February 2017 - RUNNING & WALKING
Get Set for Spring Races!
By Mona Caron
Consider registering for a challenging race unique to you. Maybe something uncommon that would require you to start or ramp up your running now? A stair climb, an early season half marathon or a 5K?
On Saturday, February 25, don’t take the elevator! Sign up for the 29th annual Cystic Fibrosis Stair Climb in the tallest building in Albany, the Corning Tower. Climbers go up 42 floors or 809 steps as either an individual, first responder, or as part of a four-person relay team. Whether climbing to improve your time, or to simply cross the finish line, this event is a great way to spend the day with family, friends or coworkers – and “Adding Tomorrows” for people with Cystic Fibrosis. Fundraising helps fund research for treatments and a cure, provide people with the disease the opportunity to lead full, productive lives, and ensure access to high-quality, specialized care.
Participant categories include: individuals; relay teams of four people who each climb one-quarter of the way up tagging off in a relay fashion; first responder climber individual wearing full gear; and first responder relay team of four responders who each climb one-quarter of the way in relay fashion. To sign up, the minimum pledge requirement of $150 is due on or before the day. For more info, go to cff.org/albanyclimb.
On Saturday, March 18, the 37th annual Doc Lopez Run for Health: Half Marathon, 5K and 1M Walk. The half marathon starts in Keene Valley at the Keene Valley Lodge and runs on NY Route 73 to Elizabethtown. Bus transportation is provided at Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School in Elizabethtown to the start area. The half marathon starts with a flat section of nearly two-and-a-half miles – ideal for warming up. The next section is a gradual uphill for nearly three miles followed by a gradual downhill of almost seven miles to the finish. You’ll have to train for this as you would for any half, but what a rewarding second half of the course! If you like bling, finishers receive a medal.
The 5K follows at 10:30am with and starts and finishes at the school. The course is flat with a few short inclines. A one-mile walk is also at the school so there’s something for everyone. There will be a post-race celebration with food and beverages, including chili in the school gymnasium for all runners and volunteers. Food is available for family and friends with a voluntary cash donation. The race benefits the University of Vermont Health Network Elizabethtown Community Hospital. Visit doclopezrun.com.
Join the Schenectady Firefighters on Saturday, March 25 at the eighth annual Run 4 Your Life 5K in Schenectady’s Central Park. The Schenectady Firefighters Cancer Foundation has taken the reigns for this race and new race director Brendon Davis is looking forward to continuing the tradition set by longtime director and founder Brian Demarest.
The Run 4 Your Life loop course with a mix of flats and hills on roads through Central Park and a short section on city streets. This year, they have discontinued the chili festival in favor of focusing on the event and raising funds. Sign up as an individual or on a team. For more info, go to neverfightalone.org.
Nearly a month later, the third annual Lake George “Strong To Serve” Half Marathon & 5K Run/Walk takes place on Sunday, April 23 in Lake George. Runners and walkers can enjoy the beauty and peace of the lake before the summer crowds converge into the village. Fort William Henry Resort serves as race start and finish. Half marathoners will run north along the west side of scenic Lake George on NY Route 9N to Diamond Point, before heading back to the village of Lake George.
All runners are treated to technical shirts for half marathoners, cotton T-shirts for the 5K; finisher medals for half marathoners, pint glasses to overall and age-group winners, and post-race refreshments. Twenty percent of all entry fees go directly to support Strong to Serve, whose mission is to empower and motivate individuals to engage in athletic activities as a means to raise funds for orphan children in the developing world. Volunteers from Strong to Serve man waters stops and provide course marshals on race day.
The Lake George Half Marathon is presented by 3C Race Productions – the same team behind the New England Half Marathon Tour featuring the popular Saratoga Springs “Strong To Serve” Half Marathon & 5K Run/Walk, Wolf Hollow Half Marathon (N.H.), Fall River Half Marathon (Mass.) and many more. Visit lakegeorgehm.com.
Further up into North Country is the eighth annual Plattsburgh Half Marathon, Half Marathon Relay & 10K on Sunday, May 7. The scenic course begins at the Oval/City Recreation Center and runs through downtown Plattsburgh. You can register for the half on your own or on a two-person team with each runner completing 6.55 miles or the slightly shorter 10K option.
Your race bib will get you admittance into the after-party with food, music, awards, massage, and a silent auction at the recreation center immediately following the race. A $5 after-party entry fee will be charged for non-runners for the auction and food and drinks. All proceeds go to a good cause to support Team Fox for Parkinson’s Research. Go to plattsburghhalfmarathon.com.
The running calendar will start to fill up, so register now for these great early spring events. Strong summer running starts with winter training!