FLRC Footnotes for April 2021

With an ever-increasing number of people vaccinated and COVID-19 infection rates low in the community, we’re moving toward running together more:

  • Spring races are here—hit the trails with WDF, Thom B., and Tortoise & Hare!
  • FLRC’s marquee ultra, the Finger Lakes 50s, will take place on July 3rd, 2021.
  • The FLRC Challenge is going strong! Can you complete all ten courses in 2021?
  • Looking for low-key group runs? Our first and third Saturday group runs are back!
  • FLRC offers a free year of club membership for those hurt by the pandemic.

On to the particulars!

Spring FLRC Races: WDF 5K, Thom B. Trail Runs, and Tortoise & Hare

We’re pleased to announce that FLRC has racing opportunities for you soon, with the Women’s Distance Festival 5K and the Thom B. Trail Runs in May, and the Tortoise & Hare Trail Run in June! New race directors Lorrie Tily and Chris Irving have moved WDF to a new date and location: Sunday, May 9th at Dryden Lake, with an out-and-back course on the Jim Schug Trail. As always, WDF is open only to women; men are welcome to volunteer or cheer. Race director Gary McCheyne says that Thom B. will take place on Saturday, May 22nd, with a new staging area in the field next to the Hammond Hill-ton warming hut, right near the parking lot. And Mickie Sanders-Jauquet’s Tortoise & Hare will return to its traditional course at Buttermilk State Park on June 6th. All three will adhere to the FLRC COVID-19 Race Safety Precautions. Sign up today!

Finger Lakes 50s scheduled for July 3rd, with registration opening soon

It takes time to train and plan for an ultra, so it’s not surprising that we’ve fielded more questions about the Finger Lakes 50s than any other FLRC race this year. Thanks to the efforts of new race directors Pete Dady and Mike Stone, and the help of past race director Alex Kleinerman, we’re ecstatic to say that the race is a go! Registration will open soon and usually fills up very quickly, so pay attention to the FLRC Forum for details.

FLRC Challenge in full swing—it’s never too late to sign up!

With over 140 local runners signed up and all courses open, the FLRC Challenge has become a popular way to get motivated to run in 2021. It’s a series of ten open-course races you can run as many times as you want. Run, hike, or walk all ten to win the coveted FLRC Challenge medal. Congratulations to those who have already completed the FLRC Challenge: Jamie Loehr, Caitlin Loehr, Gabrielle Woo, Bob Walters, Pete Kresock, Karen Ingall, and Liz Hartman! Overall, we’ve run nearly 4500 miles so far.

We’ve also seen a bunch of informal challenges completed, such as the Pseudo Skunk Cabbage Double Half Marathon and the Black Diamond Trail 30 Miler (Pete Kresock), the Triple Course Run (Bob Swizdor and Sam Lagasse), the Quad Course Run (Heather Cobb), and the FLRC Challenge Insanity Week (Gabrielle Woo). What’s next? The official FLRC 100K Ultra Challenge, in which ultrarunners will attempt to run all ten courses in a single day. Mike Stewart called it “such a phenomenally bad idea that it makes me tear up with pride.”

Don’t miss checking the FLRC Challenge leaderboard to see how each day’s results change the standings and statistics. Will PGXC champion Adam Pacheck sweep the fastest times on all ten courses? Can Heather Cobb catch up with Pete Kresock in the Most Miles competition? What course will Olympic Trials marathoner Chelsea Benson crush next? Can anyone compete with Caitlin Loehr’s stellar age-graded performance across all ten courses? Join the fun!

FLRC Kids Challenge encourages family and youth running

Most of the FLRC Challenge course distances are too long for younger kids, so FLRC has partnered with the Ithaca Youth Bureau on the free, age-appropriate, and non-competitive FLRC Kids Challenge. Families run together through October 31st, logging miles on the FLRC Kids Challenge Dashboard, with cumulative kid targets of 25, 50, 75, and 100 miles. Congrats to Toby K. and Phoebe S. for joining the 25-Mile Club! They’ve received personalized virtual race bibs, and we expect to be sending out more of those this week.

