What Was Your Best Race of 2021 and 2022 Goals?

by Runners Like You

Karen Bertasso

My favorite race of 2021 was probably Freihofer’s Run for Women. I’ve run this race since college (2003?) and was able to finally execute a perfect race and run a 13 second course PR. More importantly, Willow Street AC ran phenomenally. Our open women’s team placed first, with Caitie Meyer having a huge race to lead the team, Tricia Longo and Abbi Wright running lifetime 5k PRs, and Meghan Mortensen running a course PR as well! It was fun to see everyone back together and run so well.

Josh Merlis

My favorite race of 2021 was AREEP's inaugural Miles on the Mohawk 26.2M, 10M, and 5M. It was my favorite for two primary reasons: 1) It was the most complicated event we had ever produced 2) Part of my role included biking with the lead runners in the 10M (it was the most efficient way for me to return to the finish area), and watching 2 guys both break 50 minutes for 10 miles was amazing! For 2022, my running goals include running, and more specifically, racing again. I've barely raced in years and greatly miss it (the practical reality of my role with AREEP precludes my ability to compete much), but I am running my first marathon in 6 years on January 16 and hope to also find some other dates in the calendar that I can cross finish lines instead of work them.

      Mary Claire on far right with Jamie Sansivero and
                    Pinda Kaas Bernhart at Visher Ferry

Mary Claire Walker

My favorite race of 2021 was Rock the Ridge 50 miler. All my hard work and training came together and I ran a PR by over an hour. My fiancé was there at every aid station and at the finish line as well, which was really special!

For 2022, I am changing gears a little bit this spring and training for the Brooklyn Marathon in April for two reasons: 1) To work on more speed and use that in my ultra races later in the year and 2) I am getting married later in the spring and want to have a little more time to plan and get ready for my wedding :). I am also planning on running a 50-60k over the summer while training for a 100 mile race this fall. That race is TBD, but I am really excited for what 2022 has in store!

Jon Lindenauer

It is difficult to choose a favorite, but I really love the Albany Last Run 5k with the fireworks and the lights through Washington Park. A bunch of the ARE races are particularly well done, including Miles on the Mohawk and Run for the River. My goals for 2022 would be to improve my marathon and half marathon times and to give back to the local running/racing community in whatever ways I can.

Shaun Donegan

The Moreau Half was my favorite, with its scenic, technical and crazy climbs. I’m not sure about running goals. I just want to keep my 5k under 1630 for a few more years, and try and crack a sub-4:45 mile at the Malta Mile this spring.  (FYI - He won both years, with the same exact time!)

                               Tim Ela and Bill Hoffman

Bill Hoffman

Favorite race of 2021: Cascade Crest 100.  Favorite non-race: Race the sun on winter solstice Taconic Crest Trail; the sun won. Goals for 2022: Run more trail races and try not to break any bones.

Anthony Giuliani

Favorite race: Firecracker 4 mile, mostly because this was the first race I ran in over a year and a half that had a regular “real” starting line, not staggered. 2022 goals: Running around my yard with my dogs.

                                             Jack and Alex

The Hislop Family

Kristen (Mother) – It’s tough to say. The Freihofer’s Run for Women on 9/23 was amazing. It was great to have everyone running the streets of Albany again. It was great to bring back the Clifton Park Freedom Mile. It was a little challenging to direct and run, but worth it. It was great hearing that people wanted to make it a July 4th tradition. For 2022 I’d like to build on my solid Turkey Trot 5K time and have solid days at Ironman Musselman and Ironman Lake Placid. Of course I would be remiss if I didn’t also say a huge focus is to grow the Freihofer’s Run for Women on June 4, 2022!

Reid (Father) - My favorite race was Miles on the Mohawk because it was the first real race after getting back to running. My goals for 2022 are to improve my 5K time, stay healthy and shoot for the Adirondack Marathon Distance Festival Half Marathon.

Alex – The Tommy Evans Invitational. I finished First for University at Buffalo and ran a solid race. My goal is to medal at the Conference championship and balance the doctorate of physical therapy program with running.

