Trails Collective

Weekly Rundown August 5, 2020

Trails Collective….

Hope this finds you all hanging in there through the state of things, healthy, and finding time for adventure. 

Cracking Open the Box: Saucony’s Endorphin Speed, 7.8 oz 8mm drop TPU plated gem…stacking it next to my first couple runs in the Brooks Hyperion Tempo, a match at 7.3 oz, 8 mm drop and a DNA Flash midsole that I’ve continued to like in the Brooks Catamount Trail shoe which I put in an initial review of a few weeks back. We’ll see how they stack up.

On the Trail kicks, put a couple more runs into the Saucony Mad River TR2. Still feeling good, though, I’m sorry to say, I think I’m still liking the TR1 a bit better. It’s early though, we’ll see. 

I put a first couple hours into the Ultimate Direction Hydrolight Belt yesterday. Similar to the Hydrolight and Skin shorts which we’ve reviewed here, and which I love, I don’t know that the function of this belt will be quite the same. Dual rear envelope pockets still work well, and the back center enough for nutrition and/or phone, but my first take is that they flap a bit too much in saddlebag fashion when full, only smoothing out once they were a bit down in ounces. I’ll keep running it and report back in.

Ben Nephew and I will still get you a review soon on the VJ Maxx, and teammate Aaron Stredny hopefully will come through this week with a review of the Salomon Sense 4 Pro’s. On that front, for all of you Salomon fans out there, their inventory projections into the fall and winter are pretty bleak. If you’re needing re-ups on the product, get it if and while you can. 

New Patreon Supporters:

Thom Knowles – based in north central New Jersey – the part of Jersey with beautiful hills, lakes, wicked rugged trails, and lots of all of those. A long-time roady, Thom moved into Trails end of ‘18 and hasn’t looked back…picking of 7 burly events in 2019 including Iron Mines and Escarpment. Thom, thanks so much for your support!

Ben Drew – Ben, co-founder and owner of the former Run On Hudson Valley in Croton-On-Hudson NY is a wonderful ambassador for the sport and community. Not only was he at the running specialty helm for years, he’s also directed or Co-Directed events including Breakneck Point and Castle To River. In the past few years he’s built up a site called the Wired Runner, doing an absolute crap-ton of Best-Of product rundown and reviews. Check it out at the WiredRunner.com. Ben, thanks for the support brother!

Cory West – Probably most known for his years as a professional body-builder, an occasional classic photo of him racing next to a waterfall wearing the retro Janji stripes, and in being the most efficient UPS driver on the planet, Cory’s had at some of the classic trail events in our community over the years, being a repeat offender at the Virgil Crest 100, Finger Lakes Fifties, World’s End. Cory was already on board but upped his tier level. Thanks brother!

Fastest Known Time Dashboard

Steve Lange and Josh Reid – CT’s AT

Multi State:

  1. Susie Bousquet went big with a 10h 33m effort linking PA, MD, WV, and VA for the AT Four State Challenge, shaving 2.5 hours off the prior female supported mark from 2019.


  1. Andrew Burford 49m 25s for the Zoar Trail
  2. Raphael Sarfati ran 2h 4m for the Bear Mountain 13 mile AT Lollipop circuit.
  3. Stefan Rodriguez ran 48m 50s on the 5.2 mile Ragged Mountain Loop, shaving 30 seconds off his own mark from only a week ago.


  1. Jordan Fields 5:27 on the 28.7 mile with 9100’ gain Pemi Loop. That’s flying. To date the focus on this loop has been on unsupported efforts, seeing some of the best and most technical trail runners in our region getting after this historic and amazing loop. Jordan establishes the baseline for a supported mark with the 5:27, and, although supported, still incredible to shave 15 minutes off of Ben Thompson’s amazing unsupported effort from June of this year. 
  2. Will Peterson put in a mac daddy effort covering the 48 NH 4000 footers in self-powered unsupported fashion in 5d 13h. Metrics are pretty wild. Estimating / rounding here using his Strava logs:
    1. Day 1: 41 miles and 15,000 feet elevation gain over 15 hours.
    2. Day 2: 39 miles, 11,000 feet gain, over 14 hours
    3. Day 3: 37 miles, 11,000 feet of gain, 13 hours
    4. Day 4: 37 miles, 11,000 feet of gain, 13 hours
    5. Day 5: 38 miles, 12,500 feet of gain, 14 hours
    6. Day 5.5: 39 miles, 13,000 feet of gain, 13 hours
    7. Totals: 231 miles, 73,500 feet of gain, 82 hours


