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Running notebook: Volunteers of America

I don't do enough volunteering at races - I'm too busy running them - but a sore ankle on Wednesday night was a good excuse to help out the Engineers' Race on Wednesday night. I was assigned to the water station, located at the 1/2 mile mark (the course was something of an out-and-back loop). It was another new experience in running for me.

I hadn't realized it, but water volunteers do get wet. While some runners do make sure they have a good handoff of the cups, others don't slow down much and grab. Sometimes the handoffs aren't exactly smooth. Splash.

Two old theories about water stops proved true. One, fast runners are far less likely to take water than slow ones. Two, slow runners are far more likely to say thank you, even when taking water.

By the way, a few runners said "thank you" to the volunteers as they ran by, although they didn't take water. That's a really nice touch. I must remember that.

Meanwhile, I chatted briefly with Edna Hyer, who had a nice story for me. Seems someone clipped and mailed the article that was written about her to an out-of-town friend. Edna had lost touch with her after competing against her many years ago. The friend, now 90, put a long note in an envelope, and addressed it with "Edna Hyer, South Wales, NY. Please deliver." It got there, and the two old friends are back in touch. Very nice.

Who knows who will be reunited this weekend? Here's the calendar, courtesy of buffalorunners.com:

* St. John Vianney Kickoff Run, 5K, 2950 Southwestern Blvd. in Orchard Park, 6:30 p.m. today, 677-4039. I've never been to this one, but I may try to volunteer at it tonight as well. I'm on a good roll in that department.

* East Aurora Rerun, 5K, Fireman's Field in East Aurora (Pine St.), 9 a.m. Saturday, 655-6859.

* St. Amelia's Amazing Race, 5K, 210 St. Amelia Dr. in Tonawanda, 9 a.m. Saturday, 834-5741. This is billed as the flattest race in Western New York. I believe it.

* Wild 5K (trail run) 1600 Riverside Road in Jamestown, 10 a.m. Saturday, 569-2345.

* Jason Raby Memorial 5K Run, 4061 Creek Road in Youngstown, 11 a.m. Saturday, 754-8281. I always wondered why Lewiston-Porter High School is in Youngstown. This is a chance to go there to try to find out.

* EVL-9 and EVL-4 Trail Runs, Holiday Valley on Route 219 in Ellicottville, 9:30 a.m. Sunday, 574-0888.

* Lindsay Matthews Scholarship Race, 5K, 6909 Milestrip Road in Orchard Park, 10 a.m. Sunday, 667-3786. Wonder if they still have that big, steep hill near the end.

* Run Jimmy Run Charity 5K, Coca-Cola Field in Buffalo, 10 a.m. Sunday, 803-2301. This has turned into an annual reunion for the Griffin Administration and friends. Plus there's a free ticket to the Bisons' game.

-- Budd Bailey

Running notebook: Take it easy

For those of you looking to run a little slower than normal, I'll have a story in Sunday's News on that subject. What's more, it's for a great cause. "A Walk in Lauren's Shoes" may make you take that morning run a bit less for granted.

That's just one of many races coming up this weekend. Here's the schedule, courtesy of buffalorunners.com:

* Buffalo Orienteering Club 5-Mile Trail Run, Chestnut Ridge Park in Orchard Park, 6:30 p.m. tonight, 652-8727. No awards, but there is a postrace party and a $10 entry fee.

* Subaru Buffalo 4 Mile Chase, Elmwood & Bidwell in Buffalo, 7 p.m. Friday, 881-1652. A News Runner of the Year race, there are some fast runners coming to town. Hope you saw today's story about how this race got started.  

* Laurel Run, 8K, Silver Creek Village Square, 8:30 a.m. Saturday, 661-4735.

* Peaceprints 5K, Delaware Park in Buffalo, 9 a.m. Saturday, 856-6131.

* Crabapple 5K Run, Stiglmeier Park in Cheektowaga, 9:30 a.m. Saturday, 897-7207. This is a nice little race on a flat course that's been around for years and years.

* Niagara Catholic Alumni Run, 5K 520 66th St. in Niagara Falls, 10 a.m. Saturday, 531-6198. No, you don't have to be a graduate to run this.

* Character Chase 5K, 150 Pleasant Ave. in Hamburg, 10:30 a.m. Saturday, 648-5835.

* A Walk in Lauren's Shoes, 3K, Woodlawn Beach Picnic Grove in Blasdell, 10 a.m. Sunday, 432-3725. The postrace party runs until 4 p.m.

