Bill Hogan 3.5 mile Race Recap 1/1/19

Thanks for the photo, Darlene

This race isn’t scenic. It isn’t fun. And the weather is usually in some way nasty — this year it was with 30 mph winds gusting up to 40 mph. Yet, I come back year after year — I always feel my year starts out on the right foot with this “race”.

The Hudson Mohawk Road Runners Clubputs on what they call the winter series. They are, at their heart, a supported long run:

  • There are water stops
  • There are course marshals
  • There are different distances to choose from
  • There is food afterwards
  • There are photographers
  • There is no fee for club members; $5 for non-members

What they are not:

  • They are not chip timed
  • They are not accurately measured
  • They are not scenic

Packet Pickup
There are no packets, since there are no bibs or chips or medals. I like the fact that the race doesn’t start until noon, even though I don’t stay up til midnight on New Year’s, but it does make eating a little funky.

However, despite the lack of shirts or even bibs, you still have to come early (parking can go quickly sometimes) and you do have to sign in — whether you registered online (I never do) or not.

This year I picked up one of our running group who lives near me (she’d driven me to Last Run) — we left around 10:45. We were definitely early, but some of our group were already there. I hit the indoor bathroom before there was a line.

Why yes, there was a plan
I planned to treat the race as a mini tempo run. I planned to warmup & cooldown in the first and last half mile, and push the pace the rest of the race.

So how’d that work for me?

  1. Mile 1: 10:37. Some moderate inclines and declines. Oops, didn’t quite follow the plan here.
  2. Mile 2: 10:29. Mostly flat.
  3. Mile 3: 10:23. Mostly a long, slow decline. In previous years I’d slowed down in mile 3, despite the decline. Here I’m working on some nice negative splits!
  4. Last .7: 11:13. Well, I did follow the plan and pulled back the pace here. I won’t lie, either — I was tired and quite happy to slow down. Until I saw that I was close to my PR for this race after all. It was probably close to a 5k PR at that point, too.

My times for this race:

  • 2011: 38:48
  • 2012: 40:40
  • 2013: 41:15
  • 2014: 40:45
  • 2015:  39:22
  • 2016: 38:45
  • 2017: 40:03
  • 2019: 39:41

The weather & dressing
The weather was warmer than most years, around 40, but with those nasty winds, the feels like was in the 30s. I wore my Skirt Sports Triple Pocket Tight in Charmed, Skirt Sports Toasty Cheeks Skirt(because of that wind!), Wonder Wool Long Sleeve (I’m a Skirt Sports Ambassador), and New Balance Jacket. I was happy with how I dressed.

What I Learned
No race is ever all good or all bad, of course, and it helps to look back at both the positives and negatives. Negatives:

  • Only one water stop. Unlike most people, I like to drink water every mile — even for a cold almost 4 mile race. So I just carry a small water bottle with me.
  • The wind! It was nasty.
  • The very unscenic course.


  • Chatting with friends pre and post race.
  • It’s free if you’re a HMRRC member — including food before and after the race (although they used to serve pizza and no longer do). Bananas, cookies, bread, peanut butter, soup, etc. I just ate the snack I’d brought with me, though.
  • Starting the year off with a “race”.
  • I won’t lie — I was a little miffed when I realized if I’d just pushed a bit harder that last 3/4 mile, I could have started the year off with a shiny new PR. I realize, though, that I hadn’t planned to really race it, and that I did a very good job considering the winds. I’m very happy with my performance.

Was the race well run?
Yes, the race is very well run. The volunteers (thank you!) do an excellent job of directing you, and there was more signage this year, too — there’s also a half marathon, so there are several places where the half marathoners go a different route.

It’s not chip timed, as I said, but there is a finish clock and you’re handed a numbered index card as you cross the finish line to write down your time. There was also a table at the finish line — outside! — so that you could hand in your card right away — brrrr! It might have been nice running weather, but I’d be really cold having to sit out there.

Will I run it again next year? If I’m here and the weather isn’t too atrocious, no doubt you’ll find me running this race on New Year’s Day 2020.

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

25 thoughts on “Bill Hogan 3.5 mile Race Recap 1/1/19

  1. Can’t believe how consistent you are through the years and that 8 years ago it was almost a PR.

    I think you did a great job with the wind. I really slowed down during that awful mile 3 and yet you got faster.

    See you at the next one perhaps?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Normally I slow down in mile 3 too. I guess treating it as a tempo run worked for me this time; I wasn’t focused on the finish time, but my pace, which is how I usually race anyway.

      After starting to run halfs & having done several, I was actually faster than I am now — until the one almost 6 years ago where I really injured my IT. Which is why I still regret not DNSing that one, but I didn’t know that would be the case. I was probably running too fast for me at the time & hence the injury.

      I kind of feel like I’m getting back to where I was — only better.

      Not sure about Sunday yet. Might be a family thing.


  2. I love that the race club has a Winter Series of runs. It’s really a great way to stay motivated through the cold weather.

    That wind sounds brutal! Sometimes I don’t know what’s worse on a run – wind, rain or snow!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. not really selling the race to me… haha! but I get it – we have some local races around here that are just dreadful and usually there are no medals, shirts, bibs, not even an apple afterwards ha! and yet there we are, every year with at least half of my running club…

    there’s a race here in the netherlands that’s sort of the kick off for the year running, it’s the 2nd or 3rd weekend of Jan and it’s on the coast of the north sea. For the Half you have to run 7km on the beach – half the time there isn’t even but a strip of the beach because the tide is rolling in. Usually it’s raining, hailing or snowing – it’s actually ridiculous! there are also wet and soggy dunes you have to run through and it’s COLD with a North Sea wind that will cut right through you to the bone. And yet every year it’s sold out haha! I’ve done it several times and finally the last time I was just so done with it! You do get a medal, bib, timing chip and a tee shirt though 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMGoodness, that sounds brutal! I’m not sure I’d be doing that race, either, but who knows?

      It’s definitely not a race I would recommend to out of towners unless they really needed to get some miles in. OTOH, it’s nice that the club does this. Really nice! And the food is good.


  4. I’m with you on more water. I love the idea of supported long runs and plan to incorporate NYRR’s when I’m able ahead of the marathon as 18 miles is too long to DIY
    I love the idea of indoor starts as I mentioned last week – such a novelty
    Love your pattern and the woman next to Darlene

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I use a hydration vest for runs typically over about 10 miles (although I’ve just been stashing water bottles in pockets so far, but my longest run has only been 10 miles, too).

      My pattern is charmed. I love it too (think it’s still available). It’s much less compressive than the normal tights, but I actually like that. The other Judy is wearing competitors.


    1. Apparently this series was created as a way to support local runners training for Boston over the winter. Remember, we’re a small city! I even think calling us a city is kind of stretching it, personally.

      We’re all pretty grateful that the club does this and shoot, that reminds me I need to renew!


  5. How lovely to run this every year. And I love the index card timekeeping / results working out, that’s really interesting. You can tell I’ve just studied my referee module for my endurance licence, can’t you. Well done for beating that wind – I can cope with almost everything except a wind!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s