by Benita Zahn, Lauren Scarupa, Theresa DeLorenzo, Jon Lindenauer and Chris Bishop
Spring is a delightful time of year. No longer confined by wintry weather, tulips emerge, magnolia trees blossom, and road races explode. Runners can be seen jogging on roads, bike paths and trails. The Pace Setter has already covered major races in April like the Helderberg to Hudson Half Marathon, the Delmar Dash, and the Boston Marathon, so we will start with the Have Drink of Me 5k held on April 29 that that was one shy of having 700 happy participants go for the gold, literally in the brew they had after finishing their 5k. The races in April and May had themes that ranged from raising literacy, Law Day, fine tuning racing skills, and just having plain fun!
April 29, 2023
I haven't been running much. Plenty of power walking and intervals but lately I've been feeling the “need for speed.” Okay, speed is relative. But I have been itching to get back to running and what better way than to sign up for a race promising beer at the finish line. Understand, I am not much of a drinker but a cold one after a 5k was enticing. So, the hubs, who is a fabulous power walker and I signed up for the SingleCut North Have a Drink on Me 5k on April 29th. This marked the 5th year for this race but our first time toeing the line. It's a USATF certified, closed loop course. I've run some of it on my own so I knew there was a grand hill you get to enjoy, all you billy goats... The event is part of the Great American Brewery Runs series and if they're all as well organized as this, sign up. Despite a cold rain the crowd was enthusiastic. The route takes you into a neighborhood near the brewery in Clifton Park, just off Ushers Road. Once back through the finish there was beer, games, a food truck and simply a crowd of happy, albeit wet folks. Dare I say spirits were high from start to finish. As for swag: a pair of socks and of course, a beer koozie. Cheers to this fun, well organized run that I will definitely put on next year's calendar!
It was my second year running this race and I will definitely be back for the next one! The festival feel of this event makes for a great way to start the summer racing season, and I always enjoy all of the nice swag that the race organizers put together. I especially like the custom 5k socks that they give away. Also, gotta love that the awards they give out double as beer bottle openers!
5K’s are my least favorite races. From the time the gun goes off until you cross the finish line you are running all out. However, there are a few 5K’s that are tradition to do each year. One of these is Have a Drink on Me. My sister runs only a few times a year, but four years ago Have a Drink on Me was held on her birthday and she embarked on her first 5k in decades. Since then, it has become a tradition to run this race together -- well not together. I beat her. Just for the record. My daughters often run this race with us as well. We won’t talk about their times. They run track! I run marathons! That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.
Hosting 700 runners, the beginning of the race is somewhat slow moving. Once you finally exit the brewery parking lot you descend down Van Patten Drive towards Country Knolls West. The course loops back around, forcing you to ascend Van Patten Drive, which seems to get longer as you traverse through the neighborhood.
The race typically boasts gorgeous weather and an amazing after party that endures into the late afternoon. This year we were not so lucky. The rain was relentless for the duration of the race. Although the rain ceased, it was wet and dreary out, so the music and awards were moved inside. Because my name initially was left off of the results and my friend Vanessa, who set the goal for the day of beating me, was listed twice, we really had no idea where we stood.
Later that afternoon I was elated when my boyfriend announced at our slightly altered indoor after party that I had won my age group! I love when this happens. I had to track down the medal, though, since we had left the race at this point, but I got it and added it to my collection.
The Singlecut Have a Drink on Me 5k definitely captures a number of my favorite things when it comes to shorter distance road races: it is mostly flat, it is close to my house and it is beer-themed, my favorite being that final point.
Is the course terribly interesting? No, not really. It looks like a capital letter "P" going through a suburb of northern Clifton Park and the most intriguing portion is the first and final 100 meters. That having been said, the brewery itself has a fantastic rotating selection of unique beers and the post-race festivities are fairly robust for a neighborhood 5k: there is a live band, food truck, vendors and a stein hoisting competition. Overall, it is certainly worth jumping into, even if you live more than eight minutes away from the brewery.
May 18 – 46th CDPHP Workforce Team Challenge 3.5 Mile
May 28- Miles on the Mohawk
June 3- Freihofer’s Run for Women
June 25- Dodge the Deer 5K
July 4-Firecracker 4
July 11, 18, 25, Aug. 1, Aug 8-Colonie Track Meets
July 29-Altamont 5k
Aug. 7, 15- HMRRC Tawasentha Cross Country Meets
Aug. 12- Landis Perennial 5k Forest Run
Aug. 20 - Thacher Park Trail Running Festival
Sept. 2-Run4 the River Half
Sept. 4-HMRRC Labor Day Run
Sept. 24- 50th Anniversary Run HMRRC
Oct. 22-Malta 2k, 3K & 5K Trail Race
Oct. 28-Trick or Trot Pumpkin Run 5k
Nov. 19-ARE Upstate Classic
Nov. 23-Troy Turkey Trot