Fun Runs, 5ks, and More to Wrap Up 2016

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Even as the weather gets colder, you can still enjoy a number of outdoor fun runs in the Capital Region, North County, and Hudson Valley. These events will keep you moving right up to the new year.

November 19 Girls on the Run Fall 2016 5k Celebration: The event begins at 10 a.m. at the Corning Preserve Boat Launch in Albany and takes place rain, snow, or shine. The course is out and back on the bike/walking path.

Operation Santa Run: Choose from a 5k or 10k (little ones can do the one-mile Elf Run) and help children in need. Funds benefit Operation Santa Claus, a not-for-profit that provides food and clothing to children in northern Saratoga, Warren, and Washington counties, as well as parts of Essex and Hamilton counties. The event takes place at Hudson Falls Middle School.

November 24 Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trots: What better way to prepare for your all-day feast than by burning off some calories ahead of time? There are two major events in the area: the Troy Turkey Trot and the 15th Annual Christopher Dailey Turkey Trot in Saratoga Springs. Thousands of runners and walkers are expected to participate.

Started more than 100 years ago and offering much more than a 5k, the Troy Turkey Trot also features a 10k, a one-mile, and a Turkey Walk, as well as a costume contest. Proceeds benefit the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York and Joseph’s House and Shelter. Participants are also encouraged to donate non-perishable food items when they pick up their packets.

The Saratoga Springs Turkey Trot begins at 8:30 a.m. at Saratoga City Hall. The event raises money for the Christopher Daily Foundation, which supports recreational activities for youth.

Additional Thanksgiving Day runs include the 53rd annual Cohoes Turkey Trot, which is free if you donate a non-perishable food item, and the Our Towne Bethlehem Turkey Trot that runs through the Old Delmar neighborhoods. The Bethlehem event benefits the Bethlehem Food Pantry, the Parker Mathusa BCHS Scholarship, and the Bethlehem Community Fund. Donations of canned food are accepted on race day.

A little farther south, you can find the Family of New Paltz Turkey Trot, which includes a 5k run/walk and the half-mile Mashed Potato kids’ fun run. Costumes are encouraged! The event begins at 9 a.m. at Walter Street Market in New Paltz. All proceeds benefit the Family of New Paltz Food Pantry and Crisis Services.jingle-bell-run-3

Cardiac Classic: You don’t have to be a runner to join the fun at this annual fundraiser for Ellis Medicine’s Wright Heart Center in Schenectady’s Central Park. Walkers can take on the two-mile Wellness Walk and a one-mile Duck Pond Fun Run. For the 5k, awards are given to the overall male and female runners and to the top winners in all age categories.

The James P. Hinchliffe 5k Run/Walk for ALS: Since its inception in 2011, the race has raised $50,000 for the ALS Association Upstate New York Chapter. The event starts at 8:30 a.m. on Church Street in Glens Falls.

November 26 Run Off That Turkey Trot 5k: Not ready to run on turkey day? That’s OK. You still have an opportunity to burn off those leftovers. The run takes place at Altamont Elementary School and benefits the Helderberg Running Club Junior Olympic Team. Participants are also asked to donate non-perishable food items or paper goods.

December 3 2016 Capital Region Jingle Bell Run: Break out your best holiday-themed attire to raise funds for the Arthritis Foundation. Runners and walkers spread holiday cheer while donning everything from Santa suits to ugly sweaters. For a real challenge, take on the Cookie and Milk Trace Race, a relay event where teams have to carry a tray with cookies and three glasses of milk! All of the fun happens at Halfmoon Town Park beginning at 9 a.m.

December 4 Reindeer Run: This four-mile race, presented by Adirondack Runners, takes place at SUNY Adirondack in Queensbury and benefits Cindy’s Comfort Camp, a free, overnight camp for children who have experienced the death or serious illness of a parent or sibling. The day also includes the Reindeer Run Jr., a one-mile fun run for ages 12 and younger.

December 10 11th annual Santa Speedo Sprint: The title says it all! Brave souls bear the cold as they nearly bare all for this outrageous fundraiser for the Albany Damien Center and the HIV/AIDS program at Albany Medical Center. The event, presented by the Albany Society for the Advancement of Philanthropy and Albany All-Star Roller Derby, takes place on Lark Street in Albany.last-run-2

Albany Last Run 5k: Take in the Capital Holiday Lights in Washington Park and a spectacular fireworks show during this popular evening run.

December 17 2016 Holiday Classic 5k: Exercise is a great way to alleviate stress. This 5k may be what you need to get you through those last hectic shopping days! The run begins at 10 a.m. at Columbia-Greene Community College in Hudson. Donations of non-perishable food items are welcome.

December 31 19th Annual First Night Saratoga 5k: Just hours before the strains of “Auld Lang Syne” ring out across the Capital Region, you can hit the pavement for one last run. The race, which is capped at 1,500 participants, winds its way through the Skidmore College campus in Saratoga Springs. Cross the finish line and then raise a toast to the new year!

Now, lace up those sneakers, bundle up, and get out there!

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