Overall Rating
Overall Rating (1 Review)
5
(1 Ratings)(1 Review)
DIFFICULTY
1
SCENERY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SWAG
5
Come join us for the 4th Annual Utica Ugly Sweater 5K! The road course will start/finish at Pizza Boy’s in NY Mills, NY. All race participants will receive a custom “Ugly Sweater” winter beanie, mittens and a jingle bell bracelet that will add to the “spirit and sound” of the … MORE
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Recent reviews

    seagroves87 FIRST-TIMER '20

    Willow Running produces a few of these ugly sweater races in late November/early December throughout Upstate New York. Usually there is one in Rochester but that was cancelled this year … MORE

    Willow Running produces a few of these ugly sweater races in late November/early December throughout Upstate New York. Usually there is one in Rochester but that was cancelled this year due to Covid-19. However Utica happened to be on the way home from New Jersey so this worked out perfectly. For the race you signed up for time slots so participants went off in small waves. Since it was about a 3 hour drive from where I was staying to Utica I choose the latest noon time slot. Packet pick-up was either on Thursday at a shoe store in Utica or race-day. I did race day since Utica is about a 2 hour drive from Rochester. The race starts at a pizza shop called Pizza Boys. It had a very large parking lot with plenty of parking. Packet pick-up was inside the pizza shop. My only complaint of the race is I do think outdoor packet pick-up would be safer. I understand it was quite cold this morning and everyone wore masks and social distanced inside and with the waves pick-up was quick so it wasn’t unsafe but outside still would have been safer. Packet included nice swag for a 5K and included a winter hat with the ugly sweater logo, gloves with Willow Running logo and a wristband with jingle bells which was fun for the race. The atmosphere of this race was so much fun. I have never seen a race where so many participants (myself included) dressed up for the race. I was wearing this wacky, fun but a little bulky Christmas sweater my mom made me. I think about 90% of participants had some sort of sweater or Christmas outfit. You started with your group and the RD just said ready, set, go and we went. The course though was very meh in terms of scenery. The first mile was through some very average looking suburbs. Other than a few houses decorated for christmas there was not much to look at. But it also wasn’t an eyesore. The second mile was on this paved trail which was behind the highway and was more of an eyesore. Then back to the suburbs for finish by the pizza shop. What the course lacked in scenery, it made up for it in ease. This course was so nice especially after yesterday. It was almost flat as a pancake. There was one little incline on the trail and a teeny, tiny baby hill and that’s it. Less than 50 ft of elevation gain total. Especially flat given Utica’s most famous race (the Boilermaker) is known for its hills. At the finish line you get your medal. It spins and is a nice size for a 5K. This was manually timed and the same company that did the Turkey Chase so I confirmed they had my time recorded at the finish. The pizza shop also had some soup and pizza rolls out for the runners and you could get a free beer there after the race. The soup didn’t look vegetarian but I lucked out as the majority of pizza rolls left were spinach and were delicious. Again I wish the “after party” was outdoors. The tables were all spaced 6 ft apart and everything seemed to be following all social distancing rules but it was little cramped and crowded for my taste so I took my rolls to go. Overall this was a really fun race. One of the most fun and festive races I did since the pandemic. The fun atmosphere and easy course made this a great race for casual runners and walkers. If you are a more competitive runner it would also make for a great PR course. I definitely didn’t PR but I had a good time considering I was still sore from yesterday and was wearing a bulky sweater. I’m not sure I will do this specific ugly sweater race again since it is a 2 hour drive but will definitely do the one in Rochester and would do this one again if I happened to be driving back from either the NYC area or New England the day of the race

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    5

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