Helderberg to Hudson Half Marathon Race Recap – Again as a Spectator

Image result for helderberg to hudson half marathon

***************April 15, 2022******

As with all my big races, I impulsively sign up way in advance (and then often regret it LOL).

I ran the first annual H2H half marathon in 2019. Due to COVID, in 2020, I ran the race virtually and in 2021, I ran it on a completely different course (a hilly one). Last year, it returned to its original course

So I signed up for 2023 Helderberg to Hudson Half Marathon for several reasons:

  • FOMO. Many of my running friends were doing it.
  • It’s local. I can sleep in my own bed.
  • I am familiar with the course. I run on it often.
  • It’s a downhill course. (470 ft elevation loss)
  • I was already sorta trained from my March 19 Half.
  • It was part of a challenge with the Miles on the Mohawk race that I had also signed up for.

Half Marathon Training:

If you follow my posts, you also know that I broke my foot on Feb. 14 while on a vacation in Florida and I had to DNS TWO half marathons (Fort Lauderdale and NYC).

I casually started running again after a month but really started after my 5 week x-ray revealed the the fracture has fully healed.

March 20

I debated over and over again on what to do about this race:

  • Transfer my bib and volunteer or spectate
  • Walk 13.1 miles
  • Run/Walk 13.1
  • Go for it… Run it!

The complication with the transfer was that I registered for the Challenge and it included TWO races – this half and  a 10 miler on May 28. So I would be transferring both.

So I contacted the Race Director and they said that they would be able to separate the registrations.

I had started running short and slow distances and gradually increased my weekend runs from 4 to 6 to 8 miles Using run/walk intervals).

Could I run 13.1 miles???

Ultimately, pride aside, I opted to skip the race, not risk injury and concentrate on being prepared for my May 20 half marathon.

And my running friend Barbara bought my registration to this race but I kept the one for the May 28 Miles On The Mohawk 10 miler (for now.)

Pre-Race Activities and Preparations:

thumbs up in 2019 as my 2:11:15 finish time qualified me for the 2020 NYC Half Marathon. & Marathon

last year, 2022, my finish time of 2:12:24 was my fastest of 9 for the year 

So before my injury, I was hoping that again this race would be my fastest of the year.

Today, I could just watch.

Several of my friends were running this race so I decided to volunteer to help in the finish area.

Race Day:

Since I had run this race before, I was familiar with the start and finish logistics.

Course Map:

My assignment was to help set-up at the finish line which was at Jennings Landing in Albany (along the Hudson.)

I arrived around 8:15 am and got a great spot in the parking lot by the boat launch and walked to the finish.

My first job was to help unload the bus with the checked bags.

I wanted to hang around and wait for runners to finish.

So I had also volunteered to hand out medals to the finishers.

I was fortunate to see the winners…

under 5 min pace for 13.1 miles (on a hot day.)

and of course, I got to see so many of my local running friends.

a former French student of mine

Soon some other friends who were course marshals joined me.

And we anxiously awaited our friends Sherry and Stan,.

They finally did and I was able to give them their medals.

And then we headed to get our boxed lunches (but skipped the beer tent.)

meeting more friends along the way

Post Race Activities:

And since it was Saturday I met my running friends for our usual brunch date.

And on Sunday, I ran 10 miles and 5 with my friend Barbara who ran this race virtually…

Additional Race Reflections:

The temps were warmer than usual for this time of year.  I think I made the right decision not to run the race.

We’ll never know.

Hopefully, next year, I will be healthy enough to train for the race.

The Good:

  • Lots of race info emailed and on website including runner guide and spectator guide.
  • Easy packet pick-up. Neat race-related items.
  • Registration options – cheaper without a shirt
  • Free bus from the finish to the start.
  • Many porta potties at the start and finish.
  • Bag Check. Well organized before and easy pick up at the end
  • Downhill course (except for first and last 2 miles)
  • Water and Nuun stops.
  • GU available at several water stops (even salted caramel)
  • Great crowd support
  • Well marked course for each mile
  • Clocks at 5k, 10k, 15k, 20k
  • Very cool medal.
  • Great post race refreshments (boxed lunch)
  • Immediate electronic race results
  • PR bell
  • Free photos
  • Nearby – no transportation or hotel costs.
  • Support from friends

The Bad:

  • The boring, unscenic last 2 miles.
  • Fat-free chocolate milk (I deserve the real thing after 13.1 miles)
  • This year, it was very warm!!

The Ugly:

  • Not being able to run the race (due to recent injury (broken foot)

Would I recommend this race?

Yes. Yes. Yes. ARE did a fantastic job attending to every detail.  I hope actually race it again next year.

Next Up:

RBC Brooklyn Half logo

May 20, 2023

and finally:

May 28, 2023 – I’m running the 10 miler

Happy Running!  Did you race this weekend? Do you have a big race coming up? Ever do a half marathon not properly trained? Do you volunteer often at races? Please share.







There is now a new link-up organized by Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner).

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

I’m linking up also with this link-up:



13 thoughts on “Helderberg to Hudson Half Marathon Race Recap – Again as a Spectator

  1. It must have been a hard day for the runners- they didn’t get any chance to acclimate before the warm temperatures. Maybe it was better to volunteer at this one instead of running it! And, your half is coming up in
    just over a month. That’s exciting.
    My race is on Saturday so of course I’m checking the forecast every 30 minutes. Right now it says it’ll be 88 degrees, SIGH! But, that’s Florida. I knew it wasn’t going to be cold.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had fun volunteering but I’d rather be running…

      I hope your race starts early and has shade.

      Your runs have been in the heat so you are ready!!!


  2. Ha, looks like we were in the same boat last weekend!
    Only you did it better than me, you volunteered! I always thought that handing out the medals to the finishers must be the best job ever.
    Especially when you know many of the runners!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It looks like way more good than bad (but unfortunately the ugly) for this race. I was supposed to run a 5k but got covid 2 days before it (this was the first time I’ve had covid). I also had a 10k I was going to run 2 weeks after that 5k, which obviously isn’t going to happen either. I’m doing much better by now, though, so as much as it sucked, I’m pretty much over it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As I’ve said, you made the best of your situation. Let’s hope the continued recovery time will have your foot in tip-top shape for next month’s 10-miler 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m glad it worked out that you could separate your registration and transfer your bib! It sounds like a smart ideas to pass on this one so you can focus on your next race. Looks like a great event!

    Liked by 1 person

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