Bill Hogan Winter Series #2 Race Recap


January 1, 2019 Noon

Every year, the Hudson Mohawk Road Runners Club puts on the Winter Series, a series of free races for its members ($5 for non-members). On New Year’s Day, starting at noon, they offer the Hangover Half or 3.5 mile Bill Hogan Run as Winter Series #2.

In 2015, I ran the Hangover Half (as a training run.)


and it was a very cold one

Then in 2016, 2017 and 2018, I wasn’t that crazy and I only ran the 3.5 Miler.

It was definitely more enjoyable so I decided to run the 3.5 miler again. They call it a 3.5 miler but I realize each year after the race that it is actually 3.75 miles.

Starting at noon meant that I was able to enjoy my New Year’s Eve.

it wasn’t a late night since the entertainment was so bad…

I arrived at UAlbany early figuring that there are a lot of local runners who do these races and I wanted to get a close parking space.

The weather was so much better than last year (even the re-scheduled race date was freezing). Today it was forecast to be in the high 40s but I worried about the wind on this course. It is always windy!

I took a big risk and wore a skirt. The good thing was that there is an indoor place to hang out before and after the race.

with Judy, Sherry, Judy and Barbara – some of the Sole Sisters

This race brings out everyone I know who runs – from running groups, races, friends, etc.

So it was great seeing everyone and catching up. I immediately bumped into runners that I know from races and lots of Sole Sisters. We hung out inside and chatted until the very last moment when we had to go outside.

I was hesitant about what to wear.  I was afraid that my cap would blow off with the 40 mph wind gusts or that I would be cold without a jacket (which I brought). In the end, I went with my gut and I was perfectly dressed.

Eventually we did have to leave the nice warm building and climb down the stairs and head to the start.

I just squeezed in near the front in order to keep warm and be shielded from the wind.

I told myself to have a “relaxing” race and not try anything stupid and get hurt.


This course is not flat. There are annoying hills throughout. Nothing awful until you are tired (at mile 3).

pic from last year…no snow this year but no blue skies either

This was the first year that I can remember that there was NO ice or snow.

I won’t lie. I was a little cold especially with the wind but at times, I was warm and unzipped my vest. I even eventually took off my gloves. I was happy with my clothing choice.

There were about 230 runners running the 3.5 miler (and 225 in the half). I was never running alone. I ran with someone I knew several times when they caught up to me but soon they left me behind.

I wasn’t bothered at all by my apparent lack of speed. I was just trying to get a run in. I wanted to run the race without walking too since I rarely do that during my weekday training runs. And I did for the first two miles. In fact, I was feeling pretty good.

There were no mile markers on the course but I could hear my Garmin beep. I couldn’t pay attention to my pace or time because my Garmin was under my long sleeves. (Probably a good thing.)

another pic from a previous year

As I mentioned, I was feeling pretty good until mile 3.  This was the most boring part of the course as well as uphill.  To make matters worse, the wind was incredible here.  There were times that I felt like I was not even moving forward.  I struggled and the wind seem to suck the life out of my legs.  Runners were passing me by, even a runner pushing a child in a stroller.  I finally gave it and walked.  But it was just as hard to walk into the wind and so I started running again. At this point, I just wanted to finish.

Finally, it was over and I was surprised to see that the clock read 33:XX minutes. I knew that it would not be a course PR but I actually thought that I was even slower than that.

So I sprinted and crossed at 34:14 (according to my Garmin) and 34:15 on their clock.

I was content!!

Soon after, Karen and Alyssa finished. We chatted and then Barbara and Judy came in.

We waited for Judy and then went inside. Somehow we missed Sherry.

These free races are not chip-timed. They handed you a piece of paper and then you recorded your time.

Mile splits:

mile 1: 8:50
mile 2: 9:01
mile 3: 9:27
.75 – 9:23

Good old positive splits. Nothing has changed for 2019. LOL

Again this year, the course was long!! I was surprised that in these windy conditions I was faster than last year (35:45) and not far behind my course PR from the year before (34:04). Nevertheless, I was happy with how I ran the race. I never felt really tired or that I was pushing hard. I think if it weren’t for the wind, I could have run the whole thing and had an even better finish time.

Definitely not disappointed to not have chosen to run 13.1 miles in this weather.

For a free race, they have decent refreshments – vegetable soup, bread, fruit, cookies, hot cocoa.

And I had all of the above and many pieces of cranberry bread.

I waited around for awhile and chatted with other runners and for Barbara’s niece to finish the half marathon.

They give 10 year AG awards to the top 2 in each group. Two years ago, I won 2nd place and a free loaf of bread. Not so this year. I was 5th.

So a race and a perfect way to start off 2019!

Since today is Tuesday, I’m also linking up with these ladies.

I’m linking also up with Coaches Corner–Debbie, Susie, Lora, and Rachel!

and Wild Workout Wednesday with Nicole, Annmarie, Jen, and Michelle.

Happy Running! Did you race on New Year’s Eve or Day? If not, when is your first race of 2019?


35 thoughts on “Bill Hogan Winter Series #2 Race Recap

            • You’re right. I’ll probably run it but not the 10k. I did sign up to volunteer for the last one.

              Right now Sat looks a lot warmer than Friday so good luck. But then again it’s only Wed. That may change but I really hate to run alone (as you may have guessed.)

              Liked by 1 person

              • Even if I run with the group, most times times I’m still running alone. You’re lucky that you have multiple people to run with; not all of us do.

                Sat definitely looks better but it’ll be hard for me to be gone that long, to get out there that early, and also hard to get in my miles .

                Friday is supposed to be sunny & not too windy. If that changes, I may have to run on Sat anyway and then definitely wouldn’t do the 10k (or maybe not do the winter series at all).


  1. Oh man, I can’t imagine running 13.1 miles on New Years Day, but kudos to anyone that did!

    I just ready Judy’s recap and she mentioned the wind too. It sounds like it was absolutely brutal!


  2. Pingback: I’m heading into 2019 with these five running goals – She Runs by the Seashore

  3. I love that the running group does this! And I love that they call it the Hangover Half! So hilarious!

    I didn’t race on NYE or NYD this year. We had too much going on with Mr PR’s birthday and other things. However, I did do a really nice 5K on the first Saturday of 2019 and it was the perfect way to get things going.


  4. Congrats! It’s fun to run races with friends and see familiar faces on the course. This sounds like a tough one with the hills and wind, but you did great!

    Liked by 1 person

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