July 2018 - RUNNING
Get Registered and Start Training!
By Mona Caron
Late summer and early fall may seem further away right now but if you have some distance goals in mind, it’s time to register and commit to your training now! If you’re new to distance, plan now to go farther or faster than you’ve gone before. If you’re a seasoned distance runner, sign up for one of these races you’ve never experienced or run a favorite again. Whether these races are the end goal or a means to reach a bigger goal, they are worth doing!
Depending on your goals, there are training programs to get you to the distance or the speed you desire. The Fleet Feet Running Club training starts again in July for all abilities, based in Albany and Malta. An experienced coach leads workouts for all levels, whether you’re a beginner 5K, advanced 5K or 10K, half or full marathon runner. Each week provides a gradually increasing distance and/or speed for each participant.
The local YMCA branches also have running and marathon training groups for members and non-members alike. Contact your local branch for more information. Running clubs are also a resource for runners who are looking for training companions and speed and/or distance workouts. Private gyms and coaches also promote their services as well.
If a fall marathon is your goal, completing a half about eight weeks prior to the race is suggested by many coaches. It’s also a great psychological hurdle to do half the distance.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Camp Chingachgook Challenge Half Marathon and 10K on the eastern shore of Lake George is on Saturday, August 11. Starting from the Lake George Elementary School, the course takes half marathon runners north along the east shore of the lake. While there are no steep hills, there are several rolling hills making it a doable challenge. The scenery is a beautiful distraction while you run up to YMCA Camp Chingachgook at Kattskill Bay.
Since it’s a point-to-point race, a free shuttle will transport your bag to the finish area and you back to your car after the race. Camp Chingachgook is hosting a post-race cookout for all runners and their families and the waterfront is open for swimming – and have access to the bathhouse. Family and friends can run the out-and-back 10K with start/finish at the camp. (lakegeorgehalf.com)
For a one-of-a-kind distance and beautiful location, try the 18.12 Challenge, Half Marathon and 5K on Sunday, August 26 in Sackets Harbor on Lake Ontario. Both the 18.12-mile and half marathon courses start and end at the same spot. This year race organizers are introducing a new course that starts and finishes at the Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site. Both routes are mostly flat with some rolling hills spread out throughout the course. Cash awards totaling $1,812 will also be given to the top male and female finishers in both races.
The 1812 Battlefield overlooks gorgeous Lake Ontario. The breathtaking view of the park, the lake and sailboats along the shoreline make for a rewarding finish line. Family and friends can enjoy the park and also run in this year’s inaugural 5K. (1812challenge.com)
On Sunday, September 16, The Saratoga Palio Melanie Merola O’Donnell Memorial Race, has become a signature half marathon and 5K in Saratoga Springs each fall. Both races start on North Broadway and end at historic Congress Park. The half course runs through the beautiful Saratoga Spa State Park and eventually finishes by joining the 5K course, which spans through Saratoga’s south side before turning into Congress Park – where there’s also a kids’ fun run. There will be cash prizes for the half marathon.
After the race, enjoy the Druthers Brewing after-party with great food, beverages and live music just a few blocks from the finish. All participants will receive a coupon for a free beverage and food item. The Melanie Foundation’s most significant fundraiser, it awards a scholarship each year to an outstanding post-graduate student in the field of mental health. In 2018, they’ll also be donating to support the Latino Community Advocacy Program, which provides interpreting, advocacy and educational programming to Latino immigrants in Saratoga County. (thesaratogapalio.com)
Farther south, the 40th annual Dutchess County Classic Half Marathon and 5K will be on Sunday, September 16 at Lagrange Middle School in Lagrangeville. To celebrate 40 years, you can meet champion runner Bill Rodgers, winner of the 1978 Boston and NYC marathons, who will run the DC Classic this year.
There are new courses this year, with the half being almost identical to the original Classic course. This half is “mostly flat with a few gentle rolling, very small hills,” a common theme among many of these races so be sure to include a few rollers in your training! The 5K route is flat and fast. The kids’ one-mile race is out-and-back – ideal for lots of cheering for the kids. (dcclassic.com)
There are a lot of races at the Adirondack Marathon Distance Festival in Schroon Lake and Chestertown on Saturday-Sunday, September 22-23. Sunday’s marathon, starts and finishes in the town of Schroon Lake, with one full loop around Schroon Lake on paved roadways, except for a half-mile stretch of gravel road in mile three. The first four miles are rolling or flat, miles four to 12 feature short, but steep hills while miles 13 to 18 are flat, along the east shore. Some gradual hills lead you to the finish at the spectacular Schroon Lake Public Beach. The “Pace Bears” will help you meet your marathon goals.
Sunday’s half marathon is one of the most scenic races in the Northeast, and it’s part of the 2018 USATF Adirondack Grand Prix. It starts in the hamlet of Adirondack on the east short and follows the second half of the full marathon course. The marathon offers two- and four-person relays. The two-person teams each run 13.1 miles and the four-person relayers can choose legs of 4.4, 8.7, 5.1 and 8 miles. Saturday’s 5K and 10K races, organized by the Helpers Fund, are held in nearby Chestertown, and the Kids’1K Fun Run is in Schroon Lake. (adirondackmarathon.org)
Nestled against the Green Mountains, the Vermont Sun Half Marathon, 10K and 5K is on Sunday, September 23 at Branbury State Park in Brandon, Vt. The lake region of central Vermont is a most spectacular and pristine place to run and runners will enjoy the beautiful foliage while starting on the shore on Lake Dunmore.
According to race director Steve Hare, “the half marathon is mostly flat with a few hills and gorgeous. It’s an out-and-back course, a combination of paved and dirt roads, and 90% of the route is shaded with very little traffic.” Runners will enjoy plenty of support with aid stations at every mile and a half. Branbury State Park is race central with the accompanying 5K and 10K races starting and finishing in the same spots. The races are organized by the same people who direct the Vermont Sun Triathlon Series. (vermontsun.com)
The grand finale of the region is the Mohawk Hudson River Marathon and Hannaford Half Marathon on Sunday, October 7. Both point-to-point races are fast, flat and have an elevation decline, so your PR awaits. According to Runner’s World magazine, the marathon is “simple, understated and stunning,” an event with “all the amenities of a major marathon with none of the hassles. The marathon starts at Schenectady’s Central Park and makes its way to the Mohawk Hudson Bike-Hike Trail at mile four. For 14 miles, you can enjoy the river views along the Mohawk and Hudson. There’s 3.5 miles of Watervliet city streets, before you’re back onto the bike path for a strong finish and a cheering crowd in downtown Albany. The marathon attracts some of the best runners in the Northeast, so there’s no better place to test your mental and physical strength than this course.
The half marathon starts at the Colonie Mohawk River Park and proceeds to the bike trail. The half is the second half of the full marathon. The very popular half recently sold out, however there’s still room in the full. Last year, the Adirondack Sports Expo & MHR Marathon/Half Packet Pickup moved to the Albany Capital Center, and was expanded with more vendors, activities and attendees. The Hudson-Mohawk Road Runners Club organizes these well-run, super-supported races with a lot of volunteer and community support. (mohawkhudsonmarathon.com)
Think about accomplishing one of the challenges of your life, the marathon, or the half marathon – half the distance, all the bragging rights. Get registered and start training... You’ve got this!