Two Hollows Monster Marathon and Half 2023 Recap

For 2023, the Two Hollows Monster Marathon and Half Marathon—formerly, simply the Monster Marathon and Half Marathon—moved to a beautiful network of Finger Lakes Trail-associated trails in Kennedy State Forest that most participants had never set foot on, despite being local to the area. In this way, the trail races differed from past runnings, along with nonbinary registration option and a new team of race directors, but in many ways the Monster remained the same:

  • it moved back to its traditional date of the Sunday of Labor Day weekend;
  • it retained the age-and-gender head start structure;
  • it was conducted as an out-and-back (this time, two out-and-backs, or more precisely an out-and-back in one direction and then a down-and-up in a different direction), so runners could assess where they stood with respect to their competition, but mostly so they could encourage one another throughout;
  • it featured hand-crafted finisher awards for every runner who covered the distance, in this case hand-knit leaf “medals” by RD Nancy and bottles of homemade “Monster Sauce” that RD Steve V. cooked up from his homegrown hot peppers;
  • it had friendly monsters in the woods greeting runners before they climbed the last of the monster hills.

The race team, volunteers, Wilderness Search & Rescue, and runners convened on a picture-perfect day—albeit a bit warm, especially as the marathoners were finishing up their final out-and-back.

Inexplicably, nearly half of the marathoners were no-shows, including all of the young bucks, so each of the 11 marathoners was out on the course in advance of the 8:00 am scratch start. This was definitely an opportunity lost for those who elected not to show up: no lovely singletrack, no trail camaraderie, and no cake and beer and sandwiches at the finish line for them. Nine marathoners finished, with Stephen Jesch crossing the line first in 4:36 clock time and, at age 54 and therefore with a 31-minute start ahead of the clock, logging the fastest raw time of the day (5:07). He definitely earned his “Thing 1” plush monster award and six-pack of beer of his choosing. “Thing 2” went to the 2021 champ, Gerrit Van Loon (4:39). Rounding out the top five in close succession to one another, were Gabrielle Woo (5:23:03), Pete Kresock (5:23:51), and Diana Hackett (5:28:54)—all clock times, not accounting for their respective head starts. Each of them went home with a personal “monster” and six pack.

The half marathon had 62 entrants and 55 starters and 54 finishers, so a much better respective turnout. These folks ran each out-and-back once, whereas the marathoners did it twice. With RD Steve Shaum holding down the monster cave at the finish line, RDs Nancy Kleinrock and Steve Vanek both partook of the fun on the trails. When all was said and done, Nancy (age 63) was second out of the gate and first across the finish line in 1:39 clock time (2:23 raw time), earning Thing 1 for her efforts. Thing 2 went to Brian Lee (age 50) in 1:46, and the 3rd place monster went to Crosby Woods (age 17) in 1:50. Monsters 4 and 5 went to Jeremy Thomas (age 47) and David Olds (age 56) in 1:59:14 and 1:59:42, respectively—again, all clock times. Just missing out on a stuffed monster of his own was Bob Swizdor (age 57), who crossed the line in 1:59:43, but had a one-minute head start on David; it just wasn’t quite enough to prevail.

Full results can be found for the full marathon and half marathon.

Snippets of the entire event were captured by photographer Jamie Love. You can view them here and download free of charge those you like. If you have pix you’d like to share, please upload them here.

Of course, the race couldn’t have happened without the many volunteers who stepped up to help: Vinny and Charlotte Cappadora (bib pickup and morning start/finish aid station); Pete Kresock (bib pickup before heading out to face his own monster on the marathon course); Ian Golden and Jake Werblow (Hilsinger Road aid station; special thanks to Ian who supplied all the food, fluids, and equipment for that aid station); Michelle Dardia and Stephanie Mulinos (afternoon start/finish aid station and post-race cleanup); Gerald McKinley (post-race cleanup, as well); Adam Engst, Heather Cobb, and Bob Talda (finish line timing); Margaret Frank and her daughter Genevieve (post-race food pickup); Jami Landry and Paul Maza (course sweeping); Jan Vanek-Raphaelidis and Colin Buckley as the woodland monsters; and Gary McCheyne (coordinating equipment before and after). Huge thanks as well to Ryan Healy and his intrepid volunteer Wilderness Search & Rescue crew who you saw periodically on the course tracking your bib numbers.

Special thanks go to Alex and Michelle Gonzalez, who constructed many—and maintain all—of the trails Two Hollows Monster traverses. For more about the “International Loops,” see pages 22 and 23 of the Fall 2017 issue of the Finger Lakes Trail News (Fall 2017). While runners were watching out for the pink flags, they might not have noticed that the course covered the Main FLT (white blazes), Spanish Loop (orange), and Swedish Loop (blue) on the first out-and-back, and then, in order going out the second out-and-back (actually, down the down-and-up), the Spanish Loop (orange), Irvin’s Trail (blue), Spanish Loop (orange), Polito’s Path (red), Eric’s Path (yellow), Irvin’s Trail (blue), English Loop (red—the nasty little up amongst all that down), and Spanish Loop (orange) to the turnaround at the bottom—no wonder there were 684 flags and so many wrong-way signs! Even as the marathoners were still out there running, Alex was painting the yellow end-of-trail blazes on the brand new Ukrainian Loop Trail mentioned in the article. That trail has been 14 years in the making; he had as good a day in the woods as we all did!

Plan ahead and put the Two Hollows Monster Marathon on your 2024 race calendar on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend and tell your friends about it.

Happy trails from your RDs,
Nancy Kleinrock, Steve Shaum, and Steve Vanek

Forge the Gorge 2023 race results and photos

Despite rain all day and threatening weather reports, we managed to catch a break and have no rain during the Forge the Gorge trail race on August 10. In the 3-mile short course, Eric Sambolec ran unchallenged with a winning time of 22:30. Second place overall went to Margo Lee in 26:33, with 10-year-old Ada McKinzey of Trumansburg running an impressive 27:26 for third. In the 8-mile race, Dan Timmerman cruised to victory in 57:26, cementing his Pebblehead lead in the 2023 Trail Circuit with his third win of the year. Casey Austin of Homer was second in 1:00:36, outpacing Brian Lee in 1:00:56. For the women, Amelia Kaufman joined Dan Timmerman at the top of the Pebblehead standings with her third win of the year in 1:09.18, followed by Nancy Kleinrock in 1:17:31 and Julie Barclay in 1:22:30.

