Tromptown Half Marathon Recap

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On a visit to New York to see family, my sons and I had the pleasure of running the 36th Annual Tromptown Races.  The races are held in the small town of Deruyter, NY.  It is a pretty small event, including a fun run, 5k, and Half Marathon.  This race marked my 15th half marathon, and both of my sons ran the 5k.  Along for the hour long drive from Binghamton, NY, where we were visiting, was my Father, who last watched me race in New York back in 2004.  Here is a picture of my sons, and Dad, prior to the start.

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We bumped into Nicki in the parking lot prior to the race and had a chat and walked to the start together.  I met Nicki at the Blue Ridge Marathon this past April.  I won an entry into the marathon there this year during a contest on her running blog.  nickisnook.net  Check her blog out, it’s worth a follow!  She and I are pictured below.  See lives in the Binghamton area, and recommended this race, as she has run it in the past.  Who could pass up on the chance to see the beautiful countryside running in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains, especially for the wallet friendly price of $28 for the three of us?  Now that, my friends, is a deal!

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The race started on time, right near the center of town.  I had never been to Deruyter before, but what a friendly town.  Rolling hills, friendly folks, corn fields, cows, and great views of the area.  As I expected as we rolled into town, the race start was right next to a cornfield.

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We ran down one of the few main streets in town as the crowd of just over 200 runners started to spread out fairly quickly.  We ran by the school where we parked and where packet pick up was.  It was here that I waved to my boys and my Dad, before making the turn and passed the finish area.  From here we started making our trip out of the center of town.  We hit one crossroads, where a sign was posted.  I didn’t snap a picture, but wish I had.  The sign told runners from the half marathon to make a right hand turn, and instructed those running the 5k, which started 15 minutes after the half, to proceed straight.  The hill/confidence drainer that lay ahead for those running the 5k, looked absolutely daunting.  I immediately thought about how my boys would react when they saw that hill coming up.  Certainly I have never seen a 5k course with anything like it.  I felt for them!

We started to make our way out of town, where the streets quickly turned into rolling country roads.  The event website http://www.tromptownrun.com lists this race a scenic, and invites you to take in the rural sights and smells.  This is surely what I did, and remained focused on enjoying this race course.  A few miles in there is a fairly substantial hill that really is the first indication of what lies ahead.  Old Mill Road will start to test your legs, and get them ready for High Bridge Road, which is a rolling stretch, taking you from about mile 3 to mile 5.  Fields of corn, and pastures abound at this point in the race.  Before I caught my first glimpse of Deruyter Lake, I came up to a farm, and low and behold, I saw a cow walk across the road.  My first thought was, watch me get held back, waiting for the whole herd to cross over to another pasture, but as I came up to it, the cows were held back by fencing.  Not sure how that one cow got through, but he was on the other side, mooing like crazy for the others to join him.  The smell at this crossing almost knocked me flat.  I don’t encounter smells like these back home.  (Smiling)

As I came up to the Lake (Tioughnioga Reservoir), I was struck by how beautiful and peaceful this area is.  There were little lake houses and cottages all around the Lake.  Lots of folks were outside, and many were roadside, cheering on us runners.  It was a nice treat. Miles 5 to 10 were basically run all around the Lake.  Beautiful views, and rolling hills.  I snapped the following picture at around mile 7.5, the far end of the Lake, looking back toward town.

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It was truly a scenic adventure for the eyes.  A workout for the legs, but if your like me, racing is done with your eyes, too.  I always try to focus on my surroundings, especially when running a race for the first time.  Half way into the race at this point I was feeling good.  My pace was all over the place.  I was taking in the views so much, I wasn’t focusing on my pace like I usually do.  With the hills, I knew I wouldn’t PR, so I focused on trying to stay under an overall pace of 8 minutes per mile until the finish.  Heading back toward town, miles 10 and beyond, I started passing runners that were in trouble.  Racers were pretty few and far between on this course, so there wasn’t a lot of passing going on until late in the race.  I passed one fellow, young guy, who was obviously cramping up terribly in his calves.  I stopped to ask him if he needed help.  He said he was ok, just cramping, but as I looked at his face, I noticed that he was crying.  Pretty bad case of cramps, I guess.  I felt bad for him.  I think we’ve all been there, feeling whipped, feeling disappointed, feeling injured.  Not fun.  I was feeling really good though, and wanted to finish strong.  I had heard a couple times, rolling thunder in the distance, so I knew I wanted to hurry and finish in case it decided to pour down on us.

It was a real treat to come into the finish area, and see my sons and Father.  They cheered me to the finish.  I was very happy, and finished in 1:44:43.  Satisfied for this rolling course.  I placed 44th overall, out of 224 runners.  That was good enough to score me a 3rd place finish in my age group, which was a thrill.  I received a medal for that.  I also received a Family Team medal for coming in 2nd place with my older son.  That was an even bigger reward, and one I will cherish as we competed together.  My sons competing together as a brother/brother combo, took third place, in the 5k.  They finished 26th and 28th overall in the 5k.  almost side by side.  So we really had a successful race, and I will remember it forever.

