June 2017 - RUNNING & WALKING
Toga and Dacks Summer Races!
By Mona Caron
Saratoga Springs will be the place to be this June and July for road races. And, the Adirondacks will be the focus for a variety of distance events to suit a wide variety of runners.
The first annual “Dragon the Dads” Father’s Day 5K, Kid’s Mile, and “Dragon Dash” for the littlest racers will be held at Saratoga Spa State Park on Saturday, June 17. The 5K run/walk will include shirts for the first 125 runners to register, reusable tote goody bags, gift cards as prizes for the top male/female overall and in each age category. Additionally, local restaurant gift cards will be awarded to randomly drawn bib numbers at each mile marker!
The event kicks off at 9am and benefits the Greenfield Elementary School Home School Association, a nonprofit group of parents which provides cultural and educational enrichment. Checkout: finishright.com.
Celebrate the nation’s birthday and earn your backyard barbeque by running four miles on the Fourth of July. The 11th annual Firecracker 4 will be on Tuesday, July 4. Join 4,000 runners starting on Broadway in front of the Saratoga Springs City Center, and winding through the historic streets and neighborhoods, the course heads back to the finish line behind the City Center. This holiday race is one of the most motivational and fun events! Peppered throughout are rock bands, a fife and drum corps, plus friendly neighbors with music piped out on large speakers, plus refreshing water sprinklers and water stops. The festive nature of the race makes it Christmas in July with costumed, patriotic runners and spectators all dressed up in red, white and blue!
The finish area is a big party. After you enjoy some post-race refreshments, take a walk around to see vendors offering free samples, participate in Esperanto’s doughboy eating contest, and visit with friends. Once again, the race will have the Run Your Colors competition where the group or organization with the most registered runners win a $1,000 prize to be donated to a charity of their choice. For three years in a row, Rock Your Fitness of Malta has won, so join in the challenge. Visit: firecracker4.com.
On Sunday, July 9, Saratoga Spa State Park will host the Saratoga Springs “Strong to Serve” Half Marathon and 5K Run. Held entirely within the state park, you’ll wind your way on mostly paved paths and roads for 13.1 miles or 5K, with start/finish at the Peerless Pool. The half marathon also includes a popular two-person relay with legs of 6.6 and 6.5 miles. The ability to choose between the half, relay and 5K enables runners of all levels and abilities to participate. The post-race party and awards presentation has lots of food choices, music, kids’ activities – and the nearby pool! Race director Michael Amarillo presents the awards in a creative way with trivia and cool prizes.
Twenty percent of all proceeds support Strong to Serve for their coverage of six water stops and course marshaling duties. They’re a local non-profit organization that provides medicine, milk and grains for disabled orphans in Nicaragua. Learn more: saratogaspringshm.com.
For an almost trackside tour of the city’s beautiful neighborhoods, run the 21st annual Silks & Satins 5K on Saturday, July 22. It’s the Jeff Clark Memorial Race and benefits Special Olympics New York. In addition, Silks & Satins supports the Saratoga Race Course backstretch workers with a donation box for collecting gently used shirts. Flat and fast, the 5K starts and finishes at Fasig-Tipton Pavilion on East Avenue.
With an early start at 8am, followed by the awards ceremony at 9am, you can enjoy the rest of your day at the Saratoga Race Course – which just opened for the season. There’s team competition for male/female/coed, so sign-up five of your family, friends and running partners. Go to: silksandsatins5K.com.
With the summer mileage buildup, you’ll be prepared to run longer in August, so you can plan a day or weekend trip to one of these three lakeside races. They’re also great tune-up races for fall marathons.
Run on the beautiful shores of Lake George at the ninth annual Camp Chingachgook Challenge Half Marathon & 10K on Saturday, August 12. The half marathon starts at the Lake George Elementary School and runs north on the east side of the lake for the finish at YMCA Camp Chingachgook. Free shuttle buses bring you and your family and friends back to your car after the race. The 10K, based at the camp, and runs out-and-back along the east side of the lake. Rolling hills, beautiful scenery make this a must-do event.
After you finish, enjoy a delicious barbeque and buffet courtesy of YMCA Camp Chingachgook. As a previous participant I would agree with the designation as the “Best post-race meal ever; hotdogs, chicken, baked beans, coleslaw, pasta salad, watermelon.” Post-race, all guests will be able to swim in the lake and have access to Chingachgook’s facilities, including changing rooms and showers. Visit: lakegeorgehalfmarathon.com.
On Sunday, August 20, the Tour de Force Half Marathon, 10K and 5K, will start with an out-and-back course at Mooney Bay Marina in Plattsburgh. The scenic, flat run along Lake Champlain will have mile markers along the entire course for all three distances. This is a well-supported race with course marshals at every turning point and refreshment stops along the way. The half marathon includes a handcycle/pushrim category. There’s also a one-mile fun run/walk.
The Tour De Force Charity was started in 2002 by two NYC detectives to raise money for the victims of the September 2001 terrorist attacks. It started as an annual bike ride from NYC to Boston or vice versa to raise money for police officer’s families who are killed in the line of duty. The running races were added to increase awareness and fundraising. The 2017 Tour De Force Run will be dedicated to NYPD officers Liu and Ramos and NYS Trooper Shawn Snow. Checkout: adirondackcoastevents.com.
Finally, for a truly one-of-a-kind distance, sign up for the 18.12 Challenge & Half Marathon on Sunday, August 27. Known as America’s “second war for independence,” the War of 1812 was an American victory over British forces in America and Canada. The war began over Native American conflicts in the Northwest Territory, with the British encouraging these conflicts. Since two of the battles were fought at Sackets Harbor, this race commemorates the War of 1812, the military presence and history of the region.
The 18.12 and 13.1-mile road races start at Immaculate Central High School in Watertown and end on the historic 1812 Battlefield in Sackets Harbor – overlooking spectacular Lake Ontario. Both routes are fairly flat with some rolling hills. With a net elevation loss and a lot of support, this is terrific goal race or a great long run to prepare for a fall marathon. Go to: 1812challenge.com.
There’s a distance for every runner and great summer venues for a race weekend getaway. Sign up for one or all!