Adirondack Distance Run

by Joanne on June 27, 2011

It wasn’t easy


Was it an underestimated course?

Was it miscalculated hills?

Was it taking the course for granted?

Was it because I forgot to shave my legs?

Not sure but Sunday, June 26th, the 10 Mile Adirondack Distance Run wasn’t a good run for me.

BUT FIRST, a Saturday in Lake George/Bolton Landing

It was 2:30 when we arrived in Bolton Landing. Too early to check in so we chose Fredericks for lunch.  A nice, casual establishment offering both inside and outside dining.  Something for everyone on the menu.  I had the Grilled Steak salad, substituting shrimp for the steak.  It had a few feta crumbles and was coated in Balsamic dressing.


After lunch, we checked into our not so fancy room (for one night, we decided to rough it)


and changed for a bike ride to pick up my race packet. What an ordeal!

The back tire on my bike was flat.  We had such a time trying to fix it that by 4:30, fed up, we got into the Denali and drove to Lake George Fire Station to get the race packet.  It was a well organized and easy pick up.  One gentleman working a table offered loads of information about the course and his experience running the race. It was getting scary.


Now, to try that bike ride again. As nervous as I was about my tire, there was no other way but to test it out.  We were on the bikes and headed into Bolton.  The hills. Oh yeah! There were hills. We had gone 2 3/4 miles when, at the top of a HUGE hill I called it quits.  I said to Ted “No More!” I was grunting, cursing, crying, spitting, breathing heavy, and making so much noise Ted said “What’s going on up there?!” *He was riding behind.  The hills were gruesome!  He rode just a little farther while I waited at “UpYonda Farm: Environmental Education Center”.

We got back to the “Condo” (that’s a joke as our little efficiency sat right on top of a faulty septic system – IMAGINE!) and put on our wet suits.  We were GOIN’ IN!

The water was SO cold.  I did only a few laps then watched while Ted suffered through a few more laps.


I finally realized what everyone meant when claiming swimming in the lake is a lot different than a pool.  It’s a challenge, especially when the water is so cold.  It’s eerie when you can’t see the bottom anymore and everything becomes black.  It’s also pretty darned gross when you see a dead fish laying on the bottom of the lake.

Naturally after an afternoon of “FUN”, we were hungry.  *We seriously did have a lot of laughs in spite of the set backs. There were so many great places to choose from but we decided to keep it casual and sit at the bar of the Lakeside Lodge and Grill.


Sauvignon Blanc, Bass Ale and a bowl of chips.  The wine and beer our stomachs were used to.  The chips? Not so much.  Bad call on our part.

Dinner was wonderful. We both had the fisherman’s stew, a dish teaming with mussels, clams, shrimp, and HUGE scallops in a light tomato broth over thick fettuccine cooked to perfection.  Our stomachs were satisfied but then SOMEONE decided HE wanted a dessert.  Apple Crisp with Ice Cream


It was way too much for one person and I couldn’t help at all – not even a bite.  This is the result of Ted’s efforts:


He tried.   Sick smile

It was a bit late by the time we hit the sack especially for the early morning wake up call.  We both had a restless night. It was hot, then it was cold, the septic smelled, we ate too much, and probably suffered from indulging in too many chips.  But finally, it was RACE DAY.



Excerpts from “Adirondack Sports & Fitness, June 2011” newspaper, by Laura Clark

The course forks onto Lake Shore Drive heading north with the lake towards Bolton Landing and concluding at the Rogers Memorial Park Beach.  First timers might assume that running along scenic Lake George would logically be flat, but veterans know they are facing 10 miles of “rolling” Adirondack foothills.

The Distance Run is the USATF Adirondack Association 10 Mile Championship.  It has a 7:30 am start which might be early for some but was perfect for this early runner.  The course doesn’t allow you to get a rhythm going because as soon as you think you’ve hit a flat, you face another hill.  “It’s a course that teaches you to run when you’re tired” (as stated in Laura’s article by Jeff Nastke, Saratoga Stryder’s running coach.  It’s a course that shouldn’t be taken lightly and requires some serious summertime training.  Details:

It just was not my day.  When we drove it on Saturday, it seemed that there were more down hills than up but that wasn’t the case.  It’s not forgiving.  It’s a leg beater.

Although very shady and scenic, it’s a course that deserves respect and training.   It isn’t closed to traffic so overtaking fellow runners was difficult as the road was not wide.  Because you are forced over to the side,  you have to struggle with the camber of the road for most of the 10 miles.   That was one more thing that was getting to me.


The race was well organized with water stops at 2 1/2, 3 1/2, 5 1/2, 7 1/2, 8 1/2.  Buses picked up runners from Bolton Landing to take them to the starting  point in Lake George at the Fire Station.  The buses were also available beginning at 9 AM to take people back to Lake George if that’s where they parked.  There isn’t a lot of crowd support but some fans dotted the course.  At each mile, a person would yell out your time. This was annoying to me “I KNOW I’m doggin’ it and don’t need these CONSTANT reminders!”

The first mile and a half to two miles is challenging as your legs get accustomed to the assents.  The race seems to go quickly as you focus on getting yourself up the hills and then enjoying the dessents.   Cycle riders patrolling  the course are right on the ball, letting runners know to move over because a car is approaching from behind.  They ride along side as cars also approach from the opposite direction.  Lake Shore Drive is home to a lot of little restaurants, hotels, motels, efficiency units and marinas so if you can take your mind off your exhaustion for a minute, you will certainly enjoy the scenery, possibly choosing your next vacation spot.

