In the fall running season, there seems to be a race to fit every skill level and ambition. But few aim to please the whole family.
The Colonie Youth Center will mark a decade of doing just that with its annual Crossings 5K Challenge and Kids Runs on Sunday, Sept. 29, in The Crossings Park at the Rudy A. Ciccotti Family Recreation Center located at 30 Aviation Road in Colonie.
Around 500 people are expected to sign up for the 5K run and more than 200 children are likely to line up for two kids runs offered. Registered participants can enjoy a continental breakfast by Hannaford Supermarkets, coffee by Professor Java’s and beverages by Coca-Cola Refreshments. CBRE-Albany is sponsoring the Kids Activity Zone, which offers several fun attractions for children.
“This race is all about promoting health and wellness and celebrating that,” said Barbara Boodram, director of development at Colonie Youth Center. “It is a nice way to promote being healthy and being out there exercising and being fit, while having fun doing it.”
New this year is a competitive 1-mile run for kids up to 13 years of age, in addition to the regular quarter-mile fun run still being offered for the same age range. The competitive kids race requires a $10 registration, because it will be timed just like the adult race. The fun run is free, but children still must register.
“Those that have a more competitive edge will have a more real type of format,” Boodram said. “We all do the same finish line, so when you have the adult runners waiting for the kids to come through, it is really fun to watch. All of us get to celebrate them coming through the finish line, which is really fun.”
Every child who completes the shorter fun run will get a medal, and each child registered for either of the runs will be entered to win a pool party for up to 20 guests at the Ciccotti Center. Each will also get a slice of pizza courtesy of Inferno Pizzeria and a ticket to an Albany Devils home game upon crossing the finish line.
Children who are more active runners or walkers can also join up with their family in the 5K.
“We see a lot of kids participating and they often enjoy going right out into the 5K,” Boodram said. “This year, we hope to have a lot more of the kids from the middle school participating.”
The CBRE-Albany Kids Activity Zone will open at 9 a.m. providing games, a bounce house provided by Bounce Alot Party & Music Rentals, a rock climbing wall from the Army National Guard, music and area mascots that include the Smile Monster, Fuzzy from Fantastic Sam’s, Devil Dawg from the Albany Devils.
The race attracts a wide range of people, Boodram said. Seniors run alongside competitive runners who use the race as a test run for competitions
“We enjoy being able to provide the community and Capital Region a great time to really have fun and get out and move together at any age,” she said. “They can be as competitive with their time as they want or so they can relax with their time and not worry about it.”
All event proceeds will benefit CYC’s before- and after-school childcare program, family counseling services and scholarship fund offering financial assistance to low-income working families who could not otherwise afford childcare.
“The most important thing is the money raised is going to such an important cause,” Boodram said.
Online registration closed Wednesday, Sept. 25, but day-of-race registration is available starting at 8 a.m. The 5K race/walk kicks off at 10 a.m., and awards for overall finishers and various age groups will follow. The kids runs are expected to start around 10:45 a.m.
Several sponsors help make the event possible, including Knapek, Gabriele & Bottini, LLP; Woodward Connor Gillies & Seleman Architects; Fleet Feet Sports; Coca-Cola Refreshments; CDPHP; Inferno Pizzeria; WGY; CapCom Federal Credit Union; Colonie Senior Service Centers, Inc.; Clark Industrial Park; Awards By Walsh’s; and Spotlight News.
For information on the event or to download a copy of the registration form, visit www.colonieyouthcenter.org or call 438-9596. You can also register at the Ciccotti Center prior to the event.