May 2016 - RUNNING & WALKING
Jubilant Races for Everyone
By Jennifer Ferriss
What do mud pits, parades, yoga, obstacles, a dip in the lake, and a celebration with thousands of women with their cheer squads have in common? They are all part of this region’s jubilant late spring to early summer races. These inclusive family friendly events get the body, mind, and spirit off on the right foot. There’s truly something for everyone – spectators included.
In May, the Adirondack Race Management team is offering two completely different races in the city of Glens Falls. On Saturday, May 28 the Glens Falls Urban Assault 3.5-mile obstacle race and on Monday, May 30 the Glens Falls Memorial Mile. What they both have in common is a challenging course and spectators that line the streets ready to cheer you to the finish.
The Glens Falls Urban Assault starts and ends on Glen Street, the main thoroughfare in downtown Glens Falls, taking a side step through and around Crandall Park. Participants will encounter 20 challenges including a ropes courses, stairs, slip-n-slide and climbing walls. This is a fun, family-friendly event with lots of smiling faces and encouraging volunteers along the way. Awards will be given for the best individual and team costumes. After the race, check out the downtown restaurants and businesses, or enjoy a stroll or picnic in Crandall Park or City Park. A portion of race proceeds benefit the Crandall Park Beautification Committee.
No Memorial Day parade would be complete without a one-mile race heading down the route before the Grand Marshall. The Glens Falls Memorial Mile is a flat, fast mile with a slight descent towards the finish at Crandall Park. See how fast you can run and give the spectators something to cheer for as they sip their morning coffee waiting for the post-run parade. All proceeds go to local veterans organizations. (adkracemgmt.com)
Now in its fifth year, the Prevention Council of Saratoga’s Tuff eNuff 5K Obstacle Course Challenge will be held on Saturday, June 4 in Saratoga Springs on the grounds of the local BOCES campus. The location is well suited, for the muddy course is designed and built by the heavy equipment students, who get to practice using bulldozers and backhoes in a surreal world setting.
The teen/adult 5K and kids’ one-mile obstacle courses are never the same, but what remains constant is mud and fun! Spectators can get close to the action to encourage runners, and to capture a photo as the runners plunge into muddy waters, and emerge with or without the shoes and socks they started with at the beginning of the race. Costumes and teams are encouraged and rewarded; this year a photobooth will be available for post-race memories. The proceeds allow the Prevention Council to continue their mission to help youth navigate life’s challenges. (preventioncouncil.org)
A classic Capital Region race and voted “One of the Seven Must Do 5Ks in the US” by Competitor magazine, the 38th annual Freihofer’s Run for Women 5K in Albany will be held on Saturday, June 4. A Health and Fitness Expo will run in conjunction with packet pickup at the Empire State Plaza; spectators, volunteers and runners are all welcome and admission is free. New this year is the Freihofer’s Charitable Partners Program which replaces the Freihofer’s Community Walk. Volunteers who sign up can get donations pledged for the hours they volunteer or non-profits can sign up as a group of 10-plus or 15-plus and earn donations. It will also give runners the flexibility to choose how to donate either during registration or through an online portal at freihofersrun.com/cwportal.
If you were unable to check out the new course last year, the race will once again start in front of Albany City Hall. The new course uses more of Washington Park and has a wider start line for a smoother flow at the beginning. The traditional post-race refreshments and festivities will be located in East Capitol Park, in front of the NYS Capitol, where you will be able to enjoy the entertainment on the grass or in the grandstands. (freihofersrun.com)
The Whipple City 5K & 10K features a new this year 10K, which will launch Saturday’s events for the race’s namesake festival in Greenwich on Saturday, June 11. Both races feature an out and back course through the historic village, with tree lined streets and the outskirts rural landscape in Washington County. There’s also a free post-race kids’ fun run. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Greater Greenwich Chamber of Commerce Scholarship at the Greenwich Central School District, which serves as the start and finish for the event.
The annual Whipple City Festival celebrates the community of Greenwich, which was incorporated in 1809, and originally named after Job Whipple. Historical reenactors, artisans, musicians and local food vendors will entertain and satiate runners after the race. If you can’t wait to join the festivities early Saturday, pre-registered runners can pick up their packets after the Fairy Tales themed parade on Friday in the Greater Greenwich Chamber of Commerce’s booth in Mowry Park. (greenwichchamber.org)
It may be destiny or fate that draws you to the second annual Good Karma 5K Run/Walk on Sunday, June 12 at The Crossings in Colonie. A pre-race yoga practice will prepare your mind and body for this fast and flat course throughout the park. After your run, cool down with a traditional Indian folk dance, enjoy some Indian street food, and relax while an artist designs and paints an intricate henna tattoo on your hand or arm.
Your good intent will be well appreciated by less privileged children in rural India. The proceeds support AIM for Seva (aimforseva.org), which started over 10 years ago and has provided safe housing, clothes and food for children near well-established schools. (goodkarma5k.eventbrite.com)
A mainstay in the Lake George region is the Adirondack Distance Run. This year the Adirondack Runners will be celebrating the 40th running of this event on Sunday, June 26 starting at the Lake George Firehouse. This point to point run with rolling hills along scenic Lake George ends 10 miles up NY Route 9N in Bolton Landing. Bus transportation will be provided so that you don’t have to spot cars.
A big attraction is Lake George, and getting to take a swim or dip after the run at the beach in Rogers Park, while waiting for the award ceremony at 10am. Awards are unique for this event, for you can win first place just for being your age, and every 40th runner will also win a special prize! New this year, top male and female seniors, veterans and masters will be recognized. (adirondackrunners.org)
By late spring, most runners have established a physical foundation that will allow growth the rest of the running season. Switch up your routine and enjoy a race where you can test your strength and stamina in an obstacle course, pace yourself on a hilly run to a swim finish, or see how fast you can run a mile or 5K. Make sure you smile for the camera because the courses will be lined with spectators and volunteers that are there support your experience!
Jennifer Ferriss (email@example.com) of Saratoga Springs leads an active outdoor lifestyle. Most days she commutes to her librarian gig on her1980’s Japanese Bianchi, with a backpack that carries more than meets the eye. Always on the search for a new adventure, she will meet her match with endurance hikes in the region and hopefully her second trail marathon.