As far as “other necessities” aka porta-potties,  they are available at the start.  There are porta-potties at about the 9 mile point on the left side of the road, but I believe those just might be for the boat rental house.  Still, they are available if one prefers.  Otherwise, I have to believe that race officials simply expect the deeply wooded course to offer a sufficient outlet for those in need.


Ted rode his bike from the finish line (where we parked in Bolton Landing) to the start then along the course, beside me most of the time, back to the finish.


I went into this run thinking “10 miles is no big deal. I just ran 15 and 16 mile long runs in the past two weeks, there won’t be any problem with a 10 miler”.  My mistake.

Another mistake:  I’ve been trying to run faster, forgetting the fun of entering a race and simply enjoying the moment.   I’m trying to be something I’m not.

My Mile Splits

  • 8:21
  • 7:58
  • 7:38
  • 7:35
  • 8:06
  • 7:59
  • 7:54
  • 8:24
  • 8:07  – half way through mile 9, a tall guy ran up behind and said to me “I think there are a couple of people we need to pass”. It was the push I needed to the finish.
  • 7:26

It was great to hear that guy talk to me.  After we crossed the finish line, he said great run. I said thanks so much, you too.  Then he asked “so did you catch that girl?”  I said, “Yes, but I think you gave me the push a little too early.”  “NAH!” he said “It was 4 Minutes”.   What a guy!  We all need THAT guy in the last mile of a tough race.


I checked the results posted on the van after the race and it looked like (after a brief scan) I came in about 5th in my age group.

Just one more comment about the race.  The finish area, Roger’s Park Beach is a beautiful site to finish a race.  It’s truly relaxing with a terrific view.


What does a disappointed runner do after a disappointing run?  EAT!

We found this delightful little restaurant across the street from the park.


A three egg white omelet with spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, feta and dry rye toast.


That was all washed down with an AWFUL LOT OF COFFEE!

As for the Adirondack Distance Run and whether or not I’ll do it again?  Maybe.  It was a slap in the face.  It was a wake up call. It was a challenge and, although I HATE challenges while I’m stuck in the middle of them, I just love to say “I DID IT!”


*Cool finishers medal!

EDIT!  Check out what I  found in my email.  What a GREAT surprise! 

As the race director of the Adirondack Distance Run, I loved reading your post! I hope that the memories of those hills will not haunt you and you will be back next year. And as a special treat, we have unique age group awards. We award the fastest time in each individual age. That makes you the winner for your age! I usually don’t mail awards but I am going to make an exception in your case. I will be sending you a small token for you to remember your Distance run experience! Have a great summer.

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  • At 2011.06.27 08:17, Lori said:

    Yeah – it’s pretty hilly for that race LOL! One of the reasons we don’t bike past Lake George, other than the fact the shoulder is too narrow for safety reasons.

    Glad you enjoyed it. Lake George is beautiful and you were a brave woman going in! There was the North Country Triathlon going on in Silver Bay were I was up north and it was cold!

    Now you can do this race again next year now that you know what to expect 😀

    (sorry about the rain, too…)

    • At 2011.06.28 09:19, Joanne said:

      I thought I enjoyed “rolling hills” before the Adirondack Distance run. PHEW!

      • At 2011.06.27 12:58, J said:

        I just found out about this race yesterday and it looks like so much fun, except for the hills! great job! I may think about running this next year! I love lake George!

        • At 2011.06.28 09:20, Joanne said:

          Make sure you sign up. It’s a challenge but in the end, one great race.

          • At 2011.06.27 14:27, Lisa said:

            I think you guys are awesome! What an adventure your life is! I just love reading you really inspire!
            take care,

            • At 2011.06.28 09:20, Joanne said:

              Thanks. We do have fun.

              • At 2011.06.27 19:49, claudia lamascolo said:

                Wow the motivation you have is fabulous just amazing.. love the foods too!

                • At 2011.06.28 09:20, Joanne said:

                  Thanks Claudia 🙂

                  • At 2011.06.27 22:37, Bela said:

                    Sorry the race results weren’t what you wanted but all races are great experiences and lessons learned but I think you did great! I hope to meet a guy at my race tomorrow to help me get to the finish faster 😉

                    • At 2011.06.28 09:21, Joanne said:

                      It’s amazing how much inspiration you can get from a fellow runner. Make sure to give it as well as get it.

                      • At 2011.06.27 22:57, Marcy said:


                        As the race director of the Adirondack Distance Run, I loved reading your post! I hope that the memories of those hills will not haunt you and you will be back next year. And as a special treat, we have unique age group awards. We award the fastest time in each individual age. That makes you the winner for your age! I usually don’t mail awards but I am going to make an exception in your case. I will be sending you a small token for you to remember your Distance run experience! Have a great summer.

                        • At 2011.06.28 09:21, Joanne said:

                          So excited! Thank you Marcy. It was a great race and I hope to promote it to Utica Roadrunners and Roman Runners.

                          • At 2011.06.28 21:25, Pam said:

                            Great job on your race!!!

                            I used to love hot sauce on egg whites too 🙂

                            • At 2011.06.28 23:56, Jackie @ That Deep Breath said:

                              I think the fact that you even attempted that Run is an accomplishment! I know it may not be the time you were hoping for, but wow!! Fantastic job! I think you did great!!

                              • At 2011.06.30 02:55, The Green Girl said:

                                Love how you use humor to make the most out of your situation.

                                Congratulations on really pushing yourself on a challenging and hilly course.

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