Bi-weekly group runs focus on exploring FLRC Challenge courses

Happy (Satur)days—group runs are back! On the first and third Saturdays of each month, Heather Cobb and Mickie Sanders-Jauquet have been leading group runs. Rather than just running up and down the Black Diamond Trail each time, the group runs are moving around as a way of introducing runners to the FLRC Challenge courses and some of the area’s most gorgeous trails. The next group run is scheduled for Saturday, May 1st at 8:30 AM at the start of the Danby Down & Dirty course. Check the Group Runs & Workouts forum for future locations.

FLRC offers a free year of club membership to those hurt by the pandemic

To support local runners who have suffered from reduced income, lost jobs, and other financial repercussions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, FLRC would like to offer a free year of club membership to anyone who could use a little extra help, no questions asked. When you join FLRC or renew an FLRC membership—individual ($20) or family ($35)—at any time in the next year, use coupon code 2021FORFREE to waive the fees (online signups only, please). Along with a sense of belonging to the running community, FLRC membership brings with it discounts on the FLRC Challenge and most of our races, free entry to our track meets and Winter Chill 5K Series, and participation in workout groups and the FLRC Family Running Program.

Until next time, stay fit, stay healthy, and we look forward to running with you again!

—Adam Engst, FLRC President and VP of Track

Registration Open for the Women’s Distance Festival 5K

We are thrilled to announce the 2021 Women’s Distance Festival registration is open! Held in memory of race co-founder Diane Sherrer, this event celebrates women’s running with a female-only 5k road race and walk. New for 2021, the race will be held on Mother’s Day—Sunday, May 9th. Women and girls of all ages run together along the flat and scenic Dryden Rail Trail.

Please visit our race Web page for registration and further details.

We hope you will consider joining as we move the race back to its original venue in Dryden and on what we consider the ideal day—Mother’s Day! We are looking forward to celebrating women and the return of in-person races to the Finger Lakes.

Lorrie Tily and Chris Irving
Race Directors


Per FLRC policy, all runners must abide by these COVID-19 safety precautions:

  • Online pre-registration is required (there is no day of race registration!), and you must be able to respond affirmatively to the safety questions asked during registration.
  • If you feel in the slightest bit ill or are running a temperature, stay home!
  • Make sure to bring a mask or buff.
  • Bring your own hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes.
  • Bathrooms may not be available, and we’re not allowed to have a porta-potty.
  • Please do not carpool to the race with people who are not part of your household.
  • Plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before the race; bib pickup may be slower than normal.
  • At all times before the race, you must wear a mask and maintain a minimum of 6 feet from other participants. Stay warm in your car or by jogging.
  • Wear your mask at the starting line and, once the race begins, until you have established some distance from others around you. At that point, you may remove your mask but must keep it available for quick re-application as needed.
  • There will be no aid stations. Bring your own food and liquids.

Finally, please note that if a runner doesn’t comply with FLRC’s COVID-19 Race Safety Precautions as outlined above, the race director should be notified and will reiterate the guidelines to the person in question. If that person fails to comply, they will be asked to leave. If they continue to defy the race director’s request, they will be disqualified from the race and reported to the FLRC board for possible banning from future club events.

FLRC Footnotes for March 2021

As the weather finally warms up, an ever-increasing amount is going on:

  • Interested in an elite ultrarunner’s stories? Come listen to Katie Arnold on March 25th.
  • The FLRC Challenge is in full swing! Can you complete all ten courses in 2021?
  • FLRC offers a free year of club membership for those hurt by the pandemic.
  • Like running at Hammond Hill? Support the Friends of Hammond Hill fundraiser!
  • Want to get more involved with FLRC? We need a new Volunteer Coordinator.
  • Know a high school runner who should apply for the FLRC Scholarship?
  • We anticipate most races happening this year, but we’ve canceled the Twilight 5K.

