Do you – 4-Mile Chase in Buffalo Subaru Style

  
         

             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:

 

  1. 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.

  2. The line of bars, coffee shops, and restaurants supporting your every step.

  3.  The live music galvanizing the Elmwood neighborhood.

  4.  The low-grade hill down Delaware and up Elmwood Avenue that makes for a graceful, yet challenging run.

  5.  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:

  1.  Copious amounts of food from pasta to pepperoni pizza and summer’s most cherished fruit: watermelon.

  2.  LIVE MUSIC

  3.   …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. 

I’m sure I’ll be seeing you guys soon.

Do you – Ride NYC’s Lower East Side

 

I was told that there are three things you need to know when hauling down the streets of the lower east side during rush hour traffic.

  1. A rich vocabulary of obscene retorts

  2. A disregard for social etiquette

  3. And a simple understanding…”if an area is wide enough to get your bike through then it’s fair grounds.”

This past Tuesday’s experience proved at least the first statement to be true.  It didn’t take long to be reminded what city I was in as cab drivers and city slickers played shouting matches all while whipping their vehicles around traffic.  I wasn’t so much stunned at the obscenities being shouted but the fact that New Yorkers never seem to take their eyes off their profanity laced victim as they careen from lane to lane and around corners. It was an awesome display of navigation.  Needless to say the experience was an absolute thrill. From the city skyline, to the attractive and fashionable urbanites gracing the streets (there were so many!) it made me realized just how impressive NYC can be.  When I was young, friends and I would ride NY through the summer.  Yet for whatever reason we never reached the lower east side. It occurred to me long before the Do You – Ride tour that maybe I should continue where I left off as a kid and make it down to lower Manhattan.   The experience was a pleasure.. Here are a few things that I learned.

  • I always seem to forget just how vast and yet clustered the city can be. In just one ride I covered the Manhattan Bridge, the Waterfront, Soho, Little Italy, Chinatown ( one of many – don’t be fooled),  and Union Square.  Seriously, I don’t think you can hide from activity in the city. it’s everywhere, always. Never mind the ubiquitous displays of enterprise, take a long look at the beautiful playground around you.  I honestly didn’t want to stop riding.

  • These are the things to fear most during normal rides

    1. People swinging doors open

    2. Cars switching lanes without signaling

    3. Abrupt stops in traffic

    4. Pedestrians closing off your line of ride.

    5.  Sudden Detours

  •  High traffic makes things much more navigable.  The cars move much slower (most times completely still) and are therefore much  more predictable and less likely to pull off crazy stunts like speeding in reverse down a one way street.

  • The city does a better job than most at designing designated paths for riders.  And unlike some areas that I’ve been to in the past the roads aren’t littered with potholes. Beyond these typical troubles are the usual double parked cars and unruly red light right lane turners.

Don’t be surprise if you see me down again hurling down Park Ave on my giant with a camera on my head. I will certainly be back. I’m thinking next time I’ll hit up the Brooklyn bridge and ride up towards midtown.

For those of you living in the city there is no excuse to getting on that two wheeled transport and taking advantage of  what NYC offers.  You have a playground at your finger tips. Do You – RIDE!

Do you – Tri in the Buff

Started off my 4th of July weekend with a splash at Evangola State Park. I took part in “A Tri in the Buff ” , a  Triathlon bonanza that included an Intermediate Triathlon ( 15oo meter open water swim, 24.9 mile bike ride, 6.9 mile run) , A Sprint Triathlon ( 750 meter swim, 12.4 mile bike, 3.1 run), Intermediate Duathlon ( 3.1 run, 24.9 bike ride, 3.1 run)  a mini Sprint Triathlon event called Try a Tri ( 200 meter swim, 7.4 mile bike ride, 1.9 mile run) and a Kids Triathlon.  The weather was pleasant, the course was scenic, and the water was decent ( 66 degrees). The best part of this event were the competitors, volunteers and the people who made ” a Tri in the Buff” possible.  The collection of events provided a rich sense of comraderie as we all battled the elements in the water, on the bike and on the road. This feeling was  faciltated by the course set up which allowed novice triathletes in the Try a Tri event, intermediate distance triathles and sprint distance triathletes to compete side by side during certain portions of the race.   As i  battled  the H+ ions building up in my quads while feverishly pedaling on my fixed gear bike i witnessed intermediate distance triathletes zooming by hunched over and riding with poise.  It was humbling to know that while i was struggling through my 7.4 mile bike sprint they were covering over 3 times my distance – with a 6.9 mile run to follow.  Nevertheless, it was an absolute pleasure to be part of such a wonderful event.  Just another reason why I love New York.   You can be certain  that I will be returning to Evangola State park  next year  for the 750 meter swim, followed by the 12.5 mile bike and the 3.1 run. I’m already excited.  And parents consider zapping the never ceasing energy of your little ones with the kids triathlon. Watch them swim, bike and crawl across the finish line ready for nothing more than some food and a nap.  You can thank me afterwards.   

