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Running Notebook: Get out your gloves

It's been said that real runners never go on vacation without packing running shoes and a change of clothes. Those items were packed for a quick trip to Florida last week when I was on vacation. It sure doesn't take long to remember the hot, dry summer we had around here, which was much better for running than it was in my lawn. But those days are over here for a while - I wore gloves this morning for the first time of the season. The Freezer Run will be here before we know it.

One other slightly leftover note that's worth a mention. You might remember Jason McElwain of Rochester, who achieved some national attention when he scored 20 points in six minutes in a high school basketball game about six years ago. McElwain finished the Rochester marathon in 3 hours, 1 minute and 41 seconds. He thus qualified for the Boston Marathon. McElwain was diagnosed with autism at a young age.

Coming up on Sunday, I take a look at a "fish out of water" story -- runners trying to put on a race.

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

* Breaking the Sound Barrier 5K, 2253 Main St. in Buffalo, 9 a.m. Saturday, 834-7200. This is always a nice little event, and the kids there are always happy to see the runners on the side during the short post-race parace.

* Lou Reuter Scholarship Run, 5K 350 Fries Road in Tonawanda, 9 a.m. Saturday, 874-8402. This is part of a big day at Kenmore East High School, including the East/West football game.

* Ryan Purcell Memorial, 4 miles, Botanical Gardens at 2655 S. Park Ave. in Buffalo,  9:30 a.m. Saturday, 713-5654.

* Muddy Viking Trail Run, 4 Miles 5013 Rt. 430 in Bemus Point, 10 a.m. Saturday, 830-6703.

* Pumpkin Run, 5K, 6350 Main St. in Williamsville, 10:30 a.m. Saturday, 783-3219. Gateway-Longview is making this a good-sized party, especially for the kids who are there to celebrate the coming Halloween festivities.

* Chowder Challenge 5K, Pine Woods Park in North Tonawanda, 11 a.m. Saturday, 523-3958. I did this race last year, and it was an interesting course to run for the first time. The chowder got good reviews from friends as well.

If you are counting, that's six Saturday races and none on Sunday. Hmmmm.

--- Budd Bailey

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