Jack – My favorite race was the 800m at Outdoor Sectionals where I broke 2 minutes for the first time, running 1:58. I am gunning for SUNYACs in the 800m for indoor and outdoor track, running for Geneseo. I am also looking to crack 4:20 in the mile and then help my XC team head back to Nationals.

                      Beth and her dad race together


My favorite races were a tie: The Helderberg to Hudson half in the spring and Stockadathon in the fall.  I have so much trouble training much without having injuries. Those were the only races I was in moderate shape for. My 2022 goals are just trying to stay healthy. I turn 50 at the end of the year and would like to run healthy for 1 year before I just run for fitness.


As a current high school athlete, I run a lot more league meets and invitationals than traditional road races, so it’s unsurprising that my favorite race of the season would be on a cross country course. This is my senior year and I’ve been working all through high school to slowly inch down my times on every course I’ve run. My favorite course will always be the Tawasentha Park course because it is noted as being one of the most painful courses in the section for the way its hills are laid out, but it is also one of the truest cross country courses based on that. I love cross country for the difficulty of the courses that can be thrown at you and the beauty of the woods around you. I was beyond happy to get a personal record on my last race on that course as a high school athlete at the Guilderland Invitational this October. If you’ve never tried this amazing course, there’s also an open run after the high school meet that I highly recommend!

2022 is going to be my first season of running cross country in college and my last season of high school track. I’m extraordinarily excited to see how my racing will adapt to the new distances and opportunities for racing. I always aim to get faster and stronger over time as any young runner should, but I’m excited to get to try the steeplechase this spring and the 6k and 10k during my college seasons.

Jessica Northan

Favorite race: The Flumes/Tom’s Baby trail race in Breckenridge, CO. Why? Because who doesn’t love racing at 9600’!?! In all seriousness, I saw a bull moose during the race and it was spectacular! Plus, we did this race a few years back and I was much better prepared for the altitude this time. Maybe not any better physically prepared, but mentally I knew what to expect.

For 2022, I get another shot at the goal that eluded me in 2020: compete in the Boston Marathon in April via primarily Nordic ski training. It will be an interesting (possibly painful) experiment. If anyone has experience with this, tips or advice, please send them my way!

Steve Sweeney

My favorite local 2021 race is the Landis Arboretum 5km in August. What can you say about trails and a real nice site in nature? My favorite 2021 trip was our September trip to San Diego where I was fortunate to run the Caspers Trail 30km, at Rock it at Caspers Wilderness Park. They were typical western trails (wide), and even with a nice elevation change a great run. For 2022 I'm hoping to get back to a 100 miler at the Umstead 100 in NC in April.

Megan James

The Electric City 5 Miler because it was the first race back for so many people, and it was FUN! The Boilermaker was another favorite, because I ran with a friend and we had a blast! 2022 goals: tackle the Boston Marathon again!! Get back into consistent yoga practice. Run 2022 miles. Run another sub-60 15k.

Wei Ma

As a routine, I loved the winter series by HMRRC especially running on New Years Day of 2021.Time flies. So does 2021.  I can't believe it's 2022 already.

Compared to 2020, 2021 felt unreal yet real, with no more virtual races, no more single file starts and no more running alone. And it feels like we are back to pre-COVID time. Local or remote, I loved every race that I had in 2021, especially the Troy Turkey Trot with family and friends in the holiday seasons. I can't forget my first world major in Chicago, where I was amazed by scale of the race and the awesome spectators. The whole city was rumbling.  

I am very excited about 2022, with upcoming Boston and Chicago Marathons, and many local races.  I’m not a fan of New Year resolutions, but I will try my best to spend more time with my family, stay healthy and have less screen time!

Time to enjoy some nice warm chili. Onward to 2022. Cheers!

Andy Reed

Favorite race was the Helderberg to Hudson mudfest. Goal for 2022 is to slowly build back to 50 to 60 miles a week and go for a sub 1:20 half in the spring. And stay healthy!

