by David Roy
The Landis 5K Perennial Forest Run is a nice introduction to trail running. It has a varying terrain that keeps it interesting. It’s not super technical, but you have to pay attention. “Obstacles” are marked with orange paint for the newbies. The race has something for everyone. There are the steep sections, both up and downhill. None of them are terribly long but you may find yourself walking them or feeling a little “burn” if you are pushing yourself. It isn’t an easy course, if you “want it” you will have to work for it and don’t expect a PR. It is a race and there is competition for the awards, but there are plenty of people who take it easy and run it just to take in the scenery or run with their friends.
Picture by Stan Hudy
The Landis Arboretum (which is a nonprofit) is a living museum of trees and shrubs created for the education and pleasure of the public. It is free and open to all. The race is a fundraiser, but when I started as race director, my goal was to improve the runner’s experience. I started tweaking the course to eliminate any road running and pretty much reduced it to just road crossings. A new trail in the woods was created and a section added with another view of the valley. This year the course got a little extra exposure as part of the Albany Running Exchange “Summer Trail Running Series.''
Last year we made an effort to improve the shirt and Chandra Burkhart came up with an awesome design of a running tree. We liked it so much we had Chris Regan design our medals around it. Everyone received a finisher medal, and the age group winners received the backside making it a 2 sided medal.
There are also team competitions. This year we had 12 teams and a family team.
173 people registered this year, which is a lot for the Arboretum. Logistically, this will never be a “big” race. We would rather have quality over quantity, and although I’m certainly biased, it is definitely one of my favorites!