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Monday, June 27, 2011

35th Adirondack Distance Run 2011

The Adirondack Distance run.  A USATF certified course and the Association 10 mile Championship.  It's a course for runners who enjoy a challenge.
Package pick up was at the Lake George Fire Station on Ottawa Street in Lake George, New York.  It was a well organized and easy pick up.   Package pick up is also allowed on race day but get there early because the race begins at 7:30 am sharp.
Excerpts from “Adirondack Sports & Fitness, June 2011” newspaper, by Laura Clark

The course forks onto Lake Shore Drive heading north with the lake towards Bolton Landing and concluding at the Rogers Memorial Park Beach. First timers might assume that running along scenic Lake George would logically be flat, but veterans know they are facing 10 miles of “rolling” Adirondack foothills.
The run begins at the intersection of Ottawa Street and Amherst.  It's a slight ascent as you turn left towards the main road, Lake Shore Drive.  The course doesn’t allow you to get a rhythm going because as soon as you think you’ve hit a flat, you face another hill. “It’s a course that teaches you to run when you’re tired” (as stated in Laura’s article by Jeff Nastke, Saratoga Stryder’s running coach. It’s a course that shouldn’t be taken lightly and requires some serious summertime training. Details:
For this runner, it was not a good day to run.  She had underestimated the course, not given it the respect it demanded.  While driving it the day prior to the race, the road seemed to offer just as many forgiving down hills and the up hills didn't really seem too bad.  Isn't that always the case when you're in a car?!
Although very shady and scenic, it’s a leg beater, and since it isn’t closed to traffic, runners are forced to the side of the road to deal with the camber for most of the 10 mile run.  That's tough on the ankles.  Overtaking fellow runners is also difficult due to the narrow one-sided road.
Buses picked up runners from Bolton Landing to take them to the starting point in Lake George at the Fire Station. The buses were also available at 9 AM to take people back to Lake George (if they parked at the race starting point). There isn’t a lot of crowd support but some fans dotted the course and at each mile, a person would yell out your time. The race was well organized with water stops at 2 1/2, 3 1/2, 5 1/2, 7 1/2, 8 1/2.
The first mile and a half to two miles is challenging as your legs get accustomed to the assents. The race seems to go quickly as you focus on getting yourself up the hills and then enjoy the dessents. Cycle riders patrolling the course are right on the ball, letting runners know to move over because a car is approaching from behind. They ride along side as cars also approach from the opposite direction.

Lake Shore Drive is home to a lot of little restaurants, hotels, motels, efficiency units and marinas so if you can take your mind off your exhaustion for a minute, you will certainly enjoy the scenery, possibly choosing your next vacation spot.
As far as “other necessities” aka porta-potties, they are available at the start. There are porta-potties at about the 9 mile point on the left side of the road, but I believe those just might be for the boat rental house. Still, they are available if one prefers. Otherwise, the deeply wooded course offers a sufficient outlet for those in need.
This runner went into the 10 Mile Distance Run thinking “10 miles is no big deal. I just ran 15 and 16 mile long runs in the past two weeks, there won’t be any problem with a 10 miler”. Don't make the same mistake.   Another mistake:  If you go out too fast, the course will NOT forgive you.  If it's your first time running this race, enjoy it. Take in the scenery and feel the course.  Sign up next year and then make your mark but the first year, BEWARE!
Mile by Mile
·       8:21
·       7:58
·       7:38
·       7:35
·       8:06
·       7:59
·       7:54
·       8:24
·       8:07 - half way through mile 9, a tall guy ran up behind and said “I think there are a couple of people we need to pass”. It was the push needed to finish.
·       7:26
The camaraderie:  It was great to hear that guy talk to me. After we crossed the finish line, he said "great run". I said "thanks so much, you too." Then he asked “so did you catch that girl?” I said, “Yes, but I think you gave me the push a little too early.” “NAH!” he said “It was 4 Minutes”. What a guy! We all need THAT guy in the last mile of a tough race.
As the finish line is crossed, your timing chip is removed and you are presented with a wonderful finishers medal.  A much deserved medal!  After enjoying the bagels, oranges, bananas, watermelon and all the other goodies to refuel, the results are posted on the side of a van by the finish. 
The finish area, Roger’s Park Beach is a beautiful site to relax and enjoy a terrific view.
The Adirondack Distance Run (results page).  Will this runner do it again? Maybe. It was a slap in the face. It was a wake up call. It was a challenge and, although challenges aren't necessarily fun while stuck in the middle, it's great to be able to say “I DID IT!”
Difficulty scale from 1 to 5 (1=easy,5=hard), it was a 3 1/2 for me.

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