Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Latergram: A Retrospective Look at the 2016 Breakneck Point Trail Runs

Looking back toward early 2016, I realized I never wrote any kind of a race report about the Breakneck Point Trail Runs back in April. By now, seven months later, my foggy memory will have distorted the experience more than a heavily filtered Instagram post. When registration went for Breakneck 2017 went live a few weeks ago, it was a stark reminder of just how incredible that course is and how enjoyable the marathon was this year. It was by far the "longest" marathon I've done, and the only one that crams 10,000 feet of vertical into 26.2 miles. (There's also a half marathon option.) Rather than write an
erroneous race report, I've decided to just post a bunch of the pictures I took from race weekend. Enjoy!

The first few are from a hike the day before, near the east bank of the Hudson River, directly across from Storm King State Park.

In the evening, Adam and I did a short hike up and down Mount Beacon. The marathon would climb the same steep trail around mile 22. The climb is something like 1,000 feet in a mile, and has no cover from the trees. Adam warned me it would crowded with hikers when I arrived here during the race. It was helpful to know ahead of time what lay in store before the finish line.

At the start of the race, the course seemed to ascend gradually as the crowd thinned out over the wider section of trail. Things were only mildly congested when the group I was in reached the lumpy, rocky singletrack.

Just before the 7 a.m. start.
After a half mile of paved road, about eight miles in, the course suddenly turns up a rock scramble. Halfway up the near vertical section I could hear the droning of a bagpipe. Atop the ridge stood a lone bagpiper in a kilt and full Irish regalia, belting out what sounded like funeral music as we nearly killed ourselves reaching the top of the scramble, high above the banks of the Hudson.

I think this was from the rock scramble up Breakneck Ridge, but I'm not sure. 
The scramble.

PC: Mountain Peak Fitness

I spent several miles running with Rusty, another Ithaca guy. PC: Mountain Peak Fitness

The next several shots I took myself, but I can't remember where along the course they came from.

Finishers award - A sugar cookie with an image from the race course. 

Here's a race video from Red Newt Racing:

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