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Running notebook: The price of success

Here's a question that doesn't come up often: Can a race be too successful?

That issue probably will come up if the organizers of the Moonlight Run in Williamsville get together for a post-race review. I'm not sure how many runners were there, but I saw some bib numbers with a "1" hastily scribbled before a three-digit number. In other words, well over a thousand people must have signed up.

To the race's credit, things generally ran pretty smoothly. But the street for the start is on the narrow side, and runners were spilled over into the grass and sidewalk before the start. It took some time to get to the starting line, and then a little more time before the pack was running smoothly down the street.

I've never heard of a local 5K limiting entries -- like the Turkey Trot does. But it's easy to think the Moonlight Run is getting close to that situation. It's a good problem to have, obviously, but one that figures to be watched.

The weekend's races no doubt will be busy too, although not that busy because of the large number of Saturday races. Here's the schedule from buffalorunners.com:

* Mike Diggins Memorial Taste of South Buffalo 5K, Cazenovia Park in Buffalo, 8 a.m. Saturday, 400-9856.

* Habitat Run 5K, 1675 South Park Ave., Buffalo, 9 a.m. Saturday, 852-6607. This is a nice little run that goes through parts of town that usually don't host races.

* Elba Presbyterial Church 5K, Veterans Memorial Park in Elba, 9 a.m. Saturday, 374-4741.

* Run for Hope 5K, Lincoln Park in Tonawanda, 9:30 a.m. Saturday, 834-9028: This race has two big, big pluses: it might be the flattest course in Western New York, and no one goes away hungry.

* Sunset Bay Experience 5K, 1028 South Shore Dr. in Irving, 9:30 a.m., Saturday, 907-0219.

* Don Carroll Toys for Kids 5K, Jackson Square in Batavia, 6:15 p.m. Saturday, (585) 343-7440.

* Emily Rose 5K, Russell Park in Akron, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 725-2380.

* Run for Row 5K, Como Park in Lancaster, 9 a.m. Sunday, 891-3896.

* Sarah Johnson Memorial 5K Run, Clark's Park in Wilson, 9 a.m. Sunday, 440-6514. You wouldn't believe how fast this race came together, and that's why it is the subject of Sunday's running column.

--- Budd Bailey

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