In many respects, the Syracuse Festival of Races (SFoR) is the offspring of the Syracuse Freihofer's Run for Women (SFRW), which Dave Oja directed from 1984 through 1992.

When new owners of the Freihofer's Baking Company announced in January of 1993 that their company was discontinuing sponsorship the SFRW, the Oja family made a commitment to establish a new event that appealed equally to participants of both sexes, all ages, all paces, and all levels of running experience. Fortunately for the many thousands of subsequent SFoR participants, the Board of Directors of the Syracuse Chargers Track Club, Inc. was strongly in favor of supporting the new event as its conducting organization and one of its beneficiaries.

The result has been a quarter of a century of success by SFoR participants ranging from first-time racers to Olympians, from runners ages five to ninety-three, and from 55-minute 5K finishers to 13-minute 5K finishers. Along the way, the SFoR has hosted eleven men's and eleven women's 5K road race national championships, scores of national and world 5K records and bests, hundreds of all-time world-ranked 5K age-group performances, and an even larger number of 5K personal bests.

As the SFoR celebrates its silver anniversary, we hope that it will continue to attract and excite participants of all ages, paces, and levels of experience, and we hope that it will continue to inspire many of those participants to pursue achievements that they'll treasure for a lifetime!

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5K Results/Records


3K School Group Awards

These are the past winners of the Festival Cup, the Boys & Girls Cup, and the plaques we present to the largest school groups registering for the 3K Fun & Fitness Run at the Syracuse Festival of Races:


Fayetteville Elementary (Festival Cup)

Mott Road Elementary

Enders Road Elementary

Edward Smith Elementary (Boys & Girls Cup)


Fayetteville Elementary (Festival Cup)

Mott Road Elementary

Enders Road Elementary

Edward Smith Elementary (Boys & Girls Cup)


Fayetteville Elementary (Festival Cup)

Mott Road Elementary

Enders Road Elementary

Edward Smith Elementary (Boys & Girls Cup)


Fayetteville Elementary (Festival Cup)

Mott Road Elementary

Enders Road Elementary

Edward Smith Elementary (Boys & Girls Cup)


Fayetteville Elementary (Festival Cup)

Mott Road Elementary

Edward Smith Elementary (Boys & Girls Cup)


Fayetteville Elementary (Festival Cup)

Mott Road Elementary

Edward Smith Elementary (Boys & Girls Cup)


Fayetteville Elementary (Festival Cup)

Mott Road Elementary

Bolivar Elementary

Edward Smith Elementary (Boys & Girls Cup)


Fayetteville Elementary (Festival Cup)

Mott Road Elementary

Edward Smith Elementary (Boys & Girls Cup)


Fayetteville Elementary (Festival Cup)

Mott Road Elementary

Edward Smith Elementary (Boys & Girls Cup)


Fayetteville Elementary (Festival Cup)

Mott Road Elementary

Marcellus Elementary & Middle

Edward Smith Elementary (Boys & Girls Cup)


Fayetteville Elementary (Festival Cup)

Long Branch Elementary

Cicero Elementary

Edward Smith Elementary (Boys & Girls Cup)


Fayetteville Elementary (Festival Cup)

Long Branch Elementary

Mott Road Elementary

Edward Smith Elementary (Boys & Girls Cup)


Fayetteville Elementary (Festival Cup)

Long Branch Elementary

Mott Road Elementary

Edward Smith Elementary (Boys & Girls Cup)


Fayetteville Elementary (Festival Cup)

Mott Road Elementary

Long Branch Elementary

Edward Smith Elementary (Boys & Girls Cup)



Here is a selection of comments that Festival participants have offered in unsolicited notes:

"Another outstanding event; no one does it like you do! Thank you for all of your attention to the details and for providing the athletes the opportunity to run the best that they can!" --Kathryn Martin, 64, Northport, NY

"Congratulations on what seemed a very successful event yesterday. A lot of work, I know. You must be pleased by the national response - I see my competition came from Georgia, Minnesota, Massachusetts, NJ, and others . . . Thanks for giving me a memorable race - my most pleasing since 1994." --Roger Robinson, 76, Wellington, NZ

"Just wanted to let you know that it was a great race yesterday and lots of fun! Thanks again for the effort you and your family do for this race- it is enjoyed by all!" --Linda Owens, 57, Liverpool, NY

"Appreciate how much work and care you put in to make your race the destination race it is for Masters runners!" --Paul Carlin, 69, Indianapolis, IN

"As always, I had a wonderful experience and enjoyed the weekend. Each time I come, I meet more wonderful people and reconnect now with friends I only see once or twice a year--very special! I hope to return next year and take another second off my time. Thanks so much for all you do to host the USATF national 5K championship! Awesome!!!" --Jan Holmquist, 71, Burlington, MA

"I wanted to thank you for putting on another great race. Thanks for your attention to detail and your focus on the athletes. It was a lot of fun!" --Greg Mitchell, 42, McMinnville, OR

"Another nice job by you giving us a premier quality race. Thanks." --Fred Miller, 64, Liverpool, NY

"Thanks for your hospitality, professionalism, and camaraderie at the Syracuse Festival of Races. I enjoy it every time; hope to be there next year!" --Jeff Dundas, 56, Conyers, GA

"I loved the Festival this year . . . such a great race!" --Jeremy Zgoda, 19, Syracuse University

