Mountain Goat Race Recap: The Road to Success Runs Uphill with Friends


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If you have been following along, you probably know that I ran my first Mountain Goat 10 Miler this past weekend.  The Mountain Goat is a race that Syracuse is known for.  If you’re from here, you likely refer to it as “The Goat” and everyone knows what you’re talking about.  It’s infamous for being incredibly challenging as it is pretty much ALL uphill. 

 I had the elevation map in last week’s post but in case you missed it, here it is again. 

Mountain Goat Race Recap

I have appropriately renamed those two big uphill climbs F and U. 

I trained as much as possible so I could conquer those dreaded hills and even went to some training runs just to get a feel for the course but you can really only prepare for so much.  About a week before, I came down with some sort of super sinus infection that not even 2000mg of amoxicillin a day or holy water blessed by Mother Teresa could cure. 

Mountain Goat Race Recap

Needless to say, I didn’t get any better before race day.  So what’s a girl to do? DNS? No. Find a friend who is also dying from a sinus infection and make her run with you? Yes. 

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I had already picked up my packet the day before while wearing my fancy derby attire…

Mountain Goat Packet Pickup

…so the morning of the race, I picked up my friend Kelly and headed to Clinton Square in Downtown Syracuse to the start of the race and where all the festivities were being held. 

We arrived pretty early which meant we got a pretty prime parking spot (FO’ FREE), early access to the porta potties and time to get hopped up and sudafed and a multitude other cold killing medications and drugs that probably shouldn’t have been combined. 

We look like crazy people but we were ready to run THE GOAT!

We look like crazy people but we were ready to run THE GOAT!

 Before heading to the start we both agreed that we would stick together.  While both of us run at a similar pace, we really weren’t in top racing conditions so we agreed that this would just be a fun, easy (TERRIBLY HARD) Sunday long run. 

 After making our pact and shaking on twice, we made our way to the start where all the Goat Herders (aka volunteers) were ready and waiting for us to finish. 

Mountain Goat Herders

Right at 10:15 we were off and I followed Kelly as she weaved her way through the crowd at lightening speed, the weather was hot (a scorching 70 degrees) and I was a little nervous that once we hit the first hill about 1.5 miles in that we would tank. 

Surprisingly, we did pretty well the first few miles race and made it up the hill without too much of a struggle.  It was starting to feel terribly hot though and we were welcoming any water stations that we could find along the way. 

Once we reached the top of the first hill I even snapped this pic….

Mountain Goat

 …if you look really closely at the bottom you can see runners ahead of us on the course.

It wasn’t long after that, that Kelly started not to feel too well.  Not only was the sun beating down on us but she was also having some trouble breathing due to her sinus infection.  She tried to wave me ahead but I wasn’t dealing to well with the heat either so I was happy to slow down a little plus we agreed not to leave each other and I’m not one to break a promise. I would have hoped she would have stayed with me if it had been my sinus infection that attacked me mid-race too. 

The rest of the race was just about making it to the finish line and welcoming all the ice chips, water stations and popsicles along the way.  We even crossed paths with this man who apparently thought nothing of running through the questionable parts of ‘Cuse sans shoes. 

Mountain Goat Race Recap

Seems silly to point out but it provided for some much needed entertainment when we needed it most. 

Eventually we coasted our way downhill and into the finish line and I am pretty sure I can speak for both Kelly and I when I say that we were glad we were done and we did it together. 

Mountain Goat Race Recap 

The Mountain Goat slogan that is engraved on the medals says “The Road to Success Runs Uphill” but if you ask me it should read “The Road to Success Runs Uphill with Friends”.   

Mountain Goat Race Recap

This race for me was all about accomplishing a goal with a friend; time, PR’s and all that jazz didn’t matter.  What mattered to me was that we crossed the finish line together.  

PLUS we both got that sweet medal…the goat even moves up, down and around! Totally worth those F U hills! 😉 

Do you always run to race or do you run races just for fun sometimes?

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aelicatese
About me

Annmarie is a self proclaimed foodie, avid long distance runner and functional fitness coach. A DVRT Master Trainer, HKC Instructor and food allergy sufferer, she writes about strength training for runners as well as shares allergy friendly recipes for busy athletes.   She is also the owner of Strength In Motion Studio, mother of two sassy sisters and wife to a chronically busy chiropractor.   Subscribe by email for updates to get the latest workouts, advice and recipes straight to your inbox!

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54 Comments

Sarah@creatingbettertomorrow
Reply May 6, 2015

I have a natural competitive edge so it is super hard for me to run with fun...but I have in the past if a friend who is trying to get started in racing asks me to join...they usually are going slower, wanting to enjoy it...so I join them in that spirit and it is always so much fun and much more stress relieving than stress causing!
Sarah@creatingbettertomorrow recently posted...Take the Stairs WorkoutMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply May 6, 2015

    I am naturally competitive too but it was nice just to really enjoy a race and take it all in!

