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Running notebook: A series of firsts

It was a week of firsts in running, in some silly and some interesting ways. Here's my list:

* I discovered almost my accident a unique trait of the t-shirt given out at the Wendelville Harvest Moon race. Quite by accident, I found out that my new shirt glows in the dark.

* On Sunday, when I picked up my bib number and shirt from the Headway Run along the waterfront, my goodie bag contained ... a flyswatter. I've been doing races since 2001, and never received one of those before.

* The Headway Run starts by the Hatch and heads to the lighthouse at the Marina before turning around and heading out into the city. Going the other way near the lighthouse was a runner who seemed a little small be doing so well. He kept it up. Liam Regan finished second at the ripe old age of 11. Very impressive. His time for 5-kilometers was 19:06.

Who know what awaits us this weekend? Here's the list from

* Brothers of Mercy Oktoberfest and 5K Run, 4520 Ransom Road in Clarence, 6:30 p.m. on Friday, 759-7808. Oktoberfest in September? Is that legal? It's an interesting course around a nature preserve.

* Lackawanna Fire 5000 "80's Retro Run!", 2900 South Park in Lackawanna, 6:30 p.m. on Friday, 200-2908. No, you don't have to wear a hairstyle straight of Duran Duran to run, but it wouldn't hurt.

* Run for Life, 5K, 4928 Seneca St. in West Seneca, 9 a.m. on Saturday, 864-4571.

* Connor's Wiener Run, 5K, 8934 Old Lakeshore Road in Angola-on-the-Lake, 10 a.m. on Saturday, 926-2218.

* WNY Hispanic Veterans Memorial Monument 5k, Central Wharf in Buffalo, 10 a.m. Saturday, 207-3863.

* Food is our Medicine 5K, 12857 Route 438 in Irving, 9 a.m. on Sunday, 532-4900 x5022.

* 8 in the Rough Trail Run, 8.7 miles, Sprague Brook Park casino in Glenwood, 10 a.m. Sunday 574-0888.

* Niagara Celtic 5K, Krull Park in Olcott, 10 a.m on Sunday, 417-2410.

* Shea's Run for the Arts, 5K, 646 Main St. in Buffalo, 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, 553-0179. This is rather late for a Sunday run, especially during Bills' season. But Shea's does put on a good race, and their early-bird discount has always been an attractive draw.

On Sunday, I'll talk to a new Western New Yorker with some unexpected experience at the marathon.

-- Budd Bailey

Running notebook: Crowded schedule

It was quite a week for local running. The WNY Running Hall of Fame race went extremely well, as the inductees also seemed to have a fine time. A surprise guest was Mary Wittenberg of New York Road Runners, who was there just to see some brothers run and it turned out she knew some of the inductees. The Fleet Feet 15K went off nicely on Monday morning, as a strong field turned out for a muggy morning. Then one of the last mid-week night races of the year took place in Wendelville. (There's one more in early October, the BobKat Run.) I'm not sure if the line for food at the picnic grounds has gone down yet.

Everyone likes to have a race in September because the weather is traditionally a bit cooler. I'll take time to note the loss of the Holy Angels Academy race, because the school closed over the summer. This one got washed out a year ago, and I was looked forward to trying again this year.

Here's the weekend schedule from

* Peach Festival 5K, 493 Center St. in Lewiston, 9 a.m. Saturday, 297-5831.

* Scrub Run 5K, Cazenovia Park in Buffalo, 9:30 a.m. Saturday, 706-2104. It's a new race, and it's easy to wonder if the $25 (until last week) and $30 (through raceday) prices will scare some people off. It's always a danger unless there's a natural constituency.

* Derby Fair 5K, 7431 Erie Road in Derby, 10 a.m. Saturday, 947-0945.

* Headway Walk, Run & Wheel, 5K, The Hatch in Buffalo, 9:30 a.m. Sunday, 408-3103.

--- Budd Bailey

Running notebook: Back from flat

I am back from a week's vacation in the Midwest. I brought my running shoes, naturally, and didn't get out as much as often as I would have liked.

But let me say this - the eastern part of the Dakotas would be a great place to have a marathon. Because, it's mighty, mighty flat. Wow. You couldn't almost see the finish line from the start of a marathon, even if it were 26.2 miles straight down a road.

