AUG 2015 - RUNNING
Here I Am!
Where Are You?
By Laura Clark
During the dog days of summer, I am heartened by the red-eyed vireo’s beckoning call: Here I am. Where are you? You have probably never spied this bird because he hides high in the forest canopy and rarely touches earth. While I have spotted him only once, he remains my favorite avian companion, being the only bird who sings during the hottest part of the day. While you are plugging along, your mind echoing the phrase “Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun,” take heart from his encouraging song.
Our highlighted races this month, cautiously tiptoe out from under the oppressive heat, and whisper promises of faster 5Ks. If you have persisted, just like the vireo, you will be rewarded with renewed energy.
First across the line is the Hilltown Triple Crown 5K Series of Fox Creek 5K on August 8, Voorheesville 5K on August 22, and Altamont 5K on August 29, all USATF certified courses just southwest of Albany in the Helderberg Escarpment. With so many 5Ks around now, Altamont race director Phil Carducci has discovered that it pays to join forces and create a local series. I should know, I recently got lured into the Blue Dot Trail Series in the far away reaches of Connecticut just because the first event, which I have always run, partnered with two others. Somehow, completeness matters. If you can commit to the three Saturdays, you can save on preregistration fees and may qualify for series awards.
The Fox Creek 5K Run/Walk is held at Berne Town Park with live music, raffles and more. The Voorheesville 5K Run and 2-Mile Walk at the Voorheesville High School. The Altamont 5K, the grand finale and flattest of the events, features music on the course and 100 raffle prizes, and notably, senior discounts and awards reaching to 80-plus. (active.com or altamont5K.com)
Hannah’s Hope Run for Life 5K & 10K is on Sunday, August 30 in Clifton Park. Both the 5K and the 10K launch from the Shenendehowa High School track and then take separate paths. The 5K follows the Shen Veterans Day Dash course, while the 10K is the old ARE Frun Run route heading out Moe, Grooms and Vischer Ferry roads, and back to campus. Plus, a kids’ one-mile fun run. You can also form or join a team at reasontorace.com.
Race proceeds benefit Hannah’s Hope Fund. Race director Beth Haig states that, “This year’s race comes at a very exciting point for Hannah’s Hope, as our work is coming full circle.” The first child with GAN, a degenerative nerve disease, was treated in May and Hannah looks forward to her own reprieve. (hannahshopefund.org)
Although Saturday, September 12 is over two months past July 4th, there is good reason why the Malta 5K logo features the Stars & Stripes, since proceeds benefit Saratoga Rural Preservation Corporation’s VetHelp and Malta’s emergency first responders, with many of these same folks volunteering to keep us safe enroute. Lifting off from HVCC’s TEC Smart building, participants tour the Luther Forest Technology Campus, their race bibs granting access to the Global Foundries grounds.
This year, Malta Business & Professional Association sponsors are engaged in their own corporate challenge, competing for the most participants. Afterwards, enjoy a tour of the HVCC TECH Smart, and head out to Malta’s Shenantaha Creek Park for their Community Day festival. (malta5k.com)
Also on September 12 is another race for a good cause, the inaugural Good Karma 5K Run/Walk to benefit AIM for Seva, an organization that works to make education accessible to children in rural India. Halfmoon Town Park plays host to this unique event, fashioned after an Indian street bazaar with crafts, yummy street-food, henna tattoos and Indian folk dances, making this outing equally fun for non-running family members.
The 5K starts at 9:30, preceded by a yoga warmup at 9am. The course is mostly flat with a combo of gravel and pavement, perfect for a stress-free jaunt. Gender specific T-shirts are guaranteed to runners and walkers if registered by 8/31. AIM for Seva builds student homes close to public schools to increase literacy and decrease dropouts. (goodkarma5k.eventbrite.com)
September 12 is a busy day, with yet another distinctive event on the docket: the Double H “Camp Challenge” Ride and Run, with proceeds enabling children living with serious illness to attend the Double H Ranch free of charge. Children enjoy normal camp activities adapted to their abilities, and even more importantly, get to experience an environment where challenges are a matter of course.
How important is this? Shaun Evans, currently running and pushing his son Shamus across the United States (see Running, July 2015), made sure that his son could make his annual trip to camp before their trek began. Fundraisers include a 30- or 62-mile Adirondack bicycle ride or a 5K trail run. And in recognition of the adversities these kids face every day, the run is equally challenging with a few hills on the trail. (doublehranch.org)
The following day, Sunday, September 13, make it a doubleheader with the 14th annual Teal Ribbon Run and 1-Mile Walk, headquartered from the Washington Park Lake House in Albany. Offering a unique variation on the Freihofer’s Run jaunt through the park, the route remains entirely within the greenspace. According to race director, Jim Foley, athletes complete two revolutions of the park’s outer loop, replete with rolling hills and cheering spectators, and a pleasant downhill back to the lake house.
Proceeds benefit ovarian cancer awareness and research, and you are encouraged to join a team of survivors and supporters. (caringtogetherny.org, or donate: firstgiving.com/caringtogether)
If you feel like a beautiful Adirondack drive instead, head up to Newcomb on September 13 for the Ty Yandon Memorial 5K in Newcomb. Ty Yandon was a local runner who passed away several years ago while running a turkey trot.
According to race director Kevin Bolan, “The 5K course has some hills with beautiful views of the High Peaks and upper Hudson River.” The event is held in conjunction with the town’s Teddy Roosevelt Weekend with a craft fair, golf tournament and fireworks. Teddy himself might make an appearance. (newcombny.com)
If you are looking to involve the entire family, head out to the Brenda Deer Memorial 5K Run on Saturday, September 19 at the Guilderland YMCA. This popular event honors Brenda Deer, a Guilderland Elementary School teacher’s aide who was tragically killed when she was struck by a drunk driver while running with her husband. As befitting her love of family and children, this event also features a 3K walk, multiple free kids’ competitions: a 100-yard dash and a half-mile, and 1-mile fun run.
Afterwards, no need to worry about feeding the kids, since a BBQ is included. Once everyone’s appetites are satisfied, hang around to enjoy the festivities that include a bounce house, face painting, petting zoo and pony rides. Send in your applications early as the first 100 pre-registered 5K runners receive a gender-specific dry fit, long-sleeved shirt – perfect for the upcoming chilly fall days. (finishright.com)
Also on September 19 is the USATF certified ARC in the Park 5K held at the RPI Technology Park in North Greenbush. With the motto “Run for Time. Walk for Fitness. Participate for Fun.” you can be assured there is something for everybody. In addition to the 5K there is also a one-mile fun run/walk/roll for all ages and abilities. Since it is a Saturday, there will be few vehicles in the scenic park, insuring a safe and enjoyable experience. There are some rolling hills on the course, but nothing major.
To add to the fun, you are urged to join one of the family-oriented team categories: husband/wife, mother/daughter, father/daughter, mother/son, father/son and sibling/sibling for some friendly competition. Afterwards, enjoy the many activities such as face painting, balloon art, chair massages and food vendors. Proceeds benefit the clients of The Arc of Rensselaer County. (renarc.org)
So where will you be as we approach cooler weather? Hopefully, running stronger at a few of these events with a lively song stuck in your head as you go!
Laura Clark (email@example.com) of Saratoga Springs is an avid trail runner and ultramarathoner, snowshoer and cross-country skier. She is a children’s librarian at the Saratoga Springs Public Library.