". . . your race is a constant example of excellence from all the organizational issues to the outstanding quality of the competition." --Rob Picotte, 62, Malta, NY

"I'm sure that you and the Syracuse Chargers have already received many well-deserved thanks for your organization's role in putting on the Festival of Races this past weekend but I wanted to add my appreciation as well. Any club that can marshal so many hard-working, cheerful and devoted volunteers to provide transport for athletes and put on such an event without mishap has to be doing many things right, all year long, not just on race day. This was my first experience at the Festival of Races and it was an enjoyable and rewarding experience. I'm sure our team's success on race day was due in no small measure to the support of the volunteers, whether visible or unseen. Let them know their efforts were appreciated." --Devin Croft, 62, Littleton, CO

"Just wanted to say thanks. I KNOW you had a lot to do with changing the forecast for us :-). Turned out to be a beautiful weekend. I finally got to do stuff in Syracuse, plus had a really good run . . . Please tell the Oja clan; they were amazing." --Carmen Ayala-Troncoso, 58, Austin, TX

"I had so much fun in your race . . . Thank you, and I look forward to participating next year." --Daniel Yarnall, 18, Syracuse University

"I wanted to thank you for all you do. The festival was great! All your efforts paid off. SUCCESS now and future to you!" --Eileen Carr, President, Phoenix Philosophies

"I spent a couple of hours at the Syracuse airport with several runners waiting for our flights. All they could talk about was what a tremendously wonderful event you and your team put together. I was especially impressed with the attention to detail from building up excitement for the event, the signup process, the race itself, and the brunch. You certainly set a very high standard! Looking forward already to next year." --Lloyd Hansen, 66, Salt Lake City, UT

"Year after year, I find the Syracuse race to be the best of all races and certainly the most competitive! The volunteers are always outstanding as well of all of the USATF staff. Great job!!!" --Ruth Thelen, 70, Saint Johns, MI

"Everyone LOVES SFoR; thank you so much for the hard work you put into it!!" --Kristin Baker,Syracuse, NY

"I just wanted to thank you and your team, Linda, Greg, and Terri, for making me feel so welcome and helping me have an excellent and productive time this weekend. Being there helped me remember why so many folks come back year after year and to be so thankful that Syracuse FoR was my introduction to the world of Elite Masters LDR. I hope to return regularly." --Paul Carlin, 68, Indianapolis, IN

"You put together another amazing morning of racing! Wow! I absolutely love that course. You know that!" --Mike Melfi, 38, Clay, NY

"I want to thank you for the effort you have put into this race year after year. It is by far one of my favorites and you always make it a pleasant experience from a runner's perspective by giving us all the details we need to plan our trip. Keep up the great work.">"" --Ken Youngers, 58, Tucker, GA

"That was his PR! He is a senior at Proctor High School, a great kid. He lived nine years in a refugee camp in Chad and never ran until he came here. I am happy to support such a great race; the talent was unbelievable." --Rich Cohen, 43, Utica, NY

"I feel SO SPECIAL! Pinch me! My picture with Bob Giambalvo and the woman who wanted to give me a high five and all the wonderful friends and runners who have been so complimentary. My daughter even posted the high five picture on her Facebook page and I am truly overwhelmed by all the wonderful and inspiring comments. I could go on and on! I was at a USATF-NE Board meeting last night and told everyone that I love the SFoR and it is THE BEST race put on by the BEST RD, with family and friends to assist in making a very successful experience for master runners. I appreciate all the research you do to make us all feel very special at the award ceremony as well as your announcing at the race. Thank you!" -Jan Holmquist, 70, Burlington, MA-

"I do want to congratulate you on putting on such a fine race. We do have bigger races, my own Seal Beach race cuts off registration at 6000! But yours was a championship race and a lot of perfection was necessary. But then you have done that for so many times it comes easy. The brunch was excellent and the award ceremony was quite interesting. I was especially impressed with the women's times, much faster than I see out here." --John Harper, 81, Seal Beach, CA

"I so wanted to thank you in person for such a wonderful event, but you were a bit busy at the moment we took off. The awards ceremony was very special--I was blown away by it. Everything about the race was perfect." --Libby James, 78, Fort Collins, CO

"The race was fabulous! Thank you for taking such good care of your runners and focusing on the masters division. We really appreciated it! Please give yourself a big pat on the back. Job well done!" --Joan Miller, 58, Chestnut Hill, MA

"Thanks for a great race! It was my first National Championship. But it certainly not be my last." --Laurie Wharton, 48, Marietta, GA

"You and your family run one of the most amazing and well-organized LDR events in the country. Thank you for your efforts in sustaining a great race and keeping Masters competition alive and healthy in the Northeast." --Eugene Tung, 48, Lansdale, PA

"Great race yesterday. Thank you so much for your commitment to making it so great year after year!!" --Christine Stork-Medicis, 45, Syracuse, NY

"Even though I am more of a long distance runner, this is a MUST race for me every year!" --Karanya Aksornkoae, 42, Liverpool, NY

"The FOR is my favorite day of the year with my son. The icing on the cake is the prize! I appreciate the family focus it provides. I am always inspired by the runners in the 70's and 80's and look forward to many more Festival races.">"" --Laurel Chiesa, Manlius, NY

"I want to compliment you on putting on the best organized race that I have participated in since my introduction to USATF races last year. Your commitment to making the experience something to remember for each athlete is unsurpassed. We just got back from the National 12K in Alexandria where I broke my old US record and had the top age-graded performance. It has been a great year, but nothing has felt as good as my performance at the Syracuse Festival of Races.">"" --Tom McCormack, 61, Jonesborough, TN