Our youngest finisher was 7-year-old Remy McKinzey, and our oldest was 74-year-old Jim Miner, both in the 3-mile race. But the 8-mile distance didn’t scare off 11-year-old Mckenzie Leonard or 71-year-old Carl Franck! Full results for the 100 finishers and race photos are now available.

Big thanks to all the volunteers, including the timing crew headed by Adam Engst and supported by Bob Talda, Heather Cobb, and Jesse Koennecke. They operate like a well-oiled machine. Zsofia Franck marched up the north rim to direct runners to the Gorge Trail. Nancy Kleinrock and Steve Shaum expertly handled registration. Nate Lockett was on the course and helped with setup and breakdown. Emily Jones and her tribe of four youngsters managed the water station and entertained runners simultaneously. Sheila Squier assisted in all things setup and breakdown. Lastly, Mo Ramas came out of nowhere (actually Colorado) and was all over the course, first directing runners at Bridge 8 before sweeping the course a couple of times, picking up flags along the way. She came back from the trail in the dark with a headlamp on and still looking for things to help with! 

Thanks to all the runners and volunteers for helping make this an enjoyable and successful event!

First Trackapalooza Offers a Full-Slate Track Invitational

Historically, FLRC track meets have had just a handful of individual running events, though we added some jumps and throws this year. With Trackapalooza, we wanted to offer a full slate of events so everyone could run the distances they prefer. To aid in that, we retained TAJ Timing to provide an FAT system that would capture times to the hundredth of a second to ensure accuracy, particularly in the sprints, where hand timing isn’t always ideal. Full results are now available on the FLRC website, along with a slew of fabulous race photos from Jamie Love.

Overall, we had 138 athletes compete in 307 events, and 6 teams showed up, including Auburn, the Groton Project Track Club, the GIAC Navigators, the Ithaca Youth Bureau, Just Blaze Track Club, and Watkins Glen.


We kicked the meet off with the 5000m, often a somewhat sleepy race. However, an Auburn team took it out hard, with Austin Ferrin (16:07) holding off teammate Owen Gasper (16:10) for the win. Kyleen Brady of Auburn took the win for the women, outpacing teammate Mary Alice Pineau, 18:54 to 19:40.


Moving from long to short, we switched to the 100m next, the most popular event of the day, with 66 finishers. Justin Hargraves took advantage of the FAT to lay down a commanding win in 10.93 seconds, with Kyren Young second in 11.73. Mihaela Toader was the fastest woman in 12.55, with the Groton Project’s Mattison Lucey second in 13.14.


Also popular was the 400m, where Gavin Hickey of Auburn bested the field in 54.79, with the Groton Project’s Ross Bush second in 56.67. Julaina Coleman of the Just Blaze Track Club from Buffalo led for the women in 73.81, beating Tabitha Oakes, who crossed in 79.24.

1 Mile

Normally one of our largest events, the mile warranted only two heats. 51-year-old Scott Weeks, coach of the Groton Project, won handily in 4:52 while running alone. Isaac Hendrickson of Watkins Glen came through next in 5:19. 41 -year-old Liz Hartman set a new PR with a win for the women in a speedy 5:44, cruising in ahead of second-place Shannon Oakes, who finished in 6:22.

4x200m Relay

Next up was the happy chaos of the 4x200m relay, where an unattached team sped to victory in 1:43.41, the second-fastest relay time in an FLRC meet this year (behind an Ithaca High School team that ran 1:42 indoors in January). The Groton Project’s A team was second in 1:47.53, and Auburn came in third under 2 minutes with a 1:58.47.


Switching back to individual sprints with the 200m, Auburn’s Payton Hickey joined his brother with a podium place, winning in 23.93 seconds, just a hair in front of Kyren Young in 24.06 and Logan Manor in 24.07. Mihaela Toader took a break from her med school studies (seriously) for the 200m and took home her second win of the day in 25.72, ahead of second-place Julaina Coleman of Just Blaze in 30.83.


The 800m provided an exciting finish with Charles McCurdy of Trumansburg just beating Carter Naginey of the Groton Project to the line, 2:07.99 to 2:08.37. The only woman in the race was 7-year-old Nadiia Urazgildiieva, who came through in 3:57.42.

400m Hurdles

Not many people signed up for the 400m hurdles, but they were tremendously fun to watch. In the men’s race, with 36-inch hurdles, Aidan Tierney just held off hard-charging Mik Kern for the win, 1:10.89 to 1:11.21. Then, in the women’s heat, with 30-inch hurdles, Mattison Lucey of the Groton Project ran an impressive 1:12.64, outpacing second-place Julia Hubbard’s 1:14.64. But the crowd favorite was tiny 9-year-old Lauren Belcher, who was running every other hurdle and had shorter training hurdles to match her size—she looked great flying over the training hurdles to finish in 1:47.02.


As the meet wound down, Liz Hartman dominated the 3000m, running another PR for the overall win in 11:36. 14-year-old Madigan White was second in 15:10.

4x400m Relay

In the final running event of the day, three Auburn teams and a Groton Project team lined up for the 4x400m relay. Auburn’s A team held off the Groton Project, 3:44.20 to 3:45.38, with the remaining Auburn teams coming through in 4:14.36 and 4:17.32.

Long Jump

The most popular of the field events was the long jump, with 48 athletes scoring. The longest jump of the day went to Jonathan McNamara, who cleared 21 feet 0.75 inches, well beyond Joseph McDonald Jr.’s second-place jump of 20-04.25. For the women, Lisi Hubbard jumped 15-06.50 to place first, followed by Julia Hubbard at 13-06.75.

Triple Jump

The hop-skip-and-jump triple jump attracted only experienced jumpers, with Justin Hargraves clearing 44-02.00 for the win, with Dafydd Williams placing second with a 38-11.00 jump. Julia Hubbard claimed her first-place spot with a jump of 31-10.00.


