This race is dedicated to the memory of its founder, Rich Lawrence, who died in a canoeing accident in 1998. Special thanks to Rich’s close friend Cynthia Lange for her continued support and help at this race, and to our community sponsor, GreenStar Natural Foods Market, for providing the delicious food and drink at the finish.
Borrowing from the fable, Tortoise & Hare is a race for the slow and the fast — victory lies in finishing. The closest trail race to Ithaca, this is a good introduction to both trail running and local trails, with Buttermilk Falls providing a spectacular backdrop. The 1 mile fun run/hike course is practically flat; it can be completed by anyone, regardless of age. The 10K+ (it’s actually 10.8 kilometers or 6.7 miles) course covers beautiful and varied terrain, including the at Larch Meadow Trail, the easy Bear Trail, and the rolling Lake Trail. There is one long, steep hill that climbs 400 feet in half a mile, lending another interpretation to the race name: slow up, fast down. There are three water stops on the course, at roughly 2, 4, and 5.5 miles.
The Tortoise & Hare Trail Runs are part of the FLRC Trail Circuit, and results are included in the annual Pebblehead/Stonehead/Boulderhead rankings.
The races are held at Buttermilk Falls State Park, at 106 E Buttermilk Falls Road, Ithaca, NY 14850. Both races start at the Larch Meadow. The 1 mile fun run finishes on the ballfield, whereas the 10K+ finishes near the playground across the road from the ballfield. Parking is available, but be prepared to pay the $8 daily entrance fee unless you have an Empire Pass. This is important — park personnel will ticket cars parked illegally! It is possible to park for free less than half a mile away at the little mall on Route 13 northeast of the park.
The 10K+ race starts at 9:00 AM. The untimed 1 Mile Fun Run starts at 9:05 AM. Please arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your race to pick up your bib.
Online pre-registration is strongly encouraged and is open until 6 PM the night before the race. You may also download a paper registration form. The race is limited to 250 participants. Day-of-race registration closes at 8:30 AM.
10K+: $15 for pre-registration, $20 for day-of-race registration. FLRC members may deduct $5 only when pre-registering. No day-of-race discounts! Runners 18 and under may pre-register for free or register on the day of race for $10.
1 Mile Fun Run: Free for everyone.
- Look for ribbons marking the trail or you’ll 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.
- There are four nearby restrooms, a natural pool at the bottom of the falls, and a bathhouse with cold showers!
- Tasty post-race food and non-alcoholic drinks will be provided.
- Results will be made available shortly after the race via Webscorer; visit the FLRC Web site for full results later.
- This race is part of the Finger Lakes Trail Circuit, for all you Pebbleheads, Stoneheads, and Boulderheads.
- For remaining questions, contact race directors Emily Funk and Mickie Jauquet (firstname.lastname@example.org, 607-280-5189).
- 1 mile fun run: Awards for all kids in this run.
- 10K+: Quirky awards may or may not be given in various categories, including the Clydesdale Divisions for runners who expend more energy per mile—a too-long ignored category! (Men: 190+ lbs. Women 150+ lbs.)
A course map is available and here are textual directions.
- Run across the ballfields and around the marshy Larch Meadow Trail loop. Milers finish at the ballfield.
- 10K runners turn left and cross Sandbank Road, pass the falls, and run up the campsite road.
- Turn right onto the service trail and run uphill for about a half mile.
- Turn right at King Road, cross the bridge, and take an immediate left onto the Bear Trail.
- After almost a mile, turn right and run across the open fields.
- Pass the restrooms and go uphill to Treman Lake.
- Turn right, and run counterclockwise around the lake for about half a mile.
- Turn right on the orange-blazed spur of the Finger Lakes Trail—if you get to the lean-to you’ve gone too far!
- Turn left onto Yaple Road, and take another left at Comfort Road.
- After crossing the bridge, bear left onto the service road.
- Take a hard left back onto the trail after about a quarter mile; keep the lake on your right.
- Retrace all the trails back down to the finish line at the playground.
- No dogs, headphones, or jogging strollers. These make the race dangerous for everyone.
- The race directors reserve 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.
- This race is organized by the Finger Lakes Runners Club and insured by the Road Runners Club of America.