By Alicia Dziak
On your mark, get set, go! It’s race season and whether you’re looking to hit the pavement or the trails, on foot or on bike, there’s something for everyone in the upcoming months.
On June 10, sign up for the 5K fun run/walk to benefit The Elisa B. Hughey Scholarship for the Arts. Start/Finish is near the Gazebo in the heart of the Village of Ellicottville. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. (FREE) – donations for the scholarship fund will be gladly accepted! For more information on the scholarship, go to www.elisahugheyscholarship.com.
Ready to get down and dirty? Saturday, June 17 is the sixth annual Holiday Valley Mudslide, a guaranteed mucky time! Head over, under and through 11 obstacles, but nothing terrifying, which means no fire, barbed wire or the possibility of electric shock. Choose the 3.5 or 5.4 mile courses, both of which start by Spruce Lake (you even get a chairtlft ride to the top!) and end with the famous mudslide down the bottom of the Yodeler slope. An aweome after-party will feature food, drinks, music and awards. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Jim Kelly’s Hunter’s Hope Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to giving hope through education and awareness, research, and family care for Krabbe, Leukodystrophies, and Newborn Screening. For more info and to sign up, visit www.holidayvalley.com.
Spend even more time running the trails at Holiday Valley on Sunday, July 23, and take part in the EVL Trail Runs. Choose from 4 mile or 9.7 mile hard core trail runs on the Holiday Valley and nearby wooded winding trails. For more info and registration, go to heartrateup.com.
If you’re dreaming of a weekly trail run, take the short drive up Route 240 from Ellicottville to Glenwood’s Sprague Brook Park for the Dirt Devil Series. Races will be held Tuesday evenings through June 27. Race in four events to count toward the series points or race as few as you like just for kicks-everyone is welcome. Registration each night starts at 5:30 p.m. at the XC ski hut (follow Dirt Devil signs once inside park). Each race starts at 6:30 p.m. and features 3 to 3.5 mile trail running courses on park trails that include single track, XC ski trails and hiking paths. The races are 100 percent off-road with no pavement. Enjoy a post-race celebration at the Colden Country Inn just down the street in Colden after each event, featuring food and beverage specials for participants. At each event, a few door prizes will be given out randomly as well. The Dirt Devil Series helps support HEART Animal Shelters of WNY. More info and registration is available at www.heartrateup.com. Runners can also sign up race days.
June 17 and 18 is the annual Raccoon Rally at Allegany State Park. This competition featuring road races on Saturday and trail races on Sunday, draws participants from several surrounding states.
Saturday’s Gran Fondo Road Race/Tour kicks off the weekend on the rolling hills surrounding Allegany State Park with the first group rolling out at 9 a.m. Starting down near Red House Lake several groups complete 25, 50 or 75-mile courses around the Park’s 25-mile loop of rolling hills and serene backdrops. New for 2017 is the 3-lap course for category racers and teams that are out to get the most of their training. The 2-lap event is equally as challenging promising all that your quads can dish out. The 1-lap event is perfect for any rider or family looking to test their abilities. There will be a post-event picnic at the park’s Beehunter Shelter.
Sunday’s Cross Country Mountain Bike Race starts and finishes at the Summit area in Red House at 10 a.m., utilizing most of the Art Roscoe Trail System and Thunder Run Singletrack. Novice, Beginner, Sport and Expert classes battle it out for awards and prizes in several age groups and skill levels. Free Kids Races round out the Sunday action. For more info, visit www.heartrateup.com.
On Wednesday evenings through June 28, the Campus Series mountain bike races will be held at Sprague Brook Park in Glenwood, NY. Now in its sixth year, the race series is organized and run by Singletrackracing.com and Campus Wheelworks, with the WNYMBA offering trail support and maintenance. The course begins and ends in the same spot, which is near shelters 5 and 6 inside the park and is open to competitors of all ages and abilities. For more information, visit Facebook.com/singletrackracing or on the web at www.singletrackracing.com.
On July 16, give it your all at 6 Hours of Power in Ellicottville, an annual showdown of endurance mountain bike racing. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. mountain bike racers tackle the clock in the test of all that is bike handling and endurance. Make a weekend of it and enjoy free primitave camping near the start/finish line at the base of the Holiday Valley’s Chute chairlift. For info, visit www.heartrateup.com.
Don’t miss the height of race season in WNY. The finish line is calling!