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The Escarpment 30k Trail Race is the type of event that doesn’t just chew you up and spit you out – exhausted, wounded and mud covered, it also points and laughs at you!  Running the extremely technical 18+ miles from Windham, NY to North Lake in Haines Falls, NY demands the ability to focus on a narrow trail 3-4 feet in front you for several hours.  Lose that focus for more than two or three seconds and it’s likely you’ll be on the ground, before you even knew you fell.  Despite one’s best effort however, the rocks and roots will still probably reach up and grab your foot at some point during the race.  Maybe you’ll fall, maybe you won’t, but you’ll probably fall.

A look at the Escarpment website and it seems that the race founder and director, Dick Vincent spends more time dissuading people from doing the race than inviting them to come attempt it.  He makes it very clear that you need to be an experienced runner with a history of trail running to toe the start line of this race, otherwise he will be pointing and laughing at you.

2013 start

2013 Start – by: Paul Mueller

This year rain was added to the mix.  The ground was fairly dry prior to race day and was able to absorb a lot of the water, so mud wasn’t a huge factor.  It was the wet, smooth rocks boulders, ledges etc. that made things a bit more interesting.  This was my second Escarpment race and despite the rain, I was able to take 6 minutes off my previous time, finishing 6th in 3:18:39.  This race remains the most challenging endurance event I’ve ever done – more mentally demanding than the VT Spartan Beast, harder than the Boston Marathon and more exhausting than a 50k x-c ski marathon.

Since the race was at the end of July, too much time had passed and I’d given up trying to put together a mile by mile race report for this year.  But then I found this race report by Kirk Kittell.  It’s a very entertaining and well written recount of the race.  It was written after the 2010 race but is fitting for any year.  Enjoy!

top of Blackhead Mtn.

Top of Blackhead Mtn. – by: Mountain Peak Fitness

Have you run the Escarpment Trail?  Or are you planning on running it for the first time?  Please share your experiences, advice or questions in the comments section below!

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