In the discus throw, Ryan Olesky threw a whopping 151-00.25, with Zach Elliott second with a throw of 142-01.50. The only woman competing was the Groton Project’s Janice Carter, who threw 109-04.50.

Shot Put

Zach Elliott took his revenge in the shot put, heaving the shot 44-11.50 to surpass Ryan Oleksy’s 39-02.00. Janice Carter proved she wasn’t worried about competition, throwing 23-11.50 to best Groton Project teammate Jennifer Jones, who threw 23-06.50.


In our soft-tipped javelin competition, 13-year-old Locke Apker of the Ithaca Youth Bureau threw 66-01 for the win, followed by Wesley Millspaugh, who threw 56-08 for second. 14-year-old Paceyn O’Grady Specht took the crown for the women with a throw of 38-01, besting 10-year-old teammate Natalie Blackmur’s throw of 24-06.

Thank You!

All these events required a lot of help. Huge thanks to Tonya Engst for spending many hours the day before preparing for the meet and then coordinating bib pickup and clothing sales, ably staffed by Julie Barclay and Molly DoruskaGary McCheyne was also a huge help in renting a van and bringing FLRC tents, tables, sound system, and water to the meet. Kudos to Rich BernsteinPatrick BoyleDave Kania, and Jesse Koenecke for managing the heats as smoothly as possible with early help from Laura Helmerick and late help from Katie Gannon. Former FLRC president Tom Rishel reprised his traditional role of starter in the hot sun. Sarah Giesy counted laps for the longer races, and Alan Lockett recorded bibs as needed. Shane EversfieldRuth Sproul, and Bob Swizdor helped with the jumps, which were ably run by Brett Shelton of the SOAR Running Club. SOAR’s Steve Wagner also helped coordinate the jumps and the TurboJav, and the Groton Project’s Scott Weeks brought extra hurdles and Groton Project volunteers to manage the throws. Thanks to everyone!

Finally, special thanks to:

  • Ithaca High School for making the track available
  • TAJ Timing for the FAT results
  • Ithaca XC Boosters, who provided concessions, including fresh-squeezed lemonade
  • Jamie Love for taking hundreds of race photos
  • Sean Nicholson and Joe Daley for sponsoring the race

Trackapalooza is our final track meet for 2023, but we hope to see you indoors in 2024! But we still have a few Trackapalooza racing singlets left—order online soon!

FLRC’s June Meet a Rousing Success after Early Rain

The weather was fickle for our June meet, being hot and sunny for setup before drenching us during registration and forcing a delay in starting the events. But everyone hung out with good cheer, the rain eventually passed, and we were able to hold the entire meet, with 109 runners completing 189 events. Full results are available on the FLRC website, and we have hundreds of meet photos in our public album from Tammy Walsky and Ruth Sproulcontribute yours too!

We kicked the meet off with nine heats of the 100m, culminating in Kyren Young’s win in 11.11 seconds, just nipping Aidan Tierney’s 11.23 and Dylan Sedorus’s 11.41. 12-year-old Selena Rollins of the SOAR Running Club took the win for the women in 14.26, just edging her 12-year-old sister Serenity Rollins in 14.28.

Our next event went from short to long, with 27 runners across three heats of the 1600m. After a slightly slow start, Seth Bywater took control of the race and ran unchallenged for the win in 4:45, though second and third came down to a sprint where Adrian Haws snuck ahead of Patrick Milano by 3 tenths of a second: 4:51 to 4:52. Liz Hartman ran a strong PR-tying 5:48 to place first for the women, followed by Kylee O’Hara in 6:15 and Kathleen Sullivan in 6:23.

We focused more on sprints this month to provide more events for kids, and the 200m gave Michael Durski the opportunity to block Kyren Young’s quest for a double sprint win. Durski ran 22.42 for the win, just ahead of Young’s 23.77, with Tristin Weeks of the Groton Project third in 24.30. The Groton Project fared better on the women’s side, with Matty Lucey laying down a 27.43 ahead of Kathleen Sullivan’s 30.65 and Selena Rollins’s 31.08 for SOAR.

In the final individual running event of the day, the 400m, Carter Naginey of the Groton Project enjoyed a commanding win in 52.73, followed by David Patterson in 55.65 and Groton teammate Ross Bush in 56.04. Running her first 400m since high school, Ronke Ilegbusi surprised everyone—including herself—by winning the women’s 400m in a blazing 64.72. Grad student and former Cornell runner Kate McCormick, who coached our Tuesday night kids workouts all winter in Barton, took second in 69.39, with Liz Hartman third in 74.31

Throughout the meet, Brett Shelton of the SOAR managed the long jump, with 24 athletes completing a jump. David Patterson hit the winning distance‚ 18 feet, 5 inches, on his first jump, and second-place Ross Bush came close on his second, leaping 18 feet. Third place went to Matthew Funicelli with a 17-foot, 7-inch jump. SOAR’s Selena Rollins claimed her second win for the day with a 10-foot, 1-inch jump, just in front of teammate Vanessa Topielec, who jumped 10 feet. Rasa Warren took third for the women, jumping 9 feet, 5 inches.

For the first time I can remember, we featured three throwing events, the shot put, discus, and TurboJav (a short, soft-tipped javelin), courtesy of Steve Wagner of SOAR and volunteers coordinated by Scott Weeks of the Groton Project. Wet conditions reduced participation, but Matthew Funicelli topped both the shot put with a toss of 51 feet, 5 inches (16-pound shot) and the discus with a throw up 146 feet, 5 inches (2-kilogram discus). Collin Karl was second in both with a shot put of 41 feet, 4 inches and a discus throw of 96 feet, 6 inches. Janice Carter of the Groton Project took the discus win for women with an 86-foot throw (1-kilogram discus), and she was second in the shot put with a 23-foot, 4-inch throw (8-pound shot), just behind winner and teammate Jennifer Jones, who threw 25 feet, 7 inches, also with an 8-pound shot. In the TurboJav, Travis Durfee distinguished himself with a 75-foot, 3-inch throw (450-gram TurboJav), just ahead of Benson Patterson’s 74-foot, 1-inch throw. 11-year-old Molly Doran of SOAR was the top woman with a throw of 28 feet (450-gram TurboJav), beating out 9-year-old Isla Durfee, who threw 24 feet, 4 inches with a 300-gram TurboJav.

