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New Half Marathon and Runs Coming in 2016



Holiday Valley Hosts Spring Happy Half, 5K and Beer Mile

By Eva Potter

Attention runners — a new must-do event is hitting Holiday Valley on Saturday, May 7, 2016. The new Happy Half at Holiday Valley half and 5K will give you something to train for this spring. If you’ve got what it takes, you can also participate in the Beer Mile.

The course will be a bit easier than the EVL Half in October but just as fun and competitive. The 13.1-mile and 5K routes begin and end at Holiday Valley and lead you along the Ellicottville area’s scenic roads, complete with rolling hills (but less climbing), gorgeous views and some “interesting” distractions (but race organizers aren’t ready to reveal any clues).

“We’re thinking of this as the good sister to the Ellicottville Half,” said event organizer Gwen Bush. “We’re trying to bring the fun into the run.”

You can see the Happy Half course at The Happy 5K course will be uploaded soon.

For your safety, the course will be controlled by local and county police departments. Water stations at miles 1.5, 4, 6, 8 and 11.5 will have Gatorade sports drinks and Clif gels. And for that I-can’t-wait emergency, restrooms will also be available along the course.

The course will be open for 3 ½ hours, after which runners can finish but without course support, like hydration.

Half marathon and 5K participants will receive custom-designed medals and T-shirts. The Happy Half offers 11 award levels for both males and females, and the 5K has 13 award levels for both males and females. Costumes are encouraged and Bush said there will most likely be some sort of theme and costume-related award.

Packet pickup takes place at Holiday Valley on Friday, May 6, between 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., or Saturday, May 7 between 7 p.m. and 9:30 a.m.

The half marathon is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. and the 5K at 10:20 a.m. The 5K awards will be handed at 11:30 a.m., and the half marathon awards 1:30 p.m. Be sure to stay for the after-party to share stories, eat delicious food, enjoy great entertainment and quench your thirst with award-winning beers from party sponsor Southern Tier Brewery. You’re guaranteed to leave happy!

After the half and 5K are over, there is one last way to show you’ve got what it takes to be a runner—the Beer Mile Run. All you have to do is drink a beer and run a quarter mile, drink another beer and run a quarter mile, down another beer and run another quarter mile and, finally, drink your last beer and run the final quarter mile to the finish line. Yes, it’s actually a race. Bush said there will be some sort of award for the winner. Even if you decide not to participate, it will be well worth the wait to watch how it ends.

Signups are not yet available but will be coming soon. Registration is open now, and the first Happy Half 100 entrants will only pay $55 if they commit by Dec. 30. Pricing is tiered by date, so book now and save. The 5K is only $20 for the first 50 participants who reserve their spot by Dec. 30.

Past EVL Half events have sold out, so book soon at You can also reserve discounted accommodations starting at $120 on this site under the Race Info tab.

“We are very excited to put on an event at Holiday Valley there are many fun things to do in the summer like the Sky High Adventure Park, mountain coaster, golfing, mountain biking and hiking. We think our racers will have a terrific time enjoying the resort after the race,” said Bush.

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