Valley Cats Father’s Day Home Run 5k Race Recap


ValleyCats Father's Day Home Run 5K :: Hudson-Mohawk Road Runners Club

June 18, 2022 – 9AM

This race was not on my radar.  I was planning a long run and taking a break from racing.

Then my friend begged me to do it with her.  How could I say No?

I said that I would sign up if she ran 5 more miles after the race with me… (I wanted to be prepared for my 15k race the following weekend.)

This was not the first time I had run this race.  I ran it in 2010!!

they gave out free ice cream that year,

Yes, 12 years ago! I ran with Amanda, a running friend at that time:

This is the race where I met new running BFF Mary. We ran many races together after that. When she eventually moved to Palm Springs, I visited her twice.

Kelly and Mary (on the right)

Then I ran it again in 2016. I knew a lot of runners by then. And it was even more fun.

here with my friend Tom

and my age group competition, Carolyn

My time back in 2010 was 29:40 but improved to 28:47 in 2016.  Both years, I was 2nd in my age group (won a cap, then gloves).

2022? Anything could happen… no expectations.

Pre-Race Preparations and Activities:

I had a tiring two days working in NYC before the race. And I returned home very late the night before.

At least I did get in a few short runs during the week.

Race Day:

Below is the course map and elevation:

vchr5kmap

elevation according my Garmin is below…

I was really relaxed about this race.  I was soooo tired and so I had no real goals besides enjoying myself. And I also needed to save energy to run 5 more miles after the race!!

I got to the race early.. I never looked at the weather so I was surprised how windy and chilly it was.  I got my bib and shirt and sat in my car to stay warm (very odd since it was 91 degrees the day before when I was in NYC).

cotton shirt but also 4 free tickets to a minor league baseball game

Eventually I did get out to hang out with friends.

Heidi (who talked me into this race) finally arrived.

There were even real restrooms

She persuaded me to do one mile before the race so we would only have to run 4 more after.  It was more of a walk but still we got it done.

This race began and ended at the home of the Valley Cats, a local baseball team that plays at Joe Bruno Stadium in Troy, NY, on the campus of Hudson Valley Community College.

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The finishers are captured on the large stadium screen
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Reluctantly I left my jacket in Heidi’s car since I had DIY arm warmers on.  Still I was COLD!!

There was no chip timing at the start line so I started pretty close to the front. Heidi moved farther back.

and took this pic of me

Mile 1:

The race began in the parking lot and then we ran around the outside of the stadium before heading into the neighborhoods.

Valley_Cats_5K-055

this was in 2016 

Valley_Cats_5K-056

As soon as I started running I was no longer cold. I even immediately rolled down my arm warmers. And the wind was not as bad as it was at the stadium.

But I was dragging… I so wanted to be back in my bed catching up with my sleep. I was running but I couldn’t catch my breath and felt to need to walk.

I had started with my friend Carolyn (my age group rival) but she quickly got ahead and kept gaining on me as the race went on.

Mile 2:

Finally there was a water stop around mile 1.5 so I walked a bit. The neighborhoods were rolling hills but nothing too bad until one steep one during the second mile.  I tried to run up it but the legs just weren’t having it. So I ran/walked it.

We repeated most of the course afterwards so here are some pics from the neighborhoods

Carolyn was still way ahead but I also knew that she was fast and if I could see her in the distance, my pace wasn’t that bad. (I don’t look at my Garmin usually until the race is over.)

Mile 3-3.1:

A few more walks, I think. And then there was a welcome downhill during mile 3.

We finished the race inside the stadium and I gave it everything (which wasn’t much at this point).

I didn’t expect a PR however I really wanted to finish under 29 minutes.

And I did  – 28:43 (gun time)!! Course PR!!!

Post Race Activities:

Everyone whom I talked to before the race seemed to have a good race. Some finished ahead of me and some after.

I waited for Heidi to finish (and she did well, too.)

the happy runners with the Valley Cats mascot

We headed for the food while waiting for the age group awards to be announced.  There was  a decent spread: popcorn, bagels, cookies, bananas, coffee, water. I had a hot dog, coffee and cookie.

And I did win one – 2nd in my age group.

Carolyn in (orange) won a 1st)

yup, a bat.. hey, it was the “home run 5k”

We planned to run more miles after the race.  Did we want to???

Nope!!

I insisted and Heidi couldn’t say No so we went back to her car to get my jacket (I was shivering…)

We sorta did intervals but mostly ran until we didn’t feel like it.  We started in the stadium/college parking lots and then decided that it would be more scenic to run in the same neighborhoods as during the race.

We got it done!!! And immediately headed to Panera’s for our reward.

Additional Race Reflections:

When I dragged myself out of bed that morning, I was not feeling good about running this race.

As usually happens, I connected with some awesome people, ran a decent race and don’t regret it one bit.

Positives:

  • Ample parking.
  • Well marked course.
  • Lots of familiar faces.
  • 4 free tickets to a game as swag
  • Interesting course (through the neighborhoods and finish in a baseball stadium)
  • Friendly and abundant number of volunteers.
  • Free photos
  • Interesting 5 year age group awards (a bat)
  • Decent post-race food

Negatives:

  • Cotton shirt
  • Gun time (not chip timed)
  • Hills (but don’t most races)
  • Windy

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. Yes. It’s a nice local race. And very well organized. Maybe someone will twist my arm to run it again next year.

Final Stats:

Splits:

5 walks!!

according to my Garmin

Next Up:

Adirondack Race to the Lakes 15k

June 25, 2022

Happy Running! How was your weekend? Did you race? If so, how did it go? How did you celebrate Father’s Day? Please share.

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It’s Tuesday so don’t forget to link up with these wonderful ladies:  Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner).

30 thoughts on “Valley Cats Father’s Day Home Run 5k Race Recap

  1. Congrats on placing 2nd in your age group, Darlene! Despite feeling tired before you headed out for this race, you did really well!
    So hard to do another 4 miles after the race, especially if Heidi didn’t want to. But you both got it done.
    What are you going to do with the bat?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, I would imagine if someone is looking for a race buddy, they know who to turn to! Interesting that you really weren’t into running this race, but you still beat your two previous times. And funny that you’ve placed second every time you’ve run this race. Overall it looks like a really fun day- good luck on the upcoming 15K!

    Liked by 1 person

    • it’s also funny that the same runner beat me each time.
      and yes, I was too tired to race and still enjoyed the experience.

      Like

    • I agree. I don’t do speed work but I guess a 5k would count. Though it is hard to have enough mojo to do more miles after.

      Like

  3. That was a cold morning, especially for this time of year. But you did well, despite the weather . the hills and the fatigue. Great job…I love the bat, LOL 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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