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.