September 2018 - RUNNING
Changes Afoot at Stockade-athon 15K
By Ray Newkirk
In Schenectady, the 2017 edition of the MVP Health Care Stockade-athon 15K saw increases in the number of registrants and finishers, but the popular November road race is not leaving well enough alone.
The course has been modified slightly. “Our old course entered a bike path about a mile from the start,” noted co-director Brain Northan, “and there was considerable congestion. In 2018, we’ll run down one of the streets in the Stockade section of Schenectady and eliminate the bike path. We’ve also eliminated a number of the turns in the Vale Cemetery part of the course.”
The prize structure will also see some changes. Last year, prize money was limited to local runners. This year, all runners will have a chance to share in the slightly larger money pool. “We haven’t abandoned our goal of trying to benefit local athletes,” Brian said. “There’s still money set aside for locals. But we’re providing prize money to top finishers regardless of where they live, as well.” Local runners will be able to “double dip” – i.e., they can claim prize money in both the all-comers and local categories.
A Clydesdale/Athena division is being reintroduced. Along with 15 age-group divisions, an age-graded division, and open and masters team competition for USATF teams, the Stockade-athon offers a robust awards structure.
Finally, changes are being made to the MVP Stockade Cup Relay, introduced last year. The relay, in which each of three team members runs a 5K leg of the 15K course, was less than a roaring success last year. “We had fewer than ten teams participate,” noted co-director Ray Newkirk. “We think that’s because teams needed to be made up of runners who worked for the same business organization.” To encourage team creation, the Stockade Cup has added two new divisions to the race. In addition to the business division, runners will be able to create self-defined teams.
There will also be a division for veterans/active military. “The Stockade-athon falls on Veterans Day this year, and we wanted to do something to recognize the service of our veterans,” Brian said. There are no entry fees for veterans/active military teams in the relay. Veterans will also receive a discount on the 15K entry fee.
Despite the changes, the Stockade-athon will continue to do what it’s always done best – provide the amenities of a major event at a reasonable entry fee. Five-color commemorative shirts, hot and cold refreshments at the finish, live streaming results, and a safe course with medical support.
The MVP Stockade-athon will be run on Sunday, November 11. Additional information is available at stockadeathon.com.
Ray Newkirk (firstname.lastname@example.org) is president of the Hudson-Mohawk Road Runners Club in Albany.