The Saratoga Palio Melanie Merola O'Donnell Memorial Race
5K · 13.1M


Melanie Merola O'Donnell

The Melanie Foundation was created in 2006 to honor the life and legacy of Melanie Merola O’Donnell, with the mission to foster support for mental health issues. Melanie lived a life of giving, focusing her career on relieving suffering inflicted by mental illness. Melanie died at the age of 33 while in the midst of doctoral studies in psychology. Her family and friends subsequently collaborated to bring The Melanie Foundation to life, with the initial goal of providing scholarships to people who had the best chance of extending Melanie’s legacy, graduate students in a mental health field. The Melanie Foundation’s most significant fundraiser, The Saratoga Palio, has become a signature event in Saratoga each fall. Its success has helped The Melanie Foundation expand its support of aspiring mental health practitioners. The success also has enabled The Melanie Foundation to give back to Saratoga Springs – the community that gave us Melanie.

Since 2009, The Melanie Foundation has awarded a scholarship in her name to an outstanding post-graduate student in the field of mental health. In addition, a portion of funds raised each year are donated to local nonprofit organizations. Past recipients include Saratoga Bridges, the mental health unit of Saratoga Hospital, Franklin Community Center, World’s Window, Jake’s Help from Heaven, Saratoga WarHorse, Saratoga Center for the Family, The Shelters of Saratoga, and The Senior Support Services of the Saratoga Senior Center.


The Saratoga Palio is fast becoming a regional favorite, thanks to its breathtaking course through the heart of Saratoga Springs and for the great cause it supports. And with a certified 5K run/walk, a children’s run, and a certified half marathon, the Saratoga Palio is as exciting for families as it is for serious runners.

For 2018, in addition to the scholarship fund, The Melanie Foundation will be making a donation to support the Latino Community Advocacy Program. The Latino Community Advocacy Program is a service of Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council that provides interpreting, advocacy and educational programming to Latino immigrants in Saratoga County. Established in 2005, the Latino Community Advocacy Program has provided over a decade of bilingual support services to families in our communities, helping them to access healthcare, legal services, K-12 and adult educational programs, employment training and more. The Latino Community Advocacy program also provides English as a Second Language classes and arts programming through an annual photography workshop series and exhibit titled "Estamos Aquí (We Are Here)". Services are offered year round and also seasonally at the Saratoga Race Course backstretch. As a program of Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council, the designated community action agency for Saratoga County, the Latino Community Advocacy Program extends the agency's mission of providing and promoting opportunities to individuals and families to achieve self-sufficiency to address the needs of Latino immigrants in our communities.


Event Information


Sunday, September 16, 2018
Downtown Saratoga Springs, NY

7:45 AM (Half Marathon) | 8:00 AM (5K) | 9:15 AM (Kids Fun Run)

Event Timeline

Saturday, September 15, 2018
10:00am - Early Packet Pickup Opens
(Hampton Inn & Suites Saratoga Springs Downtown - 25 Lake Avenue)
3:00pm - Early packet Pickup Closes

Sunday, September 16, 2018
6:30am - Race Day Bib Pickup Opens
(Hampton Inn & Suites Saratoga Springs Downtown - 25 Lake Avenue)
7:30am - Race Day Bib Pickup Closes
7:45am - Half Marathon Start
8:00am - 5K Start
9:00am - 5K Award Ceremony
9:15am - Kids Fun Run (Grass field near finish line)
10:00am - Druther's After Party Begins
10:30am - Half Marathon Award Ceremony


Awards & Amenities

All adult participants who register by Wednesday, September 12, 2018 are guaranteed a long sleeve shirt (shirts for last chance registrants after this date are available on a first come, first served basis). Youth shirts are short sleeve.

There will be awards given to the top 3 overall male and female finishers in each race (Cash prizes for the half marathon: $500 for 1st, $250 for 2nd, $100 for 3rd) as well as the top 3 male and female finishers in each of the following age groups:

  • Half Marathon age groups: 19 and under, 5-year age groups from 20-24 through 75-79, and 80+
  • 5K age groups: 14 and under, 15-19, 5-year age groups from 20-24 through 75-79, and 80+
A team award will be given to the top 1 team in each division (in each race): All Male, All Female, Co-ed (must contain 1 female)

Your race entry also gets you into the Druthers After Party.


The Druthers After Party

After the race, enjoy some great food and beverages provided by Druthers Brewing Company as well as musical entertainment! The party starts at 10am at the Druthers Restaurant, located at 381 Broadway (just a few blocks from the finish!). All participants will receive a tear-off coupon for one free beverage and one free food item attached to their race bib (Ages 21 and over for alcohol - ID required).


