Cold Feat Trail Race: Staten Island Greenbelt Hilly 5k


If you are looking for a late winter trail race in Staten Island the Cold Feat 5k and 10k is one you need to run.

Held on Saturday, February 22 with the start and finish at the LaTourette Gold Course (right near the clubhouse), this race took runners into the Greenbelt—providing a slice of nature among the bigger pie of New York City.

This was a great race for many reasons. It offered both 5k and 10k distance for all levels of runners. It was a challenging race since the course is all about hills. It was very organized and the course was clearly marked with orange streamers and arrows.

The Cold Feat 5k was my first race of 2020 as well as being my first race since having my daughter. After just coming back to running one month ago it helped reignite my fires to improve on my fitness, endurance and speed now going into half marathon training this week.

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The Cause

Organized by Greenbelt Conservancy, race entry fees for the Cold Feat Trail Race goes towards environmental education initiatives for children of all ages, as well as trail maintenance and other projects to keep the Greenbelt trails suitable for hiking and running.

The Course

Starting and finishing at the David LaTourette House, runners took off on the pavement that quickly led into the trails. The first mile was a great warmup before the elevation really hit about 1.5-mile and throughout the rest of the race.

This is a doable race for beginners to more seasoned runners, although beginners might find themselves out of breath from the inclines and might want to stick with the 5k distance as they build their endurance.

The course was clearly marked and there were marshalls at trail intersection to direct runners. I found that following the person in front of you is a great strategy for not getting lost during a trail race.

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The course was hardly muddy or wet thanks to dry weather, but there was a section or two with some muddy parts. It’s important to watch your footing evades of exposed roots and large rocks on this uneven terrain.

There was a nice stretch towards the end with a nice downhill that allowed runners to pick up speed. However, then came a really steep incline all the way to the finish. This was arguably the toughest part of the race, but it felt good to climb to the top and know the end is in sight.

The Weather

The race organizer revealed that in the past the weather for the Cold Feat 10k wasn’t the more ideal. This included lots of snow with participants competing with skis and all. There even were runners who lost shoes in the snow and continued on to the finish.

Thankfully this year there was no snow. It was a mild, but still cold day with temperatures in the 40s. Once on the course, it is easy to get hot running up those hills.

Post Race

After all of the participants crossed the finish line there was an award ceremony. Grand prizes were awarded to the top overall finisher in each distance.

There were also age group awards for the top three men and women in each group.

Matty Davis finished first place in the 5k with a gun time of 19:02.8. Caitlyn Sala was the first female finisher at 28:38.2.

For the 10k, Dean Grusky placed first with 51:27.7, and Lorraine Ensana took home first place with 56:12.2.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that I placed third for my age group in the 5k. The award was a beautifully crafted wooden medal engraved with a snowfall design. It’s very woodsy and a great token for runner’s efforts.

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I will say that my finish time was a whole lot slower (almost 10 minutes slower!) than my 5k PR. Although I wasn’t originally thrilled about the pace, I had to remember this was my first race back and on a very hilly course. The fact that I even decided to run it last minute, get out there as my first run outdoors since giving birth let alone compete was a huge victory in itself. Placing is just the icing on the cake!

I absolutely would compete in this Staten Island race again. The Cold Feat 5k served as the perfect late winter race to kick off spring training and to stay motivated during the remainder of the cold months.


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