October 26, 2013
Given the weather on Festival of Races morning, it's no surprise that a fair number of family teams headed for drier environments without picking up their family team awards. We've got them, and we'll eventually get an e-mail to those who appear not to have picked them up on race morning. If you'd rather not wait to hear from us, call (446-6285) or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we can arrange a convenient pickup day and time.
October 21, 2013
It was an amazing morning indeed on the 6th! Along with the eight single-age course records set min the Men's 5K, a whopping thirteen single-age CRs were improved upon in the MVP Health Care Women's 5K. As with the males, our new female single-age CRs covered a wide range of ages, from age 7 to age 81.
On the youthful end of the spectrum, Amanda Aitken, of Jamesville, NY, filled the F07 gap with her third consecutive single-age CR, a PR of 29:41. Lizzie Lucason, of Holland Patent, NY, lowered our F09 CR to 19:31 (which age-grades at 89.91%--a mere two seconds shy of world class). And Lizzie's friend, Gabby Williamson, also of Holland Patent, earned a new SFoR F11 CR with her net time of 20:11.
Melody Fairchild's winning time of 16:51 bumped Carol McLatchie's then U.S. masters women's 5K record-tying 16:55 from the F40 line in our single-age list. Sonja-Friend-Uhl, of Brentwood, TN, dropped our F42 CR down to 17:09. And Lori Kingsley, of Wysox, PA, now owns our F47 CR with her net time of 17:48.
Kathy Martin, of Northport, NY, wowed everyone with her 19:06 at age 62 (which age grades at a whopping 103.14%). Edie Stevenson, of Boulder, CO, improved upon a Margret Betz performance, lowering our F64 CR to 21:09. Jan Holmquist, of Burlington, MA, took out another Margret Betz mark, earning her third consecutive SFoR single-age CR (and surpassing the listed U.S. F69 5K best by running 22:08. And Sue Gardinier, of Verona, NY, improved upon the U.S. W71 single-age best set by Margret Betz at the SFoR in 2007, giving Sue the new SFoR F71 CR of 23:43.
Carrie Parsi, of Gloucester, MA, was net-timed in 26:36, which becomes our new F74 CR. Tami Graf, of Lusby, MD, earned her second consecutive SFoR single-age CR with her 32:14 (net) at age 77. And Anny Stockman, of Rensselaer, NY, now has four consecutive SFoR single-age CRs, thanks to her net time of 35:18.
The entire list of SFoR single-age female course records (with the age-graded percentages included) is viewable here.
Congratulations to all on these tremendous performances!
October 14, 2013
Once again this year, more than a handful of our Men's 5K participants ran fast enough to eclipse existing single-age course records on the SFoR course. That's quite an accomplishment, given the extraordinary quality of most of our single-age CRs, and they ranged from age 7 to age 87. Here are our 2013 additions to that very special list:
Teshale Kelly, of Camillus, NY, ran a net time of 23:06, giving Teshale an age-7 listing to accompany the age-5 listing he earned in 2011. Kristian Blaich, of Decatur, GA, also earned his second SFoR single-age CR in three years, running 15:29 (net) at age 47--five seconds faster than the age-45 CR he ran in 2011. Kevin Miller, of Olathe, KS, ran 15:51 at age 51, good enough to wrest the SFoR age-51 CR from former U.S. Olympian John Tuttle. Brian Pilcher, of Ross, CA, earned his second SFoR single-age CR in two years, this year at age 57 with his new U.S. M57 single-age best of 16:22. (Yup, in many cases the only way to improve on an SFoR single-age CR is to run a U.S. single-age best.)
Peter Mullin, of Houston, TX, may have narrowly missed in his attempt to repeat as men's 60-64 5K national champion, but his net time of 17:48 earned Peter the mighty nice consolation prize of our M62 CR. Lloyd Hansen, of Bloomfield Hills, MI, racing here for the first time, took only 18 minutes 28 seconds to claim our M65 CR. Lloyd's Ann Arbor TC teammate, Doug Goodhue, of Milford, MI, captured his fifth SFoR single-age CR in six years, with a scintillating net time of 19:32 at age 71. (Only a severe case of plantar faciitis in 2012 kept Doug from owning six straight single-age records on our course.) And the remarkable Willis Moses, 87, of Vestal, NY, eclipsed the SFoR M87 course record held by the late and great Dudley Healy, of Chatham, NJ, since 2001. Mr. Moses' net time of 32:29 earned him his fourth consecutive SFoR single-age CR--and his time at age 87 was faster than his SFoR CRs at ages 84, 85, and 86!
All are amazing performances, and the entire list (now with the age-graded percentages added) is viewable here.
October 10, 2013
Kathryn Martin, 62, of Northport, NY, has been named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week in recognition of her single-age world best performance in the USA Masters 5 km Championship at the SFoR. Kathy covered course in 19:06, an astounding 41 seconds faster than the listed W62 5K world best currently held by Angela Copson, of Blisworth, England.
According to the current age-grading tables, Ms. Martin’s performance age-grades at 103.14%, with performances 90.0% and above considered world-class.
This is the third consecutive year that the USATF Athlete of the Week for the first week in October has earned the honor based on a performance at the Syracuse Festival of Races. Kathy also earned the distinction in 2011, when her 19:04 5K at age 60 at the SFoR established a new women’s 60-64 5K world best and U.S. women's 60-64 age-group record.
Last year, Jan Holmquist, of Burlington, MA, ran 21:19 at age 68, establishing a new 5K world-best for women age 68, and falling just two seconds shy of the women’s 65-69 age-group 5K world-best time run by Margret Betz at the Syracuse Festival of Races in 2001. Ms. Holmquist’s 21:19 age-graded 101.15%.
Congratulations to Kathy on another USATF Athlete of the Week honor!
October 9, 2013
Once again this year, Bob Brock took hundreds of excellent photos of the SFoR, and he has them available for viewing or purchase at a couple of sites you can access via: http://www.bobbrockimages.com.
October 7, 2013
Thanks to all who came out to our 21st annual edition yesterday morning: runners, walkers, volunteers, spectators, sponsor representatives, and SOSPlus Wellness Way exhibitors. That was one interesting weather scenario! And the results in the Men's 5K and MVP Health Care Women's 5K were dazzling!
But despite the challenges of all that rain, smiles were ubiquitous and wonderful performances were too numerous to count. So congratulations to our 2013 5K Champions, Andrea Damad and Melody Fairchild. Congratulations to the four of you in our Men's 5K and MVP Health Care Women's 5K who recorded new U.S. 5K single age bests (Brian Pilcher, 16:22 at age 57; Kathy Martin; 19:06 at age 62; Jan Holmquist, 22:08 at age 69; and Sue Gardinier, 23:43 at age 71. Congratulations to those of you among the 24 world-class (90.0+% age-graded) performances we hosted. Congratulations to all of you who traveled long distances in quest for a specific time goal and either achieved or surpassed it. Congratulations to all who recorded a personal or season best. And congratulations to all of you who finished your first 5K race! Photos by: Yuki Mizuma & Stacie Fanelli
Congratulations as well to all the children, parents, teachers, and staff who enjoyed the trip to and from that enormous puddle near the Barry Park basketball courts. And congratulations to all of our participating non-profits who braved the weather not only to walk or run, but also to staff their tables and tents in the start/finish area.
It was indeed a morning of very great--and very moist--success!
October 5, 2013
All of us on the SFoR race committee and the Syracuse Chargers Track Club Board of Directors thank all of you for registering for the 21st annual Syracuse Festival of Races! We also thank our wonderful 2013 sponsors and volunteers, and wish everyone who'll be out there at Manley and along the courses a very special and memorable Festival experience!
October 5, 2013
If you haven't yet registered, you can do so for any of our events today between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. at the Dick's Sporting Goods in Destiny USA for the current entry fees.
And if you can't make it to Dick's today, rest assured that day-of race registration opens on Sunday morning at 7:30 a.m. in the white registration tent outside Manley Field House.
October 4, 2013
If you felt the ground rumbling a couple of nights ago, it was nothing to be alarmed about. It was just the stampede of Genesee Valley Harrier athletes heading to their computers to enter the 2013 USA Masters 5 km Championship. Geographic proximity or not, 43 members of a single club entered in a masters LDR national championship is mighty impressive!
So is the record of USA Masters 5 km Championship success enjoyed over the past five years by the women's teams (40+ and 50+) of the Willow St. Athletic Club. Well, they're back, once again led by Cazenovia native Emily Bryans.
And specking of being back, about half of our Championship field is (as usual). But we're blown away by the number of Championship entrants who'll be out there on Meadowbrook Drive for the first time--swelling our total number of 5 km Championship entrants to 237 (at the moment). Welcome, and best wishes to all!
October 2, 2013
If you're 18 or older and entered in ANY of our four events on Sunday morning, stop by the Syracuse Chargers Tack Club's green and yellow tent (next to ) and pick up a coupon redeemable for up to four free tickets to a future taping of the popular television show.
The Chargers tent will be located between the pre-race and post-race water tent and the SOSPlus tent at the head of SOSPlus Wellness Way.
September 29, 2013
The waiting game is over, and the much-anticipated first-ever ACC football game in the Carrier Dome finally has a starting time: 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5th. We're happy for the fans from both schools who've been on hold regarding their game-day plans.
We're even happier for the SFoR and those of our participants who want to attend the football game but also make it to bib number and shirt pickup at the Dick's Sporting Goods in Destiny USA on Saturday between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Come out to Dick's on Saturday morning on your way to the Dome, and you can take care of bib and shirt pickup prior to race morning. And if you're not pre-registered, you can also take care of registration at Dick's in Destiny on Saturday as well--with no lines and still at the pre-registration entry fee!
And with the football kickoff taking place at 3:30 p.m., all of our volunteers helping with setting up the start/finish area outside S.U.'s Manley Field House will have abundant daylight in which to work. If you'd like to help us with site set-up on Saturday, please call Dave at 315-446-6285.
September 27, 2013
A couple of serious contenders to win age-group national titles are among the recent Championship entrants. Melody Fairchild, of Boulder, CO, joined the masters ranks on September 10th, and she's likely to have a great race with our defending USA Masters 5 km champion, Sonja Friend-Uhl. For those of you familiar with the name "Melody Fairchild," the answer is, "Yes, we're talking about the Melody Fairchild." No pressure, Melody and Sonja! :-)
Brian Pilcher, 57, of Ross, CA, has had several terrific performances at the SFoR, including his 2012 time of 16:23 (net), which age-grades to 94.59% and is the fastest M56 performance ever on the Festival course. With David Cannon, 57, of Seattle, WA, already entered, our situation in the M55-59 age group resembles that of the W40-44: Spectators along the course on race morning will see the kind of evenly matched, high quality competition that athletes and coaches dream about.
We hope that both our Championship and non-Championship 5K participants are as thrilled as our race committee is about the rare--probably history-making--numbers of entrants in some of our older age groups. If anyone is aware of a previous U.S. road race national championship (besides the 2012 SFoR) that has attracted ten or more 80+ competitors, or eighteen or more M70-74 competitors, or ten or more W70-74 competitors, or ten or more M75-79 competitors, please let us know when and where those gatherings have occurred. Thanks to our participants, on Sunday, October 6th, everyone at the SFoR is going to be part of a road race that is truly amazing!
September 25, 2013
Thanks to SFoR Team Twitter, comprised of members of the Sport Management Club at Syracuse University, you can now follow the Syracuse Festival of Races @SyracuseFOR and receive reports and images from the Festival as it happens.
In addition to following us on Twitter, please let all of your Twitter followers know about our Twitter presence and about the opportunity for them to find the SFoR on FaceBook and visit SFoR News here at FestivalofRaces.com for breaking information regarding the big event!
September 22, 2013
A lot of really outstanding distance runners have made their mark on our single-age lists of best performances on the SFoR course, but only two runners have their names listed on four consecutive lines. The late Henry Sypniewski is one of them, with SFoR single -age course records for M90, 91, 92, and 93. Doug Goodhue is the other, currently holding our M66, 67, 68, and 69 CRs (all four of them world-class performances according to the current age-grading tables). A severe case of plantar fasciitis kept Doug at home in Milford, MI, last year, but he's entered and looking forward to being back as the mainstay of the Ann Arbor TC's M70+ team.
Anny Stockman, of Rennselaer, NY, has our W78, 79, and 80 single-age course records, and is entered this year with a shot at becoming the only person on our women's single-age CR list with four in a row. In order to do it, Anny will have to improve upon Nancy Auster's W81 time of 41:24--which would still leave Nancy with our W82, 84, 85, and 86 CRs (not consecutive, but a rare and mighty impressive four SFoR single-age course records).
Like Anny, Willis Moses, of Vestal, NY, has a chance to record his fourth consecutive SFoR single-age CR this year. He's already got the M84, 85, and 86 marks, and will need to improve upon the great Dudley Healy's M87 time of 36:53 if he's to make it four SFoR single-age course records in a row.
And with Scott Siriano's recent entry, it looks as though Colorado will hold off neighboring Kansas as the Great Plains or Rocky Mountain state with the most SFoR entries in 2013. Fay Bradley, Kevin Miller, and Deb Torneden were making it a nail-biter until Scott joined Jan Frisby, Tim Kellogg, Amy Lease, and Edie Stevenson in this year's Festival field.
September 19, 2013
We're happy to report that the Rescue Mission is a recent addition to our 2013 list of non-profit beneficiaries using the Syracuse Festival of Race to raise funds and visibility for their programs and services.
This just goes to show that within our inclusive approach to non-profit involvement, it's almost never too late to get your favorite charity involved for this year--or too early to get your favorite charity involved for next year!
Best wishes to the Rescue Mission and all of our other participating non-profits for a successful and enjoyable edition of the Festival!
September 17, 2013
With entries for the 2013 USA Masters 5 km Championship now north of 150, it's getting difficult to keep up with even the highlights of our field. Kathy Martin is now entered for the fourth time in the past six years, having set U.S. single-age 5K bests here in 2008 and 2010, and having run her U.S. W60-64 5K record of 19:04 here in 2011.
Our most unexpected and delightful surprise of the week is Fay Bradley's entry. Upstate NY runners who paid attention to some of the great masters performances at the Boilermaker and Stockade-athon 15Ks in the early '90s will remember Fay as a DC resident and phenomenal performer in the M55-59 age group. Now he's a Kansas resident and (gulp!) M75-79 athlete--and a pleasure to have racing on the Festival course for the first time!
Our friends from the Playmakers Elite/New Balance Racing Team and the Ann Arbor Track Club will be here in numbers again this year, doing their part to make sure the distance runners of Michigan are well represented in the USA Masters 5 km Championship.
And it's great to have three clubs registering one or more complete teams for the first time at the Festival. TNT International Racing is coming to learn firsthand what Jim Frontino has been talking about; Garmin Runners is adding yet another NJ club to the Championship field (following in the lead of the Shore AC, Clifton RoadRunners, Raritan Valley Road Runners, and Morris County Striders). And the HFC Striders, of MA, will be fielding a team here for the first time as well.
September 15, 2013
What better way to spend a beautiful Sunday afternoon than spray painting bright orange dash marks onto a couple thousand meters of asphalt? SFoR course coordinator, Tom Burke, had already finished his eighteen holes of golf, the weather was ideal for chatting with passing runners and walkers while watching paint dry, and so the 2013 tangent is beginning to appear.
Weather permitting, we'll have nearly 300 of these marks freshened-up within the next week or so, ready to show all of our 5Kers the path to an actual 5,000m run on race morning.
September 13, 2013
The 2013 front design for our 3K Fun & Fitness Run T-shirts is another eye-catcher, and it's being screened onto a first run of about 1,500 shirts in preparation for the big event.
Once again this year, kudos to Julie Gratien, art teacher at Fayetteville Elementary, who created the design. Fayetteville Elementary, of course, earned the privilege of creating the 2013 3K Fun & Fitness Run design by virtue of their continued reign as the largest school group in our 2012 event.
With schools large and small from throughout the area currently organizing their groups for October 6th, it's not too late for additional schools to join in the fun. School groups have traditionally consisted of students, their family members, faculty, and staff from individual school buildings, and those schools with 25 or more entrants receive framed certificates commemorating their interest in aerobic fitness. If you're interested in getting your or your child's school involved, call 446-6285, and we'll e-mail you all the information you need to join the fun!
September 11, 2013
Registration for the 2013 USA Masters 5 km Championship reached 100 earlier today, when Christine Hackman registered online at USATF.org. Christine resides in Arlington, VA, and this this will be her second consecutive trip to Syracuse to compete in the SFoR.
To date, nine of our twenty 2012 USA Masters 5 km age-group champions have registered to defend their titles. They include Sonja Friend-Uhl (W40); Doreen McCoubrie (W50); Edie Stevenson (W60); Jan Holmquist (W65); Helen Botti (W75); Anny Stockman (W80); Peter Mullin (M60); Jan Frisby (M65); and Edward Smith (M70).
Also as of this evening, the Atlanta Track Club appears to be gearing-up for a serious run at multiple team titles. With nineteen of their athletes already entered, the ATC has more of its members in the current field than any other club. The host Syracuse Chargers Track Club is currently second, with thirteen members entered in the Championship, and the Shore Athletic Club, of NJ, is third with ten athletes entered.
September 9, 2013
Drive safely, but don't forget to take a peek at the SFoR billboard on the north side of I-690 eastbound (just before the Teall Ave. exit). If you think that looks nice, wait until you see our specially designed 2013 bib numbers for the Men's 5K and the MVP Health Care Women's 5K.
Say, was that you I saw in one of those images of past races? No? Well, maybe next year!
September 7, 2013
Just in case your back-to-school shopping isn't quite complete, here's a money-saving opportunity for all of you, courtesy of longtime SFoR sponsor, Dick's Sporting Goods:
September 6, 2013
Don't overlook the fact that the Festival invites ANY non-profit organization to raise funds and visibility via participation in any of ths SFoR events: Men's 5K, MVP Health Care Women's 5K, 3K Fun & Fitness Run, or Tops Friendly Markets Community Walk.
Visit our Beneficiaries page for information on how you can use our event to support your favorite non-profit group--or to see which of the listed non-profit participants you might like to support.
September 4, 2013
As several of you have already learned, The Maplewood Inn is now sold-out for Saturday night, October 5th. A handful of runners are currently waitlisted, and we're in the process of arranging a block of rooms at an alternate hotel that is conveniently located and sensibly priced. As soon as we have specifics confirmed, we'll post them here.
Until that time, we ask that any Syracuse Festival of Races entrants (or would-be entrants) with concerns about hotel accommodations feel free to call Dave Oja (315-446-6285).
September 2, 2013
Our 2012 USA Masters 5 km Women's Champion, Sonja Friend-Uhl is now entered, and we're delighted that Sonja will be making the trip from Brentwood, TN, for the third consecutive year!
On the team front, our 2012 M70+ 5 km Champions, the Clifton (NJ) Roadrunners Club, is set to defend its national title, with 2012 scorers James Leitz (23:19), William Ash (23:51), and Hilary Peterlin (24:10) all planning to be back.
We already have the same situation with our 2012 W70+ 5 km Champions, the Syracuse Chargers Track Club. Chargers 2012 scorers Sue Gardinier (24:59), Yvonne Tasker-Rothenberg (27:35), and Carol Rider (29:54) are all entered. (So, by the way, are Helen Botti, Fran Rowe, and Edna Hyer, of the defending W70+ silver medalist Checkers Athletic Club.)
And we're delighted to note that all three of our 2012 individual medalists in the W65 age group are entered. Jan Holmquist (21:19), Susan Gustafson (23:19), and Lenore Webber (24:36), all of the Liberty Athletic Club, will be seeking not only to repeat in the individual medals listing, but also atop the W60+ team results as well.
August 30, 2013
For the first time in the SFoR's 21 years (not to mention the 9 prior years of the Festival's mother, the Syracuse Freihofer's Run for Women), USATF sanctioning of our event has been handled entirely online--no paper, no pen, no check to mail, no envelope, and no postage. That's all thanks to USA Track & Field's long-awaited online sanctioning software, which was recently put into service.
Not only will this make it easier for all event directors to handle the sanctioning of their events, but it will save a small mountain of work for each of the country's sixty-plus association sanctioning chairpersons (including the Niagara Association's own Matt Merrill) as well as staffers at USATF's National office in Indianapolis.
August 28, 2013
Adding to the fun of our final finishers in both the Men's 5K and the MVP Health Care Women's 5K, the SFoR will be presenting "Last Ten Awards" this year. The awards will be presented at the finish line, where eagle-eyed race volunteers and Leone Timing's photo-finish camera will be ready to adjudicate any questions that might arise regarding potential "bang-bang" finishes by the 11th-from-last and 10th-from-last runners (or walkers).
As a word of caution to those of you who might think it easy to make our final ten: It might be more difficult than you think. Have a look at some of our past 5K results and see if you think you might have a shot.
August 26, 2013
With the generous offer of Cohen & Cohen, LLP to once again sponsor a $250 cash award for the first finisher overall in the MVP Health Care Women's 5K, our 2013 women's champion's win is going to be even sweeter. The $250 Cohen & Cohen Award is, of course, in addition to the $100 Dick's Bonus Certificate that also awaits our women's champion.
With the vast majority of entries yet to arrive, it's still anyone's guess who our women's favorites will be on Sunday morning, Oct. 6th. And it's certainly not too late for interested speedsters to join the fray!
August 24, 2013
We're delighted to report that Larabar samples will once again be part of the array of healthful treats awaiting runners and walkers in the Tops Post-Race Refreshments Area at the Syracuse Festival of Races. And, for the first time this year, so will various flavors of those delicious snack chips from Food Should Taste Good. We don't want any Syracuse Festival of Races participants to leave Manley feeling like they need to hurry home for something to eat!
August 16, 2013
Out-of-town runners should keep in mind that time is growing short on their chance to lock-in the special SFoR room rate of $85 (plus tax) at The Maplewood Inn (400 7th North Street in Liverpool, NY 13088) .
In order to be guaranteed the special rate, guests must make their reservations by September 4th or when our block is filled, should that occur first. Please make all reservations by telephone at 315-451-1511 (or toll-free at 866-318-9937), and be sure to mention the "Syracuse Festival of Races" and/or "Group Code 5547" at the time of registration to receive the special rate.
Unreserved rooms in our block will likely disappear quickly, as SFoR Weekend coincides with Syracuse University's Homecoming Weekend and Syracuse University's first-ever Atlantic Coast Conference football game in the Carrier Dome!
August 9, 2013
But you'll need to be wearing one of our lovely new 2013 SFoR bib numbers in order to partake in the goodies. That's easily done, of course. Just pick your event and register while bargain prices are still in effect.
Think of it as a different kind of early October triathlon: run (or walk); eat; have a ball with family and friends!
And watch for Chicago Uno Grill announcements regarding fundraising opportunities for your favorite non-profits organization.
August 4, 2013
As of yesterday's mail we now have all three of our 2012 USA 5 km Championship Women's 75-79 medal winners returning in 2013! Helen Botti, of Kenmore, NY, Tami Graf, of Lusby, MD, and Edna Hyer, of South Wales, NY, will have a lot to say about who takes which color W75 medal home on Oct. 6th.
And a few age groups younger, Marisa Sutera Strange, who entered the W50 age group on June 12th, has now entered the 2013 USA Masters 5 km Championship. The addition of Marisa to the age group and our W50 field adds to the considerable luster of that race, with defending W50 champ Doreen McCoubrie, of Malvern, PA; Deb Torneden, of Andover, KS; Kelly Dworak, of Carlisle, PA; and Joanne Singer, of Baldwinsville, NY, already comprising an impressive field.