"This is late, but I want to still thank you for an awesome time and race last Sunday!! The course was great, and so were the people. I hope that you recovered from this very stressful event, although you both were in great spirits and made everyone feel so very welcome and at home. I can't say enough of how well organized this event was, and am looking forward to next year. The elite runners are unbelievably fast, which is inspiring me to train more!">"" --Christa Maier, 74, Williamsville, NY

"Having directed some races myself, it's easy to see the attention to detail you guys give to the event. I have to say that I've never run a race so well marked. That part is world class! . . . Thanks again for putting on such a great race! It makes it a pleasure as a participant to be a part of it. Seeing those top masters women coming into the finish gave me chills! I wish I could run that fast!">"" --Mark Zamek, 51, Allentown, PA

"I just wanted to tell you how much fun my family had at the Festival of Races today. My sons both ran and actually came in first in the brother-brother category. But the best part was when Sean and his wife Lanti, who is Indonesian and new to this country, did the Fun & Fitness run together. Lanti had a great time and now wants to do more running. And I looked at all these families doing the run together and how happy everyone seemed, with the music playing and another nice weather day for the race. You do a great job with this event and make a lot of people happy.">"" --David Moore, Syracuse, NY

"I am seriously amazed at how well your race is run and how nice/accommodating your volunteers are. Thank you again for a job well done!" --Nancy Stewart, 58, Atlanta, GA

"I just wanted to thank you for once again putting on a great race on Sunday! It was definitely one of the major highlights of my racing season. You have all the details worked out to perfection, and you have a wonderful way of making all of us feel welcome. I always look forward to coming to Syracuse, even if there is heavy rain with thunderstorms; they added to the adventure this year. I know that it takes a huge effort for you and your family and all of your volunteers to put on such a high quality race, but I just want you to know that I (and all of the other runners!) really appreciate it. I'll definitely be back next year, and (hopefully!) for many more years after that." --Edie Stevenson, 64, Boulder, CO

"Thanks for everything last weekend. You put on a first-class event, and it was a great experience not just for Melody, but for all the masters runners, as well as non-runners like me!" --John Babington, Assistant Coach, 1996 U.S. Olympic T&F Team

"It was a great experience, a spectacularly organized course, and even the rains held off for the men. For me, it was memorable and I hope to be back next year" --Eric Seiff, 80, Bronx, NY

"I can't say enough good things about how well organized this race is. It is easy to see how passionate and how much you put into making this a special experience for all the runners. You make us the runners feel so pampered. A big thank you to you, your wife and every single person and volunteer who helped make this race such a success." --Carrie Parsi, 74, Gloucester, MA

"It was a great event to be a part of. We can't wait to work with you in 2014 and beyond." --Mike Czniewski, CE Coordinator, Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage

"As advertised, I really enjoyed the race, and all the associated events. I especially liked the awards banquet with fellow runners from all over the country there. I think I will come back next year just for the cool music you played on race morning . . . Again Dave, it was a great time, and I'll be sure to book a room early next year." --Paul Isaac, 50, Folcroft, PA

"Despite the wet conditions, this sure was one class-act yet again! This is the standard against which all other races should be judged. As long as you continue to host 5k masters nationals, I (and the usual ATC folk) will continue to come. Thanks again for the first-rate experience!" --Kristian Blaich, 47, Decatur, GA

"I had a blast at the race and am looking forward to next year!" --Rich Russell, 53 Liverpool, NY

"Another great race! This is a race organized to meet the needs of the runners, right down to the "400 meters to go" sign. Thanks for your work!" --William Dixon, 66, Brattleboro, VT

"I wanted to thank you for such a great race. My two daughters and their friend had a great time, and all set personal bests." --Phillip Lucason, Holland Patent, NY

"Thanks for another great 5K race. Everything was perfect. Sorry I had to bug out early to catch a flight, the awards are usually the best part. Pass on my thanks to all your team, particularly your wife." --Brian Pilcher, 57, Ross, CA

"Thanks for running such a great event. It gets better all the time." --Fred Schlereth, 80, Syracuse, NY

"Thank you so much, David! I LOVED your race and it will forever be one of my most memorable racing experiences of my life, as it was my very first as a Master. I really appreciate you and your crew, who made the whole race experience so enjoyable. I hope you host it again next year." --Melody Fairchild, 40, Boulder, CO

"Thank you so much for allowing me to be at Festival of Races yesterday. It was a great event--even if we got a little wet. Looking forward to next year." --Gina Stokes, Director of Special Events, Rescue Mission

"Congratulations to you both and Greg and the entire crew responsible for making it happen . . . fantastic job, again! . . . and it should never be taken for granted by anybody . . . Syracuse Festival of Races is the best!!!!" --Bob Giambalvo, 64, Delhi, NY

"Thank you for another great Festival of Races . . . I think that my favorite part of the National 5K Road Masters Champs at the Festival of Races is the awards brunch. You have such a personal knowledge of all of the runners, and I love hearing about all of their inspiring accomplishments. I'm always amazed at the talent through the ages that gathers in that room." --Emily Bryans, 46, Schenectady, NY

