Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Gore Mountain Leaf Cruncher 5K: 09/21/2014
Not too many leaves got crunched in Sunday’s Leaf Cruncher 5k trail race at Gore as there’s just a bit of color and so far all the leaves are still on the trees. And with temperatures in the low 70s, fall seemed pretty far away.
The course was altered this year to eliminate some of the more difficult trail segments, substituting a long lap through the parking lots past lift towers and other components staged for the new Adirondack Express II high speed quad chairlift. As a result of the easier course, I took more than two minutes off my time from last year.
The first part of the course – through the parking lots and then down the Cedars connector trail – is flat to downhill. I knew the leaders went out fast, but when I went through the 1-mile mark at 6:45 and couldn’t even see the 3 guys ahead of me, I knew a top 3 finish for me was out of the question.
Like last year, only about 2 dozen runners competed. As luck would have it, the fastest runners were all in my “old guy” division (results here). So even though I came in 5th overall, I was 4 back in my division (the first place woman also came in ahead of me).
Also like last year, Gore provided a bunch of nice prizes. Beth came in first in her division and won a lift ticket for this winter. It’s too bad this race isn’t more popular – it’s fun, well supported, and the awards are great. I’d like to see the course return to a version similar to last year’s race (more trails, eliminate the parking lot lap), but I guess I can understand Gore wanting to show off the new chairlift.
It was cool seeing the progress on the new Adirondack Express II high speed quad. The new lift will be faster and smoother than the 30+ year old old high speed triple chair that it is replacing. As of race day it appears most of the tower foundations are in place and the terminal foundations are being prepared. Lift towers will be flown into place later this fall, and the lift should debut sometime early in the 2014-15 winter season. I know one guy who’s gonna be fighting for first chair!