Race: Ontario Summit Trail Races (Marathon)

Runner: Jeremy L

Race Date: 06/08/2019

Location: Gannett Hill State Park

Results: 4:51:42 (4th Overall)

Strava Activity Link: https://www.strava.com/activities/2434211015

3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?

  • Beer at the finish line
  • Low key
  • Gannett Hill State Park

Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you

You basically ran 26.2 miles (well almost 27 miles) in a two mile radius. Plus two loop courses are mentally tough.
And the switchbacks… you think you’re almost to the top of the hill only to turn and head back down before switching back and climbing again.

Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?

Right before you start the last mile of the course you almost run right to the finish line before starting on another seemingly endless zigzag through the woods. You think you’re so close because you can hear the music and the people cheering, only to turn and run for another grueling mile. That and it was an 8:30 AM start (I guess they wanted you to experience the full effects of the June sun).

Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?

Finished 4th overall behind three talented runners. That and only about 60% of the runners that started the marathon finished.

Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner

This is a very technical and very hilly course. Be prepared to run endless switchbacks on single track mountain bike trails.
This was probably the most mentally challenging race I’ve ran. You think you’re close to the runner in front of you only to find out he is on his way out of a mile long switchback.

Lessons you learned that will help you next time around

Cramping is real and you need to prepare for it.

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

I may have mentioned the switchbacks. Oh and 4 miles of continuous climbing (each loop).

Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?

Some views from the top of the course but mostly buried in the NY woods.

Difficulty – Is it a tough course?

Yes… you’re probably not getting a PR on this route.

Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?

Very well ran. The beer at the finish line is from a local brewery and a volunteer was kind enough to walk around with a growler filling up your mug as you agonized over your legs twitching uncontrollably .

Competition – Is there a strong field?

The top three finishers crushed it.

Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.

No special entry requirements, but I strongly recommend staying at the gorgeous and well maintained campground the night before.

Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?

Aid stations are frequent and well stocked. Special shout out to the ladies at the aid station right before the 4 mile climb that filled my vest with ice.

Weather and typical race conditions

70s and humid.

Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next guy?

Water, lots of water.

Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?

Yes, since you don’t get any farther than 2 miles from the start/finish there is plenty of time to watch your friends/family suffer.

How’s the Swag?

Nice t-shirt and good beer. In other words, perfect.

The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?

8/10