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<b>Cliff notes:</b> My 20th marathon since 2000. My 4th out of 6 planned for 2007. 3:39:14 for a 39 second CR. 39th OA, 6/17 AG (yeah, there were 6 males 50-54 in the first 39 OA!)<br><br><b>11th annual Adirondack Marathon, Schroon Lake, NY, September 16.</b> Run simultaneously with a half marathon as part of the Adirondack Distance Festival with 5 and 10k races on September 15. This event usually has about 200 - 300 marathoners and the half marathon has grown and been capped at 500 runners.<br><br><b>Backround:</b> This was my third running of the Adirondack Marathon with the other two being 2002 and 2006. In 2002 I signed up with much trepidation fearing that I would crumble on the hills which were said to be severe. My goal that first year was to run the marathon as a training run in an effort to peak for my first BQ three weeks later. I ran Adirondack and enjoyed the experience immensely finishing in 3:45 only to get sick three weeks later and fail at the BQ attempt, then get my first BQ later that year in Philadelphia. In 2006 I repeated the path to another BQ by running Adirondack then getting a PR three weeks later at the Mohawk Hudson River Marathon. So another marathon season has come and I am going down that same proven path to peaking for another autumn marathon.<br><br><b>Saturday September 15:</b> Had to work but got out at 4PM. DW arranged for DD to stay with a friend overnight. We left one car at work in Burlington, Vt. then headed down 22A to the bridge across Lake Champlain. We got to Schroon Lake at 5:50PM and checked into the Word of Life Inn. A word to the wise: If you do this race and need a hotel room sign up early! All the rooms in the "normal" hotels were booked solid since some were already closed for the season. So we ended up staying at the WOL Inn, a hotel operated by a born again Christian organization which has a Bible institute in Schroon Lake. I wasn't afraid of being converted, but they do have some conservative rules, like no smoking or alcohol on the premises and modest dress if you go in their pool. We were running a marathon so tobacco wasn't in our plans anyway, but I was a bit upset that we couldn't have any whiskey, strippers or livestock in our room. Conveniently, the pasta dinner was being held there and we decided to eat there rather than going back into town. The dinner was excellent as compared to other marathon pasta dinners I've been to. So we checked into the room and it was normal in every way except for no TV! I guess they felt there's too much sinning on the tube and don't forget about the liberal media, etc, and we want you all to be worshipful during your stay, blah blah blah. This was fine because we went to bed early and got a good night's sleep.<br><br><b>Race morning:</b> We checked out at 7:20 and drove the .25 mile around to the finish area. We arrived early enough to park our car adjacent to the park where the apres race festivities would be. The number pick up was just a short walk to a municipal building and we picked up our #'s with no line. (If you arrive a bit later you will be directed to park in a field across Rt 9 about a five minute walk to the finish area and a two minute walk to the start on the main road in the middle of town). Then we walked one block to the main street (Rt 9) and sat down in an old cafe called Pitkin's for breakfast. I had a short stack of pancakes and two eggs, coffee and water. We were in and out in 25 minutes then we went back to the car, made last minute clothing decisions, hugged and parted ways. My wife was running the half marathon and had to ride a bus at 8:50AM to the start at the halfway point of the marathon course. The half is run on the flatter part of the marathon course. I could hear the PA announcer saying ten minutes to the handcyclists start so I locked the car and jogged around to the start.