Overall Rating
Overall Rating (1 Review)
3
(1 Ratings)(1 Review)
DIFFICULTY
5
SCENERY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SWAG
2
Stage 1: The Pond Road – 3 Mile – Yes, this is a trail race! Tough hilly course. Starts on Pond Rd next to Add-en-On Kennels. Headlamps are required! Stage 2: The Devil’s Bathtub Stage – 5.5 Mile Trail Run Rolling start with the infamous stair climb finish. Starts at … MORE
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    seagroves87 FIRST-TIMER '20

    That title makes this race sound worse than it was but it was the best way to describe what running in the woods at night in late fall felt like … MORE

    That title makes this race sound worse than it was but it was the best way to describe what running in the woods at night in late fall felt like in a nutshell. This is the first of a series of 3 trail races staged throughout the weekend at Mendon Ponds Park. This Friday night 3 miler is followed by a Saturday 5.5 miler and a Sunday 11 miler. Due to initially planning to be out of town and then having to be on call this weekend to cover a colleague I was only able to do Friday as the Saturday and Sunday races didn’t work with my rounding schedule. Logistics this race also had a rolling start and the same crazy, strict (but understandable) protocols as Wednesday’s VeteRun. Packet pick-up was recommended at Fleet Feet the day before but Thursday are the one day I can’t pick up the packet during my lunch breaks so I had to get it race day. I can’t believe it but I actually have a minor production complaint about a race produced by Yellow Jacket Racing (YJR) but I thought parking and where to go was kind of confusing. The start of the trail has no parking space so you are supposed to park about 1/2 mile away and walk there. I left right after work and arrived around 5pm which is the middle of the rolling start from 4 to 6 pm. Luckily there were a lot of runners both entering and leaving the race so I just followed them and figured it out but I would have been confused if I was the first person there as there was not signs to indicate where to go. After parking you walk 1/2 mile to the trail head. Packet pick up day of was easy as there was definitely less than 25 people in the start area. I was happy that the packet actually included a bit of swag as all participants even those doing just one race got a buff. It is a nice fall themed buff with the racing company logo. There is no other swag unless you do the full series in which you get a sweatshirt but as the name implies these are dirt cheap races and it’s fine to have minimal swag and no medals. The race is on a very hilly trail and has about 500 feet of elevation gain in 3 miles…yikes. Also as I started at 5pm it got dark real fast. Unlike the Ready, Set Glow race these trail markers were very easy to follow. They stapled on some reflective tape on the flags so they were very visible and you could not get lost. Which was appreciated because it was very dark and creepy. During one stretch I was running alone in the dark with only the light of my headlamp with the eerie leafless trees and I thought this feels like I am in a horror movie running for my life. Then I realized it was Friday the 13th and thought yup…this is definitely a horror movie. I also realized I do not love trail running at night in the forest. Unlike the desert at Zion where there is still some natural light and the trails are open to the sky the trails here in Rochester are pretty much pitch black. It is very hard to get a good pace and you have to really watch your footing especially as this was very technical and hilly. There were some really steep uphills and downhills. Luckily I was careful and while there were some close calls I managed not to fall. I did think the finish line looked really cool lined with flashing glow sticks. At the end you got your goody bag with food and got to walk 1/2 mile back to your car. My time was incredibly slow. I’d like to say I had to answer a lot of pages but luckily I didn’t get any pages as I realized this was a terrible race to run on call as I don’t even know how I could have answered a page while participating. I didn’t love this race mostly due to not liking trail running in the forest at night not due to production issues or anything and it was definitely much better than the last nighttime trail race I did here. I definitely at some point want to do the whole series so will have to do this again but I don’t think I would go out of my way to do this race alone. And if you are keeping track, yes this was my 4th race in one week in 2020

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    2

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    M_Sohaskey Nov 18, 2020 at 7:17pm

    Love your reviews Amy, they're like engaging short stories—drama, comedy, horror, it's all there 😊. Glad this had a happier ending than Ready, Set, Glow and that you didn't take… MORE

    Love your reviews Amy, they're like engaging short stories—drama, comedy, horror, it's all there 😊. Glad this had a happier ending than Ready, Set, Glow and that you didn't take a fall (or meet up with anyone wearing a hockey mask). Running at night on trails is something I've tried to avoid, since it's the type of situation where my interest level quickly falls from 10 (super-psyched to be out running in nature) to 1 (hate this, can't run normally, can't wait to be done). Amazing (and inspirational) to see you continue to knock out races as we sit here in California with no end in sight; high five to the team at YJR and fingers crossed for a light at the end of this tunnel soon! LESS

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