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This race is run in conjunction with the Fireman’s Fair, there in town, so there were plenty of food options after the race, and rides for kids, along with carnival games, etc..  Too bad they ran out of fried dough before we had the chance to grab some before heading out of town.  We earned that fried dough, but would have to settle for some French fries once we got back to Binghamton.  Just as we were leaving that night, the skies that had been threatening all evening, finally opened up, and dumped about three inches of rain on us as we drove the hour home.  It was torrential, and difficult driving, but we survived in one piece.  If you live in the central New York area, and are looking for a great race, this one is a great race to try.  It was inexpensive, well supported, and scenic all rolled into one.  Definitely recommend this race!  We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Marathon training in New York

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In less than a month, I have a long overdue trip to Upstate New York planned.  Yes, I am heading back to the town where I grew up.  Binghamton, NY, I really haven’t missed it at all, but haven’t been there in almost 6 years.  It is time!  My Father still lives there, so it will be a great family visit.

i have been in the planning stages for this trip for quite some time.  I think I have finally decided to fly.  Normally, this would not be an option, but a colleague at work offered up some buddy passes so that it would be more affordable my my sons and I to fly instead of make the 9 hour road trip.  This means flying standby, so I have my reservations, but we are going to do it.  It may take us all day to get there, but I will try to stay optimistic.

Trying to plan what to do while there…… Big ideas, little time.  We will only be there for three full days.  The kids and I are already planning on running a race in Deruyter, NY, called the Tromptown Races.  I am running the Half Marathon, and the boys are both running the 5k.  Should be nice and hot at the race start of 6pm.  There is a Fireman’s Fair at the finish, and hope to meet up with my best friend from college and his wife and kids.  I have yet to meet the kids, but haven’t seen my friends in 12 years.  Wow!  My last road race in NY was the Kelly LeBarre 5k in Binghamton, back in 2004!  I ran it with my brother that year, and also in 2003.  The race in 2003 was my first official 5k race, so it will be nice to be running in NY again, 10 years later!

My Dad is a big golfer, so we will surely hit the golf course for a round of golf while there.  I played golf a lot growing up, and managed to be a pretty good player, but I am so rusty now, only playing my first round of golf in 14 years last week.  Let’s just say I won’t be shooting par golf.

I am also hoping to take the boys and Dad to Ithaca for an afternoon.  My brother may drive up from New Jersey one day to join us.

For sure, we will be eating Spiedies, a local area specialty, and be visiting Friendly’s for a Reese’s Pieces Sundae while on our trip.  I am getting ready excited to see the area again, as I really do miss the foothills.  I took them for granted when I lived there, but plan on enjoying the scenery.  I hope that Mother Nature cooperates, and gives us some decent weather while we are there.  Binghamton is one of the cloudiest cities in the country, pretty dreary, based on the Farmers Almanac.  Living there 18 years, I can still remember how much a sunny day was appreciated.

Have you ever heard of a Spiedie?  Any idea how delicious one is?

Pure deliciousness

Pure deliciousness

 

Upcoming Races

Here is a list (not solid yet) of upcoming races on my calendar.  My quest for 13 Half and Full Marathons for 2013 continues into the Summer and Fall.  There are a bunch of options, but spacing them out is proving to be a bit of a challenge.

Image  Taking a trip to South Carolina next month and will do this race with my kids.  This is one of the top 10 biggest races yearly in the state.

Image  On recommendation of folks that have run this race before, this Half Marathon is on my list during a road trip to NY this August.  This race will put my Half/Full count at 7 for the year.  That leaves 6 more for Fall.

9/21 –  Midtown Race Series Johnson Lexus Half Marathon in Raleigh

Image  I’ve already signed up for this Marathon in Asheville, NC.  I ran the Asheville Marathon at Biltmore Estate earlier this year in March, and just fell in love with the City of Asheville, so I thought I would return in the Fall for the City Marathon.  Completely different course.  I took advantage of the discount they were offering on National Running Day!

Image  Running this race again, as it is a favorite, and I am friends with the race director Paula.

image  The Bull City Race Fest!  This event is on 10/20, and I am signed up for the Half Mary.  This will be my first time running this event.

I may run the Greensboro Marathon on 10/26.

Hallowed half  I ran this hilly Half last year.  It is a Halloween themed race that was really tough, but very enjoyable.  Not sure I can do a back to back Half and Full the same weekend.  Jury is still out on this weekend.

City of oaks  The City of Oaks is our local marathon in the Fall, and this will be my first year running it.  I work along the race route, and have worked the last two years on race day.  It makes me very jealous to watch the masses pass by, but this year will be a different story.

Depending on if I get all these races in, my goal will be complete at this Marathon on 11/3.  If I happen to miss one of the events listed above, I have a fall back on race, the Skinny Turkey Half Marathon on Thanksgiving Day.  I have run that race the last two years, and really want to reach my goal prior to that this year so that I can just eat on Turkey Day.

So, what do you think of this schedule?  It means either 4 or 5 marathons this year, and either 8 or 9 Halves.  Lofty goal that I set for myself at the beginning of the year, but I can make it, if I stay focused, trained and injury free.