August 1, 2013
Our 2012 USA 5 km Championship Men's 80+ team champions are entered and preparing to defend! The Belle Watling Track Club team of Ted Sullivan, Jack Matheson, and Jerry Rivard ran a cumulative time of 1:42:57 last September 30, edging the Syracuse Chargers Track Club's M80+ team for the national championship.
All three of the octogenarian men's team gold medalists entered today, so the 2013 gauntlet has been laid down for the Chargers and any other men's 80+ teams. You want a piece of these guys? Game on!
July 28, 2013
Congratulations to all of you who've entered the Men's 5K or the MVP Health Care Women's 5K at the absurdly low price of $22! For those who haven't but would like to, keep in mind that the best road race bargain of the year lasts as long as July. Come midnight on July 31st, the $22 5K entry fee becomes a $25 5K entry fee.
For your fastest 5K of the year, a long-sleeved tech shirt, a finisher medal, a Dick's Sporting Goods $5.00 Bonus Certificate, and the array of post-race refreshments provided by Tops Friendly Markets, Freihofer's, Entenmann's, Propel Zero, and a growing list of area restaurants, $25 is still an absurdly low entry fee.
But why wait until August and pay more when you can enter now by clicking here?
July 21, 2013
Of course we have entries from New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania already in hand. But we've also already received Championship entries from runners from Florida, South Carolina, Ohio, Kansas, Colorado, and California (both northern and southern).
It's very cool, and we're projecting that we'll surpass 30 states represented in the Championship this year!
Toss in non-Championship 5K entries that we've already received from Louisiana and Tennessee residents, and we're looking at truly national field of distance runners.
And then there's our first entry received from Canada (way to lead the pack, Steven Blostein!), which makes it an international field nine weeks out.
It's going to be fun!
July 17, 2013
For the umpteenth consecutive year, Dick's Sporting Goods will be providing over $7,500 in Dick's Bonus Certificates to Syracuse Festival of Races 5K participants. First to receive these will be the first 1,000 Men's 5K or MVP Health Care Women's 5K entrants to pick up their bib numbers. They'll receive a $5.00 Bonus Certificate at the point of bib pickup--whether they pick up on Saturday or on Sunday.
Next will be the top three finishers in each of at least fifteen age groups for both males and females. First-place age-group finishers will receive a $50 Dick's Bonus Certificate. Runners-up in the age groups receive a $20 Dick's Bonus Certificate. And the third-place finishers in the age groups receive a $10 Dick's Bonus Certificate. As in past years, these will be available for pickup in the yellow and green Chargers tent across from the Tops Post-Race Refreshments Area as soon as the respective sets of official results are posted.
And a bit later on SFoR morning, the first shall be the last (at least when it comes to receiving the Dick's Bonus Certificates) as the first Men's 5K finisher overall, will receive a $100.00 Bonus Certificate at the finish line announcing stage at 11:30. Ditto for the first overall MVP Health Care Women's 5K finisher.
July 11, 2013
The forms are printed, and you'll likely see them available for pickup at various CNY road races over the next twelve weeks. But why wait? You can download and print a copy of our 2013 entry form here.
July 4, 2013
Sharon Dolan, 1942-2013, SFoR Superstar
Many of us in the U.S. masters LDR community were tremendously saddened to learn that Sharon Dolan, 71, of Westphalia, MI, died yesterday, as a result of a stroke that she suffered during a training run on Tuesday.
Sharon was a world-class performer at multiple distances as a member of the Montgomery County Road Runners (MD), and--after moving to Michigan several years ago--as a member of the Playmakers Racing Team.
Sharon first raced at the Syracuse Festival of Races in 2008, winning the USA Masters 5 km Championship W65-69 title in 21:44. That performance established a new U.S. single-age best for women age 66, and it age-grades 96.12%. She returned in 2009, running 22:30 at age 67, successfully defending her age-group national championship, and again producing a 95-plus (95.46%) performance. Sharon's 2008 performance continues to rank as the fastest W66 performance ever on the Syracuse Festival of Races course.
At age 69, Sharon captured the 2011 USA Masters W65-69 5 km individual silver medal at the SFoR with her time of 24:44, helping the Playmakers Elite Racing Team to the W60+ team national championship. And last fall, "running down an age group" as a 70-year-old, she helped her Playmakers teammates to the silver medal in the W60+ team national championship.
We join Sharon's large family and her many friends and teammates in mourning her untimely passing.
April 17, 2013
This is, of course, wonderful news for all of the area non-profit groups who benefit from their pledge-centered participation in the Tops Friendly Markets Community Walk and the other events of race morning. Last year's fundraising total for participating non-profits was $19,228.75, and we hope that the total for 2013 will surpass the $20,000 mark.
It's also great news for all of the SFoR runners, walkers, and volunteers who have come to expect the bounty of delicious and healthful post-race refreshments that Tops has been providing for Festival participants.
April 8, 2013
We're delighted to announce that our 2013 race headquarters hotel will once again be The Maplewood Inn, which is located at 400 7th North Street in Liverpool, NY 13088.
Reservations for SFoR entrants and their guests are available at the special Syracuse Festival of Races rate of $85 per night (plus tax) for single, double or triple occupancy.
In order to be guaranteed the special rate, guests must make their reservations by September 4th or when our block is filled, should that occur first. Please make all reservations by telephone at 315-451-1511 (or toll-free at 866-318-9937), and be sure to mention the "Syracuse Festival of Races" and/or "Group Code 5547" at the time of registration to receive the special rate.
Please book early, as SFoR Weekend coincides with Syracuse University's Homecoming Weekend in 2013, and our block at the Maplewood is quite certain to sell out well before race weekend!
April 1, 2013
Scheduled dredging and enlargement of the Meadowbrook catch basin adjacent Syracuse's Barry Park has led to the recent approval by the Onondaga County Legislature's Drainage and Sanitation Committee of the construction of a large hill at the southeast corner of the Park. Dredging, soil relocation, and reconstruction of the approximately 0.5 kilometer stretch of Meadowbrook Drive is scheduled to begin later this spring, with completion expected by the end of September.
Project engineers for the company that has been awarded the project, Digganblast & Pyle, have assured the SFoR and the Syracuse Chargers Track Club that the route of the new portion of Meadowbrook Drive will closely match its current route. The only significant change, according to those familiar with the project, will be the sudden 152-foot elevation gain and loss that vehicles and pedestrians will encounter in both directions on the new stretch of Meadowbrook.
Asked whether he has plans to alter the SFoR 3K and 5K courses in response to the reported changes to Meadowbrook Drive, race director Dave Oja replied, "Naw! There are already so many glacial drumlins in the area southeast of the University that one more's no big deal. Syracuse Festival of Races runners are flat-out amazing; they probably won't even notice a difference."
No need to call any County legislators, folks. Please enjoy a fun-filled April Fools Day!
March 25, 2013
The popular 20th-anniversary commemorative medal and neck ribbon that our Men's 5K and Women's 5K finishers received last fall is about to become the first in a series. Nationwide Insurance has confirmed their commitment to sponsoring 5K finisher medals again this year, which is sure to delight our many 2012 participants who enjoyed the 20th-anniversary medal.
Design and colors are TBD, but you can be sure that you'll see it here first as soon as an image of the final proof is available.
March 18, 2013
In keeping with our unwavering commitment to keep registration fees as low as possible for everyone interested in enjoying the SFoR experience, we're shifting our general online registration site to GetEntered.com.
Check SFoR News for the go-ahead when our page is ready and we're set to begin registrations on GetEntered.
Of course, we'll have the paper entry option available later this spring, and all of our 5K runners age 40 and older who are 2013 USATF members and would like to score in the USA Masters 5 km Championship should register online via the National Championships page at www.USATF.org.
March 4, 2013
We're very sorry to report that Ed Buckley, 91, of Clinton, NY, and the Syracuse Chargers Track Club, passed away on March 2nd. Ed was an outstanding masters distance runner and Nordic skier who routinely earned age-group medals in national championship competition.
Ed had many fine performances at the Festival, two of which are still on our list of the all-time best male single-age performances on the SFoR course. In 1998, Ed ran our M77 course record of 24:49. The following year, he finished in 26:06, which still ranks as the fastest SFoR M78 performance.
We will miss Ed's good humor and gentlemanly demeanor, and our thoughts are with Dorothy and all the Buckleys!
February 16, 2013
Congratulations to the SFoR Athletes Who Made Running Times' Best 40+ 5K Performance List!
The March issue of Running Times magazine is out, and their listing of the most outstanding 2012 masters performances for the 5K distance (page 46) has a distinctly Festival flavor!
Hearty congratulations to Hugh Campbell, Dennis Simonaitis, Kevin Castille, and Brian Pilcher, whose 2012 SFoR performances ranked as the 1st, 3rd, 6th, and 7th best men's masters 5K performances of last year!
Similar kudos to Jan Homquist, whose 2012 SFoR performance ranked as the 3rd best women's masters 5K performance of 2012!
Thanks to the outstanding performances of Hugh, Dennis, Kevin, Brian, and Jan, the Syracuse Festival of Races is delighted to be the nation's only road race to host as many as five of the top 20 5K masters performances of 2012.
January 24, 2013
Colorado's Jan Frisby Claims the Top Spot in 2013 SFoR Registration!
Here we go with 2013 registration, and who's more fitting to be first to register for the 2013 USA Masters 5 km Championship than Jan Frisby, 68, of Grand Junction, CO?
Jan first ran the SFoR course in 1994, the Festival's initial hosting of the Masters 5 km Championship. His 16:06 at age 50 that year not only earned Jan the M50-54 5K National Championship, but also stood for eighteen years as our M50 single-age course record.
In his most recent visits to Syracuse on Festival weekend, Jan has won the M65-69 5K national title in both 2011 (19:04 in the pouring rain at age 67), and 2012 (18:58 at age 68). (2012 Photo credit: Bob Brock.)
January 7, 2013
2013 USA Masters 5 km Championship Registration Is Now Open!
Thanks to the help of Jason Hayes in USATF's National Office, registration is now open for the 2013 USA Masters 5 km Championship. 2013 marks the sixth consecutive year in which the Festival has hosted our nation's 40 and older national championship at the world's most popular road race distance.
As has been the case in each of the past five years, the men's and women's 5 km Championship races will be run concurrently with the SFoR's Men's 5K and Women's 5K.
As is the case with all USA Masters LDR Championships, there is no qualifying event or standard required in order for a runner to register for or compete in the Championship. The event is open to all U.S. citizens age 40 or older on race day, Sunday, October 6, 2013, who are 2013 members of USA Track & Field.
January 3, 2013
RIP, SFoR Age-Group Standout Clifford Auth
We were saddened to learn that Cliff Auth, 87, of Syracuse, died on December 26. Cliff took up running in retirement, and he produced a remarkable record of success in the men's 75-79 and 80-84 age groups at the SFoR.
Beginning in 2003, at age 77, Cliff placed first in his age group at the Festival six years in a row--that's three straight age-group championships in both the 75-79 and 80-84 age groups! That streak of age group wins culminated in Cliff's USA Masters 5 km M80-84 gold medal in 2008. Cliff followed that with a silver medal in the age-group in 2009, and he ran his final edition of the SFoR in 2010, at age 84, placing seventh in what may have been the deepest M80-84 field ever in a U.S. road race national championship. (2008 Photo credit: Ben Addonizio)
In some of those years, Cliff and one of his sons, Peter, teamed-up as a father-son duo in our family team competition, and in 2008 he was a member of the Chargers team that won the M80+ team national title.
Our condolences go out to everyone in Cliff's large and supportive family. We will certainly miss him!
January 1, 2013
Happy New Year To All SFoR Participants, Volunteers, Sponsors, and Spectators!
Hard as it is to believe, another year has flown by, and we're on to 2013!
Will this turn out to be the first year of the second twenty years of the Syracuse Festival of Races? It seems like a long shot, but one never knows.
How about the first year of the third decade of the SFoR? That sounds like less of a long shot.
The sixth of ten straight years hosting the USA Masters 5 km Championships? Stranger things have happened.
Or maybe just the best of the first 21 editions of the Syracuse Festival of Races? Now that sounds doable--sponsors, race committee members, volunteers, runners, school group coordinators, non-profit beneficiaries, and weather gods willing, of course.
What do you say we go for it?!
December 7, 2012
CMA Ratifies Jerry Kooymans' New Canadian 5K Age-Group Record!
Congratulations to Jerry Kooymans, 57, of Markham, Ontario, Canada, whose 16:27 (gun) performance at the 2012 Syracuse Festival of Races has been formally ratified by the Canadian Masters Athletics as a new Canadian 5K record for men age 55-59. Jerry's performance is a 13-second improvement on his prior mark of 16:40, run on Sept. 11, 2011.
Based on the quality of his Syracuse Festival of Races performance and his subsequent strong performance in an October cross country race, Jerry was recognized as the Ontario and Canadian Masters Athlete of the Month for October.
Jerry also has the distinction of owning the SFoR single-age course records for ages 45 and 46 (and a host of other Canadian records).
December 2, 2012
USATF Ratifies Three 2012 SFoR Performances as New U.S. 5K Age-Group Records!
Performances by Marie-Louise Michelsohn, Dennis Simonaitis, and Hugh Campbell in the 2012 USA Masters 5 km Championship at the Syracuse Festival of Races on September 30 were ratified this morning as U.S. 5K age-group records. Formal ratification of the pending marks came with the unanimous vote by delegates at the 2012 USATF Annual Meeting, in Daytona Beach, FL, to accept the recommendation of the USATF Records Committee that the marks be approved as U.S. records.
Marie-Louise, 70, of New York, NY, ran 23:17 at this year's SFoR, giving her the U.S. 5K record for women age 70-74. Her new mark is a second-generation U.S. W70-74 mark for the SFoR course, on which Margret Betz, of Conklin, NY, had set the previous U.S. W70-74 5K road record with her 24:02 performance on Sept. 30, 2007.
Dennis, 50, of Draper, UT, ran 15:24 at this year's SFoR, which was a 12-second improvement on Nolan Shaheed's prior M50-54 U.S. 5K record. (Photo credit to Bob Brock for the images of Marie-Louise Michelsohn, left, and Dennis Simonaitis, right.)
And Hugh, 88, of Wilmington, DE, ran 26:42 (net) at this year's SFoR, a full minute faster than the prior M85-89 5K mark held by Bill Nice. We should also note that Hugh's 2012 SFoR performance is the fastest known 5K performance by a male age 85-89, and ranks as the 5K world best for the age group. (Photo credit to Bob Brock for the image of Hugh Campbell, left.)
Congratulations to Marie-Louise, Dennis, and Hugh on the occasion of their having further lengthened the list of outstanding distance runners who have set 5K national records on Meadowbrook Drive in Syracuse!
November 30, 2012
SFoR Selected to Host the 2013 USA Masters 5 km Championship!
Earlier today at the USATF Annual Meeting in Daytona Beach, USATF's Masters Long Distance Running Committee voted unanimously in favor of selecting the Syracuse Festival of Races to host the 2013 USA Masters 5 km Championship. The Masters LDR Committee's decision will make 2013 the sixth consecutive year in which Syracuse, Syracuse University's Lampe Athletic Complex, the Syracuse Chargers Track Club, and the SFoR have hosted the nation's masters (40+) road race championship at the world's most popular road race distance.
Needless to say, the SFoR race committee, our sponsors, and our volunteers are all delighted by the Committee's decision, and we're looking forward to hosting one of the 2013's most impressive gatherings of masters distance running talent!
November 27, 2012
Final Answer: The Total Amount Raised by Participating Non-Profits in 2012 is $19,228.75!
Wouldn't it be nice if one could increase the amount donated to deserving non-profit organizations simply by announcing a total for the year? Well, despite the appearance to the contrary presented by these three most recent SFoR News items, it's really not possible.
Even so, we're happy to report for a second time that additional contributions have been reported in the name of Lauren's Gold Ribbon Runners. This most recent increase of $1,037.75 brings the 2012 total raised by Lauren's Gold Ribbon Runners on behalf of the Jonathan Cancer Fund to $4,892.75. That boosts the total raised by our 2012 participating non-profits to $19,228.75!
Please be aware that it's not too early for you to join the non-profit fundraising in conjunction with the 21st annual SFoR, coming up on Sunday, October 6, 2013. Visit our the Tops Community Walk page for more information and give us a call at 446-6285 with any questions.
November 21, 2012
Additional Donations to 2012 SFoR Non-Profit Beneficiaries Reported--Now Over $18,000!
As noted below, it's not unusual for some donations to trickle in well after race weekend, and we're delighted to report that another $2,080 has been added to the total donations raised by Lauren's Gold Ribbon Runners on behalf of the Jonathan Cancer Fund, bringing their 2012 total to $3,855.
Thanks again to all of those who donated and to all of those whose fundraising efforts proved so successful!
November 16, 2012
2012 Proceeds for SFoR Non-Profit Beneficiaries Exceed $16,000!
It's not unusual for some donations to trickle in as late as mid-December, but chances are the current total of $16,111.00 is going to be close to our final tally of the proceeds raised by our participating 2012 non-profit organizations.
Topping the list of fundraisers was the Learning Disabilities Association of CNY, which raised $8,072 for their programs and services. The Cpl. Kyle R. Schneider Freedom Team's total of $3,515 was the second highest of 2012. Lauren's Gold Ribbon Runners' efforts on behalf of the Jonathan Cancer Fund netted $1,775, with L'Arche of Syracuse's proceeds of $1,564 not far behind. Spiritual Renewal Center raised $740 this year, and the CNYDSO Senior Companion Program raised $450.
The looks on the faces of the finishers as they crossed the line in the Tops Friendly Markets Community Walk revealed that they enjoyed the visibility and enjoyment they received on race morning, and it's gratifying to know that their associated fundraising efforts were also a big success!
Congratulations to all of our successful non-profit beneficiaries, and thanks to all that you do to serve our community!
November 9, 2012
2013 USA Masters 5 km Championship Bid Application Is In the Mail
Thanks to the many masters athletes who have very kindly and enthusiastically encouraged us to continue to host the USA Masters 5 km Championships for the sixth year in a row in 2013, we have completed the USATF Championship Bid Application and sent copies along to the relevant USATF representatives.
The SFoR, the Syracuse Chargers Track Club, and the Niagara Association, as bidding hosts of the Championship, are looking forward to the formal announcement of the 2013 Championship designation at the USATF Annual Meeting in early December.
Once the decision is made, you'll see it announced in SFoR News.
November 6, 2012
SFoR All-Time Top Five Performances by Age Group Are Now Updated!
As one might expect with men's and women's 5K fields that combined to host 25 world-class and more than 100 national-class performances, we had quite a few changes to our All-Time Top-Five Female Age-Group Performances on the SFoR course and our All-Time Top-Five Male Age-Group Performances on the SFoR course. In fact, there were 22 additions to the lists, eleven for the ladies (in eight age-groups) and eleven for the gentlemen (also in eight age groups).
Grab a cup of warm beverage and enjoy a leisurely look at the lists. They offer a terrific historical perspective, and--depending how fleet-footed one happens to be--either a challenge for the future or some jaw-dropping amazement for today.
If you're currently on either of these lists, congratulations! You've earned the honor of being in some mighty good distance-running company!
October 30, 2012
Race Day 2013 Confirmed for Sunday, October 6th
The Syracuse Festival of Races is held each year on the Sunday prior to Columbus Day Weekend, which moves around on the calendar a bit. This year was one of the relatively rare years with Columbus Day weekend falling on the first weekend in October--and pushing the Festival onto Sept. 30. In 2013, for the first time since 2002 and for only the third time in the SFoR's first 21 years, Festival Sunday will be the latest it can be: Sunday, October 6, 2013.
Our race committee will be delighted to have what amounts to an extra week of preparation for race weekend, and that will give all of our participants an extra week for their preparations as well. Mark your calendars and begin planning your training schedule for our 21st annual edition!
October 26, 2012
Updated SFoR Women's Single-Age Course Records List Adds Six in 2012
2012 was also and excellent year for rewriting the all-time list of top female performances by single-age on the SFoR course. Congratulations to Amanda Aitken, age 6, of Jamesville, NY; Jan Holmquist, age 68, of Burlington, MA; Marie-Louise Michelsohn, age 70, of New York, NY; Tami Graf, age 76, or Lusby, MD; Anny Stockman, age 80, of Rensselaer, NY; and Nancy Auster, age 86, of Canton, NY.
Have a look at the list, which now includes the age-graded performance of each of these singular performances!
October 21, 2012
Eight New SFoR Course Record-Holders Grace Updated Men's Single-Age List
We've updated the list of the male all-time best performances list by single-age on the SFoR course to include our 2012 results, and we offer our congratulations to eight of our 2012 finishers whose performances have made the coveted list: Kevin Castille, age 40, of Nicholasville, KY; Jim Derick, age 47, of Big Flats, NY; Dennis Simonaitis, age 50, of Draper, UT; Brian Pilcher, age 56, of Ross, CA; Jerry Kooymans, age 57, of Markham, Ontario, Canada; Thom Weddle, age 74, of Minneapolis, MN; Willis Moses, age 86, of Vestal, NY; and Hugh Campbell, 88, of Wilmington, DE.
Of these eight additions to our men's single-age SFoR course list, six of their performances age-graded above the world-class threshold of 90.0%--which is indicative of how difficult it is to make this list. Way to go, gentlemen!
October 16, 2012
Learning Disabilities Association of CNY Announces $8,072 Raised!
In an unusually prolific year for records a the Syracuse Festival of Races, the Learning Disabilities Association of Central New York has announced that it has raised $8,072 through its participation in our 2012 event. This is the first year that LDACNY has engaged in fundraising via the Syracuse Festival of Races, and their total is the largest ever by a first-year non-profit beneficiary.
Those of you who have been watching LDACNY's progress on the SFoR page at CrowdRise.com know that the online giving platform has been very effective for them. (It also makes it quick and easy for us to know and communicate the amounts raised by our various participating non-profits.)
We'll post more of the 2012 fundraising results as they become available.
October 10, 2012
Please Vote for Nancy Auster As the MVP Health Care Ultimate Game Changer!
We thought Nancy's twenty-year streak of finishing every edition of the Syracuse Festival of Races (from age 67 through 86, no less!) makes Nancy an outstanding nominee as the Ultimate Game Changer, so we went ahead and nominated her.
Please click here and vote for Nancy today and once a day from now through October 22! The rules permit (and even encourage) one vote per person per day throughout the entire voting period, so please take a minute a day and support Nancy's nomination.
October 6, 2012
Unclaimed SFoR Age Group Awards Are In the Mail!
Any of you who placed among the top three in your age group but didn't pick up your Dick's Bonus Certificate at the Chargers tent on race morning, should see it in the mail in the next day or so. They're on their way.
Family team awards are somewhat bulkier to mail, so we'd appreciate it if those of you who didn't grab your family team awards before fleeing the raindrops on race morning arrange to pick them up at your convenience. Of course, if you live far from Syracuse, we'll package these up for you and get them into the mail by Christmas for sure. :-)
Congratulations to all of you who placed in our age group and family team award categories! As always, you should feel encouraged to call 315-446-6285 anytime with questions about awards.
October 4, 2012
USATF Names Jan Holmquist, of Liberty Athletic Club, Athlete of the Week!
For the second year in a row, USA Track & Field's Athlete of the Week for the first week in October has been selected in recognition of a performance run on Meadowbrook Drive at the Syracuse Festival of Races.
In 2011, it was Kathy Martin, whose world-best 5K time for women 60-64 (19:04, which age-grades at 100.32%) at the Festival earned her USATF AoW honors.