Derrick Staley

I have 2 favorite races of 2021: the Freedom Mile, in which I ran  5:21 (at age 63) , and the Veterans 5K, where I ran 18:27, setting age-graded rankings of 88% in both races. My goals for 2022 are to stay healthy and motivated, continue to chase the world record mile time for ages 60-64, a 5:00 minute mile, along with running 18-minute 5ks for 80-90 % age graded rankings, and lastly inspiring others in the 60-64 age bracket to go for it!

Susan Demos

My favorite race was Stokade-athon because the community gets so involved in supporting the runners. My running goals four 2022 are to stay on track for another marathon, though that will need to be balanced with a hiking challenge we are currently committed to, a single-season winter hike of the 46 Adirondack high peaks.

Nick Demos

My favorite race this year was the Stockade-athon, I felt prepared for it and was happy with my time this year.  

I wanted to do well in the Hudson Mohawk Marathon but for various reasons was just not fully prepared.   I had to walk a lot for the end miles.  On the bright side, I made a personal commitment to prepare more for races so that I don’t feel badly for not performing where I think I should.  That’s why I feel so good about Stockade-athon. I committed to training and it paid off.

DeAnne Webster

My favorite race of 2021 was finishing IRONMAN Maryland 140.6 on 9-18-2021. It was my first full Ironman, one of my biggest accomplishments race-wise and I absolutely loved every minute of it. My key tasks for 2022 are Ironman Chattanooga 70.3 in May, Ironman Boulder 70.3 in August and Ironman Florida 140.6 in November. I plan on participating in a few local races as well, like the Helderberg to Hudson Half Marathon, Hannaford Half Marathon, Stockade-thon and Troy Turkey Trot 10k

Jeremy McNamara

My best race was the Dunkin’ Run 10k. I won $250 for 39 minutes of effort. I wish I could get that hourly rate all day. For 2022. I’m hoping to break 3 hours for the first time at Boston.

  Barb and husband Tom McGuire at Troy Turkey Trot

Barbara Bradley

The Stockade-athon was my favorite race. I’d never done it before and I liked touring the neighborhoods on the course, especially the Stockade. (Those hills, though!) 2022 goal: to run the Helderberg to Hudson Half Marathon on the original course, which I ran last year on the alternate course.

Tom McGuire

Favorite 2021 Race – the Stockade-athon. It’s a great and challenging race, which seemed like a return to HMRRC’s fabulous best! Thanks to Jessica and Brian Northan, and all the volunteers!
Goals for 2022 - Keep running!
Certainly every day is a physical and social blessing (although it doesn’t keep me off the streets …). And nothing is guaranteed; every run is something to be thankful for.

Vasil Koleci

After not racing at all in 2020, it felt great to race again in 2021.  My first race of the season was the Firecracker4.  This race was special to me as I was able to run it with my two sisters and it definitely brought back some racing normalcy to me.  When I first lined up, I remember feeling a bit dizzy with all the people as I was not use to the mass start that I missed for a year plus.   Once the race started, everything felt like old times and it was amazing.  Aside from the Firecracker4, I also participated in the Dunkin’ Run, Hannaford Half Marathon, Stockade-athon and the Last Run in Albany.  These were all great races and are favorites of mine too.  The Last Run in Albany was special in 2021, as it was the last time the lights in the park and the race would be held together in Washington Park.  I have to commend everyone involved in putting together all the races in 2021. All the races were safe and fun. 

Aside from racing this year, I volunteered as a course marshal at the Hairy Gorilla/Squirrely Six trail race and the Upstate Classic Half and Full Marathon.  It felt really good to give back to the running community and to help cheer on my fellow runners in the community. 

For 2022, I have set a few different goals.  I would like to run my first full marathon.  In late 2019, I set this as a goal for 2020 and it just didn’t work out with the pandemic.  In addition to running a full marathon, I would also like to work on my speed work and follow a more structured training program.  However, the most important goal for 2022 is to enjoy this wonderful sport, continue to take part in group runs in our community and volunteer more for races that I am not participating in.   

David Roy

The Terrapin Mountain 50K Trail in Virginia was my 2021 favorite. It was the part of the "Beast Series,”, and I ran it with my son. While I'd love to complete the 6 race "Beast Series", I'm not that delusional. This year my goal is to skip to the last 2 races, the "Mountain Masochist" and "Hellgate" if I'm able.