"Great job again last week. It's the best." --Roger Price, 64, Randolph, NJ

"Thanks again for all of your hard work at the FoR! I liked a number of things you do that I haven't seen in other races. Many races will have marks for 1, 2, and 3 miles but yours is the first I've run in to have a sign with 400 meters to go and 200 meters to go. Also only one other race I've been in called out kilometer times as well as mile times. The first two of those, especially, are useful as they fill in the gap. And I appreciated your call out of names as runners came in from your vantage point on the platform by the finishing line. The local guys call out names when they can but they don't have as good a vantage point and usually can't see as far down the course to be ready to call out a name from checking the bib number . . . Of course it also helps that you know so many of the runners you often don't have to check the number and can sometimes give a little personal history or a short anecdote. Finally, it's a great course for the runners, a simple out and back with few turns, gently winding, and then a nice chute for the last 250 meters or so. There must have been some exciting finishing sprint duels for the spectators to observe! So--a great job . . . it's a trip for me, but I will try to make it back." --Paul Carlin, 67, Indianapolis, IN

"Thanks for running a nice event. I know you put an awful lot of work into it. I look forward to it every year. It was a lifetime PR for me this time. Clocked 19:53 at age 61." --Patrick Wrobel, 61, Seneca Falls, NY

"Congratulations on another great event! Enjoyed my trip again to Syracuse, and your crew did a great job of putting on a first class event! Thanks for all you do for masters running!" --Dale Campbell, 60, Huntington Beach, CA

"I ran in the {another national championship} and while it was fun, it didn't have the polish that your event has. You obviously work hard at making SFoR a super event." --Mike Olson, 48, Vestal, NY

"One grand race! I don't know how you do it, but you always get the best volunteers, sponsors, and runners . . . The competition was outstanding! All I can say is WOW and more WOW!" --Ruth Thelen, 68, St. Johns, MI

"Thanks once again for another fabulous job in hosting the USA National Masters 5k Road Championship this past weekend. It is really a great event and you and your staff are second to none in hosting a race like this. I can appreciate the time and energy commitment it must take to put it on, but from all of us athletes' perspective, we sure hope you will make the decision to continue doing so." --Kirk Larson, 61, Atlanta, GA

"Once again you put on the best race in Central New York. Last year my best time was at the Festival, and once again my best, by far, was at the Festival." --Dr. Sam Graceffo, 76, Fayetteville, NY

"I just wanted to thank you and your entire family and staff for the great race you put on over the weekend! I really enjoyed it, and was so impressed by everything you did to make the event so outstanding: the organization was perfect, the race course was the best 5K course I've ever run on (including the birdhouses!), the staff was extremely helpful and friendly, and the weather was perfect for running. I am so glad that I ran the race, and will definitely return again next year, maybe with a complete Boulder women's 60s team!" --Edie Stevenson, 63, Boulder, CO

"We had a great experience with the Festival of Races!" --Paulette Purdy, Executive Director, Learning Disabilities of CNY

"My Mom and I want to thank you so much for your awesome and amazing support! . . . And to make it particularly special, a whole bunch of Canton women came in the night before to Syracuse to run on Sunday and celebrate with her! . . . What a wonderful moment for all of us!! We are so grateful!!" --Ellen Auster, 55, Toronto, ON

"Thank you for hosting such a first class event and making all of us master runners feel very special. I understand this event is a labor of love for you and how committed you are to every last detail being taken care of." --Sonja Friend-Uhl, 41, Nashville, TN

"I'm still in 'pinch me' mode . . . you and your race brought out the best in me! I admit that I trained hard for the SFoR, as it was my year-long goal to do well there . . . my target race . . . Like last year, I had a wonderful time, enjoyed the race, and truly appreciate all the awesome people who made the event so delightful." --Jan Holmquist, 68, Burlington, MA

"Great event yesterday, once again!!! It was wonderful seeing some amazing runners." --Jennifer Snyder, 41, Liverpool, NY

"I want to extend my congratulations for another wonderful Festival experience. Thanks also for the 20 years that you have made this event possible for the Syracuse running community, and for the local non-profits that have received thousands of dollars in pledges. I hope to be healthy enough to run many more Festivals in the future." --Estelle Hahn, 72, Jamesville, NY

"Thanks again for all your efforts for making the 5k a great race. It's always a pleasure to come to Syracuse in the fall." --Jan Frisby, 68, Grand Junction, CO

"Thanks again for everything, Dave, and looking forward already to next year." --Steve Boyd, 49, Kingston, ON

"I want to thank you again for putting on such a great race! I hope you decide to do it again! You attract so many great runners! I am in awe!" --Cande Olsen, 62, Chatham, NJ

"Another great job!" --Edna Hyer, South Wales, NY

"I just wanted to drop a quick note to tell you what a great time we had in Syracuse last weekend. My second year coming to the 5K Championship was even more enjoyable than my "rookie" experience. You and everyone connected with the Festival go out of your ways to treat all the runners as ATHLETES. I hope you understand how unusual that is. Your range of response, your depth of knowledge, your familiarity with previous race efforts--whether Kathy Martin, Doug Goodhue, Brian Pilcher, etc. etc.--wrap all these runners' efforts with the kind of respect their intense commitment and dedication deserve. Of the national races I've been to, yours is by far the most organized, the most respectful and most fulfilling." --Larry Price, 64, Summit, NJ

"Wow! As always you and your whole team of workers and volunteers are #1. Our team had a wonderful time and were treated so well." --Ruth Thelen, 67, St. Johns, MI

