Joel Friedman – director of the Adirondack Marathon and Distance Festival, still finds it hard to believe that the event he created turns 20 this September.
From humble beginnings, the event now referred to as “the most beautiful 26.2 miles you’ll ever run, is an established and well respected race, attracting runners from all over the world.
“So far this year we have runners signed up from nine countries,” Joel told us recently.
This year’s festival, which has been in the planning stage almost immediately since the last runner crossed the finish line.
This year it’s set for the weekend of September 24 – 25. And if you are thinking about getting in on the action, early registration -- where you can save a few bucks -- ends this Saturday (4/30).
This year’s events begin on Saturday, September 24, with the Chestertown 5K and 10 K. Proceeds go to the Helper’s Fund. There is also a Kids 1K Fun Run in Schroon at 2 pm, for 4 to 12-year-olds.
Saturday night there’s the traditional carbo loading pasta dinner at the Word of Life Inn and Conference Center in Schroon, with pastas, sauces, salads and yummy deserts.
On Sunday, at 9 am, the full marathon kicks off in downtown Schroon in front of the Higher Grounds, Upstate Building and the ‘Wolf.
Those running the half marathon are bused to the hamlet of Adirondack to the starting line.
There is also a two person and a four person relay and a non-competitive early bird start at 7 am for walkers and those who may not finish at the 3 pm cut off.
Want to be inspired or motivated? Check out the official video in the post below.
Go on, get motivated and sign up for the 2016 Race.
Welcome All -- every single runner, family member, friend and volunteer, We offer you a huge hat tip for being here. You guys are amazing. So here we are, with a little insiders guide, sharing with you a couple of changes this year in the town of Schroon and on the course.
This time last year large portions of Route 9, which covers a lot of the marathon’s final stretch, was in a half assed finished state.
The good news for runners is the black top is now finished, making for a much more forgiving, smooth surface for the runners, who in prior marathons had to endure the bone crunching, pop hole riddled concrete on Route 9.
Also new this year, runners will be directed through the Word of Life Bible School, where pumped up spectators are gonna give you a big lift as you tackle that-- shall we say challenging -- up hill section of Route 9, as you eventually head downhill north to downtown Schroon and the finish line. (And a good soak of your tired feet in the crystal clear waters at our town beach).
Along the way up Route 9 runners will notice the newly expanded beer garden tent outside at the award winning Paradox Brewery.
While we don’t recommend you stop for a cold ale during the race, (although that’s entirely up to you), it’s a must go to destination this coming weekend: either pre-race with your friends and family on Saturday, or for a celebratory ale or two, post race Sunday. With growlers to go, you can take back home a drop of the Adirondacks. While there, check out their scrumptious homemade salted pretzels – great for carb-loading.
A little closer to town the folks at Sticks and Stones are gearing up for a big weekend, welcoming runners and their friend and family with their wood fired pizza.
If there’s a nip in the air, there will be a roaring fire out front on their lawn and a blazing one inside their massive fire place The crowds there speak for themselves, as this popular spot grows year to year.
Meanwhile in town there are a couple of changes that some folks will notice and MISS.
We are saddened to report that a favorite of locals and visitors alike, Mr. P’s Mountain Smokehouse, has permanently closed. If you really miss it, and would like to buy it, hey, we can hook you up -- no worries. And as one door closes, two more open..
There is a hot new meeting spot, which has firmly established itself as Schroon Lake favorite. Be sure to check out Vine and Barley, the bistro and tavern located inside the Town Store on the second floor. There are terrific value wine flights, wine by the glass and bottle, a tasty selection of beer in bottles and on tap and yummy salads, meat and cheese bistro platters. (
And a ton of soft drinks!!!). But they are best known for their wine slushies, the creation of Vine and Barley founder, they awesome Patti Mehm.
Down stairs be sure to pick up a bargain with the Town Store's final sales of the season.
Another restaurant passing is the shuttering of the Morningstar Bistro. But something magical has happened in this space, once known for its coffee, waffles and pancakes.
It’s now the home of Pine Cone Mercantile, an eclectic store which will amaze you. Don’t be fooled by the fact that it has quickly become one the Adirondack’s premiere home furnishing stores, with high quality items mixed with hand picked North Country Antiques. There's still some great eats to be had!
The real surprise is at the back of the store where there is a smashing bakery producing some of the best hand made breads that your taste buds will fall in love with.
(And great coffee, too!!!). Schroon has been given a gift in this enterprise – the entire store has been gutted and as you will find when you visit, it is a thing of beauty.
Also on Main Street be sure to visit our friends at the Schroon Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber, under the direction of new director Tammy Whitty-Brown, has undergone a makeover as Tammy brings newfound enthusiasm to her role in promoting greater Schroon.
She is diligently working hard to bring new events to our hamlet, really trying to round out Schroon as true four-season destination it really is. There's a stack of Schroon Lake bling, at great prices.
Looking for a short hike? Tammy has all of the info on two of our favorites: Gull Pond and Mt. Severance. Both easy and the view from the top of Severance will blow your mind.
If you have never been here in the winter, and would like to take a walk on the lake -- after skiing at nearby Gore Mountain -- consider visiting the Jones Family, the owners of the Schroon Lake Place, the only beach front accommodations just steps from all of the action of downtown. Look your room for the coming fall leaf peeping season and winter fun.
For more carb loading opportunities Drake’s Restaurant has authentic, REPEAT authentic Italian food, Amazing pasta and more. Check out some of our reviews here and here. North of town, almost opposite Curtis Lumber, it is worth the short drive.
If you are looking for an excuse to explore our lake, please visit our friends at the Schroon Lake Marina, where you can rent a pontoon or speedboat. These guys are experts in helping you out.
They also offer a range of paddleboards and canoes and kayaks. It’s a great excuse to explore the lake, and check out the early fall foliage lakeside.
Water not your thing?
There’s a stunning short drive to be had to nearby by North Hudson and a working Bison Farm. Not only will you see these majestic animals in their natural environment, you can visit the farm store and buy some of the most juiciest, succulent buffalo meat around. (as well as a whole lot of home baked goodies). Check out our recent story here.
And there’s Golf: Our gorgeous nine whole course: It’s one of the sweetest little courses you will play in the North Country.
Of course the other eateries and bars on Main Street will be hopping and there’s the post race party at Witherbee’s on Sunday, an official sponsor of the weekend.
Over in Pottersville, The Natural Stone Bridge Caves is a great way to enjoy an early fall afternoon. Sadly, fans of Railroads on Parade will be saddened to learn that it is now a distant memory, financially unable to go the distance.
On the other side of the lake, in the little hamlet of Adirondack, the Adirondack General Store is sure to be busy, from breakfast on: Our tip: Yum, Yum, Yum -- great pies.
And If you are looking to really pack you Saturday, head on over the hill to Fort Ticonderoga. There is a TON OF FUN for the entire family.
So enjoy yourselves – it’s gonna be a very memorable and fun weekend!