Landis 5K: A Perennial Tradition

By Morgan McClary

On August 12th, fast feet sprint­ed atop pine cones, twigs, and mossy under­brush as atten­dees dashed to the fin­ish line of the 17th Annu­al Lan­dis Peren­ni­al For­est 5K. A total of 187 run­ners, the high­est turnout ever, made their way through grassy mead­ows and forests fea­tur­ing trees and shrubs from all around the world.

Michael Hamil­ton of Oneon­ta was the first across the line with a time of 19:21.46. Dahlia Shee­han-Yassin of Cobleskill secured the spot for best female time at 25:58.82.

Fred Breglia, the Arboretum’s Exec­u­tive Direc­tor, appre­ci­ates that the event attracts new admir­ers to the grounds, help­ing Lan­dis accom­plish its mis­sion of get­ting peo­ple clos­er to nature. With excel­lent views and vis­tas, it has to be the most scenic 5K,” he said. 

David Roy, who has orga­nized the race for many years, notes that the For­est 5K is a trail run every­one can enjoy, espe­cial­ly nature lovers. There’s open mead­ows, soft­woods, hard­woods and a down­hill sec­tion,” David said. He is thank­ful for Chan­dra Burkhart’s orig­i­nal art­work on the t‑shirts and medals that give a real­ly unique Lan­dis” vibe to the race. Chan­dra reflect­ed on her design, I was fas­ci­nat­ed with images I found of a Green Man’ — a mytho­log­i­cal being that is a nature spir­it. The oak leaves on his face tie in with Lan­dis’ oak trees.” 

Anna Lowry, of Delan­son, NY, ran the 5K for the sec­ond time. The four­teen-year-old runs track and cross-coun­try for Duanes­burg and remarked that the course is hard in a fun way. Trail races are pret­ty unique because you run through the woods.”

Stephen Cush­ing, of Albany, NY, has turned the For­est 5K into a fam­i­ly tra­di­tion. His nieces and nephews from West­er­ly, RI, have vis­it­ed for the past sev­en years and run the race togeth­er. It’s chal­leng­ing and it tests you — and it’s fun to be out­side,” Stephen said. 

Deb Virkler, 63, of West Win­field, NY, is a life-long run­ner who exer­cis­es dai­ly and com­petes in the event as a way to man­age her COPD. Mom­ma always said just keep get­ting up and doing it Deb. There’s peo­ple who can’t even get off the couch.’”

This event was the first time the Cogan fam­i­ly ran a 5K. Jo and Nick Cogan, along with their four chil­dren, split their time between liv­ing in Brook­lyn and Esper­ance. They dis­cov­ered Lan­dis last year when buy­ing plants for their new sum­mer home at the annu­al sale. Jo said she loves every­thing about the Arb. It’s so low key, with beau­ti­ful trails and you can just stop and enjoy and look at your sur­round­ings,” she said. Her daugh­ter, Char­lotte, loves the Book Store and looks for­ward to com­ing back to the Lan­dis Arbore­tum every summer.

There are many more nar­ra­tives, each unique – as unique as our now peren­ni­al 5 K.

Click here to view race results and pho­tographs from the 2023 5K.

Fall 2023

Volume 41 , Number 3

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