The best “Old School” trail race

by nomeatbarefeet

I have never participated in the TrailRunner Magazine’s Blog Symposium, but I couldn’t pass up getting my feet wet with this month’s topic.


When I think of “old-school” I think of old guys running in short shorts. I think of those ancient ways to get into the race (e.g., mail in forms or phone registration only). I also think of a low-key, welcoming atmosphere. For instance: capping the number of entrants; having to take a school bus to the start; a local band playing classic oldies; the chance to soak in a freezing river; free beer; a bar-b-que; the chance of a 12 year being the overall winner; preference to local entrants; and the chance to drink beer from a trophy-shoe…

Winner (and course record setter) of the 11.5 TIm Reynolds downing a beer from the trophy.

All of this describes The Great Adirondack Trail Race in Keene Valley, New York. The last two years I have not gotten into the 11.5er (with 2900′ of vertical gain and 3100′ of loss), instead running the 3.5 mile race (which goes up and over Baxter Mountain). Being a part of this race has been one of the most enjoyable experiences in my short running career, and I always carve out a space in my summer to head over to Keene Valley and let the Adirondack Mountains beat me up.

This year will be no different—except I will be calling a few minutes before the registration opens.