Overall Rating
Overall Rating (1 Review)
5
(1 Ratings)(1 Review)
DIFFICULTY
2
SCENERY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SWAG
4
Spring is HERE and registration for the 2021 Lilac Run is open! We are excited to announce that both in-person and virtual race experiences will be offered this year! NEW this year, the race will begin and end in Genesee Valley Park near The Round House Shelter to allow for … MORE
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Recent reviews

    seagroves87 FIRST-TIMER '21

    The Lilac Festival held annually in May is one of the biggest events in Rochester and the accompanying Lilac Run 5K/10K is a very popular event with a few thousand … MORE

    The Lilac Festival held annually in May is one of the biggest events in Rochester and the accompanying Lilac Run 5K/10K is a very popular event with a few thousand runners every year. The Lilac Festival and Run were canceled last year but this year they figured out how to hold them with social distancing protocols. I was on call this weekend so very excited to have a local race to do. This was by far the largest running event I have participated in Rochester, NY since I moved here and I assume the biggest running event here since the pandemic since I’ve done most of the races here. There were about 1500 runners with a little under 1000 doing the 5K and a little over 500 doing the 10K. Production of this race was absolutely amazing and they found that perfect balance between safety and normalcy which is impressive given the number of runners. This year the race was moved to Genessee Valley Park. Normally it is in Highland Park where the Lilac Festival is but by moving the race to Genessee Valley Park they were able to keep the course open for several hours and also help mitigate the crowd. This did make the race less festive since it was separate from the festival but was really the only option and Highland Park is only about 2 miles away so would be easy to go to festival after. Genessee Valley Park was also very convenient for me (especially on call) since it is about 1/2 mile from work so I could park at work and do my warm-up/cool down walk to/from the race. Packet pick-up was held at Medved Running store the week before and you choose the date of packet pickup when you registered. Packet pickup was outside the store which I think is best for safety. Packet included bib, shirt and a tote bag with some coupons for some local stores and the best part a $5 Dunkin gift card. Shirt is polyblend and its pretty nice but I don’t love the color. It is this greyish teal kind of color. It’s not actually a terrible color but it clashes with the race logo which is pink and purple. A light pink shirt would have looked so much better but I guess they didn’t want the shirts too “feminine” or something. Still a nice, comfortable shirt I will wear. For the race morning as I said I parked at work and walked to the park. The start was very well organized. Runners chose a time slot at registration and went off every 5 minutes. The 5K time slots were earlier in the morning and the 10K started at 9:30. Runners who deferred from last year got to pick first so the earliest slots were filled but I chose the next earlier at 9:40 which was the third 10K slot. At the start runners went through 3 corrals with their time slot of about 50 other runners: The staging corral, on deck corral and starting corral. Runners had to wear masks in starting area and everyone was complying. In the starting corral runners lined up in three rows at cones spaced 6 feet apart and 3 runners went off every 5 seconds. Worked very well, added some excitement and also felt very safe. Also this was many people’s first live running event since the pandemic started which added to the excitement even if it was about my 60th event since the pandemic. The course itself was fine. I normally do my runs on the canal path and frequently in Genessee Valley Park so it wasn’t too exciting of a place for me to run but it is a nice area and it is quite fast. It is pretty flat just a few inclines and declines and the only things resembling a hill are a few bridges you have to cross. The reason I added a sneaker to the difficulty is the end was the toughest part as there were two back to back bridges near the end and it ended on an incline. I had to take two calls during the run and it was a little hot and humid so my finishing time was mediocre but it was not due to course difficulty. This year there was only one water stop around the 4.5 mile mark for the 10K and about halfway through the 5K. They set it up with jugs of water to self serve and also left some cups for people who weren’t carrying water. I really liked this. Much preferred to the wasteful little water bottles. I was carrying water but as it was hot it was just in the right place for a refill but I do think given how hot it was it would have been better if they added an additional water station sooner for those not carrying water. But then again this was clearly stated in the pre-race instructions and they specifically recommended carrying a bottle so can’t really complain. The finish line are was in a separate park of the park to keep things spread out. There was a nice finish arch and the announcer called out each runners name as they went through which was a nice touch. At the end you were given your medal. It is a nice medal with the race logo and pretty pink/purple colors and good size for a 5K/10K medal but not bigger than my marathon medals which is the right size. They also had bags of food which included Biosteel Sports Drink, a banana and some candies. And the best part there was a Dunkin truck that had cups of coffees and bags of bagels and cream cheese to grab. The coffee and bagels were better post race food than the longer races I have been doing. It was probably a little hot for coffee for most people but I’m not most people and will always take coffee. Overall I thought this was a really well-done race and they did a great job hosting an event with over 1000 runners that felt completely safe and this would have felt safe even in the late fall before vaccination. This year I think the event felt a little less connected to the lilac festival being in a separate park which was a little disappointing but hopefully next year it will be back to Highland Park and the move was definitely better than not holding the race. I also did visit the Lilac Festival Saturday and it was fun and there are some beautiful lilacs (there were also few in Genessee Valley Park along the course but not as pretty as the ones at the festival). The lilac festival and this race are fun events in Rochester. I wouldn’t necessarily say they are worth flying across the country to attend but definitely a must do for locals and worth a couple hour drive for day trip. I don’t generally plan my schedule around shorter races but I will do this one again if I am in town.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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  1. Races
  2. Lilac Run 5K, 10K & Dunkin' Dash