Saturday, June 23, 2012

Treetops to Rooftops - 5K

image: Bob Kopac
Last Saturday, on what may have been the most beautiful morning of June, a couple of friends and I ran the 4th edition of the Treetops to Rooftops 5K in the lower Hudson Valley.  Or, to be more precise, over the Hudson River via the Walkway over the Hudson.  In 2011, this race was my first 5K since I had fallen in love with running, and revisiting the course a year later, gave me an experience beyond that inaugural race - and a time 2 minutes faster.

If you're looking for a stunningly beautiful, essentially flat run, this course is for you.  It begins on the west side of the Hudson in Highland.  Runners line up according to anticipated mile speed and traverse up a small incline and then onto the walkway.  If you haven't taken the time to visit this state park - what are you waiting for?  On a clear day, the views are unparalleled and on this particular morning, I swear visibility was crazy clear.  The east side of the river (Poughkeepsie) is lovely and wooded and the turn around to head west comes remarkably fast.  There was a single water station on the Poughkeepsie side, which seemed appropriate for the time of the race (8:00 a.m.).  

I don't know if you can tell from the photo, but I was absolutely joyful to be running this race.  At one point, maybe a mile or so in, I had to refrain from releasing a big 'ol "Yippee!!!" as I looked south along the river at the sheer beauty as far as the eye could see.  Magnificent!  There were 420 finishers this year and I was 11th out of 51 in my age group, 162nd overall.  Not bad, but there's always opportunity for improvement. 

This race is held mid-June each year, so keep your eyes open for the registration and plan to be there next year.  You won't regret it. 

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