2015 ADK Marathon Weekend: The Insiders Guide

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.

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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!

They're Off For The 2014 Adirondack Marathon

Check Your Watches! And Go!

Check Your Watches! And Go!

Under gray skies -- the bright neon colors of yellows pinks, greens and oranges of running gear worn by hundreds of runners -- shone brightly before the start of the 18th Adirondack Marathon.

You could feel the buzz of excitement in the crowd of spectators as the runners stretched and adjusted their iPods.

Among the runners from around the US, one in particular got a special call out today before the race: Dr. David King. After finishing The Boston Marathon Last year, he was completing his cool down on the way to Massachusetts General Hospital when the bomb went off at the finish line.

As an Army reservist and trauma surgeon at Mass General, he spent the next 30 hours treating the wounded. Today he is running with the 3:45 minutes Pace Bears. He got a big cheer from the crowd.

Just before 9am, Race Director Joel Friedman gave the runners last minute instructions and the runners were off, with Bruce Springsteen’s “Baby We Were Born To Run” blaring on the PA system.

We caught up with Joel moments after the start.

How are you feeling? “Busy,” Joel told us.  We reminded Joel that the weather gods couldn’t have given the runners a better temperature for their start: 56 degrees.

“For volunteers we can’t ask for better (weather). For runners, the start is awesome, but a little later in the day it’s gonna get hot.”

This year there are more than 700 volunteers involved with the weekend’s events, the largest number ever to participate. Joel praised each and every one of them.

“We couldn’t do this without them. The whole thing about the marathon is this cross participation of organization and communities, all coming together and all the local people coming together to make this spectacular event.

The Adirondack Marathon Distance Festival 2014 Guide

A huge welcome to all of the runners, their families, friends and volunteers here for the Adirondack Marathon Distance Festival. Here is your guide to the weekend, courtesy of Festival organizers. And If you’re the type that waits until the last possible minute, you can register in person for the marathon and half-marathon at the Race Expo on Saturday (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) at the Schroon Lake Central School. For the 5-K and 10-K races Saturday in Chestertown, you can register race morning (7:00-8:30 a.m.).

 Packet Pickup

All runners are strongly encouraged to pick up their race bib numbers and packets at Saturday’s Race Expo. Can’t make it? Bibs will be available on Sunday morning at the Schroon Lake Central School (6:45-8:15 a.m.). In any case, all runners must pick up their own packet and show photo ID. There are no exceptions to this requirement.

Race Day Transportation

On race day, there will be rolling road closures to ensure the safety of all runners. Familiarize yourself with the roadways affected now, to ensure a smooth journey. Likewise, know where you can park in town. Here’s a PDF map of the village that shows the best places to park. There is NO parking on Leland Avenue or along Route 9 south of Leland Ave.

Runner Tracking and Results

During the races, we will be updating the runners’ progress along the course. Follow your runner at this webpage. Shortly after the conclusion of the races, complete results will be posted here:

•5-K & 10-K 

•Marathon, Half-Marathon and Relays 

Awards Ceremony

Please hang around after the race and celebrate our award winners and all finishers. The ceremony will begin with the half-marathon awards at 1 p.m. The full marathon will follow at 2 p.m. All winners must be present at the ceremony to collect their awards (none will be shipped after the race).

Saturday, September 27

7-8:30 a.m. – 5K/10K registration

9:30 a.m. – 5K/10K start

10 a.m. – 5 p.m. – Race Expo & Packet Pickup

2 p.m. – 1K Children’s Fun Run

3 p.m. – Strategy Session with former Runner’s World shoes & gear editor Jeff Dengate, a 6-time finisher of the Adirondack Marathon.

4 p.m. - Zumba with Anna Hay

4:45-6:30 p.m. – Pasta Dinner at Word Of Life

Sunday, September 28

6:45-8:15 a.m. – Packet pickup

7 a.m. – Early Bird marathon start

8:40-9:05 a.m. – Half-marathon and relay buses depart

9 a.m. – Marathon and relays start

10 a.m. – Half-Marathon start

1 p.m. – Half-Marathon awards ceremony

2 p.m. – Marathon awards ceremony

2:30 p.m. – Course closes

4 p.m. – Post-race party at Witherbee’s Carriage House