Stockade-athon Memories

by Tom O'Grade

The Stockade-athon is a premier race in the Greater Capital Region. For any distance runner living in the area it is certainly a race that is on ones radar. I first heard about the race from Colonie High School coaches, Tom Greene and Frank Myers, who participated in the race in 2004. Consequently, I ran the Stockade-athon that year while a sophomore at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) rather than the cross country regionals, which fell on the same weekend.

In 2005 again because I was the 8th man on our RPI cross country team I went to the regionals and watched the races as an alternate. Next day I ran the Stockade-athon in 53:30 to place 10th overall cutting four minutes off my previous year’s time. Vince Juliano, long time Stockade-athon director, informed my dad of how I had improved. Vince thought that I could qualify for free entry if I could run under 53:00 minutes, and someday be a contender in the race.

In 2006, health issues prevented me from doing either the Stocke-athon or the RPI cross country races. Instead, I focused on finishing my undergraduate studies. By 2007, however, I again ran the Stockade-athon in 52:39, good for 12th place. Each year from 2007 until 2015 I ran the Stockade-athon except for 2012 when my training schedule conflicted with that for the Philadelphia Marathon. I placed in the top 10 runners and with consistent and steady training I ran just over 50 minutes twice. My best Stockade-athon time was 49:53 in 2014.

By 2015 I had run in 10 Stockade-athons. Local runner and one of its founders (1976) Mark Mindel is the only person to have run in every Stockade-athon. Several others have run 20 or more, so my goal became to run the Stockade-athon every year to join the 20+ Stockade-athon Club. But “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” In early 2016 I tore my Achilles tendon after a long battle with chronic Achilles tendonitis. Consequently, I was unable to run for most of 2016 and missed the Stockade-athon. Happily, by 2017 I was able to run again so am entered this year. How I will do remains to be seen but just being in this great event means much to me.

Best of luck to all competing this year!

Please log in to participate in the conversation.

Create Account



Log In Your Account