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Fall Fest 5K and Mountain Bike Races Offer Great Views and Adrenaline-Fueled Fun at Holiday Valley

by Jeff Cole

While some will be enjoying Fall Festival’s arts and crafts show or taking in the sight of the colorful autumn leaves Oct. 6-7, hundreds of others will be involved in one or both heart-pumping events scheduled for that weekend.

For the 12th year, the Fall Festival 5K Run will take place on Oct. 6 at Holiday Valley Resort. The race will start at 10 a.m. at Holiday Valley Rd. near the Customer Service Building where registration will be held at 8:30 a.m. Preregistration, which costs $20, can be done by following the link on and the first 250 registrants will receive T-shirts.

Mark Lawrence, founder of, said he is expecting 350 runners from several surrounding states to come to enjoy the annual Fall Festival and get a great workout.

According to Lawrence, runners will appreciate a challenging course with appealing views of the countryside, the smell of fall, along with a big weekend festival and “spending time with hundreds of athletes sharing the same eagerness for fitness.”

According to, “The course is a wild trek down to Route 219 including great views of the foliage and back up Holiday Valley Rd. for a challenging climbing finish.” Runners will be able to rehydrate at a water station located at the halfway point.

A post-race party and awards ceremony at the Mountain Sports Center will follow the run and will include lunch and door prizes. The top overall male, female, masters male and masters female riders will receive awards, as will the top three finishers in the following five-year age groups: under-14, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-and-up.

The Fall Festival Mountain Bike Race will start at 10 a.m. on Oct. 7 at the Holiday Mountain Sports Center. It’s a rain or shine event with classes for all ability levels. Lawrence said about 200 riders from all over Western New York and several surrounding states expected to participate in the 15th year of the race.

Preregistration, which is $20, can be done through by following the link on Online preregistration ends Oct. 4 at 5 p.m. No worries if you miss it. You can still register on race day beginning at 9 a.m. at the Mountain Sports Center. Remember – helmets are mandatory.

According to, the singletrack race will feature “4-mile laps of hammering featuring a stretched out first mile, blazing cool single track, white knuckle rock gardens and downhills plus a pumping vibe.” The number of laps that a cyclist completes will depend upon his or her level, ranging from one lap as a novice to four laps as an expert.

Lawrence said, “(It’s) a whopper of a mountain bike course featuring climbs, single track and fun, challenging downhill sections.”

Cash prizes are awarded at the expert level, while lower levels are eligible for other awards like a custom plaque featuring the 2012 Fall Festival Mountain Bike Race design, which will be awarded three deep in 10-year age groups.  Door and raffle prizes include over 50 items from race sponsors, with a grand raffle prize of a 2012 Manitou Minute Expert Fork.

Both the 5K and Mountain Bike Race support HEART Animal Placement Services.

If you enjoy the autumn air and the vibrant leaves at a faster pace than some, then these events are right for you. After the race, wander into the bustling village to celebrate your achievement and experience some Fall Fest fun.

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