Bill Bean

I didn't run much last winter, and got a late start in the spring, so my conditioning was awful this year.  My favorite races were the Adirondack Half Marathon and the Saratoga XC Classic.  Goals for 2022:  Stay healthy, do more long runs with friends, solve some niggly chronic mobility issues, and maybe PR at the Helderberg to Hudson Half in April (downhill, baby!), and log a 20 minute 5K.  Oh, and run more trail and XC races.  They're so much fun.

Alejandro Gauna

My favorite race was the Stockade-athon, because it felt like we were nearly back to normal.

Goal: Finally doing a marathon again, and going back to Boston.

Hugh Wood Johnson IV

For me it was a toss up. I really enjoyed snowshoeing on the snowmobile trails across from the Overlook at Thacher Park, which you pick up from Hop Field or Mine Field.

The other favorite hike was up Overlook Mt. in Woodstock, followed by a lunch and cooldown walk in the Village of Woodstock.

Right now my goal is to hike on a beach. This one lol! Someday I plan to hike the Camino de Santiago.

Chuck Terry

My favorite races of 2021 were the Saratoga Firecracker 4 mile and the Troy Turkey Trot 10k. The Firecracker was the first big event I raced in with a regular mass start since COVID. I found it a challenge to race in previous events that began in small heats with just a few others at the start, when some of your competitors began at different start times. ARE put on an A+ event with the Electric City 5 mile, with a great course and big event feel. Two other races I ran for the first time this year were the Utica Summer Sizzle 5 mile and the Prospect Mountain uphill race. Both were great events with smaller race fields, and could be used as training runs.

Peter Teal

I thought it would be fun to run in an inflatable costume, but I didn’t want one that would cover my face and fog up (like our t-rex costume does). When I saw the avocado costume online, I knew immediately that my costume search was over. As far as running in it, it certainly was a challenge. It probably would have been a good idea to practice running in it before the race, but I just couldn’t bring myself to run around my neighborhood, dressed as an avocado, a week before Halloween. On race day, the costume was like a sauna and I had a hard time seeing over the giant avocado seed.

My favorite race of 2021 was the Helderberg to Hudson Half Marathon. My daughter and I trained for it from scratch during the winter and I was very proud of her for finishing it with me.

For 2022, I’m going to focus on training more consistently and on increasing my stamina during long runs. I’m also hoping that I can convince my kids to join me for more runs and races in the new year!

Kelly Virkler

Favorite running race of 2021 was the Loco Marathon. It was a PR and a really nice course. For 2022, I'm hoping to run a fast Boston and a PR at the JFK 50.

Lonnie Halusic

My favorite race in 2021 was the Stockade-athon. It’s such a great and challenging race and I set a goal time and then crushed it by two minutes. My hill training and speed workouts paid off. My running goals for 2022 include completing the Dopey Challenge in Orlando, Florida January 5-9th. I am also hoping to PR the half marathon distance at Helderberg to Hudson in April. After that I go into triathlon mode for my racing season.

Colleen Murray

My favorite race - Even though the course was a beast and conditions were brutal, the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in St. George, Utah. I got to race a tough day with my friends. My 2022 goals are to focus hard on two solid races -a strong 70.3 in June and then Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. I can’t wait !

Greg Rickes

It took me almost a year to get back to racing, from November 2020 to late September 2021. The hurdles were both mental and physical. When I did get back to racing I didn't run far, or fast. The confidence, the familiarity, the enthusiasm, from before was hard to come by.

From my brief season my favorite race turned out to be the renewal of a long-standing tradition with the Cohoes Turkey Trot. The vibe from the crowd of runners made it feel almost like old times.

For 2022 my goals are nebulous. I will gauge whether the desire is still there. As age 72 approaches I wonder how many more races I've got left in me.  Is the pleasure worth the pain?  Time, I suspect, will provide the answer.

