Cayuga Trails 50 – Success!


Yesterday had an unusual start. I had my alarm set for 3:15am, but at 2:58am – BOOM! Lightning struck a tree in my yard and set off my neighbors house alarm. I didn’t need that extra 15 minutes of sleep anyhow…

I left for the race at 4am, as planned. When I got on the highway, there was fog. So much fog. Fortunately, I still made it to the race with time to spare. I ran into some friends – Michele, Laura and Tim – and we all wished each other well.

At the start, it was about 60 degrees. It was humid but not raining. The horn sounded and we were off!

I ran the first 10 miles or so with Brian Rusiecki. He’s an experienced runner and I knew he would set a solid pace. At some point, I decided I was moving a little too quickly. I let Brian go, and a short while later I caught up with Daven Oskvig. He’s another solid runner and the pace was just right. However, at some point, he picked things up and I let him go too. The field had really thinned out by this point, and I knew I’d be running much of the remainder of the race alone.


I wanted to hit the halfway mark around 3:40 to 3:45 – boom! I hit it in 3:42 and I felt pretty decent. I switched out my bottles, had a bite to eat and took off again. You can never think too far ahead in a 50-mile race, but at this point, I remember thinking everything was clicking.

I was taking in about 300 to 350 calories per hour. I was staying hydrated. I was running up all but the steepest climbs… Since the course was set up as an out and back, you got to pass runners coming in the opposite direction. It was great to lend encouragement along the way.


It rained on and off throughout the day which made the course somewhat muddy. Around 1:00PM (mile 45 for me), it started pouring buckets. In a short period, the course turned into a mudfest.

My big goal was to break eight hours. From mile 37.5 on, I knew it was going to be close. I decided to keep doing what I was doing until the top of Lucifer’s stairs and then reevaluate. I hit the top of the stairs and nothing had changed – I knew it was going to be close. I started pushing through the pouring rain. I flew through the last aid station. Somewhere behind me, a volunteer urged caution on the wet stairs.

I kept accelerating toward the finish. My last four miles were 9:03, 9:12, 7:51 and 6:38. Sure enough, I managed to break eight hours! My final time was 7 hours, 58 minutes and change. That was good enough for 13th overall. Also, I snagged a shiny little medal for a top-ten USATF finish.


Top Three Men:

1) Mario Mendoza
2) Jared Burdick
3) Tyler Sigl

Top Three Women:

1) Amanda Basham
2) Jackie Palmer
3) Liz Gleason

Big shout-out to Megan, Norah, Jared, Kate, Suzie, Thad and Andrew for spectating and lending support. Another big shout-out to Laura, Michele, Jared, Fred, Joe and anyone else I missed on great races. Finally, a huge “thank you” to the race volunteers. It basically rained the entire day and it wasn’t exactly warm. We may have been suffering through 50 miles, but it certainly wasn’t a picnic for them either!

I will have the results of the Cayuga Trails Giveaway Contest up shortly!