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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

 



Running notebook: The DVD version

Here's a bit of bonus material that you won't read in Sunday's running column. I talked with Bart Yasso of Runner's World magazine for the story. I was curious about the merger between his magazine and Running Times, saying that I was glad that the two publications haven't merged. He said both magazines have their own niche.

"Our editor-in-chief, David Willey, has emphasized a combination of story-telling about running and service items," he said. "We want to keep people active and involved. There's nothing crazy that will change everything overnight; you just go out there and see what comes along. There are great stories out there."

I mentioned that runners are thrilled when someone asks them about the activity, because often their close friends don't have much knowledge or interest.

"It's amazing," Yasso said. "Some people are quiet and don't think their story is worth anything. I'll meet them, and find they've been supressing it all this time. ... The best stories come from a friend of a friend. They'll say, 'This person is a great story."

Meanwhile, Running Times is more designed for elite runners.

"Right from the beginning, we've kept the two editorial teams apart," Yasso said. "Those going for their personal best all the time are for Running Times. Runner's World is more about lifestyle. We want to improve your time, not help you run 100 miles."

Read the rest on Sunday. In the meantime, here's the calendar from buffalorunners.com - celebrating the return of the Friday night race:

* Crouse 5K Challenge, 100 Legion Dr. in Gowanda, 6 p.m. tonight, 860-8782.

* Catalyst Fitness Race for a Cause, 5K, 2745 Seneca St. in West Seneca, 6:30 p.m. tonight, 824-4655.

* Town of Tonawanda 5K, 1 Pool Plaza in Town of Tonawanda, 6:30 p.m. tonight, 876-7424. I did this one a couple of years ago. Those who like a nice flat course should enjoy this one.

* Cummins Run for Literary, 5K, 509 Cherry St. in Jamestown, 9 a.m. Saturday, 484-7135 x236.

* Holland Tulip Festival, 5K, Holland Speedway, 9 a.m. Saturday, 537-2264.

* Nancy Price Memorial 5K, Veterans Park in Youngstown, 10 a.m. Saturday, 531-1216.

* Heritage Centers Foundation 5K, 101 Oak St. in Buffalo, 10 a.m. Saturday, 856-4202 x1228.

* DeSales Catholic School Race for Fitness, 5K, 6914 Chestnut Ridge Road in Lockport, 10 a.m. Saturday, 433-6422.

* Elephant Run, 4 miles, Marcy Casino in Delaware Park in Buffalo, 9:30 a.m. Sunday, 836-7045. This has turned into a good way to start Mother's Day activities. For those who like breakfast food after a race, this is the right place.

--- Budd Bailey

Running notebook: Setting the record straight

There had been some question about whether the Depew-Lancaster Boys and Girls Club 10K Race, a fixture on the calendar for July 4, would be held this year. It wasn't on the list of races at buffalorunners.com.

I contacted the office today, and I have been more than assured that the race would be held. That's certainly good news. Now the Club needs to get the race on its website under the year's upcoming event. It always pays to advertise.

Meanwhile ...

The calendar has flipped to May, which usually means at least one thing - races at night and on weekdays. Sure enough we have one this week on the calendar. Before we know it, you won't have a decision to make when you dress for a run.

Here's the calendar, courtesy of buffalorunners.com:

* NCCC Alumni Association 5K Run, Niagara County Community College in Sanborn, 6 p.m. tonight, 614-6231.

* GBTC Grand Island Half Marathon & 10K, Beaver Island State Park in Grand Island, 9 a.m. Saturday. The organizers have added a 10-kilometer run this year, which is a fine idea. It was a tough winter to train for a half-marathon.

* Putting Hunger on the Run 5K, 320 Porter Ave. in Buffalo, 9 a.m. Saturday, 884-5375.

* Allegany Adventure Runs, various, Allegany State Park in Salamanca, 9:30 a.m. Saturday, 574-0888.

* Rivershore 5K, 100 Center St. in Lewiston, 11 a.m. Saturday, 754-7272.

* Terri Krieger Memorial 5K Run, 189 North Gravel Road in Medina, 2 p.m. Saturday, (585) 589-5516 x227.

* Cinco de Mayo 5K Run, 383 Davison Road in Lockport, 11 a.m. Sunday. So they are a day early. There's a party after the race that lasts until 6 p.m.

-- Budd Bailey

Running notebook: Moving closer

Here's an update on what's up with this year's Western New York Running Hall of Fame class.

The nominating committee on Wednesday night went through all those nominated, and then worked to get the list down to only 10 names. From there, the Board of Directors will make the second cut, and we'll have a maximum of five people who will be honored. Athletes, coaches and contributors are all under consideration.

The winners will be announced on May 25 - Marathon Sunday in Buffalo. Then they will be honored at the Champions 5K race on August 29. Speaking as a nominating committee member, I can safely say that several outstanding candidates were considered, as usual.

