By Kyra Mancine
Runners and walkers — get ready! May marks the start of the spring running season. Temperatures are ideal to participate in a race. It’s not too hot, not too cold, and the humidity hasn’t kicked in yet. There are plenty of races out there — from small community races to larger events, beginner to advanced. Whether this is your first 5K or your 50th, lace up those shoes and get out there. Not a runner? You can always walk these events, or attend as a spectator to cheer your friends and family on.
Friday, May 4
St Martha’s Parish Fiesta 5k Ole!
This inaugural race in Depew includes a chicken dinner, beer tent, live music, raffles and a shirt to the first 200 registered. There’s also a 1 mile fun walk. Race begins at 6 p.m., starting from the church.
Catalyst Fitness Race for A Cause 5k
This evening race in West Seneca includes music, a photo booth, door prizes and raffles at the post-race party. Proceeds go to the American Cancer Society – Relay for Life. First 100 registered get a shirt. 6:30 p.m. start.
Saturday, May 5
Grand Island Half Marathon & 10k
Sponsored by the Greater Buffalo Track Club, both races start at 9 a.m. from the main parking lot at Beaver Island State Park. Half marathoners receive a finisher’s medal. The 10k race is one loop, the half marathon is two loops around. Enjoy post-race food and beverages. Route is scenic and flat with water views.
DeSales Race for Fitness 5k, 1 mile walk/run, Kid’s Dash
This family-friendly event starts from DeSales Catholic School in Lockport. Participants receive a healthy food goodie bag, T-shirt, post-race refreshments and raffles. The 5k starts at 10 a.m., the untimed 1 mile race starts at 9:30 a.m. and the free Kid’s Dash starts at 9:30 a.m.
Sunday, May 6
Running Water 5k, 1 mile walk
Proceeds of this fundraising event go toward providing clean water to Sierra Leone, West Africa. Route is around Clarence Town Park in Clarence. Race starts at 1:30 p.m. Participants receive a drawstring cinch pack and post-race refreshments, as well as the opportunity to win awards for money raised.
Friday, May 11
Buffalo Greek 5k
Up for some Greek food? Run this event and enjoy a Greek meal and beverage after. Race starts at 6:30 p.m. from the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Buffalo.
Sunday, May 13
Mother’s Day Breast Cancer Canal Walk & 5k Pink Dress Run
Get sponsored to run or walk in this traditional race that grows every year. The run starts at 9 a.m. and the walks (one or two mile) start at 10 a.m. from the Widewaters Marina on Market Street in Lockport. New this year is a cash raffle.
Friday, May 18
Kelly Tough 12k Run & Walk
Held at the Buffalo Bills Field House (ADPRO Sports Training Center) in Orchard Park, this is a Hunter’s Hope awareness and fundraising event. Starting at 6:30 p.m., participants can enjoy family-friendly activities, food, entertainment and awards. Choose between an individual 12k, 4-person relay, 1.2k fun run/walk or you can even join in as a virtual runner to fundraise and earn awards.
Tiger Trot 5k
This is the first race in a new South Buffalo Run series of races. Run along McKinley Parkway. The race begins at 6:30 p.m. Registration includes a t-shirt and post-race party.
Saturday, May 19
Charge of the Knights 5k
This evening race runs through the village of Williamsville. Run the 5k beginning at 6 p.m. or participate in a 1-mile fun run/walk at 5:30 p.m. This family-friendly includes a post-race party with food, live music, raffles and a beer tent.
Saturday May 26 & Sunday May 27
Buffalo Marathon 5k and Buffalo (half and full) Marathon
Thousands run this race — especially because the flat, certified course is a Boston Marathon qualifier event. Saturday is the 5k starting at 8:30 a.m. Runners get a T-shirt, finisher’s medal and post-race party. Up for the Donnelly Challenge? Run the 5k and the marathon and you’ll get a special award. The half and full races start at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday. There is also a Stars & Stripes Relay (teams of four running with the flag), a kid’s mini marathon at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday and, new this year, a Stampede 1k event for dogs.
This is just a sampling of the many running events in and around Western New York. For more races, visit the following websites: