Last weekend I ran in the Old Goat Trail Run at the Ganondagan Historical Site outside Rochester. Ganondagan is the site of a Seneca settlement when the Iroquois ran western New York from the Niagara escarpment to the Hudson Valley. It was my first time to run the trails in this area and I was pretty excited. It was the first day of my summer vacation and this seemed a fun way to kick off the summer. There weren’t too may runners, a mix of casual weekend runners and about fifteen very serious trail running dudes who stuck out like twitchy greyhounds in a pack of amiable labs. I am definitely in the lab category: continually distracted and not too sure how I got to be where I was.
The trails were excellent, well-maintained with lots of little signs about different plants that I had to remind myself not to stop and read. For a compulsive reader like myself it was a bit painful. The trail ran over simple wooden bridges that traversed some boggy sections that were quite idyllic: like running through an easy obstacle course. I was tempted to snap pictures but I restrained myself because (a) I didn’t want to be that guy and (b) I was pretty sure the hardcore couple behind me would have tramped me into the bog like a squirrel on the highway.
I did pause to take a picture on one awfully steep hill about two-thirds of the way into the race (above). Everyone walked…staggered to the top.
The trail doubled back on itself so we did have the schadenfreude of smiling at the poor souls who had no idea what was coming. At the final loop there was an older guy smiling and handing out mini bottles of champagne. I hung around for a minute, considered drinking some of the champagne right there, decided against it and headed home. On the way home, I replayed some sections of the run in my head and decided what I had enjoyed most was how calm it had been. The event was small but challenging, which created much more of a “pack” mentality in the runners than in some other races I’ve done.