by members of the HMRRC
Our members responded to the following question:
For the January Pace Setter: What was your favorite race from 2022 and why? What races are you looking forward to in 2023?
Their answers are fun and some may surprise you.
Aidan Canavan and Charlie Ragone
Our favorite race of the 2022 season has to be Boston Mayor’s cup. There’s something special about a cross-country racing environment where athletes throw out the idea of running times. This creates the element of pure person to person competition. This combined with racing for a team helps bring the best performances out of everyone. We would like to see something like this brought to the capital district. We’re working now with a few people currently to organize our own version of capital district XC for the 2023 year. We think a lot of people are hesitant to race XC because of the unique challenges it creates. We want to make XC accessible for people because we think it’s the most unfiltered natural version of running competition and more importantly it’s so much fun!
My favorite race from 2022 was the Run4theRiver race put on by Nark Running on Labor Day weekend this year! It was a blast with my team, live music, and beer at the finish line. In 2023 I’m hoping to complete a Fall marathon- although undecided at this point
My favorite race from 2022 was the Friehofers Run for Women because it is a race that means a lot to me. I am looking forward to Runnin of the Green, The HomeRun 5K and the Friehofers Run for Women in 2023.
Mona Kulkarni Caron
My two favorite races this year were the Good Karma 5K and Freihofer’s Run for Women in June and the Chicago Marathon in October. The Good Karma supports children’s education in rural India and the Regional Food Bank of NENY. There’s a yoga warmup, Bollywood music, and a festive vibe for everyone. The Freihofers Run for Women has an incredible energy on race day. It’s a great course and the pre-race and post-race atmosphere is really fun. The Chicago Marathon was amazing with the entire city embracing the runners. Great course and support, 1.7 million spectators, impressive organization and nice expo. I’m looking forward to this year’s Good Karma, the Helderberg Half and Firecracker 4.
Stockade-athon! It was my real first race back from a lengthy injury in 2022. I wasn’t able to run for about 4-5 months. This race was a PR for me. I had the opportunity to run with my amazing teammates and other wonderful people. I don’t really have anything that I’m looking forward to. Just trying to stay healthy, injury free, supportive to the running community.
My favorite race of 2022 was definitely Ironman World championships, Kona, Hawaii…… this was a race to remember.. hard, hot and the best day of my life ! Next year looking forward to Ironman Lake Placid.
Cheap Marathon and Moreau “Half”
In 2023, I most look forward to trying out trail running, specifically planning on the Naked Bavarian 20 miler in March with hopes to qualify for the Escarpment.
Undoubtedly my favorite race of 2022 was the Chicago Marathon. I had never run it before and it was perfect conditions, a course I really enjoyed and amazing crowd support the whole way. If I was rounding out my top 3, #2 The Utica Boilermaker - I had never run it before this past year and the crowd support / energy and afterparty were phenomenal - outside of marathons I have never before seen a town come together so much for a race #3 I really loved the Rock & Snow Bridge 2 Bridge Run in the Mohonk Perserve, it is a nice non-technical trail race in what is maybe my all-time favorite place to run.
For 2023 I am most looking forward to running the Run to Remember in Boston (half marathon) and running the Hudson-Mohawk Marathon (for the 2nd time)
My favorite race experience was winning overall at the Teal Ribbon Run as an Ovarian Cancer Survivor. I won it overall the past two years. Probably the race that means the most to me. I’m looking forward to Cheap Marathon and setting a new PR! And continuing to defend my course record at the Joshua Tree Half Marathon in Mojave Desert in California.
