The winter break is over, at least in terms of races. That means it's time to revive the weekly running blog. We're a little behind here, so let's catch up on some stories before getting to the weekend race:
* Sympathies go out to the family of Jason DeJoy, who died earlier this month. He was a fine cross-country coach in the Rochester area (Pittsford Mendon) and a middle school teacher. DeJoy is best known in Western New York for winning the Turkey Trot in 2000 and 2001. Based on the tributes written about him across the state (he went to the University at Albany), he'll be greatly missed.
* The Mighty Niagara Half Marathon has announced that it is altering its finish line for its coming race in the fall. The race went through a muddy part of the state park, and one runner said the finish could be a bit "unpredictable." The course will stay on the roads this year. In addition, the 5K course has been changed to make it logistically easier - as in no more shuttles.
* I attended Thursday night's meeting of race directors in Buffalo, and the turnout on a cold night was very impressive. There must have been a couple of dozen new faces there who either will run races or who are thinking about taking on such a task. I had a chance to talk to some of them after the formal part of the program and detected a lot of enthusiasm. This can only be a good sign for running's immediate future locally.
* I've been an admirer of Diane Sardes and her fine photography at races over the years. However, I was always afraid that somehow one of her photographs would pop up in The News, since the newspaper didn't have the rights to her work and the photos do circulate among local runners. I managed to avoid that fate for several years, but the photo in Sunday's running column slipped past me. I did quickly add her name as a credit to the web version, but still feel suitably awful about my mistake. Consider this my public apology, with the hope I'll be more diligent in the future.
It's a short race calendar, but buffalorunners.com is on the job as usual:
* The Penguin Run, 5K, 2425 Niagara Falls Blvd in Amherst, 11 a.m. Sunday, 549-6307 x201. It sounds like this year's race will be appropriately named, since temperatures might not be a double digits. That would be a record low for running outside for me.
Which raises the question: How many people haven't stopped running outside this week, and don't plan to stop next week either? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- Budd Bailey