The night’s final event was the 4x200m relay, where 13 teams ran across two heats. Five teams broke 2:00 this month, with the win going to an unattached team anchored by Aiden Tierney in 1:48, followed by a High Noon & Friends team in 1:49, a Groton Project team in 1:50, and a Watkins Glen team in 1:51.

Our volunteers deserve extra acclaim for their grace under pressure while dealing with the rain, wind, and delays. Carl Franck, Tonya Engst, Paula Kilts, and Shane Eversfield showed up early to set up. Carl served as head timer when he wasn’t running his heat of the 1600m. Tom Rishel was our starter, and Heather Cobb and Rich Bernstein managed the heats. Jesse Koenecke kept everything running smoothly in Meet Manager with help from Dave Kania, producing results in record time. Tonya Engst and Rebecca Lambert reprised their roles at the bib pickup table, recruited for the relays, and answered runner questions. Lansing track and XC star Trent Thibault was unflappable while recording bibs for the 1600m and relay, Alan Lockett handled backup timing, and Ammon Koenecke counted laps for the leaders. Our sprint timing team was Amy Dawson, Scott Dawson, Amalia Skilton, Ruth Sproul, Keith Eggleston, Ammon Koenecke, and Bob Swizdor. Thanks to you all!

FLRC’s next track event is Trackapalooza, our inaugural full-slate track invitational, coming up soon on July 22, and if you want to run, please register soon! If not, we need your help volunteering!

Skunk Cabbage Half Marathon Course Record Broken

What an experience! I’ve directed and timed a lot of track meets and small races before, but never anything on the scale of Skunk Cabbage. It was enjoyably challenging to design, implement, and conduct what is effectively a choreographed performance by numerous volunteers. Together, we created a memorable event and enabled significant athletic achievements for hundreds of runners. Thank you, all!

Attendance continues to recover from the pandemic, with 704 registrants and 559 finishers—329 in the 10K and 230 in the half. That’s 30% higher than last year, when we couldn’t use Barton Hall, and public gatherings were still a little shaky.

Nevertheless, Skunk was still a big success, capped off by a new course record in the half marathon, set by Joe Whelan of Webster, NY, who ran a 1:06:51 to break Christian Thompson’s 2014 record by 45 seconds. That’s a 5:07 pace! Joe was running Skunk as a tune-up race for the Boston Marathon on April 17th, and we’ll be rooting for him in two weeks. Second place went to Ithaca’s Giovanni Grano in 1:08:52, with Sam Morse of Syracuse taking third in 1:09:07. 42-year-old Chip O’Hara of Auburn was the top masters (40-49) finisher in 1:13:24, and 58-year-old Mookey Kent of Conklin Forks ran a 1:31:37 to take home the top vets (50+) place.

In the women’s half marathon, Katie Rey of Syracuse won in 1:32:15, followed by sisters Jenny VanEtten (Ithaca) in 1:35:49 and Kati VanEtten (Palmyra) in 1:36:52. Their mother Karen VanEtten also came up from Montrose, PA to run the 10K, making it even more of a family affair. The masters and vets prizes went to local runners, with 45-year-old Melissa Weiner running 1:43:12 and 57-year-old Caitlin Loehr clocking an impressive 1:40:00.

In the 10K, Ithaca’s Chris Halsey dropped 19 seconds from his second place last year to win in 35:54, besting the 36:07 laid down by 19-year-old Cornell student Hunter Frias of Brooklyn. Ryuki Yamasaki of Ithaca took third in 36:32. 44-year-old Doug Turnbull of Ithaca ran a 40:28 to take home the masters prize, and 63-year-old Keith Eggleston of Groton was close behind him in 40:42 to win the vets prize.

In an amazing show of masters running, the top three places in the women’s 10K went to runners in their 40s. No one was surprised when 40-year-old Olympic Trials marathoner Chelsea Benson of Ithaca placed first for the women—and fourth overall—in a relaxed 36:50. Ithaca’s Liz Hartman, also 40, took advantage of some pacing help from MITHACAL MILERS workout companion Mark Walth to break her PR by over a minute, placing second in 42:32. Third place went to 46-year-old Debra Vertoske of Lancaster, NY in 45:07. The masters prize was won by 45-year-old Shannon Oakes of Horseheads for her 45:22, and 56-year-old Brenda Osovski of Candor took home the vets prize with a 47:34.

Full results are available on the FLRC site, and don’t miss RunSignup’s 10K and half marathon awards pages to see who took home the framed Skunkadelic album covers as their awards. Steve Gallow’s excellent photos will be available soon, but if you have any good ones, please upload them to our public album for all to enjoy, too (it’s easy from a phone or computer).

While there’s no room to thank every one of the 80+ volunteers who made Skunk possible, I want to call out my super volunteers. Marte Reps gets huge points for ordering and picking up the significant quantities of food that hundreds of runners consume, and Lauren Milano provided key setup and food replenishment coordination. Tonya Engst left no detail to chance—so many signs and sets of instructions!—while managing a large crew of registration and shirt-pickup volunteers. Tom Hartshorne coordinated the safety aspects of the race with multiple area agencies and set out all the cones to calm traffic in Ellis Hollow. Vinny Cappadora brought his years of race directing to bear in setting up and breaking down the course singlehandedly. Alan Lockett worked with the Tompkins County and Dryden transportation departments to close roads and provide barricades, and on race day, he trained course marshals. FLRC equipment manager Gary McCheyne schlepped all the gear we needed and managed the finish line audio. Finally, Joel Cisne was our utility infielder, helping connect with the Cornell Police, repainting mile markers, and setting up the finish line.

In terms of organizations, we appreciate the assistance we received from Cornell University Athletics, Cornell University Police, Dryden Ambulance, Girl Scout Troop 40855, the Ithaca Hash House Harriers, the Tompkins County Amateur Radio Association, the Tompkins County Dairy Princess Program, the Varna Volunteer Fire Company, Cornell Dairy, Gimme! Coffee, Ithaca Bakery, Ithaca Milk, Wegmans Food Markets, the Barton Hall facility staff, Finger Lakes Running Company, Happily Running, Leone Timing, Rentals To Go, and USA Racing. 

