Detour ahead: In 2005, Mountain
Goat officials, including Jerry Smith
(in beret) and Ed Griffin (to his left),
BY ed griffin-nolan mapped out a controversial change
to the race route.
The Mountain Goat Run kicks off a noteworthy year of
local athletic challenges
ou don’t have to be a runner to love competition that goes twice as long, will jump
running. off at Jamesville Reservoir, where swimmers
Most especially this coming week- will stroke for 1.2 miles, then get on their bikes
end, when Syracuse is host to the Mountain for a 56-mile cycle on the hills of Jamesville,
Goat Run. If you come out to watch on Sunday LaFayette and Apulia, before finishing off with
you just might find that it’s as much fun to a half marathon (13.1 mile) run into Syracuse,
observe the run as it is to participate. Maybe all ending at the Inner Harbor. Now doesn’t
even more so, due to the fact that, except for that make the Mountain Goat seem downright
the exceptionally gifted among us, it is difficult easy? (You can check out the entire Half Iron-
near to impossible to run 10 hilly miles and man course, and still register for the race, at
drink beer or sip coffee at the same time. www.ironmansyracuse.com.)
The Mountain Goat has become the open- The Mountain Goat started 32 years ago
ing bell for summertime road races in Syra- with a group of runners from the downtown If you think the folks
cuse, and if you’re not running in either the YMCA. As it evolved, the course encompassed
10-mile or 3-kilometer races on the morning the two big reservoir hills in Syracuse— Wood- beating the pavement for 10 miles
land Reservoir and Westcott—and has grown to
of Sunday, May 2, I highly recommend that
in the Mountain Goat are crazy,
you pick out a spot along the route, set up a one of the premier road races in the Northeast.
lawn chair and get ready to cheer.
This summer outdoor life in Central New
The course is grueling and challenging for run-
ners unaccustomed to hills; in fact, it’s grueling mark your calendar for Sept. 19.
York gets even better, as Syracuse and Onondaga for those who are accustomed to hills.
County will be home to its first Ironman competi- After a flat first mile leaving Clinton
Square, the pack of nearly 2,000 runners they face the hills in Thornden Park before streets. Any event that brings 500 souls, most
tion in September. If you think the folks beating
heads up into Strathmore and makes a loop returning to downtown amid the cheers of the of them from the suburbs, into downtown
the pavement for 10 miles in the Mountain Goat
through Onondaga Park before descending crowd lining Salina Street. has got to be a good thing for Syracuse. On
are crazy, mark your calendar for Sept. 19.
to Kirk Park and the South Side. Then they For the past six weeks runners training for race day that number will multiply tenfold as
That’s the day when hundreds of locals will
start a steady climb up Colvin Street toward the Goat have been convening at the Museum runners along with their friends and families
join with people from across the country, and
Manley Field House (in my view, the tough- of Science and Technology in Armory Square come for the race and stay for the after-party
around the world, to swim, bike and run a com-
est part of the race), and get a brief respite as and running a portion of the course in prepa- (with, yes, free beer) which includes Letizia
bined 70.3 miles. That event, known as a half
they chug toward Syracuse University’s main ration for the big day. Most Saturdays there and the Z Band, and on a clear day can stretch
Ironman, so as not to be confused with another
campus along Comstock Avenue. Pretty soon have been at least 500 runners out there on the way into the afternoon.
The race itself has gotten so well known
that it draws runners from all over. A victim
MICHAEL DAVIS PHOTOS
of our own success, the field has gotten so
competitive that no local runner has won it