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Great Race Course Overviews

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Traditional course

Or the Original Course, or the Long Course, follows essentially the same format and distances that date back to the beginning of The Great Race.

All races will begin at the sound of the start cannon. The running portion is a measured 10 kilometer loop over slightly rolling terrain with a half mile long slight down hill section just before the finish line. After leaving East Lake Road and Emerson Park, the race proceeds on Rte 38A toward Auburn. The course is well marked and stationed with volunteers to guide the way. A course map is available here. Be aware that at about the 1.5 mile point, the 5k runners will turn left onto First Ave. parting ways with the 10 runners who turn right. The course continues through the streets of Auburn and eventually the race continues south on Rte. 38A and finishes at the same point as the start.

The cycling course is a challenging and hilly loop type course in the Town of Owasco. Cyclists will head south on Rte. 38A (aka East Lake Road), turn right on Valentine Road, turn left on Harter Road, left on Twelve Corners Road. The bikers will proceed accross Rte 38A to North Road and turn left on Swartout Road (which includes the somewhat famous "Three Bears"), and finally, turn right on Rte. 38A and hammer back home to the exchange area. Note - Sometimes last minutes changes are often made due to local road construction projects. You can check the web page for updates.

In the exchange zone, one member of the canoe team will receive the handoff from the biker and then run to the canoe area at the foot of Owasco Lake (Tandem bikers rack their bikes and run to the canoe zone). By this time the canoe (and canoe partner) should be waiting there. This segment is on an out and back 4 mile course. The outbound and inbound portions are separated by large buoys. There is one clockwise turn. The finish line is in front of Deauville Island. If a canoe team has poor vision and cannot see the finish line banner, they can always line up on the striped top of the central tent to find the way.

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Short Course

In 1995, the Short Course was added, with each segment being half of the distance involved in the longer Traditional Race. This race is a wonderful opportunity for beginners and those who do not feel up to the rigors or training necessary to compete in the longer event. However, this race has itself attracted a number of very competitive teams.

The 5 kilometer run portion of this race begins with the same cannon blast as the Traditional Race along with the 10k runners. The course is well marked and stationed with volunteers to guide the way. A course map is available here. Be aware that at about the 1.5 mile point, the 5k runners will turn left onto First Ave. parting ways with the 10 runners who turn right. After the split, the runners turn left once more back onto Rte. 38A and head for the finish. The finish will be back where they started at Emerson Park. The course is fairly flat with a slight uphill (on French Ave) going out, and downhill and flat on the way back.

The cycling course, slightly more than 10 miles, is on a rolling loop type course in the Town of Owasco. Cyclists will head south on Rte. 38A (aka East Lake Road), turn left on Martin Road, turn left on Swartout Road (which includes only the "baby" of the somewhat famous "Three Bears"), and finally, turn right on Rte. 38A for the return home. After completing the course, cyclists return to the exchange area on East Lake Road.

One member of the canoe team then runs through Emerson Park to the foot of Owasco Lake. The canoe course begins from the shore of Deauville Island. The course is 2 miles in length and is out and back. It includes a right hand turn at the mid point. The outbound and inbound portions are separated by large buoys. To the best of our knowledge there are no hills. If a canoe team cannot see the finish line banner in front of Deauville Island, they should line up on the striped central tent and paddle like crazy. You'll see the finish line soon enough.

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Kids' fun run

A fun run for kids, about one mile in length will be conducted along with the start of the traditional and short course running races. This is free to all kids who wish to participate.

The fun run will be started at the same time as the start of the run for the traditional and short course races. Participating kids will start from a point well behind the main starting group. This will give them a sense of the excitement without putting them in danger of being overrun by bigger, faster, and stronger runners.

Those who wish to participate need no race number. All finishers will receive a partipant's ribbon. Parents who wish to run with their children are welcome to join in.

Those kids who wish to participate should report, shortly before 9:30 AM to a sign about 50 yards south of the main starting banner on East Lake Road. They will be formed up by Greg Stowell and Tim Walczyk, who are in charge of this portion of the events.

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