That’s a wrap for Skunk 2023, but if you’re looking for new inspiration for your spring and summer running, sign up for the FLRC Challenge. I’ve developed 10 new courses, and we’ll have our kickoff group run on April 15th.

FLRC’s March Meet Closes Out 2023’s Indoor Season on a High Note

Count us among those who aren’t in favor of changing the clocks twice yearly, as the switch to Daylight Saving Time cut into attendance. But we still had 4 teams and 122 runners who completed 314 events. Full results are on the FLRC website. For those taking photos at the meet, please share your images in our public album—we’d love to see what you captured!

With Barton Hall still quiet as people shuffled in, we kicked off the meet with two heats of the 3000m. In the second heat, Paul Zimmer took control right away, running a 9:15 for a comfortable win, though Lucas Baker worked hard to close the gap in second in 9:22. Our top woman was Liz Hartman, whose 11:55 was one place ahead of the second woman, Ashley Moscowitz, in 12:06.

The energy in the building picked up throughout the 60m, with 8 heats culminating in some seriously fast times. Braddock Salisbury took the win in 7.17 seconds, just a nose (almost literally) ahead of Ryan Haisler in 7.19 seconds and Aidan Tierney in 7.50 seconds. Tess Eisner was the fastest woman for the day, crossing in just 8.16 seconds, edging out Jalasia DeMember in 8.44 seconds and Megan Wong in 8.54 seconds.

After several exciting heats of the mile, the final question was if Paul Zimmer could double for the day. Although Ryan Lyppens led a tight pack for the first few laps, Zimmer soon gapped the group and pushed it in for the win in 4:37. Closing hard was Issac Mazzeo, one of our regulars at the Tuesday night MITHACAL MILERS workout, who finished in an impressive 4:38, with Lyppens third in 4:42, just edging out Alexander Simpson in the same time. Gretel Hillson-Schneider took the crown for the women in 5:36, with Liz Hartman second in 6:06. Speaking of doubling—props to 75-year-old triathlete Deb Bliss, who ran the mile in 9:14, 6 seconds faster than her time in January, and that was after doing the 3000m in 18:12.

Our final and most popular individual races were the 15 heats of the 200m, where Aidan Tierney avenged his third place in the 60m by breaking the tape in the 200m in 24.29, edging out Ryan Haisler’s 24.57 and Ryan Lyppen’s 24.66. Mattison Lucey of the Groton Project continued her dominance of the women’s 200m with her third win of the season and fastest time: 27.58, almost a full second in front of her January time. Second place went to Gretchen Hulsey in 32.02.

Throughout the meet, Brett Shelton and Steve Wagner of the SOAR Running Club managed the high jump and long jump. Those events proved popular again, with 23 in the high jump and 40 in the long jump. In the high jump, Hunter Heyden cleared 6 feet for the win—the same height as February’s winning jump—with Braddock Salisbury and Hicham Oulida tying for second with jumps of 4 feet, 8 inches. Gretchen Hulsey was the top woman with a jump of 4 feet, 4 inches, and Hadley Murray of SOAR was second with 4 feet. In the long jump, Noah Bosket leaped 16 feet for the win. Second place was also the first woman, with Megan Wong jumping 14 feet, 11 inches. Third (and second for the men) went to Camden Hulsey in 14 feet, 3 inches, with Maren Golden (second woman and fourth overall) notching an impressive first try at the event by leaping 13 feet 5 inches.

The final event of the day was the 4x200m relay, where 17 teams ran across three heats. Four teams broke 2:00 this month, with the win going to the ad-hoc Not Fast, Just Furious in 1:46, followed by a Cornell team in 1:47, an unattached team in 1:55, and the ad-hoc 😃 TC B team in 1:56 (who says emoji can’t run?).

As always, the meet was made possible by the highly amiable and capable efforts of 25 dedicated members of our track volunteer team—an embarrassment of riches! Gill Haines-Sharp showed up early to help us set up. Carl Franck once again served as head timer and master of the PA system, with Josh Brockner stepping in as head timer later in the meet, David Rossiter did a bang-up job as starter (sorry!), and Patrick Boyle and Heather Cobb kept everyone lining up on schedule. Jesse Koenecke and Laurel Gilmer were speed demons with Meet Manager, producing results in record time. Tonya Engst and Rebecca Lambert reprised their roles at the bib pickup table, recruited for the relays, and answered runner questions (before Tonya ran her season best in the mile). Moss Dengler was unflappable while recording bibs for the longer races with help from Sandy Gregorich, Katie Gannon handled backup timing and provided enthusiastic cheering, and Tom Rishel counted laps for the leaders. Our sprint timing team was Aeron Jauquet, Crosby Woods, Bob Swizdor, IHS students Jesse and Andrew, plus others filling in from other jobs. Once again, Bethany Schiller assisted Brett Shelton with the long jump, and Elodie Fey helped Steve Wagner with the high jump. Special thanks to Mickie Sanders-Jauquet for bringing FLRC clothing to sell and promoting FLRC’s philanthropic efforts with local coaches.

That’s a wrap of the indoor track season! Huge thanks to Cornell University and specifically Cornell Athletics for allowing FLRC to use the Barton Hall track and the high jump and long jump equipment. Cornell’s commitment to helping the community is extremely welcome and well beyond the norm among US educational institutions from the stories we hear.

FLRC’s next event is the Skunk Cabbage Classic 10K and Half Marathon coming up soon on April 2nd, and if you want to run, please register soon. If not, we need your help volunteering! Our next outdoor track meet will take place on June 27th, and we’re looking forward to our first outdoor track invitational, called Trackapalooza, on July 22nd.

FLRC’s February Meet Offers Lots of Running and Jumping Opportunities

We’re getting back into the swing of indoor track meets again with our second meet of the year. Attendance was up, with 145 runners, including 7 teams, who completed a total of 338 efforts. Full results are on the FLRC website. Although we didn’t have a professional photographer at this meet, several people have uploaded their photos already, and if you took some, we’d love to see them too. It’s really easy to upload to the public album—give it a try!

