Wednesday, February 24, 2010

HMRRC Winter Marathon... Race Ratings (#24)

Tagline: "Lowest Entry Fee for a FAST course"
2010 HMRRC Winter Marathon ~ February 21, 2010
Albany, NY ~ SUNY Albany Campus
Registration Fee: $15 early ($25 late). $5 Discount for HMRRC members
Runners: 90 in the marathon (Plus relay teams)
Available Races: Marathon and 3-Person Marathon Relay
Average Finish Time: 3:53:11
BQ %: 36.7% (Second best BQ% race-- the 3rd is the HMRRC Fall Marathon)
Weather: "Cloudy, 34 degrees, 55 percent humidity, Wind: 13 mph WNW"

Overall Race Rating (weighted): 4.2/5.0
Average Calculated Rating: 4.0/5.0

~ Great race with the lowest entry fee! This is definitely a race with some serious runners looking for a BQ time. Don't go for a scenic course, but if you're looking for a fast course with great support this is it.

Race Director: Let's place race director...
~ The only thing this race really lacked was an additional port-a-john (there may have been one there, but I didn't see it) and a medal! If I'm running 26.2 miles I wants a medal (even if that means paying $5 more. Otherwise, I really enjoyed this race and hope to run it again and try for another PR.

Event Organization: 4.0/5.0 (now broken into 2 parts, see below as well) As far as "event organization" we'll go ahead and include things like Host hotel, website use, ease of travel to the event and to the actual race, etc.
Distance from Airport to Expo/Race: 7 Miles (10 min)
Rental Car Required: Yes
~ Mail in app's only! If you're like me and have only snail-mailed twice in your life this isn't ideal (don't worry, MB sent it in for me). You can also sign up on race day so no worries. This is a very simple race with a simple race site but they give you all the necessary information including weather, travel, and detailed course information. They provide all the historical results in one place. The race is very close to the airport along with hotels if you need one.

Race Organization: 4.2/5.0
~ The race is held at SUNY Albany (state univerysity) so you have space indoors to stay warm, stretch, use the resti, etc. They also have bagels and drinks before the race if you're hungry. This is a looped course (most loops about 5.7 miles) so the start/stop/loop turn around, there is a port-a-john, drinks, cheering section and relay hand-off spot. There was another water stop about halfway through the loop with gatorade and water, so you had water about every 3 miles. I don't believe there was another port-a-john stop besides the one at the loop end. The race also did not have GU provided, but for the entry fee I didn't really expect it. Also, with the course being looped you could leave all your GU needs at the turn around or with friends.
~Post Race Food: (new sub catagory) Food before AND after. Post race food had a little of everything-- pizza, cookies, snacks, soup, drinks, anything you need. And they definitely had enough even though many of the relay teams were done long before I was.

Course: 4.6/5.0
~MarathonGuide Rating

~ I was a big fan of this course. I like to call this "upstate NY flat"-- if you're from there you would probably call the course flat, but most others would call it rolling hlls. There were no major uphills, but if  was a constant rolling hill. I'm a fan of these easy graded hills because they help change up the muscles that get worked out. I really enjoy looped courses. I like knowing what to expect, especially if you're going after a fast time. I also like being able to break a course up by shorter distances at a time. You're definitely not going to get a whole lot of sight-seeing in Albany in the winter (run their fall marathon for that).

Spectators: 4.2/5.0
~ This is a college campus and a Sunday-- aka nobody is out that early! This is a smaller race but the course is pretty clear if you have spectators out in cars (aka my pit crew chief). The turn-around point for the course is also the hand-off for the relay so there are lots of people there cheering you on.

Pace Group: /5.0

Runner/Corrals: 4.5/5.0
~ No corrals (duh) but this was a very interesting group of runners for such a small race. It seemed like there were a LOT of people out there for BQ time. In a race that small my time would normally get me in the top 3 women, but I was all the way down in 7th! 31 of the 90 runners made a BQ time! Everybody was very friendly and it was neat to be able to see the really fast runners as you past by the turn-around.

Expo: /5.0

Swag: 2.4/5.0
~T-Shirts: They ended up giving out crew neck, simple, sweatshirts for the first time at this race. They were comfy and unexpected for the price you're paying. I liked them :) 2.9
~Medals: No Medals :( -.5
~ Goodie Bag: None

Stephanie~ Marathon
Time: 3:35:41
Place: Overall 27/90 ~ Gender 7/20 ~ No Age Group

Relay Team 3F 120-
Time: 3:53:30
Place: 3Females, 120 years and below (combined age): 3/7


  1. Nice report. It sounds like a very cool race. Since I basically ignore all of the medals currently in my possession, the lack of one would not deter me from doing this race. Actually, your report and the cheap entry fee makes it sound like a fine reason to visit NY in the middle of winter for a destination marathon.
    Good job on the finish, Steph!

  2. It's so funny that such a tiny race attracts such an over-achieving crowd. :)

    I guess SIMPLE is the way to go for a BQ.

    Congrats again!!

  3. Makes sense I guess to go for BQ at a super small race, that way you don't have to worry about running around people in the start. Congrats again!

  4. $15? Are you kidding? But I agree I'd want a medal for 26.2.
    Congrats again Miss BQ! Woot!

  5. did they actually have someone who was 120 on the team?

    very nice report indeed! I'm too slow for this race

  6. Congratulations on the new PR! Boy, your race report sure made me nostalgic though... this was the loop I used to run when I lived at home the summer after college and was first getting into running. Maybe I'll be able to run it next year! :)

  7. Nice report!

    Great finish time. I hope you enjoyed it as much as you raced a speedy race. Yeah!! Another one down.

  8. OK look at that smokin time!! Wow congrats, gotta love a low $$$ race.

  9. hey girl, send me an email so I can forward it to Tim. :)