The Year Ahead in Races
by M.F. Piraino - Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014
A look at the 2014 race schedule

As we usher in a new year, it’s never too early to start thinking about the racing season. This year’s calendar is loaded with events that thousands of runners participate in annually, like the nationally renowned Utica Boilermaker.

Many races are for your average everyday runner. Some even feature a children’s component to keep things family-friendly. Here’s a quick look at some key dates to circle on your running calendar.

Sunday, Jan. 26: Chilly Chili 5K. Nearly 1,000 runners brave the winter elements in Cazenovia to take part in this event that benefits Cazenovia Children’s House. The 3.1-mile race starts and finishes at Cazenovia Middle School, on Emory Avenue, and runners can warm up at an after party that includes a chili cook-off. (http://www.chillychili.com/)

Feb. 23: Lake Effect Half Marathon. Winter weather in these parts can be quite unpredictable, and that was the case last year during the inaugural race. Runners endured snow flurries and 40 mph winds whipping off the Onondaga Lake on the 13.1-mile course at Onondaga Lake Park. But for nearly 500 competitors, that’s the beauty of winter racing. The second annual race is expected to surpass last year’s numbers. (http://www.lakeeffecthalfmarathon.com/)

March 8: Tipp Hill Shamrock Run. The ninth annual event gives runners a scenic tour of Syracuse’s historic Tipperary Hill, taking runners past many of the neighborhood’s landmarks, including the famous “Green-on-Top” traffic light and Coleman’s Pub. The four-mile course is the main event, while a 0.6-mile race is scheduled for children ages 5 to 12. (http://www.tipphillrun.com/)

May 4: Mountain Goat Run. A children’s fun run and a 3K run are offered, but it’s the marquee 10-mile run that tests a racer’s mettle. The challenging course features some of Syracuse’s toughest hills and winds through all sections of the city, which seems to be a part of the draw for runners. The race had a record number of entries last year, with nearly 4,000 runners. Early registration begins Feb. 28 online and through the mail. (http://www.mountaingoatrun.com/)

May 17: Komen Race for the Cure. The annual event, celebrating its 20th year, brings together an entire community to raise money for breast cancer awareness. Held at the New York State Fairgrounds, the atmosphere is one of hope and inspiration for both runners and non-runners. (http://www.komencny.org/komen-race-for-the-cure/)

June 22: Syracuse Ironman 70.3. Olympic-caliber athletes are among the international competitors that enter this grueling event. The race begins in Jamesville Reservoir, where athletes will complete a 1.2-mile, single-loop swim. The 56-mile bike course winds through the Highland Forest recreational area then takes athletes through Onondaga, Madison and Cortland counties. Athletes will finish their race with a 13.1-mile run in and out of Jamesville Beach County Park.

July 13: Utica Boilermaker 15K/5K Road Races. It doesn’t get any better than this nationally renowned race. On-line registration will open March 22 at noon and don’t dawdle signing up. Last year, the Boilermaker 15K sold out in three days; the 5K closed out in four days. Race cap numbers will remain the same as established in 2013: 14,000 for the 15K and 4,500 for the 5K. (http://www.boilermaker.com/)

Other important dates include the Iron Girl Syracuse (Aug. 3), which is close to being sold out, and the Empire State Marathon (Oct. 19). For a comprehensive list of 2014 running events, go to fleetfeetsyracuse.com.

What races are you looking forward to this year? Which local race is the best? Go to the Syracuse New Times Facebook page and let us know!

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