With the sun shining and clear skies early Sunday morning, hordes of runners clogged the streets of Schenectady for the city’s annual 15K road race.
The 2016 Stockade-athon drew more than 1,000 participants, with 1,450 runners listed as finishing the race. The annual race, which came into existence in 1976, has runners looping through Schenectady’s Stockade district, into Central Park and back into downtown, finishing near City Hall. The race is sponsored by MVP Health Care.
Many participants Sunday said they’d done the race before, adding that it’s an event they look forward to running in. A couple called Sunday’s weather perfect conditions, with temperatures in the 40s around race time.
“It’s a lot of fun. You see some familiar faces and can try to compete with yourself from past years,” said one runner from Niskayuna.
Spectators lined the course to cheer on family and friends. Most were concentrated near the starting line on State Street and at the finish line near City Hall.
Runners from out of state participated on Sunday in what has become one of the most recognized races in upstate New York. The overwhelming majority of racers came from New York state, with many hailing from the Capital Region.
Others made their way to Schenectady from Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, Ohio and elsewhere for Sunday’s race.
The total number of finishers lagged a bit behind past years. The 2015 Stockade-athon saw 1,568 racers finish. The previous year had 1,671 finishers, and 2013 had the highest participation of the past several years when 1,871 runners crossed the finish lane.
Traffic was stopped along several roads throughout the city for brief periods of time as the bulk of the participants made their way through the course. Parts of Nott and State streets were closed during the morning, as were a few roads in the GE Realty Plot.
Dozens of families were on hand to watch the race. In addition to the main event, there was a 1-mile run for kids age 12 or younger.
Reach Gazette reporter Brett Samuels at 395-3113, [email protected] or @Brett_Samuels27 on Twitter.