Newspaper types are known for their sense of humor, particularly with old friends. So when I saw Tom Burns right after the Shamrock Run, I asked him if he had won - since it would have made for a great follow-up column. Remember, Tom had suffered a heart attack after finishing the race last year. Tom said he was well back in the pack but felt fine and was happy to finish.
Actually, Tom deserves plenty of credit for finishing the race and for his fundraising efforts. He raised almost $5,000 in donations for the American Heart Association. Tom was getting donations less than 15 minutes from the start of the race.
More money will be raised this weekend in easier ways. Here's the calendar, courtesy of buffalorunners.com:
* Fight for Air Stairs Clumb, 38 flights, One HSBC Center, 10 a.m. Saturday, (585) 666-1402. I've heard there's little harder in running than going up flights of stairs if you aren't used to it, so the people participating are in for a good challenge. Proceeds to the American Lung Association.
* Dyslexia Dash, 5K, 2491 Emery Road in South Wales, 12 noon Sunday, 687-2017. Most races bill a fast and flat course, no matter what the topography looks like. This races says it has a "challenging course." I've heard there's a hill that would feel right at home in the Rockies. We'll see. Don't forget Daylight Savings Time starts the night before.
--- Budd Bailey
February 27, 2014 - 6:55 PM
About a week ago, organizers must have looked at the long-term forecast for their Shamrock Run and shivered. The early indications were that the traditional start to the racing season would be held in temperatures somewhere around eight degrees.
The numbers before and after Saturday have held up. But recently, the forecast for Saturday's temperature jumped in terms of temperature. We might see something around 35 degrees by racetime, which would be more than welcome after the last few days.
I heard some comments about the race officials running out of sizes of their premiums pretty quickly, but new shipments showed up later in the week. I'd call it more of a long-sleeve tech shirt than a jacket, but it worked out well on the treadmill today.
Yes, the Shamrock is the start of the Runner of the Year series. The full schedule will be released on Sunday in the newspaper. Here's the weekend rundown from buffalorunners.com:
* Shamrock Run, 8K, 62 Republic in Buffalo, 12 noon on Saturday, 856-8613 x108.
* Slush Rush, 5K, Dods Hall at SUNY Fredonia, 9 a.m. on Sunday, 673-3471.
--- Budd Bailey
February 21, 2014 - 1:02 AM
I hope you saw the article last Sunday on Tom Burns, as he attempts to raise money for the Heart Association while running the Shamrock Run. It's been picked up by a couple of television stations, and his donations have gone well past $3,000.
If you are looking to help out the cause, click here to go to his website for fundraising.
Hope you managed to squeeze in an outdoor run this week when the temperature went above freezing. And let's hope the cellars are runners everywhere stay dry.
It's a short calendar for running this weekend, as usual. Buffalorunners.com has the information:
* Polar Bear 5K, 1691 Lockport-Olcott Road in Olcott, 10 a.m. on Sunday, 434-8887. The usual rules - beat the bear, get a special shirt. But the bear is always pretty fast, at least by bear standards. And losing to the bear can be, um, grizzly.
* Canisius Chilly Challege, 1180 Delaware Ave. in Buffalo, 12 noon on Sunday, 882-0466 x262. This is the 35th running of this race, which makes it one of the oldest races in area and worth a big plug here. It's always been well run, and they have a number of categories including teams and family combinations. Even St. Joe's graduates have been known to enjoy the race, even if they don't admit it readily.
By the way, the pickup of jackets for the Shamrock Run starts this weekend. Go to the website for details about the procedure.
--- Budd Bailey
February 13, 2014 - 6:09 PM
It's February, which means two things:
1. It's cold.
2. It's time to look over the Runner of the Year race calendar, as I pick out this year's races.
There may be a change or two in the schedule, depending on how the dates fall as I try to come up with a balanced calendar. The tough part centers around the substitution of the Fleet Feet 15K for the Biggest Loser Half-Marathon. But I am quick to add that the season will begin on March 1 with the Shamrock Run, as usual.
I hope to have the schedule in place in two weeks for that weekend's column. In the meantime, you can read this week about a fundraising effort by a local runner at the Shamrock, and a brand-new area running club.
In the meantime, here's the one race on this weekend's slate, courtesy of buffalorunners.com:
* Snowball Run, 5K, 701 Seneca St. in Buffalo, 10 a.m. on Saturday, 440-7507. It's a new location for this event, as it shifts to the Larkin Center. This has been a nice little race in the past, so it's easy to wish it well in the new home.
-- Budd Bailey
February 6, 2014 - 8:03 PM
Tell me how many people had this experience this past week:
They saw the sunny conditions on Tuesday and went out for a rare outside run ... only to see eight inches of snow land on the formerly cleared streets and parkways on Wednesday.
And so ... back inside. I felt a little like the Groundhog in Pennsylvania, who saw his shadow and headed back into the ground. Six more weeks of this? Bah humbug, to mix a metaphor.
