SFoR News



October 3, 2014
In-Person Registration is Available on Both Saturday and Sunday!


Even if you've missed the opportunity to register online, you can still register for any of our four race morning events.  We'll have packet pickup and late registration from 10:00 a.m. through 2:00 p.m. at the Dick's Sporting Goods in Shoppingtown (DeWitt 13214) on Saturday, Oct. 4, and on SFoR morning, Sunday, Oct. 5, general registration and race-day packet pickup open at 7:30 in the large  white general registration tent along E. Colvin St. on the south side of Manley Field House.


Temperatures are forecast to be ideal for distance running and walking, on Sunday morning, and we're likely to enjoy quite a bit of sunshine.


You still have a chance to come enjoy amazing!



September 29, 2014
Another Author/Runner; Another Recent Publication; Another Giveaway--This One for 3K Finishers!


It turns out that Libby James, age 78, will be toting not only her weekend luggage, but also copies of her recently published book, Running Mates, when she departs her home in Fort Collins, CO, for the SFoR this weekend.


A work of fiction based on real-life experiences, the book tells a tale of evolving physical fitness and grandparent-grandchild affection, and it's written for children in grades three through eight (as well as for grandparents who run).


Libby has kindly offered to give away a half-dozen copies of the book to participants in the SFoR's 3K Fun & Fitness Run.  Merely entering doesn't make you eligible; you've got to be in it to win it.


Isn't that what you'd expect from a lady who's been running for more than four decades and owns a boatload of national titles and national and world records and bests in various age groups?



September 23, 2014
Three-Time Olympian and Liverpool Native, Jen Rhines, to Attempt 5K Masters World Record


Having joined the masters ranks on July 1st, Liverpool native Jen Rhines will be seeking not only her first USA Masters National Championship but also the women's 5K masters world record when the starting gun fires for the MVP Health Care Women's 5K on October 5.   The mark she'll be aiming to improve upon is 15:48, run by another three-time Olympian, Colleen DeReuck, at the Freihofer's Run for Women on June 5, 2004.


What a great opportunity for all of the entrants in the Women's 5K to offer encouragement to Jen and see her world record attempt "up close" as she passes them on the return portion of the course!   What a great opportunity for the entire Syracuse community to come out to Barry Park on race morning to witness Jen's world record attempt--and to support all of the participants in the morning's events!



September 20, 2014
The Dotted Orange Line is Going Down; Must Be a Couple of Races Coming Up!


Those of you who travel or train on Meadowbrook Drive already know the news:  We've begun painting the dotted orange line that aids SFoR runners to travel exactly the measured path from start to finish.  With beautiful painting (and running) weather forecast for the entire week, we should have all 189 dashes down by this weekend.


One word of caution to everyone who's out there training on our course this time of year:  Make sure you run facing and looking out for traffic on Meadowbrook.  Race day will be your opportunity to run the tangent as vehicles drive--with the course entirely closed to vehicles.



September 15, 2014
"The Battle at the Back" Continues; Free Running Socks to Our Final Ten Finishers in Both 5K Races


One of the great things about having one of the fastest record-eligible 5K road courses in the country is that the SFoR can offer EVERYONE in the Bankers Healthcare Group Men's 5K and MVP Health Care Women's 5K the opportunity to record his or her fastest 5K of the year.  We see that as one of our key goals:  Helping to make faster times a reality for participants from the front of the pack to the final finishers.


And--just as we have awards for those at the front of the pack--we enjoy upping the fun factor by offering awards for those who finish at the back.  Consequently, we'll once again be awarding a pair of running socks to each of the final ten finishers in both 5Ks.


These "final ten" awards will be available for pickup at the Chargers Awards Tent (facing the Tops Post-Race Refreshments Tent) as soon as the complete official results have been posted for each race.  We estimate that will be at approximately 9:45 for the men, and at approximately 10:50 for the women.


Let's hope that all forty pairs of socks awarded this year serve as the icing on the cake of a season-best (or personal-best) time for the world's most popular road race distance!



September 13, 2014
Six Copies of Mastering Running, by Dr. Cathy Utzschneider, To Be Awarded in Surprise Giveaways


Dr. Cathy Utzschneider, head coach of the Liberty Athletic Club and author of Mastering Running, has generously provided six copies of her book for us to dole out as gifts on SFoR weekend.  We'll be awarding these copies via a quasi-random (and super-secret) method of selecting the lucky recipients.  The method of selecting the six winners will be revealed at the Masters Championship Awards Brunch.