This year, it's Jan Holmquist, 68, of Burlington, MA, and the Liberty Athletic Club who has earned USATF's nod as Athlete of the Week. Having run the fastest 5K road time ever by a U.S. woman age 67 here in 2011, Jan returned this year intent on adding the U.S. W68 5K mark to her running resume. She went well beyond surpassing the U.S. W68 mark (which had been set by Margret Betz on the Festival course in 2004). Jan's 21:18 (net) finishing time makes hers the fastest W68 5K performance known in the world, and the second fastest W65-69 5K time ever--just two seconds slower than Margret Betz's 21:16 W65-69 all-time world best that Margret ran at the 2001 Syracuse Festival of Races. Jan's time on Sunday age-grades at a whopping 101.15%.
For more information on Jan's Athlete of the Week recognition, check the homepage at www.usatf.org.
October 3, 2012
More Festival Images Available For You To Enjoy, Thanks to Dustin Angell and Tommy Kunz
Ace Festival photographers Tommy Kunz and Dustin Angell now have images they shot on Sunday morning available for viewing on the Web.
To enjoy Tommy's shots, visit: https://www.facebook.com/tkphotosyr
For Dustin's shots, visit: http://dustinangell.me/syr_races
Thanks VERY much to Tommy, Dustin, and Bob for so professionally capturing our 20th anniversary event!
October 2, 2012
Bob Brock's SFoR Images Are Available for Viewing
For the second year in a row, Bob Brock came out to the Festival and captured many wonderful images of the event. Bob was an excellent distance runner and key member of many Chargers national-medal-winning masters teams during the golden age of CNY masters distance running in the '80s and '90s.
You can enjoy the results of Bob's camera work on Flicker at these links:
Enjoy, and check back daily. We expect there will be more images coming soon.
October 1, 2012
Late Morning Rain Aside, That Was a Special Day!
Take a couple of pending 5K world records; add four pending U.S. 5K records and a Canadian 5K record; throw in a TON of 5K personal bests, season bests, national titles, and first-time finishes; add hundreds of families and a score of area school groups pouring across the finish line with smiles from ear to ear; mix in the successful fundraising efforts of multiple deserving non-profit organizations; and stir it up with the support of dedicated sponsors and outstanding performances by a small army of wonderful volunteers, and you get the 20th annual Syracuse Festival of Races.
Congratulations to all who enjoyed significant achievements yesterday!
And thanks to all--volunteers, participants, and sponsors--who helped to make those many significant achievements happen!
Click our 5K Results button on the top men bar to admire the numbers, and check back in the next day or so for links to loads of images of yesterday's very special event.
September 27, 2012
Online Registration Closes This Tonight; Two In-Person Opportunities Remain
If you haven't yet registered for any of our four events and would like to do so online at Active.com have until 9:00 p.m. this evening to do so. Ditto for USA Masters 5 km Championship registration at USATF.org.
Once the online registration has closed, you'll still have a pair of in-person opportunities to get yourself into our 20th annual event. On Saturday, Sept. 29, you can register at our number and shirt pickup at the Dick's Sporting Goods store in Destiny USA. Drop by between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., walk out with your participant shirt, bib number, and Dick's Bonus Certificate or discount card, and you'll be all set for the fun and excitement of Sunday morning.
And on Sunday morning we'll open for registration and packet pickup outside Manley Field House at 7:30 a.m. The large white registration tent will handle registration for the Tops Friendly Markets Community Walk, the MVP Health Care 3K Fun & Fitness Run, and all non-Championship runners in either the Men's 5K or the Women's 5K. The blue and white striped tent will handle pickup and registration for runners in the USA Masters 5 km Championship.
It's going to be a fabulous morning for running and walking! Enjoy!
September 25, 2012
5K Course Re-Certified; Tangent Line 95% Re-Painted; USATF Pre-Validation Scheduled
On December 31, 2011, the certification number of the SFoR 5K course reached its ten-year expiration date. And when a USATF certification number of a course expires, so does that course's validation--if it happens to be one of the relatively few courses that are validated.
But that was last winter, and as we approach SFoR weekend 2012, all 5K runners can rest assured that everyone's fastest 5K road race of the year will continue to be run on a course that is not only USATF-certified, but also validated.
Our new certification number, good for ten years, is NY12118JG. In anticipation of several national-record-surpassing performances on Sunday morning, USATF's Road Running Technical Council has appointed its Regional Certifier for New York, Jim Gilmer, to perform a pre-race validation measurement on Saturday morning.
With certification and validation once again assured, runners need only focus on getting from the starting line to the finish line as expeditiously as possible. And to help with that, we're continuing our tradition of showing everyone in our fields the measured path from Manley to Euclid and back. As of this morning, 95% of our nearly 200 orange "tangent" lines have been repainted, and they'll all be finished by the weekend.
September 22, 2012
5K Registration Is On Schedule for Near Perfection
With 1,000 20th anniversary medals in the closet and 1,000 long-sleeved tech shirts on their way from the screen printer, it's comforting to note that 5K registration is currently precisely on schedule to bring us in at the 1,000-participant total we've been aiming for.
Women's 5K registration has grown a bit this year, and there's a decent chance that finishers in the Women's 5K will outnumber finishers in the Men's 5K for the first time since 1993.
Of course, should we need more 5K shirts and medals, we'll order them. But wouldn't it be sweet to hit the target?! Plenty of running room for everyone, no parking hassles, no long lines at portajohns (we prefer indoor plumbing, and lots of it), and outstanding goodies for all!
Go ahead and celebrate!
September 17, 2012
Concert in the Park: The Guise to Play Barry Park on Festival Morning
We're very pleased to announce that The Guise will be performing live throughout race morning in Barry Park. They'll be setting up near the water stop on both our 5K and 3K courses, entertaining water stop volunteers, spectators, and all of our registered participants. The acoustic classic rock duo (and sometimes trio) has performed previously at several other road races in the area, and they're ready to encourage passing 5K runners with up-tempo tunes.
Participants in the MVP Health Care 3K Fun & Fitness Run and the Tops Friendly Markets Community Walk, will have their turn in the audience as well--but no fair parking yourself on the grass and taking a twenty-minute break before heading back to the finish line!
If you have friends, neighbors, or family members looking for an ideal spectator location from which to cheer you along the course, you might want to recommend Barry Park.
And in what is a pure coincidence, The Guise will also be performing in Carnegie Cafe at the Maplewood Inn on the eve of the race, providing our many visiting runners with an opportunity to enjoy a preview (and make requests for the following morning).
September 14, 2012
Masters Championship Entry Numbers Are Booming, and the Quality is Breathtaking (Again)
I was planning to report today that the total number of entries in the 2012 USA Masters 5 km Championship had passed the 100-entrant mark. As USA Masters road race championships typically go, 100 is a larger than average field. Good thing I didn't write that blurb thirty-six hours ago, because all of a sudden we're at 148 entrants.
The reason for the mini-boom? Clearly, a lot of it has to do with the fiscal prudence of the Genesee Valley Harriers and the Atlanta Track Club. With the bump in the 5K entry fee taking effect on Sunday, the big and talented GVH and ATC squads have been finding their way to the USATF Championships web page!
The Masters Championship field in general is very gratifying to see. With just over two weeks of registration remaining, the field includes athletes from 21 different states. There is at least one entrant in each of 20 different masters (40+) age groups (ten for men; ten for women). There are fifteen different masters age groups with at least three athletes currently entered. We have ten of our twenty 2011 USA Masters 5 km Champions back to defend their titles--a remarkable percentage, especially for runners over 40 who live a long way from Syracuse. And a whopping 89 (an amazing 60%) of our current 148 entrants in the Masters Championship also raced in the Championship here last year.
So it's not too early to say "thanks" on behalf of our race committee and on behalf of the host Syracuse Chargers Track Club to all of you who are making the effort to join us on Sept. 30. We really appreciate your planning to race here, and we're working hard to show you and all of our hundreds of "pre-masters" a really good time on Meadowbrook Drive!
September 13, 2012
Family Teams: B-B Favorite, Authentic "Two-Person" Team, and "Young" H-W 40+ Team
Oh, how we love our two-person family team competition at the Syracuse Festival of Races! It had its roots in the mother-daughter and sister-sister team categories that we offered throughout the nine years of the Syracuse Freihofer's Run for Women (1984 - 1992). It expanded to eight categories to include the various combinations that included males when the SFoR succeeded the SFRW in 1993. It added the H-W 40+ category several years later in response to the excellent suggestion made by Mike and Paula Tucker. And it's adding some fun to the Festival even before this year's starting gun is fired.
If any of the nine family team categories has an obvious pre-race favorite entered, it's the B-B category. Sean and Brendan McCauley, both members of the Syracuse University Running Club, have indicated anticipated finish times of 17:30 and 17:00, which would make for a pretty good cumulative time. The good news for all the other B-B teams, of course, is that our family team awards go three-deep in all nine categories.
If any of our current entries has a "best in category" team name, it's the F-D team of Mark Person and Lucy Person, of Syracuse. Two-person family team competition? Yeah, they certainly qualify as a "two-Person team"! Great to have Mark and Lucy (and all the other members of their Holy Cross school group) running The Festival again this year!
And if the Persons deserve mention as an aptly named family team, the H-W 40+ team of Lawrence and Rosalie Young, of DeWitt, jumps out as the most ironically named family team. With an impressive combined age of 141, "Team Young" is among the most-senior H-W teams ever to enter our family team competition.
Bottom line: The family team fun has already begun!
September 10, 2012
Festival 5K Bib Numbers Will Remember and Honor the Henry Sypniewski
It's no secret that the SFoR was one of Henry Sypniewski's favorite races. And it's no secret that many of the members of our race committee felt privileged to know Henry and to have him in our field.
After running 33:46 here in 2008--the fastest 5K ever run by a U.S. male age 90 or older--he traveled to The Festival from Cheektowaga in each of the next three years and ran faster than the listed U.S. 5K records for men age 91, then age 92, and then age 93.
Henry's performance last year was in some ways the most impressive of the four. Battling illness and injuries suffered in a couple of falls during the winter of 2010 - 2011, Henry used The Festival as his motivation for returning to running. His determination paid off, and he was able to make our event his first race of 2011. In the cold, pouring rain of our 2011 Men's 5K, Henry ran and walked the course in 47:41, which was over 13 minutes faster than the listed U.S. M93 5K record held by Max Popper. (Right Photo Credit: Tommy Kunz)
Henry ran one more 5K in Western New York after the 2011 SFoR, and then lost his battle with cancer on April 1st, 2012. His family and friends report that if Henry could have had one wish granted, it would have been for him to be able to return to the Syracuse Festival of Races at age 94 and race here for the fifth year in a row.
In remembrance of Henry and in honor of that wish, all of our 2012 Men's 5K and Women's 5K bib numbers will include "94" and "Henry."
September 6, 2012
Previous 2012 Race Winners: Don't Overlook Our Race of Champions Free Entry Offer!
Joe Smith's SFoR 5K entry arrived in the mail earlier this week. Mark Andrews' entry reached us a couple weeks ago. Joanne Singer's showed up yesterday. Stephen Rathbun's is probably in the mail right this minute. And none of them needed to pay an entry fee this year.
That's because Joe, Mark, Joanne, and Stephen have all earned complimentary entry for either the Men's 5K or the Women's 5K at the 2012 SFoR courtesy of our Race of Champions format. Anyone who finishes first overall among either the men or the women in a 2012 race with 250 or more total finishers qualifies.
To join the fun for free, qualified 2012 race winners should e-mail us noting their winning performance and asking us to send them an "INVITED RUNNER" form. It's not only free, but also easy!
September 3, 2012
Labor Day? More Like "Labor of Love Day" for Our School Group Coordinators
School groups don't magically assemble themselves in preparation for joining the joyous throng of all ages that comprises the MVP Health Care 3K Fun & Fitness Run at the SFoR each year. It's school group coordinators who bring their own brand of magic to the task of making the fun and fitness of our enormous, non-competitive 3K part of their school communities.
Some of them, like Laurie Valentine, of Fayetteville Elementary, Linda Oja, of Woodland Elementary, and Tom Winiecki, of Mott Road Elementary, have been providing the Festival experience to kids, parents, and school staff for twenty years in a row. Some, like Jack Harbold, who's following the lead of Bear Road Elementary's Ruth Beasley (who retired in June), are rallying a school group for the first time.
Some, like Tecumseh Elementary's M.J. MacKenzie, and Manlius Pebble Hill's Sean Gavigan, and are parents committed to making the opportunity possible not only for their own children but for all the other families in the school community as well.
Some, like Kristin Baker, of Ed Smith Elementary, organize school groups practically in the shadow of Manley Field House. Others, like Diana Finn, of Marcellus, Mark and Terri Evans, of Cazenovia, and Melissa Biviano, of Chittenango, bring groups from well outside of Syracuse
Why? Because they believe what we believe: Low intensity aerobic activity is good for almost everyone at almost any age. And nowhere on the planet is it more festive, affordable, celebratory, and inspiring than at the MVP Health Care 3K Fun & Fitness Run at the Syracuse Festival of Races.
Thanks to all of our dedicated school group coordinators and MVP Health Care, it's an experience to remember, and a sight to behold!
August 26, 2012
2012 MVP Health Care 3K Fun & Fitness Run T-Shirt Design Revealed
Thanks to the creative talents of Fayetteville Elementary's new art teacher, Julie Gratien, we have another gorgeous T-shirt for 2012 MVP Health Care 3K Fun & Fitness Run participants! Julie has moved over to Fay-El from Mott Road this year, and she's filling the considerable void left by the retirement of Eileen Millert, who created so many of our wonderful 3K T-shirt designs in recent years.
Julie is no stranger to the running sports, as her dad is Pete Monteleone, one of CNY's most senior local road runners still out there putting in the miles. She's also the mom of Peter Gratien, who enjoyed a very successful running career at East Syracuse-Minoa High School.
So here it is: a seven-color front design on a 100% cotton T-shirt that we've ordered in sizes youth small through adult XXL.
At the time of the inaugural SFoR, back in 1993, people thought we were crazy to give 3K participants a four-color 100% cotton T-shirt for an entry fee of just $5. Here we are in 2012, and those 17 and younger who pre-register for the 3K will be paying the same $5 entry fee twenty years later.
Still crazy after all these years.
August 21, 2012
The Medals Have Landed!
I hope our UPS driver doesn't have a hernia or lower back strain. Seven cases of SFoR 20th anniversary 5K finisher medals, sponsored by Nationwide Insurance, made it to our front porch this afternoon, and they are HEAVY!
They're also attractive as all get-out! I knew the medal would look sharp. I knew the medal would strike a nice balance between being substantial without being grotesquely so. (Nobody enjoys walking around with a small frying pan hanging from a neck ribbon.)
What I didn't expect was the quality and attractiveness of the neck ribbons that hold the 2012 SFoR golden rectangles. Wow! It's always fun to have an outcome exceed high expectations!
Mighty nice medals! Now, speaking of exceeding high expectations, back to preparing for what we expect will be a mighty nice race!
August 17, 2012
Cohen & Cohen, LLP To Sponsor Women's 5K Cash Award
We're thrilled to announce that Cohen & Cohen, LLP, of Utica, has offered to sponsor a $250 cash award for the first overall finisher in the Women's 5K at the 2012 SFoR!
The award provides a welcome complement the John Trowse Award, sponsored for years by Allied Sign Company, which is awarded annually, in memory of John Trowse, to the first CNY finisher in our Men's 5K. The key difference between the two $250 awards is that the new award for our women's 5K champion is not restricted to athletes from the CNY region.
The SFoR is, of course, pleased to offer cash awards to both open and masters athletes, to whatever extent our sponsor support allows. We invite additional sponsors with an interest in underwriting prize money awards for outstanding athletes to contact us at any time and join our sponsorship team.
Many thanks to Cohen & Cohen, LLP for their generous support!
August 13, 2012
2012 USA Masters 5 km Championship Registration Is Off to a Flying Start!
In each of the past the years, we've been honored to host one of the deepest and most talented masters (40+) road race fields you'll find anywhere. If early registration is any indication, we'll see more of the same on September 30th. Eleven medalists from the 2011 USA Masters 5 km Championship are already entered. Eleven states are already represented on our Championship entry list. We already have at least one entrant in each of twenty masters five-year age groups (ten each for both men and women). Two of our early entrants are aiming to surpass current U.S. 5K records. And we still have about 80 percent of our Championship entries yet to arrive.
For a look at the current list of Masters Championship entrants, you can click here anytime between now and race weekend.
August 7, 2012
SFoR Teams With CrowdRise.com to Assist Our Non-Profit Beneficiaries!
New this year, the SFoR is teaming with CrowdRise.com to offer our participating non-profits the option of receiving donations via credit card on the CrowdRise platform. The Learning Disabilities Association of Central New York (LDACNY) is off to a flying start in its fundraising efforts, with online donations already having surpassed the $1,300 mark.
As has been the case for the past thirteen years, the SFoR invites ANY non-profit group to use our event as the focus of its pledge-centered fundraising activities. Prior to this year, donations have been made to our participating non-profits almost exclusively in checks or cash, with Dermody, Burke & Brown, CPAs handling the fundraising recordkeeping. The addition of the online donations via the CrowdRise platforms enhances the toolkit available to interested non-profits.
It's not too late for additional non-profit organizations to benefit from the 20th annual SFoR. To have your favorite non-profit added to our list of participating beneficiaries, e-mail email@example.com.
The Tops Friendly Markets Community Walk is the SFoR event has been most popular with those supporting our beneficiaries, but anyone in any of the SFoR race morning events is welcome to team with any of our participating non-profits. That's what makes the Syracuse Festival of Races the event where our participants get to pick the non-profit organizations that benefit.
July 29, 2012
Don't Overlook the Deadline for the Early-Bird 5K Entry Fee!
With scores of you already having locked-in the bargain of the year in area road racing, two days remain for those who may not be aware that our "early-bird" entry fee for the Men's 5K or Women's 5K lasts only until the end of July.
Figuring that everyone will have good use for the $5.00 Dick's Sporting Goods Bonus Certificate, that's a net $17 cost for all the fun, excitement, and good times of race morning.
Plus the 20th anniversary finisher's medal from Nationwide Insurance.
Plus the long-sleeved SFoR tech shirt.
Plus the outstanding post-race refreshments from Tops Friendly Markets, Applebee's, Subway, Salsarita's, Freihofer's, Larabar, Cascadian Farm, and others TBA.
Plus the traditional Festival Freebie: the open invitation to leave your 5K bib number on and accompany family, friends, and/or your non-profit group in either the MVP Health Care 3K Fun & Fitness Run or the Tops Friendly Markets Community Walk without paying an additional entry fee.
Too generous a bargain? Probably. But it's still out there for another 48 hours!
July 23, 2012
2012 Entry Booklet Is in the Mail, and USATF Registration Is Up and Running!
With the clock ticking on our ridiculously inexpensive "early-bird" 5K entry fee of $22, all systems are now "go" for 2012 SFoR entry. The entry booklet is in the mail to just under 3,000 of you; there's a printable copy of it posted on our "Register Now" page; and registration is now open for those of you racing in the 2012 USA Masters 5 km Championship.
Whatever your registration preference, you can access it via the "Register Now" button.
Go ahead. Make my day!
July 19, 2012
Late Registration and Pickup Event (Sept. 29th) Now At Dick's Sporting Goods in Destiny USA!
With the opening of the new Dick's Sporting Goods location in Destiny USA, we've been invited to conduct our day-before-race registration and pickup event in a new location. So please make a mental note: Instead of the Dick's store in Shoppingtown, you're invited to come pick up your shirt, bib number and Bonus Certificate in the Destiny USA Dick's store.
The date and times are unchanged: Saturday, September 29th, from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.
July 16, 2012
Our 2012 Entry Panel Has Been Updated and Is Ready to Download!
Click on the "Register Now" button on the menu bar above, or click here for a downloadable copy of our 2012 entry panel. The other four pages of our entry booklet will be ready for printing, posting, and e-mailing any day now. But with the early-bird 5K entry fee having only two weeks to live, those of you who want the lowest possible entry fee and a hard-copy entry are now set to go.
Three. Two. One. ENTER!
June 22, 2012
The Maplewood Inn Offers Terrific SFoR Special Rate for Runners, Friends, and Family
We're delighted to announce the Maplewood Inn, 400 Seventh North Street, Liverpool, NY 13088, as our 2012 race headquarters hotel! Conveniently located near the intersection of I-81 and I-90, the Maplewood Inn offers our visiting runners and walkers convenient proximity to both the airport and the race site.
Even better for our many out-of-town participants, the Maplewood Inn is offering an outstanding SFoR rate of $85 per night (plus tax) for single, double, or triple occupancy. All room reservations should be made by telephone at either 315-451-1511 or 866-318-9937. To receive the specially discounted rate when you call, please be sure to mention the Syracuse Festival of Races and Group Code 4965.
Reservations must be made by August 28, 2012, after which it's highly unlikely that either the special rate or any rooms for SFoR weekend will remain available.
June 15, 2012
Look for the SFoR Offer in the Virtual Race Bag for the JPMorgan Chase & Co. Corporate Challenge!
Everyone in the record field of more than 7,900 registered for the Syracuse edition of the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge will be reminded about the huge bargain available to all who enter the Festival's Men's 5K or Women's 5K by the early-bird deadline of July 31st.
That bargain is the remarkably low 5K entry fee of $22, which includes your only chance each year to race out and back on Meadowbrook Drive; a $5.00 Dick's Bonus Certificate just for entering; our 2012 long-sleeved SFoR tech shirt just in time for your cold-weather training; and the one and only SFoR 20th anniversary 5K finisher medal. Beat the rush and enter the SFoR now at Active.com!
June 11, 2012
Tops Friendly Markets Confirms Another Year As Community Walk Title Sponsor!
This is a double win: Great support for ANY non-profit organization that would like to use the SFoR as the focal event for its own fundraising and visibility raising, and the continuation for all 2012 Syracuse Festival of Races finishers of the dynamite array of post-race for refreshments in the Tops Post-Race Refreshments Area.
For those of you who may not be aware, the Tops Friendly Markets Community Walk is at the heart of our open arms policy regarding charitable beneficiaries. Any non-profit organization is invited to use any of the four SFoR events for their own pledge-centered fundraising, with each organization keeping 100% of the pledges they raise. Youth groups, drama clubs, community sports teams, social service organizations, and disease-related charities are all welcome! Some of their supporters run in the Men's 5K or the Women's 5K. Some run or walk in the MVP Health Care 3K Fun & Fitness Run. But most of them walk in the Tops Friendly Markets Community Walk.
If you think your favorite non-profit organization might like to join in the fun and fundraising, give us a call at 315-446-6285.
June 4, 2012
We Welcome the Continued Support of the Syracuse New Times and Family Times
delighted that the Festival's long-time friends at the Syracuse New
Times and Family Times Magazine will be with us for our gala
20th annual edition! It seems only fitting, since the New Times
has been with us for thirteen of our 20 years, and Family Times has
been a Festival media sponsor every year since its birth.
May 28, 2012
YNN To Continue As SFoR's Official Television Sponsor
YNN is back! Your 24-hour news network is once again our official television station, and we couldn't be happier to have them continuing for their eighth consecutive year in that role.
Tune-in to "Weather on the Tens" whenever you're getting ready to head out the door for a run or walk, and you'll always know exactly what you'll need to wear for the current weather conditions!
May 21, 2012
Behold Our 20th Anniversary 5K Finisher Medal, Sponsored by Nationwide Insurance!
Well, we wanted to spare no expense in creating this special keepsake to celebrate our first 20 years, and our 2012 5K finishers aren't going to be disappointed! Two inches wide and three inches high, with a glossy gold finish, some serious heft, and a multicolor sublimated neck ribbon, this is going to be a keepsake befitting the effort and excellence of so many thousands of SFoR 5K finishers throughout the past two decades!
