Last Run Albany Race Recap 12/9/17

Runners are a special kind of crazy (photo from Running Buddy C)

It was both a PW (personal worst) and a PB (personal best) — PW in terms of finish time, PB in terms of #holottafun.

In fact, I’m kind of wimping out even calling this a race recap and posting it, but I guess you’ll need to read on to see why.

Packet Pickup
After last year’s long wait in the packet pickup line — read about it here — (not to mention the snow), I got to packet pickup more than an hour early and it was a breeze — later on, indeed, there were long lines.

Every year the “swag” bag gets more and more disappointing. I didn’t run this race back when they used to give out windbreakers, darn it! Just a sad non-technical thin long sleeve tee and a light (that apparently only lasted the length of the race for some).

Which left me plenty of time to hit the bathroom (and again later with Running Buddy C). The first time there was no line at all.

An elf doing the splits

Plan — what plan?
My usual plan for this race: have fun, and maybe take a few photos. But no photos outside this year — they just never come out worthwhile, so I’m using Running Buddy’s C photos — except for the snaps of the costumes.

Wineglass girls do Last Run

As the other Judy said (several of the Wineglass girls reunited for the race), the costumes are almost the best part of the race.

Everyone’s lit

I even got in on the action with a Christmas/Hannukah beanie and Hannukah socks. I never started my Garmin, so no mile pace info.

I knew from the get-go there was no reason to turn on my Garmin (photo from Running Buddy C)

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: We started out walking. As I discovered when I shoveled the driveway on Sunday, this wasn’t just snow — it was an icy mix. Very slippery. It’s also crowded, and there’s a small section on cobblestone. I’d say probably half of the first mile was walking, and the other half was a slog — there were parts that weren’t so slippery and we ran where we could.
  2. Mile 2: There are some good uphills in this mile. It’s also the mile that goes through the holiday lights in the park. Again, we had to walk some, but slogged where we could. And when we were slogging (which stands for slow jog, by the way), we didn’t walk at all.
  3. Miles 3: It’s downhill to the finish, but it was very slippery (as Darlene discovered the hard way right at the finish line). Mostly walking. Even walking there were a few close calls for some of us.
  4. Last .1: We did slog across the finish line. Below you can see Running Buddy C and me (I use the term loosely — she’s faster than me, so we never actually run together) looking as if someone asked for our wallets crossing the finish line.
I still say we look like we’re getting mugged!

I never consider this one a race, and I never race it. As you can see below, my times get progressively slower and slower but that’s because I end up walking & talking with friends. If it isn’t snowing next year, though, I’m willing to bet I can improve on this year’s time!

2017: 54:17 (snowing again!)

2016: 39:35

2015: 37:09

2014 – 34:27

2013: 38:10 (snowing!)

Met up with the USAFit Albany Peeps, too

The weather & dressing
It was a cold and the snow was really coming down: North Face Thermoball, Skirtsports Wonder Wool Tee and Skirtsports Heartbreaker Skirt (I’m a Skirtsports Ambassador), and Mudgear Compression socks with Hannukah socks over them.

I was pretty comfortable, but we were really covered with snow and it kept blowing into eyes and mouths and being kind of annoying, although it did make for a very pretty (albeit slippery) “race”.

The double socks help keep my feet dry, until I stepped in a puddle about midway through. Running Buddy J’s feet were wet from the get-go, unfortunately. Maybe next year I’ll get some obnoxious holiday leggings like Running Buddy J (just kidding! — they weren’t obnoxious).

Was the race well run?
Mostly. Perhaps they should have canceled this year? There were a lot of falls. It wasn’t sanded or salted (except for just a few spots in the park). That line for packet pickup got really long again, but if you get there early it was a breeze.

There was also an option for a free parking garage this year, but it was quite a hike from the race start — I had no desire to walk to and from the race in the snow, so I parked in my usual place — the Egg’s Visitor Center’s lot — it costs just $5 and that’s where the packet pickup is; you don’t even have to go outside until the race starts.

We had high hopes for Whole Foods as the food provider this year — when we finished, there were just apples and water. Apparently earlier there had been bananas. Hey Whole Foods — how about some hot chocolate? Some bars? Bagels? Peanut Butter?

Well, we were all headed back to my house for a potluck/bookclub meeting anyway. So don’t get me wrong when I say this race was a PW — we had lots of fun. No one (except Darlene) was hurt, and she says it’s not that bad. The fireworks are really cool, although it would actually be nice if they were a tad shorter — it’s almost always cold out there! Despite the weather, the subpar tee and refreshments, it’s always a fun time and I’ll be back next year — as long as I’m in town.

I’m linking up with with MCM Mama Runs, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and My No Guilt Life for the Tuesdays on the Run linkup.


This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup


33 thoughts on “Last Run Albany Race Recap 12/9/17

    1. Well, it snowed the first time I ran the race, too, but it wasn’t anywhere near as slippery that year.

      The organizers know what kind of crazy us upstate NY runners are. 🙂

      I don’t ever treat it as a race, although I usually do run it, but usually I end up running with friends who are slower & we just have fun.


  1. I’ve never run in the snow (only after it snowed and the roads were clear). Wow it looks cold — but that is great pic in front of the tree. If it was a PB in the #holottafun category, then everything is good in my books!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Running in the snow *can* be very magical, but if I’d run this whole race, I’m pretty sure I would’ve fallen at some point. I had nothing to prove!

      It’s very peaceful to be out there when it’s snowing. The drive home, not so much.


    1. No, because it wasn’t that much snow. There were portions where it was bare streets, and that isn’t good for the Yaktrax — they really need some snow for traction (and I do have some, and use them occasionally).

      Had I worn my trail shoes, that might have helped, but the forecast was for way less snow so I just wasn’t expecting it to be that bad.


  2. I agree, the Last Run is always a fun time. I do race it under good conditions (all except 2012 & 2017) Looks like you did in 2014.

    Thanks for hosting. Book club discussion & food were both very enjoyable. Looking forward to the next one (in better weather conditions)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I run it under good conditions, but usually with friends, so it’s rarely a race. It wasn’t as slippery the first time I ran it in the snow.

      If you’re waiting for better weather conditions, it won’t be til May, LOL!


      1. It wasn’t really enough snow for Yaktrax, and that first year I ran it it wasn’t anywhere near as slippery.

        When I shoveled the driveway, I discovered it was really an icy mix. Glad no one got in a real accident!


  3. Man, that’s a messy race! I’m surprised they didn’t cancel it either since they clearly didn’t prep the course well to keep you guys safe! I’d have been worried about a fall, too. UGH! Glad you guys were able to warm up with the potluck/book club afterwards. That’s a pretty decent way to end a race, I think!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Is this a race that is meant to be “raced?” Do they have AG awards and recognition? I’ve done a holiday-themed race a couple times where they have a clock at the finish line, but it’s for the runner’s information (not for timing). All the bibs just have a the race logo on them (no numbers), and there are no AG awards…but tons of door prizes. It’s a fundraiser for a local church (I think), and is all done in fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is actually meant to be raced, but it’s also a fun run. It is chip timed & I think there’s AG awards (I never really look, cause I never even come close). And yes, it’s chip timed, too. No door prizes though. 😦

      It used to have good swag — before I started to run it. Hmmmm.

      No matter, it’s always a good time!


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