St. Paddy’s Day Surprise for the Udvadias: Ryan wins Runnin’ of the Green 5k and Cara delivers Little Louie

by Mark Mindel

University at Albany (UA) graduates Ryan and Cara Udvadia received a nice surprise on St. Patrick’s Day 2024. Ryan won the HMRRC Runnin’ of the Green 5k at Schalmont HS Saturday in a new record time of 15:10!

But THAT wasn’t the most surprising, as he’s been a top Capital Region racer since graduating from UA’s powerful distance running program in 2018. Cara, a UA record holder and the 2023 Runnin’ of the Green female winner in 17:33 went into labor right after her husband’s win this year and delivered a baby boy the next day!

Little Louis Rusi Udvadia was about a month early, weighing a healthy 6 pounds, 4 ounces! He was so excited about dad’s win, that he couldn’t wait to come out to celebrate! There will be some great expectations for little Louie as both mom and dad are champion runners.

Ryan holds the UA indoor 3k record of 8:13.5 and won several American East titles in cross country and track and field. Cara graduated from UA in 2019 and is the outdoor 10k record holder in 34:01 and has a 16:35 best for 5k at Albany.

Both athletes were drawn to Coach Jones’s UA program after fine high school careers. Ryan graduated from Shoreham Wading River HS in Section 11, Suffolk County in 2014 and Cara ran for her dad, Bill Sherman, at Mohonasen, graduating in 2015.

Both Ryan and Cara won the Troy Turkey Trot 10k’s in 2019. Cara has won two Stockade-athons (2019 and 2021) and the H2H Half in 2022. Ryan placed second that year to my son (Scott Mindel) in Ryan’s half debut.

Both Ryan and Cara have one marathon under their belts. Cara was 2nd female at the Marine Corps Marathon in 2:47:08 in 2022. Her time ranks as the 10th best Capital Region women’s time. Ryan debuted at this race as well finishing in 2:27:36 placing 3rd overall.

Both husband and wife compete on recently formed running teams in the area. Ryan runs for the Run Club Track Club with the likes of Charlie Ragone and John Longo. Cara runs for the Capital Region’s Elite Women’s team (CREW) alongside area stars such as Karen Bertasso Hughes, Tricia Wardwell Longo, and Meg Champagne. Interestingly, the Run Club Track Club and the CREW Team combined to form a co-ed team that won the team title this year at Runnin’ of the Green!

Congratulations to the Udvadias and good luck to little Louie!

Mark Mindel is a long-time runner, coach and track official. He won the Montreal Marathon in 1979 and he founded the Schenectady Stockade-athon, winning three of the first four and running the first 43 consecutively. Mark was recently inducted into the Greater Capital Region Track HOF and  is currently a Fleet Feet Vikings Marathon Coach.

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