September 2017 - RUNNING & WALKING
Peak Foliage, Peak Performance!
By Mona Caron
As summer starts to wane, we have foliage and race performances at their peak! Autumn always delivers colorful leaves, crisp apples, pumpkins, fun festivals, and some great racing opportunities to take advantage of your summer running fitness.
On Saturday, October 7, you’ll have your choice of beer, good causes, apples and gift certificates. Starting with the third annual Oktoberfest 5K at Wolff’s Biergarten in Albany, sign up and you’ll receive a commemorative beer stein and a free beer for those 21 and over, refreshments, and free admission to the North Albany Oktoberfest (11am-7pm, $20 value). The course is a flat, out and back on North Pearl and Broadway. It’s a fun atmosphere so gather your family and friends! A portion of proceeds will go to Ronald McDonald House of the Capital Region, Center for Disability Services and Epilepsy Foundation of Northeastern New York. (oktoberfestalbany5k.com)
In downtown Albany, another fall classic is the 23rd annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K Run at the Empire State Plaza. Starting and finishing at the NYS Museum, the course takes runners to beautiful Washington Park and back. Join local honorary chair, Benita Zahn of WNYT NewsChannel 13, who encourages you to sign up today to support breast cancer research, and screening and treatment of breast cancer in upstate New York and nationally. If you can’t run, participate by registering for the Two-Mile Family Walk, Kids for the Cure Dash, or Sleep in for the Cure. To save $5 off registration, use code “ADKMAG2017” through Sept. 29. (komenupstateny.org)
The 11th annual Falling Leaves 5K Run & Fun Run at William Kelley Park in Ballston Spa is for runners and walkers alike. Enjoy the scenic course through historic and charming village of Ballston Spa. Afterwards, there are great drawings where 5Kers can win gift certificates to Fleet Feet Sports, local restaurants and local businesses. The first 200 to register will receive a long sleeve technical shirt. The run benefits good, local causes including the Veterans & Community Housing Coalition, Vet House, and Guardian House for Homeless Veterans. (ballstonspaumchurch.org)
Also on October 7, the 23rd annual Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Rotary Apple Run 5K is a long-time staple of the fall road racing calendar. The run is a great community event enjoyed by all levels of runners and walkers. It’s a fast and flat certified 5K loop starting and finishing at O’Rourke Middle School in Burnt Hills. Goodie bags and shirts are guaranteed to the first 300 registrants. There is also a Kids’ Mile Fun Run directly after the race to let kids aged 4-8 participate and win prizes too. The run benefits programs of the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Rotary. (zippyreg.com)
On Sunday, October 8, the ninth annual Race Away Stigma 5K Race & Fun Walk at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy will help “race away” the stigma that surrounds mental illness. Mental health issues affect more than one in every five Americans every year. The college years are the most common ages for mental health concerns to arise with depression and anxiety being increasingly common among students. HVCC’s Project Aware and the Equinox Insight Program recognize that the stigma associated with mental health can prevent students from seeking the help they need. The 5K race and fun walk starts and finishes at the HVCC Student Pavilion, runners will run through the adjacent tree-lined housing neighborhood, and finish back on campus. It’s a fast, flat course that’s perfect for runners and walkers of all abilities. There will be overall and age group awards and great raffles, so register early for a T-shirt while they last. (hvcc.edu/cct/race)
The following weekend, pumpkins will make their debut at the 17th annual Great Pumpkin Challenge 5K & 10K Run/Walk on Saturday, October 14 at the Columbia Pavilion in Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs. The 5K and 10K races start simultaneously at the Columbia Pavilion, featuring relatively flat, fast and paved courses – with a few gentle hills on the 10K. The Great Pumpkin Challenge is limited to 2,000 registrants and there’s no day of race entry, so signup soon. Register by October 1 to receive a long-sleeve, moisture-wicking shirt, and free raffle tickets for prizes. The Kids’ Fun Run follows the races, along with a pumpkin decorating contest, costume contest, and goodie bags for the kids. Enjoy the community feel and homemade treats after the race. Proceeds benefit Saratoga Bridges who provides quality professional services to people with developmental and intellectual disabilities and their families. (saratogabridges.org)
Finally, there’s the Monster Scramble 5K Run/Walk, 10K Run and 1-Mile Trick or Treat Walk, also on October 14. It’s a Halloween-themed, chip-timed run through spooky Liberty Ridge Farm in Schaghticoke. It’s sure to make your heart and feet race. If running isn’t your speed, you can stroll along the one-mile trick or treat walk route, collecting Halloween goodies along the way. All participants are encouraged to dress up because prizes are awarded for best adult, child and group costumes. The first 750 runners to preregister receive a free Monster Scramble commemorative T-shirt and finishing medal. Proceeds benefit the National MS Society Upstate New York Chapter. (nationalmssociety.org)
Fall may be the best time of year for racing and training, so enjoy the cooler weather to crush your PR or try a new race. Make the most of it!