With most of the local races either cancelled or virtual in 2020, Albany Running Exchange (ARE) began scheduling COVID Safety Plan approved races in 2021. This was one of them and unfortunately, it POURED the whole race.
In March of 2021, I ran their five mile race (Electric City) which ends in the same location as this race.
Last year, it SNOWED the entire Electric City Five Miler. And this March, I was injured and only volunteered for the 5 miler. The weather was awful too!!
Last May I ran this 10 miler on a very hot day. I did it with several friends and had fun.
The race is advertised as “a very fast, point-to-point course.”
As you can from the elevation chart below, it is not exactly what I would call fast (I see hills!!)
The logistics were also complicated. Either you parked at the start and got a ride back to your car after the race or you parked at the finish and got a ride to the start (or pay for the shuttle).
My preference was to park at the finish (even though that meant getting up earlier.)
Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:
I have run several 10 mile races. My slowest was in 2014: (1:49:55), my first one, and my PR was my third in the same year (1:38:45). All the others were somewhere in between as well as last year’s at 1:43:56.
Usually on the weekends this time of year, I run short races (which helps me work on my speed.)
This year, because of my foot injury, I choose to just run long slow runs and train for the Brooklyn Half Marathon.
With Brooklyn being the weekend before, I almost DNSed this race.
But I had already paid for it so I decided “What the heck?” And the next day was a holiday so I could relax at the lake.
I fully expected a PW and just wanted to enjoy another race but stay healthy so I could begin training for the NYC full marathon in July!!
I opted to not pick up my bib on Thursday or Friday. Neither location was convenient. I decided that I would just pick it up before the race on Sunday.
I met my running friends Saturday morning to walk and after have brunch.
Then I did some errands, gardening and carb loaded on Saturday evening. I debated about what to wear the next day. I was hoping that it would be cooler than last year.
Race morning was my worst nightmare. My alarm never went off…. why? No power!!
I woke up at 6:10 am and was planning to leave at 6:15!! Yikes.
No power meant no coffee and no oatmeal breakfast. Luckily we have a generator but it doesn’t go on automatically.
Well, by the time my hubby got everything going, I ate breakfast and was ready to leave, I thought that I might miss the shuttle bus to the start. So I decided to drive straight to the start. Of course now I would after the race need a ride back to my car.
I did arrive with plenty of time to pick up my bib, walk around, visit with the animals and use the (real) restrooms. (Still it was a stressful morning to say the least.)
As you can see from the photos, there was not a cloud in the sky!! A beautiful day. And the conditions seemed perfect early that morning.. I was even a little chilly.
Though my running friends did not sign up for the race, I did connect with quite a few runners that I knew.
I decided to leave my throwaway shirt and DIY arm warmers in my car….
The race started at 8:30 am. So soon it was time to head to the start area.
There were no corrals so I just entered into the crowd somewhere in middle or perhaps closer to the front. I chatted with friends until it was time to move.
Sorry to be a broken record but my goal for races these days is FINISH happy (that is not injured and ready to do another.) Throw those time goals out the window!! Especially for race with those predicted warm temps
The race began near Mabee Farm Historical site. The first mile headed west, mostly on Route 5S. We ran along the road and fairly soon connected with the Erie Canal Bike Path.
In other words, the canal was on our right and most of the race was run on the path with water views. As I ran the first mile, everyone appeared to be passing me by. But I didn’t look at my watch, just kept going with the flow.
The scenery was pretty. Unfortunately there was little if any shade! Of course, my pace was decent at first. I was feeling good… until I wasn’t.
The Mohawk river changed to being on the left. And the temps started warming up quickly.
The first water stop was at mile 3.3 (Kiwanis Park) Dying at this point. I was used to from the last race, water at every mile! Because there were so few water stops, I ate my first GU at this one… a new flavor (raspberry lime?) UGH!! Nauseating!
Most of the race is a blur. I walked and ran. Those runners around me were doing the same. I tried to run more than walk. Not sure at times if I did or not. Some runners did continue to just run. But we played leap frog as I passed them when I ran and they passed me when I walked.
There was finally a second water stop at mile 5.6 (Lock 8 Park). More water but I wasn’t really hungry so I just ate half a GU.
The temps were rising. I wished I hadn’t worn my calf sleeves. The third water stop was around mile 8.1 (SCCC Bike Path Parking Area). I finished the other half of my GU and gave myself a shower of water.
Around mile 9, some annoying hills appeared. Maybe there weren’t big hills and I was just getting tired. I tried to run up them but it was more like a slog.
At this point, my lower back started to ache. Why? My form? My shoes? (Who knows?) My feet did not hurt much (and no blister) so there’s that!!
The crowd was also thinning. And I was walking more and running slower.
But eventually we headed toward Mohawk Harbor where you could hear the roar of the crowds.
As I headed toward the finish line, I got one last burst of energy.
I crossed at 1:43:XX . Happy to done and upright.
I got my medal and some water.
I was excited to see that my running friends Sherry, Heidi and Stan showed up to cheer me on!!
Next, I grabbed my lunch (that I would give to my hubby when I got home.)
I stopped by the results table and surprisingly I did win an age group award. 2nd! You had a choice of shirts, and other stuff but instead I opted for a $10 coupon for a race registration.
I’m not a beer drinker but I would have loved something cold to drink. We got a ticket for a free one but this year, the restaurant didn’t open until noon!!
Instead, my running friends and I decided to go out to brunch.
Remember my car was at the start… luckily one of my friends agreed to drive me back to pick it up.
Additional Race Reflections:
So yeah, I finished slower than I wished. But hey, it was much hotter than I had hoped. Actually I realized later that it was a little faster than this race last year!
It was also fun to see the many running friends (that I missed when I skipped so many races this spring.)
I never regret a race that I’ve run. I bet I run this one again next year.
- Ample parking at the start and finish.
- Real restrooms at Mabee Farm
- Bag check
- Well marked course.
- Varied scenery including river views
- Lots of course marshals
- Shuttle to the start (if needed).
- Well organized.
- A lot of pre-race information.
- Familiar faces
- Decent Post-race food.
- Race shirt optional for more money
- Cool medal.
- Free Beer (in Druthers) after noon
- Free photos
- Immediate results (and live tracking)
- More water stops needed (for this weather)
Would I recommend this race?
It was super well-organized. Special attention was paid to EVERY detail. It will be even more fun when the weather is cooler.
Walking after mile 3 definitely slowed down my pace:
My favorite 5k
Happy Running! Have you run a race yet in the summer heat? ? If so, how did go? Are you planning to run a long race this summer? Please share.
Since today is Tuesday, I’m linking up with Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner).
I’m also linking up here:
with co-hosts Coach Debbie Runs, Confessions of a Mother Runner, Mile by Mile, Runs with Pugs, and Laura Norris Running.