Event Management & Timing

The Saratoga Palio Melanie Merola O'Donnell Memorial Race is presented by The Melanie Foundation, with chip timing and event management services provided by ARE Event Productions, Inc.. Registration is handled by ZippyReg, a subsidiary of ARE Event Productions.

Packet Pickup

The Hampton Inn & Suites Saratoga Springs
25 Lake Avenue, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Race Location

START: Saratoga Springs City Center, 522 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
FINISH: Congress Park, 1 E Congress St, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Course


5K/13.1M Combined Course Map


Over the past few years, this race has grown to attract participants and spectators from around Saratoga, the Capital Region, and across the nation. The event features an inspiring course through scenic Saratoga Springs, including Saratoga Spa State Park and many parts of downtown.

The Half Marathon and 5K races both start on North Broadway and end at Congress Park in downtown Saratoga Springs. The Half Marathon course runs through the beautiful Saratoga Spa State Park and eventually finishes up by joining the 5K course, which spans through Saratoga's west side before turning into Congress Park.

Register


Be part of the excitement! Register early, as entry fees will increase closer to race day. Child entry fees are for children ages 12 and under. There is NO RACE DAY REGISTRATION.


Before March 1
Half Marathon: $60
5K (adult): $25
5K (child): $12
Virtual Runner: $25


March 1 - August 31
Half Marathon: $65
5K (adult): $25
5K (child): $12
Virtual Runner: $25


September 1 - September 12
Half Marathon: $70
5K (adult): $30
5K (child): $15
Virtual Runner: $25


September 13 - September 15
Half Marathon: $75
5K (adult): $35
5K (child): $17
Virtual Runner: $25

Register in a Zip!

To register by mail, download a paper application.

Results

If you did not receive your award on race day, please contact us at raceinfo@themelaniefoundation.com.
Results from years prior to what you see below are available by clicking on 'Other Years' from any of the results links below.

Sponsors

Diamond Sponsor
$3000 and up/$4500 in-kind

• Prominent placement of company name or logo on T-shirt going to all preregistered runners/walkers
• Recognition as a diamond sponsor at pre- and post-race events and on posters at race event
• Complimentary vendor space at pre-race expo
• Opportunity to provide promotional information or product samples
• Opportunity to hang company banner on race route or pre- or post-race grounds
• Recognition as a diamond sponsor during announcements on race day
• Free registration for 8 employees or 8 event T-shirts (September 1 deadline)

Platinum Sponsor
$1000 and up/$1500 in-kind

• Company name or logo on T-shirt going to all preregistered runners/walkers
• Recognition as a platinum sponsor at pre- and post-race events and on posters at race event
• Opportunity to have a designee from your company present awards
• Opportunity to hang company banner on race route or pre- or post-race grounds
• Recognition as a platinum sponsor during announcements on race day
• Free registration for 4 employees or 4 event T-shirts (September 1 deadline)

Gold Sponsor
$500 and up/$750 in-kind

• Company name or logo on T-shirt going to all preregistered runners/walkers
• Recognition as a gold sponsor at pre- and post-race events and on posters at race event
• Opportunity to hang company banner on pre- or post-race grounds
• Free registration for 2 employees or 2 event T-shirts (September 1 deadline)

Silver Sponsor
$250 and up/$375 in-kind

• Company name on T-shirt going to all preregistered runners/walkers
• Recognition as a silver sponsor at pre- and post-race events and on posters at race event
• Free registration for 1 employee or 1 event T-shirt (September 1 deadline)

Sponsor
$100 and up

• Company name on T-shirt going to all preregistered runners/walkers
• Recognition as sponsor on posters at race event

Please make checks payable to The Melanie Foundation, Inc. Your support (donation or in-kind) is welcome and greatly appreciated!

Additional Sponsor Options
Underwriting or in-kind donations

Here is a list of items that are needed to make our race a successful one:
• Half Marathon Medals
• Race Bags
• Age-Group Finisher Prizes
• Decals/Stickers

Please contact Sheila Noonan Dunston for more information at racesponsorship@themelaniefoundation.com or 917.660.6790.
Also please see our Sponsorship Form for additional details.

Volunteer


Support from volunteers is essential to our success.

Mark your calendar and plan to volunteer at the race on Sunday, September 16, 2018. Volunteers are needed on the course at intersections and water stops to provide direction and distribute water to participants. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Alicia Baker, at volunteer@themelaniefoundation.com. Many thanks for your interest.

Volunteer Sign-up