Tuesday, November 17, 2015

After the Leaves Have Fallen Half Marathon Review

After the Leaves Have Fallen Half Marathon 
November 8, 2015
Minnewaska State Park Preserve 
Gardiner, NY

  Half Marathon 300

Winning Time:

I found a gem close to home

   I will say it now, this is the most beautiful race I've in in the US. The price tag is a mere $15. Yes that is a 1 and 5.  Try to find a half marathon for this price is nearly impossible.  If you have not run off road you are truly missing out. 

Accompanied by a group of teammates from the Northport Running Club. We drove the 2 hours for an escape to the peaceful trails. As you approach the race site the view opens to the Shawangunk Ridge. That will be your host for 13.1 miles on foot.

photo credit http://mtnscenicbyway.org/ridge.html

The race offers an early start for anyone who feels they may need over 2:45 to complete the course. A good amount of runners took advantage of the opportunity to start early including myself.  There is over 1000 feet of elevation gain and it is a race you want to slow down a bit and enjoy. 

We were briefed about the race and how to make sure we stay on course. Then you are sent off to complete a short loop close to the staging area before starting the climb. It is just impossible to care about the effort it takes to get to the top. As you approach the views peak out from behind the trees. Each one opens up a bit more revealing serenity, peace and beauty.

photo credit Ed Marian 

photo credit Ed Marian

The view at the top is breathtaking. I wanted to climb out on one of these rocks and just sit there for a few hours.

photo credit Ed Marian 

The trip down the mountain is exhilarating. The hardest part is behind you and the trail is not done presenting you with gifts. Each mile has a feel of it's own. The remaining miles take you around a calm pristine lake. A few steep downhills have you feeling like a child as you fly down them around bends filled with rejuvenation. 

It's one of those races you wish never ended. As all good things do however the finish line approaches. There is a spread of goodies including hot soup, wraps and cookies.   

Shawangunk Runners does an amazing job with this race and I can not wait to return. Easily one of the best races I've run.   


1 comment:

  1. Love it!! I used to go there all the time as a kid since I grew up not far from there. I am pretty sure I have a picture of me on the same split rock as in your last pic...I need to call my mom and see if she has it. :)