How do you get one? Enter, finish, and accept some of the finest swag you'll ever be presented. It's that easy! And along the way, you'll enjoy one of the world's fastest record-eligible 5K road race courses PLUS the "Birdhouse and Flowerbed Tour" out and back on one of Syracuse's prettiest streets, Meadowbrook Drive.
The CNY agents of Nationwide Insurance will be personally presenting one of these to each of our 5K finishers at the Nationwide tent along SOSPlus Wellness Way on Sunday morning, September 30th. Kinda makes you happy that this is one of those rare years with Columbus Day coming so early that SFoR Sunday gets pushed into September!
And by the way, where in the world did those twenty years go?!
May 14, 2012
SOSPlus Confirms 2012 Sponsorship of SOSPlus Wellness Way
Well, it's May, and sponsor confirmations are popping up like spring flowers! SOSPlus has confirmed that they'll be stepping into the title sponsor position for SOSPlus Wellness Way at the 2012 SFoR. Our on-site heath and wellness expo will be loaded with ideas and information on how you can take your health and fitness to the next level--and keep it there for a long time!
Check our SOSPlus Wellness Way page for the current list of exhibitors, and give us a call anytime at 315-446-6285 to learn how easy it is for your company to become an SOSPlus Wellness Way exhibitor!
In addition, SOSPlus will be sponsoring our 2012 Joint Replacement Awards for both our Men's 5K and Women's 5K. The top two open men, open women, masters men, and masters women participating with either hip or knee replacements will receive special recognition from SOSPlus and the SFoR.
May 7, 2012
SFoR Announces 2012 USA Masters 5 km National Championship Prize Structure
As we look forward to our fifth consecutive year hosting many of the most talented and most dedicated 40-and-older distance runners in the U.S., we're delighted to announce the breakdown of the $10,000 prize structure that we'll be awarding the top-performing individuals and club teams the 2012 USA Masters 5 km Championships.
We're hoping to have registration for the Championship open on the USA Track & Field National Championships page in the near future, so stay tuned for the launch of 2012 5 km Championship registration.
April 30, 2012
Nationwide Insurance to Sponsor SFoR 20th Anniversary 5K Finisher Medal
While the medal's exact design is still being tweaked on the drawing board, we can say that it'll include a high-quality neck ribbon and feature a version of our 20th anniversary logo. We'll be creating a keepsake of significant size and weight, with a rich-looking and colorful finish.
Check SFoR News and our Facebook page for an image of the actual medal in the coming weeks!
April 23, 2012
MVP Health Care Confirms 2012 Title Sponsorship of the MVP Health Care 3K Fun & Fitness Run
This insures the continuation of one of the country's oldest non-competitive family fitness events. It also enables the Syracuse Festival of Races to keep our under-18 3K entry fee at the same $5.00 (including the six-color, 100% cotton T-shirt) that we charged way back in 1993!
Twenty years ago we had the conviction to charge a $5.00 pre-entry fee, and even at that time other event directors thought we were crazy to be practically "giving it away." If we were, we must be even crazier today, because twenty years later we're still inviting parents to give their kids a great fitness-event experience (and a great T-shirt) for the same $5.00 entry fee.
Is there a better way to celebrate the Festival's first twenty years of making it attractive and affordable for entire families to come out and celebrate the fun of putting in some miles together? MVP Health Care doesn't think so!
April 16, 2012
Dick's Sporting Goods Says "Count Us In" for 2012!
Good news for SFoR entrants? You bet! That is, of course, if you'd like to receive one of the discount cards that we give SFoR entrants (as well as volunteers and spectators). Or if you'd like to receive on of the Dick's $5.00 Bonus Certificates that we give all 5K entrants when they pick up their bib numbers. Or if you're one of our 81 5K age-group award winners who walk away with Dick's Bonus Certificates of up to $50. Or if you happen to be our first male or female 5K finisher overall, in which case you walk away with a $100 Dick's Bonus Certificate.
Good news that Dick's is back supporting Syracuse runners for their 15th consecutive year as an Associate Sponsor of the Syracuse Festival of Races? You're darn tootin' it is!
April 9, 2012
Cumulus Broadcasting To Continue as 2012 SFoR Radio Sponsor
Many road races are fortunate to have a radio station as a media sponsor.
The Syracuse Festival of Races is fortunate to have FOUR radio stations as media sponsors! Cumulus is back for yet another year in 2012, and with them we welcome back 93Q, 95X, 105.9 The Rebel, and The Score 1260.
Set your radio for all four, and you'll be set with great music, wit, and news all year long!
April 2, 2012
Henry Sypniewski, 1918-2012, A Syracuse Festival of Races Icon
We're very sorry to report that Henry Sypniewski, 93, of Cheektowaga, NY, has died of stomach cancer. Edna Hyer, a Checkers AC teammate and good friend of Henry's, reports that Henry passed away at home early this morning.
As many Western New York runners are aware, Henry took up distance running at the age of 70. A retired machinist and veteran of World War II who fought in the Battle of the Bulge, Henry fell in love with our sport after most of its participants have hung up their running shoes. He became a standout in area age-group competition, and soon after turning 80, Henry ran 24:50 for 5K--at the time the U.S. record for the age group.
His eighties included several additional performances that surpassed listed U.S. records from 5K though the marathon, and Henry was recognized by USATF as the nation's most outstanding LDR athlete in his age group eight times: in 1998 and 1999 among men 80-84; in 2003, 2004, and 2005 among men 85-89; and in 2008, 2009, and 2010 among men 90-94. (Photo credit: Tommy Kunz)
On July 7, 2008, Henry celebrated his 90th birthday and launched an amazing first four years in his new age group. At the 2008 SFoR, Henry ran 33:46, the fastest 5K performance ever by a U.S. male age 90 or older. At age 91, he returned to the Festival and ran 38:53, improving on the listed single-age record by over a minute and a half. At the 2010 SFoR, Henry ran 41:00, an improvement of 6:15 over the prior mark for U.S. men age 92. And then last fall he ran 47:41, more than thirteen minutes faster than the prior record for U.S. men age 93.
In his four years running the Syracuse Festival of Races, Henry won three individual national championships in the men's 90-94 age group and captured the silver medal once.
Our condolences go out to Henry's widow, Helen, and to all of Henry's family and friends. He was one of a kind, and he leaves a remarkable history and example for all of us to admire.
March 19, 2012
Holly Skiff and Bradley Anderson First in the 2012 SFoR Women's 5K and Men's 5K!
Well, first to register. But the headline is worth cutting, pasting, and sending to friends and family; right, Holly and Brad?
At any rate, Holly, of Phoenix, NY, is the first female entrant for the 20th annual SFoR, and Brad, of Binghamton, is the first male entrant. And, with zip codes that include the numeral "1", both are winners of "1 for 1 All the Way" awards.
Holly and Brad were both among our finishers in 2011, and we're delighted to have them returning for an encore!
March 15, 2012
SFoR Offers "1 for 1 All the Way" Entry Promotion Through Tourney's End
We're delighted to announce that the Festival of Races is teaming with the Syracuse Convention and Visitors Bureau in its "1 for 1 All the Way" group promotion in honor of the Syracuse University men's basketball team's number one seed in the East Region of the NCAA Tournament.
Our special offer involving the number one is simple: The 1st person to enter the 2012 SFoR online from each code that includes at least one "1" among its five digits will receive a special SFoR-branded item (15-ounce glass mug, drawstring bag, long-sleeved shirt, etc.). Think of all the zip codes out there that include at least one "1"! You just need to be the first to enter from yours, and you win!
Enter online today at our Active.com page, and remember that the contest runs through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, April 2nd.
March 5, 2012
Registration Is Now Open Online at Active.com!
Who would have thought that we'd be getting calls in early March asking when the registration page would open for our September 30th event?! Well, we have, and it's very gratifying!
In response to these inquiries, we're now ready to go with our 2012 registration page updated and open on Active.com. Have a look, and feel free to register early at the remarkably low "early-bird" price of $22 for the 5K--which will once again include a long-sleeved technical running shirt.
The registration page on the USA Track & Field Championships page will be ready to go within the next couple of weeks, with paper entry forms coming in late spring.
Stay tuned for an additional (and fun) incentive to enter this year's Men's 5K or Women's 5K at the lowest possible price. Lots of chances to come in first on this one, with more news to be posted soon!
February 29, 2012
20th Anniversary Logo Ready to Go!
Credit for the new design goes to Ellie Komanecky, of Skaneateles, NY. Ellie is a 2008 graduate of Syracuse University. Currently, she is the Communications and Design Coordinator at SUs Institute for Veterans and Military Families.
Ellie is no stranger to distance events. Ellie and her husband co-own Syracuse Bicycle, Central NY's premier cycling and multisport retailer. She's an avid wheelchair racer whose credentials include being the 2009 women's champion in the wheelchair division of the Utica Boilermaker 15K (and women's runner-up in the Boilermaker's wheelchair division in both 2010 and 2011). Ellie's looking forward to her first race on Syracuse Festival of Races course this September.
As you can see, our 20th anniversary artwork is linked to our past via Ellie's use of the colored rectangular background and the running figures from Alana Glantz's prior version of the SFoR logo. Along with a more autumnal color scheme, Ellie has beautifully incorporated our 20th anniversary tagline: "20 Years of the Best Running Around."
It just might make a nice finisher medal!
February 15, 2012
What's YOUR Favorite Syracuse Festival of Races Memory?
The Festival has also hosted many thousands of elementary school children and their family members in our 3K Fun & Fitness Run, many of them participating in their first road running event ever at the Festival. In addition, we've provided the opportunity for dozens of non-profit organizations to raise both funds and visibility using our event.
But I bet we haven't mentioned your favorite Festival anecdote of our first nineteen years. So . . .
One of the things well be doing in recognition of our 20thannual event is to solicit our past participants fondest, funniest, proudest, or just plain most memorable recollections of any of our first nineteen editions. They could be about you, one of your family members, a friend, a teammate, someone youve coached, or even a total stranger.
Were looking forward to posting some of your Festival memories here on the SFoR web site, on ourSFoR FaceBook page, and perhaps publishing some of them in the Chargers Newsletter. Adding to the fun of these recollections, beginning in March well be picking the "Festival Memory of the Month," and awarding free entry for our 2012 race to the person who submits it.
Everyone is allowed an unlimited number of submissions, and you can either e-mail them firstname.lastname@example.org or post them directly on our SFoR FaceBook page.
January 1, 2012
Welcome To the SFoR's 20th Anniversary Year!
Wow! That was a quick and eventful two decades! All those 5K PRs and season bests! All those U.S. 5K records! All those national championships awarded! All of those first-time 5K finishers! All of those smiling 3K Fun & Fitness Run participants! And all of those non-profits who've been able to benefit from their Festival-related fundraising!
But here we are, preparing for what we hope with be the most wonderful edition of the Festival yet. We have in mind a handful of special ways of recognizing and commemorating this 20th edition, and we'll be implementing as many of them as our budget permits.
If you have an idea regarding something you'd like to see us add as a "20th Anniversary" flourish, please let us know.
We already have runners all across the country planning on being out there on Meadowbrook Drive on Sunday morning, September 30th (yup, another year with a super-early Columbus Day pushing us into September), so we might as well make it the absolute best destination 5K road race we can.
And in the meantime: Happy New Year!
December 8, 2011
USATF Adds Five More U.S. 5K Records to the SFoR Course's Legacy!
Five pending U.S. 5K records produced by athletes competing in the USA Masters 5 km Championships at the 2011 Syracuse Festival of Races have been approved for U.S. 5K record status by USA Track & Field (USATF) at the national governing body's annual convention, held last week in St. Louis, MO.
This year's five additional records bring to 40 the total number of U.S. 5K records surpassed or tied on the SFoR course. The 5K distance (approximately 3.1 miles) is by far the nation's most popular road race distance, with Running USA reporting 4,670,000 finishers in the approximately 11,000 5K road races held in the U.S. in 2010.
Among the 2011 SFoR performances ratified by USATF on Sunday was Kathryn Martin's 2011 SFoR finishing time of 19:04. Kathy, 60, of Northport, NY, improved upon Sabra Harvey's listed U.S. W60-64 age-group record of 19:12, and in so doing also improved upon Sabra's prior U.S. 5K W60 single-age mark.
Also accepted as new U.S. 5K single-age records are the 2011 SFoR performances of Stephanie Herbst-Lucke, 45, of Atlanta, GA; Jan Holmquist, 67, of Burlington, MA; and Henry Sypniewski, 93, of Cheektowaga, NY. Stephanie's 16:37 finish improved upon the previous W45 mark of 16:39, held by three-time Olympian, Colleen DeReuck. Jan's finishing time of 22:10 trimmed fourteen seconds from June Machala's listed U.S. W67 single-age mark of 22:24 that has stood since 1998. Henry's time of 47:38 lopped an amazing 13 minutes and 29 seconds from Max Popper's listed U.S. M93 single-age mark of 1:01:07.
On behalf of our race committee, volunteers, and sponsors: It's both a pleasure and an honor for the Syracuse Festival of Races to host so many truly outstanding athletic achievements!
December 3, 2011
More National Honors for 2011 SFoR Masters Athletes!
Seven of our 2011 finishers have been recognized by the Masters Long Distance Running Committee of USA Track & Field as the nation's cream of the crop in their respective age groups for 2011 . Christine Kennedy, 56, of Los Gatos, CA, and Kathryn Martin, 60, of Northport, NY, were doubly recognized, sharing the Women's Masters LDR Athlete of the Year Award and each being named the nation's female masters LDR athlete of the year in her five-year age group.
SFoR athletes recognized as the top male masters LDR performers in their five-year age groups for 2011 included: Mark Andrews, 40, of Rochester, NY; Brian Pilcher, 55, of Ross, CA; Terry McCluskey, 63, of Vienna, OH; Doug Goodhue, 69, of Milford, MI; and Bill Tribou, 90, of Granby, CT.
The awards were announced at today's Awards Luncheon in conjunction with the USATF Annual Meetings held in St. Louis, MO.
Also of special interest to Syracuse-area runners and Syracuse Chargers Track Club members was the recognition of Mickey Piscitelli as this year's recipient of USATF's Women's Long Distance Running Committee's Marja Bakker Contributor of the Year Award for service to women's long distance running. Mickey, of course, has been a many-time SFoR finisher and key volunteer.
November 21, 2011
Christine Kennedy Named 2011 USATF Masters Athlete of the Year!
This news just released via USATF's communications office:
Kennedy (Los Gatos, Calif.) has been named the 2011 Masters Athlete of the
Year by USA Track and Fields Masters Committee. Kennedy will be honored on
Saturday, December 3, at the Jesse Owens Awards and Hall of Fame Induction
Ceremony in St. Louis, Mo. The event is held in conjunction with USA
Track & Fields Annual Meeting.
Kennedy, 56, owned the roads in 2011 by winning the USA
Masters 5 km, 10 km, and 15 km championships this year. Kennedy also won two
events at the 2011 World Masters Athletics Championships. In a span of
nine days, Kennedy won both the 5,000m and the marathon. Her marathon
finish of 3:00:48 was good enough to finish as the third-place female
overall and win gold in her age-group.
Kennedys highest age-graded performance of the year
came from the Boston Marathon where she finished in 2:56:17. Kennedy won her
age-group with time to spare; she finished nearly 12 minutes faster than the
second woman in her age-group."
Of course, Christine's 2011 USA Masters 5 km W55-59 Championship performance was here at the Festival, where her time of 18:56 was not only good for the gold, but also an SFoR W56 course record and the fifth highest age- and gender-graded performance (95.60) at the 2011 SFoR.
Congratulations to Chris on her well-deserved selection as USATF's 2011 Masters Athlete of the Year! To see the full release from USATF, click here.
October 26, 2011
We Get Some Mighty Nice Post-Race E-Mail and Mail (Parts 1 - 23)
"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, Playmakers Racing Team
". . . 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."
"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."
"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
"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."
"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."
"Our family loves the Festival of Races because it is
family-oriented in addition to the tight organization and professionalism."
"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!"
"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."
"We really had a great time this weekend! It was my first
time there, and it was a great event."
"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!"
"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
"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."
"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."
". . . 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
"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!"
"Sensational race, as always. It is the best-run race in a
great venue. You and your people do a fantastic job."
"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."
"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 timevital, 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!"
"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."
"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."
"Thanks for all your and your committee's efforts. Your
ability to stay upbeat is amazing."
October 22, 2011
Our Lists of All-Time Top Performances by Age Group Are Now Updated and Posted. AMAZING!
Have a look, but you might want to sit down first. They're breathtaking!
Our Men's Top-Five by Age-Group list is just plain unbelievable. Based on geographic diversity and small spread from first to fifth in the age group, the M50-54 and M55-59 age groups might be the most impressive. But how about the Kenyan performances (and national dominance) in the open (M20-29) age group? Or the guys in their forties (take your pick: M40-44 and M45-49 are both killers). And the guys in their sixties are all-world! And the youngsters! And the Henry age group!
Of course, ourWomen's Top-Five by Age-Group list is also chock full of jaw-dropping depth of talent. Women 35-59? Phew! The 30-34? Amazing! 40-44? Tremendous! 45-49? Stupendous! Killer depth in both the fifties age groups and both the sixties age groups as well.
Note to self: This would be an excellent winter to age-grade all of these performances and see which age group wins, based on average age-graded percentage for the five times listed.
Anyone care to offer predictions?
October 16, 2011
Yes, We Have Some of the 5K Long-Sleeved Dri-Tek Shirts Remaining
You know an event gave away a terrific shirt when the e-mail requests by participants wanting to buy additional 5K shirts for themselves and their family members start arriving on the afternoon of race day! Thanks to all who have complimented us on the quality and appearance of our 5K shirts again this year.
Courtesy of our rainy weekend weather, we've been able to accommodate requests for additional shirts, and we continue to have some left in a limited selection of sizes--both the navy shirts from the Men's 5K and the acid green shirts from the Women's 5K. If you're looking for affordable stocking stuffers for exercising family members and friends, just send us an e-mail with the size and color you're hoping we have left.
October 12, 2011
SFoR Men's 5K All-Time Top Single-Age Performance List Now Updated and Posted. Twelve Newcomers!
Okay, let's face it: The weather during the Men's 5K was horrendous. And yet the talent in the field was so great that we've seen yet another significant rewriting of our stunning list of men's single-age records on the SFoR course. The updated list is now available on our 5K Results page, so have a look.
From our first-ever 5-year-old finisher, Teshale Kelly, in 40:18, to our first-ever 93-year-old finisher, Henry Sypniewski, in 47:38 (net), the times were tremendous despite the rain and cold. So terrific that Henry's performance surpassed the listed U.S. M93 5K record by nearly fifteen minutes! (Photo credits: Dustin Angell for Teshale K., and Tommy Kunz for Henry S.)
And there were more: Kristian Blaich ran the fastest U.S. M45 time ever on the Festival course--just two ticks behind Canadian Jerry Kooymans' killer 15:32 of 2000. David Cannon, 16:14, notched the fastest M52 performance on the course (a nice addition to his prior M52 and M54 course records). Dale Campbell, 17:24, kept his streak going, adding the fastest M58 performance on our course to his M56 and M57 bests of the two prior years.
The M62, M63, and M64 single-age course marks all fell this year, in what some believe to be the deepest and most talented M60-64 field ever assembled at a U.S. road race of any distance. Bob Giambalvo, 18:11, captured our M62 record; Terry McCluskey, 17:57 (net), nabbed our M63 mark; and William Dixon, 17:54 (net), added our course's M64 mark to the M61 mark that he set in 2008.
Doug Goodhue ran his string of SFoR single-age course records to four, running 19:18 (net) at age 69. (Think he'll want to come back in top shape as a newly minted 70-year-old in 2012?)
William Riley, 75, romped through the puddles to a fantastic 21:15 (net) and our M75 course record. Ralph Garfield's M76 net performance of 24:09 challenges Nate White's M76 course record of 24:10 (gun) from 1995. And Willis Moses made it two SFoR single-age course records in as many years with his M85 time of 33:03 (net).
October 10, 2011
Thirteen of Our 2011 Female Finishers Make the SFoR's Top Single-Age Performance List!
If you had taken a pre-race look at ourall-time top female single-age performances on our course, you'd probably have thought it would be unlikely for more than two or three of those incredible performances to be improved upon. But--even with the rainy morning on Sunday--there were THIRTEEN performances in the Women's 5K that make the list.
Two of them are our first-ever age-5 and age-85 female finishers, Amanda Aitken, and Nancy Auster. Amanda crossed the Festival 5K finish line for the first time, looking as fresh as a daisy with a time of 37:44. Nancy followed in a net time of 45:31, making her the only person to have finished all nineteen editions of the Syracuse Festival of Races. Nancy also has the fastest SFoR finishes ever by a woman age 81, 82, and 84. (Photo credits: Amanda A. by Bob Brock, and Nancy A. by Yuki Mizuma)
Joining Amanda and Nancy as 2011 editions to this list of VERY accomplished runners are Stephanie Herbst-Lucke, 45, in 16:37 (sometimes it takes a U.S. record to make the Festival's single-age list); Doreen McCoubrie, 49, in 17:48; Carmen Ayala-Troncoso, 52, in 18:20 (and notching a Festival single-age CR for the third consecutive year); Nancy Stewart, 55, in 19:22 (which goes nicely with her W54 CR of a year ago); Christine Kennedy, 56, in 18:56; Kathy Martin, 60, in 19:04 (her third SFoR single-age CR and third U.S. women's single-age 5K record in her three races here); Sabra Harvey, 62, in 20:10; Jan Holmquist, 67, in 22:10; Margie Stoll, 70, in 24:23; Merion Knight, 74, in 29:30; and Anny Stockman, 79, in 32:58.
Congratulations to all, and welcome to a very special club!
October 8, 2011
Age-Group Awards Are In the Mail. Family Team Awards Available for Pickup or Delivery.
Those of you Men's 5K and Women's 5K finishers who placed among the top three in their age groups should be receiving (or already have received) their Dick's Bonus Certificates. As always, the competition was amazing, and we congratulate all of you who placed among the top three in your age group. For your efforts, you'll be enjoying a $50 Dick's Bonus Certificate for first, a $20 Dick's Bonus Certificate for second, and a $10 Dick's Bonus Certificate for third.
We also have some terrific awards for both members of our top three teams in all nine of our family team categories. Unlike the Dick's Bonus Certificates, these can't just be slipped into an envelope for easy mailing. We'll have these available for pickup (just call 446-6285 at your convenience) or local delivery for local winners, and we'll be getting them packaged up and into the mail for those out-of-town winners.
As usual, we found everyone's performances mighty impressive, and we're glad we could help!
October 6, 2011
True to the Name, AnyRunner Prize Money Winners Range from 17:19 to 39:19
It's now official, and the $100 checks are in the mail to nine Festival 5K finishers (four men and five women), who were the first to finish in any of the announced AnyRunner Prize Money times for 2011.
Congratulations Jacob Morrida (17:19), Rick Stetson
(21:19), Tracey More (23:19), Gary Cunningham (27:19), Laurel Chiesa
(25:19, Natalie McBane (27:19), Brittany Hains (33:19), Kristin Jones
(37:19), and Michelle Segalini (39:19), each of whom managed to be in the
right place at the right time.
October 5, 2011
Kathy Martin's Syracuse Festival of Races Performance Earns Her USATF's Athlete of the Week Honors
See for yourself by clicking
here. Congratulations to Kathy
for surpassing Sabra Harvey's listed U.S. W60 single-age mark and the W60-64
age-group mark, but also for having the highest
age-graded performance among the 24 world-class performances
recorded at the SFoR on Sunday! Kathy ran 19:04
in conditions that leave room to wonder whether she would have
broken 19:00 on a dry course.
