Borrowing from the fable, Tortoise & Hare is a race for the slow and the fast—victory lies in finishing. Our closest trail race to Ithaca, this is a good introduction to both trail running and local trails, while Buttermilk Falls provides a spectacular backdrop. The 10K+ (6.7-mile) course covers beautiful, varied terrain, including the easy Larch Meadow Trail, the semi-technical 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—up slow, down fast.
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.
For those participating in the FLRC Challenge, its Tortoise & Hare course is a subset of the full in-person race course. As such, you can submit your time for the FLRC Challenge portion of the course as an effort—perhaps a particularly fast one!—in the Challenge.
Tortoise & Hare is 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 start is at the lower park’s ballfield, on the side of Sandbank Road opposite the playground.
Parking is available, but be prepared to pay the $9.00 vehicle entrance fee or present an Empire Pass. This is important—park personnel will ticket cars parked illegally! It’s possible to park for free less than half a mile away, at the little mall on Route 13 east of the park.
The race starts at 9:00 AM. Please arrive at least 30 minutes early to pick up your bib.
- Online registration is required and is open until 6:00 PM on June 5, the night before the race. There is no race day registration. Registration is capped at 100 participants.
- 10K+ registration is $15 and FLRC members may deduct $5. Runners 18 and under may register for free.
- Run across the ballfields and around the marshy Larch Meadow Trail loop.
- Leave the field to cross Sandbank Road, pass the playground, cross the foot bridge,run past the falls, ascend the paved campsite road.
- Turn right onto the unpaved 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 asphalt path to Treman Lake.
- Keep 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 road 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 and cross over the newly rebuilt stone footbridge.
- 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.
- During registration, runners are required to agree to our COVID-19 race safety guidelines.
- There are nearby restrooms and a bathhouse with cold showers!
- Bottled water and pre-packed food will be available to all runners post-race.
- Results are available live during 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 director Mickie Jauquet (email@example.com, 607-280-5189).
- Look for flags and arrows 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 all possible hazards.
- 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.