Lake George Half Marathon Race Report

The forecast was correct!!!

I woke up around 4 am to hail. Then when I got up at 6am, there was SNOW on the grass and it was sleeting!!  UGH!!!!

I brought my own breakfast (cream of wheat w/raisins) from home and ate it with some hotel coffee and then took a long hot shower while debating whether or not I could run in these conditions.

I obviously couldn’t wear my original outfit.  Instead I wore a pink long sleeve top with my green shirt over it and my skirt and compression knee socks.  At the last minute, I added tights under my skirt and an extra pair of socks over my knee socks.  I also wore a windbreaker (that I hoped was waterproof), a baseball cap and pink gloves.

I decided to leave my camera, phone, iPod, watch & Garmin in the hotel.  I was worried about the rain damaging things.  I just put the hotel key & some Gu in the back pocket of my jacket.

I tried to leave several times but it was so COLD that I chickened out. Some people I bet didn’t show up.  Some said they were switching to the 5K. I did meet one girl in the hall who said it was her first Half Marathon.  Poor thing!

Finally it was 10 minutes before the race so I grabbed a trash bag and put it on and ran down the hill to the start of the race.

I bumped into Melissa from the running group (in a trash bag too) but couldn’t find the others I was supposed to meet.  I didn’t care.  I was freezing and it was raining very hard.

There seemed to be a few hundred racers at the first annual half marathon.  No one knew what to do or which direction to face. Eventually people started moving so I figured that the race started.

This was the course:

An out-and-back course that starts along the lakefront on Beach Road. From there, runners follow a quick loop eastward down into Lake George Beach State Park, and then head westward again along Beach Road, past the start/finish line area, and then turn right to head north onto Canada Street.

Once they’re on Canada Street, runners follow it for a stretch before turning onto Lake Shore Drive, which they follow for the rest of the first half of the race, all the way up to the turnaround point just past the half-way point, just north of Diamond Point. Then, runners make the turn and head back southward along Lake Shore Drive, retracing their route in reverse, all the way back to the finish line on Beach Road.

I must say that I just wanted to finish but I was totally lost without my Garmin. I had no idea how fast I was going, and what my time was.  I really depend on it!!!

Anyway, the beginning of the race was spent jumping over puddles and going around lakes of water and then road construction. I finally missed jumping over one puddle and my shoes & socks got soaked.  It wouldn’t the last time either.  Not fun!! I ripped my bag off around mile 2 – too uncomfortable to run in. (I think some runners ran the whole race that way.)

Here’s some pictures from the Post Star:

The course was HILLY!  I knew it would be but I didn’t realize how undertrained I was for hills.  The map is deceiving.  There were steep hills but the rest were rolling hills so you never got a break. I walked up the hills to conserve energy.  I walked a lot.

The rain never stopped!!!

There was water at Miles 2.7,5.6, 8.4 and 11.3.  I had some at each and only took one Gu at 5.6 miles. I was planning to take another but my hands were too cold to open the packet. (I wish I had because I ran out of gas at the end.)

The turn around was a little past mile 7.  I asked someone there what the time was and he said that he had no idea. So I ran 13.36 miles without a clue on my pace.

Then there was the traffic. Cars and trucks on the road.  You had to run on the shoulder but sometimes it was very narrow.  Most of cars moved over for the runners.  Sometimes not – esp. when there was another car coming in the opposite direction. Well, at least I didn’t get splashed too many times. How could I have gotten any wetter, anyway!!!

Cyndi from DM passed me around mile 9.  This annoyed me because I usually finish ahead of her.  But the hills were killing me and I walked more and more.

Did I mention that the rain never let up?

The rest of the race is a blur.  My hands were numb.  My toes were frozen and I was soaked through and through.

I even walked at the last stretch and was shocked to see the time. 2:22:xx – I wish I had know that I wasn’t so hopeless.  I saw the photographer and ran through the finish line with my hands in the air.

We had no timing chips.  They didn’t pull the bottom of our bib off.  How did they get our time?? Who knows.  Maybe there was a guy with a pencil and paper writing the times down.

There was a band playing inside a truck.  Under a canopy, there were bagels, bread sticks, pizza, chips, etc.  No one was staying around.  Everyone was freezing and drenched.  They announced that there would be no awards ceremony.  If you won an award, you would get it in the mail.

my quilting friend Terry (who I never saw during the race )

Needless to say, I went back to the room.  I took a very very long hot shower

Fri, Apr 22 - 60 & sunny

Sat, Apr 23 - 30 & raining

After I changed into dry clothes, I went to my favorite Cafe and sat by the fire and had this:

vanilla latte & raspberry white choc scone

Then I went to the outlets and did some damage.  I deserved it!!

Happy Running! Happy Easter!

20 thoughts on “Lake George Half Marathon Race Report

  1. I hope you bought a lot! How crummy to have such bad weather. I did one half in similar weather and could NOT wait to get home near the wood stove. I remember I had trouble using the key to open my car door.
    I have never had trouble with my Garmin in the rain and I wear it frequently (lately) in these conditions.
    You are one tough woman and racer! Be proud of how you did and that you didn’t go home. How lucky that you could still use your hotel room and have a hot shower. That must have been the best part!
    It sounds like a poorly organized race. They need to step it up if they want people to continue to come.

    You rock!


  2. great job, love reading your story … I feel like I was alongside you. Brave, brave girl for not giving up … and 2:22 too impressive. You are my hero. xox


  3. Congrats!!! You have a story for life & you got 2:22 in horrible conditions and walking too – that’s fantastic!!! I can totally relate to hills – they suck big time in a half marathon!


  4. Dear Darlene I’m so proud of you! You ran in such poor weather conditions and I know how much you dislike the rain.

    You give me strength to run tomorrow in warmer weather than I’m used too.

    Congrats, very well done! And almost 8 minutes of your time off if I remember correctly the time of your first half.


  5. Darlene,

    Your time / place was:

    238 2/4 DARLENE CARDILLO 57 F 52 DELMAR NY 2:22:39 10:54

    Results are posted at:

    We timed the race using Time Machines – custom computers designed specifically for timing running races. this is the way races were timed before the chips were introduced.

    The actual race distance was an accurate half marathon of 13.11 miles. The printed map was done before we finalized the measurement of the course and adjusted the turn around to make the course the correct distance.

    I wish we had better conditions. It was beautiful on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday mornings. Working on the race under those conditions was no fun and not good for our equipment. 1 clock went down — thus no half way clock, and we all near froze to death. I went to bed at 7 PM after cleaning up race HQ and the course until 4:30 PM and slept straight through to 8 AM. Next year lets hope for better weather.

    We plan to be better prepared for bad weather next year to ensure Mother Nature blesses us with good weather.

    Thanks for running on a day fit only for penguins and ducks.

    Michael Amarello
    Race Director


  6. I love Lake George. I used to drive down there from Montreal to camp and water ski with friends. I guess being a Canadian I’d fit right in with the penguins & ducks too, but that 500 ft elevation change (2 times!) scares me!!! And here I am worried about a few elevation changes in my upcoming 10k in CA wine country…

    Great report! Great Time!
    See you on the trails….. – Blaine


  7. That’s quite the crazy weather. I’m sorry that it was so cold and wet. You ran an awesome race, especially in those conditions! Congratulations!

    Your post-race latte and scone look delicious.


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