Caitlyn Edmundson

My favorite race was the Boilermaker. The weather this year was perfect, a marked difference from the hot and humid weather of summers past. The race being in October this year meant there was changing foliage to enjoy too. Overall, I felt like I enjoyed the race and the scenery more because I wasn't bothered and distracted by the usual heat and humidity, and I could focus on something else for a change. The Boilermaker is just a fun race in general and the post-race party this year felt like a celebration after all we've been through over the past 18 months.

Brian Northan

My favorite race was the Tawasentha 5k cross country. I had my first victory in many years (admittedly it was one of the slowest winning times ever for that race). My goal in 2022 is to remain uninjured and finally get a chance to see how fast I can run healthy with the “space shoes.” Also, not sure how well “space shoes” will work at Tawasentha next year.

Lori Kingsley

My favorite race would be the Twin Rivers Marathon. I didn't run to race, but did it with my oldest daughter. It was her first marathon and she qualified for Boston. It was beautiful and low key, and we could start any time between 6:30 and 10 a.m. There was no pressure, just fun. I would like to do the half marathon masters championships in Syracuse, if my schedule allows it, and a 50k with my daughter in June.

Colleen Brackett

My favorite race for 2021 was Freihofers . Just being surrounded by teammates again and feeling part of something “big” after such a long time felt terrific ! I was trained and physically felt ready to race and compete again. I ran a 21:17, an age-graded performance of  87.10 %. It was a good day !

                          Pete Rowell and Jim Sweeney

Pete Rowell

My favorite race of 2021 was miles the Mohawk Hudson Half Marathon. Goals for 2022 are running a fast marathon in Houston and having a solid race for my first time at Boston.

Connie Smith

My racing moratorium, due at first to COVID and then family illness, has continued throughout 2021. In 2022, I will continue running outdoors but balance it with cross training. In the past year, we have added a rower and stationary bike to our home gym. This new equipment, along with the Peloton app, has mixed things up for the better and allowed my to work out alongside my husband.

Lauren Carnahan

My favorite races: Boston and also the Hairy Gorilla Half Marathon. Boston was a different atmosphere with it being the pandemic and in person. I enjoyed the race more than ever! My friend and I walked/ran it, interacted with the crowd, and stopped to help struggling runners. The Hairy Gorilla Half Marathon was a muddy mess! It makes trail running more fun and challenging. This is one of my favorite local races. My goals for 2022 are to stay healthy and injury free!

Danielle Maslowsly

My favorite race in 2021 was the Helderberg to Hudson Half Marathon. It was my first race since COVID and I didn’t realize how much I missed the running community! Goals for 2022 are to stay injury free first and foremost! After this, training with friends and sign up for a few key races!

Megan Harrington

My favorite race was the Run 4 the River half marathon on Labor Day weekend. It was well organized with a fast course, and was my first “big” race since March 2020.

For 2022, I’m going to focus on shorter distances for the first half of the year (NYC Half Marathon, Helderberg to Hudson Half Marathon, and maybe some 5ks) and maybe take a break from the marathon until late 2022 or early 2023

Rick Munson

My favorite race was the 5 miler at Miles on the Mohawk! The course wasn’t too difficult and the race was very well organized. I would like to run at least 10 races this year coming up and be competitive in my age group. I also would like to run 800-1000 miles for the year!

Miriam Hardin

I didn't race in 2021. Due to health issues, I've been doing walks instead of runs. My running goal for 2022 is transitioning back into running.

Juan Martinez

My favorite race was the St. Cape Vincent, NY 5K race where my son and I took first and second place overall. He ran a then-personal best of 18:56 and I ran a 17:19 in my first 5k since 2017. My seconnd favorite was the Philadelphia Marathon, where I ran 2:45 in my first marathon as a master on low mileage and juggling two jobs. My goal for 2022 is to get back to a sub-17:00 5k, sub-1:15 half marathon and sub 2:40 marathon, especially now that time is ticking at 43 years of age.

Our Poet Laureate, Brina Seguine

My favorite race was the Friehofer’s Run for women because it’s the first 5K race I ever ran and it was so well organized. Also, I felt a lot of camaraderie running with many other women. My running goals for 2022 are to improve my 5K time as well as run more races above the 5K race distance, including 10Ks and half marathons.

