Cayuga Trails Cometh
Cayuga Trails
375 entrants hailing from 23 US States and 4 countries. 158 fit Ladies (20% up from last year...awesome). 265'ish fit Dudes. Ages 16 through to 70 years young. About 50/50 in returners and first-time CT entrants. Should be some solid and close races for the top finishes and with the field including prior winners and podium finishes. Hopefully enough variety of paces for everyone to have some time on the trail with some new faces.

A big thank you to all volunteers including the entities taking on Aid Stations.
1. Old Mill: led by Tim Ingall and Gary McCheyne with resources supplied by the Finger Lakes Runners Club, and a hearty crew from the SOAR youth arm of the Southern Tier Running Club.
3. Underpass: led by Sarah Dobler, and the crew from the Binghamton Area Trail Runners (BATS).
4. Buttermilk: captained by Eric Eagan and dialed in by a stellar TrailsRoc crew.

A big thank you to Laura Rekkerth and CatPrint for designing/printing posters and stickers. Local artisan Renata Wadsworth to produce podium mugs. We'll have Jacob and Myriah Marnell of Fitnell Catering on post-race food again, Dale Cooper on hand for post-race massage, and purchasing some Ithaca Beer to have on tap. 

Be sure to thank a volunteer and it's great to have you!
Timeline/Events Overview
Friday, July 20
12:00 - 8:00: BIB Pickup at FLRTC
215 E State St, on the Ithaca Commons

Saturday, July 21 (all at Treman S.P.'s North Pavilion - 2nd driveway to your left after you pass through the Lower Park entrance / gate)
05:00- 05:45: BIB Pickup 50 Mile Only
06:00: 50 Mile Start
06:30 - 07:45: BIB Pickup Marathon
08:00: Marathon Start
5:00'ish: Awards both races
50 Mile Course Elevation Profile
Course Changes & Condition
The course is in decent shape given it's been a dry spring. Through Lick Brook, and on single-track FLT, please try to stay single-file...passing when you need to, but otherwise falling back in to lessen impact. Particularly in Lick Brook, no cutting tangents...there's a thin topsoil and the area is in a fragile state.
This year I've blended several pieces of prior courses based on dry ground conditions, a new footbridge back in, low water levels in creeks, higher than normal park useage in July (vs June), to keep the 50 and Marathon courses the same to minimize confusion, and secondary to last year's course measuring a bit long on most GPS units. The changes include:

Both races running the Old Growth lollipop loop just before AS1 in both directions. 50 milers however will only run this loop (out and inbound) in the front half, leaving it out altogether on the second circuit. That will make for a 26 mile first circuit and 24 mile second circuit.

Nixed the creek crossing jug-handle above the Old Mill (water levels are really low so it's no longer much of a water crossing), and a bridge is back in. The bridge is narrow so some turn taking will be necessary, but so goes single-track sometimes.

Sticking to the Finger Lakes Trail in both directions instead of returning on the Rim Trail secondary to the trail being dry / firm and, well, there's enough steps already!
West Half of Course (North Shelter to Underpass)
East Half of Course (Underpass to Buttermilk)
Full Course Map
Cups (or lack thereof)
We're sticking with an almost-cup-less format on the course again this year. Many of you have C2 cups from a prior last year year to supplement your bottles. They're pretty slick. If you want secondary fluids at aid stations outside of your bottles or pack, you'll have to carry a cup or plan accordingly. The almost part, will be having a couple cups there for communal use. Wanna use the cup? Gotta be okay with 200 others sipping from it as well.

I'll have a few silicone cups (similar to the prior year's custom one to the right) for sale at registration (at cost, ~ $5) in case you need one (only have a 100, first come, first serve).               
USATF 50 Mile Trail Championship
We're grateful to again be selected as the USATF 50 Mile Trail National Championship. National Champions will be given consideration for World Team acceptance, but guaranteed spots for the 2019 team secondary to the world championship being a short (50k) year. All race prize purses are open to all entrants, not strictly USATF members. However, for finishers to be included in US Championship overall and division standings they must be USATF paid members prior to the event. Memberships can be acquired online here.
Courtesy of Cornell Cooperative Extension's Master Compost program, volunteers (Kerra Quinn and Ron Cunningham) will be providing, monitoring and maintaining food scrap containers at aid stations and the finish. Shouldn't be anything for you to mind as entrants at the aid stations but if possible, post-race, pay attention to the signs/containers and help us in the mission. 
Drop Bags
50 milers are permitted to use drop bags at each AS. You'll need to have them in place (bins marked w/ signs) at Friday BIB-pickup at FLRC, or at the Pavilion on Saturday morning by 5:45 a.m. Please have them clearly marked with your BIB# (coming soon) and AS Name. Note: they may not be in place for AS1 Old Mill but will be there by the return, AS5 Old Mill.

If not yet, spend a quality few minutes taking in Jamil Coury's drop-bag-related video. It's amazing. Then find CT50 fellow entrant Christine Reynolds next weekend and ask to see her "drop bag".
Staging Area Parking
BIB Pickup/Downtown Ithaca Parking:
Pay stations/meters, or parking garages on Seneca and Tioga St, and on Green St east of Cayuga.

