Overall Rating
Overall Rating (3 Reviews)
4.7
(3 Ratings)  (3 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
5
SCENERY
5
PRODUCTION
4
SWAG
3.3
The Amish Country Running Festival is a running festival for every level! 1 mile, 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and Marathon. Set in the peaceful, rolling hills of Amish Country in Western NY. Enjoy this course as it rolls thru the largest Old Order Amish Community in the US. You will … MORE
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Recent reviews

    seagroves87 REPEAT RUNNER '22

    This is my third year doing this race so my other reviews have more info. It is located in southwestern NY about 1 hour away from Buffalo and 2 hours … MORE

    This is my third year doing this race so my other reviews have more info. It is located in southwestern NY about 1 hour away from Buffalo and 2 hours from Rochester. It is a small race and very hilly but probably my favorite scenery of any race I have done in NY state. For the race I stayed in the holiday inn express in Jamestown again so I wouldn’t have to wake up too early. There is race day packet pick-up. Since it is a small race, parking, packet pick-up and everything is very easy. Packet had nice long sleeve (but not tech) shirt and a bag with some coupons, gels and samples. It was quite cold in the morning around 40 degrees though warmed to perfect running temps in the mid 50s. For some reason the cold weather seemed to turn off runners as there was a record number of sign-ups but not a lot showed up so it was quite a small race this year with between 30 to 40 half marathoners. Start is sent in waves by distance. It is manually timed. But it’s a small field and a hilly course you won’t PR on so it’s fine. The course is super hilly with around 1000 feet of elevation gain and the hills are rather unrelenting. However the scenery makes it worth it and there is no time limit so you can enjoy it. I was doing two hilly half marathons this weekend and the one on Sunday had a 3:30 time limit so I decided to take this race extra easy to make sure I saved my energy for the race with the time limit. I sped walked most of the course and just ran a few downhill sections. The first 3 miles of the course are pretty farmland but all the best scenes are past the 10K turnaround so I’d recommend the half even if you have to walk a lot. After the half you go by all these farms with adorable animals. I saw cows, horses, sheep, cats, dogs and even had a few puppies run with me part of the course. There are also adorable Amish children who cheer you on. Race well marked and easy to follow. It’s an out and back but I don’t mind seeing the scenery twice. Also the second half is more downhill at least. There are very frequent aid stations about every 1 mile that are very well stocked. Almost ultra aid stations. Some of the aid stations didn’t have volunteers so the food and drinks were just laid out. But I was last for the half and there was always plenty of supplies and based on the small number of marathoners I doubt any stations ran out of food or drink. At the finish you get your medal. It is fine though not distance specific. My finishing time was obviously slow but I was aiming to finish around 3:30 which I did. This year they had a foodtruck at the end where runners got a free entree plus bag of chips. Not any vegan options but there was mac n cheese. I ate the mac n cheese since I had a long drive home and there isn’t much vegan food in the area. There were also donuts and beer and other drinks. Overall this is a tough course but definitely worth it. As long as I am not on call I will continue to do this race. I would recommend it for NY state if you are the type of person who prefers a small race or if you are worried about time limits. Even the marathon has no time limit but I don’t think I’d want to do 26 miles of those hills.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    seagroves87 REPEAT RUNNER '21

    This is my second year running this race. It is probably the most difficult but also most scenic of all the road half marathons I have done. This is located … MORE

