So you're going to be running the Utica Roadrunners Falling Leaves Road Race this Sunday?  Good for you.  These are some tips for running the 2013 Falling Leaves Road Race. 

Trudy/TSM

While I think the Boilermaker is our area's very best annual event, the Falling Leaves Road Race is a great run for those who want a race that's much smaller.  This race has a charming hometown appeal too.

Since the Falling Leaves is run in late September, it allows runners to see our area in one of it's prettiest stages as the leaves start to turn.  Whichever run is your preference, we're lucky to have two terrific races right here in Central New York.

Some tips for having a good run this Sunday:

1.  Choose your race.  The 14k(8.7 miles) or the 5k(3.5 miles).  The first half of the 14k is a tough, hilly run.  You head South on Genesee Street then go up Oneida and the Parkway before hitting the very challenging switchback trail in the South Woods.  The good news is the return trip is downhill.   You'll be happy about that I'm sure.

The 5k is a fast course mainly on Genesee Street and the Parkway.  If you're looking to set a personal record at this distance, you can do it in this race.  Also, new runners can get a taste of competition on a pretty forgiving course.

2.  Be flexible.  It's early in the fall here in the Mohawk Valley.  Race day could be 80 and humid or 45 and breezy.  Watch the weather and dress accordingly.  One word of caution.  If it's rainy, the switchbacks can be somewhat slippery, especially as you pick up speed on the return trip during the 14k.  Be careful out there.

3.  Enjoy the views.  The 14k takes you through some of the prettiest areas this city has to offer, and it does so at a beautiful time of the year.

Hope these tips I compiled from my friends and family who run help you out on Sunday.  Have a good run!