  1. Ved Gund shaved 16 minutes off the prior mark from June on the 22 mile Interloken Trail in 3h 4m.
  2. Ted Erkkila and Michele Zandona nabbing the baseline mixed gender team mark of 2:23
  3. Mike Austin, a 3:48 on the beautiful 27km Black Dome / Windham High Peak Loop in the Catskills, lowering the unsupported Male mark by 16 minutes.
  4. Having none of that as the top time, Michelle Merlis headed out, two days later, to throw down a 3:42 for the unsupported female and new top mark for the route.
  5. Lauren Longfield putting in a burly 7h 15m effort for the 23 mile Catskills Fire Tower loop, another where her new Female Self Supported effort becomes the fastest time of any gender for the route. 
  6. Chris Choi set out covering the classic routes of the 55 mile Devil’s Path – Long Path – Escarpment Trail in an inaugural segment mark of 15h 42m, ascending over 19,000 feet in the process. 19,000 feet in 55 miles – oy, that’s a ton of climbing. 


  1. Randy Shemanski ran a 5:40 to establish a baseline mark for the 39 mile D&H Trail


  1. Mark Gaudet and David Magida running a 2:31 for the male unsupported one-way mark on the Bull Run / Occoquan Trail, shaving 35 minutes off of Daniel Prince’s time from July….however, it should be noted that Daniel on that effort was also after and establishing the mark for out-back.


  1. Josh Burns got back out and after it, setting a baseline mark for the first running of the 27 mile Mt. Mansfield – Camels Hump Challenge in 7h 7m. 

Event Results:

Although the event was out of our opening region, there were a few runners from within who threw down at Bob’s Big Timber Backyard Ultra this past weekend with Jacob Conrad the last standing after 41 laps and hours. Among our own:

  1. James Weaver was the 8th loser with 25 laps. 
  2. The third loser, Becky Kosek ran wicked tough, hanging in there through 30 laps, or over 120 miles in 30 hours. Pretty dang tough. More on that to close out tonight in a bit….


Point to Point, Brownsville, VT

  • Moved to Virtual: entrants to to ride or run a course of their choosing, share online, and still help in raising funds to support Vermonters via the Foodbank. No results in but you can still donate to this worthwhile cause:
  • https://www.thepointtopoint.org/

Running as an in-person live event:

Dahlgren Heritage Rail Trail Run, King George, VA

  • ½ Marathon and 50K – Results not yet posted

Capital Backyard Ultra

  • A Big’s qualifier in Potomac, MD
  • Was limited to 30 entrants. Crusher with heat index of 105 degrees.
  • And that’s a wrap. Amazing win by Aaron Ellison at I (i think?) 27 Yards or Laps, with Shawn McDermott and Trevor Baine for the assist

Jug End Loop Ultra in Egremont, MA

  • A gone-virtual event for 2020, entrants had the month of July to hit the course in the Jug End State Reservation for 6 hour, 27 mile, and 4.2 mile events, submitting the date post run. 
  • We’ve mentioned this event the past couple of weeks, and our friends at MassUltra also are reporting in on the results. 
    • As for the win’s – the B’s took it, claiming the top stop at each distance with
      • 6 Hour: Bill Boyer, or B Squared as they call him in South Egremont, MA of putting in 33.68 miles
      • 27 Mile: Bill Odendahl, or BO from running so damned fast in those now rancid technical wears of Trumbull, CT in 5:20
      • 4.2 Mile: Benjamin Griffin, or BG for his affinity to break out in his own rendition of the BeeGee’s Staying Alive late in a race, from Pittsfield MA in 34.50

Media Threads:

  1. Mountain Peak Fitness, a coaching and training entity based in New York had two posts this week catching attention: 
    1. The first, and unfortunately not a first for them, was a day spent, with Jason Friedman on assist, filling bag after bag of garbage in just a short stretch in Harriman State Park. Unsure about the rest of you out there, but, in as much as I’ve been thankful for more people getting out during COVID, the increased impact in congestion, and unfortunately garbage, has been quite noticeable. Thanks to Mountain Peak, TrailsRoc in prior weeks, and all those out there spending time cleaning up trail after the masses.
    2. A second from this weekend was in regards to an incident of injury sustained by one of their clients. This individual is an experienced mountaineer, endurance athlete, deep sea diver…he’s been around a bit. Unfortunately he went down this past weekend after stepping onto a shifting rock which led to an ankle fracture in three locations and subsequent fall yielding trauma to his shoulder. His family was cued to a static strava beacon, and the Mountain Peak crew were close and quick enough to set the response into motion, arriving there first to provide a stability bridge until S&R could arrive.  

