The Escarpment Trail Run 2019

The 43rd Escarpment Trail Run, 18,7 miles, took place on July 28 with 242 runners completing this grueling event.  Lee Berube of Syracuse came in first for males 2:27:33 and Lesie O’Dell of Albany first for women with 3:29:01. 

Josh Merlis, ARE leader, made a fantastic video of the event.

Click on picture for video

Dick Vincent praised Josh for making the video and thanked him for putting in a thoughtful dedication to Rick Favier, 6 time finisher and 35 years a volunteer, and 42 years a terrific friend of the race.

The Escarpment Trail is a very rugged hiking trail in the Northern Catskill Mts. in New York State. This single track trail is very remote, crossing no roads, has a total elevation changes of nearly 10,000 feet, and all aid must be backpacked in by volunteers. This is not for your average runner but for the runner who trains 12 months a year, and has spent years building a base and gaining long distance experience. Therefore, qualifying standards are required to insure that all participants have experience with endurance events and have a reasonable chance of completing the course within 6 hours.

The trail is viewed by many as an exaggeration of the term. It is extremely rocky and a runner must expect to navigate over boulders, downed trees, gullies and hidden roots the entire distance. Contestants must be prepared to deal with any of the forest's natural barriers, such as bees, slippery rocks, porcupines, black bears (not probable, but possible) and anything else that can be found in the forests of the Catskills. There are numerous places where runners must climb hand over fist to scale a rise, conversely, extremely steep downhill sections add not only challenge to the course, but also a high degree of unwelcome danger. There are sections of the course that travel along cliffs. If you're not careful, you could fall to your death. Very few runners go the distance without taking at least one painful spill. Most runners take many. Believe me, you're going to take a flop or two, or more. Bees!!! In 1987, we ran into lots of them. If you are allergic to bee stings, you MUST run with your own medication.

THIS IS NOT A CARRIAGE is a treacherous hiking trail. There won't be a vehicle to fetch you if you should decide to quit and it is your responsibility to get to the finish line. This is not a Run-For-All and we are not trying to hype it or make it something it is not. There won't be people telling you where the trail goes, doctors to wipe your blisters, or a bus to give you a ride to the finish if you decide you can't continue. This is a wonderful run across wonderful country, a run in which we will share the experience and the friendship with those qualified runners who choose to participate. No awards, no age group categories. Just runners, mountains, and some refreshments at the finish line.. [From HMRRC Race History]

Those who run the race are called mountain goats and this year videos were taken of actual mountain goats traversing the trail.

Click on picture for video

Male Record and Most Wins
2:42:09 set by Lee Berube in 2018





Benjamin Nephew (MA/USA)

2000-2006, 2008-2011, 2014-2015


Rich Fargo (CT/USA)

1986, 1988-1991, 1994, 1996-1997


Matt Cull (VT/USA)


Female Record and Most Wins
3:07:22 set by Cassy Bradley-Byrne in 1999





Sheryl Wheeler (NY/USA)

2003-2004, 2007, 2009, 2012


Jean Kerr (NY/USA)

1985, 1987, 1989, 1991


Cassy Bradley-Byrne (PA/USA)


To register for next year’s Run, click here for info.

Website   History   Results 2019   Age Group Winners

Photos on Facebook by Doug Freese


Read up on what it's all about.

The "Boston Marathon" of Trail Runs: Amby Burfoot, 2005

Damon Douglas: In Memoriam

Tour d'Escarpment 2004: Ben Nephew

Rocks and Rolls: Stefani Jackenthal, 2003. Originally published by Attache Magazine

Best of Times, Worst of Times: Escarpment '02: Jim Dunn's reflections on Escarpment 2002

Playing Plinko at Escarpment: Steve Darrow, Sept. 2002. Originally published by the Finger Lakes Runners Club.

Rip's Revenge: Don Kardong, Runner's World, August 1995. We have reproduced this article with permission from Runner's World.

The Escarpment Trail, the Ultimate Test: an article about the first Escarpment Trail Run in 1977, by Paul Fetscher. Originally printed in Today's Jogger, Summer 1977.

Escarpment Trail Run 2002 : Carol Kane's account of the 2002 race, on the HiTek Racing site

Dick Vincent: 25 Years a Streaker: by David Blaikie (Ultramarathon World). Not about the race, but about its founder

Loading Conversation

Partner Clubs

Partner clubs offer group runs and local races to the Capital Region running community

Create Account

Log In Your Account