AROUND THE REGION
New Year Races
BOOM! 2019 is just a few weeks away… It’s time to run these last/first of the year races that offer a fun, low-key way to enjoy the kinship of running, keep fit and get outside! At 5:30pm on New Year’s Eve, the 21st annual Saratoga Arts’ First Night 5K is at Skidmore College. Runner perks include discounted buttons for First Night Saratoga. Entry also includes long-sleeve shirts, a commemorative medal, food (yes, pizza!), refreshments and a toast. The rolling, lighted course circles the campus perimeter road, zig-zags through the North Broadway neighborhood, and returns for a lively finish line gathering. The 5K is capped at 1,500 and there’s no race day registration, so sign up soon. (saratoga-arts.org)
On New Year’s Day, start 2019 off right with a long run at the Hangover Half Marathon. Funny thing, a number of people run both First Night and Hangover Half! If a shorter run or walk is for you, try the Bill Hogan 3.5-Miler. The 43rd annual run, hosted by Hudson-Mohawk Road Runners Club, starts/finishes at the University at Albany. You have time to sleep-in because it starts at noon. The relatively flat course includes a few loops around the State Office Campus outer and inner roads. Water stations and course marshals support the runners along the way. (hmrrc.com)
The 33rd annual Winter Wimp Foot Race is on Saturday, January 12 in the village of Hagaman – just northeast of Amsterdam. Starting out at the fire house, this 1pm race is truly a community affair. Last year, hardy runners came out in frigid weather and wind to run the 4.4- and 2.2-mile races, held snow or shine! Special race souvenirs go to the first 150 registrants. Afterwards enjoy the BBQ and refreshments. Organized by Fulmont Roadrunners Club, a portion of race proceeds benefit the James Dern Memorial Scholarship Fund. (zippyreg.com)
First Day Hikes
ALBANY – The New Year’s First Day Hike is back and the NYS DEC encourages you to join in the fun. These guided walks and hikes are led by volunteers, and range from one to five miles. In eastern NY, First Day Hikes are scheduled in Lake George, Delmar, Chesterfield and Mt. Tremper. RSVP recommended. Go to DEC (dec.ny.gov/education) or OPRHP (parks.ny.gov).
Empire Pass Online
ALBANY – The NYS OPRHP has introduced online renewals for the 2019 Empire Pass through March 31. The pass provides unlimited day-use vehicle entry to state parks, boat launches, and park/forest preserves. The card can be shared within a household and shifts valid dates to the calendar year. Existing pass-holders can “keep the card” and renew online, saving $10 off the $80 price. The savings offer is good through March 31, and applies to single-, three- and five-year passes.
New customers can purchase Empire Passes for $80 online or at (518) 474-0458. Three- and five-year Empire Passes and Lifetime Passports are also available. New York’s seniors age 62 and older can take advantage of the Golden Park program for free entry into state parks on weekdays. (parks.ny.gov)
To the Editor: Your November issue article, “Get Ready for Ski Season” by Collin Parsons states, “Whiteface is the tallest resort east of the Rockies.” The tallest east of the Rockies is Beech Mountain Resort in North Carolina with a peak elevation of 5,506 feet; 641 higher than Whiteface. Beech’s base elevation is 4,675 feet, a vertical rise of 830 feet. Western North Carolina has more than 40 peaks over 6,000 feet with Mt. Mitchell at 6,684 feet, highest in the east. Have Fun Skiing, John Harrill