Winter Series #1, #2 and #3 Race Recaps

As I have mentioned in previous years, the Hudson Mohawk Runners Club sponsors FREE races throughout the winter for its members. The course is pretty boring but free is free.

Usually, I try to run 4 of the races and volunteer at one. That gives you Winter Warrior status and a prize.

Last year, of course, the series was cancelled. So I was very excited that this year they decided (with some restrictions) to offer the five races again.

Unfortunately, I had out of town races scheduled for the last two dates and I would be only able to run the first three (and could not volunteer at all.)

Winter Series #1 – 12/12/21

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

There was a choice of a 3 mile race or a 15K.  Though I had 8 miles on my training plan, I signed up for the 3 miler.  I had run a 5k race the night before

and so I planned to just run and add some more miles after.

Race Day:

I was happy after a late night

that the race did not start until 10 am.  I arrived around 9:30 and signed in (you had to prove a negative COVID test or vaccination).  I was greeted by so many familiar faces. Most of whom were as crazy as I was and had raced the night before.

I also noticed when I looked at the course map that they changed the start from previous years and now it was a 5.5k or 3.4 miles rather than the advertised 3 miler..

Elevation according to my Garmin:

The temperature had dropped from the night before but at least it was sunny and not raining.  I was content and dressed appropriately.

As usual, these are very casual races so we all walked to the new start (the 15k racers started in a different location) and off we went.

can you find me at the right?

I realized after a 1/2 mile that I never started my Garmin.  Oops. I guess it didn’t matter but I decided to start it anyway.

The course is just a loop starting and ending at the college campus. In the middle you are running around a NYS Office campus. There are rolling hills here and there and lots of wind.

I ran much of the race with my neighbor Kathy (who has cancer) or actually trying to keep up with her.  In the end, I could not catch her.

can you see how far ahead she got?

And until the last mile, I tried to run at an even easy pace. I even skipped the water stop.  I did walk up that last hill lol.

the last stretch before you turn into the finish line (apparently I see a photographer!)

When you cross the finish line, there is a clock and they hand a piece of paper to record your time.

sprinting to the finish!

My finish time was 32:18.

Post Race:

I chatted with Kathy for a bit.

and then two more of my friends crossed the finish line and we walked inside together.

The best part of these races are the refreshments.  I had some delicious soup, some cookies, chips and then some hot chocolate.


a pre-pandemic picture – that’s why they are not masked

There are awards but for 10 year age groups and with only 1st and 2nd place given, I rarely win. I was 3rd.

Oops – they got my age wrong.

Although I felt like going home, I decided to add some more miles so I could call it a “long” run.

slow but done!

Final Stats:


minus .5 miles at the beginning of the race

only one walk!!

Winter Series #2 – 1/1/22

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

There was a choice of a 3.5 mile race or a half marathon.  I had run the half marathon one year and it was deadly (4 loops!!)  And besides I had gone out with friends the night before to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

Race Day:

I was happy after a late night

and too much food and drink but a fun time…

that the race did not start until noon!!.  I arrived around 11:30 and signed in.  I was greeted by so many familiar faces. Most of whom were as crazy as I was and had celebrated until after midnight the night before. Due to the surge in COVID cases, I was more cautious than usual and did not spend much time chatting indoors.

It seems that at least for this race that they did not change the distance or course but I did remember thinking that it was usually 3.75 miles NOT 3.5!!


Elevation according to my Garmin:

Most of runners waited outside for the race to begin. We got lucky with the weather. Although very overcast, it was 50 degrees! On January 1st? I’ll take it.

No beanie, no vest or arm sleeves, and no gloves!!

There was both a 3.5 miler and half marathon.  Both races started at the same time and location.

The course was similar to the last race but started in a different location so it was longer.

I made sure this week that I started my Garmin.  I don’t care about my pace at all but there are no mile markers so it helps to see which mile I’m in.

As I said, all runners started together. Some of my friends were running the half. Shortly after we started running, we had to either turn left or right.  I started to run left and then I realized that I was going the wrong way. I quickly turned around and ran the other direction (glad I realized it right away).

no it wasn’t that warm!

Not much to say about the race.  Although it was afternoon, my stomach felt unsettled from the food/drink of the night before.