* St. Mary's Church Chowder Chase 5K, 6919 Transit Road in East Amherst, 11:15 a.m. Sunday, 636-4617. Some would argue that this race is actually in Swormville, while others say it is Swormsville. Swormville is the legal name.

--- Budd Bailey

Running notebook: View from the top

Travel note: I had a nice run on Thursday morning overlooking Keuka Lake in Penn Yan. The sky and the water were both appropriately blue. Try it sometime if you are in that part of the world; I had not been there before.

Closer to home, it's a busy weekend in running. Here's the rundown, from buffalorunners.com:

* Lakeview Field Day 5K Run, Center St. in Lakeview, 8 a.m. Saturday, 698-4005.

* Tuscarora Nation 10K Run, Tuscarora Indian School (Walmore and Mt. Hope), 9 a.m. Saturday, 940-0582. We still need to spread out the 10K races around here ...

* Tom Drake Memorial 5K Thunderbird Club Run, Mayville Lakeside Park, Route 394 in Mayville, 9 a.m. Saturday, 607-0328.

* Bonafest 5K, St. Bonaventure University (west entrance), 9 a.m. Saturday, 790-0056. Lots of early races this weekend.

* Tim Frank Memorial Canal Fest, 4 miles, 325 Franklin St. in Tonawanda, 510-3971. I've done this race several times, and it's always a good one.

-- Budd Bailey

Running notebook: An ideal day

It was a typical July 4 for runners in the area, as hundreds turned out this morning under almost perfect conditions. It seems as if the Depew-Lancaster Boys & Girls Club race is always 90 degrees when I run it, but there were no such complaints today.We'll have the result in Saturday's Scoreboard page of The News. The Dick Bessel Independence Day race, another Independece Day tradition, also went off as planned.

The busy July 4 apparently scared off race directors on July 5 & 6 ... with one exception. The Independence Run will be held in Akron at 10 a.m. Saturday. The starting point is listed as Vetean's Park on Skyline Drive in Akron. Call 390-7510 for information. I did this race last year, and it's a nice event. Just one reminder - watch out for the hills. Whew.

Coming up in Sunday's running column, there's a story about how some Western New Yorkers are helping a friend take cross-country running to a new level.

-- Budd Bailey

Running notebook: Blowing up Facebook

Edna Hyer turned into a media superstar this week.

When the story on her from last Sunday's News was posted on Facebook, about 100 people shared it with others - and more than 1,800 saw the post. I saw her at a race on Wednesday night, I suggested that she start autographing the story ... for a mere $25.

She said she forgot to tell me a story about one of her first races.

Continue reading "Running notebook: Blowing up Facebook" »

Running notebook: Back on the job

A quick story about my vacation, which is why there have been no weekly updates the last two weeks:

I found myself in Skagway, Alaska, last week, just up the river from Juneau for those keeping score. I noticed that the Skagway Marathon was going to be held on June 14, making me a few days early (not that I could have run it). The light bulb went off.

I went into the visitors information center and said I had an unusual question. How could I get a shirt from the race to bring back home? Luckily, the staff member who waited on me was a former runner, and sent me to an outdoors store around the corner that was handling the logistics. They had a shirt from the 2013 race for only $10. Sold.

So if you see a guy with a Skagway Marathon shirt around town, don't think he actually did the race. There isn't much level land in that part of the world, and I'm not up to that task.

Meanwhile, the Corporate Challenge gets the weekend off to a huge start tonight. Then it's the usual busy weekend (although someone should have scheduled a race for Sunday). Here's the rundown from buffalorunners.com:

* St. Gregory the Great's Great Race, 5K, 100 St. Gregory Court in Williamsville, 7 p.m. Friday, 479-2442. A News' runner of the year race that is well known for being a fast and flat course.

* MSMH River Run, 5K, 145 N. Fourth St. in Lewiston, 9 a.m. Saturday, 622-5667.

* Red Devil Run for Recovery, 5K, 9365 Clarence Center Road in Clarence Center, 9 a.m. Saturday, 634-9565.

* FGIII Memorial 5K, 8965 Old Lake Shore Road in Angola, 9 a.m. Saturday, 598-9121.

* D&F 5K Challenge, 1170 Central Ave. in Dunkirk, 9:30 a.m. Saturday, 363-6383.

* Trooper Brinkerhoff 5K, Boston Town Park, 10 a.m. Saturday, 604-8949.

* Madison 5K Strawberry Run, Brant Town Park, 6 p.m. Saturday, 870-8306.

* Chase the Sun Summer Solstice 5K, 26 Thorn Ave. in Orchard Park, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 553-9455.

-- Budd Bailey

Running notebook: The best yet?

