The race begins at SUNY Adirondack, works its way to the Warren County Bike path and ends at Battle Field Park in Lake George. Rolling course with a long down hill finish.
This is the third year for this 15k race. It replaced one of my favorite races – Adirondack Distance Run (10 miler). That was the one that started in Lake George Village and ended 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. It was hard especially the first 5k but I actually enjoyed it so I signed up again in 2018 and 2019.
Then the Pandemic came and the race was cancelled in 2020 and 2021.
It was revived this year and of course, I couldn’t resist signing up.
Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:
My weekend long run preparation for this race wasn’t great (5k, 7 miles, 5k +5ish more) but I felt somewhat prepared to give it my best shot. I like the 15k distance. It’s always when I am running a half marathon where I wish it were over.
Due to the weather and work, I front loaded my short weekday (3 mile) runs which gave me two rest days in a row before the race.
The biggest challenge would be those hills. I knew that it was hilly. And we all know that I do not train on hills. I expected that there would be walking on those hills. And I am totally ok with walking during races.
The weather was quite comfortable all week but then it started heating up toward the end of the week. Just in time for this race!! 90 degree temps predicted…
I haven’t run very many 15ks. My surprise PR was from the Stockade-athon in 2018 (1:30:15). I ran today’s race in 2018 and 2019 and finished at 1:33:54 and 1:32:38 respectively. But I recently finished at FLAT 10 miler at 1:43:56 so I was not expecting much from this HILLY course. And I had no goals besides having fun and finishing unhurt.
There were supposed to be 4 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 (since I never carry my own water.)
So what to wear? The usual. Tank and skirt.
The race started at 7:30 am. (Hooray for finally an early start!) I got up at 5 am and had oatmeal/coffee and then left my house around 5:45 am since I had over an hour drive.
The race began at a community college so there were real bathrooms and comfortable places to hang out before the race.
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.
I asked my friend, the RD, about bag check. She replied that there was none. I was planning like last time to bring a towel, dry shirt and flip flops to change into after the race. Boo!
Everyone was looking around to find someone who was driving to start to give a bag to. I wound up giving mine to the guy in charge of the finish line timing.
We eventually all headed to the start. Again, it was just a line in the parking lot. No chip timing for this race.
I lined up with some friends but not as close to the start as I should have.
So here’s how the race went: (The course photos are mostly courtesy D. Yeaton 2019)
I knew what the course was like. As I mentioned, I expected hills. I mean, it’s the Adirondacks so it is hilly everywhere. We left the college and ran on a main road for a while. And it was warm out already. I knew that it wasn’t going to be a good day when I had to walk during the FIRST mile!
Soon we turned into a neighborhood. One of the volunteers we passed said “Enjoy the roller coaster!” Yup, huge hills…up and down. Just past the water stop at mile 2.5, you turned around and repeated those crazy hills.
I started slowly and tried to run up them. After the first hill, I realized that that was a mistake, I just ran/walked up them. No sense killing my legs. I ran most of the race around the same runners. Playing leap frog 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.
After the first 5K, we headed toward 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. And with the temps rising, that was a good thing!!
I stopped and walked at each of the 4 water stops. I took a GU at the 2nd and 4th one.
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 runners. Perhaps I was running fast when I was actually running. The steepest hill was between miles 5 and 6 (see pace below). Ugh!
Miles 7-9.3 –
The rest of the race was 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 mile 6.
After my 2nd GU, I got a second wind and tried pick up the pace and eventually sprint to the finish.
The path to the finish was on grass – soft but so difficult to run fast on.
I crossed at 1:36:xx and I was happy to be done!!
As you crossed, they asked your age and then handed you an age group award if you won.
Post Race Activities:
Refreshments included watermelon, bananas, home made cookies and pastries. All the baked goods were individually wrapped.
I headed right for the watermelon. No ice cream this year 😦
I got my bag (which had a towel and flip flops) and headed with the other runners to soak my feet in the lake.
There wasn’t much time to relax in the water as I spotted two buses waiting to take runners back to the start. I ran to the bus as I remembered that the last time, there was quite a wait until the next bus (and by now it was very warm out!!)
In past years, I stayed and visited friends in Lake George or went on our boat. This year, I immediately drove home.
Back to the race:
They say “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” And I was not sore at all the next day and back to running again on Monday. So all is good.
Additional Race Reflections:
I have to say that I’ve gotten spoiled with all the extras, my local race organization provides for its racers. So I felt a little let down but with only 118 runners, it was a small race and not an expensive one to enter.
And those hills… with the heat, I was in no shape to give 100% to this race. I was perfectly happy to just walk when it felt good to… And besides mile 6, I was running at a decent pace because by walking a lot, when I was running, I was running fast!
I think the last sentence of the first paragraph explains why I race so much!!
- Easy organized packet pick-up.
- Lots of parking
- Real Bathrooms at the start.
- Early start time
- Scenic course – especially the bike path (with running water views and shade)
- Gender specific tech shirt
- 4 water stops
- Decent selection of post race food – bananas, watermelon, home-made baked goods
- Ended at the Lake
- Photographer at the finish line
- Shuttle back to the start
- Not chip-timed
- No port-a-potties along the course or at the finish
- The hilly looped miles 2-4
- Little crowd support
- No Nuun or Gatorade at water stops
- No bag check
- No music and national anthem at the start
- Recycled medals for age group awards (mug or car magnet in previous years)
- No ice cream (as in previous years)
- Long drive (for me)
Would I recommend this race?
Yes, if you live nearby. It was a nice small race with challenging hills.
I may run it again if I plan some nearby post-race activities. Otherwise, I may chose a closer race.
and a few more 5ks this summer before the half marathons start in the Fall.
Happy Running! Any exciting plans for the summer? Have you run a lot of 15ks? How do you feel about hilly races? How far do you usually drive for a race? Please share.
Since today is Tuesday, I’m linking up with these ladies.
I’m linking also up with