By Kellen M. Quigley

Everybody’s going to get happy this weekend in Ellicottville with the return of the Happy Half and 5K and Beer Mile at Holiday Valley on Saturday, May 11.

The organizers have fun distractions on the course, entertainment and great food and beverages as part of the after party at Holiday Valley Resort once participants are done.

At 10 a.m., participants in the half marathon will head out form Holiday Valley followed by participants of the 5K at 10:20.

The rolling course heads south through the scenic and lightly traveled rural roads of the towns of Ellicottville and Great Valley that offer fast times and a great atmosphere.

The organizers want the participants to enjoy their run, so there will be a few surprises out on the course that will be sure to put a smile on your face. Spectators are also welcome to watch the runners and witness the happy happenings.

The half-marathon would go out of Holiday Valley, down Route 219 into Great Valley, go around Depot Street, Grave Avenue and Mutton Hollow Road before heading down Klawitter Road and then back up Route 219 to Holiday Valley.

The 5K starts out on the same route before heading up and back down Snowpine Road south of the Holiday Valley golf course and then on Route 219 to the Ellicottville Central School before heading back to Holiday Valley.

Intersections will be controlled by the local police and County Sheriff’s Department to ensure a safe experience for all participants. A coned lane will be established and runners should remain within that lane.

Water stations will be at nine different mile markers during the race. Water stations will also have Gatorade sports drink at all stops and GU gels at miles 4.5 and 9.5. Restroom facilities will be provided at four different mile makers as well.

The course will be open for 3 and ½ hours. After that time, runners still on the course will be allowed to finish, but there will be no course support available, so plan your hydration accordingly.

The always-entertaining Beer Mile starts at 1 p.m. Whether you think drinking a 12-oz. beer followed by a 400-meter run and then repeating that three more times seems easy or hard, it’ll definitely be memorable.

The current world record is 4 minutes, 34 seconds. A sub-7 minute puts you in the top 500 all-time. It sounds easy but it is not.

Make sure to bring your smiles to run the miles!

The event schedule is as follows:

Friday, May 10

4:30-7 p.m. —Packet Pickup at Holiday Valley Resort Main Lodge

Saturday, May 11

7-9:30 a.m. — Packet Pickup at Holiday Valley Resort Main Lodge

10 a.m. — Happy Half Marathon Start

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Beer Mile Packet Pickup at Holiday Valley

10:20 a.m. — Happy 5K Start

11:30 p.m. — Happy 5K Awards at Holiday Valley

1 p.m. — Happy Half Marathon Awards at Holiday Valley

1:30 p.m. — Open Beer Mile in Two Waves

2 p.m. — Relay Sections: Two-person Beer-lay at Holiday Valley

2:45 p.m. — Beer Mile Awards

Awards will be given to male and female participants in various age brackets for the half marathon, 5K and Beer Mile. There will also be an award for the fastest two-person relay in the Beer Mile. Awards cannot be mailed. Winner must attend awards ceremonies.