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Racing To Assist

Pair Of Runs To Benefit Nonprofits

Pictured are runners from a race sponsored by Tonia and Mark Wilson of Cassadaga. Submitted photo

CASSADAGA — Tonia and Mark Wilson of Wilson Endurance Sports, in spite of the pandemic, are planning events for the upcoming future. This time, it’s back to back events on May 29 and 30, bringing some activity to Cassadaga for Memorial Day weekend with both helping benefit different organizations within the town.

The Saturday event is something the Wilsons have run before, at the Harbor Hotel in Celoron two years ago. Sponsored by Southern Tier Brewing Company, the Cassadaga Fireman’s Beer Mile will return to help raise money which would allow the Cassadaga Fire Department to purchase a much needed piece of equipment.

“We found out they needed a piece of equipment to clean the underside of the trucks,” said Tonia Wilson. “The part costs $45,000 so we knew they needed to raise money and the Beer Mile is a fun event to do that.”

The Beer Mile will have three different categories of competition: competitive male, competitive female, and the social category. They’ve spread the three heats out in order to remain compliant with COVID-19 regulations. The Beer Mile consists of drinking a can of beer, then running a quarter mile, and then those that are competing repeat that process three more times. Wilson said the event is a big hit, and can be as casual as the competitors want it to be.

“It’s so much fun and everyone is really excited,” Wilson said. “The social beer milers aren’t in it to win any timed event, they’re there to have fun.”

So far there has been a lot of early interest. They’ve been able to get enough sponsors to help with the event costs, such as porto-johns, hot dogs, and T-shirts, which will be handed out by the Ladies Auxiliary. Because of COVID-19, the event size is capped at 200 people, which they hit the last time they held this event in February, so the Wilsons are expecting a similar turnout.

The second event spawned from the first event, as the Library in Cassadaga had heard what Wilson Endurance was doing for the Fire Department. The Library asked if they could piggyback off the Beer Mile, so Tonia and Mark came up with the Cassadaga Lakes running festival, which spawned from a group of people who would walk around the lake. The running festival will give performers the option to compete in a marathon, half marathon, a 10k, or a 5k, or a one-mile event. Contestants will have all of those events to choose from, and the event will once again be providing shirts, as well as catering from Super Duper.

“It’s a full blown event,” Wilson said. “Marathoners will start at 8 am and start and finish at Cassadaga beach. The people doing the full marathon will do two loops. It’s the same event we do in Randolph, and the scenery over here is quiet and beautiful.”

Anyone looking to participate in any event will need to preregister at coachmarkwilson.com. Members of neighboring Fire Departments are also encouraged to attend the event.

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