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
November 9, 2013 - 4:28 PM
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.
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
November 8, 2013 - 12:38 AM
Want to see a man grow old right before your eyes?
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
October 31, 2013 - 5:09 PM
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