". . . a big THANK YOU goes out to everyone that has a hand in putting on this fantastic event. Wish more races could come even close to what the SFoR gives to a runner." --Bob Giambalvo, 62, Delhi, NY

"Thanks again for putting on a great event. You and your staff put on the premier race of the East. I'm sure this will be a regular date on our yearly schedule." --Chuck Shields, 52, Abington, PA

"I want to thank you for the unbelievable race that you put on yesterday. You and your staff set the standard for organization and hospitality--and a fantastic course as well. Get some well deserved rest." --Kirk Larson, 60, Atlanta, GA

"Once again you put a totally first class event together! I am so impressed by the depth of the field and how far people travel on their own expense--it really does speak volumes as to your reputation." --Rob Picotte, 58, Malta, NY

"WOW, what a wonderful event!!! Everything from the initial registration through to the ride back to the airport on Sunday, the masters runners were treated like kings and queens! . . . I know there are a million details and you juggled them so well and with a smile and sense of humor." --Jan Holmquist, 67, Burlington, MA

"I just want to congratulate you on your fine organization of the event last Sunday. I'm sure the weather made your job substantially more complicated but the whole event went off very smoothly." --Ralph Garfield, 76, Manalapan, NJ

"What an amazing event you put together and administer! Thank you for everything you and your wife must do to make it all happen so seemingly effortlessly. I know that behind the scenes it is much tougher to accomplish what you both do and I just want to thank you for your excellent work. I hope you will always have this race in Syracuse and that I get a chance to set some records there." --David Cannon, 55, Seattle, WA

"Our family loves the Festival of Races because it is family-oriented in addition to the tight organization and professionalism." --Laurel Chiesa, 43, Manlius, NY

"In today's world of running where finishing medals and rock bands every mile are, unfortunately in my opinion, becoming an expectation of many runners, it's nice to know that there are still top-notch, highly competitive races at a low price for runners who could care less about the medals and the bands . . . who just want to run fast. Your race is that race! It lacks the headaches and chaos of the so-called "mega" races. Don't change from that recipe! Thanks again!" --Jack Lovett, 41, Newport News, VA

"We really had a great time this weekend! It was my first time there, and it was a great event." --Doreen McCoubrie, 49, Malvern, PA

"My wife and I ran our first SFoR this past Sunday and we had a great time. I turned in my PR (in my adult life) and my wife Daniela Baban Hurrle turned in her all time PR!" --Rand Hurrle, 33, Syracuse, NY

"I just wanted to compliment you and your team for putting on such a well run race, with ALL the perks, so well organized, and in such trying conditions." --Karen Steele, 53, Novato, CA

"I was a little reluctant about coming this year. It wasn't an arthritis person's dream day but I told myself I had to be there. As usual it was an awesome experience. Thank you for all your hard work that you do for all us." --Rose Ann Napierski, 65, Camillus, NY

"Anny and I had a great weekend at the Festival. You folks put on a grand event. How do you gather such an elite group of masters runners? So many old people, men and women, are doing phenomenal things. Many thanks for a great weekend." --Wade and Anny Stockman, Rensselaer, NY

" . . wanted to tell you how happy I was to be included in your "extravaganza". . . I was surprised to have seen so many runners I had met at other races and the fun of meeting many new really great people. You and your staff, volunteers. . . very impressive. On my schedule for sure!" --William Riley, 75, Centerville, MA

"Just a quick note to tell you how much my Mom and I appreciate what you and Linda and your team do to make the Festival of Races so outstanding! . . . and to enable gold medal winners like my Mom to do their very best! What a trooper everyone was to rally despite the weather yesterday!! . . . Wow!" --Ellen Auster, 54, Toronto, Canada

"Sensational race, as always. It is the best-run race in a great venue. You and your people do a fantastic job." --Brian Pilcher, 55, Ross, CA

"Thanks for another Great Festival of Races. The weather doesn't take away from the fact that this is a race where everything is done right, and is appreciated by all who run it." --Tracey More, 59, Alfred, NY

"Just wanted to thank you and your race committee once again for putting on a first-rate event. Obviously the weather didn't cooperate, but hey, unless you can work weather miracles, that's out of anyone's control! As always, the race was organized incredibly well, with the gun going off right on time--vital, especially on a cold, very wet day. And the field was very deep once again. As I told you Sunday afternoon, the ATC will be back with its squads next year!" --Kristian Blaich, 45, Decatur, GA

"Many thanks for a fabulous event once again. No detail left unattended and with such enthusiasm despite the weather. You did and awesome job, and from all of the runners: thank you!"" --Kathryn Martin, 60, Northport, NY

"Just wanted to thank you for the great organization and great race atmosphere at the Festival of Races. Our 60s team stunk up the place, but that just gives us that much more motivation for next year! Again, thank you. Your enthusiasm is infectious. I can't wait to come back in 2012." --Larry Price, 63, Summit, NJ

"Thanks for all your and your committee's efforts. Your ability to stay upbeat is amazing." --Margie Stoll, 70, Nashville, TN

"I appreciate being included on the database . . . your race is the best I've ever attended (and I've been running road races since 1979)." --Jeffrey Brison, 46, Kingston, Ontario

". . . thank you for another terrific Syracuse experience! Christian and I both had a blast, and I can't tell you how much we appreciate the great treatment we get from you and the race (Greg Tuttle is just a star as far as we're concerned!)." --Pete Magill, 49, S. Pasadena, CA

