Strawberry Shake 5K Walk/Run returns for 6th annual race

Strawberry Shake 5K Walk/Run returns for 6th annual racePhoto from last year's race. (File Photo)

The family favorite Strawberry Shake 5K Walk/Run and the Strawberry Shortcake 1 Mile Fun Run are back for the 6th year in a row to support the Friday night activities that center around the popular Strawberry Festival, planned for June 16 with a Block Party, and then the main festival taking place on Saturday in Owego. 

The race committee, directed by original members Christine Hafer and Heather Gunther, are excited to be partner with the Owego-Apalachin Boosters Club on June 16 for this event. Booster Club members Kristine Maslin and Becky Bowers, along with coach John Heath, are organizing Cross Country team students and parents, along with other O-A athletic teams, to provide support and volunteers for this year’s race.  

Volunteerism is an important skill that promotes service learning for adolescents as well as encourages a commitment to activities that endorse health and wellness within our community. From the beginning, the primary focus of the Strawberry Shake 5K and the Strawberry Shortcake Fun Run has been to encourage participation among youth, as well as all members of the community. Proceeds from the race have benefitted youth health and wellness since its inception and this is the direction that it will continue to take with this new partnership.

In addition to benefiting those who participate in the actual race, the downtown business district of the Owego Village also sees an influx of commerce and increased numbers of people who flock to the numerous exciting activities offered on Friday night of the Strawberry Festival. One of the highlights of the race is the opportunity to showcase this gem of a charming village in the Southern Tier to people who are coming to Owego for the first time to run in the Strawberry Shake 5K.  

Last year’s numbers for the race topped well over 800 participants and the expectation is that they will continue to see even more robust growth and enthusiasm. With the support of the Village of Owego, organizers are encouraged that this will once again be a rousing success and they look forward to seeing all of their runners again on June 16!

Are you ready to run? Pre-registration is open now. Follow in the footsteps of last year’s runners by entering in the 6th Annual Strawberry Shake 5K Road Race and Walk and the Kids’ Strawberry Shortcake 1 Mile Fun Run!  

Both races will be held opening night of the Owego Strawberry Festival on Friday, June 16, and will start and finish at the Tioga County Office Building Parking Lot at Academy Street, Owego. The mostly flat and fast 5K-race route takes the runners and walkers along the Susquehanna River and through the streets of lovely, downtown Owego, as well as straight through the Strawberry Festival itself. 

The Strawberry Shortcake Kids’ Run begins at 5:30 p.m. and the Strawberry Shake 5K Race/Walk begin at 6:15 p.m. The Kids’ Run is for ages five to 10 only. The pre-registration entry fee is $25 for individuals for the 5K and $20 each for those who register as a team.  

The Strawberry Shortcake Kids’ Run is $10 for each individual. The pre-registration ends at midnight on Thursday, June 8. All registrations that come in after that time will pay Race Day entry fees of $30 for the 5K and $15 for the Kids’ Run. There are no refunds for cancellations.  

The first 750 pre-registered runners will receive a race T-shirt. All runners will be treated to complimentary bottled water, fruit, and coupons for festival activities. Awards will be given in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place categories for various age groups for males and females.

Race bib pick-up and day of registration will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. for the 5K Race and from 2 to 5:15 p.m. for the Kids’ Run at the race location on Academy Street. There is no registration or packet pick-up after 6 p.m. for the 5K Race.

The race directors reserve the right to reject any entry for any reason. The race is partly run with traffic on a state highway, so dogs are forbidden. Jogging strollers are allowed. Those observing poor manners towards motorists or not obeying the traffic marshals will be disqualified. The race has been certified by USA Track & Field. 

Proceeds will benefit the Owego-Apalachin Cross Country and Track teams along with other athletic groups. For more information, contact Christine Hafer at or Heather Gunther by calling (607) 687-2434, ext. 25. You can also visit the race website at

The 37th Annual Strawberry Festival is being held Friday, June 16 and Saturday, June 17 in downtown Owego. After the race, come be a part of the fun and excitement by sampling the great food, visiting the unique and creative shops, and touring the many offerings of local artisans and vendors that line the streets.

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