This past Friday I took part in one of Buffalo’s most talked about events, the Buffalo Subaru 4-mile Chase. The four-mile road race, which began at 7PM, took place in one of Buffalo’s most beloved areas: the quaint, cultivated, and picturesque neighborhood of Elmwood village.
The Buffalo Chase is open to all runners of all ages and experience levels and is an event which brings in some of the world’s most elite runners. Runners come in from such countries as Ethiopia, Kenya, New Zealand, and Canada. Last year’s male winner, Bado Worku of Ethiopia, sped through the four mile course in a time of eighteen minutes, thirty-one seconds. To give you an idea of Badu’s speed, imagine running a mile in a time of four minutes, thirty-eight seconds; now, imagine doing that repeatedly for four miles.
This marks the 31st year for the event, which drew in more than eleven-hundred participants. Unlike last year’s race, which saw heavy rain, runners who participated this year were welcomed with sun, blue skies, and warm weather. Notable Western New York racers were Alison Carr from West Seneca, and Matt Glynn from Buffalo.
The event was directed this year by race organizer Jim Nowick and is a benefit to the Police Athletic League of Buffalo. The PAL, which began in the 1950’s, serves today as a nonprofit organization striving to improve the immediate and future quality of life for the youth of the Buffalo community.
For those unfamiliar with the event, here is a quick breakdown of the four-mile course. It is a simple, mostly flat rectangular course. The race begins at the corner of Elmwood and Bidwell Parkway, running the length of Elmwood and Delaware in between Forest Avenue and Summer Street. The course finishes along Elmwood Avenue, a short distance from the race start.
If you’re looking for a reason to put this race in your calendar next year, I’ll give you five:
The 100 meters to a straight away finish.
As you bank around the corner to finish along Bidwell Parkway, you suddenly feel as if you’re a derby-car careening around a corner as supporters are chanting you along your last lap. With the finish-line in view, it makes for a great sprint toward the finish.
The line of bars, coffee shops, and restaurants supporting your every step.
The live music galvanizing the Elmwood neighborhood.
The low-grade hill down Delaware and up Elmwood Avenue that makes for a graceful, yet challenging run.
The volunteers and Buffalo neighbors littered around the course to help you hydrate, and stay cool.
Let’s not forgot about the post-race activities that include:
Copious amounts of food from pasta to pepperoni pizza and summer’s most cherished fruit: watermelon.
…and of course, the requisite for any party- Beer.
This event was the perfect way to spend a warm, summer night in Buffalo. I met some wonderful people, took part in a challenging competition with competitors from various parts of the world, and partied with the natives of Elmwood late into the night. These races and events are a special part of the Buffalo patchwork. The intimate community atmosphere, the active events week after week, and the people are what make Western New York so special. I Love NY.
Special thanks to Gail, Sue, Jen, Rich, and the runners from Canisius College.