 

Special thanks to the people at Score-this.  Great set up! This event was a lot of fun.

Do you – Run in the Mist

I had a a chance to participate in the Niagara Boys and Girls club Run in the Mist 5k last week. It was my first time visiting the Niagara Falls and the site was splendid.  The course was situated right along the Niagara falls observation path and it made for a very scenic run.  At one point during the race i had to fight the urge to  stop and take a look at one of the seven wonders of the world. The post – race activities added to the event’s wonderful atmosphere. From the great food (Wegmans went all out in catering this event) to the race celebration the Niagara falls Boys and Girls clubs turned an ordinary wednesday into loads of fun and activity.

Do you – Run for Trooper Brinkerhoff

Ran the Brinkerhoff 5K  this past Saturday. It seems the 5k’s in western New York just keep getting better. The Brinkerhoff run is no exception. It  is a great event for anyone looking to do something fun and active. The course is 3.1 miles of short hills through scenic paths in the heart of North Boston, NY. The 5k& 10k  is a tribute to Trooper David Brinkerhoff who was killed in the line of duty.  The event saw more than 600 participants in it’s 3rd year.  It’s no surprise that such an event brings in so many individuals from all around the Western New York area. It’s great to see so many people supporting officers who put their lives at risk every time they step out in uniforms.  Proceeds and donations from the race went to the Brinkerhoff Scholarship. In addition, to being part of a wonderful cause participants were also able to partake in the fun post – race activities that included putt – putt, helicopter shows,  free beer and ice cream. Doesn’t get any better than that.

Do you – Run for Girls on the Run

Getting ready to go out to Delaware Park today to take part in the New Balance girls on the Run 5k. This active event is a no brainer in my book.  What better way to spend my Thursday afternoon after a long day of work than to be running for a cause that benefits girls of all ages. I have two younger sisters who i encourgage to be active on a daily basis.  It’s great to hear of organizations providing oppurtunities for young girls to be active. New Balance is doing something pretty neat in Buffalo today and i think im going to check it out.   I’ll have pics and video posted soon. And check back for an awesome article on nutrition during the workout along with an article description on  the Slideboard Leg Curl.

Post – Race Recap

So I was able to participate in the New Balance Girls on the Run first annual 5k yesterday. It was a pleasure to take part in such a special event.  I was very impressed with not only the race course, but the supporters, affiliated sponsors, the attendance and most importantly the cause. There are many positive lessons behind the New Balance Girls on the Run program. Part of the program is to teach young girls to adopt a healthy lifestyle by setting an active objective.  The goal was to run a 5k on June 15th in one of Buffalo’s main site for fun and activity.  Over 250 young ladies lined up behind the start line in Delaware Park on a Thursday afternoon to a run/walk a distance of 3.1 miles. It was a spectacular demonstration of companionship, sportsmanship and goal setting. Over 700 participants came to show support by running, walking and cheering their young girls across the finish line.  The race also fits behind many of my own personal beliefs and I was glad to be a part of it. The race was organized by Vicki Mitchell.

Do you – Run & Ride Dirty Duathlete Style

 

 

Pre – Race

I have just signed up for the Dirty Bit Duathlon Sunday June 12, 2011 at 10am.  The course is a 4.2 mile trail run through the Ski Mountains of Holiday Valley followed by a 10 mile single track mountain bike ride. Unfortunately, my training schedule hasn’t lent me the opportunity to make good use of my mountain bike this year. Much of my training has been relegated to strength training, road biking and running.  As a result, I will be force to break one of my most sacred rules. Train before you compete.

Post Race Recap

I made it back alive from the Dirty Duathlon competition in Ellicottville NY.  I’ll be honest with you. My will was tested today. It took every bit of intestinal fortitude for me to get through that competition.  It was certainly a humbling experience.  It’s the kind of experience that makes you realize your shortcomings by smacking it in your face. I encountered an adventure that demonstrated the importance of preparation. It was the kind of experience that dilutes the piss & vinegar so common of adolescents and those pretentious “know it alls”. Today my patience was spoon fed to me whether I wanted it or not.   I was made to realize that age is just a number and sex is just a letter. When participants line up at the start line all that matters is how well you trained and what kind of threshold you have for those H ions building up in your leg as you stride and pedal up that grueling mountain.  Today I was remind that  the word “challenging” can be relative and obstacles exist only when you’re unprepared and  your head is down. To all the competitors in today’s race, I have a profound respect for all of you.  

