Back for its third year at the Taste of Hamburg-er Festival is the Dine & Dash Trail Race from Blue Mountain Wildlife Incorporated. The race combines two favorites in the area: running and a good burger or in this case two burgers.
Runners will line up at tables with burgers and water early in the day on Aug. 30 at the end of State Street in Hamburg to kick-off a day full of hamburger themed festivities.
“The Dine & Dash is a ‘food’ race,” said Elaine Cook, of Blue Mountain Wildlife Incorporated. “Simple plan: eat a burger, run a mile, eat a second burger, run back. In practice it is harder than it sounds! Good eaters can be as successful as good runners.”
Gregg Adams, of Blue Mountain Wildlife Incorporated, agreed with Cook about the race being simple and athletes not necessarily having the advantage in the race.
“It’s a fun novelty race that could be more of a challenge than it seems. I don’t think the well-trained athlete has the advantage here and that really opens it up to every competitor. It’s a test of strategy, athletic ability and heart,” he said. “And stomach. Don’t forget stomach. Of course to make it interesting we’ve added the Best Costume and Best Dog categories to allow everyone a good chance at a prize.”
This year marks the third year of the Dine & Dash which started after a less than successful milkshake booth at the festival according to Cook. The organization already had plenty of experience planning races and Adams came up with the idea of sticking with what they were good at and creating a race.
“Blue Mountain Wildlife has been interested in participating in Taste of Hamburg-er Festival since its inception and we’ve tried many different ways to both fundraise and educate,” said Adams. “Three years ago we came up with the Dine & Dash and it seems to fit our needs and capabilities. We are hoping that it becomes a good fundraiser for our organization.”
In just the past two years, and in pre-registration for this year’s race, Cook and Adams have seen an increase in participation in both runners and spectators.
“This is the kind of race that you have to experience for yourself,” said Cook.
“The Dine & Dash is definitely a unique experience,” added Adams. “The participants tend to bring a bit of a party atmosphere to the event. The crowd is great and very supporter. The burgers (from The Westy and Russo’s) get great reviews from our participants. Our t-shirts seem to be popular. What’s not to love?”
Both years the organization has made a profit and Adams explained that the first year was a learning year and that last year went better. The group has been running races for nine years and has a lot of experience in that area, but as both Cook and Adams said, this event is a different experience. In just the past two years they have learned quickly how to improve the race.
Events such as the Dine & Dash help the organization raise awareness for their mission which includes the upkeep of the Kernsville Dam Recreation Area. The funds help with the upkeep and maintenance of the area.
This unique event helps Blue Mountain Wildlife Incorporated let those not only in the area, but also those who travel miles to the festival, to learn more about the organization and their mission. It is also a different experience for the organizers.
When asked what she enjoyed about the event, Cook responded, “The great variety of competitors and the goofiness of it in comparison to ‘regular’ races.”
“I enjoy the sense of fun that comes with the race,” said Adams. “There’s a vibe that the Dine & Dash has that our other races don’t. It’s like all the fun and anticipation of the Hamburg-er Festival with the excitement of competition added. That and it’s an easy event to run. Like our participants, we can run the race and then enjoy the rest of Hamburg-er Festival.”
Openings are still available for this year’s race. There is also the added benefit of arriving at the festival early in time to participate.
“It’s a great way to kick-off the Taste of Hamburg-er Festival. Come early to avoid traffic and get the best parking sports. Park at the Hamburg Park before 10:45 a.m., walk down 2nd Street to State and we’re right there,” said Adams. “Check us out and sign up to run. Or just cheer the contestants on.”
For more information on the Dine & Dash and Blue Mountain Wildlife Incorporated, visit www.bluemountainwildlife.com. To check out more on the Taste of Hamburg-er Festival visit http://www.tasteofhamburger.com/.