Area footraces benefit health organizations, scholarship funds, recreational facilities and non-profit groups while steeplechase season also gets underway.
When it comes to races and chases, Harford County really goes the distance. Whether it’s watching the thundering excitement of a horseback steeplechase or competing against other runners in a timed race, there are lots of ways to have fun on the run in Harford this April.
Visiting and resident runners of all ability levels can challenge themselves on a variety of courses from waterside paths to paved trails in the woods during the organized running events happening around the area in April. In addition to promoting good health, many races also benefit charities. Entry fees vary. Visit each event website for more info.
- 2nd Annual Friends R Family Danyelle Filiaggi Memorial 5k & Family Walk, Sunday, April 10
Created to honor the life of Danyelle Filiaggi and bring greater awareness to mental health in our community, proceeds from the event help support mental health education. Entry fee includes t-shirt, water on course and top finisher awards. New this year: a free pancake breakfast courtesy of The Greene Turtle of Bel Air. Event start: Bel Air Athletic Club, Bel Air.
- 5th Spring Duathlon 5K Run and Cycling Challenge, Saturday, April 16
The duathlon is a run/bike/run course with a total distance of a 5K run and 17.5 mile bike ride. Entry fee includes waffle breakfast courtesy of The Bike Shop of Bel Air. Event start: Bike Shop of Bel Air, 2442 E. Churchville Rd., Bel Air.
- Adam Thompson 5K Run/Walk, Sunday, April 24
Created to honor the life of Adam Thompson, who was tragically killed in an auto accident in 2011 at the age of 19. Proceeds benefit the Adam Thompson Scholarship fund at Harford Community College. Entry fee includes t-shirt and on-course water stations plus awards for top finishers. Event start: Harford Community College, Bel Air.
- RASAC Women’s 5K by the Bay, Sunday, April 24
Part of the 2016 Women’s Distance Festival, this waterfront race is a celebration of women, running and fitness. Proceeds benefit Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, RASAC’s Young Women’s Scholarship and SARC. Entry fee includes t-shirt, on-course water station and the chance to win prize raffles. Awards for top finishers. Event start: Millard Tydings Memorial Park, Havre de Grace.
- Harford Junior Track Meet, Sunday, April 24
Shuttle relays and 4×100-meter baton relays for children born between 2001-2008. Enter on-line, by mail, or in person on the day of the meet. Proceeds benefit Bel Air Parks and Recreation Council. Awards for top finishers. Event start: Bel Air High School, Bel Air.
After April, runners can still find plenty of races around Harford. Highlights in May are the BG5K Run and Walk and the Girls on the Run Spring 5K; while June brings the popular Bel Air Town Run and Moonlight 5K among others. Of course, there are plenty of no-cost opportunities for runners in Harford, too. The Experience Harford newsletter provides updates on scheduled running events, and VisitHarford.com has a complete list of parks and trails to explore for free.
With its rich green pastures and rolling hills, Harford County is an ideal setting for equestrian sports. One of the most thrilling to see is a steeplechase, a race in which riders and horses jump over a series of obstacles. It’s a fashionable outing and social afternoon of picnicking that is fun for a family or entertaining clients. Harford County hosts two steeplechase events in April:
- Elkridge-Harford Point-to-Point, Saturday, April 9
Typically the first race of steeplechase season, the Point-to-Point race originated in 1932 as the Harford Hunt Race. It is held on the grounds of the historic Atlanta Hall Farm. Gates open at 12:00 noon; post time is 1:30 p.m. No admission fee but paid parking permit required; $50 per vehicle.
- My Lady’s Manor Steeplechase, Saturday, April 16
One of the “triple crown” of steeplechases in Maryland, this race was first hosted by Harvey S. Ladew in 1909 on the grounds of his farm, a property now known as Ladew Gardens. The first of four races begins at 1:30 p.m. No admission fee but paid parking permit required; cost varies by location.
Visit Harford! Executive Director Greg Pizzuto says, “Harford County has much to offer both human and horse racing enthusiasts. Runners will find plenty of places and opportunities to enjoy their sport while also supporting great causes; and fans of equestrian events can watch steeplechases and even see thoroughbred breeding facilities in the area. Organized runs and many kinds of horse-centric competitions take place year round, so whether watching from the sideline, sprinting around a track, strolling through one of our parks, or even cycling on a trail, come explore and see the multitude of ways to enjoy Harford’s great outdoors.”
VisitHarford! is part of the Harford County, Maryland’s Destination Marketing Organization. The group promotes tourism within Harford County by sharing information on local events, restaurants, attractions, sightseeing opportunities, athletic and recreational facilities, entertainment venues and more in the “Experience Harford” e-newsletter, at www.visitharford.com, and on the organization’s Facebook page.
About Harford County: Harford County is located 25 miles northeast of Baltimore off of I-95 and along the shores of the scenic Chesapeake Bay. The vibrant area offers visitors picturesque beauty, bustling urban centers, historic harbor towns and a variety of world-class cultural and sports amenities. The County’s three municipalities – Aberdeen, Bel Air and Havre de Grace – are only minutes apart, but each offers guests a unique experience. Learn more at http://www.harfordcountymd.gov/.