After the Leaves Have Fallen Half Marathon

Yesterday I ran the most scenic race I’ve ever run! The After the Leaves Have Fallen Half Marathon is held in Minnewaska State Park Preserve, just outside of New Paltz!

It started at 11:00am, which allowed ample time for me to drive down from Albany. The only downside is that it’s usually held on the same day as the Stockade-athon 15K, but this year I knew I would run this trail race instead. It boasted gorgeous views and carriage trails which, even thought I like the Stockade-athon, I’ll take over Schenectady any day. It was also only $15, which is a steal for a half marathon.

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Lake Minnewaska, right near where the starting line was.

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The view of the Catskills from the parking lot.

I got to the park earlier (around 9:30) even though it didn’t start until 11am. I just wanted to make sure I got a good parking spot and I thought I might get lost in the park. Thankfully I didn’t! After getting my bib and chatting with some blogger friends, Jessie, Kristin and Frank, the race started promptly at 11:00. Off we went to run 13.1 miles through the park!

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Kristin and I decided to run together. She had just run the NYC marathon last weekend and wanted to take it easy. I had no issues with that. Our goal was to have fun and enjoy the scenery. When the race started we were the last two runners. This was the first time we were both last in a race! We didn’t care, but eventually we passed a few other people. It went back and forth the whole race.

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I didn’t pay much attention to the elevation before the race, but I knew it was a trail run, so I expected some hills.

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I wasn’t really expecting such glorious views, though!! I knew it was scenic, but I didn’t think it would be this good.

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The lap around Lake Awosting was one of my favorite parts of the race.

I was also really glad that the trails were wide and not too technical.

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Kristin and I made sure to stop and take lots of photos.

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Am I really running a half marathon up here?

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The answer is yes. There is a water stop literally on top of a cliff! There were only three during the race, so I made sure to bring my own water.

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Gorgeous sun rays.

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Around every corner there was a view!

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I’m not sure what mile this is, but I was glad they got this photo. There were a few photographers out there, which was kind of awesome! There was also a guy on a bike with a GoPro recording some of the race. I can’t wait to see the footage!

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If these pictures don’t convince you to sign up for this race, then I don’t know what will!

Kristin and I passed about three people during the last few miles of the race. We didn’t come in last, but we were close! Neither one of us was concerned about it though–but it was nice to not be last. 😉

We crossed the finish line in 2:42. It was my slowest half, but definitely one of my favorites. We just made sure to enjoy the scenery and the day outside in the park.

At the finish line, everyone got a pint glass. I’m cool with that!

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It was my 17th half marathon and my 3rd trail half marathon. Thanks to the Shawangunk Runners for putting on such an awesome race! And thank you to Kristin for being my running buddy for 13.1 miles–having her there to talk to made the race so much more fun!

Gear used: Lululemon running tights, Brooks MCM long sleeve tech shirt, New Balance 1260 Sneakers (road), Smartwool socks, Camelbak Mini Mule Hydration Pack, Salted Caramel Gu and Mixed Berry Clif Shot Bloks.

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