March 2016 - RUNNING & WALKING
Spring Running Races!
By Mona Caron
Spring is on its way. Late March and early April races symbolize the beginning of the outdoor racing season. Three weekends in a row offer a variety of distances and locations that you can start training for now.
The 7th annual Schenectady Firefighter’s Run 4 Your Life 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, March 26, starts and finishes in Schenectady’s Central Park. The event benefits the American Heart Association and it was created by race director and firefighter Brian Demarest to inspire heart health awareness, especially within the firefighting community – where almost half of all firefighter deaths are cardiac-related. Brian feels he can promote cardiovascular health by running, and lead by example.
Runners and walkers can warm up after their race with a free entry to the Chowderfest Charity Cookoff inside the park’s pavilion, and spectators and families can partake for a small fee. (schenectadyfirefightersrun4yourlife.jigsy.com)
On March 26, Saratoga Springs will hold its second annual Blue Needs You 8K Run, created after the extremely cold 2013-14 winter experienced by the Saratoga Springs Code Blue Emergency Shelter. Code Blue was created to help the homeless citizens of Saratoga Springs in need of shelter in extremely frigid temperatures. Extreme winter weather is defined as 12 inches of snow or more and temperature of 20 degrees or less, including wind chill factor.
Proceeds go toward the future growth of this necessary shelter. Saratoga’s 8K road race starts at High Rock Park, and rolls its way through the neighborhood streets of the East Side, with an out and back on the Spring Run Trail. The course is front-loaded with a few challenging hills, then it levels off with more than 5K remaining on the scenic route. A 400-meter Kids Fun Run will start before the 8K. (codeblueneedsyou.org)
Also on March 26, the 22nd annual Rabbit Ramble 4-Mile Run & 2-Mile Walk, will be at Guilderland High School in Guilderland Center. The certified course is flat, fast and off the main roads. All runners receive a race T-shirt, and new this year, those registered January 20, receive a pair of running gloves. Race director Phil Carducci hopes age group runners stay for the custom rabbit medals to be handed out at the awards ceremony.
Post-race perks include live music, door prizes and refreshments. Proceeds benefit the Altamont Food Pantry, and the Helderberg Running Club Junior Olympic team, to help with student travel costs and fees. (active.com)
On Saturday, April 2, the 37th annual April Fool’s 5K & 10K Races at Salem High School in historic Salem. Runners can enjoy a peaceful, rural setting in Washington County. The 5K and 10K courses are not only scenic but challenging. Runners will enjoy the gentle climb in the 5K, with a relatively flat stretch in the middle, and a small hill toward the end. The 10K is a scenic out-and-back course.
Prior to the races, there’s a 1-Mile Children’s Run for ages 14 and under. All race entrants receive an April Fool’s T-shirt. Co-sponsored by the Salem Rotary Club and The Mind’s Eye, the high school literary magazine, proceeds help support the rotary’s student exchange program and the magazine’s student activities. (aprilfoolsrace.com)
For something completely different, on April 2, is the inaugural West Mountain 5K Countryman Challenge Obstacle Run at West Mountain in Glens Falls. This new race will be an on-snow mountain race with snow obstacles that will start near the Main Lodge at 4pm.
Race fees include a T-shirt and BBQ dinner with music from Audio Stars’ J Yager and Bobbie van Detta and Bon Fire. A shorter course with obstacles on the Bunny Hill will be free for kids. (westmtn.net)
Try the fourth annual Bacon Hill Bonanza 5K Race/Walk & 10K Race on Saturday, April 9. It starts at the historic Bacon Hill Reformed Church, north of Schuylerville (and just east of Saratoga Springs), and proceeds benefit steeple repairs and Hudson Crossing Park. Age-group winners receive homemade pies!
The sanctioned course winds through some beautiful farm country in northeastern Saratoga County, which includes dirt-road sections. The first 300 registered receive a performance shirt. There’s also a Kids’1-Mile Fun Run. (baconhillbonanza.com)
Kick-start your spring training by registering for a few early season races and set yourself up for a successful year!