Today’s challenge was composed of a 4.2 mile trail run with uphill and downhill battles through Holiday valley’s Ski Mountain. In addition, duathlon competitors finished off with a 10 mile single track mountain bike ride fit for intermediate to advance riders. Today marked the 4th year  for the event being held at Holiday Valley  mountain sport center in Ellicottville NY.

 

Top 10 Lessons I learned from Dirty Duathlon

1.  Be prepared for what you are about to encounter.

  • It doesn’t matter what you are getting yourself to.  Success always lies closer to those who are prepared.  Preparation means:

    • studying the race course before hand

    • Training on the race course or in conditions similar to the race course

    • Understanding and training in weather conditions on race day

    • Checking your equipment prior to the event

    • Understanding how to deal with faulty equipment during competition

    •  Knowing how your body responds to different supplements, foods or beverages during competition

    • Knowing your competition

    • Forming a Strategy

  • Dismissing the aforementioned points can leave you unprepared for your race. Remember success always follows preparation.

2.  Attack the ascent portion of the race.  

  • Remember what goes up must come down

    • Races like these are won during the ascent. Everyone flies down the mountain pretty quick no matter what level they are. Your best chance for improving your position is by attacking the uphill.

    • Keep a cadence

      • Keeping a cadence can make you more aware of your speed as you are running.  Each beat can be the sound of your foot hitting the ground as you move up the hill. Any lost of synchronization between your cadence and the sound of your foot hitting the ground can provide valuable feedback as you encounter an uphill.

    • Include hill running in your training

      • Ultimately no other tips will work better than training. The more you can practice uphill running the better you will fare when you face it during competition.  Include some hill sprints or incline sprints in your training routine.

3.  Focus on the trail below and above.

  • Don’t just focus on the obstacles directly below you. Be sure to pay attention to the trail up ahead.  Preparation is key. Anytime you can spend strategizing for obstacles up ahead gives you an edge over on time and ultimately the competition.  It also limits your chances for disastrous spills.

4.  Keep yourself relax during the transition by practicing.

  • Often times, when I talk to competitors they describe the transitions between two separate events as the most difficult part of their race.  While I understand the change in demands from switching between events can be biomechanically and physiologically challenging. I also believe transitions to be the easiest areas to practice. The transition can be a strategic opportunity for hydration and nutrient replenishment.  Many people take this period for granted. Practice during your training sessions and reap the benefit of experience.

5.  Make sure you have liquids available to you during the competition.

  • If your bike doesn’t have a bottle holder purchase one at your local bike shop. If bottles aren’t your thing consider purchasing a camel back. It’s rare that I see water or Gatorade stations during short competitions like today’s event.  The bike portion of the race can be very taxing be sure to hydrated.

6.  Keep your butt on your seat or stay low.

  • Resist the urge to stand upright on your bike. I wasted a lot of energy as I stood up on my bike during the ascent.  It may seem counterproductive to sit  or to stand low during those uphill  and technical battles but there are many benefits to this strategy.  For instance, anytime you stand on your bike your center of gravity rises resulting in a greater demand for balance and control.  This puts you at greater risk for falling and gives you less control when encountering technical routes or quick turns. If you must stand try shifting up gears to increase speed which will give you the necessary momentum to power through.  Otherwise, as I was told during today’s course “keep you’re your ass on the seat, shift to a lower gear and grind baby grind.

7.  Clipless pedals or clip ins are a must.  

  • Clipless pedals will help you through all stages of the completion from uphill to downhill, provide a strong relationship between you and your bike. This relationship is valuable as you want to prevent weak links from the ground up to your legs.  Clipless pedals provide efficiency and improved control through your ride.

8.  Get comfortable clipping in to your mountain bike.

  • This was easily the most frustrating experience for me. It was clear to me that I hadn’t practice enough with clipless pedals.  There were multiple moments where I hadn’t generated enough momentum on the track causing me to lose balance.  While I’ve used my clipless pedals for several years I took the nature of this event for granted.  The Ice pack on my knees and the bruises on my shins are the price I paid for that mistake.

9.  Be courteous to other riders.

  •  While I didn’t gets a chance to do much “passing” during the event. It was good experience to understand the dynamics of passing competitors on a single track.  Riders behind you will either shout “to your left” or “to your right” indicating the direction they are passing you.  If you hear this being shouted, let go of your ego and get out of the way.

10. Be patient.

  • I’m always thankful when I can find a hobby where patience is pre-requisite.  Judging by today’s event Mountain Biking seems to be no exception. Patience will help enable you to navigate the course efficiently and with less chance for injury. Patience can sometimes give you the opportunity to bypass your competitors. I learned that there’s quite a bit of strategy needed when you are flying down a mountain at speeds nearing 30 miles per hour. Patience and some calculated thinking could be your ticket from dirt in your face.   

