Happy Half cover

By Alicia Dziak

Come on, get happy! The Happy Half and 5K and Beer Mile return to Holiday Valley on Saturday, May 12.

“It’s going to be fun!” said Gwen Bush of Endurance Factor, LLC, who organizes the race.

While Gwen said there will be new surprises along the way, the course is the same as last year’s, and takes runners out of the resort and along Route 219 toward Great Valley.

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

At press time, there were still slots open in the race, but Gwen said they are going fast. Race day registration will also be available is space allows. For the latest info, visit happyhalfrun.com or their Facebook page.

Gwen also encourages spectators, and enthusiastically said how fun the race is to watch. “The runners love encouragement,” she said. “And and Beer Mile is hilarious!” The after-party, catered by Holiday Valley’s Centerplate, will also have food available for purchase to non-runners.

For all the pre-race and race-day work like handing out race packets, directing runners and distributing awards, Endurance Factor works with the Ellicottville Sports Boosters and the Springville Griffith-Institute track team. In exchange for their services, both groups receive a donation.

“It’s just a great group of kids,” Gwen said of her volunteers. “They are fantastic and I couldn’t appreciate them more.”

In addition, guests are asked to bring non-perishable food donations for the Ellicottville Food Pantry. After the race, Endurance Factor makes a food donation, as well as a monetary one, to the food pantry. “We always like to give back,” Gwen said.

The event schedule is as follows:

Friday May 11

4:30 – 7 p.m.: Packet Pickup – Holiday Valley Resort (Main Lodge), Ellicottville

Saturday May 12

7 – 9:30 a.m.: Packet Pickup  – Holiday Valley Resort (Main Lodge)

10 a.m.: Happy Half Marathon Start

10:20 a.m.: Happy 5k Start

11:30 p.m.: Happy 5k Awards – Holiday Valley Resort

10 a.m. – 1 p.m.: Beer Mile Packet Pickup – Holiday Valley Resort

1 p.m.: Happy Half Marathon Awards – Holiday Valley Resort (Based on final finishers)

1:30 p.m.: Open Beer Mile (Two Waves) – Holiday Valley Resort

2 p.m.: Relay Sections: 2 person Beer-lay – Holiday Valley Resort

2:45 p.m.: Beer Mile AwardsHappy Half cover