Last year I had run very little before the race. I had done a big hike and figured I had enough endurance to finish. This year I stuck well to my training plan. It was not an advanced plan, infact it was Hal Higdons beginner 15k. I wanted to run regular, but given the time of year (end of school year, summer heat/humidity) I wasn't looking for a PR.
I drove out to Utica Sunday morning and was a lot more relaxed than last year, I remembered where I was going /where to park. I grabbed my bib and immediately lined up for the portajohns. I saw a few familIar faces along the way and had a nice social half hour before lining up.
This race is crowded. I didn't bother elbowing my way into the road. I stood on the side street with a couple hundred of my orange bib colored friends. While waiting i happen to be near one of my Ragnar turtle ladies. 11 minutes after the race started, I crossed the start mat and began my journey to the Saranac Brewery. I definitely started in the right area because I wasn't being passed much and I wasn't doing an obscene amount of passing.
The mile 4 hill up the golf course was frustrating since it was narrow and lots of people chose to walk (my mountain climbing works to my advantage here) but after that it was smooth sailing (really though, mile 5 was my fastest)
The crowd support was great (minus the quiet golf course) there was plenty of water & ice. I also enjoyed a few sprinklers and Popsicles.
I did have a mishap with my shorts. I had worn them for my 8 miler with no issues, but after applying body glide on Sunday, my legs were raw. My shorts did distract me a bit, but my only goal was to beat my previous Boilermaker time, which I did easily finishing at 1:40:34 (last year I finished 1:46:39). Each year I've had a course PR, as it nears my actually 15k PR this trend might be harder to keep, but I'm up for the challenge!
The walk to water post finish is long, but eventually I was in the party and quick found my friends. Most everyone had a good day, either way the summer pils was going down easily so everyone was having a good day regardless. I hung out longer this year then previous years running into friends and catching up, sad but true they stopped serving beer and it was time to head out.
Since Utica is neatly between albany and Syracuse, i get the best of both worlds. So many friends run this, that it's an event I hope I'll never miss again.