By Alicia Dziak
On Saturday, Oct. 29, the EVL Half and 5K makes its way to the Village for the third year in a row. Costumed runners will compete in races of two distances.
Both the half marathon (11 a.m. start) and the 5K (11:15 a.m. start) begin and end in the heart of town at 5 Monroe Street.
“We are always trying to add a few new things to the event to improve the athletes’ experience,” said Gwen Bush, who, along with her husband, Doug, organizes the race. “This year we will have more diversions out on the course to enjoy as they run. We also are having an expo on Monroe Street. We will have music at the aid stations and some other surprises.”
All participants receive custom-designed medals, as well as men’s and women’s shirts.
“I start planning the medals months in advance,” said Bush. “I begin the search for ideas in May and there are often many trials before I get the right EVLCreature. Once I have the creature, we work with a medal design team to make it come together in medal form. It is not easy to run 13.1 miles and we want to offer our participants something cool and different to keep after they have accomplished that distance. They deserve it!”
The after party is a blast with Ellicottville Brewing Company craft beer and many wonderful giveaway prizes from businesses around Ellicottville. In addition, costume awards will be given by Watson’s Chocolates for best group, best individual, funniest, scariest, most girly, best kid and best in show.
When asked about most memorable costumes in years past, Bush said, “Oh my, there have been so many wonderful costumes! I really loved the sugar skull runner and the Tom Brady with a flat football was really funny last year. I was a big fan of the Grinch as well.”
This year’s race is expected to be bigger and better than ever.
“Last year we had 1,400 participants and this year we will have at least 1,800,” Bush explained. “I think one reason this event is well-attended is because our community is such a beautiful setting. The involvement from the residents, police, merchants, schools and Ellicottville Chamber is a huge factor. Ellicottville is very welcoming to the athletes and they love that. We also strive very hard to put on a well organized, safe, and fun event. I hope that helps as well.”
Thinking about signing up? Don’t wait!
“As of today we still have a few spots in both, but the 5k will sell out soon and the half is not far behind,” said Bush.
Grab your friends, pick out your costume and get ready for some fun! For more info, visit www.evlhalf.com.