Four 5-kilometer races that raise funds for charities and fund scholarships for students have combined under one heading and will kick off May 12 with the 18th annual Nancy Price Memorial 5K Run in Youngstown.
The other three races included in the inaugural Di Mino Lower Niagara 5K Racing Series series are: the Jason Raby Memorial 5K on Aug. 3; the Peach Festival 5K on Sept. 8; and the Hospice Dash 5K on Sept. 22.
The overall male and female winners of the series will be awarded $500 each at the Hospice Dash Post Party at Porter-on-the-Lake on Sept. 22. To win the series, one must run three of the four races, including the final race, and have the fastest combined total times. The running series will also present trophies to the top three male and female runners by age groups, and runners in all races receive a Dri-FIT running shirt.
The Di Mino family, owners of Tops Supermarket in Lewiston, is sponsoring the series.
"We're trying to raise participation in all of the races," said Kim Cudmore, Youngstown recreation director, who praised the generosity of the Di Minos in helping with this effort.
"We're each doing our own race, but promoting the other races in the series at our own races, too, because runners might not be aware of the other races," Cudmore said.
Registration forms for the Nancy Price Run are available by calling Cudmore at 531-1216 or visiting www.hospicedash.com. Registration fees are $20 for runners, $14 for walkers and $10 for students.
Participants may also register from 8:15 to 9:15 a.m. May 12 at the Youngstown Fire Hall, Nancy Price Drive and Elliott Street, where the race will begin. On the day of the race, fees are $22 for runners, $16 for walkers, and students stay at $10. The race starts at 9:45 a.m. for walkers and at 10 for runners, and features a new scenic route along Main Street and into Fort Niagara State Park and back.
Price, who died Dec. 25, 1994, was a Youngstown resident and recreation director who worked to improve recreation opportunities. Proceeds from this race fund scholarships in her name for graduating high school seniors in the Lewiston and Porter area who embody her sense of "community, fairness and morals," according to Cudmore. Scholarship forms are available at Lewiston-Porter High School and from the Recreation Department.
This is the fourth year for the Jason Raby Memorial 5K, slated for Aug. 3 in honor of the Lewiston-Porter Class of 2001 graduate who died unexpectedly while attending Niagara University.
As a student at Lew-Port, Raby was known for epitomizing the ideals of hard work, commitment and dedication. He was a highly regarded student and cross country and track athlete. His father, Gary Raby Sr., is also a Lew-Port graduate and longtime cross country and track-and-field coach at Lew-Port. Proceeds from the race support several scholarships sponsored by the Lewiston-Porter Alumni Association.
The race begins on the Lew-Port campus, and the course is described as flat and fast, followed by a post-race party. For more information, visit www.lew-port.com on the alumni association page.
The Kiwanis Peach Festival 5K will mark its 34th anniversary Sept. 8. Each year, the race committee gives the proceeds to a different local charity. This year's recipient has not yet been chosen.
The race is sponsored by KeyBank and the Lewiston Kiwanis Club and is the kickoff to the annual Peach Parade. The race begins in front of KeyBank on Center Street and courses through the Village of Lewiston.
The Hospice Dash 5K was started in 2009 by the Paul Beatty Jr. family to benefit Niagara Hospice. The family is devoted to raising money for the organization to help support the special kind of care offered to families dealing with end-of-life illnesses.
The Hospice Dash has a one-way course that runs along the shores of Lake Ontario and finishes at Porter-on-the-Lake. The race features live music along the course, as well as a great post-race party. Finisher medals are awarded to all runners, and awards go to the top three finishers in each age group.
The Dash has become so popular that the Mighty Niagara Half-Marathon has been added and is expected to draw runners from the Northeast U.S. and Ontario. The half-marathon begins at 9 a.m. at Artpark in Lewiston and also ends at Porter-on-the-Lake.
Links to information on each race may be found at www.hospicedash.com, including interactive course maps.