Hudson Mohawk Runners Club sponsors FREE races throughout the winter for its members. There are FIVE races and I try to run in most of them.
The course is pretty boring but free is free.
And it’s like a reunion of all those runners who love to race. I bump into runners that I know from races, training groups, previous jobs, etc.
The food is catered by Bountiful Bread so there is always delicious breads, soups, etc.
FRIENDS + FOOD + FREE = Perfect RACING Conditions
This weekend, they offered distances of 3M and 15K.
Normally I would have run the 15k and used it as a long run but I ran 6 miles with my friends the day before so I opted for the 3 miler instead. (Plus the speedy ladies usually run the longer distances so I thought I might snag an age group award of a loaf of bread.)
I waited until the morning of to register just in case the weather was bad. But it was great so off I went.
The temps were in the high 20s so I wore tights, two shirts with a vest.
I left early to get parking since these races are often crowded and sometimes there are other events going on at UAlbany.
It turned out to be not as crowded as usual.
I immediately bumped into some SRMs, some runners from the STEM group, from the Turkey Trot group, as well as other familiar faces from races. It was great to catch up with everyone.
We stayed indoors until the last second and then made our way outside. I also decided at the last minute to remove my vest and leave it behind.
Both the 3 milers and those running the 15k started together. I lined with some friends, some of whom were doing the 3 and some were running the 15k.
The race is very informal – no bibs, no starting mat, no timing chips, etc. There are also no clocks (until the end) or mile markers and no water stops (maybe for the 15k??)
I just told myself that this was simply a training run and just do it. And if my legs were nt tired from the 6 miles the day before, I could use the race a speed drill.
As I mentioned, the course is very boring but it also has hills. Not steep hills, just a few rolling hills throughout. This year, I have tried to be better about the hills and not walk up all of them. In fact, I didn’t walk at all!!
I ran the whole thing. Not so impressive – it was ONLY 3 miles!!
And I did dress perfectly. I didn’t need my vest. I was warm & even took off my gloves toward the end.
The amazing thing was that I felt better as the race went. No aches and pains. Even NEGATIVE splits! Woo Hoo!
Mile 1 – 9:08 – a steep hill near the start…at least it was short.
Mile 2 – 8:51 – just some slightly rolling hills
Mile 3 – 8:38 – a longish hill right before the end
.03 – 7:49
Finally it was over and I sprinted across the finish line at 26:49.
The only time I ran this race or a 3 miler was in December 2011. My time was 29:21 or I guess this was at least a course PR.
Secretly, my goal was to finish sub 27 minutes. I did so I was happy!
I went inside to warm up and have some soup, bread, cookies, fruit, hot chocolate. Not a bad spread for a free race.
They gave awards for the top 2 in each 10 year age group. I was 4th in my age group. Two of the speedy old ladies did run the shorter distance…Darn! (The winner finished under 23 min. At age 60!) But at least my 2 friends won for 50-59.
Even though I hesitated, I am glad that I ran this race. I plan to run the other Winter Series races too. Maybe again as a speed drill, following a Saturday long run(ish).
After the race, I had to rush home to go shopping and then out to celebrate my mentee’s 28th birthday.
Since today is Tuesday, I’m also linking up with these wonderful ladies:
Happy Running! How you are enduring the weather? Cold yet? Did you run this weekend?