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Retro race

Borzilleri brings back Over Hill & Dale race one more time

July 6, 2018
By ANDY FLYNN - Editor ( , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - Local entrepreneur and sports race director Greg Borzilleri is bringing back and oldie but goodie - the Over Hill & Dale race - later this month.

It's a one-time event, according to Borzilleri, who had just graduated from Lake Placid High School when his parents, Bill and Judy Borzilleri, founded the first Over Hill & Dale race in the summer of 1979. Greg eventually became the race director, retiring after his last race in 1999.

Greg is already a busy guy. He operates Mirror Lake Boat Rental, owns and operates the Lake Placid Marathon and Half, is race director for the Ironman Lake Placid 140.6 and 70.3 races, and is the operations director for the Empire State Winter Games.

Article Photos

Ironman Lake Placid race director Greg Borzilleri is busy working the Mirror Lake swim portion during the 2014 event.
(News photo — Andy Flynn)

There's only one thing that would motivate him enough to organize another race during his busiest season - his family.

"During the marathon (in June), I found the old start and finish banner for Over Hill & Dale. I was cleaning out the garage to get everything ready for the marathon," Greg said. "I said, 'This is pretty cool,' so I hung it up at our merchandise tent. My mom and dad saw it and somebody got a picture of them underneath it. My mom said, 'I started crying when I saw that' because it brought back all those memories. And my dad was like, 'Oh, we should do that again.' And I'm like, 'Okey dokey.' If dad says we should do it again, we should do it again."

Over Hill & Dale was created to get more people to the Whiteface Inn Country Club, where Bill and Judy had been hired to manage the sporting venues, including the tennis courts and golf course, according to Greg. The first event on Aug. 18, 1979 was held in conjunction with the Lake Placid Roadrunners Club, and it featured three races: 5k and 10k runs on the golf course property plus a 5k run with a 300-meter swim in Lake Placid lake. Unlike many races today, it was held in the evening.

"It's very Bill Borzilleri-centric," Greg said. "He always liked to go for a run after work, so that's why it's a 5:30 start instead of an early morning thing. He said he always hated to get up early in the morning and exercise. ... and he always liked to go for a swim after he went for a run."

Over the years, the races changed, eventually settling on a 5k run and a 5k run/400-meter swim. In 1983, when the Borzilleris were hired to manage the Lake Placid Club Resort sporting venues, Over Hill & Dale moved there, with the run on the golf course property and the swim held at the Lake Placid Club beach on Mirror Lake (next to the Boathouse restaurant). But it wasn't just Bill and Judy; it was the Borzilleri clan: Bill, Judy, Greg, Meri-Jo and Jennifer.

Greg took over the race in the mid-1980s and ran it until 1999, when it was a fundraiser for the Northwood School Ski Team, Bobby Preston Scholarship Fund and Youth Sports Development. The April 7, 2000 issue of the Lake Placid News reported that the race was "on hold for the summer of 2000." By this time, Over Hill & Dale had raised more than $25,000 for local organizations since 1979. Greg said, in part, "It may be time to try other things." But he didn't elaborate.

At the time, Greg was working as the sports development director for the state Olympic Regional Development Authority. He was also training to compete in his first Ironman Lake Placid triathlon, which he completed in 11 hours, 31 minutes on Sunday, July 30.

In 2001, Northwood School took over the race to raise money for its ski team, but that was the last year the Lake Placid News reported on any Over Hill & Dale races. It simply faded into the history books.

But now, after that Father's Day dinner with the Borzilleri clan - when Bill said "we should do that again" and Greg said "okey dokey" - Over Hill & Dale will return to the Lake Placid Club property at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, July 28.

"I wanted to do something to honor them just so they could enjoy it," Greg said about his parents.

After expenses are paid, all the proceeds will go toward funding the Lake Placid Middle-High School cross country running teams' trip in October to the Disney Cross Country Classic in Orlando, Florida.

Greg is still looking for businesses to sponsor the event, which is key, he said, because the more sponsors he gets to help pay the bills, the more money will go to the students for their trip.

The start/finish is at the beach next to the Boathouse restaurant, and the running course will be on the Lake Placid Club property, including the golf course. The cost is $25, and it includes a commemorative T-shirt. Participants can expect to pay an additional $10 on race day. People can register through a link on the "Over Hill and Dale Lake Placid" Facebook page.



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