    This is my second year running this race. It is probably the most difficult but also most scenic of all the road half marathons I have done. This is located in Amish Country in Southwestern NY. About an hour drive from Buffalo and 2 hours from Rochester. While I could have gotten up really early and drove I decided to stay at a Holiday Inn Express in nearby Jamestown so I wouldn’t have to get up really early. This race offers either Friday or day of packet pick-up. I got it the morning of the race since I arrived a little late on Friday. Packet pick-up was easy and I was happy the swag was better this year. This year you got a long sleeved, cotton T-shirt with the race logo and got either a winter head band or beenie with the race company logo and a swag bag full of samples, coupons, a race sticker and some race logo bib buttons. Last year I was bothered by the lack of covid protocols but that wasn’t as big of an issue this year since I’m vaccinated and really no races I’ve done recently have had any covid protocols. Since this is a smallish race it actually seemed to be one of the safest I’ve done lately. Production of this race is good for a small race. It does not have the flawless production of some of the larger races by bigger race companies but no real issues with production. The race starts with the marathon at 8 then the half marathon at 8:05 and then the shorter races. There is a nice corral area. It is manually timed but it is a small race so you cross the start line right away and the only way you are PRing is if this is your first time running your distance. This course is crazy hilly but crazy wonderful. I took it extremely easy today since I had my first triathalon the next day and didn’t want to push myself too much. There is no time limit so this is a good race to take easy. The scenery is breathtaking farmland. Again once you get past the 10K turn around it’s the best so I’d recommend doing the half. Once you pass the 10K turn around there are a bunch of Amish families with adorable children who cheer you on. And even better there are so many farm animals. If you read my reviews you know I love farm animals especially cows. I took about 50 pictures today of all the amazing animals. Along with a ton of cows and horses, I also saw some chickens, turkeys and sheep. I was happy to see the two adorable calves from last year were back and much bigger. I included a pic of one who stood right by the road and another adorable little cow. It is an out and back but the scenery is so good you don’t mind it twice. The hills though are unrelenting and there is well over 1000 feet of elevation gain. There are very frequent aid stations and porta potties on course. The aid stations are close to every mile. This year there was some issues with getting volunteers so some were unmanned but there appeared to be plenty of food, water and electrolyte drink though the water was in bottles. The electrolyte drink was self serve cooler with little cups. The aid stations have gels, candy, chips and pickles. There is usually a bacon one but this year to the delight of me and the animals and the disappointment of the other runners they couldn’t get a volunteer to make the bacon. There were volunteers at a few aid stations and the most important intersections. All intersections were well marked and there were also mile markers. The roads are open but they are very quiet with the occasional car or horse and buggy. The only good thing about the elevation profile is the last mile is downhill. At the finish line they cheer on the runners and you get your medal. It was a nicer medal than last year though still not distance specific. My time was incredibly slow since I took so many pictures lol. I set a road half marathon personal worse but I had a blast. At the end there is a tent with food. It was again beef sandwiches and this year there was beef chili and also mac n cheese and donuts. How can anyone eat beef after running this? The mac n cheese and donuts were good though. Overall this is a great hidden gem of a race. I’d highly recommend it. I’m tentatively planning to run the Clarence DeMar marathon next year which I believe is the same weekend so I will have to skip this one next year but definitely plan on doing it again.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    seagroves87 FIRST-TIMER '20

    About a month ago this appeared to be the only race in Western NY so I signed up for the half, then 2 weeks ago they announced some trail races … MORE