<br><br><b>Weather:</b> The showers on Saturday had blown away and the night saw cold temperatures as the skies cleared. Upon leaving the hotel it was clear, calm and 35 degrees. By 8:45AM, fifteen minutes before the start it was approximately 45 degrees. The sun felt good but I was wondering if I'd be cold on the shady wooded first half of the course. I decided to gamble and not wear a throw away shirt.<br><br><b>Garb:</b> Race Ready LD blue and black shorts, grey compression Cool Max MUG, incredibly bright day glow orange singlet, white and orange Gizmo socks, new yellow and black Mizuno Elixir's, souvenir San Fran Marathon white cap, souvenir Boston Marathon white knit gloves. Damn, I looked good for an old fart.<br><br><b>Goal:</b> In 2002 I ran this event in 3:45, in 2006 I did 3:39:53. This year I really didn't know what to expect. Since running the San Francisco Marathon on July 29 I hadn't done a run over 15 miles, so I was unsure of my endurance. But I had done a lot of fast running. I figured I would just see how things felt when I hit the hills and adjust from there.<br><br><b>The course:</b> Okay, it is the Adirondacks so it is hilly. But this is not the most difficult course I have run. Miles 0 - 3 go through town and north of the lake then turn right to start the clockwise circle of the lake. At mile 3.75 the hills start and they continue to the 12 mile mark. They are roller coaster type hills with the first and last ones being the hardest. Fortunately none of them are very long and since they are rolling you get to use different muscles so you can recover from one before hitting another. This hilly section from mile 3.75 - 12 is on a narrow winding paved road in dense woods so there is a lot of shade and a cooling effect from the trees. There are places where you can see through the woods on your right all the way down the the lake. At mile 12 there is a nice downhill that is not too steep so you can haul down to the tiny village of Adirondack where about one hundred people will cheer you on in front of an ancient general store. Then you are on the flats from miles 12.5 to 19 running alongside the lake. (Very scenic). The trick here is to make up a bit of time but don't overdo it because the course will punish you with two long gradual hills from miles 19.5 - 21 and 24.5 - 25.5. This is where many people falter after hitting the first half hills too agressively. The finish line area is flat and comes after you return to town and cross the starting line then turn right and end at a small park along the shore of Schroon Lake.<br><br><b>The race:</b> Last year nobody wanted to line up at the front and the same thing happened this year. It was a chip race for the first time so it didn't matter anyway. I lined up in the second row, and we were off. Miles 0 - 3 which were mostly flat with a few minor ups and downs went by in 7:58, 7:53 and 7:58. The cold calm air felt perfect for running and the pace seemed easy as I remembered to take short quick marathoner's strides. Miles 4 - 6 had the first hard hills and I got through them in 8:21, 9:17, and 8:40. As the next few rolling miles progressed I remembered to conserve my energy but I felt so good and was running a bit under my pace from the previous year. At the start I had noticed a pretty black haired woman dressed in a tiny black skort and a black and white top. Her skin tight white arm warmers completed the outfit. Wow, a fashion horse like me! She ran a bit ahead of me and would then walk for fifty feet every mile. I thought it was odd to stop running and walk a bit every mile regardless of the terrain but obviously it was working well for her. In her tiny skort she reminded me of Jane Jetson (God, I'm old, eh?) and we leap frogged each other until mile 16 when I could no longer keep up with her. Through the winding hills I was <i>GeorgeHamiltoning</i> the turns (running the tan-gent) and knew this could add up to over a minute of "found" time. Near the top of the last toughest hill some of Burlington Vt's Taiko Drummers were there pounding away at a nice cadence. This reminded me of VCM and Battery Hill. I finished the hill section miles 7 - 12 in 7:38, 8:24, 8:15, 8:27, 8:14, 9:06 and then mile 13 in 7:43 and crossed halfway in 1:48:50, exactly one minute faster than 2006. Miles 14 - 19 along the lake were mostly flat with a few minor uphills but the wind had picked up and part of this section was into the wind. 14 - 19 took 7:55, 8:13, 8:08, 7:53, and 16:36 (missed marker, 8:18 avg.). I missed the next few markers but reached mile 20 around 2:47. My goal here was to do a negative split since the course seems appropriate for it. Last year I just missed with 1:49:50 and 1:50:03 splits. This year I would need a 52:39 final 10k for the negative split. But this course comes back and bites you at the end. I held steady up the long rise from miles 20 -22 in 26:10 for a 8:43 average, then cruised mile 23 in 8:07. Miles 24 and 25 again uphill went in 8:53 and 8:32. Knowing the course really helped as I tried to accellerate for the final 1.2 but remembered not to kill myself as I have my goal race in three weeks. The final 1.2 I did in 10:41 for a 3:39:14 finish time.<br><br>
No negative split as I did 1:48:50 and 1:50:24 but it was a 39 second CR for me. Last year I was 28th OA (with 3rd in my AG) out of 208 finishers and this year I was 39th OA out of 198. David Herr of Canaan, Vt was the overall winner with a new course record and a 59 YO guy was 10th OA with a 3:12.<br><br><b>The good:</b> Runner's World has rated this one of the top 80 marathons and New England Runner puts it in their top 10. It is very well organized, logistically easy, scenically beautiful, with good cool weather. There seemed to be one volunteer for each runner and they all are very helpful. The post race food is great with home made brownies, yogurt, coffee, bagels and cream cheese, fresh melon and grapes, cookies, ice cream, soda and juice. The few townspeople who live here come out and cheer you on with programs with which they look up your number then cheer you by name. Hills are good for you! They are not killers. Expect to run about 10 - 15 minutes over your PR here. The field is small enough that you are treated like a VIP when you cross the finish line.<br><br><b>The bad:</b> Don't come here if: You like big crowded races. You want a fast flat course. You don't like maple syrup (AG awards are cute snowflake shaped bottles of syrup). At some water stops there was water and Gatorade and at others there was water and Powerade. Each time the electrolye drinks were different colors and sometimes the volunteers didn't yell out loud enough what they were holding (not a big deal).<br><br><b>The ugly:</b> You will probably catch up with and pass some of the slower half marathoners who start one hour after the start of the marathon. Some of them are quite wide and walk two and three abreast. Luckily the road is wide by the time you reach them so there is not too much weaving necessary.<br><br><b>DW report:</b> Oops, I almost forgot. My wife has been battling a sore heel but still ran her half in 2:00:05 for an 8 minute PR. She got 3rd in her AG and got one of those maple syrup bottles. She is really miffed about just missing breaking 2 hours but now she can see that a BQ (4:05) is a real possibility for her.<br><br><b>Finally...</b> Don't overlook this race because of the hills. It truly is a gem. I will probably go back every year as long as my legs can carry me.<br><br><br><br><a href="http://www.coolrunning.com/results/07/ny/Sep16_Adiron_set1.shtml" target="_blank">http://www.coolrunning.com/results/0...ron_set1.shtml</a><br><br><a href="http://www.adirondackmarathon.org/" target="_blank">www.adirondackmarathon.org/</a>
 

