The race begins at SUNY Adirondack, works its way to the Warren County Bikepath and ends at Battle Field Park in Lake George. Rolling course with a long down hill finish.
This is the first year for this 15k race. It replaces one of my favorite races – Adirondack Distance Run (10 miler). That was the one that starts in Lake George Village and ends in a park on the lake next to the marina where we keep our boat.
I was very disappointed that they cancelled this race. (After 40 years, they decided that it was dangerous to run on the road.)
My friend Sue and I have had many running adventures together:
Since Sue was the organizer of this new race, I felt that I should at least run it the first year.
In preparation for this race, I actually got in some long weekend runs.
The biggest challenge probably would be the hills. I knew that it would be hilly but I wasn’t sure how hilly. And we all know that I do not train on hills or do hill repeats. (Hopefully, there would be some muscle memory from those Prospect Park hills a few weeks ago.)
We have had some perfect racing weather but for this race, the forecast was for HOT. I mean, real hot!
Anyway, I had no goals besides finishing unhurt. I haven’t run many 15ks and my PR is from 2015 (1:31:25) but with the hot weather, I planned to be cautious.
There were four water stops along the route: one at mile 2 (which served runners on the way in and out) and then along the bike path at approximately miles 4.2, 6.2 and 8. I would be stopping at each one and hoped that this would be enough.
Due to work, rain and other factors, I had not run since Tuesday. Fresh legs is always good, right?
So what to wear? As little as possible. I even skipped my usual compression socks.
My new running shoes went on their maiden voyage (because they matched lol)
The race started at 8 am which seemed fine until this heat wave arrived. I left around 6:15 am since I had over an hour drive. The race began at a college so there were real bathrooms and comfortable places to hang out before the race.
In lieu of a medal, each runner received a car magnet and a tech shirt (blue must be the color of the year).
None of my close running friends were running the race but I was surprised at how many runners I did know. I hung out with them until the race began.
Yes, that was the start line. No chip timing for this race.
I lined up with some friends but unfortunately not as close to the start as I should have.
So here’s how the race went: (The photos are courtesy D. Yeaton)
Miles 1-3: 9:30, 9:38, 9:56
I had no idea what the course was like. There was no elevation chart and that was probably a good thing. As I mentioned, I expected hills. I mean, it’s the Adirondacks so it is hilly everywhere.
One of the volunteers we passed said “Enjoy the roller coaster!” Yup, huge hills…up and down. Just past the water stop at mile 2, you turned around and repeated those crazy hills.
I started slowly and tried to run up them. After two hills, I realized that that was a mistake, I just walked up them. No sense killing my legs. I ran most of the race around the same women. Piggybacking with them. They ran slowly and passed me on the hills and I got closer to them on the downhill and sometimes even passed them.
Miles 4-6: 10:00, 9:59,11:29
After the first 5K, we headed to the bike path. The steep hills disappeared but it was a steady incline. I kept hoping for a downhill but it never happened (until mile 7). At least, most of the path was shady.
At the next water stop, I decided to take a GU. Well, see my time for that mile, this was a GU disaster. It was so warm that the gel had melted and when I opened the package, it dripped all over my hands, down my leg and onto my shoe. And it was chocolate!! You get the picture. I had to pour several cups of water on myself to wash it off and I, of course, wasted some time. Plus, I was now still a sticky mess.
The hills on miles 1-3, definitely tired me out. My plan changed from just walking at the water stops to walking up the hills to finally just walking whenever my legs were too tired to run. That seemed to be very often. Still I was keeping up with the same ladies. Perhaps I was running fast when I was actually running.
Miles 7-9.4 –10:29, 9:58, 9:42 (.4 – 8:15)
The rest of the race on the bike path and the part of the path that went downhill right into Lake George Village (opposite the lake). Finally running downhill!! Though, it seemed too little, too late to make up for the slow middle miles.
I did the best I could to sprint on my blistered feet (yes, of course, I got blisters.)
The path to the finish line was on grass – soft but difficult to run fast on.
I crossed officially at 1:33:54 (1:33:15 Garmin Time) and I was happy. I expected worse from this course and the weather.
Refreshments included watermelon, bananas, home made cake, ice cream provided by Ben & Jerry’s, water and Gatorade.
I headed right for the watermelon and then the ice cream.
There was no formal Awards Ceremony. Instead there was an Awards table next to the Finish Line where 5 year age graded award winners could pick up their medals.
My friend Maureen won in my former age group and I came in (a distant ) second in mine.
We then all headed to lake to soak our feet in the cold water (I wished I had used the bag check and had my towel and flip flops). It was heavenly!!!
I was cursing at those hills as I was running the race. Now that’s it’s over, I am thinking about a repeat next year.
Since this was a point-to-point course, you had to board the school bus to get back to your car. It seemed to be a really long ride but a fun one as I got to know even more runners.
- Easy organized packet pick-up.
- Lots of parking
- Real Bathrooms at the start and near the finish
- Nice Swag – tech shirt, bag, car magnet
- Adequate water stops (5)
- Excellent post race food – bananas, watermelon, cake, ice cream
- Bag check and bags transported to the finish
- Ended at the Lake
- Photographer at the finish line
- Not chip-timed
- No port-a-potties along the course
- The hilly looped portion of the course
- Would have preferred a medal for everyone who finished and the car magnet for the AG winners.
- Heat, humidity and blisters (and lack of hill training)
There are always glitches with a first annual race but there really weren’t any big ones.
I thought I might run a 5k on the next two weekends but instead, I think I am going to just run for fun with my friends. So my next scheduled race is a 5k on July 21.
Since it’s Tuesday, I’m linking up with these wonderful ladies:
Happy Running! Any exciting plans for July 4th? Do you enjoy running new races or do you prefer ones that you have already run before?