Miles on the Mohawk Race Recap


May 29, 2022 – 9:00 am

With most of the local races either cancelled or virtual, Albany Running Exchange (ARE) began scheduling COVID Safety Plan approved races in 2021.  This was one of them and unfortunately, it POURED the whole race.

In March, I ran their five mile race (Electric City). For today’s event, ARE used the same course as the Electric City five miler but added a full marathon and also a point-to-point 10 miler again.

This year, it SNOWED the entire Electric City Five Miler.

I was a little nervous in signing up for the 10 mile option.  Maybe this course was weather jinxed.

It was advertised as “a very fast, point-to-point course.”

As you can from the elevation chart below, it is not exactly what I would call fast (I see hills!!)

The logistics were also complicated for the 10 mile race. Either you parked at the start and got a ride back to your car after the race or you parked at the finish and got a ride to the start (or pay for the shuttle).

My preference was to park at the finish (even though that meant getting up earlier.)

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

I have run several 10 mile races. My slowest was in 2014: (1:49:55), my first one, and my PR was my third in the same year (1:38:45). All the others were somewhere in between as well as last year (in the rain), where my time was 1:40:30. My expectation for this race would be around 1:40 again (but who can tell these days?)

Usually on the weekends, I do run 8-10 miles. But this month I skipped them in favor of a few short races.  It’s amazing how quickly the endurance that you built up leaves.

But I picked things back up with a half marathon the weekend before.

almost a PW so I didn’t think I’d be too worn out for this race.

But being very lax about training, my only goal these days is to finish uninjured and have fun.  And when you run a race this time of year, it could be 85 degrees or 55 degrees. We all know that the weather greatly impacts the racing experience.   (2:12 vs 2:32 finish times. lol)

I picked up my race packet on Friday evening.

and carb loaded on Saturday evening (pasta instead of pizza) and debated about what to wear the next day. I was hoping that it would be warmer than last year but NOT as warm as last weekend.

Forecast was for WARM but I thought not that humid (WRONG) and so I added my compression calf sleeves and a baseball cap.

Race Day:

I got up around 6:00 am on Sunday morning, had my coffee and oatmeal, and was on the road by 7:00 for my 30 minute hour drive to race parking.

I parked my car in the Golub Parking lot near Mohawk Harbor, the finish for all races (but the start for the 5m & 26.2 mile races.)  I did not sign up for the shuttle because I knew that I could carpool with another runner.  My friend Sherry offered to drive again to the start if I would drive her back to her car after. I happily agreed

I met Sherry at 7:45 and we drove to the start which was about 15 minutes away.

There was plenty of parking in the grassy lot.  We were plenty early so we had time to walk around, visit with the animals and use the (real) restrooms.

baby goats

It had been a while since my breakfast so I ate a Honey Stinger waffle.  There was water ad cups which was nice.

restrooms

As you can see from the photos, there was not a cloud in the sky!! A beautiful day.  And the conditions seemed perfect early that morning..

ready or not…

The 10 mile race started at 9 am. Soon it was time to head to the start area.

There were no corrals so I just entered into the crowd somewhere in middle or perhaps closer to the front. I chatted with friends until it was time to move.

Sorry to be a broken record but it was summer and my goal for races these days is FINISH happy (that is not injured and ready to do another.) Throw those time goals out the window!!

Miles 1-3:

The race began near Mabee Farm Historical site. The first mile headed west, mostly on Route 5S. We ran along the road and fairly soon connected with the Erie Canal Bike Path.

In other words, the canal was on our right and most of the race was run on the path with water views. I ran the first mile wondering my knee (which had bothered me the day before) would hurt.  It never did.

mile 1

Everyone appeared to be passing me by. I didn’t look at my watch, just kept going with the flow.

The scenery was pretty. Unfortunately there was little if any shade! Of course, my pace was decent at first. I was feeling good… until I wasn’t.

The Mohawk river changed to being on the left. And the temps started warming up quickly.  Those poor marathoners (and I had a few friends running the 26.2) I kept thinking.

The first water stop was at mile 3.3 (Kiwanis Park)  Dying at this point. I actually drank Nuun (which I don’t even like) and poured a cup of water down the back of my shirt.

Miles 4-6

Most of the race is a blur. I walked and ran.  Those runners around me were doing the same.  I tried to run more than walk.  Not sure at times if I did or not. Some runners did continue to just run.  But we played leap frog as I passed them when I ran and they passed me when I walked.

Around mile 4, I finally got hungry so I stopped to eat my Gu (trying to eat and run slowly). There was finally second water stop at mile 5.6 (Lock 8 Park). More Nuun and also water poured down my back.

Miles 7-10

The temps were rising. I wished I hadn’t worn my calf sleeves. The third water stop was around mile 8.1 (SCCC Bike Path Parking Area). They gave out GU gel so I grabbed a packet and ate it with some Nuun.  And gave myself one last shower of water.

Around mile 9, some annoying hills appeared. Maybe there weren’t big hills and I was just getting tired. I tried to run up them but it was more like a slog.

