Barefoot running is so different from shod running that it’s practically a new sport.
— Ken Bob Saxton, “Barefoot Running Step by Step”
Running on pavement without shoes is tricky, according to barefoot guru Ken Bob Saxton. The uniform surface may feel smooth at first but offers less feedback than a rocky trail. You might think you can get away with bad habits developed while running shod, like slipping, skidding, or scuffing your feet. But if you do so while barefoot — even by a tiny degree — that friction will accumulate over a few miles until your soles are too sensitive to continue (think of rough pavement as a kind of coarse-grained sandpaper and you’re dragging your feet across with the full weight of your body. . .). Some people can run barefoot on smooth surfaces, like sand, grass, sidewalks, the surface of a track, or super-slick asphalt, Ken Bob observes, but rough pavement or gravel defeats them. And that, I’m afraid to say, is a good description of me.
To practice my form and hopefully improve it, I showed up at the Gardiner 5k Classic Run/Walk a few days ago, to attempt my fifth barefoot race on a course that includes both smooth and rough asphalt and also a mile of gravelly trail. . . .
Continue reading “Gardiner 5k Race Report”
Recently I’ve posted about different ways of talking to yourself while running, and in reading Ian’s race report from a 50-mile ultramarathon in the Shawangunks, I was impressed by his thoughtful strategy for mitigating risky conditions and his on-the-move decision-making.
By guest author, Ian Erne (shared with his permission – thank you, Ian):
I managed to finish the RockTheRidge 50-miler on a very rainy day with temperatures in the 40s. Approximately 100 of my fellow ultramarathon enthusiasts/competitors had to DNF for various reasons. Hypothermia being the biggest reason. As I stated in a previous post, I was under-trained, but felt I could finish if I ran conservatively and intelligently.
Continue reading “Ian Erne’s Rock The Ridge Race Report”
We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 Long Path Race Series! The Long Path is a 358-mile hiking trail that reaches from New York City to the outskirts of Albany, along the way traversing some of New York’s most beautiful parks and preserves, including the New Jersey Palisades, Harriman State Park, Schunemunk Mountain, the Shawangunks, the Catskills, the Schoharie Valley, and the Helderberg Escarpment. Created and maintained by the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, the Long Path is a labor of love for some 250 volunteers.
Continue reading “Long Path Race Series: Announcing the 2017 Disciples of the Long Path”
Tim was the 2017 first place male finisher in the 70-mile division. He set a new course record of 18:11, and this is also the new unsupported fastest known time for the Shawangunk Ridge Trail of 19:17 hours (the FKT does not net out the waiting time at check point #3, as explained below).
Continue reading “Tim Ela’s 2017 SRT Race Report”
The fourth edition of the SRT Run took place September 15-16, 2017 with nearly 200 registered participants across all divisions, up 35% from the year before. The SRT Run has a minimalist format, meaning there are no aid stations (we don’t provide food or water) and no supplemental course markings. As one participant put it, “they don’t coddle the runners.” But the truth is, the runners don’t need a lot of hand-holding. At the start for each division, steely determination was evident in their faces, and then once moving, exhilaration, and when finally at the finish, relief. And maybe there were some points in between where it was necessary to grit the teeth. Results included three new course records, countless personal bests, at least one first-time ultramarathon finish, and remarkably a runner who completed the 30-mile division barefoot — and there were also some disappointments because the weather was hot, the trail is rugged, and the mountains, unyielding.
Organizers created this event to celebrate a magical trail that crosses the entire length of the Shawangunk Mountains, or the “Gunks” as they are called, an area identified by the Nature Conservancy as “one of Earth’s last great places.” By promoting awareness of the SRT, we hope to build support for further conservation. Continue reading “2017 SRT Race Director’s Report”
Shawn won the 1/2 marathon division in 2:08, tying the course record set by Adam Meier in 2015. Since the SRT race is a minimalist event (no course markings or aid stations), quick thinking on your feet and deft management of hydration and nutrition can often be more important than pure speed — as Shawn’s report clearly illustrates.
Since getting into trail running a few years ago, the SRT run/hike has become one of my favorite races of the year. The trail itself is beautiful offering scenic views as well as remarkable diversity of surroundings and trail surface. In my opinion, the SRT and surrounding area offers some of the best trail running (if not the best) I’ve seen in the state. Some may balk at the self-supported nature of the run, but it’s the most environmentally friendly way of racing (and respecting the natural surroundings that we enjoy) given there’s minimal waste in the form of cups, bottles, and plastic jugs. And I like that it places greater importance on the thought, experience, and wisdom to plan and adjust. Continue reading “Shawn Bubany’s 2017 SRT Race Report”
By guest author Lisa Zucker Glick
On May 6, 2017 I participated for the third time in the Rock the Ridge 50 miler. This event is a fundraiser for the Mohonk Preserve. It has a generous cutoff of 24 hours. The event is designed for the average runner/ hiker to be able to complete the entire distance. There is a registration fee as well as a fundraising minimum. I chose not to fundraise and pay the amount myself. These are my trails in my backyard. I know the importance of protecting and caring for this great gift of the Mohonk Preserve.
Continue reading “Rock The Ridge and the Number Three”