As many of you may already know, Ellicottville is home to some of the most entertaining festivals and events in Western New York. From the multiple fetes produced by the local Chamber of Commerce, to the countless gatherings afforded by HoliMont and Holiday Valley, there are no shortage of reasons to visit our Village. One of these reasons is coming up quite soon: the 2nd Annual EVL Half Marathon & 5k, hitting the streets and country roads of the area on Saturday, Oct. 24. This Halloween costume themed race is truly fun for all levels of participants, whether you’re an avid marathoner or casual jogger. Costumes are encouraged, but certainly not mandatory, making this an enjoyable spectator event for those lining the start / finish area in downtown Ellicottville.
The event is the brainchild of Ellicottville locals and event directors Doug and Gwen Bush, who were inspired by several regional events, as well as the Centurion Cycling event - the large cycling series that visited EVL a few summers ago. Doug, being a 10-year veteran participant of the Ironman Triathlons in Canada and Hawaii, an exercise and physiology training professional, as well as Gwen with her extensive background in the entertainment industry, saw opportunity to create something unique to the area that embodied the spirit and excitement typically associated with Ellicottville. The goal was simple: create a total experience event that even the most seasoned, serious participant could enjoy, alongside those who may only partake in one event per year. It’s safe to say with nearly 1,000 runners the first year, their vision was ultimately successful. With year one in the books, the Bushes have already made several improvements for this year’s race, including bringing in ‘Score This!!!’ timing, which is used by the biggest marathon events in the world, including the Buffalo, NYC, Chicago, and Boston Marathons, as well as ever popular ‘Turkey Trot’, one of the biggest running events in the country.
With any event such as this, there are a variety of details to go over to ensure you get the most out of participating. The EVL Half Marathon & 5k has now grown to what could be a two-day event. One of the proud partners in the event, the Ellicottville Brewing Company, will kick everything off Friday evening, Oct. 23, as they will be hosting a race packet pick-up in their beer garden from 4-7pm for those wishing to avoid the hustle of a raceday morning. On top of that, they are also offering a delicious, carb-filled pasta dinner for $19.99, for those looking to stock up on race fuel. The following morning, things kick off once again at EBC from 7-10:30am for the next round of race packet pick-up. For those running the EVL Half, that race gets underway at 11am at the start / finish line located in front of The City Garage on Monroe Street. For those looking for a lighter Saturday, the 5k hits the streets at 11:15am. By 12:30pm, awards will be underway for the 5k portion of the event back at EBC, following the Watson’s Chocolates-sponsored costume contest (remember: encouraged, but not mandatory). Athletes will be treated to generous portions of recovery fluids and foods, as well as a fixed price menu to top off their tanks. At 2:30pm, the EVL half marathoners will have finished, and the last of the impressive EVL Half Marathon medals will be awarded.
As with any Ellicottville event, this is certainly a cause for a party, and so it will feature DJ John Nelson providing entertainment in the beer garden throughout the afternoon. Additionally, EBC will be hosting their own version of ‘brewery games’ on Monroe Street, which will include a keg toss and various other entertaining feats of wonder.
For more information on this year’s EVL Half Marathon & 5k, go to www.evlhalf.com or follow it on Facebook for frequent updates and training insight. Doug and Gwen wish to thank the local community of Ellicottville who made year one so successful, including but not limited to: participants, local businesses, law enforcement, the Nazareth Food Pantry, Ellicottville Sports Boosters, Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce, Springville Track Club, Wingate Hotel, and of course the Village Board. These events aren’t possible without the support of many, and truly thrive in small, character filled towns such as Ellicottville!