Inaugural Fall Foliage Half Marathon Race Report

Sunday, October 23rd in the iconic Hudson Valley town of Rhinebeck, NY.

Be a part of this beautiful day as participants run through historic downtown Rhinebeck and journey to the shores of the Hudson River in neighboring Rhinecliff.

With the New York City Marathon just two weeks away, this is the perfect opportunity to do a final training run or spend a weekend in the country running in this gorgeous setting.

A portion of the proceeds from the race will be donated to support Riverkeeper, a New York-based organization dedicated to defending the Hudson River and its tributaries and protecting the drinking water supply of nine million New York City and Hudson Valley residents.

Race Highlights:

  • Certified Half Marathon Course with B-Tag Chip Timing
  • Former NY Ranger Goalie and Olympian Mike Richter to run on behalf of
  • Late 10 AM start to allow travel time for people from NYC, Westchester, Albany, etc.
  • Tech shirts for all runners

 Sounds pretty good, right?

Looks like a pretty course.

Hills!!!!!!!!!!! Yikes!!

So I guess I should have looked at the elevation chart before I signed up for this race!! (Look how the race ends!!!)

I thought my friend Mary who is training for the Philly Marathon would run this with me but she decided to do her 20 miler on Sat instead.  Then I thought my hubby would come and hang out at the Aerodrome because he loves planes but he played tennis instead.

I was solo.

According the Google, it was going to take 1hr 17 min to get there so I got up nice & early and prepared to leave at 7:30 am so I would be there by 9am (for the 10 am start). However, my GPS said it would only take 1 hour and it did! The ride was nice…the foliage was awesome!

I had plenty of time to kill before the race.  There were real bathrooms in addition to porta potties.  That’s always a plus.

The weather would be perfect…a little chilly at the start but warm when the sun would come out.  I walked around & took some pics.

Mike Richter, former NY Rangers goalie

I decided to leave my jacket behind (actually near a tree by the start) and I was glad I did.  There were about 400 running the Half Marathon & about 100 running the 5K. The weather was perfect for a race and the scenery was beautiful. I also bumped into local blogger, Jen at the start.

That’s the good part.

As I said before, I wasn’t going to race this race just use it as a training run.  Famous last words.

I started out too fast.  My 1st 2 miles were in the 9s and in fact, the 1st 6.5 miles were all under 11.  I felt good and of course, I started thinking PR.

I was on course with covering the 1st half in just over 1 hour.  (My fastest half was 2:22)

Then came the hills!! I means steep hills — after hill after hill after hill.  The total ascent for the race was 2099 ft (that’s 300 ft more than Schroon HM).

My pace slowed.  I NEVER TRAIN ON HILLS!  I probably should but I hate them. As my hopes of a PR vanished, I walked and took some pics.

along the Hudson R.

The race of course, ended with huge hills.  I walked until I got to the finish line and forced myself to sprint across it.

Official time: 2:32:50
Garmin time: 2:31:49   13.20 miles!

Here are some more pics from Jen‘s blog: THANKS JEN!




The refreshments were lacking: half bagels (no cream cheese or butter), bags of chips, water.  The medal wasn’t metal – engraved (etched) plastic.  There were no awards or results printed.  No photographers.  Hardly any spectators along the course.  I guess that’s what you get for an Inaugural race.

So I headed home.  The ride again was pleasant due to the beautiful scenery.

So there you have it…Half Marathon #4 is in the books. (Half Marathon #5 is 2 weeks away!!!!!!!!)

Not sure if it was a good decision to do it (training runs are free!!) but you never know until you try. It certainly was a challenge.

I did achieve all my goals:

  • Finish. Yes I did!
  • Do not get injured. I don’t think so…we’ll see the next time I try to run!
  • Beat my last (untrained one) time of 2:45. (by 14 minutes!)
  • ENJOY it.  In a strange way…I always enjoy competing!

Happy Running! Any advice for running on hills or staying with it when your race starts to suck?

17 thoughts on “Inaugural Fall Foliage Half Marathon Race Report

  1. I was there too–nice report and congrats on finishing! It is one hilly route–I live here and run these hills all year long.You have to lie at first–and tell your self–“iLOVE hills” You are running for fitness and hills are like a free coach yelling at you to work harder–thus get fitter–so hills are your friend! I love hills! After a few years–you really will love hills–it is going up where I generally can run by people and st5retch my hamstrings too–


  2. I will never love hills and I think it depends on my mood that day. At the Adirondack Half they didn’t bother me but usually they do. I love how many halves you have done. Hopefully these hard ones will make your real one look easy.


  3. Congrats on finishing your 4th half marathon! Great job especially with all the hills.

    I have no tips for you, where I live it’s flat, I never train hills either and most of the races in Holland are on flat courses. But if I had hills close by I would definitely train on them either, it appears to be very good for your legs and endurance.


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