Mountain / Ultra / Trail


2014 USATF Niagara Trail Championships

This years USATF Niagara Trail Championship will be held on July 19th, 2014 as part of the #TrailsRoc 0SPF Half Marathon. A Beautiful section of singletrack that winds thru Victor and Perintion on an out and back course through some tough elevation. You can find out more about this race and register here:

2014 USATF Niagara Ultra Series

Ultra Series

The USATF Niagara Ultra Series (formally the Western NY Ultra Series) is a collection of exciting ultramarathon in the Niagara region, both on and off road.  To compete in the series, an athlete must complete at least 2 of the following races and earn points.  Longer races earn more points and bonus points can be acquired by finishing additional races.The top male and female overall athletes and age group winners will be awarded at the completion of the series.  In addition, the Cayuga Trails 50 will serve as this year's USATF Niagara Ultra Championship and the national USATF 50 Mile Trail Championship in 2014.  With this series, USATF Niagara aims to support local ultra athletes and spread the word about ultramarathon racing.  We want to see Niagara athletes on the podium of the "home course" National Championship next year!

See the  Series Standings and Race Recaps
Join the Niagara Ultra Series Facebook Group

2014 Series Schedule:


April 13th  BPAC 6 Hour, Buffalo, NY
Start your series by seeing how far you can run in 6 hours.  Points are determined by how many laps you can do on the paved 3.25 mile course.


May 10th  Mind the Ducks 12 Hour, Webster, NY
We're welcoming MTD 12 Hour as a new series race.  Run the 1 mile loop around the ponds at North Ponds Park in Webster and see how many laps you can do in 12 hours.  


 June 1st  Cayuga Trails 50, Ithaca, NY 
**2014 USATF Niagara Ultra Championship**
**2014 USATF 50 Mile Trail Championship**
The Cayuga Trails 50 is a challenging 50 miler that takes you up and down the trails along the gorges in Ithaca. This race is also the 2014 USATF Niagara Ultra Championship and the 2014 USATF 50 Mile Trail Championship, so expect to see some of the top ultramarathoners in the nation here.  


 July 5th  Finger Lakes Fifties (50 mile and 50k), Hector, NY
Run either a 50 mile or 50k race in the Finger Lakes National Forest.  Enjoy the dirt roads and trails in the only national forest in New York.


 August 23rd  Green Lakes Endurance Runs (100k and 50k), Fayetteville, NY
Fall in love with the rolling meadows at Green Lakes State Park.  With 50 or 100k to choose from, you can’t go wrong here. 


 September 20th  Virgil Crest Ultras (100 mile, 50 mile, and 50k), Virgil, NY
Hope you love hills, because this monster is full of them.  Try the only 100 miler in the series to gain mega points, or enjoy the slightly less difficult 50 miler or 50k races.


 October, 11th  Can Lake 50 Ultras (50 mile and 50k), Canandaigua, NY
Run through wine country with these scenic road races.  The 50 miler does a full loop of Canandaigua Lake and the 50k is a point to point, but watch out for some tough climbs on both.


 November 1st  Mendon Trail Runs (50k), Pittsford, NY
Finish the season with a 5 loop trail run around the rolling eskers in Mendon Ponds.  Bring the whole family to the race so that they can enjoy a fun (non-scoring) 5k, 10k, or 20k on the trails!

2013 Niagara Ultra Series Champions

Jade Mills

How did you get into ultra running

A major goal of mine before I began running ultras was to run the Boston Marathon, which I did in 2010. Afterward, I felt that the only direction for marathon running was to focus on getting faster, and that made me more weary than motivated. I wanted a new challenge. I had been asked so many times "how far can you run?" At that point it was officially 26.2 miles, but I knew I could run farther than that. I don't think I even knew what ultra running (as a sport) was then, but being from the Syracuse area, I knew about the Green Lakes Endurance Runs. So I signed up for the 50K and that was it - I started my journey to discover just how far I can run. Still figuring it out.

What was your first ultra

2010 GLER 50K

Favorite Ultra memory

So many! I was running the Can Lake 50-miler, with my husband pacing me. I had officially decided that I hated ultras on roads as we made our way to the Arnold Road aid station around 43 miles in. I was feeling pretty cranky, shuffling uphill, wondering when the hell the aid station was going to show up. Finally there it was! I spontaneously started singing "Celebration" by Kool & The Gang because I was so happy. My husband started singing with me. Just when I thought it couldn't get any better - there were Oreos at the aid station.