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Jane Jetson is a hottie.<br><br>
Nice report and smart race Wu.
 

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What kind of hotel doesn't allow livestock, strippers and whiskey? Were you at least allowed to set off fireworks in the room? So much for pre-race traditions.<br><br>
Nice race and report. Thanks. Sounds like a good one.
 

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Great job on your race and an excellent, informative report - you managed to capture what I wanted to say in my report, but couldn't.<br><br>
You're also more daring than I'll ever be. I've driven the first half of the course twice and there is NO WAY you'll ever see me running the full.<br><br>
I seem to recall that you'd be at this race, but having no idea what you looked like, I wasn't sure what to do (short of walking around and blindly asking everyone if they were Dr. Wu <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy">).<br><br>
I'll also be at Philly, Boston and (likely) Mohawk-Hudson River for my next three marathons which I believe you'll also be at. We'll have to prepare in advance and maybe arrange a meetup at some point.<br><br>
Congratulations to Ms. Wu as well. Boston sounds like it is a distinct possibility.<br><br>
Oh, and yes, I thought the Word of Life crowd was going to hand me a religious pamphlet rather than a cup of water as I ran by....
 

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Great Report! Congrats on a well run race.<br><br><br><br><b>T</b> - I tried that approach for a couple of minutes to meet up with <b>Pacer</b> at AF and it didn't work. OK, so technically, I just asked a guy in a Cincy runners club shirt if he knew Chris and the answer was no. So I gave up. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy">
 

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Great job, Dr. Wu! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"> I like your reports.<br><br>
I was considering that one for the 1/2. I'd like to see those hills. How do they compare to Battery Hill? Battery Hill isn't as bad as a lot of the hills I run on various routes, so I'm just wondering.
 

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Nuttin' wrong with Jane Jetson <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
I remember really liking your SF Marathon report from this year before, and I really like this report as well. For only having done a 15 mi LR before this race, I'd say this was great result for you over a pretty tough course - nice job!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Anybody can run the half. It's mostly flat with two long gradual quite <i>unsteep</i> hills near the end. The first half has the bigguns. This is as nice an event for scenery, organization, and small town homeyness as you'll ever find.
 

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Spoken like a true Vermonter...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"> As for me, a Connecticut flatlander, I thought miles 6-11.5 were mostly uphill with a little break at 9. Nothing terribly steep, just a steady upward climb. I'd agree though that anyone can finish the half - just don't expect a great finishing time.<br><br>
And the post race food is the best. And the volunteers are the friendliest I've ever met anywhere.
 

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Walt!<br><br>
Great job as per usual. I know the WOL place, that cult weirds me out. At least they didn't ban you guys for immodest running gear.<br><br>
Are you feeling up for another BQ in 3 weeks?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I won't have any trouble getting another BQ. Now that I'm in the 50-54 AG, running under 3:35:59 is not as insurmountable as sub 3:30. And I've now BQ'd in three of my last six marathons ('06 Mohawk Hudson, '06 Philly and '07 VCM). The three I didn't BQ in were Boston (sick), San Fran (hills) and Adirondack (hills).<br><br>
My goal at Mohawk Hudson is another PR (current PR = 3:27:10) and the dream is sub 3:25. Whether or not I do it there I'm going to keep training and go for another PR at the big Philly party.
 

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Ah. But what if next year I wanted to do a full marathon (at this point that doesn't even seem like it will happen, but you never know) how would the hills compare to Battery Hill?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
First of all, you should consider an easier course for your first marathon unless you like hilly courses. Battery Street has a fairly consistant pitch. The rolling hills in the first 12 miles of Adirondack vary in pitch (some steeper, some not) and most are shorter in length than Battery and are followed by a downhill where you can regroup. Just thinking about it I'm realizing how much I enjoy the course at Adirondack. Sure it's tough, but it's a good challenge and a runner will do best there if he/she has a plan of not going out too hard and sticking to it.
 

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Have you ever run around Berlin Pond (in Berlin, VT)? It's 5 miles around and rolling hills for about 2.5 miles of it. I have grown to enjoy the challenge of those hills, mostly because I hit them first when I run there and finish on the more flat part. If I'm going more than 5 miles, I'll turn around and run the flat again, because I haven't worked up to running those hills twice in a run <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"><br><br>
I think you're probably right about not making something like Adirondack my first marathon.<br><br>
The race in Waitsfield sounds like a good fit for the weekend if I can manage my food intake correctly. 10am starts mess me up a bit sometimes because it's such an in between time for me. If you PM me, we can work out a meet up time/place.<br><br>
ETA: Nevermind PMing me, I'll PM you or send you an email.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I've run the Berlin Pond race three times and none of the hills at Adirondack are as long as the hill at Berlin Pond (but one or two of them are steeper for short stretches).<br><br>
And I just PM'd you.
 

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Well, I don't have any trouble on the hills at the pond as long as I don't go too fast, so it's all good <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"><br><br>
That's good to know for comparison purposes. Got the PM, thanks, see you in Waitsfield!
 
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