As the weather warms up this week we begin to think about the 2019 trail racing season. Local trail advocacy group #TrailsRoc is set to host and score their annual Trail Runner Of The Year series which is often referred to as the “TROY” series.
The TROY series has been around since 2013 and was introduced as a way to bring together a solid grouping of local, home-grown, grass-roots style events that would sort out the best trail runners in the area while showcasing some of the regions best trail events. #TrailsRoc scores both the men and women series as well as a masters series with all 7 races. there is 1 race each month starting in April and ending in November.
Points are awarded in a descending fashion, and for each race, points are awarded so that the first place finisher gets 100 points, second place gets 99 points, third 98 points, etc. Then, they take your top 4 scores out of the 7 events for the year to calculate your total points–If runners race more than 4 of these races, the lower scores will be dropped from their total.
This allows runners to pick which of the 7 events they want to try to score points in while not punishing them for scheduling conflicts over a 7 month period. The events range from the 10 mile Webster Trail Classic to the 40 Mile Many On The Genny.
Below is a preview of this seasons race series. We plan to recap each event of the season as it goes on.
- April – Muddy Sneaker. Entering it’s 20th consecutive season of being raced, Muddy Sneaker is a Goose Adventure Racing classic event and the perfect kick off to the trail running season. Held on April 20th in the Hi-Tor region of the Finger Lakes, The Muddy Sneaker Trail Run is a 20k race with perhaps the largest climb in the local racing scene, a 1+ mile climb to the finish called “The Demoralizer”. A Popular event, Muddy Sneaker is already sold out, but volunteers and spectators are welcome.
- May – Medved Madness. Sponsored by local running store Medved Running and Walking Outfitters, Madness is hosted at Mendon Ponds Park on May 5th this year. The race consists of 3, 5 mile loops giving a great sample of the trails the park has to offer. In addition to a wonderful The North Face shirt to the first 300 runners, Madness also has one of the best post race meals around, a chicken BBQ with all the fixin’s. Not part of the TROY series, but an important aspect of the event is the option for a relay with 3 runners each tacking one leg of the race. There is also a kids race happening which will help to continue to develop the newest crop of area trail runners.
- June – Many On The Genny. The only ultra on the list and the only ultra raced in Letchworth State Park, AKA The Grand Canyon of The East. MOTG is a 40 mile point to point trail race traversing almost the entirety of the park and is being held on June 22nd. From the starting line you can see the finish line across the gorge and over the river, you only need to cover the 40 miles in between to get there. MOTG is sponsored by local running store Rochester Running Company and has some of the best themed and well stocked aid stations of any ultra in the area. MOTG is a fundraiser for the Finger Lakes Trail Conference and annually donates money to the organization.(Full disclosure, MOTG is owned and operated by Trail Methods).
- July – OSPF The first of 2 of #TrailsRoc events in the series. 0 SPF raced on July 13th is a 13ish mile trail race utilizing the Seneca and Crescent trails in an out and back format (sort of). The course will force you to stay focused because at any time you are going up a hill down a hill around a turn or all of that combined. The race is almost entirely single track, and includes a few stunning views including the Monroe County high point at Woodcliff Resorts. This year the race is part of the #TrailsRoc Trailfecta series as well.
- August – The Dam Good Trail Race. Another Goose Adventure Race and the original trail race in Letchworth, Dam Good was originally hosted by the Fanton sisters who still help out with an amazing array of post race baked goods. Hosted on August 11th this year the race is a 14 mile out and back with a lollipop section at the turn around. This race is run entirely on single track and follows along the Genesee River Gorge for the whole 14 miles starting and finishing at the Mt. Morris Dam
- The Webster Trail Classic – The 2nd of the #TrailsRoc races and also a member of the Trailfecta series. Held on September 7th,the WTC is unique in that it runs 1 large loop through 3 distinctly different parks in Webster, NY. Starting in Webster Park, heading to the Whiting Road Nature Preserve, and then crossing in to the Gosnell Big Woods before heading back towards the finish. Each park was designed and built in a different way with different topography and tree cover. The race includes running through an old growth forest that is protected and gives a nice way to tour the parks in Webster along the shores of Lake Ontario.
- The Mendon Trail Run – Traditionally hosted the first weekend in November, the Mendon Trail Run offers a fun 10k loop that allows runners to compete in the 10k, 20k, 30k, or 50k. This year the 20k event is the race being scored for the series. MTR is operated by the local orienteering club “Roc Orienteering“. One of the most affordable races you will find anywhere, the race allows the option of purchasing a shirt on the side if you would like one. The Mendon Trail Run is one of the original trail races in the area and has been going strong since 1999 and is the unofficial end of the Rochester area trail racing season before winter hits.
Some of these races do have a capacity and often sell out in order to run sustainable races in parks with trails that cannot handle hundreds of runners. Go ahead and take a look then get registered and get ready for another season of trail racing in Rochester!