September 2018 - RUNNING & WALKING
Candy, Costumes and Causes
Glorious Fall Races
By Mona Caron
Welcome to September! Fall running means less humidity, crisper air and layers and maybe even gloves. It’s also time to pick out your running costume! Choose from harvest and Halloween themed races along with races that benefit our upstate community.
Harvest and Halloween
First up is the fourth annual Oktoberfest Albany 5K on Saturday, September 29 at Broadway and Ferry streets in Albany. Run the race and spend the day at Oktoberfest with your family and friends. Race entry gives you free access to the festival, a commemorative 5K beer stein, a free beer to 21 and over, food and music. A portion of proceeds benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region and Special Olympics NY. New this year: if you run the new sister event in Saratoga Springs this October you can save money off the Saratoga event and receive a special award. (oktoberfestalbany5k.com)
The inaugural Oktoberfest Saratoga 5K is on Saturday, October 13, starting at the Horseshoe Inn Bar & Grill and running through the neighborhoods between the harness and flat tracks. Runners also receive free entry into the Horseshoe/Druthers Oktoberfest celebrations with music, food, a beer stein and a free beer. A portion of proceeds benefit Center for Disability Services, Epilepsy Foundation of Northeastern NY and Special Olympics NY. (oktoberfestsaratoga5k.com)
The following weekend has two races, both on Saturday, October 6: Apple Run 5K Run/Walk and Falling Leaves 5K & Fun Run. The Apple Run is in its 24th year, has a nice community feel, and benefits local causes. The race meets at O’Rourke Middle School in Burnt Hills and is enthusiastically organized and supported by the Burnt Hills Ballston Lake Rotary and volunteers. A free Kids’ Mile Fun Run takes place after the 5K. In 2016, the rotary donated the local chapter of Ainsley Angels, resulting in two new racing chariots. (zippyreg.com)
The 12th annual Falling Leaves 5K starts in William Kelley Park and features a scenic course in the historic neighborhoods of Ballston Spa. With great drawings, all registered runners are eligible to win gift certificates to local businesses such as local restaurants, coffee shops, Fleet Feet Sports and more. A free Kids’ Half-File Fun Run starts after the 5K. The race benefits Vet House and Guardian House for Homeless Veterans. (ballstonspaumchurch.org)
On October 13, the Great Pumpkin Challenge 5K & 10K Run/Walk in Saratoga Springs is a popular community event with more than 1,500 participants. Afterwards, enjoy refreshments at the Columbia Pavilion in Saratoga Spa State Park. Long-sleeve moisture wicking shirts and free raffle tickets to all that register for either distance by October 1. Following the races, the youngsters can enjoy the Kids’ Fun Run and pumpkin painting. Proceeds benefit Saratoga Bridges Foundation. (saratogabridges.org)
Race organizers at the Hairy Gorilla Half Marathon and Squirrelly Six Mile are in on the Halloween spirit. The trail races are on Sunday, October 21 at Thacher State Park near Voorheesville. Run through the race graveyard while a costumed course marshal with a chainsaw chases you around! The half marathon course is challenging with a few hills but otherwise mostly flat terrain. The first six miles are shared with the Squirrelly Six. Post-race is just as fun with baked goods as prizes for best costume, best gorilla impersonation, and “most bananas carried.” A cookout and extensive buffet follows as well. Save $5 with the code ADKSP18 through 9/30 or ADKOCT18 in October. (hairygorillahalf.com)
If you crave more graveyards to run through, head to Troy on Saturday, October 27 for the Trick-or-Trek 5K Run. Celebrate Halloween and run through the historic Oakwood Cemetery! You’ll trek alongside gravestones, gargoyles, and ghouls as you make your way through the cemetery. Runners, beware, you might just encounter a few tricks along the way. This Capital Region YMCA event is for ages 14 and over. (zippyreg.com)
The inaugural Brookhaven Oktoberfest 5K Trail Run in Porter Corners (near Saratoga) was well-received. This year’s race is on October 27, featuring scenic trails, paths, and roads winding around Brookhaven Golf Course. The start/finish area has been moved to the clubhouse, so it’s even easier to join Greenfield’s Oktoberfest party. Food, drink, and family-friendly entertainment will run from 11am-2pm. Register by Oct. 1 for a custom pint glass. All proceeds go to develop, expand and improve cross country skiing – and racing – at Brookhaven, where the town offers free, groomed classic ski trails! (skireg.com)
Community Benefit Races
If you’re looking for runs that don’t involve beer or costumes, here are some well-organized races within a variety of settings that support very worthwhile causes. And, you can choose from trail, park, suburban or urban settings.
