After a long, cold winter, spring has finally arrived. If you’re like me, you’re itching to get outside and get active. Lucky for us, community events that involve walking, running, and biking continue to be very popular throughout our region and beyond. Along with health benefits, these events often are a way for charities to raise funds for research, support, and treatment of chronic diseases.
With these two objectives in mind, CDPHP® sponsors numerous events each year that benefit the community. Here’s a list of runs, walks, and bike rides that we’re supporting this spring. So get out your running shoes, dust off that bike, and start training!
Kiwanis Kingston Classic – Sunday, April 19 (Kingston)
This fundraiser for the Kiwanis Club of Kingston supports several local youth programs and helps to fulfill the club’s mission, which is to improve the community one child at a time. The event has something for everyone, including a marathon, half marathon, 10k, 5k, and one-mile run. This is the 33rd year that the race will take place. All events will start and end inside Dietz Memorial Stadium in Kingston and will follow routes past some of Ulster County’s most noteworthy destinations.
Cherry Blossom 5k for ALS – Sunday, April 26 (Schenectady)
More than 1,000 participants are expected for the seventh annual race and walk held in conjunction with the 23rd annual Cherry Blossom Festival. Both events are coordinated by the Brotherhood of Congregation Gates of Heaven, a men’s organization dedicated to providing services and contributions to the local community. All proceeds from the race and festival will be used to support the ALS Regional Center at St. Peter’s Hospital, as well as other service organizations and projects in the Capital District.
Walk MS – Sunday, May 3 (The Crossings of Colonie)
Walk MS benefits the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and connects people affected by this disease and those who care about them. The money raised supports life-changing programs and cutting-edge research to give hope to more than 12,800 people living with MS in our community.
Breaking the Chains 5k – Sunday, May 3 (Albany College of Pharmacy)
This event benefits the Steffens Scleroderma Center, the only scleroderma research center in upstate New York. The center’s mission is to develop a regional network of medical professionals and researchers focused on improving the lives of patients with scleroderma through enhanced care and research. Scleroderma, a relatively unknown disease, is a hardening of the skin. In some cases, it can also affect internal organs and autoimmunity.
Mastodon Challenge – Saturday, May 9 (Cohoes)
This annual community event—which consists of a 15k run, 5k run/walk, and a kids’ run—benefits the Cohoes Multi-Service Senior Citizen Center and the Cohoes City School District Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) program. It brings together residents, visitors, and local businesses for a fun and healthy day of giving back.
CDPHP® Workforce Team Challenge – Thursday, May 21 (Empire State Plaza, Albany)
This annual 3.5-mile race is ideal for walkers and runners and seems to grow in popularity every year. Held rain or shine, the challenge presents an ideal opportunity to bond with your co-workers while improving your health and fitness. Even better, part of the proceeds benefit three worthy, and local, charities.
Du-it for Sight and Hearing Duathlon – Sunday, May 24 (Saratoga Casino and Raceway)
The 11th annual duathlon, coordinated by the Saratoga Springs Lions Club, benefits The Lions Eye Institute in Albany and the Saratoga Springs Community Health Center initiative by Saratoga Hospital. The three-stage race focuses on running and biking and helps prepare participants for future triathlon competitions. The race includes a 5k run, followed by a 30k bike ride and an additional 5k run.
Freihofer’s Run for Women – Saturday, May 30 (Empire State Plaza, Albany)
Ladies, this one’s for you. Join thousands of women of all ages and fitness levels for this popular 5k race that begins and ends at the Empire State Plaza in downtown Albany. A junior 3k, kids’ run, and community walk are also scheduled for that day. Don’t forget to stop by the CapitalCare/CDPHP® Health & Fitness Expo either on Friday, May 29 between noon and 7 p.m. or before or after the race on Saturday.
Heritage 5k Road Race & Fun Walk – Saturday, June 6 (Charlton)
The 18th annual Charlton Heritage 5k Run/Walk, held on Founders’ Day weekend, celebrates the founding of the Town of Charlton. It benefits the Charlton Historical Society and its mission to preserve the historical buildings and artifacts and educate those interested in the community’s history. The 5k course is a challenging mix of rolling hills and flat surfaces through the back roads of this rural Saratoga County hamlet.
Daffodil Dash 5k – Saturday, June 6 (Halfmoon Town Park)
This event is coordinated by Lifesong, Inc., a not-for-profit founded in 2010 to provide compassionate care for individuals with developmental disabilities. The organization offers a variety of services in an environment that is conducive to learning, encourages growth, produces individualized opportunities, and creates a sense of community. Proceeds benefit Lifesong’s Saratoga County-based programs, including day habilitation, skills training, and supported employment.
Tour de Cure – Sunday, June 7 (Saratoga Springs)
The Tour de Cure is a series of fundraising cycling events held in 44 states nationwide to benefit the American Diabetes Association. The tour is a ride, not a race, with routes designed for everyone from the occasional rider to the experienced cyclist. The local event begins in Saratoga Springs and participants can choose from five routes. The 10-mile option offers a flat ride through Saratoga Spa State Park. The new 28-miler winds through the state park and connects to the Zim Smith trail. The 50-mile has moderate hills at the 14 and 27-mile mark and a mostly downhill grade for the final 15 miles. The 62.5 and the 100-mile rides are for more experienced cyclists.
Capital Region Heart Walk – Saturday, June 13 (Empire State Plaza, Albany)
The annual American Heart Association Heart Walk helps raise awareness and valuable funds to combat cardiovascular disease and stroke, the No. 1 and No. 4 causes of death in the U.S., respectively. Designed to encourage physical activity and heart-healthy living, the Heart Walk is a fun event for the entire family. Participants have the option to join an existing team or start their own.
Raising funds for some worthy charities while exercising and burning calories – I can’t think of a better way to spend a beautiful spring day. I hope to see you at one of these events!