                         Alyssa and Meg Versteegen

Alyssa Risko

The London Marathon was definitely my favorite for 2021! It was my first time in London and it was beautiful and the course energy was amazing! For 2022 I am running the NYC Half Marathon in March, then racing the Helderberg to Hudson Half Marathon in April and in December will run the California International Marathon and hope to get close to 3:30!!

Eric Bergin

My favorite race in 2021 was the Steel Distance Peasantman Triathlon. It was my favorite as it had a beautiful setting on Keuka Lake., I also enjoyed it as it was 2 years in the making, with COVID-19 cancelling everything in 2020. The race had a small number of participants, but two of my best friends raced with me, making it more special. In 2022 I am looking forward to the Musselman 70.3 Triathlon and hopefully the Berlin Triathlon. It will be a new age group after May so I definitely excited about getting older next year.

Tom O’Grady

My favorite race for 2021 is easy.  I only ran three races in 2021, so the rescheduled Boston Marathon in October was my favorite race in 2021. It was my favorite race because it is the Boston Marathon, it was held in person after so many setbacks, and it was held in October as opposed to April.
My running goals for 2022?
General - Stay healthy and active. Use running to explore new places. Continue to write about running as well as health and fitness (I had my first nationally published article in Outside Magazine's Podium Runner in 2021 - https://www.podiumrunner.com/culture/why-would-you-want-to-run-every-single-day/).
Trail running - I finished the ADK 46'ers in 2020 so probably work towards finishing the Catskill 3500.  
Racing - I always have a few time goals I would like to hit but I've found that focusing too much on racing detracts from my ability to use running as a stress reliever in my life. I'd like to race as fast as I can while staying active and happy with running. It can be very tough to juggle a career.  I have a full-time joint appointment with the NYSDOH/UAlbany School of Public Health, a family, and multiple other activities along with racing. Since racing has never paid my bills, and struggling to hit the next time goal has never made me a happier person, it's unnecessary to stress over this.

Don Lawrence and Benita at this year's Troy Turkey Trot

Benita Zahn

My favorite race was Freihofer’s because it got all the gals back together again. And it’s always a wonderful event encouraging women to lace ‘em up and head out. But I have to add the Malta 5K and 10K as a close second. Running through Global Foundries on a bright fall morning is exhilarating. And those hills! My running goals in 2022 are to toe more lines, locally. Virtual is fine but it can’t replace the delight of seeing friends and the excitement of sharing the road with other runners.

Scott Mindel

My favorite race was the Mohawk Hudson Marathon because I ran well, my family was there, and my high school friends did their first marathon. My running goals for 2022 are to try and run some PRs.

Jon and Meg at 2021 Troy Turkey Trot with their daughters

Jon Louden

I would say it’s a toss up between the Firecracker 4 and Mohawk Hudson Marathon. Both were very similar to how they were pre-pandemic.  The cooler than normal temperature was also a plus!

I loved the Firecracker because it was the first race that felt “normal.”  It was awesome running with so many people and the crowd was great.  The Mohawk Hudson River Marathon was also great because it’s such a well organized race.  The weather was amazing, and I felt great that day and left my 5th MHR with a PR. My goal is to run healthy and hopefully achieve more PRs.

Meg Loudon

I didn’t run much in 2021 as I was injured, so I didn’t have any good races. I am hoping that Boston in April will be better than Boston 2021

Alyssa Bove

My favorite race of 2021 was the Stockade-athon because it felt like racing was in full swing again and I love Schenectady. My goal for 2022 is to PR at the half marathon distance and to get healthy enough to finish a full marathon again!

        Kristen Hislop, Nouara Bouzidi, Jennifer Casey,
                    Danielle Maslowsky and Jill Gobel

Jennifer Casey

My favorite race was the 10 miler at Miles on the Mohawk because it was my first race back in person! My running goals are to stay healthy and continue to run with my group at the Southern Saratoga YMCA, the Pacers:) I’m looking forward to doing some races for fun with this group in the new year, and training some of them to run their first half or full marathon!


2021 Running Resolutions

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