The Camp Chingachgook Challenge Review

“What’s your favorite part of racing?” – Teen volunteer
FOOD.” – Me

I haven’t been to Lake George since I was a kid. So when the chance to go back presented itself, I took it! Despite the distance, it was a low-key, scenic, HILLY, and fun race.

From NYC, I took the train to Poughkeepsie (my hometown) where we drove to Lake George from. The trip was close to 2.5 hours but an easy drive.

The family and I got into Lake George around 8:30pm, checked into the hotel and I hopped onto the treadmill for a quick jog (I also wanted to try out my new running spandex!).

Morning of the race
I don’t think there was a pre-race expo? We left the hotel, which was literally right next to the Under Armour, Nine West, Gap, Banana Republic outlets, around 7:30am and got there at 7:35am.  I picked up my bib and my timer piece, which I tied onto my shoes, hit up the bathroom, and ran outside.

Typically I find that 20 minutes is no time to prep for a race, you know use the restroom, get mentally prepared, warm up but this race did not have the typical stressors (i.e. people, trains not running, baggage issues, etc.) I usually have when I race in the City.

The Course

The course was point to point.  The half marathon started at the Lake George Elementary School, where people were told to park since Camp Chingachgook didn’t have much parking. The camp was the start AND finish for the 10k while it was just the finish for the half-marathoners. There were buses to bus people to and from both sites.

In full disclosure, I spaced out on this race…didn’t quite make the connection of “challenge” to the race name until I was racing. This race was no walk in the park. There were a ton of hills. In the first 2 miles alone, I counted 3 hills. These weren’t just hills these were STEEP.

The course was on the open road with neither side of traffic shut down, which was fine for the most part except after mile 10. There was a tight spot where a water station and a tight, curvy spot of the road where traffic sloooooweeed down because there was no way to get around the runners. Since there wasn’t too many runners (final race results show 272 final results), you ended up running in a single line. Up until mile 6, I was pacing two girls in blue then lost them at a water station.

Speaking of water stations, I was really thirsty that day. At one station, I threw down at least 10 cups of water and gatorade. I should have brought a hydration pack with me. The water stations were every 3 miles for the most part. I also didn’t see a port-a-potty until the last few miles.

Despite being thirsty and at times, or feeling like I’d be hit by a car, it was a gorgeous scenic run. I stopped a few times to take pictures but the pictures don’t do it justice.

At mile 9, I started to see signs for the camp, 4 miles away. Towards the end of the race, I saw the Camp but didn’t see the finish line and kept running past the parking lots until I finally turned left into a field where the finish line was.

Post Race
HOLY FOOD! A teen volunteer asked me what the best part of racing was and I said “food.” That was the BEST post race spread I have seen. There were breakfast foods (bagels, oranges, etc.) then lunch items like hot dogs, BBQ chicken, chips, watermelon, etc. I inhaled all of the food. I didn’t take a single GU or gel during the race (I brought some but they also weren’t offered) so I ate like I haven’t eaten in days. I’m usually not hungry immediately after the race but I started eating no less than 5 minutes after finishing.

Tree house fun!

Post race views!

Would I do this race again? Sure would! If you’re going to make it upstate, this is a great summer race to do. Doesn’t have the frills and thrills of a big city race but it has it’s charms (and food!). Also, you just need to visit the outlets post race…I bought some awesome Under Armour running spandex for cheap!

Disclaimer: A complimentary race entry was provided to me via Bibrave’s BibRavePro ambassadorship. All opinions are my own. 

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