‘Cuse Runs for a Cause 'Cuse Runs for a Cause

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – There are two types of people in this world. People who sleep in on Saturday mornings and those who get up at the crack of dawn to run for a good cause.

Syracuse and its surrounding communities have a reputation; if there’s money to be raised, more often than not, it’s going take an entry fee and 3.1 miles to get there.

For some Central New York runners, it doesn’t take much to be convinced to participate in these events. Steve Rando, an avid runner who runs six days a week and 30 to 40 miles a week, isn’t terribly picky when it comes to signing up for a 5k. He knows it’s all going to good causes.

“I don’t really need any um, incentive to go run a 5k,” said Rando. “If there is one out there that’s a really good cause, that’s just another reason to sign up for it and go for it.”

Rando is about a month out from racing the Boilermaker, an annual 15k (and 5k) race through the streets of Utica. For the past 45 years, money raised by the race goes toward community outreach programs, including building community gardens, free youth running events and college scholarships.

“Yeah, I’m excited for it,” Rando said.

And for runners like Rando, they’re in luck. According to Running the USA, an online directory of races around the country, the Central New York area hosts, on average, two to three 5k’s every weekend over the summer.

One of those races, Paige’s Butterfly Run, which took place over the weekend, was back in person after COVID forced the event to go virtual for two years. Most race participants this summer are feeling the same sentiment; it’s good to back in person.

Nearly 600 runners ran the 5k Saturday morning and helped raise almost $30,000 for local pediatric cancer research and patient programs for kids and families fighting cancer at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital.

Paul Chwalek, a 68-year-old man from Baldwinsville ran his first Butterfly Run ever this weekend and said he was racing for something bigger than himself.

“I have grandkids…I have grandkids you know?” said Chwalek, fighting through tears. “Anything I can help to do to help research, God forbid they ever get it. That’s why.”

If you’re looking for a way to give back this summer, or even in the next two weeks, Central New York has a 5k waiting for you:

June 11

Cow Chase 5k (Dryden, NY)

  • Proceeds go to the preservation of the Dryden Rail Trail

Nate Race  (Canasta, NY)

  • Proceeds of the race to to scholarships, summer conditioning programs, youth track meets, health and fitness classes, office of the aging and other community based programs in the community
    • Includes a 12k race too

June 18

ShortcaKe 4K At Abbott Farms (Clay, NY)

  • Race will benefit Sunshine Horses, a non-for-profit organization that rescues and helps horses find loving homes

June 21

Syracuse WorkForce Run (Liverpool, NY)

  • Benefits the Rescue Mission Alliance of Syracuse, which strives to end hunger and homelessness in the area


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