I love to race and this one sounded interesting. I’ve always wanted to do it but the timing never worked out.
This year, I decided to sign up since it would get me running 8.4 miles and that’s fits in with my scheduled Sept. 18 Half Marathon.
The race is not close – about an hour 50 minutes and you have to be on time since you take the train to the race start.
I left around 5:30 am just in case I got lost. But I didn’t. It was easy to get to North Creek Railroad Station and didn’t take as long as anticipated. So I got there very early and parked in a parking lot next to the finish line. (This turned out to be a mistake since I couldn’t leave at the end when I wanted to.)
It was already in the 70s when I arrived so this was going to be a hot one. I was just hoping that there would be shade.
The only thing I knew about the race was that it was rolling hills. The map below shows that the steepest climb at in the first 2 miles.
So I got my race packet (a cotton shirt, a bib, your train ticket and a raffle ticket) and walked around.
There were REAL restrooms in the gift shop and a lot of interesting things to read and look at.
Finally everyone arrived and we lined up to get on the train. I wound up talking to an older lady and we decided to sit to together.
And then we sat and waited and waited. The train was supposed to leave at 8 am but it didn’t until 8:15 and they even had a bus for the extra runners.
The ride was really scenic.
It was along the Hudson River the whole way.
Finally we arrived at the next station – Riparius.
Again, there were REAL bathrooms and water. I walked around and finally headed to the bridge where the race would begin.
Finally everyone got to the start. I started with another older lady and the one that I sat on the train with. We were chatting so much that I forgot to start my Garmin. Oops. (I considered leaving it off but finally after 1/2 mile, it found the satellite.)
The train gave us a head start and then it took off with the friends and families of the runners.
The goal is to beat the train. I knew that I would not and I also knew that since I don’t train on hills, it would be a tough race for me. But since this is my first 8.4 miles race, it’s automatically a PR. All I had to do is finish and try to enjoy it.
And that’s what I did.
The first mile and 1/2 was a STEEP uphill. First on asphalt and then on dirt. I attempted to run but decided that I would be better off walking. Everyone that was running was struggling. Besides it was HOT! So I ran a little but mostly walked trying to stay in the shade when there was some.
There was someone called out times at every mile. I think I was at 13:xx for the first mile but by mile 3, I was able to get my pace between 10 and 11 and keep it there even if I walked the hills.
That uphill eventually turned into a downhill but after that it was just rolling hills. They never ended. They weren’t steep or as long except for maybe 2 more steepish ones. That meant there were only 2 more steep downhills.
But because you were running on dirt with rocks, you couldn’t take advantage of the downhills as much as you would have liked. (I always fear a face plant.)
The scenery was nice as you ran through the woods and toward the end, you could see the river. Eventually, you had to run through town in order to finish at the train station.
The lady that I started with ran up all the hills so she was way ahead of me but by the last few miles, I could see her in the distance and in the end, I finished ahead of her.
The good news is that my back never hurt. I didn’t get blisters and I never felt tired. I didn’t push myself and as a result could enjoy the race. (Of course, part of me wished I had enough endurance to run up those hills but I know my legs would have been dead by the end if I did.)
I had no time goals but I estimated that I would finish around 1:30:xx and I finished at 1:28:54. I was happy!!
I had some food (bagels, fruit, pastries) but the highlight was chocolate milk and then I waited around for the awards while trying to be creative with my medal.
Also while I was waiting, a young runner (high school age) came up to me and told me that she loves my blog. I was surprised! She said that she runs cross-country and uses my blog to decide which races to run. How neat!!!
And I won my age group!! I beat that older lady by 4 sec. She said that she rain the whole thing and if she knew I was in her age group, she would have raced me. (I was kinda annoyed. I wanted to add “and I would have beaten you!” but didn’t)
After the awards, they gave away raffle prizes and I mean lots of prizes. That’s when I realized that I was parked in the wrong spot. I was stuck there until all the prizes were given out (and I didn’t even win one.)
All in all, a fun race. I think I’ll do it again…
My HILLY Splits:
mile .5-1.5: 13:16
mile 1.5-2.5: 9:13
mile 2.5-3.5: 10:41
mile 3.5-4.5: 10:02
mile 4.5-5.5: 10:44
mile 5.5-6.5: 11:43
mile 6.5-7.5: 10:27
mile 7.5- 8.4: 9:40
I decided after the race to do some hiking before the DOMS set in. I stopped off to finish my last two hikes of the Chester Challenge.
I visited a friend who has a house nearby and then drove to our marina where a friend took me out for a ride on his boat.
A pretty perfect day – racing, hiking, boating!!