No running through the snow but plenty of snow on the ground made the narrow city streets even narrower this year for Last Run Albany. Add in icy bits (my racing nemesis lately) and it’s a good thing I always consider Last Run Albany a fun run.
This year they changed the location of packet pickup (same building, just a different location within the building), and it seemed to go much smoother. I caught a ride with friends, but I was one of the few who hadn’t already picked up my packet (one other friend hadn’t).
Both of us who picked up our packets the night of the race left the bags inside and yup, they were waiting for us when we were done.
Everyone liked the new snowflake logo and the red color of the shirts. We got a $5 coupon to a local co-op food store, and a blinking light — which is more than we’ve received in years past.
Plan — what plan?
My plan was simple again this year: have fun. Run by feel. End of story. Some of my friends were walking, but since I’d only run twice that week, I wanted to run. I planned to treat it as a fun run.
So how’d that work for me?
- Mile 1: 13:04. The first mile of this race is always frustrating, what with the narrow streets, the dark, some cobblestones. Throw in the 2 feet of snow we’d just had, and the frustration was upped: we came to a complete standstill several times this mile; it was a full minute slower than last year.
- Mile 2: 11:53. Mile 2 goes through the holiday lights in the park, with some uphills. Unlike last year I decided to walk up one of the hills here. It was my only walk break of the race. Still a minute slower than last year.
- Miles 3: 9:56. We all agreed we just love this downhill finish. This mile was slightly faster than last year. One of the course marshals said we only had a half mile to go at some point, and I swear that felt more like a mile than half a mile!
- Last .17: 8:57. The sprint to the end was just a teeniest bit faster than last year.
The last couple of 5ks this year wanted to frustrate me. This race will never be a PR — too crowded, too dark in places, and usually some slippery bits to boot. But a course PR? That’d be sweet.
Much like my last 5k, where I came oh-so-close to an actual PR, I think I could’ve snagged that course PR if the first mile hadn’t had so many traffic jams, or if I hadn’t stopped to walk during mile 2.
I was still quite pleased with my time. It wasn’t an easy run for me, but on the other hand, I never really felt like I was running all that hard, except for the last little bit coming into the finish. Not falling is always an accomplishment for this race.
2019: 36:57 (a five way tie)
90 our of 184 F5059
872 our of 1513 runners
2017: 54:17 (snowing again!)
2014 – 34:27
2013: 38:10 (snowing!)
The weather & dressing
I have an outfit for this race the last few years: 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. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?
I wore trail shoes because I knew there would be icy/snowy bits, and there were. Not a lot, but at night, it’s really easy to slip and fall.
I felt perfectly comfy in my running outfit, until we stood outside waiting for everyone to finish — then I got really cold!
Was the race well run?
I usually treat this race as a literal fun run. There are fireworks before the start (see my post on IG), and despite the dark I’ve never had any question which way to go. There are refreshments after: nothing too exciting — apples, bananas, and cheese. There is also a raffle for door prizes.
There are medals for AG awards, and no, I didn’t even come close — which I knew I wouldn’t. Here’s the thing, though: one of my friends won her AG, the 70-79 year AG. There were 9 women.
I came in 90 out of 184 in the 50-59 AG! A solid MOTP, which is fine by me. I just looked at the difference in the participants in those two age groups. I hope that I am one of those 9 — or more! — women still running races when I am my friend’s age. I actually expect that there will be more women in that group when I’m that age, since there has been a strong increase in women running since I started.
Albany Last Run is always a good way to bring a year of racing to a close.