On to the particulars!

FLRC Presents: Conversations with ultrarunner Katie Arnold on 3/25 at 8 PM

In our ongoing FLRC Presents series, ultrarunner and Leadville 100 Champion Katie Arnold will discuss her new memoir Running Home and answer your questions about competing, raising adventurous children, and more! Tune in online on March 25th at 8 PM at either the Trails Collective’s YouTube channel or Facebook page. Katie is a contributing editor at Outside Magazine, where she worked on staff for 12 years. Her Raising Rippers column about bringing up adventurous, outdoor children appears monthly on Outside Online. She has written for The New York Times, Travel + Leisure, Sunset, Runner’s World, ESPN: The Magazine, Elle, and many others, and her narrative nonfiction has been recognized by Best American Sportswriting. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with her husband and two daughters.

Local runners flock to the FLRC Challenge

Over 115 local runners have already signed up for the FLRC Challenge, our series of ten open-course races that you can run anytime you want, as many times as you want, throughout the rest of 2021. Half the courses are road, half are trail, and they range from 1 mile to the half marathon. Run, hike, or walk them all to win the coveted FLRC Challenge medal! All profits from the FLRC Challenge will support local running programs like Girls on the Run and the GIAC Navigators. Six courses are open now—the East Hill Rec Way downhill mile, the Cornell Botanic Gardens, the Waterfront Trail 5K, the South Hill Rec Way, the Black Diamond Trail, and the Pseudo Skunk Cabbage half marathon—and more will be opening soon.

The FLRC Challenge leaderboard has become a daily must-check for many of us, as we see how each day’s results change the standings and statistics. Will Rich Heffron or Jullien Flynn lay down a new fastest time on one of the courses? Did Pete Kresock really run the Pseudo Skunk Cabbage half marathon twice in one day? Will anyone be able to compete with Bill Watson’s blistering 4:58 average time on the East Hill Rec Way downhill mile? How many couples are running the courses together?

The team competition is heating up as well, though we anticipate lots of shifts. Right now, the tiny but talented Terrific 20s team has just pulled ahead of the massive Thundering 30s team in the first two places, with the well-rounded Fabulous 50s sitting patiently in third, followed by the Fantastic 40s and Super 60s. We anticipate those teams moving up as more of the people who are registered start running more regularly (and if not enough 70+ folks join Deb Bliss and Joe Reynolds on the Splendid 70s team, we’ll merge it down into the Super 60s).

Will you play with us today? Keep an eye on the FLRC Challenge forum for group runs on the various FLRC Challenge courses.

FLRC offers free year of club membership to those hurt by the pandemic

To support local runners who have suffered from reduced income, lost jobs, and other financial repercussions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, FLRC would like to offer a free year of club membership to anyone who could use a little extra help, no questions asked. When you join FLRC or renew an FLRC membership—individual ($20) or family ($35)—at any time in the next year, use coupon code 2021FORFREE to waive the fees (online signups only, please). Along with a sense of belonging to the running community, FLRC membership brings with it discounts on the FLRC Challenge and most of our races, free entry to our track meets and Winter Chill 5K Series, and participation in workout groups and the FLRC Family Running Program.

Please support the Friends of Hammond Hill in their trail repair fundraiser!

FLRC is happy to support the Friends of Hammond Hill in their efforts to raise money to repair damaged trails at Hammond Hill State Forest. We rely on those trails for our Super Frosty Loomis snowshoe race, the Thom B. Trail Runs, and one of the FLRC Challenge courses. Plus, for many of us, they’re a year-round destination for running, skiing, and snowshoeing. Can you kick in a few bucks for gravel and trail fabric and to pay a trail professional to do the necessary mechanical work? Thanks to the Friends of Hammond Hill for all they do to keep the trails runnable and Ithaca’s GiveGab for their financial and technical support in this fundraiser.

