The 2024 Prospect Mountain Road Race

by Jill Pederson

Emily and Chris Chromczak at the top of Prospect Mountain.
Photo courtesy of Jill Pederson and Brian Teague of Adirondack Road Runners

Everywhere you look, there is another 5K popping up. One could run a race or two every weekend all summer and not have to travel far. But a few races have been around for a long time, are well established and offer a different kind of challenge. The Prospect Mountain Road Race in Lake George is one of those races. Not your average 5K, but a 5.6mile run up the scenic Prospect Mountain seasonal parkway. The race boasts that there is only one hill, and the views from the finish line stretch from Albany to Vermont to the high peaks of the Adirondacks.

Are we having fun yet? Only half way up!
Photo courtesy of Prospect Mountain Race Director, Jill Pederson

The Adirondack Runners have hosted the Prospect Mountain race since 1990. In May this year they marked the 34th running. Two racers remain who have completed the challenge all 34 times. The race has had a few different directors over the years, but most aspects have remained constant. Three water stops will help hydrate you, mile markers will greet you with encouraging sayings, timers will call out your splits, and results will be accurate and timely. As a bonus, in your packet you will get a coupon for a Martha’s famous ice cream cone as well.

The race begins at the main gate to the parkway and proceeds level for almost a mile before the incline begins. Since the road is closed, safety is of little concern. Awards are now handed out right at the finish. Besides the six overall prizes, if you announce your age as you go through the shoot, you will be handed a medal if one remains in your age group. This race also boasts some of the best post-race refreshments, with most being homemade.

Potential runners sometimes express concerns about getting back down the mountain. Carpoolers can drop off cars at the top prior to the start, spectators can drive up before the race, and there is no shortage of friendly drivers who will offer finishers rides back down. The club boasts that they have never left anyone behind at the top.

If you are a slower hill runner, be assured the finish line crew will still be there whenever you arrive at the top. There have been racers as young as 8 and as old as 80 who have successfully challenged the course. The feeling you get at accomplishing this uphill challenge will not disappoint.

Next year 2025 will be the 35th anniversary of the race. The plan is to offer finisher medals to all racers who complete this anniversary race. So why not take up the challenge? The rewards are worth the effort!

Cleaning up after the race; remember - there is only 1 hill!
Photo courtesy of Prospect Mountain Race Director, Jill Pederson

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