Albany Last Run 5K Race Report

This is a very popular local race. In fact, it always sells out (at 1700). The race starts with fireworks and then you run uphill, around the lights in the park and it ends with a downhill.


Here are some pics from a previous year:

Last year, I ran this race in the rain.  The year before in a blizzard.  I was hoping for better weather this year.

I picked up my bib & shirt on Thursday to save time.


Then I pondered what to wear… I like to look festive. But it was COLD.  The coldest it’s been in a while and very windy – 30’s but 20s with the wind chill.

I decided to park at work and walk the mile or so to the race. I wore an extra coat (that would ditch before the race) and I was still cold.

As I mentioned, it is a popular race and I bumped into all sorts of people that I knew– runners from my turkey trot training group, runners from work, runners from tennis and FB friends.


MP, her SIL, Judy & me (the crazy lady who dresses up for these races)

We chatted until it was time to head out.

It was so windy and cold that MP & I  hung out with our backs against a wall to block the wind.


I even bumped into a former student of mine

Then all of a sudden the firework began.  We were accidentally very close. And they were great!! To Star Wars music, no less.



We even got our photo taken by the newspaper photographer.

courtesy of the TU

Soon it was time to head to the start.  I lost MP but found my (super fast) turkey trot group friends. I would have preferred to be closer to the start  but hung out with them instead.

Unfortunately I made 2 wardrobe fails for this race. I chose to wear old shoes (because they were green, why else?) and they had my orthotics in them.  I stopped wearing those orthotics after I broke my ankle because they were now SO uncomfortable. Yes, they killed the arch of my foot (the whole race).

Second, it was windy and cold but the wind died down and I was soooo HOT.  I had a half zip, a shirt (cotton – my bad) and a vest – too many layers and my half zip felt so tight!! Yes, I was uncomfortable…

Back to the course:

courtesy of the Times Unon

The race started with an uphill, went through the city before we entered the park. It was very very crowded at first especially since I didn’t start right in front.

My legs felt really sluggish. I think it was all that standing around and starting at 5 pm (I have much more energy to run in the morning.)


I took these pics the other day when I ran through the park

I felt better once we entered the park and it was fun looking at all the lights.  There were at least two hills that I remember in the park and I was proud of myself for not walking at all.  I ran up them..slow but at least I ran.


The whole time I was running, I kept looking at the ground trying to avoid cracks and uneven pavement and keeping an eye out for potholes (I did fall during this race several years ago.)

Finally we left the park and ran downhill to the finish. I wanted to finish fast but was still  hesitant to run at top speed …in the dark.  I heard a friend yell: “Darlene, finish strong!!” That made me pick up the pace.

It was dark so I couldn’t see my Garmin but I knew by the timing clocks that this wouldn’t be a PR nor would it be as fast as last year.

I barely finished under 30 minutes.  According to my Garmin, it was 29:46 but officially I finished at 29:54.

I went inside to  check the results and wait for MP and her SIL, Shannon.

Shannon is so fast & finished 22:xx and MP is a social runner – she took videos while she ran and even got a picture with Santa.


Last year, I was 3rd in my AG.  This year, 6th. (Even I had a great race, I wouldn’t have placed. Darn those fast old women!)



mile 1- 9:51
mile 2 – 9:50
mile 3 – 9:17
.15 – 7:42

Very usual for me to have negative splits.

So not an amazing finish time but such a fun race.  Sometimes, you just have to “finish fun” if you can’t “finish fast.”

After the race, we continued our fun by going out for a bite to eat and for some drinks.


So my year of racing has come to an end. 38 races!!

Looking forward to 2016.


Click HERE.

Happy Running?  How was your weekend? Did you run in a holiday race?


12 thoughts on “Albany Last Run 5K Race Report

  1. My Garmin had me about 30 seconds faster than the official time (and it was spot on distance). What’s up with that?

    I wanted to take photos on my walking stops but I was afraid of dropping my ipod with my gloves on so just settled for the fireworks photo.

    Definitely had fun & was so glad I ran into my friend during the race; I haven’t seen her in a couple of months (although I keep trying to get her to run on the weekends).


    • I think they only had gun time not chip time so it would only be accurate if you started right up front. I had fun too. Hope to run with you again sometime soon. LMK when you are free.


      • Yes, that would explain it (and why there was no starting mat).

        I’m planning to run tomorrow & thursday, but both days are supposed to be rainy & I assume you’re busy thursday anuway.

        On top of that I think I have a stye on the inside of my eye (I didn’t know you could get them there, but Dr. Google says you can & it totally matches the symptoms). Which means I can’t wear my contacts & I’m definitely not running in the rain with my glasses on.

        It was bothering me sat (had started friday but I didn’t realize what was going on then).

        Bottom line: I don’t know! Always something.


        • You may have an eye infection or scratched cornea. You should see a doctor. (I’ve had both and I thought it was a stye and it wasn’t.)

          Anyway. Thursday is my first day of vacation. YAY! I am totally free. I am hoping that the forecast is wrong and there is a dry period ther when I can run – 66 degrees for the high!!


          • Nope, it’s not the eye at all. I have had eye infections (but never a scratched cornea) — it’s on the inside of my lower eyelid — my eye is perfectly normal, but it sort of looks like I have a pimple on the inside of my lower eyelid. I almost called the eye dr today but it actually feels better & I’m still kind of in wait & see mode.

            Believe me, I am very cautious about my eyes!


  2. But you did finish fast! It looks like such a fun event! I love all the lights, fireworks..even better lol
    It stinks being uncomfortable like that when you run. I had a little of that during my last half, I opted to wear my fleece vest and toward the end I was warm. Cold is so darn tricky though to get to just right.
    I love your hat!


  3. Pingback: Monday Running Update | My First 5K and More…

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