Wanted: Energetic volunteer coordinator

As you know, FLRC is an all-volunteer organization, and after the retirement of a long-time member, we’re looking for a new volunteer coordinator. This position spent last year in limbo along with our pandemic-hampered race schedule, so it’s ripe for reinvention in 2021. You’d be perfect for the role of volunteer coordinator if you’re outgoing, organized, and enthused about FLRC. Core tasks involve collaborating with race directors to line up volunteers, recruiting new volunteers, and helping to build ways to track volunteers and their efforts so we can acknowledge and reward them at the Annual Picnic. For those early in their careers (hint, hint), this position will be great for community networking, will enhance your resumé, and could be a source of recommendations. Contact Adam Engst if you’re interested.

FLRC accepting $1000 scholarship applications through May 1st

FLRC’s Scholarship Committee is once again accepting applications from high school seniors who have participated in their school’s cross country or track & field teams for a pair of $1000 unrestricted scholarships. FLRC membership is not required, but applicants must reside in Tompkins County or a surrounding county. Application letters, with letters of recommendation from a teacher and a coach, are due May 1st. For details, see the full announcement.

Twilight 5K Canceled for 2021

After the success of our Super Frosty Loomis snowshoe race, the increase in vaccinations, and the generally improving situation with regard to COVID-19 infections locally, we’ve decided that we will try to hold most of our races in 2021 in accordance with our COVID-19 Race Safety Precautions. That’s a plan, not a promise, and we’ll either open registration for a given race at least one month before the race date if it’s happening or announce a cancellation if need be. Unfortunately, the FLRC board has decided to cancel the Twilight 5K due to the significant logistics and volunteer needs of a downtown race. Sorry!

FLRC weekly workouts continue apace

As the weather improves, workouts become more appealing for helping us get back in shape and do something more than the same old runs we always do. So if you’re looking for some structure for your training, check out our weekly workouts for middle (5K to 15K) and long (half marathon and marathon) distance runners on the FLRC Forum, with a focus on FLRC Challenge courses so you can double-dip on your goals. If you run with a friend or find yourself in the presence of walkers or runners, please follow FLRC’s recommendations for safe running!

Until next time, stay fit, stay healthy, and we look forward to running with you again!

—Adam Engst, FLRC President and VP of Track

FLRC Presents: A Conversation with Ultrarunner Katie Arnold on 3/25 at 8 PM

In our ongoing FLRC Presents series, ultrarunner and Leadville 100 Champion Katie Arnold will discuss her memoir Running Home and answer your questions about competing, raising adventurous children, and more! This is a joint presentation with the Trails Collective.

Katie Arnold is a contributing editor at Outside Magazine, where she worked on staff for twelve years. Her Raising Rippers column about bringing up adventurous, outdoor children appears monthly on Outside Online. She has written for The New York Times, Travel + Leisure, Sunset, Runner’s World, ESPN: The Magazine, Elle, and many others, and her narrative nonfiction has been recognized by Best American Sportswriting. Arnold is the Leadville Trail 100 Run women’s champion. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with her husband and two daughters.

In this free Zoom conversation between Katie, the Trails Collective’s Grayce Langheine, and FLRC member Nichole Cappadora, listeners will have a chance to ask Katie for her advice and tips! Join us on Thursday, March 25th at 8 PM at either the Trails Collective’s YouTube channel or Facebook page, and bring your questions for Katie. No registration is necessary.

We’ll post a recording of the talk the next day for those who have schedule conflicts with the live presentation.

FLRC Offers Free Year of Club Membership to Those Hurt by the Pandemic

To support local runners who have suffered from reduced income, lost jobs, and other financial repercussions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, FLRC would like to offer a free year of club membership to anyone who could use a little extra help, no questions asked.

When you join FLRC or renew an FLRC membership—individual ($20) or family ($35)—at any time in the next year, use coupon code 2021FORFREE to waive the fees. Online signups only, please.