Race-Day (Map below):
The Lower Park North Pavilion staging area is accessed via the second and third driveway to the left after passing through the gate in Lower Treman State Park (105 Enfield Falls Rd, Ithaca). We'll fill that lot in short order. Secondary is parking along the shoulder of the entry road. All cars parked along this road must be fully in the grass. If you're hanging over into the entry road you will get towed. The third area is the main park lot just past the park office. It's only about an 800 meter walk from the staging area.
Underpass Aid Station Parking
Underpass AS is located in a small lot adjacent to Lick Brook and Robert H. Treman State Park and accessed via trail beneath a Rt. 13 underpass. In year's past crews have parked in that small lot with parking overflowing out onto Rt. 13 shoulders. This is a significant traffic safety concern which jeopardize the event as vehicular/truck traffic enters and exits Ithaca via this corridor, often at 55 mph, and coming off low visibility turns. 

Parking in the Underpass Lot going forward will be for Volunteers Only. NO CREWS ARE PERMITTED TO PARK AT THE UNDERPASS AID STATION.

It is recommended that crews park toward the end of the park's Camping area access road. The course crosses the end of this road so please do not park beyond the point to be noted on a sign. Follow the course to cross beneath the bridge to the parking/Aid Station. The course is single-track and two-way traffic in this section so please be mindful of providing room for entrants coming/going in both directions.
Course Markings
We'll use a number of forms of course markings. Pink surveyor's flags at consistent/regular intervals over the entire course. On turns we'll use 3-4 alongside the outer bank of the turn. One before, two on the corner, and one just beyond leading you through the turn. For trail crossings one before and one after. We'll have laminated arrows at larger intersections. I'm also going to use some orange spray chalk at more critical intersections. We'll also have a few cones out there w/ arrows in a couple trickier areas.

The Marathon will have an additional mile loop right BEFORE Old Mill Aid Station (splits to the right across a stone bridge around mile 3.0). It's a counter-clockwise loop starting and ending across the same bridge. It will be marked with blue arrows and flags to differentiate it from the 50 mile course. It will be run on the way out only...not on the way back in.

Is the marking system full proof? Nope someone/s are going to run past markers at some point and be pissed. Unfortunately, becoming more common, there will be pedestrians/locals that will pick up and throw flagging into the woods. It really can't be prevented. Have a decent knowledge of the course format and do the best you can to roll with how it shakes out.
2017 Water Show Award
The 2017 Water Show is awarded to David Losee (photo from Joe Azze and Mountain Peak Fitness) and Joel Cisne (photo from Steve Gallow). The water was down and the chosen crossing line slim, but we got a bit of splash in David, and a very Joel-Cisne-moment. Although Steve will be at a wedding race day this year and I believe Joe at the Vermont 100, we'll have Ron Heerkens Jr. on the lense. Give him something to work with and look good will ya? I'll post the link to his photos on facebook and the website a couple weeks after the event. In the interim, check out Steve's photos from prior years here
Gear and Pies
Instead of rolling through them at length during the awards presentation, and to keep it on random shuffle versus just the speedsters, we'll have various sponsor awards randomly scattered throughout the course. I laminated logo cards from Ultimate Direction, Altra, and Red Newt Racing, Farm 2 Feet, as well as Pie Photos. We'll place them at random on top of pigtail hangers (photo to the right) along the course. Grab the pigtail wire holder (drop at next Aid Station), and return the laminated card to the finish post-race to nab a prize from that sponsor.
Cayuga Trail Partners
Altra Running - possibly no other brand has invested as heavily in the trail and ultra scene as Altra. We were one of their first retail running shoe accounts and we're proud and thankful for the partnership. 

Farm To Feet: effective wool socks made in the US from US wool. 50 milers will get a pair with entry and we'll have some logo'd cards on course for random-style award draws. 

GU Energy: we'll again have GU hydration mix, gels, and chomps on course. 

Ithaca Milk: Again providing ya'll some tasty yogurt pre and post race from their Ithaca - area cows and creamery. Good stuff. Ask your local grocer to bring them in as a huge thank you to them and your belly.

Ultimate Direction: continue to make pretty slick and functional hydration gear. Support them.
Race - Day Swim?
Robert H. Treman (staging park) State Park has a beautiful swimming area just in from the main park parking area and park office. With conditions being dry, if the rain holds off, it should be open and a wonderful place to dunk, dive, or cool off or take the kids post-race.
Upcoming RNR Events and Series
In addition to serving as the USATF 50 Mile Trail Championship, the Cayuga Trails 50 is one of three great trail events comprising the inaugural Empire State Triad. The other two? Trail Method's Many On The Genny, and the Twisted Branch Trail Run, making for a 40, 50, 62 mile progression between June and August, and covering beautiful trail networks including much on the Finger Lakes Trail. Spearheaded by Trail Method's Eric Eagan, look for it to nab more attention in 2019. Photos below from Ron Heerkens Jr and, Many on the Genny to the left, Twisted Branch to the right.
With a grand prize of a trip to the Broken Arrow Sky Race in 2019 for the full distance series winner, and comp'd series entry, pack and shoes for the half distance series winner, Salomon's New York Trail Series comes on deck in Fall 2018. It's comprised of Breakneck Point (Sept 8), Water Gap (Oct 18), and Castle to River (Nov 17). Photos below from Breakneck Point and Water Gap from Mountain Peak Fitness.
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