Quick Tips from MPF

  • Tell someone your intended itinerary, with estimated times for the duration of the adventure, possible alternative routes and the estimated time you will be home. 
  • Share your Strava Beacon, etc. with a friend, family member or coach.
  • Carry a fully charged cell phone and backup battery.
  • Carry a paper map of the area and know how to read it. 
  • Download maps of the area using the many available mobile apps such as Avenza, Gaia, Hiking Project, All Trails, Trail Forks, etc. 
  • Carry a small bag with you for your own trash. Don’t litter! Even carry a small piece of trash out, leaving the area better for it.
  • Carry enough water and a small filter, such as the Katadyn BeFree 1.0L Water Filter.
  • Be prepared for the weather at the location you’re visiting, not your home. 
  • Proper footwear. 
  • Travel with someone if possible. 
  • Plan your route before you leave. 
  • Take a wilderness first aid course or at least get CPR/First aid certified. 

Jay made it to the hospital and was diagnosed with a broken ankle in 3 places, as well as soft tissue damage and a torn deltoid (shoulder) from the hard fall. He had a successful but very intensive 4+ hour surgery and is currently resting at home comfortably. He is extremely thankful to all involved especially the West Milford, NJ Search & Rescue Team. Be safe out there your coach, Elizabeth Azze

  1. VHTRC:
    1. Under the header of finding a runner who waits until 35 to swear….Although out of our region, a pretty cool headline was regarding a Wisonsin Supreme Court Justice pausing 35 miles into a 100 to get sworn in. Here’s the clip: 
    2. Pretty Cool.
  2. East Coast Trail and Ultra:
    1. Useful public service announcement from Ryan Thorpe: check with your health insurance companies as they may offer 20% off Garmin and Fitbits.
  3. East Coast Trail Films in the cue:
    1. Christina Montemurro Photography & Video captured and presents a well done short film following PA’s Aaron Climeman as he puts in an out-back effort on the Rachel Carson trail in Western PA. 
      1. https://youtu.be/BxixN0ZaDVw
    2. The Yeti film is live. 
      1. The Yeti culture, while proclaimed and reported black sheep, are trail community to its core. With events gone national, a couple are in our region, with the Dam Yeti 50’s, weighing in with nearly 300 entrants in Damascus Virginia on its pushback date of September 12, and the WS Qualifier Yeti 100 mile endurance run, stacked with 362 entrants  in Abingdon, VA on September 25. They’re probably some of the largest events i’m seeing running for this COVID year, and, still looking to run with significant modifications.
      2. The Film: What caught my eye on this one, is a pretty nice film from Jeff Marrier, titled “Dead Yeti’ing Last” is ready for your consumption. The Yeti Trail Runners are the black sheep of  the trail and ultra-running community with an irreverent foundation, inclusive culture and a ‘passion for adult beverages’. What started as an interesting idea for a short film became an all consuming fire within me to show the world who Jason Green is and what he has created in the trail running world. This movie is a self-funded project, through your patronage you are doing your part in supporting local independent creators,  while helping me recoup some of the losses and investments I made to make this film happen as well as helping me to create more projects in the future. Unlike most Patreon accounts, this page is NOT a monthly subscription, rather it’s a pay-per-creation and since this movie is the only “paid creation” I intend on posting here, your one-time fee will cover it all!
      3. Here’s the trailer, and get it while the gettin is good via their Patreon access page: https://www.patreon.com/TrailRunningZen

In the Pod/Video Cast MEDIA

The gang at Cultra talked with Cindy Sullivan. When Cindy was in middle school, she was forbidden to run- she had a degenerative genetic knee condition that got her out of gym class and physical activity. Fast forward about 20 years and Cindy decides she’s going to run for the most selfless of reasons- to inspire her then three year old son. After running her first trail race, she graduated to ultra and has since gone on to run 50-milers, 100ks and 100 milers as well as multi-day events

Jay and Phil are back in the Pain Cave this week to discuss an actual race! Phil breaks down his race at Vol State, a 500KM race across Tennessee. After listening, this race sounds terrible. However, a few days later Jay and Phil brought the winner, Francesca Muccini in to explain the best way to run the race and most importantly, how to enjoy doing it.

