Run4 the River Half Marathon 2023 – a Race to Remember

by Chris Bishop

On September 2, Mabee Farm Historic Site was buzzing with excitement. The setting was dramatic, with the grounds of the Farm being engulfed in mist and runners in colorful attire.  Hundreds milled around ready to do their best and get those PRs at the Nark Running and Strength signature race. The race itself winds around the Mohawk River for 13.1 miles on a net downhill paved course until it reaches the curb cut for the small parking lot at Frog Alley, and then the celebrating begins.

                                                           The Nark Running and Strength Group
                            Ryan Cooper, Tom O’Grady, and Scott Mindel get ready

The party included a free beer, complimentary food by Annabels Pizza, and live music” provided by the famed local band, Monkberry.

The race itself was a nail biter. Stephen Paddock shot ahead running a sub-five minute mile with Ricardo Estremera close on his heels. Ricardo’s piece below describes the intricacy of the strategy involved in a nose to nose or running shoe to running shoe race with the win for first place being by seconds! Mary-Ange Brumelot of Shokan came in 8th overall and first for the females and her reaction is also below.

Ricardo’s Incredibly Nuanced Description of How He Ran the Race:

The "Run 4 the River" event proved to be a remarkable experience. Approximately six weeks ago, I embarked upon a half-marathon training regimen with the objective of completing a race prior to the forthcoming Hudson Mohawk event. My initial aim was to maintain a pace ranging from 5 minutes and 18 seconds to 5 minutes and 20 seconds per mile. Regrettably, during the race, my acquaintance Stephen set a considerably swifter pace, averaging less than 5 minutes per mile at the beginning of the race—a pace for which I had not adequately prepared. Consequently, I chose to relinquish pursuit of Stephen and instead settled into a pace that I believed to be within my capabilities. Around the third-mile mark, I found my current pace surprisingly manageable and opted to escalate my efforts, endeavoring to narrow the gap with Stephen. By the time I reached the sixth mile marker, I trailed Stephen by less than a second. Recognizing Stephen's experience in this race distance, I chose to maintain proximity to him while recovering from the exertion required to close the gap. Throughout the course of the race, Stephen and I engaged in a spirited competition, characterized by fluctuations in pace—periods of acceleration followed by deceleration. Remarkably, I remained at ease despite these fluctuations. As the race neared its conclusion, with only one mile remaining, I possessed the conviction that I could deliver a sub-4-minute and 40-second final mile. Consequently, I elected to incrementally intensify my pace every 400 meters, ultimately initiating a full sprint with a mere 500 meters left to the finish line. The electrifying enthusiasm of the spectators at the finish line was truly magnificent. In retrospect, I derived immense pleasure from this race and eagerly anticipate my further development in this particular athletic endeavor.

Marie-Ange said this about her race:

I found out about the race while chatting with my husband just two days before the event, as earlier in the day he talked about the running community around Albany with a coworker. I have been having difficulty in my training this summer so figured a race environment would help me get in a qualitative run, and it did not disappoint. I ran the race strictly by feel, expecting to run around the 75-minute mark, and it played out as such, finishing in 1:14:49. The race was very well organized, fun, and gave me a much needed boost before the Fall Marathons!

The awards ceremony was highlighted by the wonderful emceeing of Josh Merlis. He was informative, entertaining, and dynamic. He announced the top three winners in each category.

The delightful band Monkberry serenaded the listeners and partygoers.

Race Stats – Click on heading

Race Results

Statistics and Analysis

Top Age Group Finishers

Age Grade Percent – Some of these figures are amazing!

Extensive Pictures of the Event

Thank you to Mat Nark for putting on such a memorable event.

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