Name of the race: Poughkeepsie Treetops to Rooftops 5K
Where: Walkway over the Hudson, Poughkeepsie, NY
Date: June 14, 2014
Time: 8:00 am
Distance: 5K (little short 3.06 miles)
Terrain: Flat with slight inclines and declines from the bridge
Entry fee: $20
Post-race Food: Bananas, oranges, bagels, cream cheese, water, & Gatorade
Performance:Overall 99/361; Age (F 35-39) 7/50
Weather: 64 degrees, overcast
Most runners are willing to travel to longer races, like half marathons and marathons, but they don’t think it’s worth the hassle for short distance races. Me, I’ll travel to any race if there’s something compelling about it. Last week I traveled two hours by car for a 5K. And Ben came with me because he loves me.
Why did I go so far for a 5K? Aren’t there plenty of 5Ks near where I live? Yes, but this 5K was no ordinary 5K. You see, I love love love running along water (preferably an ocean) and over bridges. The Poughkeepsie Treetops to Rooftops 5K had both! It’s a gorgeous course over the Walkway over the Hudson bridge, a lovely bridge with incredible views over the Hudson River. It’s high up in the treetops (hence the name), so as you cross, you feel as if you’re soaring with birds. I loved the idea of running in the treetops, so I signed up.
Poughkeepsie is a bit far to drive so early in the morning, so we stayed with my cousin in Westchester overnight. This way we only had an hour drive in the morning.
Because I was still suffering from bronchitis, I had decided to treat this as a fun run. Ben came along to keep me company. We both noticed that there was a big difference in mood and energy when you’re treating a race as a fun run. We were far more relaxed and calm. There wasn’t any stress or nervousness about meeting goals. My only thought was that I would try to run an 8:00 pace, but it wouldn’t be a big deal if I ran slower.
Poughkeepsie Treetops to Rooftops 5K was a small race with just over 300 runners, but it’s very fast and competitive. Even if I had been in peak form, I wouldn’t have placed in an age group. It’s very well organized. Bib pick up was fast. There were signs posted at the start telling you where to line up depending upon your pace. I purposely placed myself closer to the 9:00 pace because I didn’t want to start out too fast. I think it worked well. It was a bit congested in the beginning but I quickly moved through it.
Just past the start line, there’s a turn onto the bridge. Once you’re on the bridge, it’s straight all the way until you turn around to head back across it. After moving through the initial congestion, I focused on running what felt like a comfortable hard pace. Ben was a bit worried that I was going too fast, but it felt good and comfortable. Earlier that week we tried to do an 8:00 tempo run, but I bailed after a mile and a half. I felt terrible during that aborted tempo run. In this 5K, I felt really good. The excitement of the race always has me running better and faster.
I didn’t notice the view while running because I was focused on how my body was feeling and my breathing. Every once in a while Ben called out how far we had gone and what the pace was. I slowed a little for Miles 2 and 3, but I was still running briskly. Just past the bridge was the finish line. When I saw the finish line and the clock, I ran as hard as I could to make it under 24:30. I came in at 24:22. We think the course was a bit short because both of our Garmins measured the course as 3.06 miles.
I was pleased with my running and race. I wanted to have a good time and I did just that. I ran hard enough to feel like I worked hard, but I didn’t push myself to the point where I felt ill.
The post-race spread was really nice. I loved the freshly baked bagels that they served. Also they had good orange slices, sweet and juicy. Ben enjoyed the free samples of salsa and bruschetta from a local salsa company.
After resting for a bit, we went back to the bridge to take a few photos and to enjoy the view. You really do feel like flying up in the air because the bridge is so light looking and you have direct sight lines to treetops. I loved the unique aspect of this race of feeling like I’m flying in the sky by running over the Walkway Over the Hudson. The Hudson Valley is a lovely day trip from New York City.
I highly recommend doing the Poughkeepsie Treetops to Rooftops 5K. It’s a really fun race with a beautiful view.
How far are you willing to travel for a 5K?