Focus on a race Interview

Mohawk Hudson River Marathon

31 Mar 2011 08:00
Jean-Loup Fenaux

§staticmap(1779,5,450,250)Hello, on October 9th 2011, you’ll be organizing the Mohawk Hudson River Marathon. Can you tell us where it is located?

The MHRM is located in New York State, about 140 miles north of New York City. The race begins in Schenectady, home of General Electric, and ends in Albany, the capital of New York State.

This will be the 29th edition of the race. Why was it created in the first place?

It was created by a handful of local runners who wanted a competitive race at the marathon distance in the area. Then, as now, the race was used by many to try to qualify for the Boston Marathon, which was often possible due to the flat and fast course.

What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?

The route is point-to-point. About two-thirds of the course is on paved bike path that follows first the Mohawk River and then the Hudson River. This is very scenic. One-third of the course is on suburban or city streets. The course travels through six different towns/cities: Schenectady, Niskayuna, Colonie, Cohoes, Watervliet, Menands and Albany.

Credit : Jack Berkery

How many runners do you expect on sunday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract?

We expect to have 1300 in the marathon, and another 900 in the half marathon (which runs simultaneously, but begins at the half way point). In the past, , the race attracted primarily local and regional runners.. That has changed over the years. Last year, we sold out in early July and had runners from 34 states and four countries!

Credit : Jack Berkery
Do you organize other races during the Week-End? If so, on what distances?

There is a half marathon that is run simultaneously with the marathon. The half marathon starts at approximately the half way point of the marathon.

At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?

October is fall foliage season in upstate New York – typically the leaves are at the peak of color, so it makes for a very beautiful scene. The temperature is typically ideal for running, too: 17°C/4°C or 62°F/40°F.

Have you planned festivities around the marathon?

We will have an Expo with running-related vendors and exhibitors on Saturday, October 8 at the Crowne Plaza Albany. This will be held at the same time as packet pick up. On race day, we will have entertainment at the start, finish, and along the course. Massage therapists and an awards ceremony will be at the finish.

The marathon finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to Schenectady before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?

Usually runners stay in Albany (near the finish line). We provide buses from Albany on race day to the start line. There are many great restaurants within walking distance of the finish line and host hotel in Albany. As Albany is the State Capital, the capital building and state agencies are located there.

The city boasts many historic and architecturally notable buildings, museums, including the State museum, art galleries, and three different theaters. Within a few miles are two major shopping centers. Albany is within an hour’s drive from Saratoga (home of the Saratoga Race Track), the Green Mountains of Vermont, and the Berkshires of Massachusetts.

In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of ahotu Marathons to make them register for the Mohawk Hudson River Marathon?

The Mohawk Hudson River Marathon is a race by runners, for runners, with a course that is ideal for first time marathoners and those looking to make a qualifying time for the Boston Marathon.

Interview with Cathy Sliwinski Cathy and her husband Rob are beginning their second year as co-race directors of the marathon, which is put on by the Hudson Mohawk Road Runners Club. They, along with the entire 35 organizational team, are volunteers. They live and work in Albany – Rob works in the environmental field and Cathy works in the local court system. They have two children.