Along with a sense of belonging to the running community, FLRC membership brings with it discounts on the FLRC Challenge and most of our races, free entry to our track meets and Winter Chill 5K Series, and participation in workout groups and the FLRC Family Running Program.

Wanted: Energetic Volunteer Coordinator

As you know, FLRC is an all-volunteer organization, and after the retirement of a long-time member, we’re looking for a new volunteer coordinator. This position spent last year in limbo along with our pandemic-hampered race schedule, so it’s ripe for reinvention in 2021. You’d be perfect for the role of volunteer coordinator if you’re outgoing, organized, and enthused about FLRC. Core tasks involve collaborating with race directors to line up volunteers, recruiting new volunteers, and helping to build ways to track volunteers and their efforts so we can acknowledge and reward them at the Annual Picnic. For those early in their careers (hint, hint), this position will be great for community networking, will enhance your resumé, and could be a source of recommendations. Contact Adam Engst (ace@tidbits.com) if you’re interested.

FLRC Footnotes for February 2021

January may have seemed quiet, but quite a bit has been happening behind the scenes:

  • We had a race! The Super Frosty Loomis snowshoe race went off without a hitch.
  • The FLRC Challenge has begun! Can you complete all ten courses in 2021?
  • Various FLRC Board committees have been working on new club policies.
  • Want to get more involved with FLRC? We need a new Volunteer Coordinator.
  • A few FLRC members have been racing the snowshoe circuit.

On to the particulars!

36 masked runners descend on the Super Frosty Loomis snowshoe race

Our last outdoor race of 2020 was the Super Frosty Loomis snowshoe race, so it was particularly pleasing for it to be our first race back since the pandemic hit. Kudos to race directors Dave Kania and Eric Sambolec for putting on an event that felt normal while adhering to FLRC’s COVID-19 Race Safety Precautions. The conditions were ideal, with sun and temperatures in the 20s for 11 runners in the 5K and 25 in the 10K. In the 5K, newcomer Michela Meister finished first with a time of 37:28, beating Eileen Randall’s second-place finish in 41:10. In the 10K, Eric Sambolec continued his dominance, notching his sixth straight win with a time of 50:59, outpacing Kurt Huebner’s 52:07 by over a minute. On the women’s side, Amelia Kaufman took home first place for the third year in a row with a time of 1:05:13, coming in comfortably ahead of Jenny Selig’s 1:12:02 for second place. Who will step up next year to provide some competition for Eric and Amelia?

The FLRC Challenge has begun! Are you ready to challenge yourself?

Has it been hard to find a focus for your running this year? To help, we’ve launched the FLRC Challenge, a series of ten open-course races that you can run anytime you want, as many times as you want, throughout the rest of 2021. Half of the courses are road, half are trail, and they range in distance from 1 mile to the half marathon. Run, hike, or walk them all to win the coveted FLRC Challenge medal! All profits from the FLRC Challenge will support local running programs like Girls on the Run and the GIAC Navigators.

To increase the challenge, we have individual and team competitions for the speedy, the consistent, and the deliberate. Individuals will compete for over 200 prizes based on fastest times (overall and age group), best average times, and most efforts for each course. 10-year age group teams will go up against other generations for bragging rights based on age-graded times and most efforts. Be sure to check the dynamic FLRC Challenge leaderboard for changes in your individual and team standings after every run.

We’ve also created a special FLRC Challenge forum for chatting about courses, dissecting the standings, and friendly needling of other teams (will age and guile overcome youth and exuberance?). The first two courses (the East Hill Rec Way downhill mile and the Pseudo Skunk Cabbage half marathon) are open now, and we hope to open more soon, once the snow and ice melt. Over 75 people have registered already—we’d love to have you join us!