October 4, 2011
More Details Regarding Our 2011 Winners Parade
Feel free to click on "5K Results" to see details of the open competition and the USA Masters 5 km Championship.
In this year's Fitness Forum/SOS Joint Replacement results, Dan Swanson, of Rochester, ran 24:32 to win the men's division, and Rose Ann Napierski, of Camillus, topped the women in 55:07.
In the MVP Health Care 3K Fun & Fitness Run, the Boys & Girls Cup remains with Ed Smith Elementary School, whose 121 participants was an all-time record turnout for Ed Smith. The Festival Cup is also going nowhere, as Fayetteville Elementary once again topped 500 participants and will have the opportunity to design the 2012 3K T-shirt. Congratulations to all of our participating schools and thanks to their dedicated coordinators!
Cory Arnold, of Syracuse, was the fastest of our wheelchair participants, finishing in 18:57.
And don't forget to take a look at the results in all nine categories of two-person family teams.
The SFoR age-group awards (Dick's Bonus Certificates) are in the mail, and we'll be mailing or dropping off family team awards starting Friday.
October 3, 2011
Images? You Say You'd Like to See Some Images?
Thanks to Dustin Angell and other terrific shooters on our photo team, we have that opportunity for you. Just visit www.dustinangell.me and sign-in using the password "syr_races."
One note of caution for anyone planning on reliving Sunday morning on Meadowbrook Drive: It was really wet out there. Better bring a poncho!
October 2, 2011
Congratulations and Thanks to All!
Well, for the second time in 19 years, the weather didn't smile on the SFoR. Nevertheless, hundreds of runners appeared to enjoy the moist 5K romp from Manley to Euclid Avenue and back.
Congratulations to all of our finishers! Today's field included 24 world-class performances (for the third year in a row), and five pending U.S. 5K records (single-age for Stephanie Herbst-Lucke, 45; single-age and age group for Kathryn Martin, 60; single-age for Jan Holmquist, 67; and single-age for Henry Sypniewski, 93).
Special thanks to all the volunteers who braved the unfriendly morning weather and made it possible for all the runners and walkers to enjoy a safe event.
It appears that nine runners earned $100 apiece in the world's first AnyRunner Prize Money.
More details to come once the rental trucks are unloaded and returned.
September 28, 2011
Online Entry Ends Thursday Evening, Sept. 29th; Enter In-Person at Dick's on Saturday
Keep in mind that even after online entry ends at 9:00 p.m. Eastern time on Active.com and USATF.org, it will still be possible to enter any of our events in person. From 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, the Dick's Sporting Goods location in Shoppingtown (DeWitt) will host a late registration and pickup opportunity.
Then at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 2nd, we'll open morning of race registration in the large white tent alongside E. Colivn Street (on the south side of Syracuse University's Manley Field House.
September 26, 2011
Did You Know That We Have "Two-Person" 5K Family Teams?
Sure you did, and we've had them for all of our nineteen years. But it wasn't until this week that we got our first-ever entry from a two-"Person" two-person family team. Mark Person and his daughter, Lucy Person, part of Lisa Arbon's group from Holy Cross School are registered as one of many 'two-person" teams. But they can claim to be our first "two-Person" team ever.
Please remember that all family teams must be registered by Friday, in order to appear in the family team results and eligible for family team awards (three-deep in all nine categories).
September 24, 2011
Our Kinney Drugs Wellness Way Page Is Now Linked
Have a look here, and be sure to visit the various exhibitors along Kinney Drugs Wellness Way on race morning!
September 16, 2011
Call the Embassy Suites Syracuse Sales Office A.S.A.P. To Book Some Recent Openings!
The Embassy Suites has a small number of suites available for Saturday night, October 1st, and welcomes calls from runners registered for the Syracuse Festival of Races. They ask that you call the hotel's sales office directly and speak with either Christie (315-703-9108) or Beth (315-703-9100). Don't feel you need to wait until Monday; you may find someone there this weekend!
And again: Anyone who HAS a reservation at the Embassy Suites but will be unable to use it (due to last-minute injury or change in plans) PLEASE don't cancel it without first checking with Dave Oja (315-446-6285). We have a waiting list of runners still hoping to stay at the Embassy Suites, and we'd be happy to switch over any unneeded reservations to someone on the waiting list. Any runners who would like to be added to our waiting list for possible Embassy Suites openings on Festival weekend, please contact Dave a.s.a.p.!
September 14, 2011
We Get Some Mighty Interesting Mail (Part 3)
The truth is that we get A LOT more mighty interesting mail than we have the time to note in SFoR News, but a pair of entries that arrived yesterday and today that are positively inspiring. Yesterday's mail included the entry form of Bill Tribou, of Granby, CT, and the Hartford Track Club, who raced to the USA Masters 5 km gold medal in the M85-89 division here in 2009. This year Bill is a spring chicken in the M90-94 age group, and as of yesterday he was the only entrant in the age group--looking like he might be able to count his chickens before Jim McCaul or Jack Hosp even loads the starting gun on Festival morning. (Bill Tribou photo courtesy of Pattie Grosjean)
Not anymore! Today's mail included the entry form of Henry Sypniewski, of Cheektowaga, NY, and the Checkers AC, who will be looking to improve upon the U.S. men's single-age 93 5K record of 1:01:07 set by Max Popper on Henry's birthday (July 7th) in 1996. Henry, as many of you know, is the three-time defending USA Masters 5 km champion in the M90-94 age group, and he has set the current U.S. M90-94, M90, M91, and M92 5K records in the past three years. (Henry Sypniewski photo courtesy of Ben Addonizio)
USATF masters road race national championships include a contested 90-94 age-group competition about as often as Halley's Comet makes a visit, so those fortunate enough to be at this year's SFoR are going to witness a rare and inspiring event.
September 2, 2011
Check Out Page 56 of the September/October Issue of Syracuse Woman Magazine!
The current issue of Syracuse Woman Magazine is out, and it includes a lovely feature on the Women's 5K at the Syracuse Festival of Races. Thanks so much to the story's author, Jill Romano, and to Syracuse Woman editor, Farah Jadran, who will be racing in the event for the third consecutive year.
Special thanks also to Ruth Ripley, who tells readers that the Syracuse Festival of Races is her favorite race. Wow! What a compliment--especially coming from such an accomplished marathoner as Ruth (to the tune of 100 marathons completed, including at least one in every state)! Ruth and her Chargers teammates will be setting their sights on yet another USATF National Championship in the W60+ team division.
Also mentioned in the article in Syracuse Woman Magazine is RoseAnn Napierski, who'll be participating in the Women's 5K at the SFoR for the third consecutive year--with two replaced hips and one replaced knee. RoseAnn is an enthusiastic proponent of the Fitness Forum/SOS Joint Replacement Run & Walk, and she not only "talks the talk," but "walks the walk."
To check our Syracuse Woman online visit: http://issuu.com/syracusewomanmag/docs/swm_septoct_2011?mode=embed
September 1, 2011
The SFoR Room Block at the Embassy Suites has Sold Out! Overflow Hotel Property TBA Soon!
Congratulations to all of you who made your reservations early for our host hotel! You're in, and the SFoR "athlete village" at the Embassy Suites has combined with Rutgers University's traveling football faithful to sell out the hotel on SFoR weekend.
We're currently working with the Syracuse CVB and Embassy Suites staff to arrange an overflow hotel as close to the Embassy Suites as possible. As soon as we confirm the details, we'll post them here and on our Facebook page. Check both frequently for final month updates of all kinds.
Should anyone who HAS a reservation at the Embassy Suites not be able to use it (due to last-minute injury or change in plans) PLEASE don't cancel it without first checking with Dave Oja (315-446-6285). We have a waiting list of runners still hoping to stay at the Embassy Suites, and we'd be happy to switch over any unneeded reservations to someone on the waiting list. Any runners who would like to be added to our waiting list for possible Embassy Suites openings on Festival weekend, please contact Dave a.s.a.p.!
August 31, 2011
Final August Entry Update: 25 States, 26 USATF Associations, and 32 USATF Clubs Now Represented
It's just over a month to Festival Sunday, and our geographic diversity is very gratifying! These totals don't reflect the hometowns of the college students entered from Syracuse University, Cornell University, and several other colleges and universities. Our state count only includes runners traveling to Syracuse on the weekend of October 2nd to race on Meadowbrook Drive.
Current entries in our 5K races now match the number we reached on September 18th last year, so those of you wondering whether we'll reach the 800-runner cap in our 5Ks have a legitimate concern. Unless you're battling an injury, our advice is not to roll the dice on whether there'll be spaces left three weeks from today.
August 30, 2011
We Get the Coolest and Cutest Mail (Part 1)!
One of the founding and guiding principles of the SFoR is that it be designed and operated as a truly full-family road running event. That's a key reason why we've always conducted separate races of the same distance for men and women--it gives BOTH parents the opportunity race on the same morning without leaving the kids at home or unattended while mom and dad are running. It's also why we invite all 5K entrants to jump into the MVP Health Care 3K Fun & Fitness with their kids--without paying an additional fee for the double-dip.
Our full-family commitment is also illustrated by our 19-year commitment to family team competition in so many categories of two-person teams. Our family team protocol has always attracted some interesting "powerhouse" families capable of covering multiple family categories. One such family's entries arrived today, with a mom, dad, son, and daughter (all veterans of the SFoR) eligible to place in SIX of the nine family team categories: the husband-wife masters category; the father-son category; the father-daughter category; the mother-son category; the mother-daughter category; and the brother-sister category. Very cool! Very cute!
The look on the faces of all of the dozens of family team members as they approach and cross the finish line together? Very cool! Very cute!
And the notation written by Laurel (the mom) in the lower left corner of the Chiesa family's check for their entry fees?
"We can't wait!"
Very cool, and very cute!
Neither can those of us on the race committee!
August 24, 2011
The S.U. Students Are Returning, and So Is South Rumpus--With a Station!
With campus buzzing with new and returning Syracuse University students, we're happy to announce that this year's South Rumpus spectator location will include complimentary assorted subs served at the area's first-ever Station--the spectator's answer to a water stop!
We'll provide the music, beverages, and people-watching. will provide the subs. Spectators from South Campus and the Ed Smith neighborhood can bring some vocal support for the thousands of runners and walkers on the course.
August 17, 2011
Mid-August Entry Update: Holy Cow!
With about six and a half weeks to go before race weekend, 5K entries are very gratifying! We don't have a record of our number of 5K entries received by August 17th last year, so it's difficult to make a very precise comparison, but we already have more than double the number of entries we had received by August 23rd last year.
In addition to the sheer number of entrants, our geographic coverage is already tremendous. We have entries in hand from runners in 20 states and Canada, including our first-ever entries from Kansas, Iowa, and Arkansas. As of today's mail, entries have come from members of 20 USATF clubs, and from 23 USATF Associations.
And the quality of the fields in the USA Masters 5 km Championships is beginning to look otherworldly again. Eight of the 2010 USA Masters 5 km Champions crowned here last fall are already entered and planning to defend their titles. Joining them will be a host of masters LDR athletes who've already claimed 2011 USA Masters 5 km Championships at the half-marathon, 8 km, and/or 10 km distances. And also already entered and looking forward to October 2nd are an impressive array of 2011 World Masters Athletics Outdoor T&F Champions--some veterans of the SFoR, and some who'll be racing here for the first time.
What this offers EVERYONE in the field is the prospect of a rare opportunity to race against or run with a truly special mix of runners ranging from world record holders to first-time road race entrants; from runners age six to age 93; from all corners of the U.S. and beyond.
What could be more fun for runners of all ages, levels of ability, and paces?
Oh, yeah: AnyRunner Prize Money.
August 11, 2011
Have You Seen Page 18 of the September Issue of Running Times Magazine?
If not, have a look!
And if you're not a current subscriber to this TREMENDOUS distance-running publication, we recommend that you become one. Check out the Running Times web site, and see for yourself how interesting, informative, and relevant their content is.
August 4, 2011
We Get Some Mighty Interesting Mail (Part 2)!
So among the entries that arrived via the USPS this afternoon were one from the East Coast (a lady in Northport, NY) and one from the West Coast (a gentleman in South Pasadena, CA).
Both of these athletes will be racing in the USA Masters 5 km Championships at the Syracuse Festival of Races for the third time in our four recent hostings of the National Championships.
Both won age-group national championships in both of their two prior appearances at the Festival.
Both set U.S. 5K single-age records in both of their two previous races here.
And both of these athletes will be racing in a new five-year age group on Sunday, October 2nd.
Oh, the splendor of certain birthdays!
The lady, Kathy Martin, will celebrate her 60th birthday a scant two days prior to this year's SFoR. The U.S. W59 5K record that she set here three days after her birthday in 2010 is 19:02. Sabra Harvey's amazing U.S. W60-64 5K record is 19:12. It should be interesting!
The gentleman, Pete Magill, celebrated his 50th birthday on June 19th. Since turning 40, he's run more sub-15:00 5K races than any other masters runner in history. No human being has ever run under 15:00 for 5K at age 50 or older, and Pete thinks he might be able to do it here. It should be interesting!
Yup, that's some mighty interesting mail to find on the front porch on a quiet August afternoon!
July 26, 2011
2011 Entry Booklets Are Printed and In the Mail!
We're delighted to announce that our 2011 entry booklet is now in print. Those of you who ran either our Men's 5K or Women's 5K in any of the past three years can expect the courtesy of having a hard copy of the booklet appear in your mailbox within a few days.
If you don't receive one, feel free to print your own by clicking here, or send us an e-mail request and we can e-mail you one as a PDF attachment (very handy for printing your own copies or for forwarding along to the e-mail addresses of your friends and family).
Or, if you don't like the paperless option, e-mail us your mailing address and the number of entry booklets you'd like, and we'll mail hard copies to you.
We're coming up on nine weeks and counting!
July 20 2011
Here Are the World's First AnyRunner Prize Money Times!
Here are our twenty-four AnyRunner Prize Money times for the 2011 Men's 5K and Women's 5K at the Syracuse Festival of Races. The first official finisher in each of these twenty-four times will win $100 in the world's first performance-based prize money to middle-of-the-pack and back-of-the-pack runners.
For the Men's 5K, our AnyRunner Prize Money times are 15:19; 17:19; 19:19; 21:19; 23:19; 25:19; 27:19; 29:19; 31:19; 33:19; 35:19; and 37:19.
For the Women's 5K, our AnyRunner Prize Money times are 17:19; 19:19; 21:19; 23:19; 25:19; 27:19; 29:19; 31:19; 33:19; 35:19; 37:19; and 39:19.
We hope they'll give you a bit of boost in training motivation as we head into the hottest, most humid weeks of the year. Pick one that will help you stretch to a slightly faster time than you normally run, and start practicing the pace you'll need to achieve it.
July 19, 2011
Got AnyRunner Prize Money Questions?
We have some answers for you!
And if you have a question relating to AnyRunner Prize Money that isn't answered on the page, we invite you to e-mail us your question. We'll answer it and very likely add it to the Q&A page for the benefit of others.
July 12, 2011
2011 Entries Already in Hand From Thirteen States!
Still eleven weeks to race weekend, and we've already received entries from runners in thirteen states--including our first-ever entrant from Arkansas. As usual, the USA Masters 5 km Championship will be a very special opportunity for many of the top age-group athletes from throughout the U.S. to enjoy head-to-head competition with their most talented peers.
For upstate New York runners, it means a once-a-year opportunity to run with many of the masters national champions and national record holders who'll be in town on Festival weekend.
We've been averaging 28 states represented for the past couple of years, so we're probably not yet at the halfway point in this year's geographic scavenger hunt. We'll keep you posted as many others firm-up their travel plans and the entries continue to come in.
July 8, 2011
AnyRunner Prize Money Times To Be Announced On Wednesday, July 20th!
Our twenty-four AnyRunner Prize Money times (twelve for the Men's 5K and twelve for the Women's 5K) have been selected, and we'll announce them here on Wednesday, July 20th. The times have been selected to make the competition for AnyRunner Prize Money true to its name; we've spread them over a wide range of 5K finish times to give as many runners as possible the opportunity to realistically target one or more of the times. All twenty-four of them will end in ":19"--as a reminder that this is the 19th annual Syracuse Festival of Races.
Once we've announced the times, everyone planning to run either of our 5Ks on October 2nd can begin strategizing and training in earnest whichever of the times he or she will be aiming for. Remember: race officials will disqualify anyone who stops or kills time in the finishing stretch, crosses the finish line more than once, or interferes with the progress of any other runner.
To win, you need only to be the first finisher officially timed in one of the twenty-four AnyRunner Prize Money times.
June 8, 2011
Free, Guaranteed Entries to Our Excellent Guessers: Coreen Steinbach, Chip O'Reilly, and Ruth Thelen
The forms are in the mail. That is, the FREE ones earned by early and correct guessers Coreen Steinbach, of Pompey; NY; Chip O'Reilly, of DeWitt, NY; and Ruth Thelen, of St. Johns, MI.
They analyzed, they pondered, they guessed (multiple times, in a couple of cases), and they got their complimentary entries. Two apiece. Now we invite the rest of you to call each of our winners and ask if they'll share with you.
Just kidding! Don't really do that! (Unless you're already acquainted with them.)
And I hear that one of the AnyRunner times for our Women's 5K has been posted on our Facebook page. Have a look (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Syracuse-Festival-of-Races), and leave a comment letting us know whether you (or a running friend or family member) will "like" winning $100 for being the first official finisher in that AnyRunner time.
June 7, 2011
Alright Already! Enough With the Waiting. The Answer Is . . .
AnyRunner Prize Money/span>. In navy blue Haettenschweiler font. Note that "any" and "runner" spent so much time together in all those March, April, and May clues that they've made it legal and gotten hitched.
It'll work like this: In a few weeks, we'll announce twelve AnyRunner times for each of our 5K races. Those times--gun times, by the way--have been selected to give LOTS of runners the opportunity to experience the excitement, motivation, and just plain fun of racing for prize money that they're all actually fast enough to win. That will include men who cross the line in fifteen and change, and women whose official finish times are seventeen and change. It'll also include men who run 37 and change and women who take 39 and change to reach the finish line. And it'll include everyone in between.
In fact, VERY few of our 5K finishers will be incapable of finishing in one or more of the AnyRunner times. Thus, VERY few of our 5K finishers will be incapable of winning prize money at the Festival this year. You can do this. Almost ALL of you can do this.
But--just as is the case with the traditional prize money for elite runners--not everybody who CAN win AnyRunner Prize Money WILL win AnyRunner Prize Money. That's because others who can do so will be trying to beat you to your chosen AnyRunner time, and we're offering the twenty-four $100 prizes to each of the runners who is the FIRST official finisher in each of our twenty-four AnyRunner times. Just finishing in an AnyRunner time isn't sufficient. You've got to be the FIRST to finish in that time. You've got to WIN one of those two dozen AnyRunner Prize Money races that'll be taking place within our two 5Ks.
There's additional information on our new AnyRunner Prize Money page, which you can access via the new AnyRunner Prize Money button on our home page. Have a look, and then get going on your preparations for beating everyone else to whatever AnyRunner time you want next to your name in the SFoR 2011 results.
We think that capping each of our 5Ks at about 800 will keep it fun, fast, and safe. As well as rewarding.
Isn't It Time YOU Turn Pro?
June 6, 2011
While the Seconds Tick By, I Thought Tonight Would Be a Good Time to Announce Our Winners
As we wait for tomorrow morning's revelation.
But that would spoil the surprise for at least three of you.
Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick. Tick.
It's amazing how fast those little buggers go when you're closing in on the finish line.
Particularly when there's something desirable hanging in the balance.
May 24, 2011
Cluesday Is Upon Us!
Okay, today is the long-awaited day of the final official clues! Here we go:
But first, the ceremonial DDDDRRRRUUUUUUMMMMMMM RRROOOLLLLLLLLL.
Okay. Good drum roll. Here we go: If I were a lawn, and you were a lawnmower, how many pancakes would it take to shingle a roof?
(Imagine the Jeopardy music playing in the background.)
JUST KIDDING!!!That's not really a clue, and I hope that none of you found our clues to be quite that impenetrable or frustrating.
This, on the other hand, should help: Today might be a good day for you to take another look at our March 29thhint, making sure that you pay special attention to its final two sentences.
Oh, and by the way:
Isn't It TimeYOU Turn Pro?
Go ahead and e-mail your best guess. Or e-mail several of your best guesses. The first three correct answers to reach the email@example.com inbox will be the winners. Winners' names will be announced no sooner than the formal announcement of our new feature on June 7th. No confirmations of which answers are correct will be given prior to June 7th.
May 20, 2011
We Get Some Mighty Interesting Mail (Part 1)!
We know darn well that this is the sort of inspirational walk back from the mailbox that's going to be repeated many times in the coming months. Still, it's difficult not to get an especially big kick out of some of our mail.
Today we received entry forms from SFoR Women's 5K veterans Ellen and Nancy Auster. They're not just one of our returning mother-daughter teams; they're our ONLY international mother-daughter team. They're also our mother-daughter team whose ages total, well, let's just say quite a bit more than most mother-daughter distance-running teams.
Nancy, of Canton, NY, deserves credit for a pretty significant chunk of that age total, since her new age group at this year's SFoR will be the 85-89 age group. She'll be eyeing her fourth consecutive gold or silver medal in the USA Masters 5 km Championship. That's remarkable, but not as remarkable as one other little tidbit of Nancy Auster achievement.
Nancy won her age group--the W65-69 age group--at the inaugural SFoR in 1993. Since then, she's run every edition of our event. That's eighteen annual trips (and counting) out and back on Meadowbrook Drive on the Sunday prior to Columbus Day Weekend. In what is about to become five different five-year age groups! And she didn't start the streak until age 67--well past a whole bunch of ages at which most streaks of athletic achievement end rather than begin.
Whoa! We get some of the most interesting mail!
May 17, 2011
No Official Clues This Week, But Answers? Oh, Do We Have Answers!
Keeping in mind that the final official clues will be provided here on Cluesday, May 24th, here are some answers to questions that we've received from guessers all over the country.
First, you're not limited to just one guess. Any runner is welcome to e-mail as many official guesses as he or she wishes. They're all fun for us to see, and the more guesses you send in, the more likely you are to be on the money. Since the first three correct guessers will be determined by the date and time each guess reaches the inbox firstname.lastname@example.org, the sooner your correct guess arrives, the better your chances of winning the prize.
Second, yes, there is still a chance for someone who hasn't yet submitted a guess to be a winner of free, guaranteed entries to the Men's 5K or Women's 5K at the 2011 SFoR. We're not saying that no one has yet submitted a correct guess, and we're not saying that we already have a winner or two. We're saying that we haven't yet had three or more correct guesses.
Third, we're not spilling the beans until June 7th--even though two of our most dedicated guessers in the states of Michigan and Indiana have threatened to waterboard me in order to get the answer sooner than June 7th. That noted, we're not going confirm any correct answers prior to June 7th. As Krissie Oja has sagely noted: "This easiest way for two people to keep a secret is for one of them to be dead."
Fourth, the May 24th clues will be the last clues we provide. From there on out everyone will have to go on what's out there. But our May 24th post is sure to do the trick for a bunch of you. They're a couple of real meatballs. Then you'll have two weeks to ruminate, compare answers via comments on our Facebook page, and make your final guesses.
Finally, whatever's in the water out there in California has apparently spread to Massachusetts as well. No, no, a thousand times no: Our exciting innovation is NOT naked women at the water stops. (Those who know the SFoR know that we're focused on helping people to run faster 5K times--not stop dead in their tracks for a little sightseeing.)
