by Mat Nark
Pre-pandemic, there were plenty of fall half marathons runners could choose from to get ready for their peak seasonal events. But during 2020, the pandemic forced most half marathons to be canceled. As the 2021 fall racing season nears and pandemic restrictions ease, many of our beloved races will return to the schedule. Yet some will not; racing options will remain limited. And, after 14 years as a great local event, the Saratoga Palio Melanie Merola O’Donnell Memorial Race half marathon is no longer being offered. So there is a big void in the Capital District fall half marathon schedule.
A half marathon can be a great seasonal goal race and a productive way to test training. Many marathoners also use the half marathon distance as a tune-up to their upcoming marathon and pacing strategies.
To fill the void in fall local half marathons, the Run 4 The River Half Marathon was created. Last fall, we offered the race to a limited number of runners due to Covid-19 restrictions. This season it will be back with a more formal production (with special thanks to all of our participating sponsors below) and event logistics to ensure that runners can run as fast as possible. Event logistics will include a 7:30 a.m. start time, a flat/fast course, prize money, awards, and entertainment. The starting line will be at Mabee’s Farm in Rotterdam Junction (the same point as the Miles on the Mohawk 10 Miler) and cover most of the second half of the Miles on the Mohawk Marathon course, finishing at Schenectady County Community College.
The timing of Run 4 the River Half Marathon is perfect for an early-season half marathon or in preparation for many of the October marathons. With this first-year event, we look forward to setting the bar for a great annual event. Frog Alley Brewing will provide FREE post-race beer for all runners and a BLOCK PARTY nearby on State Street in Schenectady. Join us for this PR-potential course and post-race party! You can find more event information and registration at https://narkrunningstrength.com/run-4-the-river-half-marathon.