The race begins at SUNY Adirondack, works its way to the Warren County Bikepath and ends at Battle Field Park in Lake George. Rolling course with a long down hill finish.
This is the second year for this 15k race. It replaced one of my favorite races – Adirondack Distance Run (10 miler). That was the one that starts in Lake George Village and ends in a park on the lake next to the marina where we keep our boat.
I was very disappointed that they cancelled this race. (After 40 years, they decided that it was dangerous to run on the road.)
My friend Sue and I have had many running adventures together:
Since Sue was the organizer of this new race, I felt that I should at least run it the first year. It was hard especially the first 5k but I actually enjoyed it so I signed up again.
However, in preparation for this race, I only got in ONE long run (and it was flat).
The rest of my weekend runs were ALL 5ks. (At least these had some hills).
The biggest challenge would be those hills. I knew that it was hilly. And we all know that I do not train on hills or do hill repeats. (Hopefully, there would be some muscle memory from those Prospect Park hills from the mid-week 5k the week before.)
I found this elevation chart on IG:
We have had some perfect racing weather and today was no different. In the 60s at the start, sunny and 70s at the end.
Anyway, I had no goals besides finishing unhurt. I haven’t run many 15ks. My surprise PR is from the Stockade-athon last November (1:30:15) and I ran this race last year at 1:33:54. But without those long runs and hill repeats, I planned to be cautious.
There were four water stops along the route: one at mile 2 (which served runners on the way in and out) and then along the bike path at approximately miles 4.2, 6.2 and 8. I would be stopping at each one and hoped that this would be enough.
Due to work, rain and other factors, I had not run much all week. Fresh legs is always good, right?
So what to wear? The usual.
The race started at 8 am which seemed fine (but since it is summer, I would even prefer earlier). I left my house around 6:15 am since I had over an hour drive. The race began at a college so there were real bathrooms and comfortable places to hang out before the race.
Last year, in lieu of a medal, each runner received a car magnet and a tech shirt. This year, just the gender-specific tech shirt.
None of my close running friends were running the race but I was surprised at how many runners I did know. I hung out with them until the race began.
Yes, that was the start line. No chip timing for this race.
I lined up with some friends but unfortunately not as close to the start as I should have.
So here’s how the race went: (The course photos are courtesy D. Yeaton)
Miles 1-3: 9:33, 9:46, 9:48
I knew what the course was like (though I did not find an elevation chart until after the race.) As I mentioned, I expected hills. I mean, it’s the Adirondacks so it is hilly everywhere.
One of the volunteers we passed said “Enjoy the roller coaster!” Yup, huge hills…up and down. Just past the water stop at mile 2.5, you turned around and repeated those crazy hills. I stopped at the first water stop to take a GU (since my breakfast was hours ago.)
I started slowly and tried to run up them. After two hills, I realized that that was a mistake, I just ran/walked up them. No sense killing my legs. I ran most of the race around the same women. Piggybacking with them. They ran slowly and passed me on the hills and I got closer to them on the downhill and sometimes even passed them.
Miles 4-6: 9:31, 9:45, 11:23
After the first 5K, we headed to the bike path. The steep hills disappeared but it was a steady incline. I kept hoping for a downhill but it never happened (until mile 7). At least, most of the path was shady.
I stopped and walked at each of the 4 water stops. I took a GU at the 3rd one.
The hills on miles 1-3, definitely tired me out. My plan changed from just walking at the water stops to walking up the hills to finally just walking whenever my legs were too tired to run. That seemed to be very often. Still I was keeping up with the same ladies. Perhaps I was running fast when I was actually running. The steepest hill was between miles 5 and 6 (see pace above)..ugh!
Miles 7-9.4 –10:25, 10:01, 9:23 (.4 – 8:29)
The rest of the race was on the bike path and the part of the path that went downhill right into Lake George Village (opposite the lake). Finally running downhill!! Though, it seemed too little, too late to make up for the slow mile 5-6.
I commiserated with a few ladies during the bike path stretch. Then I lost them as I got a second wind and tried to sprint to the finish.
The path to the finish line was on grass – soft but difficult to run fast on.
I crossed officially at 1:32:38 (1:32:36 Garmin Time) and I was happy. I expected worse from this course and it was actually FASTER than last year!!
Refreshments included watermelon, bananas, home made cake, ice cream provided by Ben & Jerry’s, water and Gatorade.
I headed right for the watermelon and then the ice cream.
There was no formal Awards Ceremony. Instead there was an Awards table next to the Finish Line where 5 year age graded award winners could pick up their mugs.
And I came in 2nd!! (The runner that beat me just turned 65 😦 )
Last year, we all headed to lake to soak our feet in the cold water. (I even brought a towel and flip flops this time.)
This year, the water was too high (from all the rain) and so not much of a beach. Just took a pic, instead.
I was cursing at those hills as I was running the race. Now that’s it’s over, I am thinking about a repeat next year.
Since this was a point-to-point course, you had to board the school bus to get back to your car. It seemed to be a really long ride but a fun one as I got to know even more runners. (My biggest mistake was not getting on one of the 2 buses that left at 10 am. I had to wait 45 minutes for the next bus.)
After I got back to my car, I headed back to the lake to spend the day with my friend who lives there. We went to a craft fair, had lunch and drinks, chatted and went to the outlets. I didn’t get home until 6:30 pm!!!
Back to the race:
They say “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” And I was only a little sore the next day and back to running again on Monday. So all is good.
- Easy organized packet pick-up.
- Lots of parking
- Real Bathrooms at the start and near the finish
- Scenic course – especially the bike path (with running water views and shade)
- Gender specific tech shirt
- Adequate water stops (4)
- Capped at 300 runners so not crowded on the bike path
- Mug as an age group award
- Excellent post race food – bananas, watermelon, home-made cake, ice cream
- Bag check and bags transported to the finish
- Ended at the Lake
- Photographer at the finish line
- Not chip-timed
- No port-a-potties along the course
- The hilly looped portion of the course
- Last year we got a car magnet. This year, nada. A finishers medal would have been nice.
- A long wait for the second bus back to the start. 45 minutes!!!
- Would love a bus from the finish to the start as well. (That way I could leave right after the race.)
There are always glitches with a newish race but there really weren’t any big ones.
I thought I might run a 5k on the next two weekends but instead, I think I am going to just run for fun with my friends. So my next scheduled race is a 5k on July 13.
Since today is Tuesday, I’m linking up with these ladies.
Happy Running! Any exciting plans for the summer? Do you enjoy running new races or do you prefer ones that you have already run before? Flat or hilly races? Does it matter?