Happy training, racing, and guessing!
May 10, 2011
Time For Two Final Clues; What Are the Four Words that Will Change Road Running?
One clue for today:
By this time, any runner who's been paying careful attention to our past clues probably has spotted the first two words of the four-word "phrase that pays." But what about the third and fourth words?
Prizes await, and we're offering a pair of guaranteed, complimentary 5K entries to the first three whose guesses are on the money.
And one remains for Cluesday, May 24th.
May 2, 2011
We Get Some Mighty Interesting E-Mail (Part 1)!
Stan More's entry confirmation arrived by e-mail recently. Stan, of Syracuse, has been running the SFoR Men's 5K for years and years, often on a brother-brother team with his twin, Tracey, from Alfred Station. In some years Stan and Tracey have run as the middle generation members of the More family's three-generation participation, with his dad, Russ, and Tracey's son, Dave, also in the field. Pretty cool!
Last year, Stan and Tracey raced the Festival on what coincidentally was their 59th birthday, October 3rd. This year, the calendar nudges SFoR Sunday up to October 2nd, but--of course--Stan's and Tracey's birthday remains the 3rd.
As a result, Stan and Tracey More get to run the Men's 5K at the Syracuse Festival of Races TWICE at age 59!
We can't wait to see if either of them can run faster at age 59 than they ran a year ago--also at age 59!
April 26, 2011
You Need To Think Outside the Box To Guess the Next Big Thing in Road Racing
If your "thinking cap" didn't work on the March 15th clue, this time try your "thinking outside the box cap"--especially if you've never thought a fraction of a second can be a big deal in a road race. Any runner at this year's Men's 5K and Women's 5K at the SFoR can get excited about a fraction of a second--or even several different fractions of a second.
Prize those fractions of seconds!
April 15, 2011
Tops Friendly Markets Delivers Great News for 2011 SFoR Participants!
Tops Friendly Markets has confirmed that they'll be continuing in 2011 as title sponsor of the Tops Community Walk at the SFoR--and as provider of a variety of post-race refreshments for all of our participants! That's doubly great news, because the Tops Community Walk is the focal point of our diverse non-profit involvement, and because the SFoR is proud of its tradition of offering a selection of post-race goodies that runners and walkers don't see at many other events.
Keep in mind that the Syracuse Festival of Races welcomes any non-profit organization to use our event as the focus of its pledge-centered fundraising. Participating non-profits keep 100% of the pledge money they raise, and we welcome all of our participating non-profits to have a presence at the SFoR on race morning.
Click on the "Beneficiaries" button on our home page for a look at some of the non-profits that have benefited from the 2010 SFoR and are planning on doing so again in 2011.
April 12, 2011
No Foolin' Around with Our First April Hint, Including (Yet Another) Appearance of the Phrase That Pays!
It has often been noted that when it comes to sports, sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.
We think that on October 2nd,any runner in the SFoR Men's 5K or Women's 5K can consider himself or herself to be lucky.
April 7, 2011
Don't Forget To Keep Up With the Syracuse Festival of Races on Facebook!For event photos, breaking information, and clues and comments regarding our big surprise, be sure to check the Syracuse Festival of Races page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Syracuse-Festival-of-Races/149914215029646
Oh, and when you're there, we hope you'll "like" us and refer your Facebook friends!
April 4, 2011
Dick's Sporting Goods Makes It Fourteen Consecutive Years as an SFoR Sponsor!Dick's Sporting Goods has been a staunch supporter of participants at the Syracuse Festival of Races since last century, and that won't be changing in 2011.
We're delighted to report that Dick's has confirmed their continued support for this year's SFoR, once again providing overall awards for the winners of our Men's 5K and Women's 5K; age group awards in both 5K races; and $5.00 Dick's Bonus Certificates for the first 1,000 5K entrants to pick up their bib numbers and Festival race shirts.
Most of those complimentary $5.00 Bonus Certificates will be picked up by entrants at the Dick's Sporting Goods Shoppingtown location, where we'll once again conduct packet pickup and late registration (if space remains in the field) from 10:00 a.m. through 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 1st.
The overall champions of the Men's 5K and Women's 5K will each receive a $100 Dick's Bonus Certificate, which is worth about two pairs of brand-name training shoes at Dick's sale prices. Of course, the Certificates may be used for the purchase of any item--running or otherwise--at any Dick's Sporting Goods location, so they're just as valuable to out-of-town runners as they are to local runners.
Our 5K age group awards will once again go to the top three finishers in each of 29 age and gender groups. First-place age-group award winners will receive a $50 Dick's Bonus Certificate; runners-up in the age groups will receive $20 Dick's Bonus Certificates; and the third-place finisher in each age and gender group will receive a $10 Dick's Bonus Certificate.
And everyone entering any of the events of the 2011 Syracuse Festival of Races will receive a Dick's coupon card good for $10 off any purchase of $50 or more at any Dick's Sporting Goods store.
March 31, 2011
Our 2011 Entry Panel Is Now Available
We won't have our entry booklet ready for distribution until early June, but--thanks to the Art Department at Eagle Newspapers--our 2011 Entry Panelis now available to download, print, complete, and mail.
Please feel free to have at it!
March 29, 2011
Got a Hunch Regarding Our Exciting Innovation? Have Another Hint and Some Prizes for Good Guessers!
We're still a couple months away from announcing our big surprise, but it's not too early to announce that the first three people who correctly guess our new 5K feature will win complimentary, guaranteed 2011 SFoR entry for themselves and a friend. The "guaranteed" part of this is important, because we'll be instituting a cap on entries (800) in each of our 5K races this year, and we expect the influx of new 5K entrants to be very significant. The first three correct guessers will be guaranteed not to be closed out of 2011 SFoR 5K entry.
That said, let the hinting resume:Running with your friends and neighbors is fun. Having no long lines at a race is fun. Running with interesting people from so many different states is fun. Having no parking hassles at a race is fun. Personal bests are fun. Season bests are fun. Winning national championship medals is fun. Setting national records is fun. Witnessing national records is fun. Joyful exercise in the sun is fun. Outstanding post-race refreshments are fun. Music and spectators are fun. Great race shirts are fun. Family team and age-group awards are fun. Prize money for the fleetest in the field is fun. What could any runner find more fun than that?
The prizes come with the correct answer to that question.
March 22, 2011
Congratulations to the Incredible Ed Whitlock on His Latest Mind-Boggling World Records!
Two-time SFoR finisher Ed Whitlock, of Milton, Ontario, turned 80
on March 6th, and he wasted little time before laying waste to
another pair of world records. Already holder of dozens of world
records--and the owner of the SFoR M72 (19:06) and M79 (21:16) course records--Ed obliterated the M80-84 world records for the 1,500m and 3,000m
runs at the Canadian Masters Indoor T&F Championships on March 19th
April 11th update: Ed Whitlock ran 3:25:43
(3:25:40 net) at the Rotterdam Marathon, which smashes the listed
world record of 3:39:18 set by Australia's Robert
Horman at Brisbane in 1998.
March 15, 2011
How About an "It's the Ides of March and Spring Is in the Air" Hint?Got your thinking caps on?
If you're under 30 you may have aspired to do this someday. If you're over 30, it's likely that you've never even dreamed about the possibility. On October 2, 2011 any runner in our 5Ks will have the chance to do it.
March 4, 2011
Congratulations to the 2010 Running Times Masters Road Racers of the Year!
The March issue of Running Times magazine is out, featuring it's annual recognition of the finest masters road racers of the past year. Congratulations from the Syracuse Festival of Races to all of the men and women ranked among the top three in their age groups, as well as to all those who received RT's prestigious honorable mentions.
The SFoR has had the pleasure and privilege of hosting many of these masters athletes in past years, so we want to give a special nod to the Festival veterans recognized in the 2010 rankings.
Among the men, Sean Wade, TX, (SFoR '09 Masters Champion) ranked third among men 40-44 in 2010, with honorable mentions in that age group going to our 2010 masters men's champion, Christian Cushing-Murray, CA, (SFoR '09, '10), as well as to Kent Lemme, MA, (SFoR '08, '09, and '10), and Matt Sandercock, PA, (SFoR '09).
Dan Arsenault, CA, (SFoR '09), Francis Burdett, MA, (SFoR '08, '09, '10), and Pete Magill, CA, (SFoR '09, '10) all received honorable mentions among men 45-49.
The top three M50-54 runners of 2010 were all plucked from our 2010 field, as John Tuttle, GA, (SFoR '00, '01, '10), Norm Larson, VT, (SFoR '09, '10), and Ken Youngers, GA, (SFoR '10) topped the nation in their age group. SFoR veterans who received M50-54 honorable mentions for 2010 included Dave Bussard, IN, (SFoR '10) and Craig Fram, MA, (SFoR '10).
Recent SFoR regulars Dale Campbell, CA, (SFoR '09, '10) and Reno Stirrat, MA, (SFoR '09, '10) were RT's top-ranked and second-ranked M55-59 roadies for 2010, with Terry Permar, PA, (SFor '08, '09, '10) and Sam Torres, OH, (SFoR '08, '09) earning honorable mentions.
Doug Winn, OR, (SFoR '10) was named the nation's most outstanding among men 60-64, with Bill Dixon, MA, (SFoR '08), Jerry Learned, GA, (SFoR '10), Roger Price, NJ, (SFOR '08, '09, '10), and John Yamagata, CA, (SFoR '10) receiving honorable mentions.
The amazing Doug Goodhue, MI, (SFoR M65-69 champion in '08, '09, '10) made it three straight years atop RT's listings of men 65-69, and J.L. Seymore, NJ, received an honorable mention.
Thom Weddle, MN, (SFor '09, '10--and winner of his age group here in both years) received Masters of the Year honorable mention among men 70-74. Bill Tribou, CT, (SFoR '09) was ranked second nationally among men 85 to 98.
And Henry Sypniewski, NY, (SFoR '08, '09, '10--with an age-group win and a new U.S. record in each of the three years) made it three straight years ranked as the nation's top road runner among men 90-94.
In the annual women's rankings for 2010, Lori Kingsley, PA, (SFoR '08) made the top three among 40-44 year-olds, with Emily Bryans, NY, (SFoR '08, '09, '10) and Paula Wiltse, ON, receiving honorable mentions.
Marisa Hanson, NY, (SFoR '08, '09, '10) and Laurel Park, MI, (SFoR '09) received honorable mentions in the W45-49 age group.
Carmen Ayala Troncoso, TX, (SFoR '09, '10) was runnerup to Joan Benoit Samuelson among women 50-54 in the 2010 rankings, with Sarah Tabbutt, CA, (SFoR '09) receiving honorable mention.
Kathryn Martin, NY, (SFoR '08, '10) topped the W55-59 age group with her Festival performance noted as her best race of the year, with Victoria Crisp, TN, (SFoR '09) tied for second in the age group and Linda Jennings, MA, (SFoR '10) right behind Victoria. Coreen Steinbach, NY, (SFoR '08, '09) receiving honorable mention again this year.
Sabra Harvey, TX, (SFoR '09) ranked first among the women 60-64.
Sharon Dolan, MI, (SFoR '08, '09) ranked topped the W65-69 rankings again in 2010, with Margie Stoll, TN, (SFoR '10) the runnerup, and Marie Louise Michelsohn, NY, (SFoR '03, '05) receiving honorable mention.
And among women 75-79, Mary Harada, MA, (SFoR '10) received honorable mention.
February 28, 2011
Have a Hint for the Final Day of February!
For those of you as anxiously awaiting additional hints as you are some decent spring running weather, ponder this:
This new feature will involve both of our 5K races, where any runner can look forward to having a special time.
February 21, 2011
The Fun Has Begun: Entries Have Already Arrived from Florida, Georgia, Brooklyn, and CNY!
Frankly, we're glad that it's not only sponsors and those of us on the race committee who are already thinking about what we'll be doing on Sunday morning, October 2nd. So, apparently, are Garland Day, of Brooklyn, NY; Ken Youngers, of Decatur, GA; and Lisa Buohler, of Lehigh Acres, FL--the three of whom comprise our gold, silver, and bronze medalists in the race to be among the first enter the 2011 USA Masters 5 km Championships.
On the non-Championship side of 5K registration, Holly Lee, of LaFayette and the non-profit From The Ground Up Therapeutic Horsemanship, is the first to register on Active.com. Holly says of her early entry: "I had such a great experience at the race last year that I was very excited to register for it again!" As someone forecasting a finishing time of 30:00, Holly has yet to realize just how much MORE fun it's going to be this year. (Yes, that's a hint about our big secret.)
So the veteran-newcomer ratio stands at 50-50 as we wind down February. Like Holly, Ken Youngers (of the Atlanta Track Club) has been here before, having run 17:06 at age 54 last fall. It'll be a new age group for Ken this year, which helps to explain his mid-winter thoughts of heading north. Lisa and Garland will be enjoying the Festival for the first time, and we're delighted to have them in our field!
February 14, 2011
Did You Say You Were Hoping for a Valentine's Day Hint?
Well, we're quite serious about not announcing this new addition to the 19th annual SFoR for at least the next couple of months, but--since so many of you are asking for at least a hint--maybe a hint every couple of weeks would be fun.
What we're going to do on Sunday, October 2, 2011, will be something that has never been done by a road race. Not in Upstate New York; not anywhere else in the Northeast; and not anywhere else in the country. And--in keeping with the theme of Valentine's Day--you're going to LOVE it!
If you think you know what's in the works, feel free to e-mail us your hunch. If you still haven't a clue but want to be informed the minute we make the announcement, send us your name and e-mail address and we'll add you to the list of folks who want to hear via the same e-mail blast that we use to break the news to the media.
February 7, 2011
Like YNN and Citadel Broadcasting's Syracuse-area radio stations, the Syracuse New Times has been a key part of our media sponsorship team since before many of the school-group participants in the SFoR were born. For the New Times, it was in the year 2000 that they came on board, with their sister publication Family Times Magazine joining the fun a couple of years later.
That's not likely to change anytime soon, as the New Times and Family Times have confirmed their continued support in 2011. We'll keep you posted here regarding special SFoR coverage that you'll not want to miss in various editions of the New Times.
February 1, 2011
When you have a good thing going, why make a change? The SFoR, 93Q, 95X, 105.9 The Big Talker, and The Score 1260, don't have a compelling answer to that question, so we're sticking with a good thing for 2011. Since the fifth edition of the Syracuse Festival of Races--way back in 1997--we've received great support form Citadel's Syracuse-area stations, and they've been happy to support our endeavors to bring everyone a really special road running and walking experience.
That's not going to be changing this year, and makes good sense to us!
January 27, 2011
We're very pleased to welcome Driver's Village as a new Associate Sponsor of the SFoR for 2011! DV's support will come as great news to participating non-profit organizations, because it includes support bonuses for ten of our 2011 charitable beneficiaries.
Here's how the giveaway will work: Each of the ten most successful (based on pledges handled and recorded by Dermody, Burke & Brown, CPAs by October 15, 2011) will receive a $100 gift certificate for vehicle service courtesy of Driver's Village. Winning non-profits may use the gift certificates as they wish: to pay for service or repair of the organization's vehicles; as a thank-you gift to their most successful individual fundraisers; as an in-house auction or raffle item to generate additional funds; etc.
We'll be updating our list of participating beneficiaries as we count down the months toward the big event on Sunday, October 2nd. If your favorite non-profit organization would like to raise funds and visibility through its participation in the 2011 Syracuse Festival of Races, please let us knowand we'll add you to the list!
January 25, 2011
We're delighted to announce that YNN has confirmed the station's ongoing commitment to the Syracuse Festival of Races as our exclusive television sponsor. This will be the eighth consecutive year of YNN's media support for our event, and you can look to YNN as your first television source for SFoR news leading up to race weekend as well as for SFoR event coverage on Sunday, October 2nd, and Monday, October 3rd.
And when the time comes to announce our exciting new addition for 2011, you can bet that YNN and our entire team of 2011 media sponsors will be there to fill you in on all the details!
January 24, 2011
Registration for the 2011 USA Masters 5 km Championships Now Open at www.USATF.org
Thanks to "ahead of the field" support from the USATF National Office, registration for the 2011 USA Masters 5 km Championships is now open on the National Championships page of the USATF web site. The 19th annual SFoR will be held on Sunday, October 2nd, 2011, with online entry into the Masters Championship running from now through noon on Friday, September 30th.
This will mark the fourth consecutive year that the Men's 5K and Women's 5K races at the Syracuse Festival of Races have included our country's Masters 5 km Championships, and we're once again looking forward to hosting many of the top masters distance runners and club teams from throughout the United States. In both 2009 and 2010, the USA Masters 5 km Championships at the Syracuse Festival of Races attracted runners from 22 or more states, and each of those fields produced two dozen world-class performances and multiple U.S. single-age records for the 5K distance.
Entry fees for the 5K races (including the USA Masters 5 km Championship) will remain at their very affordable 2010 level: $20 prior to September 1st, and $25 from September 1st through September 30th.
January 19, 2011
MVP Health Care Returns as 3K Fun & Fitness Run Title Sponsor
We're delighted to announce that MVP Health Care is returning for a third consecutive year as sponsor of the MVP Health Care 3K Fun & Fitness Run at the SFoR! In each of their previous two years of support, the folks at MVP have been a pleasure to work with, and their commitment to encouraging personal and community wellness is obvious.
It goes without saying that a great title sponsor is essential to our goal of keeping the MVP Health Care 3K Fun & Fitness Run affordable for all families, and our 3K participants can once again look forward to the ridiculously low entry fees that have been a hallmark of the 3K Fun & Fitness Run since its inception.
Start getting your family, school group, club, team, or non-profit ready for all the excitement and smiles on Sunday morning, October 2, when one of the nation's most exciting non-competitive running events will be taking off at its traditional starting time of 10:45.
January 12, 2011
Something Big Is Up In SFoR Land, and Our 2011 5K Runners Are Going to LOVE It!
There's big news regarding a major new feature that we'll be introducing at the 2011 Syracuse Festival of Races. We can't spill the beans quite yet, but we'd be happy to let you know before the rest of the world reads it here. If you'd like to receive an e-mail from us detailing this "first-ever" happening, send us an e-mail request and we'll start building the list of runners who'll hear it first.
In the meantime, happy training and racing!
December 1, 2010
It's Official: The Embassy Suites Hotel-Syracuse Will Continue as Our Race Headquarters Hotel in 2011
Christmas has come early for all the runners and family members who raved about the accommodations and amenities in our 2010 race headquarters hotel. We're delighted to announce to visiting athletes, their friends, and their family members that we'll be returning to the Embassy Suites in 2011.
Even better, the same outstanding rates that we were able to offer last year still apply to both queen (4-person) and king (6-person) suites: $129 per night (plus tax) for a one-night stay; $109 per night (plus tax) for a two-night stay; and $99 per night (plus tax) for a three-night stay.
All room rates include a complimentary full cooked-to-order breakfast each morning, and a complimentary managers reception each evening from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. Guests at the Embassy Suites on SFoR Weekend will also have convenient access to the Chargers Hospitality Suite (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), the Athletes Technical Meeting (Saturday evening), and the post-race National Championship Awards Presentation & Brunch (Sunday).
Additional amenities at the Embassy Suites include: state-of-the-art business center; fitness center; indoor pool and whirlpool; complimentary wireless internet; and large indoor atrium.
To reserve suites for yourself, your team, or your family
at the discounted Syracuse Festival of Races group rates, please make your
September 1st Update: Our 2011
room block at the Embassy Suites is completely sold out! We are
currently arranging an overflow block with another hotel and will post
details here, on the SFoR News page, and on the SFoR Facebook page as soon
as the details are available. Congratulations to all of you who booked
October 8, 2010
You wouldn't believe it if someone had forecast it. As eye-popping as
our list of men's
single-age course records was prior to last Sunday, there's no
way you'd predict that the field could possibly eclipse fourteen of those
already crazy-fast performances.
And yet they did, which means that the men and women combined to improve
upon 25 SFoR single-age course records. Somewhat--but not
entirely--coincidentally, our 5K fields combined to produce 24
world-class performances (the 23 age-graded 90.0+ performances listed in the
USA Masters 5 km Championship results, plus the scintillating 21:16 net time
run by the incredible Ed Whitlock). After all, we've long since passed
the point at which it takes a world-class performance to improve upon the
majority of our single-age course marks.
Congratulations to these additions to our amazing list of
men's single-age course records:
Josh Aitken, 6, of Jamesville, NY; Patrick McCarthy, 47, of Pelham,
NY; Pete Magill, 48, of South Pasadena, CA; John Tuttle, 51, of Villa Rica,
GA; David Cannon, 54, of Seattle, WA; Dale Campbell, 57, of Huntington
Beach, CA; Doug Winn, 60, of Portland, OR; Jerry Learned, 62, of
Gainesville, GA; Patrick Glover, 64, of Clifton Park, NY; J.L. Seymore, 65,
of Somerset, NJ; Doug Goodhue, 68, of Milford, MI; Ed Whitlock, 79, of
Milton, ON; Willis Moses, 84, of Vestal, NY; and Henry Sypniewski, 92, of
Whoa, Nellie! It's going to take until the first snowfall for the
pavement on Meadowbrook Drive to cool down after these performances! October 7, 2010
When you take a look at
the list of SFoR women's course records by single-age, you can
appreciate how special a performance has to be in order to make the list.
After all, eighteen years into these fall gatherings, the SFoR has been
blessed with a lot of great athletes and a lot of wonderful race-day
weather. So the number of new single-age records set on the course may
be one of the best indicators of just how special each year's field is.
Our 2010 Women's 5K field was clearly VERY special, with last Sunday's
finishers having improved upon eleven single-age bests for our course!
Hats off to this year's additions to
our amazing list:
Kate Leugers, 21, of Ithaca, NY; Karen Simmonds-Brady, 36, of Auburn, NY;
Emily Bryans, 43, of Schenectady, NY; Marisa Hanson, 47, of Pleasant Valley,
NY; Carmen Ayala-Troncoso, 51, of Austin, TX; Karen Provencher, 55, of Glens
Falls, NY; Kathryn Martin, 59, of Northport, NY; Linda Eberly, 70, of
Cortland, NY; Mary Harada, 75, of W. Newbury, MA; Anny Stockman, 78, of
Rensselaer, NY; and Nancy Auster, 84, of Canton, NY.
We'll post the updates on the corresponding SFoR men's course records by
single-age tomorrow. But first, take the rest of today and savor
these. Wow, that's an amazing and inspiring batch of performances! October 6, 2010
Okay, it took a couple of days. But I've looked through various boxes
that came off the trucks, so I now have a sense of what sizes remain in
those long-sleeved tech shirts that we gave our 5K entrants. For all
of you who've called and e-mailed to ask whether we have any leftovers to
sell, the answer is "yes."
In the ladies shirts, we have sizes small and medium, and the smalls are
available in both the white shirt with the pink side panels and the solid
white shirt with a slightly roomier cut. Both styles have the pink and
blue SFoR logo on the left chest.
In the men's shirts, we have a few remaining in sizes large and extra large.
All of these are the white shirts with the navy side panels. These
have the orange and blue SFoR logo on the left chest.
All sizes and styles are available for $10 each. Add $3 for us to
package and mail them to you, or call first and drop by to pick them up at
the flat $10 price. And yes, John, we have enough that you can get a
half dozen of them to use as stocking stuffers for your nieces and nephews
who run for modified and high school teams and couldn't run the Festival.
