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Sponsored Post: Jackpot 5k to raise money and awareness for vets

By Sponsored Post
Batavia Downs Jackpot 5k 2023
Kimberly Tomasik out in front of the field at the start of the Batavia Downs Jackpot 5K in 2023.
File Photo.

By James Fink

For one morning, racers at the Batavia Downs' starting gate and finishing line will have two legs, not four.

Batavia Downs is hosting the second annual Jackpot 5K run - set for 9 a.m., Sunday, June 16 (Father’s Day) - where the runners will start and finish along the one-half mile track.

“It is designed to be a fun, fast, flat, and unique course,” said Dan Horan, race director and a retired Buffalo Police Department officer.

Runners (and walkers, too) will start on the Batavia Downs harness track and then make their way through various Batavia streets and the Batavia VA Medical Center grounds before returning to the track and the finish line.

“Actually, I think running through the VA hospital grounds is one of the more picturesque parts of the course,” Horan said.

The race’s genesis came from a happenstance meeting between Horan and Henry Wojtaszek, Batavia Downs president and CEO. Wojtaszek was looking for new events to bring to Batavia Downs, and the 5K (3.1 mile) race fit the bill.

“Things just worked out,” Horan said.

In its inaugural run, the race attracted 165 runners last year. More than 140 people, as of June 4, have pre-registered.

“It is gaining some traction, especially because of the course and being on the track,” Horan said. “But, our intent is to see this grow."

Entry fees are $40 and are available through the Batavia Downs website. A portion of proceeds benefit WNY Heroes Inc.

Participants will receive a commemorative t-shirt, $25 in free play at Batavia Downs, a post-race party on the track with pizza and beverages.

Sponsors include NUTRL, Michelob Ultra, Aqua Fina, Pepsi, Tops Friendly Markets, Pizza 151, Vivify, and Red Bull.

James Fink writes on behalf of Batavia Downs.  Sponsored Post paid for by Batavia Downs.

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