ELLICOTTVILLE, N.Y. — Oh, the horror! From competitive runners used to burying the competition to newbies looking to knock off their first race, the inaugural EVL Halloween Half Marathon and 5K on Nov. 1 in Ellicottville has something for everyone.

Whether you’re a zombie, ghost or goblin … one of the good guys (Spiderman, Batwoman anyone?) a princess or prince charming … you won’t want to miss what organizers are predicting will be the “2014 race to die for” (metaphorically speaking of course).

“There are several reasons why you and your friends won’t want to miss this event, starting with the fact we’re catering to runners of all ages and experience levels, with everything from a half marathon for distance runners, to a 5K for those who prefer the shorter races to a ¾ mile fun run for 4–12 year olds,” observed race co-organizer Doug Bush, an Ironman coach who has killed a few races of his own over the years.

“The runs are designed to be as challenging as you want them to be, but at the same time, the main goal here is to have fun. Which is why we’re encouraging participants of all ages to wear Halloween costumes and why we’re holding the race in Ellicottville, a place you can’t help but have a good time. We also realize the costume thing isn’t for everyone, so if you just want to come out in your usual running gear that’s totally fine.”

“We anticipate a lot of people, especially those coming from farther away, will want to spend the weekend here because there are so many things to do to before and after the race,” said Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Brian McFadden. “I’m not just talking about killing time, if you’ll pardon the expression, as we could very likely have more shops, restaurants and bars per square block than anywhere else in New York State. And if shopping isn’t your thing, we have hundreds of miles of both trails and quiet country roads for everyone from hikers and runners, to mountain and road bikers.”

Prizes will be awarded to the top male and female participants for the half marathon and 5K as well as the top finishers in each age category and also for best costumes. As for the Kids’ Run, all participants will receive a finisher’s medal.

Entry fees for the half marathon are $65 until Aug. 31 and $20 for the 5K until Oct. 15. For additional details regarding everything from course to training plans and online registration, go to To learn more about Ellicottville, go to or call 1-800-349-9099.

Just 45 minutes south of Buffalo, Ellicottville is a four-season playground for visitors, not only from western New York, but southern Ontario, Ohio and northern Pennsylvania, thanks to the historic town’s many shops, restaurants and boutiques — all set against a scenic backdrop of mountains and the nearby Alleghenies.