Although the 5000m race, our first event, didn’t compare in size to our February 2020 meet, when we had 86 registrants and 71 finishers across 3 heats, we still ended up with 24 runners, enough for a box start to separate the crowd. Lucas Baker took the lead in the 25-lap race early and kept it all the way to the finish in a solid 16:39, holding off Jordan Varano in 17:04. Liz Hartman won for the women in a personal best of 20:16, ahead of Olivia Zeigler of Northwestern Elementary School in 21:32.

Moving from longest to shortest, we switched gears for the 60m sprints, where we had 10 heats. In the final heat, Braddock Salisbury ran 7.28 seconds for the win, edging out Noah Bosket in 7.53 and Karim Nimaga of Morrisville State College in 7.58. Matti Johnston of Corning was the fastest woman in 8.39 seconds, followed by Madelyn Weeks of the Groton Project Track Club in 9.60 seconds.

The mile was our most popular race of the day, with 62 finishers across 5 heats. After top seed Lucas Baker scratched, the race became incredibly tight, with a five-man pack running close together the entire race. Charles McCurdy stayed at the head of the pack for the win in 4:49, holding off the hard-charging Dan Timmerman in 4:50 and Scott Weeks of the Groton Project in 4:51. Our first woman was Heather Webster of GVH, who ran a strong 5:49, and Olivia Zeigler of Northwestern Elementary claimed her second silver of the day in 6:07, just ahead of Abigail Wagner of the SOAR Running Club in 6:13.

Our final individual event was the 200m, where Zuri Ruffin took the win in a blistering 23.85, outpacing Corning’s Brady Hughes in 24.57. Mattison Lucey of the Groton Project repeated her January win, breaking the tape in 27.91, which was 0.6 seconds faster than last month. This time, however, she had close competition with Matti Johnston of Corning just a half-second behind in 28.43.

Throughout the meet, Brett Shelton and Steve Wagner of the SOAR Running Club managed the high jump and long jump. Those events proved popular again, particularly with the GIAC Navigators and SOAR Running Club kids—33 competed in the high jump and 43 in the long jump. In the high jump, Noah Ruffer cleared 6 feet for the win, with Connor Trimber, Brady Hughes, and Matthew Gonzalez tying for second with jumps of 5 feet, 6 inches. Matti Johnston of Corning was the top woman with a jump of 4 feet, 10 inches, and Molly Doran of SOAR was second with 3 feet, 6 inches. In the long jump, Noah Ruffer took home another win by leaping 19 feet, 2.75 inches, ahead of Connor Trimber’s second-place jump of 17 feet, 8.75 inches. Tess Eisner won for the women with a jump of 17 feet 3.75 inches, with Samantha Oakes second thanks to a 14-foot, 4-inch leap.

The final event of the day was the 4x200m relay, where 15 teams ran across three heats. Only three teams broke 2:00 this month—some of the Ithaca High sprinters from last month were volunteering at this meet—with the win going to Morrisville State College in 1:45, just ahead of an unattached team in 1:47 and a High Noon & Friends team in 1:59.

As always, the meet was made possible by the highly amiable and capable efforts of 28 members of our track volunteer team. Ronke Ilegbusi and Crosby Woods showed up early to help us set up. Carl Franck once again served as head timer and master of the PA system, Tom Rishel helped train David Rossiter as starter, and Patrick Boyle and Heather Cobb kept everyone lining up on schedule. Jesse Koenecke managed Meet Manager with help from Ronke Ilegbusi and Moss Dengler. Tonya Engst and Rebecca Lambert held down the bib pickup table, recruited for the relays, and answered runner questions. Molly Doruska recorded bibs for the longer races with help from Kaleb Smith, Katie Gannon handled backup timing, and Izzy Silbert counted laps, and they teamed with Amalia Skilton, Sandy Gregorich, Anne Shakespeare, Ayoub Oulida, Diana Hackett, Max Sheehan, and Clara Bennett to time the sprints. Bethany Schiller and Aya Oulida assisted Brett Shelton with the long jump, and Elodie Fey helped Steve Wagner with the high jump. Special thanks to Brett and Steve of the SOAR Running Club for making the jumps possible!

See you again on March 12!

FLRC’s January Meet Brings Community Indoor Track Back to Barton Hall

Thanks to excellent work by old and new volunteers alike, our first indoor meet since 2020 went off well. We hosted 134 runners, including 7 teams, who completed a total of 280 individual efforts. Full results are on the FLRC website, along with fabulous professional photos from Jamie Love. (The pictures below are representative of each event but don’t necessarily show the people mentioned.)

After a little behind-the-scenes stress caused by our meet management software crashing whenever a particular USB-C hub was attached, we kicked off the meet with three heats of the 3000m. The final heat belonged to 2022 Skunk Cabbage half-marathon champion Henry Williams, who cruised to the win in 8:59 (4:49 mile pace), with Nick Ryan hanging on gamely to finish second in a still-strong 9:40. The women’s race was even more of a blowout with Stephanie Bitcon running an impressive 10:12 that was good for fourth overall, well ahead of the strong trail and cross-country runner Donna Langerfeld in 11:21.

Next up were the sprints, where numerous heats of the 60m were filled by runners in the 10-and-under set, particularly kids from the GIAC Navigators and the new Groton Project Track Club. Ultimately, the win went to Skylar Lagramada from Watkins Glen in 7.70 seconds, edging out Candor teammates Wyatt Stouffer (7.90) and Matt Fitch (7.92). Candor took the top two spots for the women, with Jess Wells winning in 9.01 seconds and Angelina Porras second in 9.62. 12-year-old Lauren Younkin of the SOAR Running Club was third in 9.78.