Best ultra experience

Again, so many to pick from! I would have to say Mendon Ponds 50K 2013. I admit I ran it to secure the women's championship title, but it was a whole culmination of things that makes it stand out. I ran really steady splits for a good overall time. My husband ran it too, his first ultra. He finally got to wear a real bib instead of the pacer's bib. We ran together for the first 3 laps until I went ahead. Then, he made a new friend from a fellow 50K runner, and they ran most of the remaining miles together. I was so happy for him, because that's how it works with ultras - you always make new friends during the race to keep you company. I also got to see friends like Sandy Mustico and Joel Cisne. There are a lot of wonderful folks who I only see at races, so it is always a nice reunion. In short, it was a shining example of why I love ultra running, and how I have come so far from my first race when I knew nothing and no one.

Worst ultra experience

I posted a DNF at my first 100K attempt, and that put me in a funk for months afterward. It was during Hurricane Irene. I was running in the pouring rain with horrible trail conditions and an injured Achilles' tendon. I dropped out at 50K. It is still the only race I have not finished, but there will probably be more so I guess it is just one of those lessons you have to learn.

Favorite race and why

Finger Lakes 50s 50-miler. Volunteers are awesome, the course is beautiful, you can make up silly songs about not letting the cows out, and the overall atmosphere is ultra fantastic. Also, toward the end of the loop you run by a bunch of wooden posts with descending numbers on them. It always makes me think of  "The Final Countdown" by Europe and it cheers me up when I have a good song to sing.

Future ultra plans

The big one for 2014 is to run my first 100-miler at Virgil Crest.  I will be back at FL 50s. Otherwise, nothing is set in stone yet for this year. Ultimately, I want to run Western States.

Anything else?

One of my toughest training moments was when I was running a 26-miler to cap off a 100-mile week. I was exhausted, mentally and physically. About 7 miles in, I had a mini-breakdown where I just sat down on the trail and had a good cry. Then I heard people coming and didn't want them to see me is such a pathetic state so I got up and moved on. I was still blubbering for another couple miles until I was too weary to continue crying. So I just kept running and got in my miles.

And thus I discovered my training mantra, with a little help from "Finding Nemo": When life gets you down, just keep swimming. When ultras get you down, just keep running.

Cole Crosby

How did you get into ultra running

It was actually by accident. I was running and training with a post-colligiate marathon group out in Oklahoma where I went to school and had been doing shorter trail runs. I had the interest to run ultras and I felt if I could run a marathon that a 50k (approx. 31 miles) did not seem so terrible.  I ran my first 50k before my first marathon.  I ran the White Rock 50k up in the Boston Mountains near Fayetteville, Arkansas and ran a course record of 3:53 which I think still stands to this day. I ran the whole race in a pair of minimal zero drop shoes and had calf spasms from mile 18 on. I held on for dear life and was hooked.

What was your first ultra

White Rock 50k! I still have the winner's award in my kitchen, a hand-crafted dinner plate with a picture of the scenic outlook at the turn-around of the race. It was a great first race and from that point on, I began to hone my strengths in ultras.

Favorite Ultra memory

As of now I would say the Can-Lake 50 record from this year. I ran with my Wal-mart watch, ran with a great competitor, Daven Oskvig, and ran the best race of my life to date. It is amazing running a race primarily on feel without having to look at a GPS watch every mile down the road.  I highly recommend training by feel. This race really opened up my eyes to what I can do and where I can go with my running.

Best ultra experience

I would say the Cayuga Trails 50 has been my favorite ultra experience. It was my first high profile ultra and running with such solid competition and mixing it up with the top men in the country with a badly twisted ankle at mile 18 really showed me that I could be a solid 50 mile performer.

Worst ultra experience

24 the Hard Way 6 hour time limit race in Oklahoma City. I ran the trail version and puked my guts out 4 hours in. I had no idea how to hydrate and use nutrition during the race. Four hours in I had consumed a ton of Lemon-Lime Gatorade, one sugar cookie, and a handful of M&Ms. Clearly that was not enough to sustain a proper finish. The race temps were above 85 degrees which was probably a reason I tanked and napped for 45 minutes towards the end of the race. First ultra experience

Favorite race and why

I love snowshoe racing so any snowshoe race. Highland Forest has an amazing 10k course and I highly recommend it this year to qualify for nationals. It has ups and downs, wide trails and single track. Snowshoe running is so much fun and hard work!

