Finger Lakes 50s Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is “Race Headquarters”?

Race Headquarters is located at the pavilion at the Potomac Group Campground on Potomac Road, Finger Lakes National Forest.

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Where can I find directions to the Potomac Campsite/Finger Lakes National Forest?

Here’s a map, and you can find more info on the home page under Location and Parking.

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Can I switch distances?

Yes and no. 25k runners cannot switch distances. If you are registered for the 50k or the 50 mile race, you may decide before or during the race which distance you want to complete. If you’re registered as a 50K or 50 mile runner and you complete only one loop, you will be a DNF (Did Not Finish) in the results. If you’re registered for the 50K and after two loops and want to go on as long as you’ve met the cut-off time, you may continue on to complete the 50 mile race. If you’re registered for the 50-mile race and after two loops you want to stop, or if you missed the cut-off time, you will be counted as a 50K finisher.

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Are there cut-off times?

Yes, there are three cut-off times to keep in mind.
For 25K – there is not a cut-off time; runners will be completing one loop (16.5 miles).
50K – need to complete the first loop by 12:00pm noon (5 hours, 30 minutes)
50Milers – need to complete the 2nd loop and start the 3rd loop by 2:15pm (7 hours, 45 minutes).
50Milers – also need to reach and leave The Library aid station on the third loop (roughly 10 miles into the loop, and roughly 41 miles total) by 5:00pm to continue on​ (10 hours and 30 minutes).

If a runner does not make these cut-offs, their bib will be removed and they will no longer be in the race. If you were planning on doing the 50 miler and didn’t make the cut-off time to start the third loop, your time will be counted as a 50K finish.
If you finish 2 loops and have met the cut-off time, but are unsure of continuing and linger at the aid station, you must report to the finish line area if you decide to continue on or if you decide to stop. This helps us track you better on the course. Once we had a runner who met the cut-off time for the 50 miler and was waiting for another runner, and we weren’t aware he was waiting. The other runner didn’t make the cut-off time and then the first runner went on. This created a lot of confusion and concern with the trackers as he was much slower than expected because we didn’t know he waited for so long at the finish line area. We spent a lot of unnecessary resources searching for this runner.

So three important cut-off rules:
1. Once you have completed the 50K portion and will be going on for the 50-miler, please spend only a reasonable amount of time at the aid station. If you plan to wait for a long time, you need to let us know when you continue. While you’re waiting if the cut-off time lapses, you will not be permitted to continue.
2. If you meet the cut-off time after completing 2 loops (50K) and can’t decide to go on or not at that moment and you linger at the aid station for some time, then decide to not go on, you will then need to go through the finish line chute and your finish time will be recorded then – not when you actually completed the two loops, but when you’ve decide to end your race.
3. If you start the third loop, but miss the cut-off time at The Library aid station (5:00pm), it is a DNF.

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Can I have a pacer?

Come on! Do you really need a pacer for a 50-mile race? Pacers will not be allowed for 25K or 50K runners. For safety purposes, any runner in the 50-mile race may have another runner accompany them only during their 3rd full loop and the half-mile Baby Loop. Keep in mind each loop is 16.5 miles and you’ve already completed the same loop twice, so do you really need a pacer? All pacers must to complete the Pacer Registration and WaiverForm (no entry fee). All pacers must be 18 years old or older. More info on the race home page under Pacer Info.

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What’s supplied at the aid stations? How far apart are the aid stations and what is each station named?

The aid stations vary in distance between each other from 1.5 to 4 miles between stations. There are six very well-stocked, manned aid stations that have water, Hammer HEED, Hammer gels, cola, fig bars, pb&j sandwiches, M&Ms, Twizzlers, bananas, and possibly some other stuff. If it’s really hot, we will try our best to have ice available, but no promises.

You can find information about the course, course map, and aid stations located on the home page under Course Info. The names of the aid stations in the order you hit them on the course and approximate distances between each aid station are as follows:

Aid Stations:
1 – The Morgue (about 3 miles from the start)
2 – South Beach #1 (about 1.5 miles from The Morgue)
3 – South Beach #2 (about 2.5 miles from South Beach #1)
4 – The Library (about 3 miles from South Beach #2)
5 – The Outback (about 3.5 miles from The Library)
6 – The Living Room (finish line area – about 3 miles from The Outback)

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Will there be Tylenol/Ibuprofen/electrolyte pills available at the aid stations?