Trainual Ironman 70.3 Indian Wells, CA
Swim: Didn't think the water was that bad at 58 degrees, but chose to acclimate beforehand. I had no idea it was going to take 30 minutes to get in the water and standing around in 44 degree temps while wet didn't do my favors. I felt very sluggish which I think was a combo of my 2000y/week training and the cold but it was a hard way to start the race mentally. I felt very weird coming out of the water and realized I was extremely cold, even though I didn't necessarily feel cold (if that makes sense). Bike: Nice tailwind to start and didn't realize it. Thought I was going to set a bike PR! Realized it when we turned around. Lots of intentional AG draft trains which is pathetic. Dropped a bottle on a bump and it wedged in between my pedal and drivetrain which was terrifying. Had to stop to pull it out. Tied with Ohio for my second fast bike time (2:45, woulda been 2:44 without the dang error) so no complaints. Run: Very hot, challenging course on a golf course. Felt totally depleted of endurance by the second lap but survived. Did a 6:15 which is a fine time all things, all the many things, considered. Cannot thank @justapitbull enough for running Finn all over the course so I got a lot of kisses. It's no joke to spectate, let alone with a one year old. He has been so supportive and encouraging of training, even if I feel like I don't have the capacity or time to work it in. While I'm not sure yet on my overall thoughts about racing in the future, I really needed this and in-between the hard stuff there was a lot of joy to be back racing.
Favorite race was Mohawk Hudson Marathon. It was the 6th time I have run the race and went into it with a really strong training cycle. I missed fall racing in 2021 due to a torn plantar fascia and it’s my favorite time of year to race. I was looking to break 3:20 after missing it by about a minute in 2021 at Miles on the Mohawk. Race morning weather for 2022 MHM was perfect, and I was pretty well tapered. Other than the surprise of the hill with the course change since my last time there in 2019, I knew every turn and bump so had a plan for each section of the course. For 2023, it’s to stay healthy and injury free. I have a list of races I regularly do, and I want to try to get into outdoor cycling and someday do a tri. Maybe not next year but hopefully by 2024.
I did break 3:20… chip time was 3:18:51 so I was very pleased
My favorite race as a participant was the Malta 5K Trail Race, and as a worker it was Helderberg to Hudson!
I would say the H2H in April was my favorite. I loved the course and how there were several spots with spectators cheering everyone on. The end was also great with the after party.
In terms of 2023 I am looking forward to H2H, Barn 2 Bridge 5k which was super fast, Run 4 The River and capping off the season with the Stockade-athon as that race is a lot of fun.
Favorite 5K: Freihofer Run for Women - It was my 15th time running it and the ONLY race that I have never missed. It is always so inspiring to be part of a race that includes women of all ages, all sizes and whether they be veterans, newbies, elites, or walkers. Favorite 10K: Troy Turkey Trot: A perfect way to burn off calories, be done before the 5K crowd arrives and still enjoy the festive Thanksgiving atmosphere. Favorite 15K: Stockade-athon: Challenging yet picturesque as you tour Schenectady by running along the Mohawk River, around Central Park and Vale Cemetery. Of course, the best part is that downhill finish. Favorite Half Marathon: Helderberg to Hudson - As with ALL ARE races, every detail of the race is planned, communicated and delivered. With its net downhill course, PRs can happen. Ok, mine didn't but out of the 8 half marathons I ran in 2022, this was my fastest and I'm already signed up for 2023.
Mohawk Hudson Marathon. It was seamless this year, and I was so happy to have been a part of it!
Favorite race for 2022 was the Distinguished Service race because the 8 mile distance was the longest race I ran. I am looking forward to running a lot of races in 2023, but the most particular may be the Anniversary run because of the usual attendance of old friends.
My running & racing schedule is more limited than pre-pandemic days but I still get to a few events.
Favorite race for 2022: Thin Mint Sprint (almost) 5k. What could be more fun, or inspiring, than running with an exuberant cadre of Brownies and Girl Scouts through the Jacksonville Zoo on a spring morning in Florida. And Girl Scout cookies at the finish ??
Runner-up: inaugural Run The Runway 5k at Schenectady County Airport. Winds gusts up to 30 mph, when the wind was at my back I almost felt like I was going to take off. Discovery? Airports are not flat.
2023 aspirations. I’ve been feeling pretty good on my runs, it’s been a long time but maybe I’ll try for something longer, like a 10k.
The Helderberg to Hudson Half was my favorite race of 2022. The weather was ideal and the steady descent into Albany made the miles feel ‘easy.’ In 2023, I’m looking forward to the Hangover Half, another Helderberg to Hudson, the CDPHP Workforce Challenge and Freihofer’s Run for Women, hitting the trails at the Tawasentha series and Landis Arboretum, then finishing-up at the Stockade-athon and the HMRRC Winter Series.