Future ultra plans

I have to get my big races scheduled but I have plans to race Lake Sonoma 50 in April or Mad City 100k depending on which one I can get into, the Cayuga Trails 50 in June, the Tussey Mountainback 50 in October and the JFK 50 in November. Other races of interest: ADK 80k, Manitou's Revenge, StoneCat Ale 50 miler, Adirondack Marathon, Finger Lakes 50k, Vermont 50.

Weekly mileage

After the Mendon 50k, I took some down time to relax. I am just beginning to build my mileage back to 80/90 miles a week. I prefer that level of mileage toping at near 100 at a big base period. Quality over quantity!

Anything else?

I am currently the lone representative for the outdoor company Mammut's MTR (Mountain/Trail Running) line of footwear and apparel. It is a dream come true and I am really excited about what 2014 holds for myself and the company as we work to expand the line. My other sponsors: Acidotic Racing, Fits socks, Karhu/Craft, and Dion Snowshoes provide me with great support and they deserve some credit for where I am today and where I might be headed. If you get the chance, check out these awesome companies! They make some great stuff!

2013 Trail Championships Report

Get ready for the USATF Niagara 8 Mile Trail Championships!  For the second year in a row, the championships will be held in conjunction with the Mendon Mauler 8 Mile Trail Race at Mendon Ponds Park in Mendon, NY on Saturday June 1st.  The following prize money is up for grabs:

1st M/F: $100
2nd M/F: $75
3rd M/F: $50
1st Master M/F: $50

You must be a USATF Niagara member to be eligible for prizes and there's no double dipping for masters.  In addition, we are offering a $100 stipend to the top USATF male and female runners if they attend the USATF National 10k Trail Championships on June 29th in Beech Mountain, NC (race details).

2013 Ultra Championships Report

The inaugural USATF Niagara Ultra Championships will be held at the Cayuga Trails 50.  This 50 mile race course climbs the gorges around the town of Ithaca, and it will be a challenging and competitive race.  This race will also be the 2014 USATF National 50 Mile race, and we hope to see strong representation from local runners at this race next year.  The following prize money is offered for the 2013 USATF Niagara Championships:

1st M/F: $100
1st Master M/F: $50

Note: only current USATF Niagara members are eligible for prize money.

About MUT
The mountain, ultra, and trail (MUT) disciplines feature some of the more extreme events in competitive running. The Niagara region has a dedicated group of runners competing in MUT races, and participation is growing nationwide. The epic races held under this banner bring out runners in search of a challenge beyond traditional running. You may learn something about yourself while slogging through muddy trails, ascending above the tree line, or by continuing to run past the point where most others would be exhausted.
Mountain races are held on uphill courses or loops of uphill and downhill on mountain toll roads, trails, or ski slopes.  While there are no mountain events held in the Niagara region, there have been several standout competitors from our region.  In 2012, Tim Chichester of Mount Morris, NY made the US Mountain Running Team and helped that team to a 4th place finish.  Ryan Pauling of Rochester, NY was a member of the US Mountain Running Team at the 2001 and 2005 World Championships. Junior runners Christian Thompson of Candor, NY and Zach Rivers of Victor, NY were representatives of the US Team at the 2005/2007 and 2006/2007 World Junior Championships respectively. 
Ultramarathon events are held on the trails and roads within the Niagara region. These events are comprised of distances longer than the marathon, with several popular choices being the 50 kilometer, 50 mile, 100 kilometer, 100 mile, and 24 hour races. Racing ultramarathons requires a solid training plan, a knowledge of refueling strategies, and the determination to keep the body moving long after exhaustion sets in.  
Trail races are the fastest growing MUT discipline with many events and series held within the Niagara region. Trail races take advantage of the fantastic trail systems located in our region and race distances can be as short as 5k and as long as an ultramarathon. Trail races feature combinations of single track, hiking trails, and forest roads. Terrain can be variable, although many trail races favor steep climbs and difficult descents.  

 The MUT Chair is currently vacated. If you are interested in learning more about the position and how you can help to increase the exposure of Mountain, Ultra, and Trail running in the USATF Niagara Association, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information. Membership with USATF Niagara is necessary to be chair.
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Contact Us

David Reinhardt
Association President
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