No, on the Tylenol and Ibuprofen – you will need to supply these yourself. However, there will be Hammer Endurolyte capsules available at most or all the aid stations.

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Can I use drop bags?

The course is a 16.5 mile loop. 50K and 50-mile runners will pass through the sixth aid station (The Living Room) 2 or 3 times respectively and almost all runners have found that leaving their stuff here at the Living Room is adequate. However, we will permit a drop bag for The Library aid station only. The Library is approximately the half-way point on the course, yet only about 2 miles by road from the Living Room/start/finish line area. If you have to have supplies that you will need while out on the course we will make sure your bag gets to The Library aid station. If you would like to have drop bags you need to have your bags labeled with YOUR NAME, BIB NUMBER and CELL PHONE and check it in at the race headquarters by 7:00pm on Friday night. After you finish, you are responsible of retrieving your own drop bag from the Library Aid Station, otherwise it may not return to the until all the aid stations’ equipment is picked up and returned to the finish line area around 7:30pm or later – timing of the last runners going through the aid stations determines the timing of equipment returning to the Living Room/finish line area.

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What kind of markings will mark the course and will it be lit for after dark?

The course will be marked with red arrows over a black background and flagging tape (please refer to Course Info on the home page and Course Description for more details). The course will not be lit for after dark as there are cut-off times.

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Can I bandit the race? And, if I do, what happens?

No, and if you do, you will be put on a watch list and not permitted to participate in any FLRC races in the future. Bandits create a huge hassle for the volunteers and timers who are trying to keep track of the number of runners who are out on the course. Bandits use up aid that has been paid for and accounted for registered runners. They also create big safety problems.

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Is the Finger Lakes Fifties 50-miler a Western States qualifier?


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Are there awards?

There will be awards to the first Overall and Masters male and female in each of the three races. Finishers of each race will receive a finisher award. There will also be age group awards given to the first place finisher (male and female) in each 10-year age division for each race.

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Can my family/friends drive around the course to watch me or have my gear for me?

Since most of the course is run on trails there will be limited access for viewing. However, there are roads that runners will be crossing at various locations and family/friends can drive to see runners at these road crossings. We ask that family/friends/crews refrain from being at aid stations as this creates a lot of congestion and confusion for runner trackers and aid station volunteers. You can find these road crossings on the course map.

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Is there camping available?

Primitive tent camping is available at the Finger Lakes National Forest, Potomac Group Campground. There is no electricity available.  Camping at the Potomac Group Campground (race start/finish line area) is free to all registered runners, pacers, and volunteers. Camping opens at 11:00am on the Thursday prior to the race and closes at 12:00 noon on the Sunday the day after the race. If you want to continue to camp in the Finger Lakes National Forest beyond 12:00 noon on Sunday, you will need to move your gear to another campsite within the Forest. Map to the Potomac Group Campground.

For a fee, you can camp at other campsites if available in the Forest.

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Are there bathrooms or showers?

Restrooms and port-a-potties are located at the start/race headquarters, at the horse campground on the race course, and at the Blueberry Patch campground. No showers available, although there are various ponds close to the Potomac Group Campground.

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Can I bring my dog or other pet with me?

We can’t tell you to keep you dog at home, however, knowing many people who have brought dogs to the race before, it can be a bit much and problematic. We’ve had dogs get in fights, loose and leashed dogs that have tripped runners, dogs that have never bitten someone but did at the race, and other situations. There will be a lot of people and children at the race. If you must bring your dog, it is required by the rules of the Finger Lakes National Forest that you have them on a leash and under control at all times by a responsible adult. You cannot tie your pet up and leave it alone at your tent or vehicle. If you are camping at the Potomac Group Campground and your dog is known to bark, then they are not permitted. If you’re dog is unruly at any time, you will be asked to leave the area or race. We’re not trying to be an ass about this, but rather keeping safety in mind for all at the race, and your pet.

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Should I wear trail running shoes or road running shoes?

It’s up to you! The trails are well maintained, however, it is a forest and there are rocks, roots, dirt and if it’s rained up to a week prior to the race, there will be mud. The course is runnable in road running shoes but it could be slippery if the course is wet/muddy; however, most people prefer trail shoes.

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