One of the lessons that's often preached to new race directors come in the form of picking an uncrowded weekend. The first two weeks of April are a good example why.
Last week, there were five 5-kilometer runs on the buffalorunners.com calendar. This week, there's one. Maybe having more of a balance would have worked for some of those races last week. In fairness, sometimes races have to go on a specific date because of a tie-in with the sponsoring organization. But usually, it good to look around a bit when setting a date.
By the way, the North Tonawanda Health Fair 5K attracted 271 runners last week. Perhaps the $10 entry fee for non-residents had something to do with that.
By the way, Sunday's Shoes for the Shelter Race was a News' Runner of the Year event. Aileen Hoak is two for two in wins already in the series, so she seems serious about having a good year.
Here's the short schedule for the weekend:
* Run Along Jericho Road 5K, 184 Barton St. in Buffalo, 9 a.m. Saturday, 374-3018. This takes a not-often-traveled path around the West Side. I think I heard a few different languages along the way, and some of the old architecture is very interesting. Good cause, too.
* BPAC 6-Hour Distance Classic, Northtown Center in Amherst, 8 a.m. Sunday. This event always bring out an impressive cast of runners, who score points just for running a good portion of the event - let alone finishing it.
Coming up on Sunday, I'll continue my conversation with Olympic gold medalist Frank Shorter, who will be in Boston again to be part of the television coverage of the marathon. His memories of last year make for dramatic reading, I believe.
-- Budd Bailey