I did my best to run at a nice even pace but it felt harder and harder to speed up… so I didn’t. It seemed like runners were passing me by and those half marathoners sped by at incredible speeds.

in the zone and not aware of the photographer

Since I wasn’t running that fast, I didn’t need to stop for water and didn’t have to walk.

Finally, the finish was in sight, I gave it all I had.

As I mentioned above, there was a clock and they called out times but you recorded your own time on a piece of paper. Mine was 35:45.

And yes, it was 3.75 miles!!

first race of 22 in the books!

I put on my mask and waited for some friends to finish.

The race is named after this guy… isn’t he cute?

Post Race:

We all went in to get something to eat.  There was the usual delicious soup, lots of bagged snacks and coffee and hot cocoa.

Being so warm, we were able to eat outside.

I finally went back inside for the awards… Not a chance with 10 year groups and only 1st and 2nd places.

I was 3rd again

Though my legs were ready to call it quits, I knew that rain was forecast for the next day.  So I had to continue running and decided to stay here again and do two loops around campus.

ugh… what a slogfest

Final Stats:


hey.. no walks!

Winter Series #3 – 1/9/22 

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

The usual short runs squeezed in around my work schedule.

I had decided to do things differently for this race.  NOT RACE IT!

I scheduled my 12 mile long run the day before rather than adding on miles after the race (Post race miles never go well anyway.)

9 degrees feels like -4

For this race, I would just go run it to hang out with friends and eat some food.

Unfortunately due to the spike in COVID cases, they decided to cancel the race.

As I mentioned above, even if the last two races happen, I would not be around to run them.

Hopefully the Winter Series will be held again next winter.

Additional Race Reflections:


  • Ample parking.
  • Well marked course.
  • FREE if you are a member of HMRRC. $5 if not
  • Indoor restrooms
  • Warm place to congregate before and after
  • Several distances to choose from.
  • Many familiar faces.
  • Awards – gift certificate for Bountiful Bread
  • Post race refreshments – delicious soup, snacks, cookies, hot chocolate, coffee and more
  • Free Photos


  • Self reported finish times (sometimes I forget to look at the clock or start my watch)
  • 10 year age group awards and only 2 deep.
  • Usually windy.
  • Boring course.
  • Several loops if running more than 3 miles.

Would I recommend these races?

Absolutely. Great way to stay active during the cold winter months.

Next Up:

a hilly half marathon in NYC on January 23, 2022.

Happy Running! Have you run any races in 2022 yet? Any in-person races on your schedule? How do you stay motivated dung the cold weather? Please share.







Since today is Tuesday, I’m linking up with Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner).


27 thoughts on “Winter Series #1, #2 and #3 Race Recaps

  1. It’s tough for me to stay motivated during the winter and it doesn’t even get nearly as cold here as it does in New York. I have trouble breathing in the cold air and I struggle to keep my hands warm as well. Great job to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats on your two 3rd place AG wins, Darlene! Or should I say 3 wins, if you count the one in the wrong age group! Amazing that you would have won in the younger age group category as well!
    So for 2022, you would theoretically have two races done already, had it not been for the cancellation. Well done!
    Looking forward to your next one in two weeks!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You were third both times! And in the first race you were only one second behind the second place finisher. Oh well- I don’t think you cared too much about your AG place. Both these races sound really fun! Sorry the third one was canceled. Your year is off to a great start!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nope for these races I didn’t care but it would be nice to win a gift card. They are offered as a fun race and they always are… well, not if you choose the longest distance, maybe.


  4. It’s great that you have access to so many races! This series really sounds fun…maybe a little similar to the series here in my current locale (which I won’t be able to take advantage of, LOL).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You know I am impressed with all of your races. Great job! I was just wondering about the race where you mentioned that you had turned left but then realized you were going the wrong direction. That must have been very confusing. I am assuming there was no signage? Was anyone supposed to turn left?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am always impressed by how many races you are able to do! Your area seems to have so many low key options all year long. Running must be in the water up there!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Even if you didn’t get any award you were on the podium! However we can consider all those beautiful photos as an award.
    Glad you could run 2 races for free and in person but I see that now the things are changing because of the Covid.
    Here the Covid situation is always worse.


    • Big Races are still happening here but they are being stricter with requiring proof of vaccination and wearing masks. Hoping the worse is over…


  8. Pingback: TT: Bling in 2022 – My First 5K and More…

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