Overall Rating
Overall Rating (1 Review)
2
(1 Ratings)  (1 Review)
DIFFICULTY
3
SCENERY
5
PRODUCTION
2
SWAG
5
Picturesque waterfalls, historic abandoned mills, and well-groomed trails following the Minnesetah River in Penn Yan, NY make the Keuka Outlet Trail Half Marathon & 10K a must-do! The Keuka Outlet Trail Half Marathon & 10K follow the Minnesetah River, which flows from Keuka Lake to Seneca Lake in the Finger … MORE
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    seagroves87 FIRST-TIMER '22

    This is a non-technical trail race in Penn Yan in the Fingerlakes region of NY about an hour from Rochester. I was signed up for the half marathon but haven't … MORE

    This is a non-technical trail race in Penn Yan in the Fingerlakes region of NY about an hour from Rochester. I was signed up for the half marathon but haven’t been training well enough due to injury. When I saw the weather was projected to be really hot I looked into transferring down to the 10K but it was full and thought they would likely have an early start or extra water or let you drop down race day if it was too hot and I knew I could finish the half in 4 hours even undertrained. For packet pick-up there were multiple locations the day before but I got my packet the morning of the race at the start area. Packet included a nice tank top and a glass with the race name. I parked in downtown Penn Yan which was close to the start. It was an extremely hot morning with temps up to 95 degrees and high humidity and the race started at 8am. This was bad. The race was previously in the Fall but moved to the summer for less competition with other races. In defense of this move this is a very shaded race and a good summer course. However it should have started at 7am. They did say we could start early but we would have to switch to virtual and time ourselves so it wouldn’t count for any clubs. I was not doing that. There were not nearly enough porta potties at the start but the RD said there were plenty on the course. Since I wasn’t planning on PRing I decided to just wait and go on course. The course was manually timed which is likely why they couldn’t have an early start. It also resulted in a very congested start though it thinned out soon enough. I think being chipped time would have allowed a slower, more spaced out start and an early start option. I understand if the early start couldn’t count for awards since it wouldn’t be fair but it also shouldn’t only count as virtual. Anyways I decided to do a run walk strategy which worked well until about mile 6. Most of the first 6 miles were shaded. This is a gorgeous trail. It is pretty flat. There was nothing technical but there were a few rocks and roots. It would be fine in either trail or road shoes whatever you prefer and run in most. There was even a lovely waterfall. Like I said I was feeling good for 6 miles and on pace to finish a little over 3 hours. One issue is the race didn’t have enough volunteers. There were 4 aid stations you passed twice but not all had volunteers. I also didn’t see race officials patrolling the course and there were no volunteers at the few intersections just signs. There was very little traffic and I didn’t see any cars ever so from a speed perspective didn’t matter but it made me nervous since I didn’t know what I would do if I got sick or injured my foot again and couldn’t finish. The aid stations had plenty of water and gatorade luckily but the ones in the middle were quite far apart for the heat with about 2.5 miles between aid stations. At mile 6 you leave the trail for a road about 1/2 mile to a turnaround. This is where I started to have trouble. This section had little shade and was very hot and I had to walk a lot by the time I finished I wasn’t feeling great so lengthened my walk intervals. At mile 9 I got to the aid station with volunteers I knew I was walking the rest of the race but had plenty of time banked to finish in the time limit. I knew I wasn’t feeling great and there were very few volunteers so thought about dropping out here but after some sips of water and gatorade felt better and decided to walk the rest. At mile 10, I started to feel sick and had symptoms of heat exhaustion. I was really nervous because I knew there were no volunteers until mile 12. I was hoping someone would be patrolling the race but saw no one. I couldn’t do anything except continue to walk forward. I knew to walk extremely slow and continuously take small sips of water. It was really not safe for me to continue in this condition. I don’t know what would have happened if I fainted as I was alone for most of the second half of the race. Luckily I slowly kept going at slower than my usual casual walking pace. I didn’t pass any volunteers until the first aid station which had a little less than a mile left. At that point I knew I would finish. Also the volunteers walked to the aid station and didn’t have a car so couldn’t bring me back. Finally with about 1/4 mile left one of the race staff was on a bike making sure everyone made it back. By that time I was too close not to finish. My finishing time was obviously really slow but it was under 4 hours. In defense of the race directors they were extremely nice, made sure the kept the finish line open for me and personally congratulated me and gave me my medal. While the course was gorgeous I have a hard time recommending it due to lack of safety protocols. For a race in the heat one of three things needs to happen, 1) early start option, 2) option for shorter race or even making everyone do a shorter race, or 3) more water and medical staff on course. It was a very pretty race, the swag was great and the location isn’t too far. However if I do it again I will definitely only be doing the 10K if it is in the summer. And I learned my lesson and will just skip half marathons in 95 degree weather unless I know they will be well supported and have lots of back of packers such as Miami. I had to skip the race the following day for recovery and pre-emptively dropped down in distance next week in case it is hot.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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