You can build your resume by running in this weekend's races, with the list courtesy of buffalorunners.com. Remember, winners of local races get a free entry into the Champions 5K. OK, enough of the free plug. Here's the rundown of a busy weekend:

* Buffalo Undy 5000, Delaware Park in Buffalo, 9 a.m. Saturday, (202) 628-0123 x104.

* Mathletes Cindy Frank Memorial 5K, 1339 Indian Church Road in West Seneca, 9 a.m. Saturday, 668-7081.

* Saps Run, 10K/5K, 31 N. Main St. in Franklinville, 9 a.m. Saturday, 372-8184. Note - the race title is not a comment on the participants. By the way, there is no entry fee, but a donation (food or financial) to the local food pantry is requested.

* UB Run for Smiles, 5K, 3435 Main St. in Buffalo, 10 a.m. Saturday, (585) 507-1898. This event will start and end at the Health Sciences Library quad at UB.

* Run Forest Run 5K, 250 N. Forest Road in Williamsville, 10 a.m. Saturday, 545-7775. This will be held at Forest Elementary School.

* Envirun 5K, Whirlpool State Park in Niagara Falls, 10:30 a.m. Saturday, 858-7897. It's a new location for this race, with plenty of free parking.

* Earth Run, 5K, 12857 Route 438 in Irving, 11 a.m. Saturday.

* Laps for Limbs, 1 Hour Run, St. Francis High School in Athol Springs, 9 a.m. Sunday, (607) 435-8715. Run as far as you can on the St. Francis track to raise money for amputees.

Meanwhile, the SUNY Buffalo Law School race for Sunday morning has been cancelled. And I was going to run that one, too.

By the way, Sunday's running column has the story of a Boston Marathon runner who needed an extra year to get to the finish line. It's quite the dramatic ending.

-- Budd Bailey

Running notebook: Save the date

One of the lessons that's often preached to new race directors come in the form of picking an uncrowded weekend. The first two weeks of April are a good example why.

Last week, there were five 5-kilometer runs on the buffalorunners.com calendar. This week, there's one. Maybe having more of a balance would have worked for some of those races last week. In fairness, sometimes races have to go on a specific date because of a tie-in with the sponsoring organization. But usually, it good to look around a bit when setting a date.

By the way, the North Tonawanda Health Fair 5K attracted 271 runners last week. Perhaps the $10 entry fee for non-residents had something to do with that.

By the way, Sunday's Shoes for the Shelter Race was a News' Runner of the Year event. Aileen Hoak is two for two in wins already in the series, so she seems serious about having a good year.

Here's the short schedule for the weekend:

* Run Along Jericho Road 5K, 184 Barton St. in Buffalo, 9 a.m. Saturday, 374-3018. This takes a not-often-traveled path around the West Side. I think I heard a few different languages along the way, and some of the old architecture is very interesting. Good cause, too.

* BPAC 6-Hour Distance Classic, Northtown Center in Amherst, 8 a.m. Sunday. This event always bring out an impressive cast of runners, who score points just for running a good portion of the event - let alone finishing it.

Coming up on Sunday, I'll continue my conversation with Olympic gold medalist Frank Shorter, who will be in Boston again to be part of the television coverage of the marathon. His memories of last year make for dramatic reading, I believe.

-- Budd Bailey

Running notebook: What's the secret?

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

Running notebook: Justice coming?

For those of you who are still waiting for a refund for the half-marathon in Orchard Park in June 2012 that was never staged by the original organizer, help may be on the way.

The Indiana Attorney General has filed a lawsuit against Rapid Running, claiming that runners in five events including the one here lost almost $100,000 in entry fees. More details will be printed in Friday's editions of The News.

The weekly race calendar is still a week away from picking up, but here's what is going on this weekend - courtesy of buffalorunners.com:

* The Mustache March, 5K, Mang Park in Kenmore, 10 a.m. Saturday, 877-0477. Can't say I've seen many races that hand out mimosas after events, so this first-year race has a chance to be interesting even for the clean-shaven among us.

* Bemus Point 5K, Long Point State Park in Bemus Point, 9 a.m. Sunday, 488-0788.

Recently I had the chance to interview Frank Shorter, the 1972 gold medalist in the marathon. He certainly ranks as one of the most interesting people I've ever questioned, to the point where I couldn't put everything he said into one story. So Part One comes on Sunday in The News, when he discusses that marathon and its effect on him. Then in two weeks, I'll have his thoughts on the upcoming Boston Marathon. He'll be one of the television commentators for Universal Sports.

-- Budd Bailey

Running notebook: A winning effort

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

Running notebook: Luck of the Irish

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

Running notebook: Catching on

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

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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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