The Polar Cap 4m Race Report


I have run this race with blogger AJH several times and it was a tough hilly one but still fun.

Polar Cap - 2nd place in AG

Here we are winning AG awards in 2011

AJH got 2nd place...we won a lunch bag which matches the race shirt

AG awards again in 2013

I ran with her in 2014 but only she got an award.


AJH’s award in 2014

Then in 2015, we both got our awards and for the first time, I beat her.


another hat for AJH but my first.

AJH was running it again and I was looking forward to seeing her. I hadn’t seen her since May at the VCM Relay.

VCM Relay

VCM Relay – a little warmer that day LOL

The thing with this race, you never know where it’s going to start and what the course will be (besides hilly.)  This year they changed the course for the third time.


during the snowy 2014 race


during the cold 2015 race

I have not been doing any 5ks or any speed work at all. My runs on the weekend have been long. So I was prepared for a slow time. Not a PR not even a course PR. Just a fun race.

At least the weather was better than it has been in previous Polar Cap races – meaning it wasn’t snowing yet and it wasn’t sub-zero. But it was COLD!!! In the low 20s and in the teens with the wind chill.

So I bundled up in my usual running layers (shirt, vest, jacket) and drove the hour ride up to Lake George.

I didn’t get there was early as I had planned and had to drive around to find parking spot on the street.

Packet pick-up was at the parish hall of the Sacred Heart Church on Mohican St. This was new. The new location still had restrooms which is always a plus.


the long sleeve cotton shirt is the only negative about this race

When I got there, AJH was already there. (She is hard core – drove over 2 hours from VT.)


I chatted with some runners that I knew inside.  I found AJH again as I was walking to the race start. We had to walk quite a ways as the race started in town by the lake.


There was no real starting line and I was not even sure if the race was chip timed. I also had no idea what the course was though here is a map that I found online after the race.


I am directionally challenged anyway so it wouldn’t have meant much to me.

pic from FB: yes it was 20 degrees and some guys were wearing shorts and singlets.

Despite the long walk, we didn’t have to wait long in the cold before the race started.

A lot of the course was a blur, as usual, but here’s what I remember.


pic from FB – cute markers at each mile

The first mile started with a slight uphill and then it flattened out. I was cold (at least my face and lips were from the wind) and my legs felt very stiff since I hadn’t warmed up. I was ok with that because I wanted to start out slow.  I also found my stomach growling since the race started at 10 am and I had eaten 3 1/2 hours ago.  (I had a GU in my pocket but decided against eating it since my hands were cold.)


Mile two started where the race used to start and than meant a steepish hill.  I told myself to be smart since I had a half marathon in a few weeks and I never run on hills.  So I ran some and walked some until it flattened out.



The longest and biggest was at mile 3 and although it was only 1/2 mile, but it seemed to go on forever.  I again walked/ran it and we were rewarded with a nice downhill. I am always hesitant on downhills so many runners passed me by but that was better than getting DOMS.


Finally mile 4 along the lake and back into town.  At this point, I wanted to be done and picked up the pace. Luckily the hills were finally over. I didn’t care about a PR but I secretly want to win an AG award.  But I had no idea where the other runners in my AG were in at this time in the course.


I saw that the clock ahead read 36:xx but couldn’t muster enough speed to finish under 37 minutes.

According to the results, I crossed at 37:21. I was happy at how I ran.  At the time I thought I had a slow race.  I thought my PR for 4 miles as 36:xx.



Soon AJH finished and we walked back to the church together.

We went inside to wait for the age group awards. I bumped into a professor where I used to work and we chatted for awhile. I so miss my old job!!!!

There was soup and fruit and baked goods – I am a sucker for home-made stuff and ate quite a few cookies and brownies. I also had the soup.


Guess what? I did win first in my Age Group!!! Woo Hoo!! The runner that I thought was my competition actually just turned 65. AJH did not win for the first time in 10 years but she is such a good sport. I reminded her about how when we first started racing together how much faster than me she was.


perfect prize for a tea drinker

Race Splits:

mile 1 – 9:00
mile 2 – 9:41
mile 3 – 9:49
mile 4 – 8:40

(Garmin time: 37:16)

Previous Polar Cap Races:

2011 – 40:11
2012 – injured
2013 – 41:40
2014 – 40:10
2015 – 37:40
2016 – on vacation

My 4 mile PR was 37:27 on a much flatter course. But I was totally wrong about my PR time.  I was trying to have a “relaxing” no pressure race and I PRed!!!!!!!  Super surprised and super happy on PRing without even trying (and walking up those hills.)

After AJH left, I was debating on changing my clothes and leaving or running more.

With 10-11 miles on my “training” schedule for the day, I decided to stick around and try to find somewhere to run.

First, I ran around the church area but I was so cold that I had to go back to my car to add one more layer.Then I tried to re-run some of the course. Or what I could remember of it. I did run some of it.


Of course, then the sun came out for awhile and I was warm.


outhouse races as part of the Winter Carnival. They are usually held on the lake but the lake isn’t frozen …yet.


I took a wrong turn but found a pleasant surprise


Next I headed to the Winter Carnival in town.


This was the first day of the event which is held every weekend in February.


they had a chili cook-off. I just donated my money because the line was too long and I was freezing!

I visited with friends who were volunteering and took some pics.


ok – this was neat but my butt was cooold!!

I covered 5 miles in total with lots of interruptions.

Next, I drove north to Bolton Landing. I ran to our marina, through town and to the Sagamore Hotel.


where out boat would usually be docked


view from the Sagamore bridge

colder…windier and cloudier = the running ninja

I finally ran back to my car. Another 2 miles covered!

With 7 extra (interrupted) miles, I decided to call it a day and head home.  I was pooped and had Chinese New Year’s party to go to…

I am sharing in the support love by linking up with a Sunday Fitness and Food Linkup hosted by

Ilka from Ilka’s Blog and Angela from Marathons & Motivation

 Happy Running! Did you run or race this weekend? Is it cold where you live?


22 thoughts on “The Polar Cap 4m Race Report

  1. Great job! At least you had some sun yesterday . . . none today and the first mile was really brutal. Not too bad after that (til the last mile).

    FYI, Crossings is pretty much totally clear, even the little bridge which allows me to get into the neighborhoods & therefore get in my 8 miles.


      • You could definitely get 12 — not in the park, but in the surrounding neighborhood. Not exactly exciting . . . no idea how it will be after this week, so I take advantage of it when it’s clear.

        The crossings tends to be windy and cold, too, and NO SUN. Not even a peek.


              • We all have choices. For instance, we could have chosen to remain in Austin and not move here (which partially happened, I stayed down there a couple of years).

                Just as you could have chosen to move away (although I get that you have family here, at least on your husband’s side).

                And as I frequently say, if we end up retiring here, something has gone seriously wrong in our lives. It’s not the plan.

                We’re still not sure where the heck we ARE going to retire to . . .


                • My first hubby’s family was not in Albany – in Norwich, NY (even more boring than Albany) but we both got jobs here.
                  I will never leave the area. My current hubby’s kids are here and all my friends. I would hate to start over and have to make new friends. I like the 4 seasons here and the proximity to Montreal, Boston & NYC.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • No, you like 3 seasons.

                    I’m just saying it’s a choice. Obviously the right choice for you, but still a choice. If you wanted to, no one has a gun to your head and you are capable of moving.

                    Starting over isn’t easy. But it can be done. There was a reason I moved away from Poughkeepsie as soon as I could!


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