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Running: John Beishline dies

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

Running notebook: Feast after the feast

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.

Happy Thanksgiving.

-- Budd Bailey

Running notebook: Who will win a Biggest Loser race?

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

Running notebook: Hurry up for the Turkey Trot

Tom Donnelly, the director of the Turkey Trot, says you should hurry if you want to take part in this year's annual event on Thanksgiving.

As in - sign up now.

Donnelly said that as of Saturday morning the race had 13,000 runners. The cap is 14,000, and the event is averaging about 500 runners per day in registrations.

That means, if my math is good, that the Turkey Trot could be sold out by Monday morning. Or sooner.

So hurry.

Elsewhere, I know I mentioned in an earlier blog that the Lindsay's Legacy Run had grown in part because of a connection to "Girls on the Run." The result was a race that really became too big, according to organizers. So this year they went their separate ways on good terms. Girls on the Run will have a "private" race at Delaware Park on Sunday.

--- Budd Bailey

Running notebook: Eight and counting

Want to see a man grow old right before your eyes?

It's easy.

The Lindsay's Legacy Race salutes runners on its web pages who have taken part in all eight of its annual runnings over the past several years. I'm one of the 12 runners who have done that. If you look at my times, you can see me age less than gracefully.

Still, I'm proud to have been a regular part of this race, which has been well-run from day one and which has grown to become the biggest 5-kilometer race in Western New York. Participation really took off in the past couple of years when "Girls on the Run" joined forces with it. The course is pretty, even in November, the premiums are excellent and often unique, and the food is plentiful. Can't ask for more than that.

It's not the only race on the calendar. Here's the rundown from buffalorunners.com:

* Vikings for Vets, 5K, Veterans Park in Grand Island, 9 a.m. Saturday, 228-6246.

* Lindsay's Legacy Run, 5K, Clinton Park in Tonawanda, 11 a.m. Saturday, 695-7406.

* UAW Veterans Appreciation Run, 5K, 524 Walnut St. in Lockport, 12 noon Saturday, 632-1540.

* Veterans Day 5K, Buffalo Naval Park, 11 a.m. Sunday, 868-1055.

By the way, you can read about one runner's route to the starting line on Sunday in that day's News.

-- Budd Bailey

Running notebook: Boo!

Tonight represents something of an interesting experiment.

It's odd to have a night race around these parts, particularly because of the weather. Organizers will try to stage a Halloweek 5K at 7:30 tonight at Niagara Square, with the proceeds going to the Police Athletic League. It will be interesting to see how the attendance is, as some people have family responsibilities and others will be handing out candy at home.

In the meantime, here's the weekend schedule from Buffalorunners.com

* Buffalorunners 10K, Chestnut Ridge Park Casino in Orchard Park, 9 a.m. Saturday, 649-1530. A nice little event, and deliberately so, will be held by runners for runners.

* Circuit Stompers 5K Run, 2909 Transit Road in Newfane, 10 a.m. Saturday, 778-7674. I think this race has a new name, but has been going on for a while. They picked a good Saturday, certainly, in terms of competition.

* Bob Ivory Run, 845 Kenmore Ave. in the Town of Tonawanda, 9 a.m. Sunday, 270-4115. It's a News Runner of the Year race, and could decide some championships since it's tougher to gain points because of the large Turkey Trot field. I always joke with Bob Ivory that his race has put out so many different items over the years that his name is on products all over my house - towels, mugs, vests, etc. Can't wait to see what this year's is.

-- Budd Bailey

Running notebook: One more time

Here's a lesson that's worth repeating ... so I repeated it recently.

At an area race, a race director was saying how difficult it was to get established on the calendar. I gave him one bit of old advice - you'd be amazed how many people skip races because the awards are handed out in 10-year age-groups.

Think about it - if six extra people show up for a given race because there are five-year age-groups, that's an extra $150 in the pile (assuming an average of $25 for day-of-race registration). You can cover the cost of plenty of awards for $150.

In other news, Ed Whitlock of Toronto has run in Buffalo in the past. He was at it again in Toronto last week. Whitlock turned in a 3 hour, 41 minute marathon. Oh, right. Ed is 82 years old. That's an age-group record.

