Mountain Goat Run Race Recap

The Mountain Goat is one of those races that is almost like a local celebration or should I say tradition.  People sign up for it year after year, train for weeks beforehand in preparation for the elevation climb and then curse themselves at the starting line as they anticipate all the hills.  

In the days leading up to the race, the forecast is closely watched and reported with everyone worried that it might be too hot or too cold.  It’s always a toss up here in CNY in May- it could be 80 degrees or it could be snowing, you never really know.   Last year it was HOT and this year it called for rain…lots and lots of rain.

Syracuse Mountain Goat Run Race Recap

Pre-Race “Party”

It really didn’t hit me that the forecast was über crappy until I attended the pre-race party at our local running store the Monday before the race.  I walked in to ladies night and saw this sign immediately upon entering the door. 

Mountain Goat Race forecast 2016 Fleet Feet Syracuse

Um 45 and rain? Whatever am I supposed to wear? What if it get hot? What if it gets cold? I was at a loss so I just crossed my fingers hoping the forecast would change and took advantage of the free champagne and photo booth fun with my friend Kelly. 

The day before I made my way back to the running store, picked up my packet.  The forecast still hadn’t changed and there was chatter amongst the other runners about how uncooperative Syracuse weather has been.  Still, I decided to keep a positive attitude and just make the most of it.  Nothing could be as bad as the Syracuse Half, that was for certain. 

You might also like:  Ragnar Relay Adirondacks Race Recap

The Day of the Race

The morning of the race I picked up my friend Kelly and we made our way to the Mountain Goat Run with a change of clothes and towels in toe.  It was raining and really showed no signs up letting up.  We did our little pre-race ritual (pee, pin our bibs, pee again) and made our way to the starting line. 

From this point on I am going to recap the race as told by my playlist.  Have you ever been running and the songs just happened to match up with your mood or the moment? Yeah, that is kinda how it went down for me at the Mountain Goat so here is my rendition of a recap told as if it was on a movie screen (it wasn’t that epic but telling it this way does it make just that much more interesting 😉 )

Ps.  This is the elevation chart:


Or as so nicely put it…an elevation climb taller than the tallest building in Syracuse…

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of


Started From The Bottom: Miles 1-2

As soon as we heard go and crossed the line, the song “Started From The Bottom” by Drake came on and it couldn’t have been more appropriate.  Here we are at the base of a series of epic hills…literally starting at the bottom, going to work our way to the top and back down again just to say “now we’re here“.  

Can’t Hold Us: Mile 3

By the end of mile 2 just as we were about to climb the first hill my friend and Ragnar teammate Benny caught up to me.  I have to say that while I was feeling pretty good, I was happy to heave him by my side for a little moral support as we began our 1st ascent.  Appropriately, “Can’t Hold Us”  and the words “we’ll fight til it’s we put our hands up like the ceiling can’t hold us“.  Up and over the hill we went and on to mile 4.

Going the Distance: Miles 4+5

After coasting down much of mile 4, I felt like I could take on the world.  My pace was on point, my stride felt awesome and as “Going the Distance” by Cake came on, I knew I had this as long as I could make it up the next hill.  Fuel in hand, I was “racing and pacing and plotting the course“, I’m halfway there, I totally got this. 

Who Gon Stop Me?: Mile 6

My hubris thinking came back to bite me in the butt as soon as the climb up Colvin Street hill began.  It starts off as as a lonnnnng slooooow incline which is really pure torture because it leads up to a biiiig steeep hillll which is equivalent to 16 STORIES total.  I managed the slow incline well enough but as soon as the real hill began, I had to fight the urge to stop.  I actually almost did and my friend Benny noticed, mouthed the words “NO” to me very assertively and that was all the push I needed to keep going.  

Ironically enough during that time “Who Gon Stop Me?” by Kayne & Jay Z came on and with the words “It’s looking like I don’t know how to lose” I made the final push to the top.

Hate Me Now: Mile 7

I have to say that once I reached the top, I was feeling pretty amazing.  Pretty sure I was literally screaming out in euphoria- it felt like a moment from Rocky.  I had conquered Colvin St and I hadn’t stopped or let it get the best of me.  I distinctively remember “Hate Me Now” by Nas coming on at this time and just thinking “how appropriate”… 

“…there’s no turning back now
This is what makes me – this is what I am….
You can hate me now.. but I won’t stop now..
Cause I can’t stop now…”

Harder to Breathe: Mile 8

After the adrenaline and euphoria of beating Colvin St. wore off, there the sudden realization that I was not quite done with hills yet.  I had one final challenge and it was one steep mother of a hill.  I pushed my way halfway up without stopping but had to take a breath.  It was becoming harder to breathe not only literally but also on my playlist.  Maroon 5 kept repeating to me “there’s no way we’re gonna give up….it’s getting harder and harder to breathe“.  No crap, Adam Levine, I know.

Hold On, We’re Going Home: Mile 9

As I reached the top and caught my breath I could almost taste the sweetness of victory (or at least the finish line).  The rest was all literally downhill, I coasted toward mile 10 with Drake’s melodic voice reminding me “just hold on, we’re going home“.

Such Great Heights: Mile 10

Mile 10 is mostly flat and after the downhill it was a bit of a struggle to maintain my pace but I just kept reminding myself of all that I had conquered each of the miles before.  The song “Such Great Heights” by Postal Service came on… “they will see us waving from such great heights” repeated to remind me of all the 565 feet that I had climbed (or more like ran) up! 

As I approached the finish line there was this girl in blue pants in front of me.  I marked her as a target and told myself that if I gave it my all I could push past her. In the very last few hundred feet I gave it all I had and blew past her at the finish line. 

My official time was 1:22:35 with an 8:11 pace- a HUGE PR from last year, top 10% in my age group and top 25% overall.  I most definitely could not have been happier. 

I know- you’re wondering about the rain that I worried and complained about at the beginning but guess what? It let up right before the race and ended up being PERFECT running conditions.   Definitely not something that I wanted to stand around it but perfect for running nonetheless! 

Despite the forecast, the race was a success and I am looking forward to next year.  

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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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