(Actually, that's a darn good idea for the parents of kids who don't run
many road races and have to pay store prices for nice tech running shirts.) Just call
446-6285 or e-mail (email@example.com) to
arrange pickup and payment while they last. October 5, 2010
Thanks very much to the 2010 Festival participants from coast to coast
who've been kind enough to e-mail some lovely sentiments regarding Sunday
morning's "Woodstock in running shoes." As the comments below
indicate, it was a morning of peace, love, happiness, and aerobic fitness. ". . . thank you for another terrific Syracuse
experience! Christian (Cushing-Murray) 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!)." "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." "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 event is great. It was
probably the most competitive and runner-friendly race that I have
competed in . . . Your team and the Chargers were great in
seeing to it that the runners had everything that they needed.
Although I didnt get my fastest time of the year, I came very close
and was quite pleased with the way I ran. Im excited to do it
again next year. Thanks for everything! "
To reserve suites for yourself, your team, or your family at the discounted Syracuse Festival of Races group rates, please make your reservations early!
September 1st Update: Our 2011
room block at the Embassy Suites is completely sold out! We are
currently arranging an overflow block with another hotel and will post
details here, on the SFoR News page, and on the SFoR Facebook page as soon
as the details are available. Congratulations to all of you who booked
October 8, 2010
You wouldn't believe it if someone had forecast it. As eye-popping as our list of men's single-age course records was prior to last Sunday, there's no way you'd predict that the field could possibly eclipse fourteen of those already crazy-fast performances.
And yet they did, which means that the men and women combined to improve upon 25 SFoR single-age course records. Somewhat--but not entirely--coincidentally, our 5K fields combined to produce 24 world-class performances (the 23 age-graded 90.0+ performances listed in the USA Masters 5 km Championship results, plus the scintillating 21:16 net time run by the incredible Ed Whitlock). After all, we've long since passed the point at which it takes a world-class performance to improve upon the majority of our single-age course marks.
Congratulations to these additions to our amazing list of men's single-age course records: Josh Aitken, 6, of Jamesville, NY; Patrick McCarthy, 47, of Pelham, NY; Pete Magill, 48, of South Pasadena, CA; John Tuttle, 51, of Villa Rica, GA; David Cannon, 54, of Seattle, WA; Dale Campbell, 57, of Huntington Beach, CA; Doug Winn, 60, of Portland, OR; Jerry Learned, 62, of Gainesville, GA; Patrick Glover, 64, of Clifton Park, NY; J.L. Seymore, 65, of Somerset, NJ; Doug Goodhue, 68, of Milford, MI; Ed Whitlock, 79, of Milton, ON; Willis Moses, 84, of Vestal, NY; and Henry Sypniewski, 92, of Cheektowaga, NY.
Whoa, Nellie! It's going to take until the first snowfall for the
pavement on Meadowbrook Drive to cool down after these performances!
October 7, 2010
When you take a look at the list of SFoR women's course records by single-age, you can appreciate how special a performance has to be in order to make the list. After all, eighteen years into these fall gatherings, the SFoR has been blessed with a lot of great athletes and a lot of wonderful race-day weather. So the number of new single-age records set on the course may be one of the best indicators of just how special each year's field is. Our 2010 Women's 5K field was clearly VERY special, with last Sunday's finishers having improved upon eleven single-age bests for our course!
Hats off to this year's additions to our amazing list: Kate Leugers, 21, of Ithaca, NY; Karen Simmonds-Brady, 36, of Auburn, NY; Emily Bryans, 43, of Schenectady, NY; Marisa Hanson, 47, of Pleasant Valley, NY; Carmen Ayala-Troncoso, 51, of Austin, TX; Karen Provencher, 55, of Glens Falls, NY; Kathryn Martin, 59, of Northport, NY; Linda Eberly, 70, of Cortland, NY; Mary Harada, 75, of W. Newbury, MA; Anny Stockman, 78, of Rensselaer, NY; and Nancy Auster, 84, of Canton, NY.
We'll post the updates on the corresponding SFoR men's course records by single-age tomorrow. But first, take the rest of today and savor these. Wow, that's an amazing and inspiring batch of performances!
October 6, 2010
Okay, it took a couple of days. But I've looked through various boxes that came off the trucks, so I now have a sense of what sizes remain in those long-sleeved tech shirts that we gave our 5K entrants. For all of you who've called and e-mailed to ask whether we have any leftovers to sell, the answer is "yes."
In the ladies shirts, we have sizes small and medium, and the smalls are available in both the white shirt with the pink side panels and the solid white shirt with a slightly roomier cut. Both styles have the pink and blue SFoR logo on the left chest.
In the men's shirts, we have a few remaining in sizes large and extra large. All of these are the white shirts with the navy side panels. These have the orange and blue SFoR logo on the left chest.
All sizes and styles are available for $10 each. Add $3 for us to package and mail them to you, or call first and drop by to pick them up at the flat $10 price. And yes, John, we have enough that you can get a half dozen of them to use as stocking stuffers for your nieces and nephews who run for modified and high school teams and couldn't run the Festival. (Actually, that's a darn good idea for the parents of kids who don't run many road races and have to pay store prices for nice tech running shirts.)
Just call 446-6285 or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) to arrange pickup and payment while they last.
October 5, 2010
Thanks very much to the 2010 Festival participants from coast to coast who've been kind enough to e-mail some lovely sentiments regarding Sunday morning's "Woodstock in running shoes." As the comments below indicate, it was a morning of peace, love, happiness, and aerobic fitness.
". . . thank you for another terrific Syracuse
experience! Christian (Cushing-Murray) 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!)."
"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
"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 event is great. It was
probably the most competitive and runner-friendly race that I have
competed in . . . Your team and the Chargers were great in
seeing to it that the runners had everything that they needed.
Although I didnt get my fastest time of the year, I came very close
and was quite pleased with the way I ran. Im 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 Freihofers 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!"
"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
"THANK YOU so much for a wonderful experience. I want you
to know the event has inspired me . . ."
"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."
"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."
"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
. . ."
"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)!"
"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
"Those shirts were fantastic . . ."
"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
"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."
"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!"
"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
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!"
"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!"
October 4, 2010
Same beautiful weather on race morning. Same inspiring gathering of runners from throughout the U.S. And same two schools taking home the Festival Cup and the Boys & Girls Cup.
Congratulations to Fayetteville Elementary School, principal Nancy Smith, and physical education teacher (and Pied Piper) Laurie Valentine! Fay-El showed up at Sunday's MVP Health Care 3K Fun & Fitness Run with over 550 members of their school community and ran (and walked) off with Festival Cup once again this year. What a remarkable display of youth and community fitness!
Similar kudos to Ed Smith Elementary School, the Syracuse City School District with the largest number of participants in the 3K. With the encouragement of principal Daryl Hall and parent Stephanie Fay, Ed Smith once again dominated SCSD participation in the event.
First runner-up in the 2010 listing of largest participating school groups was once again Mott Road Elementary School, led by Tom Winiecki.
And the second runner-up for 2010 was Chittenango's Bolivar Elementary School, with Melissa Biviano coordinating the group.
Congratulations to all of our 2010 school groups and their coordinators! We had several who participated for the first time, and several others with their biggest groups yet!
October 3, 2010
In a reprise of our 2009 race, in which runners from throughout the U.S. produced an amazing 24 world-class (90.0 or higher age-graded) performances, this morning's Men's 5K and Women's 5K yielded another 24 world-class times (23 in the USA Masters 5 km Championships, plus the 21:16 run by Canadian Ed Whitlock). The U.S. performances were led by Kathryn Martin's 19:02, which age-graded at 99.19 and appears to be a pending U.S. W59 single-age 5K record. Pete Magill's 15:20 age-grades as a 95.50, and it is a pending U.S. M49 5K record--improving by 17 seconds Bill Rodgers' listed M49 mark of 15:37.
Doug Goodhue, 68, of Milton, MI, ran 18:16, which is a pending U.S. M68 5K record--and a 22-second improvement on Warren Utes' M68 record that has stood since 1988. Henry Sypniewski, 92, of Cheektowaga, NY, ran 41:00, which is a pending U.S. M92 single-age record.
Ryley Miller, 24, of Syracuse, won the Men's 5K in 14:38 (PR!), with Tully's Dominic Luka placing second in 14:44 (PR!). Emily LaSala, 25, of Jamesville, ran a very evenly paced 17:01 (PR!), with Auburn's Karen Simmonds-Brady the runner-up in 17:13 (PR!).
The USA Masters 5 km Men's Championship saw Christian Cushing-Murray, 42, of Santa Ana, CA, narrowly hold off Chad Newton, 40, of Pisgah, NC, for the national title. Both runners were timed in 15:08. In the women's Championship race, Emily Bryans, 43, of Schenectady, NY ran within three seconds of her lifetime best and captured the women's national title in 17:17.
You can view complete results on the Leone Timing web site.
Many thanks to all who enjoyed the day as a participant, volunteer, or spectator! You were all part of what was once again one of the premier gatherings of masters distance running talent anywhere this year.
October 1, 2010
Online registration is now closed, but we still have long-sleeved technical shirts for all of our 5K entrants. Please register before race morning! We'll be open for in-person registration at Dick's Sporting Goods in Shoppingtown Mall from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 2nd!
We'll see you there! And you'll see the USATF Mobile Marketing Tour there!
September 29, 2010
The incredible running realtor from Northport, NY, is now entered, and tomorrow is her birthday. That means that Kathryn Martin has a good shot at running the first sub-19:00 5K road race ever by a U.S. woman age 59 or older--which would also give her the U.S. W59 5K record currently held by Sabra Harvey. Pretty cool, huh? (Unless you're Sabra, of course.)
That makes Kathryn one of nine current entrants in this year's SFoR who have a shot at a national 5K road racing record.
Jerry Kooymans, of Markham, Ontario, will have his sights set on the Canadian M55-59 5K mark.
U.S. 5K records are also within reach of Pete Magill (Bill Rodgers' M49 mark); Carmen Ayala-Troncoso (Joan Benoit Samuelson's W50-54 mark; Doug Winn (M60-64); Henry Sypniewski (M92); Doug Goodhue (M68); Mary Harada (W75); and Helen Botti (W73).
The temperature is going to be GREAT for fast times. If we wake up to a calm morning on Sunday, everyone in the field will understand why the Syracuse Festival of Races is the event "Where Ordinary People Do Extraordinary Things."
September 28, 2010
September 26, 2010
This has been common practice for so long that sometimes we forget that first-time SFoR 5K participants might not know they're perfectly welcome to enjoy the MVP Health Care 3K Fun & Fitness Run without paying any additional entry fee. Just leave you 5K bib number on, and join the happy throng for a casual additional trip out to Barry Park and back.
If you're' looking for a couple extra miles, it fills the bill. If you're looking for the opportunity to jog with your children, there's no more exhilarating environment in which to do so. If you just get caught up in the joy of running, well, it happens to a lot of people of all ages on the Sunday before Columbus Day weekend in Syracuse.
The MVP Health Care 3K Fun & Fitness Run and Tops Friendly Markets Community Walk pack is a pretty cool crowd to hang with, so go ahead and indulge yourself. Your 5K bib number has you covered!
September 24, 2010
So many people have been asking whether it's too late for 5K entrants to get one of the fantastic DRI-TEK long-sleeved shirts that we've promised to the first 1,000 5K entrants that it warrants a formal announcement in SFoR News: Yes, there are still plenty of shirts still to be had.
The shirts are tremendous! Women will receive a long-sleeved V-neck shirt with a women's cut. Men will receive a long-sleeved crew neck shirt in a men's cut. If, after wearing one of these, you think you've ever gotten a more attractive or higher quality shirt for free with a road race entry, please let us know. We'll go looking for the one you think is better one and try to offer it in 2011. We think that most of you will be blown away by the quality of this race shirt.
Historically, well over half of our 5K entries come in the six days prior to the Festival. We're running well ahead of our previous record pace for 5K entries, so it's likely that we'll hit 1,000 before race weekend. If you want to guarantee that you'll be wearing one of the DRI-TEK beauties this year, better not sit on that entry form!
September 22, 2010
In an effort to engage S.U.'s South Campus residents in the fun of Festival of Races morning, we're teaming up with S.U.'s ORL Healthy Living Committee and S.C.O.R.E. to throw a spectator party along the E. Colvin Street stretch that begins and ends our 3K and 5K courses.
Students, neighborhood residents, north campus students, and the general public are invited to make the two blocks between Skytop Road and Buckingham Avenue their spectator location of choice on Festival morning. We'll be providing a variety of free food and beverage items, free Festival of Races T-shirts, giveaways, music, and "the best seat in the house" for watching all of the race morning participants do their thing.
September 20, 2010
Sometimes a single day's entries nicely capture the diversity of our 5K fields. Today was a good example.
Pete Bottomly's entry arrived from Cape Elizabeth, ME. Pete Magill's entry arrived from South Pasadena, CA. Dominic Luka's entry arrived from Tully, and Christina El Bayadi's arrived from Fayetteville.
Pete Bottomly is another of the excellent pool of masters runners in Maine. We've had the previous pleasure of hosting a bunch of Pete's Dirigo Running Club teammates, but Pete will be racing here for the first time.
Pete Magill, of Compex Racing (captured in red by Ben Addonizio at the 2009 SFoR), is our defending M45-49 USA Masters National Champion--and a guy who's run more sub-15:00 5K races than any other masters runner in history.
Dominic, of Stotan Racing, will be one of the local favorites to win the John Trowse Award in the Men's 5K. Unlike the two Petes, Dominic, 25, is a long way from being a masters runner. Like the two Petes, he'd be happy with a time under 15:00. It's his first time running the SFoR, and we're delighted that he'll be in the field.
Ditto for Christina, 25, who has her sights set on breaking 27:00 in the Women's 5K. She says she loved the Festival when she last entered in 2006, which makes us pretty confident that she's going to be blown away by the experience this year!
From Maine and Southern California, from Florida and Washington, from two to ninety-two, and from first-time race entrants to Olympians. Oh, yeah, this fun is for everyone!
September 14, 2010
We're now less than three weeks away from that special Sunday in early October, and the national scope of our 5K fields is becoming more impressive by the day. Oregon is now represented--and in the person of none other than Doug Winn (try Googling "Doug Winn runner"), 60, of Portland. Among many other stellar credentials, Doug handily won the M60-64 5,000m and 10,000m races at the USATF Masters Outdoor T&F Championships in Sacramento in late July in 17:26.48 and 35:29.09.
Doug's entry brings us to 20 states currently represented in the USA Masters 5 km Championships at the Festival, and with entries already in hand from WA and CA, it completes our 2010 sweep of West Coast states. Along with runners from those 20 states and Canada, our field currently includes entrants from 19 USATF Associations representing over 30 USATF clubs.
We're delighted to be hosting such remarkable gathering of runners from all across the U.S., and we're thrilled to give Upstate New York runners the opportunity to experience firsthand such an inspirational event.
Happy training and racing to all as we count down the final three weeks!
September 10, 2010
We're delighted to announce that the USA Track & Field Mobile Marketing Tour will be making Central New York its destination for SFoR Weekend, October 1st - 3rd. This is the third year that Tour vehicles have been traveling the country to promote the sport and showcase its best and brightest events and competitors. Along with information about our national governing body, tour vehicles will be carrying USATF-branded apparel and gear that will be available for purchase at three different venues on Festival Weekend.
On Friday afternoon, October 1st, the Tour will stop at our race headquarters hotel, the Embassy Suites. On Saturday morning and afternoon, it'll be in DeWitt, as part of our number pickup and late registration event at the Dick's Sporting Goods Shoppingtown store. The van will be back at the Embassy Suites throughout the late afternoon and early evening on Saturday, before spending Sunday morning, October 3rd, in the start/finish area outside Manley Field House.
The Festival of Races will be the Tour's first stop ever in Upstate New York, making this a rare opportunity for area runners to check it out in person. In the meantime, you can "track the truck" as it makes its way to CNY for Festival Weekend.
September 6, 2010
Thanks to our race committee's new (and first ever) Social Media Coordinator, Katie Frontino, you can now find the Syracuse Festival of Races on Facebook. For a look at our Facebook page, click here. You can browse through our photo album and enjoy images from the 2009 SFoR. Or you can write on our wall about your positive experiences at the SFoR. Or you can add yourself to the list of people who like the Festival. Or tell us how your training is going as you prepare to run your fastest 5K of the year on Sunday, October 3rd.
We'll be adding more images to the photo album soon, so check back often to see whether our ace photographers captured you last year!
September 1, 2010
With the early entry fee only available through August 31st, 5K entries were pouring in this week, and they included more than a handful of very talented athletes sporting impressive SFoR credentials from past editions.
For starters, we received a 2010 entry form from John Tuttle, 1984 U.S. Olympian in the marathon--and owner of the SFoR course record for masters men (14:31 in 2000). Now 51, John will be a key member of the powerful Atlanta Track Club's M50+ team competing here, and he'll be shooting for Ray Kneer's venerable M51 SFoR mark of 16:34 (which has lasted since the very first edition of the Festival in 1993).
Also entered is Markham, Ontario's Jerry Kooymans, owner of the fastest SFoR M45 and M46 performances (15:32 in 2000 and 15:29 in 2001). Now 55, Jerry will be coming to the Festival in search of a new Canadian national record for M55-59. In addition, he just might rewrite Reno Stirrat's M55 Festival mark of 16:43 (set last year).
And Reno is entered again as well, bringing a formidable Whirlaway Racing Team M50+ team, and eyeing Dale Campbell's M56 SFoR course record of 16:46.
Dale Campbell, in turn, will be back and shooting for Sam Torres' SFoR M57 mark of 17:18. Dale will once again be making the journey from Huntington Beach, CA, and he'll be one of the favorites for USA Masters 5 km Championship in the M55-59 division.
With David Cannon, of Seattle, WA, and Steve Chantry, of Williamsburg, VA, now entered, our early entrants include four of our top eight men's age-graded performers of 2009.
Victoria Crisp's entry form also arrived a few days ago, so we look forward to her defense of her 2009 USA Masters 5 km national title in the W55-59 division--and her attempt to improve on her #4 age-graded performance in our Women's 5K.
Nancy Auster, of Canton, NY, is now entered and preparing for her 18th consecutive finish at the Festival. She'll be aiming for a successful defense of her 2009 USA Masters 5 km national title in the women's 80-84 division, and she'll be looking to establish the W84 single-age record for our course.
For up-to-the minute information on all current entries in the USA Masters 5 km Championships, visit the National Championships page at the USATF web site.
August 27, 2010
Michelle Dobson and Linda Glowacki were recently spotted at Onondaga Lake Park sporting the first two 2010 MVP Health Care 3K Fun & Fitness Run T-shirts out of the box.
The front design is once again thanks to the talents of Eileen Millert, of Fayetteville Elementary School, which last year continued its reign as the largest school group participating in our 3K--thereby earning the opportunity to design this year's shirt. Eileen has once again come up with a winner, and in about five weeks there'll be thousands of these on proud 3K participants.
With "back-to-school" season in full swing, there's still plenty of time to organize a group from your or your child's school. Contact us anytime for more information on how to get your school involved!
August 20, 2010
Among the various hospitality perks awaiting runners visiting Syracuse for the 2010 USA Masters 5 km Championships is a complimentary guided tour of the Carmelo Anthony Basketball Center on the Syracuse University campus. The front entrance to the "Melo" Center is about one long stride-out away from the SFoR finish line, making it easy for us to combine course tours with cook's tours of the headquarters for S.U.'s men's and women's basketball programs.
If you're registered for a suite in the SFoR room block at the Embassy Suites on Festival of Races weekend and would like to reserve a time on Saturday afternoon, October 2nd, to take a complimentary guided tour of the Carmello Anthony Center, please e-mail Greg Tuttle by September 24th.
August 13, 2010
Among other things, the Syracuse Festival of Races has long been both a celebration of running and walking as lifetime activities and an annual gathering of old friends. And nobody's completed entry form is more illustrative of these two features of the Festival than is Henry Sypniewski's. We're delighted that Henry intends to be back on October 3rd, gunning for his third U.S. 5K record in three years.
What a pleasure to have Henry coming back to continue to serve as a shining example for all of us!
In 2008, Henry's SFoR performance was an eye-popping 33:46, subsequently ratified and still standing as the fastest 5K ever by a U.S. male age 90 or older. Last year, Henry set the U.S. mark for 91-year-old males, finishing in 38:47.
That makes Henry illustrative of a third Syracuse Festival of Races hallmark: If you're looking for a record-eligible course on which you're likely to run every bit as fast as your current level of fitness allows, that course is waiting for you in Syracuse on the Sunday before Columbus Day weekend.
August 3, 2010
The bulk mailing to our list of recent past participants is at the post office, so many of you will be finding a copy of our 2010 entry booklet in your mailbox by the end of the week. If you don't receive a copy of the form, it may be due to a typographical error on you mailing label, a recent change of address, or incomplete information in your data record.
Fear not, because we have plenty of hard copies of the form remaining, and we'd be happy to send them to anyone who requests them. We recommend calling (315-446-6285) to request forms because the phone usually gets you an instant response and next-day delivery.
Of course, you can also follow the "Register Now" link from our home page either to the USATF site (if you'd like to register for the USA Masters 5 km Championships), or to the Festival registration page at Active.com (if you'd like to register online as a non-championship participant).
July 23, 2010
In the interest of providing additional support to USATF club teams, we're adding another $1,000 to the Masters Championship prize structure. The additional funds will fund cash awards of $125 per team to the runners-up in eight categories of USATF club team competition: men's 40+; women's 40+; men's 50+; women's 50+; men's 60+; women's 60+; men's 70+; and women's 70+. The victorious club teams in each of those categories (and any older ones) will receive $250 per winning team.
From its inception, the SFoR has been a dedicated supporter of USATF club team competition, and we're happy to be able to support it with prize money and super-affordable rates on our block of suites at Embassy Suites.
For a look at the breakdown of the USA Masters 5 km Championships prize structure, click here.
July 16, 2010
In yet another demonstration of the company's commitment to the communities that it serves, P&C/TOPS this week confirmed its commitment to sponsoring the P&C/TOPS Community Walk at the 2010 Syracuse Festival of Races. The Community Walk, which was established in 2000, offers any non-profit organization the opportunity to raise funds and visibility for itself, its programs, and its services through pledge-centered participation in the Syracuse Festival of Races. Historically, the majority of non-profit beneficiaries participate in the Community Walk, though supporters of the beneficiaries are welcome to enter any of the events of race morning.
With many non-profit organizations feeling the pinch of recent economic conditions, the SFoR has seen increase in the number of groups looking for a "latch-key" opportunity to benefit from event-focused fundraising. Seventeen organizations are already registered as participating beneficiaries for 2010, and the door is wide open for others to join them.
P&C/TOPS is no stranger to the Syracuse Festival of Races, of course, with P&C Foods having provided strong support for our post-race refreshments area for several years. All of our 2010 participants will be happy to know that with the continued support of P&C/TOPS, the array of post-race refreshments at the SFoR will be truly outstanding!
July 9, 2010
Our redesigned 2010 entry booklet is now printed and ready for distribution. Thanks to Eagle Newspapers, we've gone full-color in a new, larger format. You can find a pdf of both the complete entry booklet and just the entry panel page right here on the SFoR site. Feel free to print out as many as you need.
Whether you'd like a single hard copy or a batch of our pre-printed entry booklets for your school or non-profit group, your best bet is to call Dave at 315-446-6285.
As a courtesy to last year's 5K participants, we'll be mailing a hard copy of the entry form to each of them later this month.
June 25, 2010
Just in case you've missed these recent performances by our 2009 USA Masters 5 km Champion in the women's 50-54 age group, Carmen Ayala Troncoso, of Austin, TX, how about this string of June performances:
Congratulations to Carmen on a super month of racing! We're looking forward to your return to the Festival 5K course on October 3rd!
