2015 DEC - Running & Walking
Holiday and Winter Races
By Mona Caron
The holiday season is upon us! Time for hot chocolate, Christmas music and the season of giving. In this publication, it really means it’s time for holiday and winter themed races to get you excited and outside this season. Register for some or all of these races to celebrate the holidays and to bring in 2016!
Kick-off the post-turkey holiday season at the 4-Mile Reindeer Run and Reindeer Run, Jr. on Sunday, December 6 at SUNY Adirondack in Queensbury. This year’s four-mile run features a new course, starting and ending on the college campus, and in reverse of previous years’ races. All roads are open, but they will have course marshals at all corners and side roads. The course is mostly flat with minimal traffic so it’s perfect for families.
The first 125 entrants to the four-miler receive souvenir long-sleeve T-shirts. Following the race is the Reindeer Run, Jr., which is a one-mile fun run for children 12 and under. All proceeds benefit Cindy’s Comfort Camp, a free weekend overnight camp for children ages 6-17, who have experienced the death or serious illness of a parent or sibling. Register at active.com or for more info, go to adirondacksunners.org.
Next up is the 19th annual Holiday Classic 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, December 19 at Columbia-Greene Community College in Hudson. The course is an out and back on quiet Columbia County country roads with a fast downhill finish. Race director Phil Carducci adds, “Runners love the momentum they get on the downhill.” The Rip Van Winkle Amateur Radio Society volunteers assist with course marshalling.
Instead of T-shirts, the first 150 registrants will receive running gloves. Refreshments and door prizes, such as restaurant certificates and baked goods, will be handed out after the race. Participants can shower in the college’s locker rooms before moving on with their day. Register online and save at active.com.
Close out 2015 with the 18th annual First Night Saratoga 5K Run in Saratoga Springs on Thursday, December 31. Based at Skidmore College athletic complex, this is a popular event and it’s limited to 1,500 runners. The race sells out early and there’s no day of race registration so get entered soon. Start and finish on the beautiful campus with a gradual uphill in the first three-quarters of a mile. The course exits the campus at Clinton Avenue and continues to Greenfield Avenue, continuing up North Broadway and back to campus. It’s a moderately challenging course with a few hills and downgrades.
Everyone gets bling at the end with finishing medals and your race entry includes a cotton long-sleeve shirt for “after race comfort.” With a 5:30pm start time, you can run, socialize with post-race food (including pizza), drinks and awards indoors in the gym, and have plenty of time for your New Year’s plans or at First Night Saratoga – celebrating its 20th anniversary! If you’re staying out, you can even take a shower and change in the locker room. If you register for both the race and First Night at the same time, you’ll save $5.To register or for more info, visit saratoga-arts.org.
The 40th annual HMRRC Hangover Half-Marathon and Bill Hogan 3.5-Mile Run/Walk is on Friday, January 1 at the Physical Education building at University of Albany, so start the New Year right with a long run! After a late night of revelry, you can sleep in and run the half-marathon or 3.5-mile run/walk because these races start at noon. The races are the second of a five-part Winter Series hosted by the Hudson-Mohawk Road Runners Club that runs from mid-December 13 to January 31. The races are held within the university campus and Harriman State Office complex roads on mostly flat roads. Last year’s 3.5-mile race had a record turnout with almost 300 runners, while the half-marathon typically gets 300 runners as well.
Members of HMRRC race for free while non-members pay a nominal $5 – register day of race and all are welcome. HMRRC usually has a great turnout of volunteers and course marshals who will offer their support but don’t expect big crowds lining the course. The races are not chip timed, and there are no race T-shirts, however it’s a great gathering of the Capital Region running community. For more info, go to hmrrc.com.
On Saturday, January 9, the Fulmont Roadrunners will be hosting their 30th annual Winter Wimp Foot Race at the Hagaman Fire House in Hagaman, to be held “snow or shine!” The village is located just northeast of Amsterdam, this Montgomery County race offers two distances – 4.4 miles or the 2.2 “wimp out” – perfect for friends or family who want to run different distances.
A portion of the entry fee goes to the FMRRC’s James R. Dern Memorial Scholarship Fund. A special race souvenir is guaranteed to the first 150 registered runners. Hot and cold refreshments will be served for after your run. For details, visit fmrrc.org.
The Adirondack Runners’ Polar Cap 4-Mile Run will be Saturday, February 6 at the Sacred Heart Parish Hall in the village of Lake George. The Polar Cap course begins and ends on West Brook Road (near Beach Road) in Lake George, and kicks off the Lake George Winter Carnival. Warm refreshments, including soup, hot chocolate, coffee and baked goods, are served after the race.
Race organizers ask participants to bring a non-perishable food item for the Sacred Heart Food Pantry and proceeds benefit the Northern Haiti Sustainability Initiative. Long-sleeve cotton shirts are guaranteed for the first 200 registered runners or walkers. For more info go to: adirondackrunners.org.
So keep running OUTSIDE (including some snowshoe races), and register for a winter race that celebrates the holidays and helps you EXPERIENCE the wild, magical winter!