Another Buffalo Marathon is in the books, and this one might have been the best one yet.
Participation continues to grow as the day cements itself as a fine regional event. The area's runners really have gotten behind the whole effort during the past few years, either by running or volunteering. It has showed.
It will be interesting to see if the 5-kilometer run stays in place or moves to Saturday in upcoming race weekends. The organizers had 292 finishers in the first-ever staging. Would they do better on a Saturday when the starting time isn't at 6:45 a.m. in the morning? Perhaps, as some of the raceday volunteers could actually run. It also would be different logistics, as it would be essentially starting from scratch for a race. We'll have to see how this one develops.
Now we move on to the summer schedule. The calendar is courtesy of buffalorunners.com:
* The Gay 5K, 64 W. Chippewa St. in Buffalo, 6:30 p.m. Thursday. This race is in its third running, and it had a nice turnout last year.
* Alden's 5K Race for Scholarships, 6:30 p.m. Friday, (585) 413-0173.
* Brian Dugan Memorial Scholarship 5K, Lincoln Arena in Tonawanda, 6:30 p.m. Friday.
* Bully Free 5K, 71 Lorraine Ave. in Buffalo, 6:30 p.m. Friday, 816-4809.
* Williamsville East 5K, Williamsville East High School, 7 p.m. Friday, 626-8426. It's a very busy Friday night for races. You'd think someone would have moved to Saturday or Sunday morning.
* Lancaster Middle School Jr. SADD 5K Run, Como Lake Park in Lancaster, 9:30 a.m. Saturday, 685-8077. Fifth Saturdays of a month traditionally don't do well for dates. Note to race directors: That means it's a good opportunity to find a niche.
* Salmon Run, 5K, Clark's Park in Wilson, 5 p.m. Saturday, 751-6120. The chicken dinner always goes over well.
* Grinder Trail Run, 3.5 miles, Sprague Brook Park in Glenwood, 10 a.m. Sunday.
--- Budd Bailey