    About a month ago this appeared to be the only race in Western NY so I signed up for the half, then 2 weeks ago they announced some trail races near Rochester this weekend so I may have overextended myself a little this weekend but I am glad I did this race. If you sign up, definitely like the Facebook page as they write a personal post welcoming each runner who signs up for the half or the full. Logistics, this is in Amish country in SW NY about 2 hours from Rochester which means either a hotel or getting up crazy early. I opted for the hotel. Luckily they had day of packet pick-up because I got in pretty late Friday night after running a night race. Packet pick-up included a nice pint glass with the race logo, a race sticker, some samples of things like HEED and pain relief gel, coupons and a wrist band for food. There was no shirt. This disappointed me a little but led to this joke I thought of “I’d rather have a race with no shirt than a shirt with no race which is what I got with most of the races I signed up for this year.” After packet pick-up I waited around in my car waiting to go to the corral. The corral was my biggest complaint of the race and the main reason I docked a sneaker and 2 sneakers from production. This was the only race where they were not enforcing or even recommending social distancing in the corral. Participants weren’t required to wear face masks and some were standing very close. I didn’t feel unsafe personally since I had a mask and tried to space out but this seemed irresponsible to me. Along with the public health consequences, if there was to be a large covid outbreak linked to a road race we would be back to all virtual for the foreseeable future. Anyways besides that the race was well produced for a small local race. It was manually timed not chipped time but you aren’t PR’ing on this race so it doesn’t matter. The course goes through beautiful countrysides in Amish country. The leaves were just starting to change colors and the starting temperature was perfect for running although it got a little warm but not uncomfortably so by the end. I was considering switching down to the 10K after I signed up for other races this weekend but decided to stick with the half and just take it easy. I am so happy I stuck with the half as all the best parts of the course were past the 10K turnaround. Prior to the 10K turnaround it was very pretty farmland but afterwards is when you are really in Amish country. All these adorable Amish children ring cowbells and cheer you on. There are also tons of amazing and adorable farm animals. I love farm animals (one of the many reasons I am vegetarian and mostly vegan). There were so many cute cows and horses including the most adorable pair of calves I’ve ever seen. My plan of attack for this race was to walk the uphill and run the downhill and just enjoy it knowing I have another half tomorrow. Oh did I tell you it was hilly. There was over 1000 feet of elevation gain for the half. Since I knew I wasn’t PR’ing with this strategy (and if I tried my hardest wasn’t PR’ing) I stopped and took tons of pictures of the adorable animals. The course is an out and back. Normally I’m not the biggest fans of out and back but I saw different animals on the way back that I missed the first time around. The first half is more uphill and second half is more downhill which led to some negative splits and this is the first half marathon where my second half was quite a bit faster than my first. There was aid stations about every mile. They were well stocked but had water bottles so I used a handheld and refilled it a couple times on the course. Along with the usual gels and bananas there was also chips and candy and one stop at mile 5 had bacon but I don’t know how anyone could eat meat while running with these amazing animals. At the finish line you got your medal. Not the biggest fan. It was just the race logo, not distance specific and had this red, white and blue flag ribbon that totally clashed with the color scheme of the race logo. Plus I believe 1 milers got the same medals as marathoners. There was food at the end. Normally it is served inside at the church but due to covid it was served under a tent and there were spaced out chairs. The food included these gross looking beef sandwiches which I obviously wasn’t eating and again can’t believe anyone would eat after seeing those calves. There didn’t appear to be any vegan options but I was starving and no one wants me driving 2 hours home hungry so I did eat some potatoes (that were prepared with butter) and mac n cheese along with a donut and some delicious apple cider and apologized to the cows for eating dairy. I thought it was odd they also had massage tables. I get why you would want a massage after a half or full marathon but seemed like an obvious thing to drop due to covid but as I said some of the participants and the RD didn’t seem as concerned as me about covid. My time was okay. I was not going to do well in race with over 1000 feet of elevation change that I purposely walked half of and stopped to take a bunch of pics but I was quite a few minutes under 3 hours. It was kind of fun to not take a race seriously. I wouldn’t do this for every half as I like trying to PR and pushing my body and willpower to their limits but I may treat a few half marathons a year like this. While I had some concerns about covid protocols (again didn’t affect me as I socially distanced and wore a mask) and didn’t love the swag, I absolutely loved the course. I would definitely run this one again. This is a real hidden gem of a race. I would highly recommend it if you are looking for a smaller, low-key half or full marathon in NY as long as you don’t care about PR’ing. There are also lots of distance options and no time limits so people of all abilities can participate. Looking forward to coming back and seeing my cow and horse friends again!

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    2
    My Media

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    M_Sohaskey Sep 28, 2020 at 12:11am

    HA, good point about having a shirt with no race, sounds like 2020 in a nutshell. Congrats on your negative split, that always feels good (though admittedly I don't do… MORE

    HA, good point about having a shirt with no race, sounds like 2020 in a nutshell. Congrats on your negative split, that always feels good (though admittedly I don't do it very often). Glad you remembered your mask and that you found a peaceful, scenic course to make up for Friday night. And thanks for sharing your cute picture of the spectator calves... let's hear it for vegetarianism! 🍅 LESS

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