Posted by: David Giacalone | November 6, 2018

Stockade-athon will again visit Lawrence

passinglawrencecircle2009

. . prior to 2014, Lawrence Circle was the halfway point of the Race, with runners coming from the east end of Front St.; above photo taken 2009 .. 

img_2379 . . 3img_0855 . .

. . Saturday update (Nov. 10, 2018, 4 PM): Lawrence waiting for the Race:

LawrenceCircle4PM10Nov2018  . . Lawrence-10Nov2018

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2018 Course Change in the Stockade

StockadePortion2018-001  . .

This year’s Stockade-athon race course change is a goodie. Four years ago this week, I wrote a rather grumpy post at this weblog titled “Stockade-athon 2014 abandons Lawrence and trivializes the Stockade” (Nov. 8, 2014), because the course for the road race had been altered, with one change removing the Stockade portion of Front Street from the Stockade-athon. The half-way point of the 15K race had always been Lawrence Circle, with the entourage of runners entering from Nott Street and running west up Front Street past Lawrence to Washington Avenue. The race cohort was stretched out by then, so that the last stalwarts passed by Lawrence about 45-minutes after the front-runners.

2014-2017Course-StockadePortio The 2014 to 2017 course configuration (image at right) brought the Race to the Stockade only a half mile from the Start near Proctors, in a compacted mob entering Washington Avenue from State Street, going to and through Riverside Park, and then out Ingersoll Avenue. The front and rear escort cars were only 12 minutes or so apart.

In 2014, Race entrant Herb Terns gave the new race course, which put steep parts of the terrain earlier in the race, a grade of “B+ (more Stockade in the Stockade-athon would get it an A).”  See  “The ‘new’ Stockade-athon’ by letters” (Nov. 10, 2014), in the Times Union Outdoors Blog. Herb got nostalgic:

One thing I didn’t like about the Stockade section was that it gave short shrift to the actual Stockade. It was nice to run by the river but through the years I’ve felt the Stockade was well supported and the most fun part of the race with cheering crowds by the statue of Lawrence. It’s also one of the gems of our city and I was glad others got to experience it. 

The new 2018 configuration solves the problem of giving the Stockade short shrift geographically. The Race now covers the same ground as the pre-2014 race course, but in reverse. [See the map detail at the top of this posting.] It does not, of course, solve the problem as a spectator or photographer, of having the race “race” through the Stockade so quickly. As pointed out above, with the the Stockade being so close to the Starting line, the field is still compacted, making for less interesting viewing and photo-shooting. I’ve estimated that if you stand in one spot to watch the Race, the entire field will stream by you in about 7 or 8 minutes.

AtLawrence-img_1146 . .  Nonetheless, I bet the old tradition of a crowd gathering at Lawrence Circle will be resurrected, along with residents lining the course, with cheers and cowbells. At my grumpy 2014 post, there are dozens of photos from the good old days with Stockade-athon action approaching, passing through, and departing Lawrence Circle. And, clicking on our Stockade-athon Category will bring links to our annual coverage of the event since 2009.

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In 2014, I voiced the hope that “the Stockade-athon Course Design Committee can find a way to revive this Stockade tradition in 2015.” It took a few extra years, but I am grateful for the reversion, even if it is being done for a different reason.  I look forward to seeing the runners, the volunteers, and the watchers this Sunday, November 11, between about 8:35 and 8:55 AM.


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