In Trails Collective media, I put out an episode with Jeff Adams discussing his recent 175 mile virtual race with the second Quarantine Backyard Ultra. We also discussed his FKT last September on the Long Path in Upstate NY.

I interviewed two Rochester Runners this past week, Sophie Kotok and Katie Ghidiu. Sophie took us through Cayuga Trails, running barefoot and being a PhD student at RIT in Mathematics. Katie and I discussed running in college at Notre Dame with Molly Huddle, coming back to running after taking a break, getting into Trails and finishing 3rd at Twisted Branch. Look for those in the coming weeks!

This weekend on the Calendar

Beast of Burden Summer Ultra, Lockport, NY

  • Moved to Virtual: “GIMME SHELTER 2020 Beast of Burden Ultramarathon”!!!, entrants running where they wish between September 19 and 27 with runners needing to complete the 25/50 or 100 miles under the cutoff times for buckles or medals by mail.
  • https://ultrasignup.com/register.aspx?did=70468

August 6:

Luna Run, South Berwick, ME

  • 3k, 5k, 10k in South Berwick, ME
    • WE ARE VIRTUAL!! Ladies- this year, now more than ever, we need to join together virtually! The global pandemic has changed the way we do things, but we won’t let it change our goals, or have us feel disconnected. I will not let the current state of the world keep us down. I am creating a virtual experience for all of you amazing women…we will have a virtual community from June-August each week as we inspire each other, lift each other’s spirits and keep moving and working towards our personal goal! Get ready for one-of-a-kind commemorative swag, virtual meet-ups and more. You can feel confident knowing we’ve got your back during these unprecedented times. We will get through this together, and come out stronger than ever before!! Let’s do this!!!!
    • Entry includes a community of amazing women in our Facebook group where we will have weekly virtual meet ups, weekly training plans, weekly motivation and more!  Entry also includes commemorative 2020 swag- tshirt, unique medal, neck buff and more! (Facebook Luna Run Group 2020)
  • https://runsignup.com/Race/ME/SouthBerwick/LunaRun5k

Husky Ruck Memorial 10K, New Gloucester, ME

August 7:

On the Bacon Trail – The Naylor Mill Trail 7K

  • Easily the toughest race on Delmarva and the most delicious… Bacon and Freeze Pops at the end. It is miserable. Hot, humid and trails that never seem to end. This race is NOT recommended unless you have run at least a 10k and have run on trails. But we welcome everyone. We will have over tons of bacon. Yep. To compete in the team component of the race you will need to choose between team bacon, team scrapple and team veggie (as loyal Bacon eaters, the race crew will only supply bacon…. although somehow Scrapple shows up every year) Get ready for dirt.
  • Registration closed on August 1st at https://ultrasignup.com/register.aspx?did=72297 with 103 entrants
  • Do it for the custom Bacon and Scrapple masks going to all entrants

Ragged 75 Stage Race, Danbury, NH

  • I had been registered to run the 50k, one which was canceled for ‘20. They were / are planning on running the 75 mile stage race however. Communications and info have been a bit sparse and they haven’t made their entry lists public so I don’t know how full it is. Registration still appears open though to get in on some nice trails in a beautiful part of NH for next week/end:
  • https://ultrasignup.com/register.aspx?did=73015

August 8:

Moosalamoo Ultra, Goshen, VT

  • Appears running, with 55 entrants in the 14 miler and 74 in the 36 miler. 
  • Registration closed this past Friday.

Mighty Mosquito 99 Mile Trail Run and Relay, Honeoye Falls, NY

  • The Mighty Mosquito is Western NY’s only 99 mile trail run and relay. Run this challenging scenic route on your own, or team up with friends! The course consists of 3 unique loops on the beautiful trails of Mendon Ponds Park, running each loop 6 times. Camp at the start/finish line while you wait for your teammates and enjoy everything that summer at Mendon Ponds has to offer. All proceeds from this race benefit the Blue Foundation, a charity organization in Canandaigua, NY. For more information visit https://bluefoundationny.org
  • 30 solo entrants, and a top secret relay list (sounds like Relay option is out for this year), registration open at https://ultrasignup.com/register.aspx?did=70151

Looking Ahead:

Green Lakes Endurance Runs, beautiful 50k / 100k trail races outside of Syracuse, NY, appear still on track to run with registration open: http://ultrasignup.com/register.aspx?did=74664

We’ll take you out this week with Becky Kosek, breaking down the experience that was Bob’s Backyard this past weekend. Thanks everyone for tuning in this week and we’ll catch you on the next. Take it Becky…

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