Favorite has to be Freihofer’s Run for Women. Always an amazing day!! For 2023 Freihofer’s Run for Women will be even greater. I’m looking forward to bringing back the Freedom Mile. A 1 mile race on the Clifton Park parade route 7/4/23!
My favorite races of 2022 were Lake Placid full marathon and Helderberg to Hudson Half Marathon.
Races I’m looking forward to in 2023: The 3M half marathon in Austin, TX coming up in a couple of weeks. I won’t be physically ready, but it will be a fast fun course. The Helderberg to Hudson Half in April. Maybe a spring marathon (Lake Placid?!?!) For the fall, I haven’t decided but Mohawk Hudson full and Wineglass are strong candidates.
Stockade-athon!! Love the energy and the distance. I look forward to it every year
Mohawk Hudson River Marathon - It was my first marathon ever and I was able to share this marathon experience with my sister Carolann, who ran her first marathon too. The weather was perfect and I could not have asked for a better race day. In 2023, I look forward to running marathon #2.
Jim and I loved the Helderberg to Hudson Half! The most fun you can have in 13.1 miles running through beautiful sections of the Rail Trail and ending at the Port. What could be better? Looking forward to running it again this Spring.
We also ran the Workforce Team Challenge together in May.
Suburban Council high school distance runners are all too familiar with the name SPAC. The Saratoga 5K course boasts 3 frightful hills and a notoriously long final stretch that leaves you in total oxygen debt with 100 meters to go. I had the pleasure of facing down the terrain twice this past XC season—at the Burnt Hills Invitational and the Suburban Council Championships. My first attempt didn’t go too well… The morning of, I had taken the 3-hour PSAT, scarfed down a quick lunch, raced the 45 minute drive to the performing arts center, and then booked in to the team tent, just in time for a warmup. Needless to say, I wasn’t exactly well prepped for the event, and when the race came, this proved true. I made it through about halfway with no trouble, but heading up to that final stretch, I discovered that my lunch wanted to revisit my esophagus. I gagged about a million times during the final 500m, yet somehow managed to keep from throwing up. Post-race, I felt awful, and I was upset with my placing. A week later, I found myself at the same starting line for the Suburban Council meet. After days of reflecting and preparation, I was ready for a shot at redemption. Going into the race I felt unusually good. After the first hill, I felt even better—weird, but I went with it. By the time I crossed the line, I had passed 30 people and PRed by 40 seconds, placing second for Bethlehem. Redemption felt sweet, and I learned the power of proper prep.
This upcoming year, I’m looking forward to the next round at SPAC, and I would love to run some HMRRC races.
Two favorite races. Boston - because it’s Boston and it’s a perennial favorite for me. Chicago - because it was an opportunity to do another world major. The course was fast and the weather was great. For 2023: Boston in the spring and I haven’t decided about the second half of the year.
I helped time the Timothy Murphy 10K this year, so wasn’t able to run it, but it still my favorite race no matter how I’m involved. It is a local run for me and one of the most enduring 10K races in the area, I think next year might be the 39th or 40th year. It’s a great scenic run through the valley in the fall and finishes in Middleburgh at their Fall Festival. It’s that one race where my friends always show up.
Mary Claire Falotico
What was your favorite race from 2022 and why? This is definitely one of the hardest questions you could ask! I loved all the races I ran in 2022! Miles on the Mohawk was an awesome race, fell short of my A goal but still PR’d by over 27mins. Another favorite was Vermont 100mi, the area was absolutely beautiful and my husband, little sister, and parents all came out to help crew and pace me. There were more, and I would go race them all again if I had unlimited time and money! What races are you looking forward to in 2023? This fall I am racing the Midstate Massive 100mi which I am super excited to race, it’s a point to point 100mi that is mainly on rugged trials. So definitely my style of racing! I am still choosing my late spring/summer races because I’m in nursing school so it’s a balance of family life, races, tests, work at the moment.
My favorite race in 2022 was Electric City 5M. I used it as a training run, and the snowstorm added an extra element of fun, excitement & challenge! I also loved the Boston Marathon -- being back to the normal race atmosphere there, going into it with no expectations other than to have fun & coming away with a big course PR, and spending the next day in Boston to do some fun stuff with my family! In 2023, I am again looking forward to Boston Marathon (my 4th time), as well as MOTM 10M (I think this will be my first official 10M race), Boilermaker (12th?), and STK!