I'm back for a big weekend in local running, with a couple of races of note coming up:

* WNY Running Hall of Fame 5K, Elmwood & Bidwell in Buffalo, 6:30 p.m. tonight, 479-8511. The Class of 2013 is introduced to the running community tonight, as five more members go in. The race course is a fast one as well. This has been a nice night over the last two years, and it should be another good one tonight. One warning: remember that you get what you pay for when it comes to the master of ceremonies of the induction ceremony.

* Rowin', Throwin' & Growin' 5K, 511 Ohio St. in Buffalo, 10 a.m. Saturday, 713-0262. It's an unusual name for a race, so you should know it goes to benefit Carly's Club. Easy to wonder if the $35 day-of-race registration fee will scare some people off.

* Dan Feather Memorial 5K, 487 Baker St. in Jamestown, 9 a.m. Sunday, 488-2203 x230.

* Fleet Feet 15K Run into Buffalo, Canalside in Buffalo, 8 a.m. Monday, 332-3501. It's the only 15K run of the year, and this has quickly evolved into a nice event. Fine course, too.

-- Budd Bailey (pardon my shameless plug of linking my name to information about my newly-released book)

Running notebook: Racing in the moonlight

It's amazing just how popular the Moonlight Run has become over the years.

It's the only race of the year that is held at dusk, and more than 1,000 runners again invaded Williamsville on Wednesday night to take part. What's more, it always seems to fall on a clear night so that runners will have more than enough light to avoid the odd pothole while finishing the race.

In fact, the race has come close to outgrowing its starting area. There are plenty of people jammed into a small road. But it's a problem other races would like to have.

The race schedule this weekend is crowded, but they should be held under perfect conditions. Here's the rundown from

* iWacko Sarah Johnson Memorial 5K Run, Clark's Park in Wilson, 9 a.m. Saturday, 440-6516. Good to see this race stage a second running in tribute to the woman who was killed in a house explosion last year.

* Sunset Bay Experience 5K, Sunset Bay Beach Club in Irving, 9:30 a.m. Saturday, 907-0219.

* Beast of Burden Ultra Marathon, 50 and 100 miles, 718 Market St. in Lockport, 10 a.m. Saturday, 609-9000.

* 32nd annual Don Carroll Toys for Kids 5K Run, Jackson Square in Batavia, 6:15 p.m. Saturday, (585) 250-4222.

* Run for Row 5K, Como Park in Lancaster, 9 a.m. Sunday, 891-3941.

* 2013 TRZ, 5K and 10K, Firemen's Grounds in Frewsburg, 9:30 a.m. Sunday, 397-2519.

Also coming up on Sunday - a column in The News on one of the most important figures in Western New York's running history as he says goodbye. Don Mitchell has always been a friend to this column, no matter who wrote it, and he'll be missed by all of us.

-- Budd Bailey

Running notebook: Eight was enough

Road races are rarely described as poignant, but that feeling certainly swept over Thursday night's Run for Hope in Tonawanda.

Sal Teresi had been staging the race in memory of his late wife, Connie. This year was race number eight, and it was the last one. The Run for Hope wasn't the biggest race in town, but it always had a good heart and usually featured Sal's many friends. The Run for Hope had a nice run, and raised some money for pancreatic cancer.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of other races on the weekend calendar. Here's the list from

Continue reading "Running notebook: Eight was enough" ยป

Running notebook: Book 'em, Dano

It was a rather dramatic moment, at least as these things go in the middle of the pack of a new race in Tonawanda.

Some of the runners in the St. Amelia's Race in Tonawanda were about a mile into the run when they heard the screech of car tires, as a driver was in no mood to listen to traffic volunteers and wait for runners to pass an intersection. Why he was in such a hurry to cross the street wasn't immediately known, but he pulled into a church parking lot.

One of the volunteers yelled in vain to get the driver to stop. It was clearly time to go to Plan B - yelling for a police car which was just down the street. The authorities came with lights flashing, with the help of several runners who were more than happy to point out the car. Life should work out so well at all such times.