Jenny
Reply May 6, 2015

Girl, way to battle through the sickness! The Goat is no joke when you are WELL! And it was just too darn warm! Blah! p.s. the Derby gear for bib pick up - AMAZING!
Jenny recently posted...21DSD Round 2: May the 4th be with you!My Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply May 6, 2015

    Thanks! Yeah, it was warm!!!! And yeah, I got some looks with my derby hat, hahaha!

Michelle
Reply May 6, 2015

I'm such a sucker for race recaps! Glad you survived despite the sinus infection! I would love that race, the elevation map looks just like my running club's weekly course! And hills ARE definitely better with friends!
Michelle recently posted...6 Tips for 6 Pack AbsMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply May 6, 2015

    It is really challenging but that is part of the fun! :D

Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes
Reply May 6, 2015

I'm impressed that you even started the race feeling that way! Great job!! And very cool medal!
Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes recently posted...Paris Marathon Part 3: The AftermathMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply May 6, 2015

    Thank you! I am planning to do it again next year and hopefully see what I'm really made of :P

Debbie Rodrigues
Reply May 6, 2015

I have always raced for the fun. I assume that I always aim for my best though.
The only 10k I ever run in my life, I was sick like a dog. I would never run feeling that bad again. :(
Debbie Rodrigues recently posted...Crawling My Way Back To The Fit LifeMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply May 6, 2015

    Ugh, that is awful....running when you're that sick just isn't fun!!!

Susie @ SuzLyfe
Reply May 6, 2015

You are officially the cutest expo-goer ever. I usually look a hot mess. Who am I kidding, I always look a hot mess. And F U to those hills is right. Good gravy...
Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted...A Healthy Lunch (Fresha Place) + Healthy Indulgence (Daiya Cheezecake) ReviewsMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply May 6, 2015

    Haha yeah, those hills are no joke and I am not sure how I would have faired if I did do it as a all out race!

Marcia
Reply May 6, 2015

Kudos to you for making the best of a less than stellar situation. I hope you are both feeling better. That goat is no joke! Other than 5ks, I rarely run to race anymore. I'm there for the joy of it.
Marcia recently posted...In Praise of a 7 Minute WorkoutMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply May 6, 2015

    Thank you- still battling this stupid sickness despite two different kinds of antibiotics...ugh! Racing for fun is much more enjoyable anyway :P

Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home
Reply May 6, 2015

Congrats on a great race! Ugh to hills. It's really flat around here, and so hills are definitely my nemesis. Hopefully the sudafed gave you wings and got you up the hills.
Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted...DreamsMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply May 6, 2015

    Thank you! I think the sudafed definitely helped a little bit, at least my nose wasn't dripping snot the entire way up the hills, haha!

Autumn
Reply May 6, 2015

Great job on your race! Keep em coming! I hope you feel better soon
Autumn recently posted...Avocado Spread, Baby!My Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply May 6, 2015

    Thanks friend! <3

jill conyers
Reply May 6, 2015

Congrats on the race! I try to like hills. Honest. My first link up with WWW :)
jill conyers recently posted...11 Ted Talks That Inspire ChangeMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply May 6, 2015

    I don't hate them unless they hate me back :P Thanks so much for linking up <3

Amy @ Running on Faith and Coffee
Reply May 6, 2015

Finishing and finishing together was what was most important anyway! So glad you just slowed down and enjoyed the race and had a good time! That medal is awesome!!
Amy @ Running on Faith and Coffee recently posted...Best Race Ever {ToTR Linkup}My Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply May 6, 2015

    You are so right! I really did enjoy the race a lot more when I slowed down, let me take in all the excitement!

Amanda Thebe
Reply May 6, 2015

well done sweetie, sounds hellish. But honestly just goes to proof the power of community and friendship - we are all in this for the long term, short term goals can just wait when it means you standing by somebody who matters to you. So high five for your choices!!!

    aelicatese
    Reply May 6, 2015

    Thank you!!! Really, our friendship and sticking with her when she needed me meant a lot more! I would have felt like an awful person if I ditched her just so I could finish in a certain amount of time :P

Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner
Reply May 6, 2015

Wow that is hilly! I like your slogan much better. Congrats!
Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted...How To Pack For A Ragnar & How NOT To Train For OneMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply May 6, 2015

    It really was hilly, haha! Thank you! :)

Bri
Reply May 6, 2015

Haha love that you named the hills F U. Congrats on finishing the race!!
Bri recently posted...Looking for a challenge? Enter to win one FREE entry into any Western Canadian Reebok Spartan Race!My Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply May 6, 2015

    It's the only name I could come up with that fit ;) Thank you!

misszippy
Reply May 6, 2015

Seriously, love the hill names! So great. And you're a good friend for hanging with yours during her tough moments out there. I'm sure she appreciated it and sometimes, finishing together beats racing for time anyhow!
misszippy recently posted...The difference between fit and fastMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply May 6, 2015

    Finishing together definitely beat running it for time! I am looking forward to running it again next year and showing the course who's boss ;)

Ivanna
Reply May 6, 2015

Great job girl those hill look killer. You look like you didn't even break a sweat ;) fun times!
Ivanna recently posted...Staying Fit While Traveling (Video)My Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply May 6, 2015

    Haha, thank you! It was fun!