My favorite race in 2022 was the Philadelphia Marathon. It was the first marathon that I completed without hitting the wall and I even managed a negative split- something that eluded me in 2021. I beat my previous PR by over an hour, but that was secondary to the pride I felt from finally finishing strong. In 2023, I’m going to focus less on hitting new PRs and put more effort into increasing my mileage and endurance, culminating in the Infinitus 88k trail race in May.
Locally, the HMRRC Labor Day 5k is one of my favorites, along with the Troy Turkey Trot 10k, the former because of its familiarity and proximity to my home and the interesting and challenging course, and the latter for the highly competitive field, the fast and flat nature of the course and the prospect of a bountiful feast later in the day. Nationally, the James Joyce Ramble 10k in Dedham, MA is a standout, where a highly competitive field from around the nation can be expected. I've run the course a few times so it's familiar now and by running with two of my strong Atlanta Track Club team mates I set an age-group record. For 2023, I look forward to USATF National Masters GP races in Richmond, VA, Atlanta, GA, Sacramento, CA, Syracuse, NY, Dedham, MA and Rochester, NY. Also, local HMRRC races in the Spring.
Sure!! Favorite race- sleepy hollow 10k Halloween bc who doesn’t love the headless horseman and one of my girlfriends was running the race as well, and she’s run her first and second race w me now! Great memories and great time catching up! As far as 2023 Helderburg to Hudson, lake George Triathlon (70.3 distance) , and Trailfest so I can finally get my ultra!
Let me see, they were all so horrible with stitches and broken bones.... I think one of the best was the Death by Staircase 6 and 12 hour ultra at Moreau. It was the first race that I both directed and was able to participate in. The race was a 4 mile loop including the famous Staircase of Death climb. The idea was to see how many times a team or individual could run the 4 mile loop in 6 hours or 12 hours. I was able to take turn running laps with Tim and was able to get in 27 miles. The last lap picking up the flags. It was a fun day of running. The winner ran 12 laps at 48 miles and 12K of vertical gain.
Favorite 2022 race: The Zooma Cape Cod Half Marathon & 10K in Falmouth, Mass., in September. Holly Kozlowski and I made it a girls’ weekend. We ran the 10K through a scenic course along the coast and both placed in our age group! We also met some wonderful women from all over the country.
Looking forward in 2023 to the Freihofer’s Run for Women and the Stockade-athon.
The Helderburg to the Hudson half marathon. Because it was a beautiful course, and it was all down hill. Plus I got a 10 minute PR??. The after party was great also!
I might do the Heldeburg to Hudson half again, depending on how my training goes over the winter. I might also do the Boilermaker in July, because it’s a fun race with a great after party!
My favorite 2022 race was the Troy Turkey Trot 10k. It was nice to run on my home turf and the energy and excitement in downtown Troy after the race was great! In 2023, I'm looking forward to Freihofer's and Stockade-athon.
My 2022 favorite race: RacingthePlanet Ultramarathon in Lapland. Why: My first self supported ultra race. Races I’m looking forward to in 2023: 2 marathon races (Chicago and one in spring still deciding) and 1 or 2 ultra races: 50 K and/or 50 mile.
[Lapland in Finland is the location of the THIRTEENTH edition of the RacingThePlanet Ultramarathon. Considered the last wilderness in Europe and land of the midnight sun because the sun literally never sets in summer. Lapland is also one of the best places to see the Northern Lights!]
Brina Seguine, our poet laureate, sums up 2022
Running with Positivity in 2022
by Brina Seguine
The beginning of the year for runners looked bleak.
There were no in person races that they could seek.
Runners were thinking what do we do?
Luckily this was only for a month or two.
Then in March there was a big cheer.
The mandate for masks was no longer here.
Runners were feeling more than fine.
Without masks on as they toed the line.
There were many races this year that went on.
ROG, Freihofers, and the Mohawk Hudson Marathon.
There was even some more recent fun.
There were Turkey Trots as well as the Jingle Bell Run.
For runners it was a much better year.
There’s lots of hope and joy as 2023 comes near!