July 2018 - TRAIL RUNNING
Shady Summer Trail Races
By Laura Clark
While most folks associate trail running with quintessential autumn cross country meets, summer is perhaps a more practical time to log your miles. No sun radiating overhead or reflecting off hot, sticky pavement. Just cool breezes fanning the leaves and occasional birdsong, leaving you alone with your thoughts, free to concentrate on your workout. As an end goal to this scenario, select a few regional trail races to motivate your resolve and reward your hassle-free training.
For a casual, low-key approach, try the Saratoga Stryders’ Camp Saratoga 5K Trail Run Series held every other Monday evening at Wilton Wildlife Preserve: July 9, 23 and Aug. 6, 20. (saratogastryders.org)
HMRRC’s Indian Ladder Trail Run 5K and 15K on Sunday, July 22 at Thacher State Park, reviewed in June’s Adirondack Sports. A move to the Green House Picnic Area features revamped routes of a “something old, something new” nature. Anticipate a more difficult 5K and an easier 15K romp. (hmrrc.com)
Follow your adventure on Saturday, August 4 with Underdog Racing’s Churney Gurney 5-Mile Trail Run in Queensbury, the main fundraiser for Camp Under the Woods for children ages three to 15 on the autism spectrum. You will meet many of these happy campers and their families in volunteer positions onsite. According to race director Bob Underwood, “There is a great mix of rolling single-track trails with lots of twists and turns. The trails are smooth and well-manicured, but still have some technical areas.” These same trails will be utilized for the mountain bike races the following day. Afterwards, enjoy great food, mountain bike demos, a playground and free swimming. (churneygurney.com)
Avoid the hot pavement at the ADK 80K Trail Runs at Mt. Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid on Saturday, August 25. Run a challenging, hilly 50/50 mix of single- and double-track snowshoe and cross country ski trails on a figure-eight 20K (12.4-mile) loop on and between trails used for the 1980 Winter Olympics. This brings you through the race village twice per lap, allowing for family support and logistics-free drop bags. Runners can choose from the full 80K, a 50K or a two- or four-person teams. High Peaks Cyclery organizers offer valuable raffle prizes for the run events, as well as for the mountain bike and cross/fat bike races, held the following day. (adk80k.com)
Hesitating on the border into fall is the Moreau Lake 15K & 5K Trail Run on Sunday, September 16 at Moreau Lake State Park. Expect an old fashioned, no-frills event with minimum swag, but cool shirts to the first 200 registrants and a $5 BBQ after. The 15K is a tough, twisty, mostly single-track rocky route leading up the “Staircase of Death” to some scenic overlooks. The course is well-marked, but because of the difficulty of the trail, you must pay attention. Billed “The toughest 15K in New York,” it is one of my favorites. The 5K takes the easier ridgeline, returning on the beach-side carriage trails. Registration includes the park’s entry fee. (greenleafracing.com) Happy Trails!
Laura Clark (email@example.com) of Saratoga Springs is an avid trail runner, ultramarathoner, snowshoer and cross country skier. She is a children’s librarian at the Saratoga Springs Public Library.