DeRuyter, NY Race Report

Date: August 11, 2011

Distance: 13.1 miles

Time: 2:20:something

This race, the Tromptown Run, was unlike any other. Most of the races I run include thousands of participants, huge pre-race expos, early morning starts, finisher medals, and the necessary protocols required to keep such large events organized and running smoothly.

Not this one.

This race included fewer than 200 participants and packet pickup consisted of going into the local school gym and finding your race number on the cafeteria-style tables. No goodie bags, no shirts (unless you pre-ordered and pre-paid for one), and everything was run by one man who seemed a bit disorganized and confused about how things were to go. Medals were only given out to top finishers in each division, and the race included two start times–the “real” 6:15 p.m. start time for the legitimate runners (those expecting to finish in less than two hours)–and an early start time of 5:30 for the two dozen of us wannabes who knew that was too lofty a goal.

The REAL runners got official chip timing and got to run to the finish line through the finish line marker. The rest of us were hand-timed (not very accurately) by our slightly-gruff race director, were not allowed to run through the official finish line, and appeared to have an informal finish line about fifty feet in front of (and off to the side from) the official finish line.

Still, despite all of that, I rank this race as one of my all-time favorites.

The course was beautiful. We started in the small town of DeRuyter–population 1200-ish. The race route took us quickly out of town, past corn fields, cow pastures, horses, and barns as we made our way towards DeRuyter Lake. For four or five miles we ran around the lake at dusk with calm winds, gently rolling hills, and a perfect temperature. Because so few people were running, Denise and I felt as though just the two of us were out for a quiet evening run.

Jake, Denise and Mike’s twelve-year-old, also ran this race, but quickly sprinted ahead of us right at the beginning. Mike and their other son, served as the perfect cheerleaders and were able to meet us at various points all along the course to make sure we had lots of encouragement and any needed supplies along the way.

Even though we had just run a race four days earlier, we felt good. A bit tired, sure, but good.

At about mile ten, the “real” runners started passing us. We were amazed at how fast some of these folks were. Those who placed in the tops of their divisions ran the race in under 1:20 or 1:30. Amazing.

The finish line was located at the fairgrounds and the race is one of the many events scheduled to commemorate the “Firefighter’s Fair.” We sampled watermelon once we finished and then meandered through food booths and past rides, games, and even a juggler on stilts.

For my post race meal, I chose a fried fish sandwich and fries–leaving the cotton candy, snow cones,  and fried dough for another day.

Since our hotel choices in DeRuyter were minimal or non-existent, we are staying in the Brae Loch Inn–fifteen miles away in another quaint town–Cazanovia, NY.

Thank you to Hank the bartender, who informed us that we were lucky to be staying in rooms 21 and 22 since those are not the haunted rooms. He went on to tell us about his ghostly encounters at the Inn and told us that the television show “Ghost Hunters” even filmed an episode on the premises. (I learned later, the television show was actually “CNY Spirits” and you can find it on YouTube–episode 7).

Last night I slept with the light on.

After a week filled with adventure, I am looking forward to getting back to my family, getting back to work, and sleeping in my own, ghost-free room.

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