I’m always game for a new race, so when I saw the description for this one, I was intrigued. “Soldiers will fire their muskets at 10:30am sharp to signal the start of the race which will take place entirely within Fort Niagara State Park. The course is USATF and will feature amazing views of Fort Niagara State Park; the Lower Niagara River; Lake Ontario; Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada; Historic Old Fort Niagara, and the Toronto skyline!” Cool.
What was also cool was the weather – in the 20s. Brrrrr! There was also snow in the forecast. Not what you want to hear when the drive is at least an hour and a half away from your house. But, I needed one more race to get a running plaque I’m going for, so I decided to make the trip. The drive was fine until the last 5 miles. They had not plowed at all. Granted, it was early. Nevertheless, I made it there, parked, and picked up my bib outside underneath the tent. Thankfully, you could go inside where they had restrooms. You could also look around the museum and gift shop.
The race started at 10:30 with muskets going off. It was loud and cool. The course was very slippery and ice/snow packed. So, my main focus was not speed at all. It was to get through this thing without falling. They had mile markers and one water stop. You went around the loop twice before you headed to the finish area.
I didn’t dress in costume for this race. I just wore the tshirt I got at the Whoville 5k last Saturday. I felt good during this race, but was not fast at all. Instead of a tshirt, you got a finisher’s medal (which was awesome – very high quality), admission to the fort and a yummy “Ploughman’s lunch” which consisted of homemade soup, fruit, veggies, coleslaw and hardboiled eggs. You had to go to a log cabin to get that. I was glad I did that immediately after the race because lines were long. I also loved that the bib had an image of Old Fort Niagara on it – very nice touch!
Normally, I hate running in the cold. I have Raynauds in my hands and I always worry about getting an attack. Sadly, I did get one after the race when I was walking building to building. I know the photo is graphic, but I include it to try and increase awareness of what Raynauds is (a circulation issue that can result in painful attacks). I always carry hand warmers, but sometimes that is not enough.
The awards/age group winners were announced in the French Castle. Age group winners got a sticker they could attach to their medals. It was too cold for me at that point, so I did not stay. I would like to go back and tour this place again in much warmer weather. They had a fire going outside which was wonderful. I didn’t want to walk away from that.
This was a very good race – especially for an inaugural event. One suggestion – they might want to consider having two serving areas for the lunch because those lines seemed pretty long (and after running a race it’s never good to stand around in such cold temperatures). But, the fact that they included a lunch as part of your race fee was great. I think they hold two other races here before the end of the year. However, for me, my 2016 running season is over! I’ve earned enough points to get my bronze plaque. Woot woot! Until next time – see you on the roads…
Course: USATF certified. Number of runners capped at 300. Sold out race.
Time: 10:30 am start
Weather: 20s – breeze at times.
Location: Youngstown, NY
Results: Not online yet. 140/300 32.51 (11.02 min mile)
Amenities: Restroom inside, ample parking outside.
Race Results: 32:51 (10.35 min mile), Age group 7/21, Overall: 140/278, Gender 48/147
Overall Results: http://www.itsyourrace.com/results.aspx?id=8416