Rock The Ridge and the Number Three

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.

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Rock The Ridge and the Number Three

Rock The Ridge 2017 Co-Director’s Report

As co-director of Rock The Ridge it’s a great thrill for me to see the participants moving through the mountains and especially the expressions on their faces when they reach the finish.  Even more remarkable is their good work raising funds for the Mohonk Preserve (New York’s largest not-for-profit nature preserve and host for the event), the Michael J. Fox Foundation, the NY-NJ Trail Conference, and other causes.  With close to $250,000 raised in 2017 alone, the event is now approaching a cumulative five-year total of one million dollars, an outcome which brings a mix of joy and astonishment to the organizers.

As co-director it is also my job to run in the event, so that organizers have a clear understanding of the participant experience.  In past years, this has been great fun, for example, in 2015 when I won the master’s division and set a personal record.  But as one gets a little older, fifty miles gets a little tougher, and in 2016 my time was quite a bit slower.

As I stepped up to the starting line this year, the only goal was to finish.  This would be my first ultramarathon since Rock The Ridge the year before, thanks to a long series of injuries.  Two weeks before the race, I was feeling good, but then with one week to go the posterior tibialis tendon (which runs underneath the ankle on the inner side of the foot) flared up once again.

But even if my strategy was to take it easy, there might still be ways to make this an interesting and challenging event.  I could run the fifty miles without taking any calories, and I’d see how far I could get without drinking.

Continue reading “Rock The Ridge 2017 Co-Director’s Report”

Rock The Ridge 2017 Co-Director’s Report

Discovering the Grid

Low hills flank the Thru-way, and through the car window you see mostly trees.  On the drive up this morning, the sky is clear, and the sun’s rays are pouring down with such intensity that every detail of the passing trees stands out:  stout trunks spattered with lichen and tangled with vines, leafless branches reaching, twisting, interweaving.  The clarity is astonishing:  it’s like a geometric pattern, brightly-lit but bewildering.

However, there’s a spot just north of New Paltz where the road dips and the hills pull back, and for a moment a vista of the Catskill Mountains is revealed.  This morning they appear huge and rounded, a soft mottled mix of brown and tan, flanks dappled with blue cloud shadows.  The detail has seemingly melted away with distance, and the mountain plateau looks like some kind of lost world – but the vision is divulged for only an instant before the road rises back into the hills again.

Of course, closer to the mountains more details emerge; the ridge tops resolve into jagged lines of spruce and fir tinged white.  I arrive at the Devil’s Tombstone Campground full of enthusiasm, imagining all the peaks I could climb today, but on opening the car door, feeling the cool air, and staring down at the ice sheet that covers the parking lot, some reality seeps back in.  Also, with a few aches and pains to be mindful of, maybe it’d be smarter to take it easy.

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Discovering the Grid

Light and Ice in Minnewaska

John Burroughs once wrote that to be an observer is to “find what you are not looking for.”  With this thought in mind, I set off for a trail run in Minnewaska State Park Preserve a couple of weekends ago, with no particular goal but to cover some ground and open my eyes.  Perhaps I’d observe something that I wouldn’t have even thought of looking for.

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Light and Ice in Minnewaska

Alan Davidson’s 2016 SRT-70 miler Race Report

(published with permission of the author)

By Alan Davidson

It was around 6pm on Friday, September 16th when a bunch of SRT 70-Mile participants hopped off a yellow school bus to meet the remaining SRT 70-Mile participants at High Point State Park in New Jersey. Like a school bus of children on their first day of school, we were excited and nervous (and most of us had to pee). After a quick race briefing from the Race Directors, we were off to the starting line at the SRT’s southern terminus. We snapped a starting line photo and the RDs let us loose on our journey to Rosendale, a 72 mile trek along the Shawangunk Ridge Trail.

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Alan Davidson’s 2016 SRT-70 miler Race Report

Jeffery Hayes’ 2016 SRT 50-mile Race Report

(published with permission of the author)

Shawangunk Ridge Trail 50 mile Race

September 17, 2016

Moonlight on the Bashakill

The shuttle bus from Rosendale (where the race finishes) bumped across a narrow bridge to a small parking lot, illuminated by a single light. The 8 of us (that was it!) trotted out into the misty darkness.  The race director gave us waterproof maps and our race numbers and a few navigational tips before the 6 AM start.

Continue reading “Jeffery Hayes’ 2016 SRT 50-mile Race Report”

Jeffery Hayes’ 2016 SRT 50-mile Race Report

Joey Rollin’s SRT Race Report

(published with permission of the author)

My SRT Race Report 2016 (Rocks and things)

by Joey “is this a delusion” Rollins

So, it’s the summer of 2015 and my running buddy, Malin Barton, says to me “Check out this race Joey, I think it would be fun”. I now know when Marlin Barton say’s “This will be fun”, what she really means is “This will probably kill us”.

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Joey Rollin’s SRT Race Report