FFmtbstart2011Part of Fall Fest Fun

by Jesse Mast

For athletes and outdoors enthusiasts, there may be nothing quite like a long run or bike ride, and Ellicottville’s Fall Fest will provide opportunities to do just that. Two challenging and fun athletic events, the Fall Fest 5K Run and the Fall Fest Mountain Bike Race, will take place at Holiday Valley Oct. 12–13.

Fall Fest 5K Run

The annual Fall Fest 5K Run is set to take place Saturday, Oct. 12. A part of Fall Fest for over 10 years, this USATF-sanctioned event is “a traditional Saturday morning kickoff for those looking to have a fun, challenging athletic start to the weekend,” according to event organizer Mark Lawrence.

Start time for the race is 10 a.m. The race will begin on Holiday Valley Road near the main chalet. Then heading down Route 219, the course will take runners south around the school before looping back toward the finish line.

A water station will be available at the halfway point. There will be split times at miles 1 and 2.

Upon completing the course, runners may enjoy a post-race party at the Holiday Valley Mountain Sports Center, complete with a disc jockey, door prizes and an awards ceremony to recognize the top racers. Trophies will go to the overall male and female finishers, as well as overall male and female in the Masters class.

The preregistration fee for the 5K Run is $22, and race-day registration is $25. Event T-shirts are available to the first 300 registrants and as they last on race day. To register, visit www.heartrateup.com, find the 5K Run event page and follow the registration link provided.

Race-day registration will begin at 8 a.m. at the Holiday Valley Lodge.

In addition to the 5K Run will be a 1-mile Fun Walk for those wanting to participate without the rigor of the competition. Walkers will line up behind the runners but enjoy the view at an easier pace. Walkers may also obtain event T-shirts and participate in all the fun at the post-race party.

Fall Fest Mountain Bike Race

The competition continues Sunday, Oct. 13. This time, though, athletes mount bicycles and take to the hills for the Fall Fest Mountain Bike Race.

Comprising a 4-mile loop, the course takes racers along the scenic and colorful trails of Holiday Valley. Besides its natural beauty, the course is also quite challenging. So, it’s not surprising that cyclists travel from several surrounding states to participate in this event, which has been a tradition since the ‘90s.

The race begins at 10 a.m. at the Holiday Valley Mountain Sports Center. Class divisions will begin in waves at 1-minute intervals. The Beginner class will complete one lap, Novice two laps, Sport three laps and Expert four laps.

Helmets are mandatory for all cyclists. USAC licenses are not required for this race.

Trophies will be awarded to overall male and female finishers in each class, and custom plaques will go to the winners in each age group. Additionally, cash prizes will be awarded to the top five cyclists in the Expert class.

Following the awards ceremony will be a post-race party at the Holiday Valley Mountain Sports Center. Athletes may enjoy refreshments, snacks and a chance to win from a variety of door prizes.

Preregistration is encouraged, though race-day registration will be available. Registration fees are as follows: $15 for Novice; $20 for Beginner; $25 for Sport and Expert.

Race-day registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Holiday Valley Lodge.

To register online, visit www.heartrateup.com, look for the event page on the left-hand menu and follow the provided link to the registration page.

Both of these events will continue rain or shine — or snow. “We have seen beautiful weather in the 80s, cold rain and even a light covering of snow on the bike trails years past,” Lawrence said. “The past few years have been beautiful and ideal conditions, and the long-term forecast is shaping up for another nice weekend in the 60s.”

But even if the weather does change, that’s just part of the fun.