HMRRC 2024 Running Schedule & Your Fav Races of 2023 and 2024 Goals

2024 Running Schedule

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Members Favorite 2023 Race and 2024 Goal Race

Josh in front, Tom O’Grady behind on left
              and Chuck Terry on right
               Picture by Paul Knapick

Josh Merlis

My favorite race of 2023 (with respect to being a participant in and not working) was the Stockade-athon. It was 20 years since I first ran it, but also 10 years since I had last run it; I hadn’t raced in 4+ months (and it was only my 2nd road race of the year, excluding the Winter Series), and most enjoyably, it was the first (“major”) event in AREEP’s near 20-year history that I participated in without working at all.

(AREEP started timing/helping produce it in 2008; I ran it a few times from then through 2013, but the running part was always squeezed in between a few hours of setup and immediately going back to timing/working it.)

Shortly before the start, I walked up to the start line from in front of it, facing the front row of runners. It was such a strange moment for me personally; for basically the prior 31 weeks straight, I have walked up to start lines but never crossed over them and turned to face what lay ahead. Rather my existence is to look at the others about to run, provide some brief commentary/instruction, remain on the other side of that line, and to ultimately press a small nub on the top of an airhorn / yell “Go!” into a microphone, or some other task that sets the race into motion, while I remain stationary.

In this moment, however, after a brief pause, I stepped over the line, took a few more steps forward, and then turned around, smiling to myself at this most rare of occasions. In 2008 (the year I left having a full-time “real” job to go “all in” on making AREEP a reality), I ran 38 races. In the past decade, I’m not sure if I’ve run in a single race each year in the Capital Region that I wasn’t also working in some capacity, and it’s now rare for me to race more than a couple of times each year, even though the desire is there.

I looked to my left where I saw Aaron Major on the mic, about to start the race. I glanced around some more, seeing other members of the AREEP production team readying for the start – and I felt a twinge of guilt. Shouldn’t I be working? Standing next to them on the sidewalk, confirming we have the “green light” from the police to start the race, and is everything plugged in – tested!?


The horn blew and off I went. For today, I was just a runner.


In 2024, I’m looking forward to the Houston Half Marathon (on 1/14) and the Boilermaker 15K in July. I’ll be “just” a runner at those events and am uncertain if I’ll be able to participate in any other races that I’m not otherwise working, although I do hope to return to the Stockade-athon in that same capacity again.

                        Lauren Scarupa

My favorite race of 2023 was by far the NYC Marathon. I originally qualified for the race back in 2019, but had the opportunity to defer until 2023, due to the pandemic. In my case, it could not have worked out any better. I lucked out and got the absolute perfect conditions to race in. In addition, I feel that I was really able to experience the race at its full capacity post-COVID. With over 50,000 runners participating in the race this year, it was the world's largest road race of 2023! Running in a race that big with so many people cheering you on definitely made it a one of a kind race. I was told prior to the race by many people that there is no other race like it, and after running it myself I couldn't agree more. It is truly an iconic race that I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to run. As the NYC Marathon motto says: "It will move you," and it certainly did move me. From passing the Statue of Liberty on the ferry to the start, to seeing runners from all over the world, the cheering crowds, running through the 5 boroughs and up 5 bridges, and finally crossing the finish line in Central Park, it was an absolutely incredible experience that I will never forget.


My goal race for 2024 is the Chicago Marathon. I'm really excited to run that race because of the fast course, and also because it will mark the halfway point of my Six Star Finisher journey. After running Chicago, I will look forward to running the 3 major marathons I have left, Berlin, London and Tokyo.


David Roy

The Rosaryville Half Marathon Trail Run was my favorite because it was a new run for me that I ran with my daughter.


My goal race for 2024 is the Highland Fling 53 mile Trail in Scotland, UK. The scenery, history of the area and the challenge should be epic!

Ryan Cooper

For my favorite race of 2023 I would say that yet again the Helderberg to Husdon Half Marathon takes the cake. It was warm but I was ready. The race, to me, signifies that winter is over and spring is here. The post-race environment was like a festival and it is always good to see everyone.


For 2024 I would like to do a race that is outside the area and haven’t decided yet. I will definitely race the majority of the ones locally, as I enjoy them.


Michelle Carr

So far my favorite race is the Stockade-athon because it's in my hometown and I run through the streets I grew up on. The crowd is great too. I have 1 more big race for 2023, let's see if that becomes my favorite 2023 race.

One of the goal races for next year is the Philadelphia Marathon, my favorite marathon. It's well organized and the crowd is like no other.

I'm not 100% on spring yet. 


Scott Mindel

Grandma’s Marathon was my favorite race of the year because my wife and I traveled with friends and without kids and I ran my best race of the year.


My goal race for 2024 is Boston, hopefully continuing my streak of good runs there.


Jamie Davenport

The Stockade-athon is always my favorite. I love the course, the time of year, and crowd support. And yes, I pulled off a PR.


Next year I’m considering going to Philly for the half … not sure yet. I’m also going to try out a sprint triathlon.


Mary Claire Falotico

My favorite race of 2023 was the Midstate Massive because it was during a hurricane and so the weather element made it into an adventure. I also got to run it with my mom! I don’t have a specific goal race for 2024 yet, but plan on racing a marathon this spring and then another 100 miler in the fall.

Ed. Note: I asked if she had run any other 100 milers and this was her response:

I have started 4, completed 2. One I dnf’d at 90 miles because I had pneumonia and one was at 50 because of weather, we got pulled off the course. I don’t have a dream 100 miler at the moment. I want to try a variety of different terrain to keep challenging myself. I absolutely loved running the Yeti 100 miler in Virginia; the atmosphere at that race cannot be beat! I used to want to run Western States, and that is still a very far off dream race of mine. But I think I have accepted that I will never run it the way I would want to run it, so it is not as much of a dream race as I wanted it to be.


Brina May

My favorite race of 2023 was the Freihofer’s Run for Women because of the camaraderie between women and to its empowerment of women.


In 2024, I am hoping to run the Mohawk Hudson River Half Marathon and Miles on the Mohawk Half.


Nathan Laing

My favorite race of 2023 was the Escarpment Trail Run, of which I had my mind set on for some time!


As for 2024 goals, I would like to achieve 100,000-feet of vertical in the year, complete my first ultra, and keep working on completing my Schenectady county heat-mapping.


Aidan Canavan

Definitely the 2023 Stockade-athon was my favorite race of the year. We (the Run Club) had a massive showing there! (Run Club member Charlie Ragone came in 2nd and we set age-graded awards too.)

As for 2024 I would say I’m putting a marathon (my first one) on the calendar but not sure yet which one.


Julianne McCarthy

2023 would be a 5k win at APD 5k for Domestic violence awareness. Although a small race, it was a good comeback for me after not running for almost a year. It was a nice confidence boost, and I ran my fastest 5k time in 2 years at that race - my times from 5 years ago don’t count.

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