ADK Marathon Distance Festival: My Long-Term Relationship
Your Adirondack Basecamp

The Adirondack Marathon Distance Festival will be celebrating its 20th year in 2016. This event has become known as one of the premier running events in the Northeast, giving runners breathtaking views as the run along the shores of Schroon Lake, NY.

The following is a first-hand account of what to expect on race day, and why so many runners love this great event! Read on, lace up, and join us on September 25, 2016 as we race in the beautiful autumn air!

Submitted by guest blogger: Alison Muse

Lacing Up In Schroon

In 2001, I ran the half-marathon of the Adirondack Marathon Distance Festival as a training race for the NYC marathon. I’m not very good at maintaining long-term relationships but I have one with this race.The scenic beauty, challenging course, and incredible volunteers have brought me back to Schroon Lake almost every year since 2001.

The race is held on, or around, the last Sunday in September, within days of my birthday. Because of that timing, I have been in the same five-year age category for the last six years which can be a curse when it comes to running.

Original Color Run

This time of year in the Adirondacks is spectacular and few other races can match the incredible scenery of this locale. The half-marathon course winds around the bottom of the lake, starting in the town of Adirondack and finishing in the Village of Schroon Lake. The lake is visible almost the entire time and the autumn color of the surrounding trees will take your breath away — which may not be a good thing during a race.

The first five miles along the eastern shore are relatively flat and I always find myself thinking “this is not so bad.” The transition occurs at the Word of Life camp. The kids are amazing; they are out in force, cheering enthusiastically, and offering encouragement and Cheerios. (Cheerios stick really well to sweaty palms!)

When I leave the Word of Life camp, I know I am about to enter the pain cave. My thighs will be screaming after the next few miles. This is the challenging component of the course which is described in the brochure as long, rolling hills. It sounds bucolic, doesn’t it? I become a motivational speaker at this point, silently chanting to myself “you can do this” and I can! Conquering those hills gives me an incredible sense of accomplishment.

Why I Love Schroon Lake

Behind every race is a group of dedicated individuals and the volunteers for this race do a masterful job. It is a small community that really gets behind the weekend of events and I am so impressed, and rewarded, by their commitment to providing a great experience for the participants.

The exposition, packet pick up, aid stations (fig newtons and M&M’s – how great is that?), post-race set up, including massage tent and homemade goodies, are really well organized.

Plus, the volunteers are friendly and supportive. Each year, at one of the water stations, one volunteer uses binoculars to spot my bib number. Another volunteer uses that info to look up my name and then the whole group becomes my personal cheering squad. It is so awesome and one more reason why I love this race.

Plan to join us for the annual Adirondack Marathon Distance Festival! Before and after the race we have comfy places to rest your head and fabulous restaurants ready to fill you up! Bring the whole family and plan on checking out the beautiful fall colors with a short hike or a scenic drive. Discover for yourself why Alison and so many others return to the Schroon Lake Region each year - we'll see you soon!

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