The NY/VT 5K Champlain Bridge Run

I recently reached out to Nancy Ockrin, the race organizer of the NY/VT 5K Champlain Bridge Run coming up in May. I had a few questions to ask, but started with simply finding out if she’d be participating. “Not in this race” she informed me, “I will be too busy organizing and attending to the details.” However she offered to enlighten us a bit about the race and how she got started running. The following is Nancy's guest commentary for this week.


The snow is melted. The ground is firm enough to start thinking about getting out those waiting running shoes...or walking shoes. Either way, spring is surely here, as even the returning birds attest to in song. It's time to start, not just thinking about, but actually beginning a little exercising! And while you're at it, why not try your first 5K starting right at the Crown Point State Historic site? On Saturday, May 21st at 10 a.m., runners and fast walkers will be taking off - some for the first time. Register early (by May 1st) for the discounted price of $20 and a T-shirt, through either the LaChute Road Runners’ website, by downloading the race pdf and returning a snail mail entry, or online. Fair weather watchers can also register onsite race day starting at 8:30 a.m.. Discounts are available for children running with an adult.


I'm a member of the local Ticonderoga-based sponsoring LaChute Road Runners club, and have been helping direct this race since its inception. The idea for the race was birthed and inaugurated with the grand celebration of the bridge reopening back in May of 2012. 

The race continues to be on the third Saturday of May, but without actual bridge running anymore. The LaChute running club has laid out a safer, but still very scenic course through the historic site and DEC campground affording views of the bridge and both states, mapped out on the La hute site. The race takes off from The Samuel De Champlain Memorial Lighthouse and loops around the Crown Point DEC campground. Then the runners go under the bridge over to run through The Crown Point State Historic Site finishing up at the bluffs overlooking Lake Champlain and the French fort ruins.


There is quite a mix of folks attending each year. From an 80+ year old returning Montreal runner, to Girls on the Run groups, to local families running with their children, and even last minute visitors who see the signs and enter on race day... We have the gambit from serious competitive runners, to joggers, and also walkers appreciative of a nicely laid out course. There are prizes for overall fastest male and female as well as prizes in the different age categories: first, second and third place. Several local businesses donate prizes and local folks graciously continue to volunteer. If anyone wants to help be a part of this event we are always appreciative and please feel free to give a call at 518-597-3754.


My husband John and I have been runners on and off for many, many years now. In fact, for my 60th birthday I asked our children if they could all come home and run a race together with us. And home they came from Potsdam, Rochester, and Harrisburg. It wasn't the Bridge race though. I wish I could pull off directing and running a race at the same time, but it's just not going to happen, not in this lifetime anyway! The picture of our children and us is from The Pumpkin Challenge Run... an annual Saratoga fall race.

I credit my continued running to local running friends and enthusiasts George and Cam Brown from Ticonderoga. I had taken a good 10-year hiatus thinking I was done with running even though I loved and missed it. It just hurt too much no matter what shoes I donned. They kept saying things to me like," you can do this and you need to google Jeff Galloway from couch potato to 5K". After googling I decided to train and go for a half marathon, finding the schedules he laid out totally doable time wise. I started running again in 2009, did the Schroon Lake half that year, and haven't stopped running since. I am not a competitive runner by any means and simply do Galloway's non-injury run/walk method for the fun of it and to keep in some kind of shape. If I can walk/run at 60+ so can you, and I encourage everyone to take up this outdoor Adirondack sport. If you need help getting started, try starting in black fly season for increasing your speed. Lots of laughs! Rain, sleet, sun, or snow these two feet take me wherever I want to go! And for a touch of the poetic, let me finish with:

I'll do it in the mountains,

at the seashore, in the city or country...

Matters not to me...sneakers, boots, sandals, snowshoes...

or barefoot over grass whilst carrying tea...

whenever I can, I will run...

fast or slow or steady...

and sometimes all three...

smiling...sometimes only inwardly...

But nonetheless smiling

because there's a freedom in running I understand…

even when things hurt, and my body screams STOP...

I smile and continue on

because I know where I want to be going

and the only one who's gonna get there fast...

the only one who can take me there the way I wanna go,

on my own two little feet,

is me..."

- Nancy Ockrin


When not organizing or participating in a race, Nancy and her husband John operate The Stoney Lonesome B&B, a Civil War-era farmhouse located on 200 private acres deep within the Adirondacks offering all amenities, though completely off the grid. John also designs and builds solar electrical systems at his business Solar Electrical Solutions.

The Adirondacks Spring Into Action this week:

Top tips for 3 cool activities

Couch to ouch to 5k 

Chips to meat to dehydrated drinks

Paddling Q & A

Easy storage steps for winter gear

5 trails to reach your goal

2 wheels, countless routes

More Spring Birding in the Lake Champlain Region
Preview Farmers' Market at Ticonderoga