FLRC’s final trail race of the year offers two distances so everyone can enjoy the crisp autumn weather and gorgeous fall foliage in the lovely Danby State Forest. The course comprises mostly singletrack trails on the Finger Lakes and Abbott Loop Trails, with 1.7 miles of dirt road at the start. While it’s fine to switch from one distance to the other mid-race, as a courtesy to our volunteers, all runners coming through the 10K after 10:30 AM will be directed to the finish line. If it’s a clear day, sacrifice a few seconds to enjoy the spectacular multi-county views from the Thatcher Pinnacles halfway through the 10K loop before plummeting headlong down a twisty trail! Afterward, relive your race while enjoying seasonal post-run refreshments with your fellow runners.
As in 2022, the longer course will now be 14.2 miles (23K). The first loop remains the same, while the second loop follows the entire 8-mile Abbott Loop and avoids running on forest roads. (See map.) This includes a second trip up to the Thatcher Pinnacles and a section of trail that was previously not part of the course. All turns will be well marked and Wilderness Search and Rescue members will be positioned at the road crossings.
The Danby Down and Dirty trail runs are part of the FLRC Trail Circuit, and results are included in the annual Pebblehead/Stonehead/Boulderhead rankings.
If you’ve never run a trail race before, check out our First-Timers FAQs for Trail Races.
The start/finish is 2.5 miles south of Danby on Michigan Hollow Road at the intersection with Smiley Hill Road. Park only on the west (right) side of the road.
- The 10K and 23K races start together at 9:00 AM.
- Bib pickup is between 7:45 and 8:45 AM.
- Please arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the race to park and pick up your bib.
Online registration is required and is open until 2 hours before the race.
- $20 for pre-registration.
- FLRC members may deduct $5.
- Runners 18 and under may register for free.
- If financial considerations would prevent you from entering this race, please use coupon code FLRCRUNFREE2023 during registration to waive the entry fee.
- There is no in-person registration at the race.
The course is on the FLT Abbott Loop (orange blazes), main Finger Lakes Trail (white blazes), or dirt road (no blazes). Intersections and turns will be marked prior to the race with flagging tape, chalk, ribbon, and/or cones and flags as needed. The race starts on Michigan Hollow Road, 2.5 miles south of the town of Danby off NYS Route 96B.
For real-time, turn-by-turn directions, download the free RunGo app to your phone and search for “Danby”. You can run with your phone and use the app to give audible cues when and where to turn. The map is GPS-based, so lack of cell service in the forest will not affect navigation. Direct link to: 10K | 23K.
The start is near the intersection of Michigan Hollow Road and Smiley Hill Road at
1,300′ of elevation. 10K and 23K runners start together and proceed south on Michigan Hollow Road for about 1.7 miles. The first turn will be a hard right onto the FLT Abbott Loop Trail (orange blazes). Stay on this trail for almost the full duration of the 10K. 1.7 miles and 300+’ elevation gain later, you’ll cross Bald Hill Road at the 3.2 mile mark. Another mile on the trail and 200′ more elevation gain brings you to the Thatcher Pinnacles at 1,700′. A fast descent over about 0.6 miles of trail brings you back down to Bald Hill Road (mile 4.8). Turn right onto Bald Hill Road and follow it for about 175′ before turning left and following the orange blazes downhill. At Mile 6, turn right where the orange-blazed Abbott Loop joins the white-blazed Finger Lakes Trail. Just after the small, wooden foot bridge the trail crosses Michigan Hollow Road. After a short uphill section on the Finger Lakes Trail you will hit Smiley Hill Road (a dirt road) and an aid station. 10K runners — skip the aid, turn right, and sprint hard down the road to the finish.
23K runners will go straight cross Smiley Hill Road and continue on the FLT (white blazes). Another 1.4 miles and some steady uphill will bring you to Hill Road (another dirt road, at the 7.6 mile mark). Go straight across the road and follow the white-blazed FLT downhill. When the white intersects with the orange-blazed Abbott Loop Trail at the wooden sign post, turn right. Follow orange as you cross several planks and ascend uphill back to Hill Road. Turn right onto Hill Road for about 100 meters, followed by a quick left back into the woods to follow the orange blazes.
Descend 0.9 miles on the Abbott Loop Trail back to Michigan Hollow Road. Next, retrace the trail portion of the 10K loop, going uphill to the Pinnacles for the second time, taking in the view, and running back downhill follow the orange blazes as you did before. The 4.5-mile singletrack trail portion of the 10K loop will also be the last 4.5 miles of the 23K loop, for 14.2 miles total.
To check on maps, elevations, photos, and videos of the terrain, go to CNY Hiking.
For a brief video preview, Simon Ingall recorded this video of the 10k course for the Virtual COVID-19 19-Mile Fund Run in April 2020.
- Port-a-johns will be available, but there are no showers or changing facilities.
- There will be one aid station midway through the 10K (20K runners pass it twice) and another at 10K before continuing for loop 2.
- We use only compostable cups; please take care of your non-compostables on your own.
- No littering! All human refuse and remains on the trail must be buried. Because… blech!
- Tasty post-race food and drinks will be provided.
- Results will be made available shortly after the race via Webscorer and will be posted to this page soon after.
- This race is part of the Finger Lakes Trail Circuit, for all you Pebbleheads, Stoneheads, and Boulderheads.
- For remaining questions, contact race director Pete Kresock (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Drinkable prizes will be awarded in the following categories:
- First in each of these age groups, male and female:
Under 40, 40–49, 50–59, 60–69, and 70+
10K: Mason Coppi 38:48 (2021) and Robyn Ellerbrock 49:48 (2011)
20K: Eric Sambolec 1:29:36 (2008) and Yvette DeBoer 1:41:19 (2009)
- Look for trail markers or you could end up off course! As with all trail runs, it’s on you to pay attention.
- Unlike road races, the footing is not level. It is uneven and can be dangerous. A fall or injury is possible.
- Insect bites, mud, treacherous footing, fallen logs, and vehicles at road crossings are possible hazards.
- Heat could still be a concern this time of year; if so, carry fluids and watch for symptoms of heat exhaustion!
- Cold weather could also be a problem; if so, bring warm clothes for after the race to prevent hypothermia.
- The Central New York Wilderness Search & Rescue crew will be on hand to help. Let’s try to ensure they’re bored.
- All runners coming through the 10K checkpoint after 10:30 AM will be directed to the finish line.
- No dogs, headphones, or jogging strollers. These make the race dangerous for everyone.
- The race director reserves the right to reject any entry for any reason.
- Entry fees are non-refundable, even if the race is canceled because of an act of nature or mankind.
- If you need accommodation for a disability to participate in this event, please contact the FLRC Diversity and Inclusion Committee chair at email@example.com.
- This race is organized by the Finger Lakes Runners Club and insured by the Road Runners Club of America.