If you’re going to toil through numerous miles this summer – in pursuit of PRs or chasing dollars for charity – you may as well do so in a unique and entertaining atmosphere. Hence, the Faster Than Forty editorial team scours the nation for fun or funny road races we think you will enjoy. Rider University’s Paige McAtee presents this installment.
The Dynamic Duo is a 6-mile relay race in the Albany, NY area that attracts fast and talented runners each year. The rules of the Dynamic Duo are very specific: Each relay team must be comprised of one male and one female, and one team member runs the first three miles of the race, then the other member runs the last three miles.
In 2011 the road race takes place on Saturday, August 6th at Colonie Town Park at 8:30 a.m. The cost of the race is $10 per team, pre-registration ($13 per team day of the race). The race brings in around 80-100 teams each year – up to 200 runners total.
So… why should you run this silly road race?
“The relay format makes it different,” said race director Frank Myers. The allure is the unique theme of a couple’s relay. It is not the standard summer road race, and that makes it interesting. Each partner runs three miles and then hands off to the other person in the “duo” to run the last three miles. The men and women alternate leading off the race each year. This year, the men run first. In the second half of the race, the runners are staggered, setting up opportunities to chase down other people.
There are no cash prizes, so most of the runners are just running the race for fun – but despite that, the race times are usually very fast, and the race attracts many of the fast young runners that live in the area. (The Albany area regularly produces nationally ranked cross country teams from high schools like Saratoga, Shenendehowa, Shaker and Colonie.)
The course is not completely flat, but it is not extremely challenging and the runners produce fast times year after year. “[It’s] moderately hilly on a road and on a trail which is blacktop,” said Myers.
The age group divisions for the Dynamic Duo are unlike the standard age groups in other road races. Since the participating couples do not have to be similar ages, the couples are put into an age group by adding the ages of two teammates together.
For example: if Harry is 46 and is teaming up with his 15-year-old daughter, they would be classified into the 55-63 age group. There are 10 age groups total and they range from 36 and under, to 109 and over.
The total accumulated time between partners determines the outcome of the race. The fastest individual times are recognized but these runners do not receive any prizes for their individual achievement. Every runner must have a partner; no runners are allowed to participate individually.
“We don’t let ’singletons’ cross the finish line and we strongly discourage them,” said Myers.
The overall course record for this race is 31:38, set in 2004 by Patrick Moulton and Kate Twarog. Moulton ran 14:23 for his 3-mile leg and Twarog had a 17:15 split. Patrick’s time is also the fastest individual male time set at the Dynamic Duo. Lori Hewig set the fastest women’s time in 1990 with a time of 16:26.
Last year, the winning team was Otis Ubriaco and Sam Roecker with a time of 32:35. Ubriaco ran the three miles in 15:07 while Roecker ran a time of 17:28.
For post race activity, “We have an awards ceremony only,” said Myers. “Shirts are the awards.” The shirts are given out to the eight fastest teams in each of the ten age groups.
This year is the 33rd Anniversary of the Dynamic Duo. The race has been around for a long time and the organizers of the race make sure it is well organized. The race is sponsored by the Hudson Mohawk Road Runners Club and the race fee goes towards the awards and for rental of the park. “We have kept a detailed list of records and we have a complete history of the race since we started” said Myers.
They Dynamic Duo is a silly road race, but it is also a great partner race to run for fun and for a fast time.
Have a suggestion for the “Your Silly Road Race” column? Drop us a note here.
Paige McAtee is a sophomore journalism major at Rider University. She competes in cross country and distance events.