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

Buffalo Marathon race day details

679390 BUFFALO MARATHON #23
Runners race through the Erie Basin Marina during the 13th annual Buffalo Marathon in Buffalo Sunday, May 26, 2013. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)

 

Thousands of runners will descend on downtown Buffalo's streets early Sunday, meaning vehicles will have limited access to roads for a good part of the morning. Be prepared to adjust driving routes accordingly.

Here are some bits of information and advice for those looking to attend or avoid Sunday's foot traffic:

What time does the race start?

The full, half and relay marathon races all begin at 7 a.m. at the intersection of Franklin and Huron streets, but expect surrounding streets to be packed with racers for hours before the gun sounds. Runners will swarm the starting line to warm up. Registrants who waited until the last minute to pick up their bibs will be grabbing their race packets beginning at 5:30 a.m. at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, 153 Franklin St.

When will the race end?

According to the official Buffalo Marathon website, "marathon runners who finish under six hours will receive a commemorative finisher’s medal," meaning runners could feasibly be occupying race-designated roads until at least 1 p.m.  A post-race award ceremony party will take place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.

Which roads will be closed and for how long?

Here's what the marathon website has to say about that:

"Course will be closed for traffic for 3 hours at the half way point. Any participants planning to take longer than 6 hours for the marathon should bring a course map and hydration with them and finish on the sidewalks."

 Here's an image of the full and half marathon race routes that ran in Friday's edition of The Buffalo News:

Marathonmap

 

Where can I go to watch the race?

Marathon organizers were kind enough to list their picks for best spots to watch within walking distance of the starting lines:

  • Pearl Street and Court Street
  • Niagara Square
  • Erie Street and Marine Drive, near 4.5-, 6- and 12-mile markers

To watch by car, go to:

  • Meadow Road and Nottingham Parkway
  • Hertel and Wellington avenues
  • Delaware Avenue at North Street

Running notebook: The biggest weekend of the year

The Buffalo Marathon continues to grow as an event, and it's easy to be optimistic about its future. The latest running will be held on Sunday, of course, but it is surrounded by other events as well.

First off, for those planning ahead, Bart Yasso of Runner's World will be having an informal run from the Hyatt to the waterfront and back on Saturday. He does this whenever he travels. Based on one conversation, he'll be good company. Meet him in the lobby of the Hyatt at 8 a.m., ready to run. Then there's the race expo, which will expand into part of the main floor of the Convention Center for the first time. On Sunday, the marathon and half-marathon take place starting at 7. A new feature is the 6:45 a.m. debut of a 5-kilometer race.

On Friday, the News will have a preview of the race including an interview with the new race director. Sunday marks the tradition revealing of the latest class of the Western New York Running Hall of Fame. I talked to one of the inductees for the story, and learned a great deal about that person along the way. I think you'll enjoy it. Then in Monday's newspaper, I'll have a wrap-up of the weekend.

--- Budd Bailey

Running notebook: Crowded calendar

This usually is the sweet spot of the running calendar, as organizers guess that that the weather will cooperate with the plannning of an outdoor function. Late September is like that as well.

So, as we get ready for Marathon Weekend, here's the schedule - courtesy of buffalorunners.com:

* Buffalo Greek Fest 5K, 146 W. Utica St. in Buffalo, 6:30 p.m. on Friday, 796-3381. This is one of the few races around town that I've never done, as my schedule never works for it. But plenty of others take part every year.

* Run with the Rapids 5K, Old Falls St. in Niagara Falls, 9 a.m. on Saturday, 278-2111.

* 5K Fun Run, Chestnut Ridge Park in Orchard Park, 9 a.m. Saturday, 221-0086. This is staged by the Morlock Foundation, and is an untimed race. There's even a discount if you don't want a t-shirt.

* Chris Griswold 5K Race, Como Park in Lancaster, 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, 685-2640. I'm in a slump in this one; I haven't won a garden hose in several years after winning one in two straight years. As you can guess, they do a nice job on door prizes here.

* Unity Run, 5K, 80 Main St. in Lockport, 10 a.m. Saturday, 531-5437.

* SSPP's Charge of the Knights, 5K, 5480 Main St. in Williamsville, 6 p.m. on Saturday, 440-8003. This follows the Moonlight Run course, so be prepared to run uphill and then downhill at the finish.

-- Budd Bailey

 



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About Sports, Ink

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has served in a variety of roles in Buffalo sports in the past 35 years, including reporter, talk-show host, baseball announcer, public relations staffer and author. He covers the Bandits and running for The News when not working as an editor.

@WDX2BB | bbailey@buffnews.com

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