In the mile, our Hartshorne Masters Mile rabbits tested out their legs. First, Henry Williams showed that he had plenty of speed to pace the elite men by running 4:30 for the win not long after his 3000m victory. This time, his competition came from Lucas Baker, who crossed just 4 seconds later in 4:34. Then women’s elite rabbit Bella Burda ran a controlled 5:13 to prove that she’d be able to pace three-time Olympian Michelle Rohl to a W55 American record. Donna Langerfeld settled for second again in 5:46. Finally, a shout-out to our pack of older milers, with 63-year-old Laura Helmerick (8:14), 68-year-old Steven Clark (8:46), 65-year-old Joe Sullivan (8:59), 75-year-old Deb Bliss (9:20), and 74-year-old Jim Miner (9:34) all testing their legs in advance of running Hartshorne. Apart from Bliss, who was a handful of seconds slower, the others all ran significantly faster at Hartshorne, with Helmerick dropping 19 seconds, Clark 20 seconds, Sullivan 19 seconds, and Miner a whopping 77 seconds.

Our final individual event was the 200m, where Candor’s Matt Fitch avenged his third place in the 60m by nudging out Watkins Glen’s Skylar Lagramada by 3 hundredths of a second, 25.65 to 25.68. (We’ll pretend that our hand timing is accurate enough for that to be meaningful; in reality, it’s not.) However, the women’s side wasn’t even close, with Mattison Lucey of the Groton Project breaking the tape in a speedy 28.51. Nearly 4 seconds later, second place went to Candor’s Jess Wells in 32.45.

Throughout the entire meet, Brett Shelton and Steve Wagner of the SOAR Running Club managed the high and long jumps. This was the first time we’ve officially hosted field events at an FLRC meet, and both proved popular with kids, with 34 competing in the high jump and 43 in the long jump. In the high jump, Candor’s Ayasha Schweiger cleared 4 feet, 8 inches for the win, followed closely by her teammate Angelina Porras, who jumped 4 feet, 6 inches. In the long jump, Ross Bush of the Groton Project soared to the win by jumping 16 feet, 9.75 inches, with Patrick Milano (our third Hartshorne rabbit) leaping 12 feet, 9 inches for second.

The final event of the day was the 4x200m relay, where 16 teams ran across three heats. Five of the teams ran 2:00 or faster, with a team of Ithaca High runners running powerfully and employing blind handoffs for the win in 1:42. Second place went to Candor in 1:52, with a Watkins Glen-anchored team third in 1:55.

As always, the meet was made possible by the highly amiable and capable efforts of the dedicated track volunteer team. Carl Franck reprised his role from the summer as head timer, Tom Rishel once again served as starter, and Patrick Boyle and Laurel Gilmer stepped into the clerk of course role to keep everyone lining up on schedule. Jesse Koenecke managed Meet Manager with help from Dave Kania, who also timed and performed other essential tasks that cropped up. Tonya Engst and Amelia Kaufman held down the bib pickup table, recruited for the relays, and answered runner questions. Rich Bernstein recorded bibs for the longer races, Katie Gannon handled backup timing, and David Rossiter counted laps, and they all teamed with Bob Swizdor, Rebecca Lambert, Aeron Jauquet, and Bob Talda to time the sprints. Thanks to all, and extra appreciation to Steve Wagner and Brett Shelton of the SOAR Running Club for volunteering their expertise with the jumps!

See you again on February 19th and March 12th!

Hartshorne Masters Mile returns to host a new W55 American record

After a two-year pandemic hiatus, FLRC brought the Hartshorne Memorial Masters Mile back to Barton Hall on January 21st, 2023, putting on mile races for 65 local and elite masters runners from the Ithaca area, upstate New York, and throughout the US and Canada. The event went well, with fast times, exciting races, and a new W55 American record!

We have full results on the FLRC site with age-grade percentages and times. Leone Timing’s results are also worth a look for their split times and position changes. Don’t miss the fabulous race photos and race videos!

Race Results

Combined Women & Men: Our leadoff race showcased some of our older runners, with 63-year-old Laura Helmerick cruising to the win in 7:55, followed by 82-year-old Dennis Featherstone of Ottawa in 8:08 and 73-year-old Robert Vidulich in 8:13. 75-year-old triathlete Deb Bliss was the second woman across the line in 9:25.

Men Section 2: After 56-year-old Jack Salisbury went out hot for the first 800m, the more level-headed 61-year-old Neal Coffey took the lead and held it through the tape to win in 6:02. He outpaced the 71-year-old Spider Rossiter, who met the legendary Don Farley’s goal of “under 7:00 at 70” with an impressive 6:09. 66-year-old Gary Passamonte was third in 6:20.

Women Section 1: After some last-minute scratches, this race was small, with only five runners. Without the expected competition, 58-year-old Roxanne Springer ran alone for the win in 6:10, with 54-year-old Kim Jackson bettering her seed time handily with a 6:43 for second place and 59-year-old Betsy Stewart third in 6:58.

Men Section 1: 48-year-old ultramarathoner Damian Clemons found out just how tough short distances can be by leading through six laps before 50-year-old Mike Middendorf took over and ran the last two laps for the win in 5:38. 53-year-old Rob White laid down a 5:45 for second place in his second mile ever, and 63-year-old Keith Eggleston kicked hard in the final straightaway to run a 5:48.39 that snuck past both 51-year-old Steve Vanek (5:48.79) and Clemons (5:48.95).

Men Elite 2: This race proved one of the most exciting of the day, with three top area runners facing off. 58-year-old Mike Nier, the organizer of the Pete Glavin XC Series, tucked in behind rabbit Patrick Milano to take the early lead, with 61-year-old Joe Mora and 57-year-old Jim Derick hot on his heels. Derick moved past Mora into second in the fifth lap and ran on Nier’s shoulder the rest of the race but couldn’t match Nier’s kick in the final 100m. Nier finished in 5:02.47 for the win, with Derick second in 5:03.25 and Mora third in 5:09.08, barely holding off the fast-closing 46-year-old Tristan Lambert in 5:10.88.

Women Elite 1: Expectations were high for this race, not because three-time Olympian Michelle Rohl had any competition, but because she was attempting to break Kathryn Martin’s 16-year-old W55 American record of 5:19.87, set when Martin was 55. At 57, Rohl was on a roll in 2022, taking over the indoor and outdoor 800m records, the outdoor 1500m record, and the indoor 3000m record.

