Here's a story about the nicest surprise of the 2014 race season so far.
The Mustache March was held on Saturday in Kenmore. First-year races sometimes struggle (to put it mildly), but this one didn't. The cap of 500 runners was hit well before race day, and the shirt promised to the first 200 runners were gone weeks before the start. About the only problem that I saw was one that many races would like to have - the building was a bit small for the crowd.
Let's hope it's the first in a series of success stories of 2014.
The calendar has flipped to April, which means the racing season begins in earnest. Here's the weekly rundown, courtesy of buffalorunners.com:
* Health Fair 5K Run, 1500 Vanderbilt Ave. in North Tonawanda, 9 a.m. Saturday, 807-3715. This has to be the cheapest race of the year, with a $5 charge for residents and $10 for non-residents. At a time when race fees have been going up, we'll see how this strategy works.
* Niagara University 5K Run Against Hunger, Dwyer Arena, 10 a.m. Saturday, 286-8711. It's nice to see Niagara back on the race calendar.
* Feel the Spirit 5K, 921 Cleveland Dr. in Cheektowaga, 11 a.m. Saturday, 380-0231. This is the current champion for most turns in a 5K race, although the Mustache March isn't far behind. The Feel the Spirit race also is very well done, with plenty of food and nice raffles.
* Boys on the Right Track 5K, 5324 Rogers Road in Hamburg, 8 a.m. Sunday, 316-1789. One of the earliest races of the year. No race-day registration, by the way.
* Canisius College Shoes for the Shelter 5K, Koessler Athletic Center, 10 a.m. Sunday, 888-2977. It's a News Runner of the Year series race. The course was moved last year out of Forest Lawn, and I can say first-hand that few people missed the big hills on the revised layout.
-- Budd Bailey