Firecracker 4 Race Recap 7/4/18


Ah Firecracker: the race we love to hate and yet keep coming back to, year after year. Always hot (except for one fluke cool year), it was much hotter than previous years. We all set out to take it sort of easy and enjoy the race — and we did!

Good thing we did the group photo before the race!

Getting There & Hanging Out
We have a group that has been either meeting up at the race and/or going up together — like this year. A few others come and meet up with us too, and we all ran into more people we knew as we walked around, as usual — including a few ladies from the Freihofers training challenge, which was nice to see.

Thankfully the city center, where packet pickup is, is air conditioned. And real bathrooms. You would think that we would just hunker down inside there — that everyone would hunker down inside there — and we pretty much did.

It wasn’t quite as bad as we all thought it would be, though. We had time to take a few group photos before the race began. Afterwards we were all a hot mess!

Skirt Sports was well represented

The weather & dressing
Skirt Sports for the win. I went with the Racecation Tank (yes, I wore the exact same one last year!) and Cool It Skirt; Newton Motion on the feet.

It was hot — 80F — and not a cloud in the sky.

My Race Plan
Coach Rachel @ Runningonhappy had a plan for me and it was basically to use this as a progressive run. I didn’t ask, but with the hot temps, I threw the plan out the window and just ran by feel.

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 10:59. Last year I talked about being frustrated by slow racers/walkers in this mile, but mused if I’d started out faster maybe I would have slowed down in the last mile. Somehow this year I started out much faster and for the most part, just maintained a consistent pace.
  2. Mile 2: 11:00. The first water stop isn’t until this mile, but I carry my own water and never stop at a stop (but I sure ran through every sprinkler and hose out there, and I quickly lost count of how many there were — the spectator support is one of the reasons I love this race!). Because parking is difficult and we have to leave early, I’d have filled my bottles with water the night before and froze them. Otherwise it would have been like drinking bath water — that worked well for me.
  3. Mile 3: 10:50. Almost exactly the same pace as last year; it’s a relatively flat mile.
  4. Mile 4: 10:57. This last mile is always tough. There’s no shade. It’s mostly uphill. Always a hot race, this year was the hottest one ever — 80F at the start as opposed to last year’s 70F at the start — and as usual, not a cloud in the sky. There was a man that went down right in front of me in the last half mile — always so scary (I assume it was due to the heat).

44:02 — Official Time
11:04 Average Pace
43 out of 100 in 55-59 division

Previous years:
2017: 44:17
2016: 47:10
2015: 44:11
2014: 47:48

I had no clue what my past race finish times were. I just went out to run by feel and not kill myself. I was astounded to snag a course PR (not my 4 mile PR, that was set in a race in early Spring quite a few years ago that was much, much cooler) — by a mere 9 seconds but I’ll take it!

The best part? Of course it wasn’t easy, but it didn’t feel as hard as I expected it to.

Was the race well run?
This race is so much fun — if you’re ever in Saratoga, NY on the fourth you should check it out. There’s a ton of spectator support and the locals are out in force with hoses — much appreciated — even on a hot fourth like this one!

The late start is a pain, as is parking. Unless you know Saratoga well, the parking situation can be nerve wracking.

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


41 thoughts on “Firecracker 4 Race Recap 7/4/18

    1. It was supposed to be a progressive run. 🙂

      But seriously, I didn’t watch my pace and just tried to push a little but be mindful of not pushing too hard.

      I was definitely super happy with the results!


    1. We always say this race should start earlier, but there’s a kid’s race afterwards, there’s a parade, I’m guessing there’s a reason for it.

      Always makes it tough — but the spectator support is so great, it’s fun, too!


    1. I don’t always run through the sprinklers, but this year it was so hot I definitely do.

      Last year they actually had misting stages along the course — like a cube throwing out mist. I didn’t see any this year & my friend said she didn’t either. But considering how hot it was, three cheers for all those spectators!


  1. Congrats on the course PR and consistent paces.

    The race starts about an hour and half too late or I’d consider it. Esp on a busy holiday.

    Looks like a similar beginning to the Palio that starts at the Convention center.

    At least this past heat wave acclimated you to ID.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice run! Congrats!!! You are such a consistent runner. Your mile splits were all so similar. Way to go. Loved seeing the pictures of you and your crew. Sounds like you had a wonderful race.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congrats on the PR! Those are some impressively even splits; may not have been the plan, but even is always better than fizzling out at the end.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Although they’re not all PRs. 🙂

      I do love my Newtons — but I find I can’t run in just Newtons or my Achilles starts to talk to me. Although I’d really rather just run in them! I need more cushioning sometimes, though.


  4. I bet running around Saratoga was beautiful. I looked at Skidmore on my college tour years ago, and it was my second choice. I got into my first choice so I stayed in Massachusetts.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Congrats on the PR even in the heat!! Whoop! And I think your decision of throwing the progression run out the window and running by feel was pretty smart. Progression runs are hard anyway and adding in sweltering heat and humidity just makes it more difficult. You may not have progressed in pace but you were pretty close each mile and I’d call that a big WIN! And I love hoses and sprinklers out on a hot run/race course. I don’t get too many sprinklers here on my runs but when we lived in Florida, oh yes…my favorite spot was the Baptist church about a mile from home with 5-7 sprinklers going at a time. Talk about play time! haha!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great job on the course PR! I ran a 4th race called the Firecracker 5k and for a second I thought we ran the same race, but then I saw yours was a 4 miler. Keep up the great work!


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