Chilly Chili 5K- January-Cazenovia, NY

The Chilly Chili has become an upstate NY tradition.  In the first couple of years that I ran it, it was still a fairly small race.  Now it is a huge event.  The first Chilly is because it’s January in Syracuse and it’s going to be cold and there will be icy spots on the roads, if not snow.  The second (and best) Chili is the chili cook-off that takes place after the race (fire fighters make the best chili consistently).  There are over a dozen local restaurants and organizations competing for best chili plus local breweries and wineries.  A live band plays as you more than replace any calories banked during your 3 mile run.  This is all free for race participants and $5-$10 for spectators.  I promise, you will eat and drink your money’s worth.

5Ks aren’t my favorite races.  It takes me at least a mile to get warmed up so for the short races I’m just starting to feel good and then it’s over.  Not to mention all the families and walkers that line in up in the front because they just don’t know better (or care).  The post-race is what keeps me coming back.

The town of Cazenovia is fantastic.  Brick sidewalks, liberal arts college and trendy restaurants and boutiques are plentiful.  The Lincklaen House is the best restaurant in town as far as value and quality are concerned.   Fresh popovers for every table.  An eclectic menu and a very cool atmosphere in the basement of an old building.  Try to get a seat by the fireplace and enjoy a well deserved Sunday brunch.  There are other great restaurants nearby but if you are a foodie, who doesn’t want their meal to include a long wait and/or a huge bill this is the best choice.

Every year I say I’m not doing it because it’s getting too congested or it’s too far and every year I seem to be there.  The important stuff is covered: plenty of volunteers and police support and lots of off the street free parking.  About 25 minutes outside of Syracuse but it is a beautiful drive.  Hell, I think I’ve already convinced myself to run it next year.

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