Angelena Marie
Reply May 6, 2015

Girl, way to go! How amazing that you did that with a sinus infection! Needless to say, now I feel like a slacker for not doing my little 5k! I hope you are feeling better! It is no fun to be sick!
I love all your pictures from the race day and you are so cute in your derby gear picking up your race packet!
Um, can we talk about the guy with no shoes?!?
Have a wonderful week!
Angelena Marie recently posted...Wild Workout Wednesday + Chest and Arms Circuit WorkoutMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply May 6, 2015

    Yeah...the guy with no shoes...I just don't know. I mean, I know running barefoot is a thing but I would be too nervous that I would have stepped on glass or something! CRAZY!

GiGi Eats
Reply May 6, 2015

No races for me - I don't like the pressure. I used to competitively snowboard and I HATED feeling the stress! I just work out for those ENDORPHINS! ;)
GiGi Eats recently posted...The D Train: Are You On It?My Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply May 6, 2015

    Oooh I bet you were one badass snowboarder!!!

Nora @ 2 Generations Running
Reply May 6, 2015

That race definitely sounds like a challenge, and I can't imagine trying to run it with a sinus infection - ugh. I'm glad you and your friend got through it!
Nora @ 2 Generations Running recently posted...The Cox Providence Half MarathonMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply May 6, 2015

    I am happy we got through it too, now only if our sinus infections would go away :P

Mary Beth Jackson
Reply May 6, 2015

Friends make all the difference in the world! Can we really be prepared for all those hills? I named all the ones in Nashville, F- all of them one big F. Lucky you, you had a friend! My girlfriend JL is like that, we ran that Hot Chocolate race together and she is running the fall half with me. I need to train hard so she won't have to slow down to much! Kudos to both of you pill poppers for finishing so well!
Mary Beth Jackson recently posted...Get the Skoop with FitnessSkippyMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply May 6, 2015

    Hahahaha you crack me up...I would have named them all F too!!! And yeah, us pill poppers are happy we finished too! :D

Nicole @ Fitful Focus
Reply May 6, 2015

haha two well deserved names for those hills. I'm so sorry you weren't feeling well, but way to tackle those hills despite it! I hope you're feeling better now!
Nicole @ Fitful Focus recently posted...The Jump Rope BurpeeMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply May 6, 2015

    Yeah I am just happy we got through it...and no..this dumb sinus infection won't go away. I might chop my head off soon!!!

Julie @ Running in a Skirt
Reply May 6, 2015

Love that medal! SO nice of you to stay with your friend :-)
Julie @ Running in a Skirt recently posted...No Equipment Hotel Room WorkoutMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply May 6, 2015

    Thanks! The medal is SO cool! Probably one of the coolest medals I have, definitely worth all the hills :)

Diatta @ Femme Fitale Fit Club
Reply May 6, 2015

Sounds like you guys had a very good time minus the FU hills! LOL. The man with no shoes...no words really. I couldn't do it. SWEET medal.
Diatta @ Femme Fitale Fit Club recently posted...Product Review: Nākd BarsMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply May 6, 2015

    Yeah...the man with no shoes just made me scratch my head. I felt bad for his poor feet!! The medal is pretty sweet, happy I endured the hills for it!

Abby @ BackAtSquareZero
Reply May 6, 2015

Wow. Awesome job powering through those horrendous hills with a sinus infection.
Abby @ BackAtSquareZero recently posted...Race the Landing Goals – 2015My Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply May 7, 2015

    Thank you! :)

Pragati // Simple Medicine
Reply May 7, 2015

I always run for fun. Mostly because I am soooo slow. I love your finisher's medal!
Pragati // Simple Medicine recently posted...How To: Build a Portable Food Photography StudioMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply May 7, 2015

    It is probably one of the coolest in my collection!

Neal Quesnel
Reply May 7, 2015

Ha, great elevation map! Congrats on finishing despite not feeling well, it's a great accomplishment for both you and your friend to get it done despite not feeling well. Shows that you two are really dedicated.

To answer your question on "Race Day," almost all of my races I race, however depending on the race/people I'm running with I might run it for fun under the right circumstances.

    aelicatese
    Reply May 7, 2015

    Thank you so much! I usually race too but like you said, sometimes it is nice just to do it for fun! Thanks so much for stopping by! :)

Ariana
Reply May 7, 2015

Good for you for getting it done! Sounds like a tough race even without a sinus infection! Having running buddies to stick by you is so important during times like that :D Most of my recent races have been "just for fun" because of my IT band. I haven't given up on my time goals forever! But I've come to the point where I'm just happy I'm able to run, even if it's at a sloooow pace ;)
Ariana recently posted...BMO Marathon Relay RecapMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply May 7, 2015

    Ugh, sorry your IT band is acting up!!! Hope it feels better soon!

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