October 2017 - RUNNING & WALKING
Build Your Own Turkey Sandwich
By Laura Clark
While the running community tends to equate the month of November with turkey trots, there are a multitude of other races on board that will prepare you to ace your favorite holiday race. And with Thanksgiving weighing in as the heftiest racing date in the country, there is good reason to prepare. But as everyone knows, there is a lot more to a sandwich than the meat. Build the first layer of your masterpiece around the Veterans Day holiday. Whether you choose to visit a military cemetery, attend a ceremony topped by your own personal reflective jaunt, or join an organized race, do honor those who made your participation possible.
We start off with the sixth annual Revolutionary Run for Veterans 5K on November 4, directed by the Firecracker 4 founders, Peter Goutos and Bob Vanderminden. This race through history begins at Schuylerville’s Fort Hardy Park and traces a mostly flat route along the Champlain Canal tow path to Hudson Crossing Park. The course pinpoints the 1777 location where General Burgoyne lashed together a floating “Bridge of Boats” to engage in the Battles of Saratoga, the turning point of the Revolution. All proceeds are donated to the Saratoga County Veterans Trust and Agency Fund. As Peter Goutos so aptly expresses it, “We run the path that leads us to freedom, but moreover honor all who fought and died in the cause of this nation.” (finishright.com)
On Friday morning, November 10, attend the 10th annual Shenendehowa Veterans Day Dash 5K on a flat course circling the school campus. You can anticipate a traffic-free experience with roads monitored by school security, a welcome perk for younger runners who will be out there supporting the Shen Track Booster Club and Clifton Park Track Club. Time your arrival for the ceremony to honor our veterans that will take place between the 9am kids’ run and the 5K, and be sure and purchase a flag to line the course, with proceeds from sales donated to STRIDE Adaptive Sports. Veterans race for free. (shenrunners.com)
On the calendar date itself, Saturday, November 11, sign up for Strides Against Sarcoma 3.5-Mile Trail Race on Queensbury’s Rush Pond Trails. Expect a fairly easy ride on a trail friendly to all skill levels. While the event isn’t specifically targeted towards veterans, Agent Orange exposure has been documented as causing sarcoma, so any support you can give will be benefitting them as well. The race is expertly managed by Heidi and Bob Underwood, accomplished athletes themselves. (underdogracetiming.com)
For the bottom bread layer, don’t miss the opportunity to sample the hearty MVP Health Care Stockade-athon 15K in Schenectady on Sunday, November 12. Reference our September issue for more details or visit stockadeathon.com.
Or test your legs out on the classic 5K turkey trot distance at Girls on the Run 5K on Saturday, November 18. Based from the Corning Preserve’s Boat Launch, the course is a flat out and back north, following the Hudson River. The out and back is especially motivational for the girls as they can cheer for their teammates both coming and going. There are plenty of Superhero Sweepers to make sure all cross the finish line safely and successfully. This is less of a competitive event as an encouraging, feel-good experience – perfect for kids and first-timers. Under 16-year-olds receive a $5 discount. (gotrcr.org)
And now, drumstick roll please… The meat of the sandwich! Turkeys have apparently hired the right public relations person as you don’t have to travel far to locate a nearby trot, leaving more time for the main family and friends dinner event, not to mention the array of tempting sides. On Thanksgiving Day, November 23, choose from a variety on the table.
If guilt-free eating is your main motivation, consider the 70th running of the Troy Turkey Trot, with their 5K, 10K, Grade School Mile and Turkey Walk – one of the few Thanksgiving events to feature a 10K. The popular 5K ensures a safe start with color-coded starting area. Troy turkeys know their stuff and can justifiably puff out their iridescent feathers as they boast about hosting the 11th largest trot in the nation and as well as the 12th oldest race in the country. This year, race director Patrick Lynskey is justifiably proud of the more-evenly distributed awards format, which includes age-graded monetary prizes. A costume contest for 5K participants with prizes awarded for “Best Thanksgiving Day Costume” and “Best Non-Thanksgiving Costume” awaits you. There are also more than 240 age-group and family team awards. (troyturkeytrot.com)
Hunting for an extra helping 5K with more bang for the buck? Choose Saratoga’s 16th annual Christopher Dailey 5K Turkey Trot, which tackles the gentle hills around Skidmore College, finishing with a dessert downhill back onto Broadway. Turkeys travel in mixed-aged flocks with youngsters in tow, and this is one of the few races with fair age group divisions for that set, beginning with 11 and under, 12-14, and then the usual 15-19. Give a shout out to the Ainsley’s Angels pink and black team, who will be tackling the course pushing wheeled chariots with disabled riders. As usual, proceeds will fund a wide variety of healthy kid programs such as Camp Abilities and the Saratoga Farmers Market Kid POP Club. (zippyreg.com)
The 36th annual Cardiac Classic 5K utilizes the roads in and surrounding Schenectady’s beautiful Central Park. All are welcome at the 5K, which attracts adequately trained turkeys – and they can run up to 12 miles per hour – and casual runners and joggers. There’s also a Two-Mile Wellness Walk and free One-Mile Duck Pond Fun Run for relaxed participation. The Classic proceeds benefit Ellis Medicine’s Wright Heart Center for cardiac care in the community. The 5K will have you back in the kitchen in no time. (cardiacclassic.org)
Want to put some calories in the bank but not eager to have your race time documented for internet eternity? Then select the OurTowne Turkey Trot 5K at the Bethlehem Middle School in Delmar, where “The only time that will matter this day is the good time that you will have… while helping the Bethlehem Food Pantry.” Festivities get underway Thanksgiving Eve with fireworks guaranteed to roust turkeys from their perches. If you have left decision-making to the last minute, this race is a good bet as they accept procrastination registrations that evening. (ourtownebethlehem.com)
Prefer to hang out with a smaller flock? Then head over to St. George’s Turkey Trot 5K in Clifton Park. There is no fancy preening required and postured strutting is kept to a minimum. The flat course near the Shenendehowa campus is stroller friendly, perfect for small family flocks. Festivities are led by the renowned St. George’s Turkey mascot, who is happy to brush wings with all the fledglings! (finishright.com)
Country turkeys typically weigh in at the Batten Kill Valley Runners’ 22nd annual Running of the Turkeys, a 5K run/walk and kids’ 1K fun run, preferring the typical Arlington, Vermont hills and rural setting. While the first 300 to register receive a surprise “turkeyware” souvenir, there are still places at the table for day-of-registration guests. In the spirit of the holiday, overall winners receive turkeys, while second and third places receive pies. Generous runners who bring baked goods to share will be entered in a raffle for BKVR apparel. Those turkeys who prefer a 5K walk rather than a trot have their own event, a rare occurrence, with prizes for the top five males and females. (itsyourrace.com)
After your trot, feel free to end your season on a comfy over-stuffed couch, rooting for your favorite Turkey Bowl football team!
Laura Clark (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.