40th Mohawk Hudson River Marathon

by Christine Bishop


Top: Dave Vona 3rd, Paolo Fiore 2nd, Alexander Grout 1st
Bottom: Stephanie Gordon 3rd, Noreen Guilfoyle 2nd, Christine Myers 1st


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Alexander Grout – 1st Male

This is my second time racing here. My first was in 2021, which was my first-ever marathon, and I ran 2:41 and was 7th place and very happy with that. I've now run five total, including Shamrock (Va. Beach) in 2022, Wineglass (Corning) in 2022, and Boston in 2023. I've known it's a fast course and the money typically brings in good competition, so I always thought about coming back to run faster and maybe challenge for a top-3 spot. 

I was targeting sub-2:30, and I knew the second half could be very fast. I wanted to run a little over 1:15 and I came through in 1:15:01. The first two-thirds of the race went just as I planned.  Unfortunately, a long-term hamstring injury came creeping back in the 18th mile and painful cramps forced me to slow to about 6 minute (2:38 full) pace. Every time I tried to pick it up a bit, I would get another cramp, so given the circumstances, I was happy to be able to hang on and finish very close to a PR (7-seconds slower).  

As for the course, after 14+ miles of some ups and downs, you are rewarded with nothing but downhills and flats the rest of the way. It's (usually) the best possible way to finish a marathon! 

This is a truly amazing event with GREAT course management, support, and organization for a local/smaller event. I think it's about as good as anyone could expect. 

One criticism: Everyone gets stressed out about the train crossing affecting their race/time -- including me! I don't know if there is a way to make an alternate route on the course if we are aware a train is coming a few miles ahead and redirect runners in real-time? Even if it were a permanent redirection off-the trail with a hill or two, I think people would appreciate the certainty of not losing a few minutes! 

Click here for Times Union article by Sean Martin on Alexander Grout, and Christine Myers, 1st Female.
Click here for Daily Gazette article on the Marathon

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Paolo Fiore – 2nd Male
I have never run the Mohawk Hudson Marathon before. This was my first time. The race held sentimental value to me however, because I used to run for the Siena College XC team, and we would volunteer for the half marathon during my time there. It was very enjoyable to be on the other side, racing along the course. 

This was only my second marathon, so I rooted myself humility of respecting the distance and not getting greedy. Last year, I had my marathon debut at NYC on a very hot and humid day and bonked around 22. With that in mind, the goal was to race within myself, keeping a sharp eye on how I was feeling and keeping it in a pace range that training indicated we could run. 

In essence it looked like this:

- First 4 should feel easy and like a warmup.

- Get to halfway feeling smooth and relaxed.

- 13-18 keep the ship steady.

- 18-23 If you can push, push. If not, keep the ship steady.

- 23-26...grind and survive 

My real hope was to compete well, execute the plan, and put the product of my preparation on display. If I achieved those things, whatever result came of it I would be happy with. If I got a BQ, that would be sweet too, but it was not my major concern.


I did however get a big time PR. The perfect crisp conditions, fast course, and prior experience helped propel me to a big 20 minute PR! Shout out to Mike Petrina, my coach, for setting me up for success and my wife Paulina Fiore for being there with me every step of the way. #petrinatrained


I enjoyed 2 parts of the course specifically: The bike path portion after the halfway mark (miles 13-18) and the finishing 5 miles on that bike path (21-26).


Getting past halfway and having a nice 4-5 mile stretch of flat/slight downhill bike path was exactly what I needed to get in the flow state to attack the second half.


The last 5 miles hopped off some busy road and put us on to a flat and beautiful bike path right next to the Hudson all the way to the finish. In college, I would do many a long run with my teammates along that section of the bike path, so that gave me some great energy in the late stages.


As to how to improve the race, it is hard to think of anything, and if I did it would be extremely nitpicky. The stretch from 18ish-20ish that went along the highway and a busy road was not my favorite, but a necessary evil to get to the finishing stretch. 


The volunteers were great. The course was well marked and blazing fast. The scenery was sensational. There was great support for you once you finished with food, massages and other supports. This will definitely be a race I return to and will advertise to my friends who are looking to run a fun and fast marathon.



