Dutchess County Classic: What to expect from 2022 races, one month away

·4 min read

The Mid-Hudson Road Runners Club’s Dutchess County Classic is a month away. Club president and Classic race director Tom Storey is strongly encouraging local runners to register now for the event, which promises to be one of the best yet.

Storey said in a recent Facebook post all MHRRC members get a discount. He said he was planning on extending race discounts to “every club that I can think of,” adding, “ask the club or ask me and I will give you the code.” Reach out to Storey via Facebook for details, or go to the MHRRC’s Facebook page for more information.

The Classic draws close to 1,000 runners each year and the 2022 event should be at the same level or perhaps even more than that, given the new and exciting changes. Runners, like most people, tend to be procrastinators. But waiting till the last minute to register for races is a strategy fraught with peril anymore.

Runners make their way over the Walkway Over The Hudson during the 41st Dutchess County Classic in the City of Poughkeepsie on September 15, 2019.
Runners make their way over the Walkway Over The Hudson during the 41st Dutchess County Classic in the City of Poughkeepsie on September 15, 2019.

Most races have graduated entry fees − the longer you wait, the more you pay! − and many races also have caps with the field closing out well in advance of race date. The Classic does not have an entry limit − entries will not close. However, Storey is strongly encouraging runners to enter now for one very important reason to most runners: The race T-shirt!

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“Please sign up this week if you expect to get a shirt,’’ he wrote on Facebook. “Supply chains are really stressed this year for various and obvious reasons.”

Storey’s last sentence should ring true with everyone reading this. Life has gotten really expensive, and supplies (of nearly everything) are limited. Road racing is not immune to the realities of 2022. However, we don’t need to dwell on the gloom and doom − there’s enough of that going around. Let’s turn our attention to the “glass-half-full” nature of the Dutchess County Classic:

∎ The 5-kilometer race might be the “best possible” course this area has to offer, in Storey’s humble opinion. We agree! Transportation will be provided from the race headquarters at Dutchess Community College in Poughkeepsie to the Highland side of the Walkway Over the Hudson. It’s a point-to-point race, which is unique and neat − and scenic, as you cross the Hudson River en route from Ulster County to Dutchess.

∎ The 10-kilometer distance is new to the Classic this year. In the more-than 40-year history of the race, there has never been a 6.2-miler. This distance provides a perfect bridge between the 5km and the half-marathon distances.

∎ The half-marathon race has been a staple of the Classic for most of its existence, and it remains one of the most popular longer distances out there.

All races finish at DCC’s Parking Lot E, off Creek Road in Poughkeepsie. The course is safe and traffic-free and the day has a running festival feel to it. Races begin at 7:30 a.m. Register now! For more information, go to dutchesscountyclassic.org or reach out to Storey and the MHRRC through social media.

Eastern Dutchess runners active online

Speaking of social media, there is no more active Facebook group out there − buzzing with inspirational information about group runs, upcoming races and other useful chatter − than that of the Eastern Dutchess Road Runners Club.

On a recent Facebook post query, one runner asked the group what (if anything) is appropriate to eat or drink before going out for a 4-mile run in the morning. Responses ranged from coffee (“it IS a food group”), to a banana to toast to applesauce … and to nothing at all.

One commenter said: “If I’m starving, whatever is readily available … cookies, potato chips, spoon of peanut butter, slice of pizza.”

This sort of crowdsourcing is useful. There is so much information out there about what to do and what not to do; the science can be dizzying about all aspects of our sport. But ultimately, running is an “experiment of one” − what works for one person might anathema for another. Getting others’ opinions − real-time observations about what works and what doesn’t work − is a good starting point.

Mid-Hudson Road Runners Club member Pete Colaizzo, the track coach at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, writes on running every week. He can be reached at runhed246@hotmail.com. For more club information, go to www.mhrrc.org 

This article originally appeared on Poughkeepsie Journal: Dutchess County Classic 2022 races: What to expect