FLRC Board publishes Diversity Statement, First-Timers FAQs, and Privacy Notice

Over the past few months, several FLRC Board committees have been hard at work on infrastructural policies, and we have some public-facing documents we’d like to share, along with the COVID-19 Race Safety Precautions mentioned above. First, in response to the horrific killing of Black runner Ahmaud Arbery and the George Floyd protests, we formed a Diversity Committee, led by Jullien Flynn. To help share FLRC’s beliefs, values, and desire to increase inclusivity in the running community, that committee has developed a Diversity Statement. In addition, the committee created a set of First-Timers FAQs for Trail RacesRoad Races, and Track Meets to help anyone who might feel intimidated or overwhelmed when attending an FLRC event for the first time. Second, the Governance Committee, headed by Charlie Trautmann, has published a necessarily comprehensive Privacy Notice about the data-related aspects of FLRCs operations. We won’t be offended if you don’t read all of it.

Wanted: Energetic volunteer coordinator

As you know, FLRC is an all-volunteer organization, and after the retirement of a long-time member, we’re looking for a new volunteer coordinator. This position spent last year in limbo along with our pandemic-hampered race schedule, so it’s ripe for reinvention in 2021. You’d be perfect for the role of volunteer coordinator if you’re outgoing, organized, and enthused about FLRC. Core tasks involve collaborating with race directors to line up volunteers, recruiting new volunteers, and helping to build ways to track volunteers and their efforts so we can acknowledge and reward them at the Annual Picnic. For those early in their careers (hint, hint), this position will be great for community networking, will enhance your resumé, and could be a source of recommendations. Contact Adam Engst if you’re interested.

FLRC members place well in upstate New York snowshoe races

They don’t just organize snowshoe races, they run them. Congrats to Super Frosty Loomis race directors Eric Sambolec and Dave Kania for numerous top finishes in the Stonewall Snowshoe Marathon series, and for their current 1-2 rankings in the North Country Snowshoe Series. Other FLRC members participating and placing well in these races include Sarah Ridenour and Jim Miner. Apologies if we overlooked anyone, and please point us to race results if you or other club members run one.

FLRC weekly workouts continue

As the weather conditions have degraded over the past months, we’ve been missing the warm, dry track in Barton Hall more than ever. But when the sky gives us snow, we recommend taking advantage of it by cross-country skiing or snowshoeing! Nonetheless, if you’re looking for some structure for your training, we continue to post our weekly workouts for middle (5K to 15K) and long (half marathon and marathon) distance runners on the FLRC Forum. If you run with a friend or find yourself in the presence of walkers or runners, please follow FLRC’s recommendations for safe running!

Until next time, stay fit and stay healthy, and we look forward to running together again!

—Adam Engst, FLRC President and VP of Track

FLRC Challenge Registration and Two Courses Are Now Open

Registration for the FLRC Challenge  is now open—read all the details, check out the medals and swag, learn how self-timing works, see the full course list, ponder the prizes, and pore over the rules. We’ve also created a special FLRC Challenge forum  for asking questions, chatting about courses, dissecting the standings, and friendly needling of other teams (will age and guile overcome youth and exuberance?). We hope to open the first few courses this weekend, once our final signs arrive and the courses are clear from the latest snow—more details soon!

The FLRC Challenge is a series of ten open-course races—meaning you can run them anytime you want, as many times as you want, throughout the rest of 2021. Half of the courses are road, half are trail, and they range in distance from 1 mile to the half marathon. Run, walk, or hike them all to win the coveted FLRC Challenge medal! All profits from the FLRC Challenge will support local running programs like Girls on the Run and the GIAC Navigators.

It gives us great pleasure to announce that the first two FLRC Challenge courses are now open for running! Your fearless race director braved the afternoon blizzard to install the course marker signs for our shortest and longest courses, and Webscorer is now accepting results. Self-timing instructions are on the FLRC Challenge page, and we hope to have a video tutorial up soon.

As of February 22, two of the ten courses are open and Webscorer is now accepting results:

East Hill Rec Way
The East Hill Rec Way downhill mile course is unique in that it has two signs: a start sign at the Game Farm end, right at the Start Mile marker, and a finish sign at the Judd Falls end, next to the 1.0 Mile marker. Scan one to start, scan the other to end, or just track your time on your watch and enter it later.