"First of all I want to say how much my club mate Carrie Parsi and I enjoyed the 5 km National Masters Road Race. Both of us are long time race competitors - road, track, and XC - and have experienced the highs and lows of competition. Your race and its organization go to the top of the list of well-run races." --Mary Harada, 75, W. Newbury, MA

"This was my first time competing in your event as I just aged into the masters category this year. I was excited about it from the time I registered but, I must admit that I thought on Friday that there must be something wrong with me for deciding to drive 9 hours to run a 5k! I was not disappointed . . . Your team and the Chargers were great in seeing to it that the runners had everything that they needed. Although I didn't get my fastest time of the year, I came very close and was quite pleased with the way I ran. I'm excited to do it again next year. Thanks for everything!" --Jack Lovett, 40, Newport News, VA

"I want to congratulate both you and your staff on a terrific race Sunday. Everything from on line race registration to the finish area was first class. As both an athlete and the assistant director for the Freihofer's Run for the last 31 years I certainly appreciate all that goes on behind the scenes. You pulled off a first-class event and assembled probably the deepest field of masters talent I've ever seen. Thanks again and I plan on toeing the line in 2011!" --Rob Picotte, 57, Malta, NY

"Wanted to take a minute and drop you line and thank you for another great job with the race! Carlsbad has always been a favorite of mine to run, but I must admit that you have a race that certainly rivals this classic. Look forward to running again next year!" --Dale Campbell, 57, Huntington Beach, CA

"Thank you very much for all your efforts for us master runners. I loved my short stay in Syracuse . . . Since fellow Nashvillian Vickie Crisp had to drop out, I was a little hesitant about coming by myself. Your enthusiasm and your wife's friendliness and helpfulness, though, soon made me feel comfortable." --Margie Stoll, 69, Nashville, TN

"THANK YOU so much for a wonderful experience. I want you to know the event has inspired me . . ." --Sam Kincaid, 46, Marion, IN

"Another wonderful Festival of Races! My husband, kids and I always love this race because it's in OUR neighborhood and we can all have our turn to run." --Kristen Baker, Syracuse, NY

"Wanted to thank you for putting on such a great race once again! Last year's experience was enough to motivate lots of additional guys on the team to go to Syracuse this year, and I'm sure our numbers will multiply for next year's race." --Kristian Blaich, 44, Decatur, GA

"Wow what an impressive day you put on!!!! Our whole school truly appreciated the day and sucked it all in. The families were so happy they came and joined in all of the on-goings . . ." --Lisa Arbon, Syracuse, NY

"This is such a great event. I came in 10th in my age group; even so, I am happy with my time. The field is so strong in the 50s. It was so much fun to get together with so many runners I have not seen in years. This is an event Kerry and I look forward to every year. I really appreciate all the hard work you and your colleagues put into this great event." --Dr. Patrick Gaughan, 57, RiverVale, NJ

"Those shirts were fantastic . . ." --Laurel Chiesa, Manlius, NY

"Just want to thank you for a perfect race! Everything was good: the course, the weather, the organization. I can't think of one thing that could be improved on. Job well done!" --Dave Bussard, Elkhart, IN

"Congratulations on another excellent race . . . I forgot what a thrill it is to run with that field and I'll definitely be back next year." --Jason Pare, Oriskany, NY

"We are amazed at the quality of runners that you attract to the race. The venue is ideal, and you handle the runners with grace and ease. It was great mixing with such a large field of older runners. Your work is greatly appreciated." --Wade & Anny Stockman, Rensselaer, NY

"Thanks again for all your efforts to make the Syracuse Festival and Masters Championships a success. We brought up 6 guys who had not raced there before, and they were blown away with the reception and attention that the Masters were given. It is a first class operation down to every little detail. I'm glad that our club's first National title (M50) happened at this event; it makes it even that much more meaningful. I certainly hope to have 2 or 3 full teams in 2011!" --Chuck Shields, 51, Abington, PA

"It was quite amazing to be among the starting crowd of top-shelf, national-class runners. Other than Festival of Races, only the Boilermaker (locally) can really compare to such field depth . . . The Festival of Races gave me a feeling of running a down-home race combined with national class talent. Sort of like having gourmet food prepared and served in your own kitchen!" --Fred Miller, 59, Liverpool, NY

"I just wanted to let you know that I thought the race was amazing, so well organized and informative. You did a great job and my husband was so impressed that he wants to run in it next year because he said it was so inspiring (and he's never wanted to run in any race I've ever done)!" --Connie Miranda, 42, Baldwinsville, NY

"I've been meaning to come out and race SFoR for the past couple of years, but could not make it. I'm so glad I was able to make it this year. I brought with me three of my sisters, my mom, and two nieces . . . We had a great time and are hoping we can do it again! The race was awesome, and so was the hospitality! You do a fantastic job! I love this race!" --Nancy Nicholson, 48, Queensbury, NY

"This is a looooong overdue thank you for the 2010 Festival of Races. It was top notch again. My favorite 5k road race of all. Of course, the race itself and organization is top notch, but the real treasure of your race is the people. It is always so friendly and heart-warming, and I always end up leaving Syracuse with more friends than I had before. It is so cool to show up from across the country, by yourself, knowing no one in Syracuse, and on race day, having your new friends wishing you the best and cheering you on and congratulating you. It is very cool and very special." --Ilea Eskildsen, 25, Fort Walton Beach, FL