11. Bonus Point – Go to events with a friend.

  • Be sure to drive to these competitions with at least 1 friend. Try not to go alone. After a competition like the Dirty Duathlon the last thing you want to do is get behind the wheel of a car for a long distance drive. In addition, in case of an emergency it is always good to have someone you know who can provide help.  If you can’t find anyone willing to make the long haul with you. Make a phone call and be sure to have them call you post – competition.

Gear Recommendations

  • Clipless Pedals (only if you plan on training with them prior to the race)

  • Bottle holder (for quick hydration during the race)

  • Gloves   – (my skin is absolutely raw from the death grip.)

  • Bike chain lubricant (for pre and post race)

Do you – Corporate Chase

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Getting ready to leave for the Buffalo Corporate Chase Run in Delaware Park. I’f I’m not mistaken today is supposed to be a scorcher. No worries though, I’ll be sure to hydrate properly post race with the 10,000  runners who are expected to participate today. Get there early because i can guarantee that parking will be difficult.  I’ll be back later  with a recap and some footage from the race.  Hope to see you there.

Post – Race Recap

This year marks the 35 years of hustle and tussle along 3.5 miles of pavement as the  JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge continued in Buffalo today.  This year’s series  started March 3 in Johannesburg, South Africa and concludes Wednesday, November 9 in Sydney, Australia.  In between will be six U.S. events, and one each in Germany, the United Kingdom and Singapore.  Buffalo did not disappoint as it saw over 11,000 participants from over 300 companies in the area.  The 2011 Buffalo Corporate Challenge saw a large jump in numbers compared to the past years. Who could blame runners and walkers for coming out. Despite warnings of thunderstorms and high temperatures, racers were blessed with blue skies and perfect temperatures from start to finish.

This year’s race took place along Buffalo’s Delaware Park.  For those unfamiliar with Buffalo’s corporate Challenge course the race starts off near the base of Amherst St and Nottingham Terrace.  Runners  and walkers progress along the beautiful and quaint homes on Amherst st making a left on to Delaware ave.  The course follows Delaware ave and loops around Niagara Square to return once more on Delaware Ave. The turn on to Middlesex road signifies the race is nearing it’s end and finally a turn on to Meadow road continuing in to the park marks the straight away to the finish.   This year’s Male winner was Dan Giza with a time of 17:30 and Maura Frauehofer with a time of 20:15.

What makes this event so special is the conglameration of companies from all over the buffalo area centered in Delaware park to take part in activity. This gives various people the opportunity to see coworkers and members of different organizations in a different light. The JP corporate challenge chase dares you to forget your slacks and business tie and instead throw on some running shoes and a cool team shirt to celebrate the opportunity to be active.   Lastly, the event is for a good cause. Donations for this year ‘s 2011 challenge went to child care resource network.

I am very glad to have been a part of the JP Morgan Corporate Chase Challenge this year as I was able to participate with my teammates who tough it out every morning at 6am till i blow the whistle. Do you – Corporate Chase Challenge.

Do you – Run for water

I woke up this morning and decided I needed to do something positive and active. I had heard about a 5k being held in Amherst called Running for water and briefly deliberated the consequences of running three races back to back in one weekend. Moments later I found myself registering for what is surely one of my favorite 5k races in Buffalo. This was running waters first annual event and they did not disappoint. I was very impressed with the course, the competition, the post – race celebration and lastly and most importantly the cause.

Top 5 reasons you should plan on doing the Running Water 5k next year.

  1. The Course

    • The Race course is situated in Amherst’s Audobon Town park.  It’s a flat course that takes place along a looping bike path. The greenery during this time of the years makes the race very engaging. You might lose track of your pace simply because you were taking in the atmosphere.

  2. The Post Race – Event.

    • Race organizers did a wonderful job of making sure people of all ages really enjoyed themselves. Kid’s activities included face paint, balloon animals and blow up castles. The live DJ – dispersed music, beats and great energy throughout the event.

  3. The People

    • There was great competition as the Top Male finished at 16:44 and Top Female finished at 22 minutes.  Racers competed from all over Buffalo and the Western NY area.  There were even some participants who came as far as D.C. to show support.

  4. The Cause

    • The story behind this event is truly original. It demonstrates how the smallest gesture can create opportunity, change lives and drive hope.  It all started with a laugh and has become so much more. For more on this story please visit. www.Ltlol.com or Letthemlol.com. A brief explanation is also given in the video.

  5. The Activity

    • Organizations behind this event made it possible for anyone who participated and donated would see 100% of their contributions go directly to providing wells for communities in Africa. The opportunity to be active should be reason enough for get people out and about.  When a great cause meets a chance to be active the result is irresistible. The result is running water.