Today (Sunday the 31st) was the 40th running of the Escarpment 18.6 Mile Trail Run. The race takes place in the North Eastern section of the Catskill Mountains of New York and begins on Route 23, before the Escarpment Trail (Blue Blaze) climbs Windham High Peak (3,524 ft).
The trail then makes a dash to the adventurous climb of Blackhead Mountain (3,940 ft, mile 9.1) before it winds itself through Dutcher's Notch aid station and then Stoppel Point, but not before passing an airplane that crashed on May, 26th 1983.
The plane was a Piper PA-28 (N1316T) and it seems that the pilot flew on a day that many pilots recommended him not to because of the poor visibility and a hard rain; common conditions the runners face year in and year out during the run. This is only 1 of the many small plane crashes in the Catskill Mountains of New York.
North Point aid station is up next at mile 15, offering an expansive view, with the North South Lake becoming visible but only on a good day, which is becoming rare for the running of Escarpment. North South Lake is mile 18.6 and hosts the finish line, which takes a lot of grit and determination to get there!
Today we had pouring rain and slick conditions, but with the hearty souls that toed the line and the volunteers the braved the conditions, the 40th running of the Escarpment Trail Race was an epic success!
This race embodies the community aspect of trail running, it's pretty much an annual family reunion! Thank you Dick Vincent (RD) and Volunteers for continuing the tradition of this legendary race!
The MPF RNR team had amazing performances today, taking the top 3 spots on the podium, Jan Welford with the win, Ben Nephew placing 2nd and joining the 300 mile club with his 17th finish and Matthias Lipsey came in strong for 3rd place!
Kehr Davis won her 2nd consecutive Escarpment Trail Run in a time of 3:34! Laura Kline was 2nd and Sheryl Wheeler came in 3rd! Also, a big congratulations to all MPF clients and everyone who braved the elements today! We look forward to seeing you next year!
Photos: MPF Elizabeth Azze