No word on what the punishment was, although the running community probably would call for the driver to do laps in a prison courtyard for a few years.

One other note for the non-procrastinators in the audience - online registration for the Turkey Trot is now open.

The running conditions have been terrific lately, so here's the rundown of the schedule courtesy of

* Taste of Lancaster - Fire Fighters for Food 5K Run, Central Ave. in Lancaster, 9:30 a.m. Saturday, 684-4818. It's a chance for me to pay a little tribute to my father, who worked at a plant on the race course more than 25 years ago.

* Chasing Away the Stigma 5K, Chestnut Ridge Park in Orchard Park, 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Wonder what happened to a similiarly named race at Niagara University?

* Pennies to Heaven, 767 Ridge Road in Lackawanna, 6:30 p.m. Saturday, 863-2684. I believe that this course in a cemetary has more turns than any other in Western New York.

* St. Christopher Summerfest 5K, 2660 Niagara Falls Blvd. in Tonawanda, 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, 216-4103. Two Saturday night races? That's very unusual.

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

* Telegraph Road Race, 11714 Telegraph Road in Medina, 2 p.m on Sunday, 549-5100. This is the second running of this race, but it has a new location. Everyone hits play at the start of the race, and listens to the Dire Straits song that lasts 14 minutes and 18 seconds. Most ground covered in that time wins. It's a great idea; I wish it was at a more convenient time.

Sunday I'll take a look at the upcoming Color Run in my column.

-- Budd Bailey

Running notebook: Stormy weather

It was certainly a memorable night at the Subaru Race last week. It started in broiling weather, and was cooled a bit in mid-race by clouds to the north that blocked the sun. Those same clouds produced violent thunderstorms later in the night. Race director Jim Nowicki was thankful that at least the storm held off until well after the event was over. That sort of storm would have caused many, many problems had it turned up about 7:15 p.m.

By the way, I was in the truck that led the men's leaders around the course. World-class athletes are amazing to watch. The lead pack cranked out 4:40 miles like clockwork for three miles, and then the eventual winner turned it up a notch. By the way, all of the top runners were complaining about their times afterwards. I was tempted to tell them: "It was hot!"

It's a busy Saturday and a barren Sunday on the race schedule. Last Sunday featured four races. You'd think someone might have noticed that and done a little shifting to try to draw a bigger crowd. Here's the lineup, courtest of

* Lake View Field Day 5K Ruyn, Center St. & Lake View Road in Lakeview, 8 a.m. Saturday, 698-4005. It's a tradition - the earliest non-marathon of the year.

* East Aurora Rerun, 5K, Firemen's Field in East Aurora, 9 a.m. Saturday, 652-3732.

* St. Amelia Amazing Race 5K, 210 St. Amelia Dr. in Tonawanda, 9 a.m. Saturday, 834-5741. The organizers were very helpful and nice on a registration issue I had. Their first race is off to a good start.

* Jason Raby Memorial 5K Run, Lewiston-Porter High School in Youngstown, 11 a.m. Saturday, 751-8281. I should ask someday what the Lewiston-Porter school is doing in Youngstown.

* St. John's Bash and Dash 5K, 1085 Englewood Ave. in Tonawanda, 7 p.m. Saturday, 435-5115. And the Ronald McDonald House Run comes up on Wednesday, which is always one of the big races of the summer.

-- Budd Bailey

Running notebook: A new addition to the schedule?

The Buffalo Marathon website has an interesting wrinkle on it. In the lineup for 2014, a 5-kilometer race is mentioned for the weekend. No word on whether it would be on Saturday, the day before the big event, or on Sunday, in association with it.

Either way, it's a good idea to help make the event even bigger and more inclusive. We'll be following this story in the months to come.

In the meantime, here's the weekend schedule, courtesy of It's supposed to cool down by Saturday. Based on the Canalfest run last weekend in 86-degree temperatures, I'm all for that:

* Buffalo Orienteering Club 5-Mile Trail Run, Chestnut Ridge Park in Orchard Park, 6:30 p.m. tonight, 652-8727. Stay hydrated.

* Subaru Buffalo 4 Mile Chase, Elmwood and Bidwell in Buffalo, 7 p.m. Friday, 881-1652. This always has the best field of the season. Now we just need those thunderstorms to arrive after everything is over.

