Notes from the Catskills

Some quick notes from my latest Catskill trip, the thought being that if it’s worth the effort to hike or run, then it’s also worth the effort to set down some impressions.  John Burroughs commented:

The pleasure and value of every walk or journey we take may be doubled to us by carefully noting down the impression it makes upon us….It was not till after I got home that I really went to Maine, or to the Adirondacks, or to Canada.  Out of the chaotic and nebulous impressions which these expeditions gave me, I evolved the real experience.  There is hardly anything that does not become much more in the telling than in the thinking or in the feeling.

This hike consisted of bagging Doubletop and Big Indian, which incidentally brings me to 49 out of 420 for my second Catskills Grid.  While another grid is not an immediate goal, it feels like slow progress in that direction would be a way to learn more about these beautiful mountains and thus worth a little bit of time and effort… Continue reading “Notes from the Catskills”

Notes from the Catskills

Jessica Velez: Reflections on my 70-miler

This is a guest post by Jessica Velez who participated in the 70-mile division of the 2019 SRT Run.  I was at checkpoint #5 when she arrived with only a few minutes to spare, and based on her pace at that point I didn’t think she would make it to checkpoint #6, but she did, this time only seconds before the cut-off, strained, blistered, and sopping wet.  Given the risks associated with rain, darkness, and cooling temperatures I offered her the option to drop here and get a ride to the finish, but she barely acknowledged me, instead got to work replacing the batteries in her headlamp, and then headed off into the dark, wet forests for the final 6-mile stretch, arriving at the finish in 29 hours and 49 seconds, and along the way demonstrating the values of determination, self-reliance, and endurance that we seek to celebrate with this event. — Ken.
Why did I do it? It wasn’t for fun, I wish I had the level of fitness where 70 miles would be fun. When I run marathons- they are fun, I socialize, take in the views, people watch- I actually have a lot of fun with marathons. I signed up for a 70, because as I finished my 50 miler at Rock the Ridge in 2017- I felt like I could have done more. I wanted to challenge myself and see if my body was capable of the “more”. Why did I choose the Shawangunk Ridge Trail (SRT) race specifically? Simply because it was local and scenic and priced extremely reasonable.

Continue reading “Jessica Velez: Reflections on my 70-miler”

Jessica Velez: Reflections on my 70-miler

Ben Leese’s 2019 SRT Race Report

Note:  Ben Leese won the 70-mile division of the 2019 SRT Run with a new course record of 16:28:16, eclipsing the prior record by almost two hours.  More info on the race at www.srtrun.com

Ben’s 2018 SRT race report here

Shawangunk Ridge 70 miler

Last year was my first attempt at the SRT and my first attempt at running anything longer than a marathon.  After missing my goals at a succession of road races over the preceding couple of years I was thrilled to achieve my main objective of grinding out a finish.  But the experience was brutal.  The distance was of course a big part of that, but I’d made a number of rookie errors as well and as soon as the chafing had healed and the toenails had regrown I began to think about ways to improve in 2019.

Continue reading “Ben Leese’s 2019 SRT Race Report”

Ben Leese’s 2019 SRT Race Report