Here's the weekend list of races. It's another busy one, according to buffalorunners.com:

* Strider Glider Quarter Marathon, Westwood Park in Lancaster, 9 a.m. Saturay, 713-6102. This race had a nice debut last year, clearing doing a lot right. It had better do it right, though, since runners were organizing it.

* Jack O'Lantern Fall Classic, 5K, Goat Island in Niagara Falls, 10 a.m. Saturday, 282-1228. It's always a pretty run, and there's prize money at the end for some runners.

* Maggie Lee Memorial 5K Run, 2 Nottingham Terrace in Buffalo, 10 a.m. Saturday, 883-5396. This is a nice little race that goes around Delaware Park.

* LockRock 8K, 80 Main St. in Lockport, 10 a.m. Saturday, 478-4453. It's a new race, and it's interesting to see an 8K event at this point in the calendar. Good Turkey Trot practice.

* Making Tracks for Families 5K, 2909 S. Park Ave. in Lackawanna, 10 a.m. Sunday, 634-1058.

* Niagara Falls International Marathon, various, Buffalo to Niagara Falls, 10 a.m. Sunday, (905) 356-9460.

* Alzheimer's Halloween 5K Fun Run, 540 Parkhurst Blvd. in Tonawanda, 2 p.m. Sunday. Interesting to see a race compete against a Bills' game. Also interesting that runners can purchase t-shirts if they want on, rather than being forced to accept one with registration. Active runners certainly will like that idea.

-- Budd Bailey

Running notebook: Heat wanted

Is it too much to ask that the nice temperatures hang on just a little bit longer? Probably. It is October, after all. But it's still nice not to put away the shorts and t-shirt look quite yet. I'll bet the last weekday night race of the season is happy about the warmth.

Here's the weekend schedule, courtesy of Buffalorunners.com:

* BobKat 5K, 218 Aqua Lane Park, Town of Tonawanda, 6 p.m. today, 725-7414. This one has bounced around the calendar a bit, but it's a nice little race with plenty of warmth. You usually get to meet "BobKat" if you show up as an added bonus.

* Knox International Communityh Race, 5K, Knox State Park in East Aurora, 8 a.m. Saturday, 655-6859. This is a warm-up to cross-country races at the Knox Farm.

* Flight 3407 Memorial Race, 5K, Clarence Town Hall in Clarence, 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

* Muddy Viking Trail Run, 4 miles, 5013 Route 430 in Bemus Point, 10 a.m. Saturday, 830-6713.

* Run for the Park, 5K X-C, 2982 Lakeview Road in Hamburg, 10 a.m. Saturday, 202-9142.

* Cops & Kids 4 Mile Run, 4455 Porter Road in Niagara Falls, 10 a.m. Saturday, 286-7263.

* Timon Fall Challenge Run, 5K, 601 McKinley Parkway in Buffalo, 10:30 a.m. Saturday, 826-3610. I know people who run this race just for the cheesecake afterwards.

* Chowder Challenge, 5K, Pine Woods Park in North Tonawanda, 11 a.m. Saturday, 523-3958. I know people who run this race just for the chowder.

* Race for Excellence, 5K, 496 Hertel Ave. in Buffalo, 11:30 a.m. Saturday, 819-4100 x111. This originally was supposed to start at 11, but was moved back. There haven't been many races in this part of the area, so it's nice to see this one give it a try.

* Olivia's 5K Wish Run, Evangola State Park in Irving, 11 a.m. Sunday, 934-7499.

-- Budd Bailey

Running notebook: Cash on the line

As you are about to read below, it's a crowded field of races this weekend. That's to be expected in September around here, perhaps our best month of the year for staging races.

The ECMC's Lifetime Foundation race is of the most interest. That event has tried to strategy of handing out prize money in an effort to attract runners. This year the number is up to $4,000.

