5K, Fun Walk and Mountain Bike Race

By Alicia Dziak

Not only does Ellicottville’s famous Fall Fest weekend bring in nonstop action and entertainment, it also brings in two unique opportunities to satisfy your competitive side with the annual 5K and Mountain Bike Race.

On Saturday Oct. 11, the Fall Festival 5K Run and 1-mile Fun Walk kicks off from Holiday Valley.

The 5K course takes runners down to Route 219, around Ellicottville Central School and back for the climbing finish on Holiday Valley Road, sure to get your heart pumping.

And just what sets this 5K apart from others?

“The views, the challenging course and its return climb help round out a wonderful weekend celebrating all that is Ellicottville,” said Mark Lawrence of www.heartrateup.com, the organization that puts on the races.

Not ready to commit to a 5K? No problem! The Fun Walk is another great way to enjoy the scenery and get some exercise. The walking course proceeds downhill along Holiday Valley Road, turning around near the intersection of Holiday Valley Road and Route 219.  Walkers return on the sidewalk, experiencing the final climb as runners do, but at a leisurely pace.

Not only are the run and walk a great way to burn off some calories, but they help support a great cause, too.

“The Fall Festival 5K helps support HEART Animal Shelters and other local causes,” explained Lawrence.

The run and walk have become a fun tradition for many festivalgoers.

“Being a Fall Festival tradition, the run helps ‘clear the heads’ of participants prepping for a weekend filled with Ellicottville’s largest festival weekend. Plus you get bragging rights if you beat your friends up that final climb!” he said.

Pre-registration for the 5K or Fun Walk is $22, and $25 on race day. Registration includes a T-shirt for the first 300 entrants, and as they last on race day. Participants will also enjoy a post-race party that includes lunch, snacks and beverages immediately following the race, as well as a chance to win many great door prizes.

Race day registration and number pickup starts on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. at Holiday Valley.

The action continues on Sunday with the annual Fall Festival Mountain Bike Race, which also helps support HEART Animal Shelters. The bike race includes both single and double track on challenging and beautiful terrain. The race is open to cyclists of all levels — classes include novice (4 miles) , beginner (8 miles), sport (12 miles) and expert (16 miles), with awards given in a variety of age groups.

Registration cost for the mountain bike race is $15-$25, depending on the level, and race day registration will be available for an additional $10, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Participants will also enjoy a post-race party at the Mountain Sports Center, with snacks and amazing door prizes.

Take a break from Fall Festival’s food and fun in the village to burn off some of those calories in the Fall Festival 5K, Fun Walk or Mountain Bike Race, which will surely round out your weekend in Ellicottville! You’ll feel great knowing you got in your morning workout and can spend the afternoon strolling the village and taking in the sights.

For more information, or to register for any of the races, visit www.heartrateup.com.