Marathon


Link is live as of 12pm. Tracking screen will simply be a dot at the middle of a map until race begins at 1pm.

Brent’s First Marathon

Saturday, October 24   1pm to ~5pm

Fairport to Genesee Valley Park via the Erie Canal Trail

For just shy of a year I’ve been training for the Niagara Falls International Marathon, my first marathon. It begins in the US, crosses the Rainbow Bridge and concludes in Canada – a really cool setting for a grueling challenge. Training is an experience full of highs and lows. Some days I feel great and running seems effortless. Other days I’m sore, tired, and cranky and getting through a run feels terrible. Nevertheless, by June of this year I began to feel confident that I could not only finish the race, but meet my goal of finishing in under four hours. Unfortunately that is the same month I learned that the race has had to be canceled due to the closure of the US-Canada border and concerns about COVID-19.

I was terribly disappointed that the race had been canceled, but my training had some amount of inertia at that point. The same day I learned of the cancellation I found myself out on a run wondering what I was training for. So I decided then that I would run my marathon anyway. I’ve selected a course along the Erie Canal Trail from Fairport into and around parts of Rochester and I plan to run it myself on Saturday, October 24.

Click to expand.

In mentioning the plan to a few among my beloved FBC family, several have asked how they might support me in my quest. I’m deeply touched by those requests and since I’ll be running alone, I’ll take all the support I can get. Christopher Oaks has even put his own time and effort on the line by offering lots of coaching during my training, joining me for a grueling run at a particularly critical stage of training, and offering to run part of the marathon with me. I’m grateful to Christopher and to others who have offered your support. And yes, even if running along isn’t in the cards for you, you can still support. You can track me as I run and cheer me on from wherever you’ll be that day using a computer or other device, you can join me at the starting line as I warm up and set out, cheer me on along the route, or meet me and others for a masked and social distanced celebration at the finish line in Genesee Valley Park. Here are the details:

Tracking Along

Thanks to the magic of GPS you can track along or even just check in on me digitally during the run. On the day of the race come back to this page and click the “Track Brent” button. You’ll be taken to a page where you’ll see my current whereabouts, progress track, and race statistics.

Link is live as of 12pm. Tracking screen will simply be a dot at the middle of a map until race begins at 1pm.

Cheering Along the Course

I would love to see you along the route here and there, but that will require you find your way to some location along the way. Here I’ll describe the route and give a few “timing points” along the way. You don’t necessarily need to meet me at these places, but they should help you approximate the time I should be passing through. While you’re welcome to catch me along the way anywhere at any time, it would be particularly fun to see you at the finish in Genesee Valley Park, a location I’ll be passing through multiple times. See below to find the best place and time for you.

Course Overview

The course begins on the Erie Canal Trail, which it follows southwest through Bushnell’s Basin, turns northwest through the Village of Pittsford, through Brighton, and on to Genesee Valley Park in Rochester. At Genesee Valley Park I continue for westward on the Canal Trail for 2 miles before doubling back past the park and heading toward Corn Hill via the Genesee River Trail. In Corn Hill I’ll double back once more and re-enter Genesee Valley Park at roughly mile 25. The last 1.2 miles will be spent lapping GVP.

The chart below shows a few points along the route and the estimated time I’m likely to be there. I’m aiming for a 9 minute, 10 second per mile pace, but I’ve given a window of time for each point in the event I’m either behind or ahead of pace.

Timing Points

The Start: Canal Trail in Fairport

Mileage Window

0 miles

Arrival Time Window

12:30 (warm up) – 1:00 pm (race start)

Nearest Physical Address

7 Liftbridge Lane

The race begins in Fairport next to the canoe/kayak rental shack at the junction of Lift Bridge Lane and the Canal Trail. The race formally begins at 1:00pm, but I’ll be there warming up and getting focused at 12:30pm. You’re welcome to join me during this time, but since that could be a congregating point, please keep social distance and wear a mask.

Great Embankment Park

Mileage Window

4.75 miles through 5 miles

Arrival Time Window

1:41pm – 1:47pm

Nearest Physical Address

631 Marsh Rd.

From the parking area make your way past the soccer fields to the canal trail.

Schoen Place, Pittsford

Mileage Window

6.5 miles to 7 miles

Arrival Time Window

1:56pm – 2:04pm

Nearest Physical Address

Schoen Place, Pittsford

Park anywhere you can find a place and head down to the canal trail. The trail is wide and busy through this “boardwalk” area, so I’ll try to stay close to the canal as to be easy to find.

Lock 33

Mileage Window

9.8 miles

Arrival Time Window

2:25pm – 2:33pm

Nearest Physical Address

1159 Edgewood Ave.

There is a small parking lot that usually has available space right off Edgewood Avenue. While I’ll probably run right through that lot I may have my eyes out for traffic coming and going. A safer place to try to see each other would be a short walk to the west next to Lock 33 along the trail.

Genesee Valley Park

(First Pass Through)

Mileage Window

13.5 miles to 13.9 miles

Arrival Time Window

2:58pm – 3:12pm

Nearest Physical Address

Park Entrance: Elmwood Rd. & Moore Rd.

I’ll be entering the park at the southeast corner and running the canal trail along the south border of the park then rounding the corner of the trail to exit the park on the foot bridge across the Genesee River.

Canal Trail and River Trail Junction

Mileage Window

17.9 miles

Arrival Time Window

3:36pm – 3:50pm

Nearest Physical Address

Park Entrance: Elmwood Rd. & Moore Rd.

This one isn’t actually in the  park, but is best accessed from the park. I’ll be passing back by almost exactly 4 miles after I pass through the first time. I will run past the junction of the Erie Canal and Genesee River Trails, which is just the other side of the footbridge on the north side of GVP.

Plymouth Gardens Apartments

Mileage Window

23.1 miles

Arrival Time Window

4:22pm – 4:39pm

Nearest Physical Address

Park Entrance: Elmwood Rd. & Moore Rd.

These apartments are directly across the street from the trail and appear to have a visitor parking lot that could be utilized for a short time.

Genesee Valley Park

(For the Finish)

Mileage Window

24.25 miles to 26.2 miles

Arrival Time Window

4:32pm – 5:08pm

Nearest Physical Address

Park Entrance: Elmwood Rd. & Moore Rd.

I’ll finish in Genesee Valley Park. Because this race will be distanced by GPS there will not be a particular finish line. I’ll be done when my GPS tracker tells me I’ve hit 26.2. I am planning to finish with the last couple of miles coming by laps in the park. I believe the finish will come somewhere in the vicinity of the shelter closest to the junction of the river and the canal.

Thank you for considering supporting me! If you need help with any of these things don’t hesitate to give me a call before the day of the race.