Just a quick plug for A Dam Good Trail Run in Letchworth State Park. In a word: Sweet! In another word: Runnable! And one more: Wet and Muddy (ok, that's two, even I can count--but they go together really well in this case).
This was a simply awesome trail run. Second year. Well-organized grassroots affair with not quite 100 runners--little smaller than the first year. Starts and finishes next to the Mt. Morris dam on the Genesee River. About 99.9% singletrack, part of the Finger Lakes Trail, with the rest being short stints across grass (and a few feet across the asphalt parking lot as you come out of the woods and head to the finish--but if you're careful, you could even avoid that). Lollipop course, with three aid stations, the first two of which you hit both going out and coming back. And if you carried your own water, you got a 22 second deduction off your final time (why 22?...because it was run on Aug 22...)
No killer hills, but plenty of up & down through several small creeks. Some rocks. Some roots. And this day--plenty of mud from heavy rain overnight and lingering showers in the morning. Lots of groove & flow. Lots. Not to mention slip and slide. What a blast!
Before the race: organic cotton race shirts and cloth goody bags--thankfully without tiny rice packets, lip balm, or little jars of sugar-free jelly. In fact, there was nothing in them...perfect!
After the race: plenty of good pizza, fruit, and baked goods. Quick results. Age group awards and lots of random drawings. I ran 2:21ish, which I was happy with--first time I've run hard in weeks, as I've just been running volume to get ready for the Monster Marathon and my two 50 milers this fall. Felt great to blow out the pipes a bit (if you can call 10 minute miles "blowing out the pipes"...)
I couldn't recommend this race more highly. Be sure to check it out if you're in the area next August. And in the meantime...Go Run In The Woods!