Amy’s Adventure: Race for the Lake and the Flashlight 5K Night Run & Walk are both on Saturday, September 29. The Lake George Land Conservancy’s second annual Amy’s Adventure is a 4.5-mile trail race at Amy’s Park Preserve in Bolton Landing. The course includes some narrow sections, inclines and bridge crossings, and is slightly different from last year’s with the entire race within the park. The preserve is beautiful with lake and mountain views and foliage! Afterwards, stay for cool prizes and raffles and attend the after party at Bolton Landing Brewing. The race benefits LGLC who’s been protecting the land that protects the lake since 1988. (lglc.org)
Run again at 7:30pm at the Flashlight 5K Night Run & Walk – on the trails of Cole’s Woods, located behind the YMCA in Glens Falls. Bring a flashlight, headlamp or lights of any kind. Each entrant will get a glow stick necklace and bracelet. Register by Sept. 14 for a T-shirt with glow-in-the-dark ink! The Flashlight 5K is produced by the Lake George Tri Fest organizers, and is always a hit with families of all ages. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the YMCA’s Strong Kids Campaign and the Friends of Cole’s Woods. (adkracemgmt.com)
The next day on Sunday, September 30, two communities will be out in full force for these favorite, family-friendly races. In the morning, participants can enter the 15th annual Crossings 5K Challenge Run/Walk & Kids’ Runs at the Ciccotti Center in Colonie. Fly through the flat, fast paths of the Crossings Park, then fun activities will follow at the center. A Kids’ One-Mile Competitive Run and Quarter-Mile Fun Run follows. Proceeds benefit Colonie Youth Center’s scholarship program to make school-age childcare programs available and affordable for all families. (colonieyouthcenter.org)
Next, head over to Clifton Commons for the ninth annual Nick’s Run to be Healed 5K. The Two-Mile Walk starts at noon and the 5K Run at 1pm. The 5K is flat and fast, taking you through tree-lined Clifton Park neighborhoods. Young children (ages 7-10) can enter Luke’s Mile and the youngest can do Nick’s Dash, both scheduled before the walk. Zumba warm-up, face painting, food, music, a carnival and a bounce house make it a fun, festive event!
Named for and in memory of Nick Cammarata, the mission of Nick’s Fight to be Healed Foundation is to support pediatric cancer patients and serve the young adult cancer community. This year’s race honors 7-year-old Ali Bawla, who was diagnosed with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia last year. Race organizers want everyone affected by cancer to come together and make a difference in children's lives so that families with children battling cancer can get through this tough time knowing they are not alone. In 2017, Nick’s Fight granted over $100,000 to The Melodies Center at Albany Medical Center. (fighttobehealed.org)
October is not just for Halloween; it’s also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The 24th annual Komen Race for the Cure 5K Run is at the Empire State Plaza in downtown Albany on Saturday, October 6. The event kicks off with the Kids for the Cure Dash and warm-up before the 9:45am start of the 5K. A 2K Family Walk starts immediately after the 5K and ensures that even non-runners can support the cause. A “More than Pink” ceremony honors survivors, those in treatment, and with metastatic breast cancer. The events gather at the Empire State Plaza. If you’re not in town or can’t make it but want to help, register to Sleep In for the Cure – this is also great way to support the cause.
Up to 75% of Komen’s net income from the race stays right here in our community to fund vital breast cancer health education, screening and treatment programs. The remaining 25% goes to their national research and training grants program. Use the code ADKMAG2018 for $5 off registration by 9/28. (komenupstateny.org)
Enjoy the candy, costumes, beer, and foliage while supporting the great causes of our area. And have a great race too!