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Overall Rating (1 Review)
1
(1 Ratings)(1 Review)
DIFFICULTY
3
SCENERY
2
PRODUCTION
1
SWAG
3
LOOP THE LAKE!! The Great New York State Marathon Weekend is a celebration of the great state of New York! This weekend of races starts at the Chevy Court on the New York State Fairgrounds and passes through a series of beautiful tree lined trails with magnificent Fall colors and … MORE
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    seagroves87 FIRST-TIMER '21

    This is a replacement for the Empire State Marathon and it was the inaugural year for this race. It is located in Syracuse and there is a 5K and 10K … MORE

    This is a replacement for the Empire State Marathon and it was the inaugural year for this race. It is located in Syracuse and there is a 5K and 10K on Saturday and a half and full marathon on Sunday. You can do a combo of Saturday and Sunday races for the “Excelsior” Challenge and get extra bling. Since I am on call and recovering from a marathon I just stuck with the shorter 10K on Saturday. I was excited for this race and it seems like they are trying to revamp what was the Empire State Marathon and make it a premier NY state running event but it was a disappointment and a lot of it was a mess. Weather did not look great and there were severe thunderstorm warnings this morning but the weather magically cleared up for the race. The race starts at the NY state fairgrounds. Parking was easy and free but is about 1/4 mile from the start. Not a big deal for the shorter races but it would be annoying for the marathon. Packet pick-up is at a mini expo. It is indoors but it was spread out and everyone had masks. It’s not a great expo but about what you would expect for a smaller race with an area to buy race merchandise, a few vendors, indoor bathrooms, an area for pictures and packet pick-up. Packet pick-up was smooth and along with bib you got a nice blue long sleeved tech shirt with a fine design. The start was set up pretty well with a nice arch and a corral area. The emcee though was extremely obnoxious, loud, not funny and not encouraging. They should hire someone else next year. One critique of the start is there was no signs to line up by pace. The course is kind of tight and it wasn’t the easiest run around people. The course was pretty mediocre. It was mostly on a paved public trail around the lake. The 5K is an out and back. The 10K is supposed to be about 2.5 miles out then you run back and then at about the 4.5 mile mark you do another mile out and back. The course was very congested until the 5K turn around. The scenery was mixed. The views of the lake were nice but the other side was just along the highway and there were some super, super ugly industrial views and a view of an abandoned parking lot. This had some of the worst views I’ve seen and the nice lake views didn’t cancel it out. The course difficulty isn’t too bad. There are a few bridges with some inclines but nothing crazy. About 200 feet of elevation gain. There were mile markers and aid stations with friendly volunteers with cups of water and gatorade. Other than not being the most scenic course and some congestion, things were going pretty smooth until we passed volunteers at mile 2.5. I don’t believe it was the fault of the volunteers and there was no markings on the course but I believe they were supposed to tell us to turn around but instead they told us to keep going. I thought it 2 things were odd. 1. I hadn’t seen any fast runners run past me by now and 2. We were now running on a sidewalk next to a gas station and a mall which was somehow even less scenic than before and there were no course marshals at the crosswalks. I thought maybe due to weather there was flooding and they made a last minute course change or something. Anyways I get to mile 3 and think it is odd I don’t see a turn around then I see a whole group of runners who tell me they never marked a turn around and to turn around after mile 3.1. I ran a hair past 3.1 to make sure I would go a full 6.2 miles and turned around. On the way back the mile markers were obviously not correct. Then we go to the 4.5 area where the 10Kers were supposed to do the extra mile and the 5Kers were supposed to run back to the start. Even though we all went extra miles they still told us to turn to do the extra mile of the course. I was like heck no I just ran a marathon last weekend and two 10Ks this weekend was ambitious without adding an extra mile so I just turned the way the 5Kers were supposed to go and ran a 10K. About half the 10Kers seemed to do what I did and about half did the extra mile. Since some people turned around even further back than I did I heard some people did about 8 miles…Yikes….big mistake. The runners were not happy. At the finish line the obnoxious emcee was giving high fives and when I didn’t give one he made a snarky comment and I yelled at him for trying force people to high five him during a pandemic (At this point I realize we need to start getting back to normal and I don’t have a problem with offering high fives but the pandemic is still happening and if someone doesn’t want to high five you they should not get a snarky comment about it. In fact that should be the case even if there isn’t a pandemic). Please fire this guy. At the finish line you are handed your medal. It is a fine medal. Not exceptional to make up for this mess of a race but adequate. Finish line food was okay – granola bars, bananas and little water bottles. My finishing time was mediocre but I wasn’t running too hard since I’m still recovering from the marathon last week. I went to look up the times a few hours later and laughed that it is reported as 10K-13K times since everyone just ran a different distance. It was a choose your own adventure type of race. Honestly even if this course was marked correctly it still would have only been a mediocre race. It was priced way too high for a race on public trails. I completely understand using public trails to cut costs and make logistics easier but if I spend $50 on a 10K I expect some of the course to be somewhere I couldn’t just run uninterrupted anytime I want. If this was a $30 10K I would be fine with the course (if it were marked correctly). If this race wants to be a premier NY state race that 50 staters come to run they really need to make some big improvements. This race costs about the same as the Buffalo marathon which is a much, much, much better event if you are a 50 stater looking for recommendations. This race is close by so I’m open minded to give it another chance and there were some things done well and the swag was decent but I definitely wouldn’t recommend going out of your way for this race. I hope things go better for the half and full marathoners tomorrow. If you are doing this race tomorrow, study the race map and if the course seems to deviate definitely question it unless you are looking to potentially run an ultra.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    1
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    3
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