I do wonder about that. Last year, that race did 213 runners. That's not bad, but remember the prize money comes off the top of any charitable donation. And it's easy to wonder if the mediocre runners out there (that would be someone like me) wouldn't find prize money attractive, since they'd have no chance of winning, and go elsewhere. The Linda Yalem Run, again held the day after the ECMC race, did more than 1,000 runners last year. Granted that race has a large college campus as a target audience -- more than 200 women and 150 women in the 15-24 age-groups took part in the event. Other races have tried prize money as well, with similar results. 

I like the idea of having some sort of 5K championship among local runners, featuring the best of the best, but I'm unconvinced that such a race leads to mass participation. Hope I'm wrong.

Here's the busy weekend slate, courtesy of buffalorunners.com:

* Give for Greatness 5K, Hamlin Park in East Aurora, 9 a.m. Saturday, 491-5794.

* Run in the Country, 5K, 3755 Tonawanda Creek Road in Amherst, 9:30 a.m. Saturday, 860-0524.

* ECMC Lifeline Foundation WNY Runs for Heroes, Parkside Lodge at Delaware Park in Buffalo, 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, 898-5800.

* Autum Challenge, Sprague Brook Park in Glenwood, 10 a.m. Saturday.

* Jill Mattice Memorial 5K Run, Cleveland Hill High School in Cheektowaga, 11 a.m. on Saturday, 435-9023.

* Parkside Oktoberfest, 5K, Delaware Park in Buffalo, 5 p.m. on Saturday, 838-1240.

* Bemus Point 15K, Long Point State Park's Upper Pavillion, 9 a.m. Sunday, 488-0788.

* Linda Yalem Safety Run 5K, Alumni Arena at UB's Amherst Campus, 9:30 a.m. Sunday, 645-2731.

* Miles for Haiti, 2-Hour Run, 9535 Clarence Center Road in Clarence Center, 2 p.m. Sunday, 868-1232. I'll have more on this race in Sunday's column.

-- Budd Bailey

Running notebook: Man on the move

It was another day in the life of Ed Russell.

Last Sunday, he drove down to Irving from the Northtowns - no easy jaunt - for a 5K race there. Ed didn't hang around long afterwards, though. He had to get back to Buffalo for another 5K run - the Shea's Race. That's how someone does 90 races in a year before the end of September.

Ed will probably be busy on Saturday. It's September, and everyone wants to have a race in September. Even so, this particular September day is supposedly going to be a wet one. Ed, bring an extra shirt or two.

Here's the calendar from buffalorunners.com:

* Chautauqua Ultras, various, Mayville Lakeside Park in Mayville, 7 a.m. Saturday, 607-0328.

* Hospice Dash 5K, Porter--on-the-Lake Park in Youngstown, 9 a.m. Saturday, 998-5777.

* Dash for Dad/Zero Prostate Cancer 5K, Perry Street in Buffalo, 9 a.m. Saturday, 844-5646. This seemed like a natural for Father's Day, which the race tried last year. We'll see what happens this time around.

* Mighty Niagara Half Marathon, Artpark in Lewiston, 9 a.m. Saturday, 998-5777.

* Lebro's Fall Classic, 5K, 330 Campbell Blvd. in Getzville, 10 a.m. Saturday, 689-4507. It's a flat course, lots of food, and great premiums. No one leaves hungry or with complaints.

* Tails on Trails, 2.5 miles, Birdsong Park in Orchard Park, 10 a.m. Saturday, 662-6450 x2. Oh, and the dogs race free.

* Pheo Para Run, 5K, 3964 California Road in Orchard Park, 10 a.m. Saturday, 677-6788. This is to fight the rare cancer Paraganglioma and Pheochromocytoma, thankfully abbreviated here.

* 4 for the Corps, 4 miles, 145 North St. in Arcade, 10 a.m. Saturday, 912-8172. That should be enoughb of a choice for Saturday.

* Dash for Diversity, 9K relay, Delaware Park in Buffalo, 11 a.m. Sunday, 417-4331. This is an interesting idea - three-person teams take a lap around the Ring Road.

* Tanya's Trot for Epilepsy, 5K, Skyline Drive in Akron, 2 p.m. Sunday, 541-2315. Akron Falls Park is a great place for a run if you don't mind hills. And you should be done in time for the Bills' game, if that matters to you.

-- 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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