"This race and your operation, in every detail, is world-class. I suspect every master has returned home with the same review and the talk-up will make next year an even bigger pool of mind-boggling talent. When I look at the age-graded roster I'm left shaking my head." --Kevin McMahon, Essex Junction, VT

"Just wanted to say thank you for a great Syracuse Festival of Races!!! You did such a great job and I could tell you were enjoying the day very much!!!! The big push now a days is for a more fit nation. You have been ahead of your time with this race for years, encouraging not only elite runners but all runners, joggers, walkers, families and kids as well! I enjoyed the race very much as did Pat!!! Thanks for bringing this great event to Syracuse!! It is one of the many reasons I wanted to come back here!" --Mary McKenna, Syracuse, NY

"Congratulations on an epic event. The wild intensity and shoulder to shoulder racing of the top male masters runners in the United States was one for the ages. The first kilometer was like surfing a twenty-foot wave of energy and adrenaline. This was a celebration of racing on the highest level. SFoR does it right" --Bob Nugent, Binghamton, NY

"My wife, Kerry Monahan, and I want to thank you and your wife again for putting on a great race. The Masters race was one for the ages where we really got the top runners from all over the country to come to Syracuse to battle it out. This race surpassed last year's race by a good bit--and last year's race was super!" --Patrick Gaughan, River Vale, NJ

"Just wanted to let you know what a tremendous day this was! Families were so supportive and excited to participate--and the kids just loved every minute of the festivities! Thank you for creating such a wonderful and positive experience for the community at large. Laurie is already working on strategy for next year! The organization and positive working relationships of everyone involved in Festival is so obvious and to your credit. It couldn't happen without you!" --Nancy Smith, Syracuse, NY

"I just wanted to let you know how much I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at the Festival of Races. It was well worth the trip from FL. Everything was great from the moment I stepped off the plane. All of the volunteers were extremely welcoming and friendly. The field was great. It was deep enough to have good competition, but small enough so that it was not overcrowded. AND . . . I got the fitness representative PR I was looking for of 17:59!" --Ilea Eskildsen, Fort Walton Beach, FL

"Thanks for once again putting on a truly spectacular Masters 5K National Championship! Wow, what a great weekend of racing. You run a great show!! Thanks for everything. The Masts 5k was the best ever and I look forward to next year." --Stephen Chantry, Williamsburg, VA

"I just wanted to thank you for the great experience. I had a great time, and would love to come back to tackle the course again. The race was perfect for me, with all the girls running together, almost felt like a track race (elbows and everything). At 4K it looked like anybody's race. I was going probably 99.99% effort so I knew it was going to be hard, but I needed to hold on. Was able to pass one masters and one youngster in the last 200 meters." --Carmen Ayala-Troncoso, Austin, TX

"Top-notch today...great job! Everyone had a super time!" --Francis Burdett, Worcester, MA

"Thank you and all of the volunteers from the Syracuse Chargers Track Club. I stayed at the Maplewood Inn where the masters runners were very well attended to at the hospitality suite by Greg, Bob, and others whom I can't name. The course was as advertised and I set an age-graded PR. The race itself was very well organized, and was equal to or better than other races I have attended over the years." --Wayne Chick, Albuquerque, NM

"Great race; we had a lot of fun! I was there representing both Applebee's and Manlius Pebble Hill School, and I know it was the first time for them to do such an event and they all said they had a blast!" --Sean Gavigan, Cicero, NY

"You put on a great race! The kids and I enjoyed ourselves! I was hoping to break 18 minutes, but it was just good to get back out there, and we had a great time." --Cheryl Gatons, Greenburg, PA

"Thanks again for a great race yesterday! Everyone on Compex Racing had a great time, and we're absolutely thrilled to have taken part in this championship." --Peter Magill, South Pasadena, CA

"Congratulations on an excellent race! Starting out, I did not have an appreciation of how good the field was and started out way too fast. I paid the price coming back on Meadowbrook. Speaking as a "middle of the packer" (other than getting a slower field--just kidding), I cannot think of any ways to improve on the race experience." --Patrick Piscitelli, Baldwinsville, NY

"Thank you so much for putting on a great event for the Masters! It was one of the best masters experiences I've had to date. You all did a great job!" --Michelle Simonaitis, Draper, UT

"I hope by today you and all of the volunteers from the Syracuse Festival of Races are well rested. I have to say that you sure know how to put on a spectacular race! All I can say is . . .WOW!!!" --Ruth Thelen, St. Johns, MI

"Just wanted to compliment you on the fabulous race this morning! Great weather (not sure how you made it stop raining right before the start), great course, fabulous volunteers and post-race goodies--just all good! Had a wonderful time!" --Laurene Johnson, Syracuse, NY

"Congratulations on an excellent event! The Atlanta Track Club is already planning on returning in 2010." --Michael Strickland, Marietta, GA

"Thanks, Dave, for organizing and hosting such a wonderful, successful, and enjoyable event!! It was soooooo very impressive !! And it was such an honor to participate !!" --Connie Ciccone, Skaneateles, NY

"I participated in this year's Festival of Races for the first time, and wanted to let you know that I thought it was an extremely well run and very organized event. Kudos to you and all the volunteers who made it such a success. I look forward to running again next year. Keep up the good work!" --Cat Howard, Minetto, NY