June 18, 2010
With the public school year winding down, administrators, teachers, and parents are already busy planning for their schools' group participation in the MVP Health Care 3K Fun & Fitness Run at the Festival of Races.
It's a wonderful reminder to us about the dedication and willingness that our school group coordinators have to spend their time and energy in order to give their students and school communities what several of them refer to as "the Festival of Races experience."
Schools interested in bringing a group can request entry forms now, and we'll deliver them to schools once they're available early this summer. If you'd like to learn more about how to get a group organized from your school, call Dave Oja anytime at 446-6285.
May 28, 2010
We're delighted to welcome back all of the non-profit groups who gained visibility and donations from their participation in the 2009 SFoR. In addition, we're delighted that the number of participating non-profit groups continues to grow. You can check our Beneficiaries page for the list of participating non-profits and their contact information.
If you're involved with a group that would like to benefit from pledge-centered participation in the Syracuse Festival of Races, let us know and we'd be happy to add your group to the list. If you're a walker or runner who'd like to solicit pledges on behalf of any of our listing beneficiaries, call or e-mail their listed contact. I'm sure they'd be happy to hear from you!
May 14, 2010
We're delighted to announce that Embassy Suites Hotel, Syracuse (Carrier Circle at NYS Thurway Exit 35) will be our Race Headquarters Hotel for 2010! And what an amazing weekend of benefits they're offering SFoR participants, families, and teammates!
The all-suite facility is offering great single-night stays in either their king suite (sleeps up to four) or their double suite (sleeps up to six) for $129 (plus tax). The rate per night drops to $109 (plus tax) per suite if you stay two nights on race weekend. And if you make it a three-night mini-vacation on Festival Weekend, your rate per night for either a king suite or double suite is an incredible $99 (plus tax)! To book your suite, call 315-703-9100 and ask for the special Syracuse Festival of Races group rates "1SF," "2SF," or "3SF."
For open and masters club teams coming from out of town, this is the race-lodging bargain of the year! For training buddies and running friends who'd like to come to see just how fast they can run a USATF certified and validated course, it's an opportunity to enjoy a weekend in Central New York at a great discount. And for mom and dad runners who'd like to bring the kids (or grand-kids) along for a special fall getaway in conjunction with a great road running experience, there's not likely to be a better bargain out there--not to mention a bigger or more exciting opportunity for the kids to walk or run with mom and dad in the MVP Health Care 3K Fun & Fitness Run!
Even better, the phenomenal rates for a weekend of "suite living" include all of the following: complimentary hot and cold breakfast cooked to order each morning; complimentary in-house reception each evening from 5:30 to 7:30; complimentary access to the indoor pool, whirlpool, and fitness center; complimentary wireless internet throughout the facility; and the luxury of enjoying a road race weekend with friends and family you seldom can afford to bring along for a special weekend.
To see and learn more about this opportunity for an affordable and different weekend getaway, you can take an online tour of the Embassy Suites Hotel, Syracuse by clicking here.
April 15, 2010
celebrating its 30th Anniversary,
Nice 'N Easy Grocery
Shoppes has confirmed that it will join our 2010 sponsorship team as an
Associate Sponsor of the Syracuse Festival of Races. Look for SFoR
entry forms and information in a Nice 'N Easy Grocery Shoppe near you later
this spring and summer.
March 29, 2010
One has to go all the way back to 1996 to pre-date the long run of Dick's Sporting Goods as a key sponsor of the Syracuse Festival of Races. 2010 makes it fourteen consecutive years that Dick's has been helping to make the SFoR an annual focal event for runners and walkers of all ages, abilities, levels of running interest, and levels of running experience.
Well, they're still with us, which is continued great news for the top three finishers in each of our 5K age-groups. Those speediest of the speedy on Sunday, October 3rd, will once again be awarded a total of $2,320.00 in Dick's Bonus Certificates ($50 for 1st in each age-group; $20 for 2nd; and $10 for 3rd).
In addition, the overall first-place finishers in both the Men's 5K and the Women's 5K will each receive a $100 Dick's Bonus Certificate.
And everyone entered in either the Men's 5K or the Women's 5K will receive a $5.00 Dick's Bonus Certificate at the point of bib number pickup--effectively rebating $5.00 of the 5K entry fee if one uses it with the purchase of any item at any Dick's Sporting Goods store prior to the end of the year.
For superior store savings on running shoes all year long, visit the Dick's Sporting Goods store nearest you!
March 15, 2010
Is it mere coincidence that on the Ides of March, the Atlanta Track Club has three athletes already entered in the 2010 USA Masters 5 km Championships at the Syracuse Festival of Races? Or might a road-racing soothsayer be justified in adapting the famous line from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar (Act 1, Scene 2) to give the nation's top masters teams advance notice that the ATC is plotting to knock off some big names on October 3rd?
If you check the 2009 USA Masters 5 km Championships men's team results, you'll note that the ATC M40+ team took home silver medals last fall, besting the likes of the Westchester Track Club, Genesee Valley Harriers, Greater Springfield Harriers, Houston Masters Alliance, Greater Philadelphia Track Club, and Colonial Road Runners. The runaway winner in the category was Pete Magill's Compex Racing Team, with an average finishing time of 15:33 for their five scoring members. (Oh my!)
But here it is, well over six months prior to the next big masters tussle on the Festival's lightning-fast, record-eligible course, and Gary Droze (49), Ken Youngers (54), and Sam Norman (57) already are listed on the 2010 USA Masters 5 km Championship web site. Three individual age groups represented; two team age groups represented; one strong club from a thousand miles away represented. Hmmmm.
Obviously, there are lots of entries yet to be submitted--and lots of prognostication yet to be offered. But there's no doubt that on Sunday, October 3rd, 2010, Syracuse, NY is going to host a real happening for masters distance runners.
February 26, 2010
The March issue of Running Times is out, and the magazine once again has done a splendid job with its annual "Masters of the Year" issue!
As was the case last year, the Syracuse Festival of Races helped to produce more of the best road race performances by the nation's best masters distance runners than any other race (of any distance, anywhere on the planet). When you grab a copy of this issue, you'll see the Festival cited in conjunction with "Masters of the Year" accolades for Tom Ryan (Cape Elizabeth, ME), Reno Stirrat (Dorchester, MA), Dale Campbell (Huntington Beach, CA), Doug Goodhue (Milford, MI), Bill Tribou (Granby, CT), and Victoria Crisp (Nashville, TN).
In addition, Syracuse Festival of Races veterans who received either top three or honorable mention recognition for 2009 included: Sean Wade, Jim Derrick, Andrew Duncan, El Arbi Khattabi, Paul Mwangi, Pete Magill, Mike Platt, Brian Pilcher, Stephen Chantry, Pete Gibson, John Tuttle, Wayne Chick, Sam Torres, William Dixon, George Luke, Bill Spencer, Thom Weddle, Robert Ealy, Henry Sypniewski, Patty Murray-Albo, Michelle Simonaitis, Lori Kingsley, Laurel Park, Zofia Wierciorkowska, Carmen Ayala Troncoso, Kathryn Martin, Sabra Harvey, Sharon Dolan, and Helen Botti. It's no wonder that some people think of the SFoR as being akin to the Olympics of masters road racing.
Pete Magill (yup, the same Peter Magill who ran the fastest 5 km ever by a 48-year-old at this year's SFoR) has penned (see page 32 of the March issue) a very nice piece on the current culture of masters LDR athletes, complete with a couple of nice photos by the Festival's own Shannon Weaver. And the magazine includes an additional seven color photos shot at the 2009 SFoR by Festival volunteers Dustin Angell, Ben Addonizio, Patricia Grosjean, and Shannon Weaver.
And Running Times culls from our 2009 event a couple of eye-popping statistics that lead off their the magazine's regular "By the Numbers" section: Five masters women ran 7:35 or faster, and sixty-eight masters men ran 17:35 or faster.
Congratulations to all the masters athletes on their 2009 MOY selections, and many thanks to Running Times for another outstanding issue!
February 19, 2010
We're delighted to report that all of our 2009 media sponsors will be continuing as key members of our sponsorship team again in 2010!
News 10 Now will be our official television sponsor, and your place to tune in for pre-race news stories and event coverage.
February 12, 2010
Here's a heart-warming thought as we approach Valentine's Day: In recent weeks we've had three new non-profit groups express their interest in raising funds and visibility for the programs and services via their participation in the 2010 Festival.
The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America, the Syracuse University and SUNY ESF Chapter of Habitat for Humanity, and From the Ground Up Therapeutic Horsemanship, Inc. are now on our list of 2010 beneficiaries.
If you'd like to combine your walking or running in any of the events of the SFoR with a personal donation for any or our participating non-profits, please contact the group's representatives on our beneficiaries list.
Or, if you'd like to add your favorite non-profit organization to our list of 2010 beneficiaries, feel free to give us a call anytime at 315-446-6285. When it comes to worthy beneficiaries of our event, the Festival's philosophy is: "The more the merrier."
February 5, 2010
Here's great news for those walkers and runners who are past recipients of either hip or knee replacements: Fitness Forum and Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists have been lightning-quick to express their interest in continuing their joint title sponsorship of the Fitness Forum/SOS Joint Replacement Run & Walk at the Syracuse Festival of Races.
Perhaps the first road running and walking event of its kind, last year's Joint Replacement Run was very warmly received by area exercisers as well as participants from New Jersey and Illinois. With that initial success, the event's founding title sponsors are eager to "run it again in 2010."
We'll be announcing additional details as the year goes along. In the meantime, spread the word that the Syracuse Festival of Races is an event for exercisers of all abilities. (Photo credit: Dustin Angell)
January 29, 2010
We're delighted to announce that MVP Health Care has already confirmed its continued strong support of community fitness through its sponsorship of the MVP Health Care 3K Fun & Fitness Run at the 2010 Syracuse Festival of Races.
This will mark the third consecutive year of MVP Health Care's enthusiastic support of the thousands of school-aged children, their families, and their school staff who run, jog, and walk at the Festival in one of the nation's largest 3K road running events.
If you're a parent or educator who would like to get your school involved in the big event on Sunday, October 3, 2010, please let us know and we'll send you helpful information to help you organize your school's group.
Many thanks to MVP Health Care for their foresight in proactively encouraging everyone in our community to engage in regular aerobic activities! (Photo credit: Dustin Angell)
January 18, 2010
When runners think of the SFoR, many of them think of personal records and event records, and Mary Van Camp, of Syracuse, set a new Festival record today--when she became our first official entrant for 2010.
Mary's online entry via Active.com makes her the earliest "early-bird" registrant in our 18-year history (257 days, 22 hours and 32 minutes in advance of the starting gun for our 2010 Women's 5K, which sure beats waiting in line at the last minute on race morning).
Way to plan ahead, Mary! We wish you months of enjoyable training as you look forward to Sunday, October 3, 2010! And to recognize your record-early entry, we'll send you an embroidered Syracuse Festival of Races hat.
January 1, 2010
In keeping with the spirit of resolutions and goals for the new year and the new decade, online entry for the 18th annual Syracuse Festival of Races is now open.
Those of you who wish to compete in the 2010 USA Masters 5 km Championships can register on the National Championships page of the USATF web site.
Those of you who won't be competing in the Masters National Championship may register on Active.com.
We're still a few months away from printing our paper entry form, so save the paper and register online today!
December 22, 2009
Andy Carr, LDR Record-keeper for USA Track & Field (USATF), has confirmed ratification of one additional U.S. single-age 5K record run at our 2009 event.
Sean Wade's 2009 overall USA Masters 5 km Championship performance of 14:52 is the new U.S. M43 5K record. Sean's performance knocks five seconds from the previous 5K mark of 14:57, which had been shared by Steve Scott and Craig Young.
Wade is a former Olympic marathoner (1996, New Zealand) and resident of Houston, TX.
The ratification of his M43 record brings to thirty-one (31) the number of U.S. 5K records tied or surpassed on the SFoR course.
December 9, 2009
The Masters Long Distance Running Committee of USA Track & Field (USATF) has voted to extend through 2012 its selection of the Syracuse Festival of Races to host the USA Masters 5 km Championships. The unanimous vote in favor of a two-year extension of the prior Championship designation through 2010 was conducted at the 2009 USATF Annual Meetings, held from December 26, in Indianapolis, IN.
"USATF is extremely selective in its award of championships; we strive to pick the best of the best, and our bottom line is the reaction of the runners themselves," said Donald Lein, Chair of USATFs Masters LDR Committee. "The runners have universally praised the race in 2008 and 2009. Dave Oja and his team have done an outstanding job and have justified the confidence we have in them in awarding them these future championships."
The current five-year run of the Festival of Races hosting of the USA Masters 5 km Championship is the only multi-year hosting of a USATF long distance running (LDR) national championship ever by a Syracuse-area event. The host Syracuse Chargers Track Club also conducted the 1994 USA Masters 5 km Championships at the Syracuse Festival of Races; the 1991 USA Womens 5 km Championships at the Syracuse Freihofer's Run for Women; and the 1990 USA Masters 5 km Cross Country Championships at Green Lakes State Park.
The 2009 USA Masters 5 km Championships at the Syracuse Festival of Races attracted top age-group distance runners from 29 states. Those athletes produced an astonishing twenty-four world-class performances and four U.S. 5K records, bringing to thirty the number of U.S. 5 km (3.1-mile) records that have been tied or surpassed on the SFoR course.
"The Chargers and the Festival of Races are delighted to have the opportunity to build on our past successes hosting the USA Masters 5 km Championships," said Syracuse Festival of Races director, Dave Oja. "The phenomenal performances, the athlete feedback, and the national media exposure for Syracuse have been tremendously gratifying in 2008 and 2009."
In addition to its separate 5 km races for men and women, the Syracuse Festival of Races includes the enormously popular MVP Health Care 3K Fun & Fitness Run, the Fitness Forum/SOS Joint Replacement Run and Walk, and the non-profit-centered Community Walk. The various events of race morning, Sunday, October 3, 2010 are expected to attract well over 3,000 participants and raise thousands of dollars for multiple area non-profit organizations.
"Syracuse truly is a fantastic sporting event destination and we're thrilled that the USA Masters 5 km Championships will be in Syracuse for the next two years," said Syracuse Convention & Visitors Bureau President David Holder. "Congratulations to the Festival of Races organizers for securing this event; the runners and their families are sure to have a great experience in our community."
December 7, 2009
WWe're delighted to announce that the extensive list of U.S. 5K road racing records set on the Syracuse Festival of Races course is alive and growing. Last week's USATF Annual Meetings in Indianapolis included the formal ratification of three more age-group marks. Margret Betz, of Conklin, NY, is now officially the owner of the fastest 5K ever run by a U.S. woman age 70-74. She ran her 24:02 at age 71 at the 2007 SFoR. Henry Sypniewski's pending men's 90-94 U.S. 5K record of 33:46, set at the 2008 SFoR also received formal ratification, as did Sabra Harvey's, U.S. women's 60-64 mark of 19:31, set at the 2009 SFoR. Sabra ran two other faster times in 5K races in 2009, but those times have not yet met the ratification criteria.
As logic would have it, each of those three five-year age-group records is accompanied by a new U.S. single-age mark as well. Thus, chalk up a U.S. W71 5K mark for Margret, a U.S. M90 5K record for Henry, and a U.S. W 60 mark for Sabra.
Also now on our list is Pete Magill's U.S. M48 5K record of 15:00, set this past October, making Pete the first U.S. runner to run 15:00 at age 48 or older.
October 23, 2009
On behalf of the SFoR organizing committee and the
Syracuse Chargers Track Club, thanks very much to everyone who took the time
to pass along a kind remark about this year year's edition of the Festival.
Here is a sampling of the comments we've received:
"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
"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
"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
"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 years race by a good bit--and last years race was super!"
"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
"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!"
for once again putting on a truly spectacular Masters 5K National
Championship! Wow, what a weekend of racing. You run a great show!! Thanks for everything. The
Masters 5k was the best ever and I look forward to next year."
"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."
"Top-notch today...great job! Everyone had a super time!
"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."
"Great race; we had a lot of fun! I was there representing both
Applebees 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
"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."
"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."
"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
"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!"
"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 . .
"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!"
"Congratulations on an excellent event! The Atlanta Track Club is
already planning on returning in 2010."
"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 !!
"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!"
"Thank you for a great 2009 Festival of Races! We're
looking forward to the 2010 race!"
"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!"
October 9, 2009
Here are a couple of performances that qualify for tops in the category of "good news and bad news":
First, Charlie Shields, 50, of
the Greater Philadelphia Track Club, ran a terrific 17:02 last Sunday.
In the vast majority of 5K road races, that would likely leave him well in
front of all other competitors in the men's 50-54 age group. In the
men's 50-54 field at this year's SFoR, Charlie's 17:02 left him the
11th-place finisher in his age group (83rd overall). Central New York
standout, Mark Rybinski, 54, of Minoa, ran a terrific 17:14, leaving him
eleven places farther back in his age group than he customarily places in
local races. Whoa! No wonder Steve Chantry and other experts on
men's 50-54 distance running think this may have been the deepest field of
men's 50-54 distance running talent ever at a road race.
And in the category of "so what's new?": Fayetteville Elementary School and Ed Smith Elementary School both retained their hold on the trophies that reside in the non-Syracuse City School District, and Syracuse City School District with the largest number of Festival of Races participants. That's about nine straight years for Fay-El, and about five for Ed Smith. What's not so ho-hum is the way they defended their titles. Fay-El became the largest participating school group of all time at the Festival with a whopping 625, and Ed Smith doubled their number of participants from 2008. Those are some fitness-minded elementary school communities!
Fun with family teams. It doesn't seem like too many years ago that Mike Tucker suggested we add the "masters husband-wife" team category to our original eight categories of two-person family team categories. Great idea, Mike, so we did it. These days Mike and Paula are still running great in their fifties, and the going is getting REALLY tough in the masters H-W category, where Jay Owens and Lisa Veneziano (both in their forties) combined to run 35:23. Mike and Betsy Pfohl, of Fayetteville, ran a terrific combined 40:52--and finished only fifth in the category. We're considering going with Paula Tucker's (light-hearted) suggestion that we institute a "50+ husband-wife" team category, but one can't help noticing that Carmen Ayala-Troncoso's and Ricardo Troncoso's 2009 runner-up masters H-W team performance of 37:32 was a 50+ H-W time. Yikes! Good thing we go three deep with family team awards!
And how about those team performances! Compex Racing traveled all the way from Southern California and more than lived up to their billing as the top M40+ LDR club team in the country--averaging 15:33 per each of their five scorers. The Atlanta Track Club, Westchester Track Club, Genesee Valley Harriers, and Greater Springfield Harriers waged a terrific battle for the silver and bronze medals for M40+ teams.
Green Mountain Athletic Association held off tough teams from the Colonial Road Runners, the Genesee Valley Harriers, and California's Team Runners High to win the M50+ competition with an average of 17:07 per scorer (scoring five).
The Raritan Valley Road Runners brought a full team this year, and they rocked the M60+ team division, averaging 19:41 for each of their three scorers. Green Mountain AA, the Finger Lakes Runners Club (led by Rick Hoebeke's individual M60-64 national title), and GVH waged a great battle for the other two sets of medals.
And the New England 65 Plus Running Club was simply magnificent in winning the M70+ division with an average 22:21 per scorer (scoring three). Hooray for the host Chargers for capturing the silver and bronze medals in the age group!
For the women's teams (which score three runners in all team age divisions), the Athena Track Club rode Patty Murray-Albo's individual masters championship to another W40+ team victory. The Willow Street Athletic Club was outstanding in nabbing the silver, and the Greater Philadelphia TC's women took the bronze.
Willow Street got the gold in the W50+ division, with Greater Philly taking silver and the Finger Lakes Runners Club getting the bronze.
And the Chargers Women made it two consecutive years as champions in the W60+ team division.
Great teams; great times; and it was a real pleasure hosting so many excellent runners from so many of the top running clubs in the United States!
October 5, 2009
What a morning we had at yesterday's 17th annual Syracuse Festival of Races! The weather was conducive to fast 5K times and pleasant post-race socializing. The turn-out was terrific; the performances were inspiring; and it appeared that everyone on hand thoroughly enjoyed the morning.
When Jim McCaul fired the starting gun for the MVP Health Care 3K Fun & Fitness Run, over 2,300 people headed east under the banner. They came in all ages, sizes, shapes, abilities, and histories of road race participation. They followed (literally) in the footsteps of 799 5K runners (themselves ranging from Olympians and world-record holders to first-time road race participants). They were joined by walkers supporting at least a dozen area non-profits, and they were also joined by Fitness Forum/SOS Joint Replacement Run participants--one of whom covered the course on two artificial hips and one artificial knee.
The performances were nothing short of amazing. Along with another outstanding collection of season and personal bests by runners from every part of CNY, the Festival hosted twenty-four world-class performances, three more pending U.S. 5K records, and nearly TEN TIMES the number of sub-20:00 finishers that you'll see in the average Syracuse-area 5K road race.
The 2009 Festival was a true destination event, drawing visitors from 29 states, DC, Canada, Mexico, and the UK. They flew into Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, and Buffalo; they purchased scores of room-nights in area hotels; and we look forward to their returning with additional friends and teammates in 2010 to race again on what many consider to be one of the fastest record-eligible 5K road courses anywhere. Taking some of the individual results in roughly chronological order:
Congratulations to former Syracuse University All-American Kyle Heath, 23, of Farmington, NY, who led a merry chase in the Men's 5K his way to his first SFoR victory, in 14:21.
Ditto for Amanda LoPiccolo, 26, the former Ithaca College star and current Syracuse Charger, who topped the women for her first Women's 5K victory at the Festival, in 17:02. Along with the victory, Kyle's top performance by a male CNYer earned him the 2009 John Trowse Award, sponsored by Allied Sign Company in memory of John.
The men's race in the USA Masters 5 km Championship was spectacular, with Sean Wade, 43, of Houston, TX, the fleetest of a VERY fleet bunch. Sean's 14:52 ranks as the third fastest masters performance on the Festival course. Pete Magill, 48, of S. Pasadena, CA, ran 15:00--which is a pending single-age record for men age 48. And Christian Cushing-Murray, 41, one of Magill's Compex Racing teammates, from Santa Ana, CA, crossed the line in 15:08 to place third overall in the Masters Championship. Our top three were among seventeen male athletes whose 2009 SFoR performances age graded as world-class (90.0% or higher).
The women's race in the USA Masters 5 km Championships, defending women's champion, Patti-Murray-Albo, 44, of Boulder, CO, repeated with a beautifully paced 17:23. Michelle Simonaitis, 43, of Draper, UT, was the runner-up in 17:28, with Laurel Park, 46, of Ann Arbor, MI, third in 17:33. Six masters women ran 17:50 or faster, and seven women turned in performances that age-graded as world class.
Speaking of the age-graded performances, Pete Magill's 96.88% topped the men. Sabra Harvey, 60, of Houston, TX, ran a pending U. S. women's 60-64 5K age group record of 19:31, which age graded at 99.12. Carmen Ayala-Troncoso, 50, of Austin, TX, came within ten seconds of Joan Benoit Samuelson's U.S. women's 50-54 5K record, earning an age-graded mark of 96.37.p>
There were dozens more fantastic performances--including outstanding team performances, many of which we'll highlight in upcoming items of Festival News. Suffice it to say that this year's SFoR very likely unseats the 2002 Festival as the finest collection of road race performances ever at a Syracuse-area road race. For that, we thank our runners, our volunteers, and our sponsors--all of whom helped to make the Festival an event "where ordinary people do extraordinary things"!