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Running notebook: No do-overs

Good news in the financial front: we won't have a re-run of the Orchard Park Half-Marathon fiasco in Niagara Falls.

The Italian Festival there collapsed at the (relatively speaking) last minute, and the 5-kilometer race went with it. That left runners who had already entered wondering if they would get their money back. One of the people involved in the festival wrote to say that refunds were on the way, in the form of returned checks since they had not been deposited. Sam Granieri reports that some runners may show up at 10 a.m. Sunday just to run the course informally.

Elsewhere ...

* We had an interesting situation pop up in the Runner of the Year standings with the Ronald McDonald race. A runner registered for the race, but couldn't make it ... so he gave his number to a friend who was also a runner -- who didn't tell anyone about it. Therefore, the replacement finished second in his age-group.

The USATF is pretty clear that you have to have your own name on the bib, so I decided to take away his points from the Runner of the Year results and move the others up a notch. However, since a runner has to enter two races to be eligible for season-ending awards, it's not likely to make much of a difference since the replacement apparently doesn't race that often. Still, I want to make a point here and discourage such actions a bit -- race directors have enough to worry about without that added into the mix.

Someone told me the story about how his wife had registered for the Turkey Trot but couldn't go at the last minute, so the guy carried her chip along at the race so he could return it. The funny thing was, the chip said she finished fourth in her age-group, a half-second ahead of her husband.

The Brooks "Cavalcade of Curiosities" is coming to Fleet Feet on August 13 from 3 to 8 p.m. It's a double-decker bus, with an "Arcade of Oddities" on the lower level. How often do you get to see the world's biggest shoe? The bus usually only comes out for marathons, so it's unusual to have it in town.

And my wife had a surprise waiting for her at the Engineering Society race on Wednesday night. She came along to take a walk on the waterfront while I ran. When we arrived, she was "recruited" to work on the water station on the course. After a quick lesson, she did fine ... as several runners they had never tasted more delicious water than the liquid she handed out. She also got the race t-shirt, which seems fair, since she probably worked hard that I did in running the four miles.

Here's the weekend schedule, courtesy of buffalorunners.com:

* Jason Raby Memorial 5K Run, Lewiston Porter Senior High School in Youngstown, 7 p.m. Friday, 754-8281.

* Coach Capuani Cross Country Kickoff Run, 5K, Frontier High School in Hamburg, 9 a.m. Saturday, 926-1720.

* Crossroads House of Circle of Life 5K, 11 Liberty St. in Batavia, 9 a.m. Saturday, 374-4741.

* Taste of Lancaster - Fire Fighters For Food 5K Run, Central Ave. in Lancaster, 9:30 a.m. Saturday, 684-4818.

* St. Christopher Summerfest 5K, 2660 Niagara Falls Blvd. in Tonawanda, 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, 216-4103.

* Ultra 12-Mile and 4-Mile Trail Runs, Holiday Valley Ski Resort in Ellicottville, 9:30 a.m. Sunday, 574-0888.


* Pennies to Heaven 5K, 767 Ridge Road in Lackawanna, 10:30 a.m. Sunday, 863-2684.

-- Budd Bailey

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