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+ (6.7 mile) course covers beautiful, varied terrain, including the Larch Meadow Trail, the easy Bear Trail, and the rolling Treman Lake Trail. There is one long, steep hill that climbs about 450 feet in under a mile, lending another interpretation to the race name: slow up, fast down. There are three water stops on the course, at roughly miles 2, 4,and 5.5 miles.
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.
The Tortoise & Hare Trail Runs are part of the FLRC Trail Circuit, and results are included in the annual Pebblehead/Stonehead/Boulderhead rankings.
The race is held at Buttermilk Falls State Park: 106 E Buttermilk Falls Road, Ithaca, NY 14850. The 10K+ and fun run both 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 vehicle entrance fee or present 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 fun run starts at 9:05. Please arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your race to pick up your bib.
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 race day 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 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 or Mickie Jauquet (email@example.com, 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.)
- Run across the ballfields and around the marshy Larch Meadow Trail loop. Fun runners 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 the steep uphill for about a half mile.
- Turn right at King Road, cross the bridge, and take an immediate left onto the Bear Trail. (Watch for traffic here!)
- After almost a mile, turn right and run across the open fields.
- Pass the restrooms and go up the broken asphalt path 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.
- Merge back onto the trail you previously ascended.
- Enjoy the long downhill to the end! 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.