September 2017 - RUNNING STOCKADE-ATHON
Oldest 15K Road Race in the USA
By Ray Newkirk
The 42nd running of the MVP Health Care Stockade-athon 15K takes place on Sunday, November 12 at 8:30am in Schenectady. This year’s race will have some positive changes in store. It’s still a Hudson-Mohawk Road Runners Club event. It will run through the beautiful Stockade Historic District in Schenectady. The age-group awards will still be unique, locally-made pottery. Food and drinks will be ample. The entry fees are the same. And the sponsors – MVP Health Care, Fleet Feet Sports, and the Schenectady Y – are still on board.
But some things have changed. The new race directors are myself, Ed Neiles, Brian and Jessica Northan and Jon Rocco.
While prize money is still available – $7,500 in total, with $5,250 going to male and female open, masters, and age-graded runners and $2,250 to male and female open and masters teams – the winners will need to be “local” to cash in. According to co-race director, Brian Northan, “local” is broadly defined. To be eligible for cash prizes, runners will need to live in specified New York counties (Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer, Fulton, Greene, Columbia, Schoharie, Montgomery, Saratoga, Warren, or Washington) or in Berkshire County, Mass., or Bennington County, Vv. HMRRC members are eligible regardless of residence, but will have to have been members before June 1.
“We want to support our local runners with this change,” noted Brian. “We have some very competitive local athletes in all age groups. Keeping prize money local recognizes these athletes’ year-round contributions to the local running scene. And, of course, we want to highlight the benefits of being an HMRRC member.” Five-year age-group awards are not restricted by geography.
A second change is the introduction of a team relay, the MVP Stockade Cup. Teams must be composed of full-time employees of business organizations, including not-for-profits. Each team will consist of three members, each of whom runs a 5K leg. Cups will be awarded to both male and female teams, with no co-ed teams. Relay runners will get individual times for their legs, and there is a prize structure for the fastest relay runners.
“The relay is something we’re experimenting with and I think it’s a great idea,” Brian added. In 2017, we’re limiting participation to 100 teams, with no more than six teams coming from any one employer. We want to make sure we have the logistics worked out. Buses will be transporting runners to and from the 5K and 10K points in the race, so it’s a bit tricky. If runners and their employers like it, and everything works as planned, we may expand the relay in 2018.”
Providing shirts to runners isn’t new. But the Stockade-athon hopes that its commemorative shirt, available to the first 1,500 registrants, will stand out. A five-color design will make 2017’s gender-specific long-sleeve tech shirt distinctive, something runners will want to wear. Relay participants will also get a five-color shirt, but with a different design and in a different color.
The Children’s One-Half Mile Run is 11am at City Hall, presented by MVP Health Care and Schenectady YMCA. This is a non-competitive run for ages 12 and younger. Kids run entry is free but all participants must be registered prior to race day.
Registration is open for individuals, team relay and children’s run at stockadeathon.com. Register early to save money.
Ray Newkirk (firstname.lastname@example.org) is president of Hudson-Mohawk Road Runners Club in Albany.