Fitness of the runner to finish their section (physical condition and trail racing experience) was the responsbility of the team captain, organizers take no responsibility. Teams support themselves, the organizers provide no search and rescue, no first aid, no water.
Stages starts: are calculated so a nominal pace of 6 mph = 10 kph = 10 min/mile = 6 min/km will do a true relay. Depending on trail conditions, typical fastest paces have been about 7.5 mph = 12 kph = 8 mph = 5 min/km (Ian Golden, Tri XIII 13.5 miles Caroline-Shindagin). Typical "slow" pace (your humble editor) has been about 5.5 mph = 8.85 kph = 10.9 min/mi = 6.8 min/km.
Of course, that is assuming (!) the runner follows the trail and is not competing for the Christopher Columbus award.
Advice: don't put the slowest runners on the last (evening) stages.