Here's the weekly race calendar, again on the very small side, from buffalorunners.com:
* The Lockport Y-10, 10 miles and 5 miles, 19 East Ave. in Lockport, 10 a.m. on Satuday, 434-8887. I often hear arguments that this should be a News Runner of the Year race. My reply is that the elements can play too big a role in this race to be a fair test. Besides, I like the idea that the season starts with the Shamrock Run. The Y-10 is a good race, and I'm happy it attracts plenty of runners who are loyal to it. I just don't see it as a great fit for the series. No disgrace in that; it will do fine without it.
* Olean Polar Bear Series, 5K, Wellsville YMCA, 1 p.m. on Sunday, 373-2400.
Finally, our sympathies to local runner Tom Proctor, whose wife recently passed away.
--- Budd Bailey
January 31, 2014 - 12:32 AM
Miss those morning runs in sub-zero temperatures earlier in the week? I didn't think so.
It hasn't been a particular easy winter for those of us who like to get outside on a crisp January day. Sunday's column is about a couple of people who seem to thrive under such conditions - the winners of the Penguin Run.
Even though the temperatures won't be in a single digits this weekend, this week's event should offer a challenge for those interested in a winter race. The calendar is from buffalorunners.com:
* Ice Man 2-Mile, Parkside Lodge at Delaware Park in Buffalo, 10 a.m. Saturday. The format for this race has changed for this one. As of this writing the weather forecast is for some sort of precipitation, but no one is sure if it will be snow, sleet or rain. That should add an interesting element to the proceedings.
* Mr. Ed's Super Bowl Warm-Up, 5K, Middleport Fire Hall on Main St. in Middleport, 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, (585) 798-3283. I really should get to Middleport in the summertime some time. It looks nice. I usually only visit on the morning of the Super Bowl for this race. Who wouldn't want to tackle the toughest hill in Western New York racing? Nice party too.
Finally, our condolences go out to veteran runner Fred Luongo, whose wife Melanie recently passed away.
-- Budd Bailey
January 24, 2014 - 12:32 AM
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 email@example.com.
-- Budd Bailey
December 10, 2013 - 3:52 PM
I received word of John Beishline's passing with professional and personal sadness today.
John may have done more for running than anyone in Western New York over the years. At the top of the list was that he served as race director for the Buffalo Marathon since 2000, and the events enjoyed great growth over those years.
But that was just the tip of the iceburg. He operated Western New York Finish Line Services for more than 30 years, timing countless races during that time. John formally and informally consulted with dozens of race directors on how to put on first-class events. Beishline was the marathon race director of the World University Games in 1993, and was presiden tof the USATF Niagara Region from 1991 to 1996.
Not too many people know John was a pretty fair runner in his younger days. He completed the Boston Marathon in 3 hours, 20 minutes.
This is all why he was quickly named to the Western New York Running Hall of Fame in its first class in 2011.
More importantly, at least to me, he had a smile and a good word for everyone for everyone he encountered - particularly when I pestered him on some running-related matter.
To see he'll be missed is a terrible understatement.
-- Budd Bailey
November 28, 2013 - 8:03 PM
The long holiday weekend still has some races on the calendar now that the Turkey Trot is over - with one "event" particularly noteworthy.
Last year I had the pleasure of attending the fourth annual Mighty Mile at Chestnut Ridge in Orchard Park. I watched as runners gulped down a taco, ran a quarter mile, eat another taco, ran some more, etc. - until they finished the mile. The story might have been my favorite of 2012. It's not a big reason, and not for every taste, but everyone has a lot of fun.
Black Friday is about to arrive, and the Mighty Mile will come with it. Runners will gather around noon, and the race should begin around 12:30. You can find more details on the Facebook page.
Meanwhile, there are a couple of more formal races on the calendar. Here's the review from buffalorunners.com:
* Home for the Holidays 5K, 135 East Center St. in Medina, 9 a.m. Saturday, (585) 590-0699.
* Amy King 5K, 9 Summit St. in Lakewood, 11 a.m. Saturday.
-- Budd Bailey
November 14, 2013 - 7:06 PM
Some interesting news from Dan Loncto of Fleet Feet Sports - the Fleet Feet 15K race on Labor Day is getting a version 2.0
The event is going to be changed to include a half-marathon and 5-kilometer run. The date moves to Sunday, August 31, so runners will be on their own for Labor Day.
The television show "The Biggest Loser" will be involved in the presentation of the event, including appearances by contestants. It will be interesting to see if the first half of the Buffalo Marathon course will be used, or if they come up with a different set-up. Details to come.
Here's the weekend schedule, courtesy of buffalorunners.com:
* Michelle's Memorial 5K, 28 Main St. in Middleport, 9 a.m. Saturday, 783-2432.
* Maritime March 5K, 170 Ohio St. in Buffalo, 11 a.m. Saturday, 574-4101. Since the race is down by the waterfront, maybe Pat LaFontaine will drop by to fire the starter's pistol. Then again, he probably is busy these days.
* Northtown Family Pregnancy 5K, Beaver Island State Park 5K, 11 a.m. Saturday, 909-4621.
* GBTC 5K Cross Country Race, Hoyt Lake in Buffalo, 9 a.m. Sunday.
-- Budd Bailey