Elizabethtown, N.Y. (November 28, 2018) – University of Vermont Health Network - Elizabethtown Community Hospital’s auxiliary has set Saturday, March 23, 2019 for the annual Doc Lopez Run for Health. The race features a half-marathon, 5K run and 1-mile walk.
According to Susan Lopez Allott, race director and daughter of Doc Lopez, after whom the race is named, runners organize their race calendars well in advance. “Runners are planners,” she said. “Many runners are already selecting which races to run next year, well before the end of this calendar year. If runners are looking for a fun challenge, we really hope that they give the Lopez race a serious look when making their decisions.”
The Doc Lopez Run for Health is an exciting race, with some serious terrain, surrounded by the beautiful Adirondack Mountains. The half marathon starts on flat terrain, followed by a significant 2-mile hill and then a gradual downhill for the final 9 miles. “These 13.1 miles are challenging, especially considering that it’s early in the race season,” said Allott. The 5k run and one-mile walk are on flat terrain. “The Doc Lopez race offers an opportunity for runners and walkers of all skill levels,” added Allott.
Each year, the race attracts well over 150 runners from as far away Western New York, the Albany region, Vermont and Canada, with many more from the local area. The event serves to connect the hospital with the community and with healthy activities, according to Auxiliary President Laura Sells-Doyle. “Like the hospital itself, this long-standing event promotes health, physical activity and community participation. We hope to continue building on the race’s popularity and increasing participation over time.”
According to Allott, race organizers are committed to ensuring a great race experience. “Race day always seems to go very smoothly. Safety precautions are in place, there are many water stations, volunteers are enthusiastic and the auxiliary takes great pride in feeding participants really well at the end. There are a number of traditional post-race foods like bagels and bananas, along with warm chili, hot chocolate, coffee and tea to warm up everyone.”
The Doc Lopez race has a long history, dating back to the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid. Dr. Lopez was a beloved local veterinarian and avid runner, taking part in the torch relay as it passed through Westport and Elizabethtown. He organized a race, based on that torch relay, which ran for many years. It eventually expanded and evolved into the Doc Lopez Run for Health. The race is now larger but it preserves its historic beginnings.
Businesses and individuals are encouraged to support the event. “As a hospital fundraiser, obviously we are hoping to keep costs to a minimum,” said Sells-Doyle. “We would love for individuals, groups and businesses to consider sponsoring the race.”
For more information on the race or sponsorship opportunities, please contact Stephanie Davis at (518) 873-3003 or Susan Allott at (518) 637-7102.