Every Monday evening for most of the summer, EliteFeats produced the Summer Run Series. The Natural Heritage Trust retained them as part of the New York State Parks Department.

About the Summer Race Series

There were eight races at various parks across Long Island including Sunken Meadow, Heckscher, Hempstead Lake State Park, Jones Beach, Belmont, and Robert Moses State Park, held at 7 pm.

This was EliteFeats first year producing this series. They will also be presenting the Winter Run Series in 2020.

“Where can you race in a State Park that is closed down to all outside traffic on Long Island?” said Brendan Dagan, part of the event team at EliteFeats.

“More than 3800 people registered for the series with the most significant race was Sunken Meadow with 2,000 finishing a tough 10K race,” said Branden.

“We had to cancel one race this year due to the extreme weather,” said Brendan. “We were mandated to shut it down.”

Hempstead Lake State Park had the least amount of runners. This was followed by a one-mile run on Robert Moses State Park beach. “We had 1,300 finishers and 450 of those walked 13:30 per mile minute and up,” said Branden.

The Last Run of the Series

I had just come off the EventPower LI SmithPoint Triathlon and was exhausted. The thought of running 5 miles after completed 13.1 miles in the sprint seemed daunting.

When I got to the race site, I saw my teammates from Team Galloway LI. “I don’t want to go out hard,” I announced. Christine, one of my teammates, told me that she would love to run with me.

We went out easy with a 12/25 pace (thanks Colleen Trainor). It was nice and easy. Although the air was heavy and it was warmer than what we thought, we talked the entire time and still came in just over an hour.

It was a great opportunity to talk and the five miles went very quickly!

“You can’t beat running with your friends, seeing all the other groups, running into coworkers and talking about the race the next day over coffee. The worst part is that we go to some really beautiful parks and all we get to see is an endless road, mind-numbing boredom! If it wasn’t for Hilary at the last race, I would have lost my mind. Jones Beach is usually one of my favorite places to run,” said Christine Nagorski Camardella.

Was the Summer Run Series Worth it?

The price for the eight races was $70 for “tier 1.” The Tier 1 runners were able to race in every race. For $55, a runner was able to participate in five runs.

Team Galloway LI participated in the summer run series as part of our speed training workouts. I attended only three of the eight races — Sunken Meadow 10K, Hempstead Lake State Park 4K and the Jones Beach 5 Miler.
I bumped into people I met through running, and it was great seeing them. The camaraderie was great!

Here are some reviews from teammates:

“While I liked the idea of running in different parks, I was a bit underwhelmed by the courses as they didn’t really capture the essence of the places we were running (like our Team Galloway LI Saturday runs). We ran on roads and highways that could have been anywhere. I only ran at three events but didn’t find them to be that special and the snacks could be improved. I think I got spoiled by doing so many RaceAwesome and EventPower races. Jim did a few more races than I and found that getting to the locations during rush hour was a challenge. I think we will pass on this series next year,” said Monica Matyjaskiewicz Gould

Ray Cushmore, another member of the team said, “the pluses about the series: a) Can’t find a cheaper set of races anywhere; b) It’s a good size field so you can get an idea of how you’re doing in your age group; c) if you come back every year you have a history you can compare on a variety of courses; d) since it happens on a Monday night, it won’t compete with your other favorite races; f) The locations were spread out over LI are a good fit for our group since we’re also spread out over LI. Monica did a good job identifying the negatives to which I would add it would be great to add back some former courses such as Caumsett and Bethpage which used to be on the rotation and are now replaced by 5k’s at Heckscher and Sunken Meadow.”

The races that I attended were well-run and well-orchestrated. There were water stops every 1.5 miles, which I thought should have been every mile.

Here’s what other team members said:

William Jones agrees, “I thought it was very well organized, especially getting in and out of the parking area. It’s very cheap which is another plus. Also, Monday is a night I don’t usually run so this was a big PLUS!! My only negatives are running a mile in the sand is not what I consider to be fun, and for training purposes, it borders between useless and destructive. Also, I don’t think those incredibly steep narrow hills in Sunken Meadow were necessary. From where I was in the pack, you couldn’t run, even if you wanted to because most were walking, not that I wanted to run but it would have been nice to have a choice. Bottom line is I would do it again if nothing were changed.”

I knew very little about the race/timing company, EliteFeats so when I found out through Brendan that they produce 300 events on Long Island a year, I was impressed. “We have had 100,000 participants at our races,” Brendan said. “We produce 70% of all races on Long Island.”

“I have been doing the summer and winter run series for 5 plus years now. Whether I have a good run or a bad run, I leave feeling good because I leave feeling inspired by how many people show up at 7 pm in the heat or in the cold to do something good for themselves. The participants are all shapes and sizes and ages and I have made friends that I look forward to seeing and they are constantly there. For me, these people align with the values that I want to align with and that is to show up, do the best that you can and most of all have fun doing it. I have no complaints about it except for the 10K at Sunkin. I wish they would move the more challenging distances to the end so that we can build stamina,” said Rachel Joffee, runner.

With that many races and those number of participants, they better produce a great race! And, they do…