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

* Crabapple 5K Run, Stiglmeier Park in Cheektowaga, 9:30 a.m. Saturday, 897-7207. This a nice little event; just don't feed the deer while you are there.

* Niagara Catholic Alumni Run, 5K, 520 66th St. in Niagara Falls, 10 a.m. Saturday, 531-6198. I ran this race last year; it's not a common route through the neighborhoods just east of the I-190.

* Character Chase 5K, 150 Pleasant Ave. in Hamburg, 11 a.m. Saturday.

* Run for Rover 5K, LaSalle Park in Buffalo, 9 a.m. Sunday, 883-8544. I'm not sure I've missed one of these races, which usually competed with the Boilermaker Run in the past. It's turned into quite the festival for dogs.

* Lindsay Matthews Scholarship Race, 5K, 6909 Milestrip Road in Orchard Park, 10 a.m. Sunday, 667-3786.

* Run Jimmy Run Charity 5K, Coca-Cola Field in Buffalo, 10 a.m. Sunday, 803-2301. I'll have a preview of this race in Sunday's News.

* St. Mary's Church Chowder Chase 5K, 6919 Transit Road in East Amherst, 830-6617.

--- Budd Bailey

Running notebook: Double the elevation, double the shirts

I had the chance to take part in a race in Akron on Saturday for the first time ever. It's obvious that the Independence Run is one of the leaders in running in two categories: shirts and hills.

At registration, organizers handed out the usual shirt for this year's race. Then they added a leftover shirt from a race two years ago, plus a water bottle, plastic mug, pen, etc. I felt pretty spoiled.

Then the race took place, and I felt less spoiled. After a brief drop from the starting line in downtown Akron, runners went more or less uphill for the next two miles. Akron Falls Park really is nice, but I was too busy panting at times to appreciate. Outside of runs in Chestnut Ridge, I can't remember more hills - with the possible exception of the Bunny Hop in East Aurora. But at least the final mile was downhill.

The weekend got off to a good start on Thursday night with the Old Home Days 5K. Here's the rest of the weekend schedule from

* Tuscarora Nation 10K Ru8n, Tuscarora Indian Reservation in Lewiston, 9 a.m. on Saturday, 940-0852. This always comes close to the 4th of July 10K in Lancaster. Considering how few 10K races there are, it's easy to wonder if this race would do better in a different time slot. But it has been around in July for several years.

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

* Bonafest 5K Run, Murphy Building on St. Bonaventure Campus, 9 a.m. on Saturday, 790-0056. This is billed as non-competitive but times will be taken and posted.

* Peaceprints 5K, Delaware Park in Buffalo, 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, 856-6131.

* Tim Frank Memorial Canal Fest Run, 4 miles, 325 Franklin St. in Tonawanda, 10 a.m. Sunday, 510-3971. This race had been a fixture on Thursday night, but Canal Fest organizers decided to use it to kick off the proceedings. It's always a good time, and the course is not exactly Akron Falls Park when it comes to changes in elevation.

* FG III Memorial 5K, Evans Town Park in Angola, 11 a.m. on Sunday, 598-9121.

--- Budd Bailey

Running notebook: Rain, rain go away

When a relative steady rain started to come down about 30 minutes before the Depew-Lancaster Boys & Girls Club 10K Thursday morning, some of the runners might have thought they were in for a less-than-perfect experience. But the rain stopped right around the start of the race, so conditions were actually quite good for an event that has featured some scorchers over the years.

The competitive was quite good too. Jacob Krolick beat Chris Walters by 12 seconds in the men's race. Jennifer Koeppel-Acker was the women's winner by close to a minute over Katie Niblock. The wins were good for 12 points in the News' Runner of the Year series.

It's not exactly a busy weekend on the race schedule, according to The Independence Run, a 5-kilometer race, goes off in Akron at 11 a.m. SAturday. Visit the American Legion Post at 9 Eckerson Ave. in Akron before the race to register. Call 390-7510.

On Sunday, you'll have plenty of time to rest up and read the story on a popular television personality who is a regular on the local running scene.

-- Budd Bailey
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