After a 15-minute delay for the third USATF official to arrive so times would be eligible for records, rabbit Bella Burda took off at the gun, with Rohl slipping past 40-year-old Jennifer Boerner in the first lap to move into the lead. From then on, it was textbook, with Rohl clocking even splits that never varied by more than 1.4 seconds, running a 2:36 800m en route to a 5:16.70 win that broke Martin’s record by 3.17 seconds. 44-year-old Carly Shea outkicked Boerner for second in 5:34 to Boerner’s 5:35. 45-year-old Alison Schwalm was fourth in 5:49, 48-year-old Andi Camp was fifth in 5:54, 54-year-old Amy McMahon took six in 5:58, 40-year-old Liz Hartman ran 6:00 for seventh, and 57-year-old Melissa Chiti was eighth in 6:03. Although she was last in the heat, 61-year-old Lorraine Jasper’s 6:10 gave her a 92.33% age grade, second only to Rohl’s 100.81% for the entire meet.

Men Elite 1: In the final race of the day, despite rabbit Henry Williams sprinting out at the desired pace, the pack didn’t stay with him, resulting in the first two laps being surprisingly slow at 39 and 37 seconds. Then 41-year-old Jaret Herter started to ratchet the pace down, clocking a 35, three 34s, a 33, and a final 32.25 to win in 4:41. More exciting was second place, where 41-year-old George Young worked his way up from ninth place after the first three laps and closed with a blistering 31.29-second final lap—the fastest of the day—to sneak past 43-year-old Mark Walchinsky at the line, 4:48.44 to 4:48.59. Walchinsky’s teammate, 43-year-old James Coates, was just behind them in 4:49.70, and 50-year-old Scott Weeks came next in fifth in 4:51. Multi-year Hartshorne winner Mark Williams, also now 50, took sixth in 4:52.72, outkicking 42-year-old Dan Timmerman in 4:52.89. 43-year-old Jordan Varano was eighth in 4:53, 40-year-old Chuck Terry was ninth in 4:54, and 45-year-old Ian Golden rounded out the race in tenth in 4:56.


Hartshorne requires a significant volunteer effort, starting with my assistant race directors, Charlie Fay and Tom Hartshorne. Jim Miner and John Whitman arrived early to help set up, along with Carl Franck, who configured our PA system. Jim and John continued to manage the registration table with help from Brenda Featherstone until Jim had to warm up for his race and John moved to help Charlie with race operations, after which Rebecca Lambert and Kathleen Gibson took over registration. Bruce Roebal took over as clerk of course this year, and Dan Hurley once again started all the races. Tonya Engst handed out shirts to volunteers before assisting Megan Powers with the saddle-stitched race booklet (and special thanks to Megan for all her work before the race getting the booklet ready to accept results). Rich Bernstein counted laps and rang the bell, and David Rossiter read lap splits to runners. Izzy and Ursula Silbert helped runners take photos in front of our photo banner, and Patrick Boyle, Aaron Proujansky, and Walter Silbert helped keep bystanders off the track during the races. Thanks to you all!


Finally, I’d like to thank the sponsors who make Hartshorne possible. It takes a lot of money to put on a national-level meet like this, with rabbits, an announcer, extensive race photos, video of all the races, a post-race banquet, and cash prizes to attract some of the top talent in the US and Canada. The race’s 2023 sponsors include Joe Daley, the Hartshorne Family, Sean Nicholson, Javier Martinez, Cayuga Medical Center, and Bangs Ambulance. The masters running community is tremendously appreciative of their support. Just because we’re not so young anymore doesn’t mean we don’t take our racing seriously!

See you next year!

390 runners at 50th Turkey Trot raise record amount for Loaves & Fishes

The 50th running of the Finger Lakes Runners Club’s Turkey Trot was a huge success. A record $5,895 (and growing) was raised for Loaves & Fishes, and about 390 people participated on a sunny, 40-degree morning. We have some runner-taken photos from the race, and if you took any, please upload them!

Donation History

  • 2010–13: Truckloads of cans and boxes of food collected
  • 2014: $2,024 collected with 333 participants
  • 2015: $2,855 (423 participants) 
  • 2016: $2,756 (268 participants) 
  • 2017: $4,030 (397 participants) 
  • 2018: $2,549 (211 participants) 
  • 2019: $4,137 (312 participants) 
  • 2020: $4,192 (virtual, 157 participants) 
  • 2021: $4,251 (289 participants) 
  • 2022: $5,895+ (390 participants)

Next year will be the 50th anniversary of the Turkey Trot and might be, after 17 years, my last year directing this wonderful event. The Turkey Trot is totally hands-on. Paper meets pen. Tradition. Family. Memory. If you are interested in helping out as assistant race director in 2023 and carrying forward the torch in future years, please contact me at The Turkey Trot is near and dear to my heart. I can only leave it to someone who will devote themselves to it at least half as much as I have.

I have spent the month since the Turkey Trot transferring names and actual times submitted on stickers handed out at the finish line to the signup sheets with predicted times. “By hand” takes time! A PDF of the “results” has now been uploaded, as well as a list of those closest to their predictions. 

Thanks to Ithaca Bakery for their donation of bread, bagels, and pastries; Purity Ice Cream for the prize-winning pies; and Cornell Orchards for apples. FLRC picked up the tab for everything else. Thanks to all those who were so generous to Loaves & Fishes. Thanks to Rob Kurcoba for designing the 50th Turkey Trot t-shirt, which sold out of the straight orange version and very few left of the fitted lime-colored ones. We plan to repeat the shirts next year, with, hopefully, the fitted version in orange.

Thanks to my many volunteers: my wife, Kathleen Gibson, for her endless help and for being my food czar; Tom Hartshorne for directing traffic (and tireless behind-the-scenes work on the trails); Joel Cisne and Jessica Sterns for directing traffic; Adam Engst and Tonya Engst for publicity, logistics, and, with help from Dave Kania, distributing our 50th Turkey Trot shirts; and to Christina Culver, director of Loaves & Fishes, and her crew of registration line/finish line/food helpers.

Finally, I believe I left my bright-orange Columbia winter coat at the event. Anyone find it?

I hope to see at least 500 of you at the 50th Anniversary next year!

Gobble Gobble!
Bruce Roebal, Director
Ithaca Turkey Trot