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Christine Myers-1st Female

I want to address the elephant in the room: it is no secret that I am not as fast as I was when I was fresh out of college. I lost some of my speed, but I gained so much more.

Over the last year I did what I had been avoiding for so long: I healed. I'm not talking about shin splints, torn tendons, or blisters; I am talking about my mind, my heart, and my soul.


After having survived a stalking situation, I found the strength to reclaim my sense of safety and my sense of self. I am lucky to have made it out alive, not all women do.

I am eternally grateful for the patience and compassion that my running team (Nark Running Strategies) has bestowed upon me over this last year. Learning to navigate the world while feeling safe again has been a journey; but I know that I am not on this journey alone. My team has my back until the galaxies cross and the sun goes dark.

If there is one thing I took away from the 2023 Hudson Mohawk Marathon, it’s that you cannot let the one bad thing that happened to you ruin all the good that life has to offer.

Click here for Times Union article by Sean Martin on Christine and Alexander Grout, 1st male winner.
Click here for Daily Gazette article on the Marathon

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Noreen Guilfoyle- 2nd Female

I am honored to have earned 2nd place female at this year's Mohawk Hudson River Marathon! I never expected to do so well, this being my first marathon ever. I had hoped to break 3 hours but the real goal was to just go out there and have fun. I can proudly say I accomplished that beyond what I ever expected. In every photo I have of myself on the course, I am smiling the biggest, happiest smile. I am so thankful for Christine Myers, 1st place female, for her great advice and company for most of the race. Not to mention my amazing cheer squad and the lead bicyclist who all helped me get through the tough parts of the race. While that wall hit me pretty hard at mile 24, all I could think was, "I can't wait to do this again!" those last 2.2 miles. Thank you to all the volunteers and race organizers for making my first marathon so special! The race was very well organized and I would definitely consider doing it again and recommending it to others!




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Stephanie Gordon -3rd Female

The Good, The Bad and The Determined


The rain did not let up all day Saturday as I drove down to Albany from Ottawa on very rainy and twisty roads, and it did not let up all day Saturday. It left me a little worried about the wet fallen leaves that would be on the bike paths of the race route the next day. 


The day of the race the weather was looking perfect to run. A cool 7°C to start and only getting as high as 15°C Our bus driver got us to the start with plenty of time to use the washrooms and get a little warm up in, although it would have been nice to have a few more as when more buses arrived the lines were getting longer. 


I started off feeling pretty good trying to hold my pace back and not go out too fast too soon, with the first big downhill that was tough to do, however, as we got on the first part of the bike path which was all UPHILL with scattered wet leaves…that really pulled me back a bit. Luckily it wasn’t for long. 


One of my many goals (as I always have some to fall back on during the race) was to make the podium either top 3 woman or as a master, I knew early on I was 3rd woman already and so I just had to run smart to stay there. Things were going well until I took a gel, and it did not go down well and I had to stop for a bit around the half way point where another female passed me. It took me a couple minutes to get going again so I was not sure if I’d be able to catch her again or not. Either way I knew I had the Masters podium still in mind. 


The volunteers, supporters and police along the route were amazing. All very encouraging and helpful when we had to pass the many little streets along the path route. There even was a moment when I reached for a water cup off a table and missed, another runner noticed and grabbed an extra one, caught up to me and made sure I got what I needed. So thankful for that runner for thinking of me at that time. 


Around the 30km mark the headwind started to pick up which was not what any racer wants or needs but I was still determined to run and try and catch that 3rd place woman. I finally saw her way up ahead with about 3k to go and I could see I was slowly catching her but was not sure I had enough road to actually catch her. Then with 1 mile to go I caught her and did not look back I just kept going right to the finish. 


What a great day for a race and so organized and welcoming. Not only was I 3rd woman and 1st of the Masters, I was also the first Canadian overall.   


This was my second time running the marathon distance. This is an excellent race and I would recommend others to try this scenic, fast race at least once as it is definitely one that can help you get a personal best and maybe even qualify for Boston.




