Blog Master G

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Polar Cap 4-Mile Race 2010

Saturday, February 13th, 2010 · 9 Comments


Last weekend I ran the Polar Cap 4-miler in Lake George for the third time. Back in 2008 it was only the second race I’d ever run (time: 34:10). Last year I was ecstatic when I won my division — the first time doing so (27:12).

Before last Saturday my PR at the 4-mile distance was 26:24, which I ran last March on a fast, flat course on a warm, sunny day. Last Saturday was completely opposite conditions — a hilly, snowy course with 14 MPH winds and a “feels like” temperature of -2 degrees Fahrenheit. Despite the crazy cold and wind, I couldn’t have asked for a much better race.


I came out strong, but not too fast, knowing most of the first mile was uphill (6:39 pace). In the second mile, which is mostly downhill with another climb at the end, other runners were starting to fade, feeling the effects of that starting hill (6:31). For most of the first couple miles I was running with a pack of a few other guys, and we  took turns drafting off of one another.

Somewhere in the third mile one of the guys from the pack and I surged ahead, and continued to run neck and neck for the remainder of the race (I couldn’t believe he was running in that cold without a hat). Mile 3 pace: 6:45, the slowest of the day.

From about Mile 2.8 to Mile 3.3 is a steady uphill climb. My competitor pulled ahead on the uphill, but I kept him in sight, knowing that the final half-mile or so was mostly flat. In the last downhill with about 800 meters to go, I made my move, recalling my fast finish from the previous year. I passed my competitor and thought I had sealed the deal.

Polar Cap, Lake George Elevation

Little did I know, he had an even stronger finishing kick than I did (and I love that final sprint to the finish). As we turned the final corner and the finish line came into sight with about 400 meters to go, my competitor pulled ahead yet again. I noticed his racing flats and dug deep, still thinking I could catch him.

But I was out of steam. My competitor beat me by 4 seconds, taking 2nd in our division, and leaving me with a 3rd in division finish. I couldn’t complain: I had just set a PR of 26:18 with a fast Mile 4 — the fastest of the day (6:23) — and would soon by taking home a sweet snowflake pin as my award. 🙂


Mile splits (view Garmin data):

Split Time Avg Speed Max Speed Avg HR Max HR Calories
1 0:06:39 6:39 5:33 164 172 122
2 0:06:31 6:31 5:36 170 176 124
3 0:06:45 6:45 5:59 173 177 124
4 0:06:21 6:23 5:15 175 179 121
Summary 0:26:17 6:35 5:15 170 179 491

Tags: running

9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 bro bro // Feb 17, 2010 at 10:52 am

    congrats, bro! your party horns look strong, too.

  • 2 Blog Master G // Feb 17, 2010 at 11:06 am

    thanks, bro bro! you know the andersons are powered by the party horns!

  • 3 A Marathoner // Feb 20, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    Gabe – congrats man. You dropped the hammer and that joker had a little more left. Bummer, but you ran a great race. Enjoy it bud!!

  • 4 Blog Master G // Feb 21, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    Thanks, man! Appreciate it.

  • 5 Runnin’ of the Green (Island) 2010 — Blog Master G // Mar 8, 2010 at 10:29 am

    […] off last month’s Polar Cap 4-miler, where I had set a then-PR of 26:18 on a tough, hilly course with 20 MPH winds and a “feels […]

  • 6 thomas marcellus // Jan 15, 2011 at 5:39 am

    Thanks for the course description,I’m running this year and was wondering about hills.I see there is some.Better gt some hill work in.Thanks

  • 7 Blog Master G // Jan 15, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    No problem, Thomas – glad it was helpful. It’s a fun race, but tough with those hills, and usually really cold. Good luck with the training, and maybe I’ll see you on the course next month!

  • 8 thomas marcellus // Feb 6, 2011 at 6:11 am

    Hey Gabe ,I thought the guy I was running with on the last 800 meters looked familiar(polar cap 2011).Your description of the course helped me to train a little better and get my pr for that run.It’s kinda ironic.”Hmm”Lets see,shamrock shuffle..never run that before.Any advise Gabe?haha.Thanks again.

  • 9 Blog Master G // Feb 6, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Hey Thomas- no way! Talk about a small world. What are the chances that the same guy who found my blog before the race this year would be the one who pushed me faster then passed me at the end. 🙂 Good race yesterday!

    And yup, here’s my recap of the 2010 Shamrock Shuffle. I’ll see you there!