Pseudo Skunk Cabbage
The Pseudo Skunk Cabbage half-marathon course starts and ends at the Ellis Hollow Community Center. You’ll find its start/finish sign underneath the One Way Entrance and Slow Down signs on the lower driveway entrance.

To increase the challenge, we have individual and team competitions for the speedy, the consistent, and the deliberate. Individuals will compete for over 200 prizes based on fastest times (overall and age group), best average times, and most efforts for each course. 10-year age group teams will go up against other generations for bragging rights based on age-graded times and most efforts. Be sure to check the dynamic FLRC Challenge leaderboard  for changes in your individual and team standings after every run.

Register today! 

2021 FLRC Scholarship Program

The Finger Lakes Runners Club is proud to announce our annual scholarship program is open for 2021:

Program/Eligibility

  • A minimum of two unrestricted $1,000 scholarships to be awarded to two deserving high school seniors who participated on their school’s cross country and/or track and field teams.
  • Eligible students must reside in Tompkins or a surrounding county.
  • FLRC membership is not required.

Process

  • To apply, applicants must submit a letter describing their academic, extracurricular, and running achievements. Include any plans you may have for a running career beyond high school and the personal benefits you have gained by participating in the sport.
  • Applicants should include two letters of recommendation—one from a teacher and one from a coach. Please do not send complete transcripts or additional material for consideration, as these will not be reviewed.
  • Mail application materials to:

    FLRC Scholarship Committee
    Attn: Lorrie Tily
    P.O. Box 185
    Locke, NY 13092

Identification of Recipient

  • Scholarship applications must be received by the Scholarship Committee by May 1, 2021. Committee members to review submissions and identify recipients by May 15.
  • Recipients may be asked to present their scholarship application materials to the FLRC Board.

Super Frosty Loomis 2021 sees repeat winners in Eric Sambolec and Amelia Kaufman

This past weekend, FLRC was proud to kick off our 2021 race season with the Super Frosty Loomis snowshoe race, the first outdoor FLRC event since last year’s Loomis. The weather was perfect, with plenty of sun and temperatures in the high 20s. Conditions were excellent, with over two feet of snow falling the week before. Some trails had seen enough use to get packed down a bit, while others were still soft and challenging—a perfect combination for snowshoe racing, if not for the fastest times. We had 11 finishers in the 5K and 25 in the 10K.

In the 5K, newcomer Michela Meister finished first with a time of 37:28, beating Eileen Randall’s second-place finish in 41:10. In the 10K, co-race director Eric Sambolec continued his dominance, notching his sixth straight win with a time of 50:59, outpacing Kurt Huebner’s 52:07 by over a minute. On the women’s side, Amelia Kaufman took home first place for the third year in a row with a time of 1:05:13, coming in comfortably ahead of Jenny Selig’s 1:12:02 for second place. Perhaps next year will bring some new competition for Eric and Amelia.

Many thanks to all our volunteers who made the race possible! Most notably, Martin Moravek spent hours directing traffic and helping park cars to squeeze as many people into the limited space available. Tonya Engst managed bib pickups with help from Micaela and Regina Moravek. Sandy Gregorich was instrumental in handing out rental snowshoes. Adam Engst and Melissa Wallace timed the race. And Joel Cisne and Wilderness Search & Rescue watched over the racers on the course to make sure everyone made it back to the finish line. Special thanks to Charlie and Ann Leonard for the use of their driveway and the Hammond Hillton warming hut, and to Matt Westerlund and Dion Snowshoes for the rental snowshoes.

Finally, thanks to all for adhering to FLRC’s COVID-19 race safety precautions—everyone was good about wearing masks and keeping their distance! As much as we missed using the warming hut and having our post-race party at the Dryden Hotel, it was great to get back to some semblance of normal.