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Janne Rand Gilligan-2nd in age group 35-39


The Mohawk Hudson marathon and half has always been one of my favorite races. I enjoy the course and I love the feeling at the finish line and the whole atmosphere.   This year I picked this race because the last couple of years I’ve death marched through the Philly marathon with overwhelming crowds.  I do enjoy signing up for the late fall races when you’re not doing your hardest and highest mileage weeks in the heat, but this year I wanted to pick a low stress race that didn’t require traveling and navigating an unfamiliar city, so of course I picked our local gem!


I went into this race knowing I was not at my fittest as I had struggled over the summer with my foot, the heat, and just not feeling fast and fit. Every run was a struggle, and I wasn’t hitting the mileage my coach had planned for the training program and I definitely wasn’t hitting the paces I was hitting a year ago.  As tempting as it was to give in and become a summer hobby jogger, I knew I didn’t want to ditch the marathon because at the end of the day I really enjoy the marathon training cycle, the big build up, and I’m always happy when I cross the finish line because any marathon finish is a big accomplishment to me. 


The course had changed since the last time I ran, and I was forewarned there would be some hills the first four miles. I was pleasantly surprised though as I found that first part scenic with a nice rhythm. The rollers woke my “fire” muscles up. The original plan was for me to stay very conservative the first four miles, but I fell into the trap of everything feeling so easy that despite feeling like I was consciously holding back, I was running faster than planned.  Unfortunately, by mile 9 I felt like my legs had lost their bounce and were getting flat and I was waddling and not picking up my feet.  I feared this was a very bad sign and another death March was on the horizon because mile 9 is way too early to start going down the tubes.  The wet leaves were also starting to wear a little on my already terrible biomechanics. At that point I decided to change my mental game. No matter what, I was going to run a marathon that day. Dropping out was out of the question. I didn’t feel bad at all, I just felt stale. I never hit a wall so there really was no reason not to continue rocking what I’ve got and continue shuffling down the course.  My new approach was as a hobbyist going on an outing for fresh air and some exercise. My mantra became “ut på tur aldri sur” which is a Norwegian saying/mindset that no matter how hard the conditions get, you carry on and get through it by knowing you are outside enjoying nature, enjoying the fresh air and exercise whether it be walking, running, hiking etc.   I wasn’t going to run a PR by any stretch of the imagination so I told myself it was okay to slow down a tiny bit and pretend I’m just on an outing and see how far I can ride it. Interestingly, as the miles continued, my legs didn’t feel so stale anymore and I felt like I was just doing a Sunday long run.  My later miles actually felt better than the middle miles. By mile 20 I thought maybe I could push and go faster but I was terrified of losing my “ut på tur” mentality.  I wanted to finish the race not burned out and thinking I’m already excited about training for my next one.  Success! I achieved my goal of crossing the finish line not completely destroyed thinking “that wasn’t so bad.”  I ended up running nearly the same time as I did in Philly last year except going into Philly, I was much fitter and ended in a death March. This year I was less fit but ran more evenly and avoided a death March which is always an accomplishment in itself.

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Greg with his family

Greg Ethier-1st in Age group 5054

I just wanted to say I was thrilled to not only PR and win my age group but most importantly to run a Sub 3. This was my 31st marathon. I run this race every year and it never disappoints. It’s very well run and organized. It’s a great course and at the best time of year. Next marathon for me is Boston in April.


Race Results
40th Mohawk Hudson River Marathon

Interesting Stats
524 Registered
438 Finished
136 First Time Running
87 Qualified for Boston (almost 20%)


Click here for extensive pictures from the MHR Marathon 2023


Mohawk Hudson River Marathon Awards

All race finishers will receive a medal to commemorate their achievements. In addition to this, there will be commemorative and cash awards given to the top three male and female finishers in the amounts of $1500, $1000, and $500 to the respective places.

Cash awards will be given to the top three male and female masters finishers in the amount of $500, $250, $125 to the respective places.

Commemorative awards will also be given to the top three male and female finishers from each of the following categories.













Finally, there is a $250 bonus to the overall male and/or female winner who breaks the marathon event record. Event record information can be seen here.


Local Residents Awards are given to the first three finishers from each race. For the marathon, the top three local residents will receive $300, $200, and $100 respectively. 

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