May 2017 - RUNNING & WALKING
June 5K Warmups with a Grand Finale
By Laura Clark
Traditionally considered an ideal beginners event, a well-constructed 5K can be so much more. Its precise mile markers form the basis for a serious speed or tempo workout, not to mention the opportunity to practice strategies useful in your target event. On the less serious side, it offers a shake-down run with family and friends. and a reminder that not every race needs to be taken so seriously. This month we have a multitude of low-key options that can be approached as is or combined in a training plan peaking with the Adirondack Distance Run 10-miler.
A springtime apple run? Enter the 20th annual Charlton Heritage 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, June 3, and savor your finisher’s slice of apple pie! You will have earned it after you have paid your dues on the town’s scenic rolling hills and backcountry roads. According to race director Bill Herkenham, the 5K started as a fun family event to complement Founder’s Day Weekend, and has since grown to a field of 500 athletes. It is all about the athletes, with an extra donation going to the school booster club for each track participant, and a special place for all Ainsley’s Angels riders and pushers – enabling those who can’t run to experience the thrill of the wind in their face. (charlton5k.org)
What is it about kids and mud? What better way to get the kids out of the house than at the Tuff eNuff 5K Obstacle Challenge also on June 3. There is a Kids’ 1M Fun Run for the younger set and three 5K waves for teens and adults. The best thing about this race is that it is totally affordable, a consideration for families who cannot swing the heftier entry fees of most obstacle courses. Launching from the BOCES Campus in Saratoga Springs, the course is configured differently each year, constructed by students sitting proudly atop their heavy equipment. Wear trashable sneakers or do as the kids like to do and go natural. Team costumes are encouraged, just make sure you snap-before-and-after photos! Let technology speak for itself by visiting preventioncouncil.org to screen the mud-encrusted videos. (finishright.com)
If mud lacks appeal, test your prowess at the eighth annual Rail Trail to the Footbridge 5K Race/Walk & 1K Kids’ Fun Run in Granville, benefitting local children’s organizations, also on June 3. Travel the scenic, relatively flat Delaware and Hudson Rail Trail whose route played a key role in Granville’s slate industry. Explore woods, farmer’s fields and village streets, and end with a triumphant finish over the 140-foot pedestrian footbridge that crosses the Mettowee River. Then learn about the topography you have just traversed at the Slate Valley Museum, with free admission to all runners. Race director Kerri Thomas warns that since “there are a few rocks in places, strollers, though allowed, may find it difficult because of the gravel.” On display is the pride the locals take in their race with maple syrup and hand-etched slate trivets for winners. (railtrailtothefootbridge5K.com)
Celebrate an early Flag Day on June 10 with a light-hearted romp through history at the Kinderhook Bank OK-5K. Our eighth president, Martin Van Buren, or Old Kinderhook as he was nicknamed, adopted the village as his home turf and it is believed the “OK” originated as a tagline for his 1840 reelection campaign. Visit the website for a course video and a preview of other historical figures you might encounter en route like Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman. There is a 1-Mile Kids’ Run as well as a library-sponsored 50 & 100-yard dash Reading Ramble for kids under six where every participant is rewarded with a book to kick off their summer reading adventures. The awards table is a collection of unique pottery created by the Ichabod Crane High School Art Club for runners to choose their prize. Finally, the 5K has been selected as a 2017 USATF Adirondack Grand Prix event. (ok5krace.com)
Honor the memory of Liza Warner and Nikki Hart, victims of domestic violence at the Run for Help 5K Run/Walk at the Goff Middle School in East Greenbush on Sunday, June 11. Expect about 300 athletes to join you on the mostly flat countryside trek. Additionally, there will be a Youth Mile and a 50-yard dash. And now both parents can run as there will be secure babysitting available, a feature not often found. Proceeds benefit the Unity House Domestic Violence Program and the Nikki Hart Children’s’ Memorial Fund. (zippyreg.com)
For a family-friendly event head over to The Crossings of Colonie and its USATF certified course for the third annual Good Karma 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, June 17. Not only are you and your kids safe on the park’s flat traffic-free paths, but you will be enjoying a mini-excursion to India, with a yoga warmup and post-race Indian street food, henna tattoos, music and folk dances. This unique cultural experience has proven so popular that in its second year the race doubled in size and is hoping to top 400 participants. New this year is a free Half-Mile Kids’ Fun Run. Hosted by the Tri-City India Association, and co-race directed by Adirondack Sports’ Mona Kulkarni Caron, proceeds benefit AIM for Seva which builds student homes close to public schools in rural India. (triciany.org)
Weave through the rich historical heritage of Greenwich at the Whipple City 5K & 10K on June 17. Originally dubbed Whipple City after its founder, Job Whipple, the Washington County town became a prominent stop on the Underground Railroad, one of the final stops before crossing the Canadian border. A musket round sends you on an out-and-back route with a few hills to keep you honest. Afterwards, enjoy musical entertainment, food and brews, horse-drawn wagon rides, re-enactors from major wars and various kids’ activities. Proceeds benefit the Greenwich Scholarship Fund. (greenwichchamber.org)
On Sunday, June 25 join Move & Groove 5K at the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs, and support their children’s programming. New this year are cash prizes for top three male and female overall – an added bonus to encourage a competitive field. Adding to the fun will be a $50 prize for the best male and female dance outfits. Or, register as a virtual runner and complete your 3.1 miles at a time/place convenient to you. Race director Jessica Munson is excited about the course with its different approach to the usual Saratoga Spa State Park warming hut 5K route. Runners will cruise the flat asphalt trail behind the museum, and make the out-and-back turnaround at the Saratoga Auto Museum – a nice way to greet your friends coming and going. While the museum will be closed race day for a private affair, participants will receive a free entry so they can tour the exhibits at a later date. (zippyreg.com)
Get your speed down at these 5Ks and you will be ready to pour it on at the 41st annual Adirondack Distance Run 10-miler on June 25. Experience one of the few local opportunities at this endangered distance as you cruise ten miles of rolling hills along the scenic route from the village of Lake George to Bolton Landing. No more groaning if you are at the upper end of your age group as there is an award for EVERY individual age, from the youngest to the oldest entrant. This Adirondack Runners event is also the USATF Adirondack 10-Mile Championship. Round up non-running friends to bring a picnic lunch to the finish, and you can all get a head start on the July beach season at Veterans Memorial Park in Bolton Landing! (adirondackrunners.org)
Laura Clark (email@example.com) of Saratoga Springs is an avid trail runner, ultramarathoner, snowshoer and cross-country skier. She is a children’s librarian at the Saratoga Springs Public Library.