Overall Rating
Overall Rating (2 Reviews)
4.5
(2 Ratings)(2 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.5
SCENERY
4.5
PRODUCTION
4.5
SWAG
4
The EVL Halloween Half, 5k, & Relay will be a fun filled Halloween-themed event featuring a Half Marathon, 5k, and Half Marathon Relay. We encourage runners of all abilities to join us! All EVL events begin and end in the charming village of Ellicottville, NY, and the course runs on … MORE
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Recent reviews

    seagroves87 FIRST-TIMER '20

    This is an annual Halloween themed Half Marathon in Ellicottville (EVL) in Southwestern NY produced by Endurance Factor who also produced the Dirty Dozen race I did there this summer. … MORE

    This is an annual Halloween themed Half Marathon in Ellicottville (EVL) in Southwestern NY produced by Endurance Factor who also produced the Dirty Dozen race I did there this summer. This is one of their bigger and more popular races. After trialing a few smaller races they were able to hold this race safely during covid with close to 500 runners. There was tons of pre-race communication via email including a very detailed athlete guide. Would have been excessive most years but this was appreciated during 2020. Packet pickup was easy as the bib was mailed to you along with some coupons for shops in town. I had no issues with the mail and got the bib the Monday before the race but again could see there being some issues relying on the mail this year. For the race you signed up for waves. The 5K was earlier in the morning and the half marathon in the late morning/early afternoon. I choose the 12:25 to 12:35 window. This was a later start than I am used to and made pre-race fueling a little harder since I had to eat more than usual but the late start was appreciated with it being a 2 hour drive from Rochester so no hotel or early wake up necessary. There was a parking lot that was large with porta potties and also a table with pins and hand sanitizer. Parking was very easy but it was about a 5 min walk to the start. The start was very anti-climactic. They basically just let you go. I arrived a few minutes before my start time and thought there would be a bit of a build up until 12:25 but they just let me go a few mins early. This did feel very safe as there was no congregating at all near the start but I thought some of the more creative starts other race companies have done are more exciting while still quite safe. Of course safety is definitely more important than excitement so I appreciated they erred more on the side of safety. It was still a fun environment with a lot of the runners in Halloween costumes. The course starts in downtown Ellicottville but is mostly through rural, farmland. I have finally gotten to the point where farms have stopped being super exciting for me. I thought the scenery was pretty but I was spoiled by the farmland at the Amish Country Running Festival and the perfect peak fall foliage of the New England Half and this wasn’t as scenic as those two races. Also not too many farm animals to see but I did see some nice horses and maybe stopped for a picture. While this was one of the safest races for covid protocols this was not one of the safest races for traffic. Most of the roads were open. The roads were large and there was little traffic so it wasn’t unsafe but the caution runner signs were small and there were no cones or anything blocking an area for runners for a lot of the race. Also at one intersection where there was a volunteer a driver stopped and asked the volunteer for directions and then proceeded to drive straight as I was crossing the street. I stayed alert, got out of the way and nothing happened but could have been dangerous if I wasn’t paying attention. The course was very hilly with about 700 ft of elevation gain. The evil part of the course was the first half was net downhill and second half net uphill so don’t expect negative splits. There were no crazy steep hills but starting at the halfway point there was about 3 miles of gradual uphill which was mentally tough and seemed never ending. Luckily the final mile is all downhill as I realized at mile 12 I had to maintain about a 10 min/mile pace to make my goal of 2:30 and I killed that last 1.1 miles to do it! There were plenty of water stops on the course with small cups of water, powerade and 3 had Gu gels. One complaint I have is the second to last water stop was abandoned when I got there. I was carrying water so not a big deal but it is a pet peeve of mine at races especially when it was supposed to stay open another hour. This seemed to just be this water stop since the final water stop was open. Another improvement for production is to have a timing mat at the out and back around mile 9. I definitely saw a runner who I previously passed a few miles back magically appear in front of me when I came to the end of the out and back. After the downhill finish you pass the finish line, put your mask back on and get your goodies. You get your medal, shirt, bag of food and there were also monster energy drinks. Each year is a different monster theme. This year was vampire which is the theme for shirt and medal. The medal is big and glittery and is something. It is a little gaudy and not really my aesthetic but is a lot of fun and appropriate for a Halloween race. The shirt was black and also had the vampire. It is not my favorite shirt in terms of design but is a very comfy T-shirt and will be great for sleeping in which is my main use for my non-tech race shirts. The bag of food had a ton of goodies and anything you could want a muffin, granola bar, apple, banana, pretzels and a few lollipops. Overall this was a solid race with very safe covid protocols. While it was scenic it wasn’t quite as special as the other fall roads halfs I have done this year. I was very happy with my time given the hills. It was definitely on the hillier side but not crazy and was a good warm-up race for my upcoming Manchester City Marathon which is also quite hilly. I think this race would be a lot more fun and special during a normal year where I imagine the finish festival is fun and Halloween themed. While the medal was a little gaudy, it was a lot of fun and I wouldn’t mind adding another monster to my medal collection. I would definitely consider this race again as it is worth the 2 hour drive especially since I don’t need a hotel with the later start (normally it starts around 11) but am not sure it is worth a longer drive if you are an out-of-stater. There other October races I would like to try during a normal year so I don’t think I would make this an annual race but I’d definitely run it again.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    niedziev FIRST-TIMER '15

    You should definitely train on hills if you're running this race. I trained in Chestnut Ridge. Be prepared for a few miles of steady uphill. Ellicottville is beautiful--especially in the … MORE

    You should definitely train on hills if you’re running this race. I trained in Chestnut Ridge. Be prepared for a few miles of steady uphill. Ellicottville is beautiful–especially in the fall. This is a run with a view! The post-race celebration was at the Ellicottville Brewing Company–gotta love that post-run free beer! But I kind of wish they had more food options for the runners. I only saw bananas, yogurt, cliff bars, and banana water. Since this wasa Halloween run, it was fun to see all of the different costumes. The medal is awesome though! I will for sure run this race again.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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