Distance runners battle rain along the Mohawk

Runners leave the starting line to begin the marathon run Sunday morning at Mohawk Harbor during the Miles on the Mohawk races.

Runners leave the starting line to begin the marathon run Sunday morning at Mohawk Harbor during the Miles on the Mohawk races.

Kevin Quinn of Loudonville persevered through a downpour to finish the 10-mile portion of the inaugural three-pronged Miles on the Mohawk running event Sunday.

Staged from Mohawk Harbor, it also had 5-mile and 26.2-mile runs, satisfying the pent up demand of a variety of distance runners who have mostly been relegated to virtual events during the COVID-19 pandemic that began in March 2020.

The event was put on by ARE Event Productions and the Albany Running Exchange.

Josh Merlis of both organizations said just shy of 1,200 showed up and ran, out of more than  1,400 registrants.

“That’s about what was expected, especially with what the forecast was,” he said. “It was cold and pouring for most of the marathon. We had some brave souls do some pretty amazing stuff.”

Merlis said there were just under 200 marathoners, while about 650 runners completed the 10-mile race, and about 320 finished the five-miler.

After the race, participants in soaked gear lingered to fraternize and replenished with food and beverages as live music played.

“The three different races, it was a great way to bring the running community together; it was fantastic,” said Quinn, who dressed appropriately in a blue Mohawk hat that he made.

“Unfortunately, Mother Nature didn’t cooperate, but I think everyone still enjoyed themselves,” he said.

Quinn, like others, said that he preferred the wet conditions to an alternative like excessive heat.

“I’ll take this over sun and 80 degrees, but it got a little wet towards the end,” he said. “But at that point you’re ready so it’s just a matter of getting to the finish.”

Among the pack of 10-mile racers, Erik Moses said he traveled more than two hours from Wyckoff, New Jersey.

“In-person race, and Memorial Day weekend is so beautiful,” Moses said of why he made the long trip.

“It was my rainiest race,” the competitor said, “so it’s a new experience. But I’m training for the New York City Marathon in November, so I guess I’ve got to be ready for this too. The slop was cold, but it was a motivator to keep moving.”

Jennifer Vogt of Rotterdam said the rain picked up about halfway into the 10-miler.

“Now I just want some warm weather,” she said, adding that the event was a motivator for her training for half-marathons.

Amy O’Connor of Troy said it was her first organized 10-mile race. She’s used to doing 10 or 15 kilometers or longer.

“The temperature is actually perfect for running,” O’Connor said of the 50-degree day. “But the rain is not ideal. So if it hadn’t been raining it would have been perfect.

“I think everybody’s just really excited to have in-person running again after the pandemic. There’s a really good energy here, despite the weather,” she said, praising the event’s organizers.


Categories: News, Schenectady County

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