"Thank you for a great 2009 Festival of Races! We're looking forward to the 2010 race!" --Brandon and Kevin Rudd, Clay, NY

"Please thank all your volunteers. With the help of both Bob and Greg, the three of us never had a problem getting around town. I believe you put on a very well organized event. I ran my fastest time as a master thanks to all the fast runners sucking me through a quick pace. I'm glad I went. I think you guys did a fine job, and I loved the K splits vs. the mile ones!" --Gerardo Mora, Houston, TX

"Most races don't have the feel of an important event like this one does. Thanks to the volunteers. I've only been running a few years, but I make sure we make yours every year." --Tom Hamlin, Brackney, PA

"Many thanks from our group for another fine edition of the F.O.R. Your is a truly first-class event: the best in the region as far as we're concerned." --Steve Boyd, Kingston, Ontario

"Thanks for such a great event and all your hard work. I hope to be back again for the 16th SFoR. In the meantime, Ill wear my SFoR tee-shirt with pride." --Rick Carter, Anchorage, AK

"I just wanted to send you a short note letting you know how much my family and I enjoyed the races today. We hope to come back next year! Thanks for all that you do putting the races together." --David Daly, Croton-on-Hudson, NY

"Wow! Congratulations and thank you for the tremendous job you did for the Festival of Races and Community Fun(d) Walk. Enable was thrilled to be a part of it all and very pleased with our 'sea of green'! We look forward to an even bigger presence next year!" --Tracie Baule-Hall, United Cerebral Palsy & Handicapped Children's Association of Syracuse

"Just wanted to say thanks for presenting a great race this morning. It was well worth the drive from Utica, and you can be sure that I'll be telling all of my friends about it!" --Jim Fiore, Utica, NY

"My family and I had a great time as usual. I don't know what to attribute this to but I ran my fastest 5K of my life (by almost 40 seconds) today. I've set PRs numerous times at your event, but today's time was something I never imagined possible." --Mike Tucker, Cato, NY

"The management is the best of any of the races I have been here in the U.S. I really enjoy running Syracuse because of the good people you work together with." --Charles Njeru, Kenya

"It was a GREAT race. The conditions were perfect, the organization superb. I am sure that we will be back again next year and subsequent years, knowing the good times on and off the course we can expect." --Tom Bulger, Willow Street A.C., Schenectady, NY

"Sunday was great! It was perfectly organized and went off without a hitch. We had a great time and the Girl Scouts will benefit from all your work." --Carol Canne, Marcellus, NY

"What a great race!!!! It was such a thrill to be able to participate in the Women's 5K. My daughter ran in the 3K. My family just joined the Syracuse Chargers and it's great to be part of such an awesome group." --Anne Gorton, Kirkville, NY

"I just wanted to congratulate you and the entire crew responsible for holding such an enjoyable event. I'm a sophomore at S.U., and this was actually my first road race ever! Everything was organized very well and efficiently, and I really appreciated how quickly I received an e-mail about my official finishing time." --Naomi Susman, Syracuse, NY

"I have to tell you that we had a lot of people go home happy after the race. Most of the men ran their fastest time of the year out there. The race itself was superb and well organized. I think the only thing that disappointed me was that I was not healthy to run. We had a blast and we will return next year." --Zach Yannone, Willow Street A.C., Albany, NY

"I'm training for the Dublin Marathon, and I've never competed in a running event before, but I heard about the Festival of Races and thought I'd try it. It was a blast!!! . . .though quite different from what I'm used to: long distance, pacing myself. Thank your so much for the opportunity! I'm hooked!" --Amy Sue Eash, Owego, NY

"A thanks is in order to you and all the volunteers for putting on yet another terrific SFoR" --Bob Troy, Baldwinsville, NY

"Wonderful event! The BEST and MY FAVORITE outdoor 5K race! I always have a PR because of the safe course, great organization and the awesome volunteers. Thanks!" --Claudine V. Malcolm, Schenectady, NY

"The whole event had a magical feel to it. What a great celebration of running!" --Bob Nugent, Binghamton, NY

"You did a terrific job. My oldest son came in from SUNY Geneseo to run and brought a roommate from Lansing, NY to join in. My youngest ran in the 3K and he cannot wait to run in the 5K next year. We made it a family event with my wife and daughter taking pictures." --Barry Kogut, Fayetteville, NY

"Thank you for all the work you put into this wonderful community event. My mother, my youngest daughter, and I all had a great time!" --Val Robbins, Liverpool, NY

"Once again, you all did a superb job!" --Lewis Cutler, Cato, NY

"Thanks for putting on a great race." --Mike Melfi, Syracuse, NY

"Being fairly new at the running game, I felt compelled to say how well I enjoyed the race. The people were friendly, and had the utmost profession in attitude. . . I look forward to next year." --Mark P. Carson

"My gratitude to all those who helped with the weekend and made everything remarkably smooth." --Vicki Mitchell, Amherst, NY

"You put together excellent races. Thanks for treating us so well." --George and Marsha Tillson, Shortsville, NY

"Nice, nice, nice!" --Sister Rosemary Sherman "the Running Nun," Rochester, NY

"VERY WELL DONE!" --Cathy Troisi, Seneca Falls, NY

"The race was a SUPER one! I hope to be back next year." --Sue O'Malley, Montour Falls, NY

"It's such a great event, and it runs so smoothly that it's easy to forget the hours of dedication." --Nancy and Ed Frisillo, New Hartford, NY