At this point, my lower back started to ache. Why? My form? My shoes?  (Who knows?) My feet did not hurt so there’s that!!

The crowd was also thinning.  I was often running alone.

And I was walking more and running slower.

Soon we were running on a dirt path (construction on the bike path?). That was followed by a trail of rocks…

But eventually we headed toward Mohawk Harbor where you could hear the roar of the crowds.

As I headed toward the finish line, I got one last burst of energy.

My friend Jenny took this pic as she screamed my name

I crossed at 1:43:xx. Slower than I had hoped but happy to done and upright.

I got my medal and some water. I was feeling queasy so I ate another Gu. I immediately felt better.

Lots of tired happy folks.  The 5 milers were done and many of the 10 milers.  Only the leaders of the marathon had finished. There was a band, beer, food, etc.

Pictures first, right?

Next, I grabbed my lunch and ate the chips while waiting for Sherry to finish.

turkey sandwich and a brownie

I stopped by the results table and not surprisingly I did not win an age group award.

I’m not a beer drinker but we needed something cold to drink so we got our free one nd sat at a table in Druthers to relax and eat.

I had wanted to wait around for a friend to finish the marathon but she was not going to be done for hours so we decided to call it a day.

Well, I turned on the air conditioning in my car (we laughed as last year, I had to turn on the heated seats) and I drove Sherry back to her car at the race start. We passed many poor marathoners still out on the course with many miles to go 😦

Additional Race Reflections:

So yeah, I finished slower than I wanted. But hey, it was much hotter than I had hoped. It was fun to see many running friends. I never regret a race that I’ve run.

Positives:

  • Ample parking at the start and finish.
  • Several distances: 10 mile, 5 mile, marathon
  • Real restrooms at Mabee Farm
  • Bag check for 10 milers
  • Well marked course.
  • Varied scenery including river views
  • Lots of course marshals (even in the heat).
  • Shuttle to the start (if needed).
  • Well organized.
  • A lot of pre-race information.
  • Familiar faces
  • Decent Post-race food.
  • Race shirt optional for more money
  • Cool medal.
  • Free Beer (in Druthers)
  • Free photos
  • Immediate results (and live tracking)

Negatives:

  • HEAT
  • More water stops needed (for this weather)

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. Yes.

It was super well-organized. Special attention was paid to EVERY detail. It will be even more fun when the weather is cooler.

Final Stats:

Splits:

retaining my title as “queen of the positive splits”

Walking definitely slowed down my pace:

walked more as the race continued but finished upright!!

Next Up:

A 5k the Saturday after

and then a 15k a few weeks later.

Happy Running! Have you run a race yet in the summer heat? ? If so, how did go? Are you planning to run a long race this summer? Please share.

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


I’m also linking up here:

with co-hosts Coach Debbie RunsConfessions of a Mother RunnerMile by MileRuns with Pugs, and Laura Norris Running.

24 thoughts on “Miles on the Mohawk Race Recap

  1. You and the other 4 ladies in front of you in your age group are quite close together! That wasn’t a slow time at all, Darlene!
    And the starting area and the course look beautiful.
    I will have a 6-mile race on Saturday and the weather looks warmish. But we’ll be in the forest for a good part, so we should be fine.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As you know, I’ve run many Summer races. Some go well despite the heat, and some don’t. It’s what you “sign up for”, I guess.

    It is a pretty area, though, and you had friends with you, so it sounds like a good time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly. I ‘d rather run a race in the heat then just run by myself. But we’re all different.

      It is a pretty course… so far I haven’t had perfect weather so I guess I’ll keep signing up.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The racing options here in the south have already begun to dwindle, as the heat has cranked up. I was tossing around the idea of a trail race in July but I have so many other things going on I may not be able to run that. We’ll see. Great job on your race!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What is it with these late start times? If this race had started at 7 am, you guys would have been much more comfortable. We have a lot of 5Ks here in the summer, but no long races. But- you still finished with a good time! As Catrina pointed out, the women in front of you were actually very close. But you’re not doing it to win awards, you’re doing it to have fun. I do feel sorry for the marathoners- hopefully they were prepared for the heat!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The marathoners looked sad. My friends had her worst time ever. We don’t usually have weather this warm this early so I guess they can’t make last minute changes.

      Like

  5. I love a 10 miler as well. I agree you never know what to expect in the summer. That is why I don’t do any in the summer lol. You have some fast women in your town!b Congrats to you on another great race.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks.

      You’re smart. But they don’t ask me when to schedule them. Our spring is also colder and snowier than yours.

      Like

  6. You may not have won an age group award but you are still definitely a winner! Way to go!! I love your attitude as you tend to focus on the positive things. It’s been great reading about your race experiences. I signed up for my 2nd one this year and am excited about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ugh, sorry it was so hot. It was a beautiful day though (glass half full?). Congratulations on getting the job done under tough conditions. At least it didn’t snow the whole way!

    Liked by 1 person

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