Cathy's book, published by Human Kinetics is geared toward helping masters distance runners "run faster, stronger, and longer--and remain injury free."   We'll have additional information and a copy of the book on display in the Chargers Hospitality Suite in The Genesee Grande Hotel throughout race weekend, but you need not wait for that preview.  More information is available right now at:  www.humankinetics.com/products/all-products/Mastering-Running.



September 10, 2014
Championship Watch:  Seventeen States; Eighteen Associations; Twenty-Two Clubs; and Seven 2013 Age-Group Champions Already Entered


As entries for the 2014 USA Masters 5 km Championship approach the 100 mark (about the halfway point, with slightly more than 200 expected), our field now includes masters athletes from seventeen states (and one Canadian province).  We also have eighteen USATF Associations and twenty-two USATF clubs currently represented in the field.


We're delighted to have seven of our 2013 age-group national champions entered and seeking to defend their titles, and we're equally delighted to have another handful of our 2012 age-group national champions who weren't able to race here in 2013 but will be back in our field this year.


Looks like it's going to be another inspiring showcase of U.S. masters distance running excellence!



September 5, 2014
Bankers Healthcare Group Men's 5K at the SFoR Will Be Lysle Bassett's Century Race


When perennial SFoR finisher Lysle Bassett, 76, of Camillus, NY, approaches the finish line of the Bankers Healthcare Group Men's 5K on Festival morning, he'll be finishing his 100th road race.  Lysle began running at age 54, and he has persevered for 22 years--despite his having had to miss a year here and a year there due to illnesses and injuries.


We're tickled pink that the SFoR gets to host Lysle for this milestone race, and it's a neat coincidence that his running career and the Syracuse Festival of Races itself both began in 1993.



August 30, 2014
Some of Our New Age-Group Entrants We All Should Feel Good For.


Especially once we're over forty, entering a new age group can be a beautiful thing--at least from the standpoint of placing in our age group.  So it's easy to feel good for several of our Masters Championship entrants who'll be coming back to the Syracuse Festival  of Races this year to compete in a different age group than they were in for last year's SFoR.


Przemyslaw Nowicki, of the Shore AC, ran an enviable 21:25 at age 69 at the 2013 Festival.  But--because he was at the upper end of the age group in a ridiculously deep and talented M65-69 field, Przemyslaw's 21:25 placed him tenth among eleven finishers.  As a newly minted M70-74 competitor in 2014, Przemyslaw will be a threat to medal.  Ah, the beauty of aging!


The Atlanta Track Club's (and former Syracuse Charger) Ena Weinstein is enjoying a similarly revised age-group landscape.  As a 54-year-old here in 2013, Ena placed sixth among women 50-54 despite her terrific time of 20:19.  This year she'll be one of the ladies to beat for a National Championship medal in the W55-59 age group.


Edna Hyer, of the Checkers AC, has turned into an octogenarian since last year's Festival, and Edna's already finding that medaling in her age group as an 80-year-old is a lot easier than it was as a 79-year-old.


Of course, there are exceptions to many rules, and one of those is Jan Holmquist, of the Liberty AC.  Last year at age 69, Jan handily won the W65-69 national title in a good field.  Despite her having entered a new age group since then, nobody's betting that Jan will place any higher in the W70-74 age group October 5th, 2014 than she placed in the W65-69 age group on October 6th, 2013.  (Poor Jan!  I guess she'll just have to be content to focus on improving on the W70-74 5K U.S. record on SFoR morning.)


In so many ways, what goes on out there on Meadowbrook Drive on Sunday morning, Oct. 5th, is going to be amazing!



August 25, 2014
Championship Watch: Thirteen States Are Now Represented.


One of the measures of National Championship success that we use to evaluate our success in hosting the USA Masters 5 km Championships for men and women each year is the number of U.S. states we have represented in the Championship.  As of today, we have athletes entered from thirteen states:  MA, NY, NJ, PA, VA, NC, SC, GA, FL, TN, MI, CO, and CA.  We also have a Championship entry in hand from Canada.  With about 25% of our Championship entries in, that's a very promising start in our 2014 quest for broad geographic representation.


In case you'd like to root for an event best this year:  We average about 25 states each year, with our highest number having been 29 (plus DC) in 2011.



August 20, 2014
Our 2014 USATF Sanction Application Has Been Approved; Let the Record-Setting Begin


Not that there was ever any doubt that we'd get the online application completed and approved again this year, but there are some pretty good events that overlook the detail of USATF sanctioning, and that can (and has) cost more than one athlete a national record.


That necessary condition for smooth ratification of possible pending records at the USATF Annual Meetings this December has now been taken care of, and we'll continue working on all other aspects of the race that can help to pave the way to record-eligible performances.




August 13, 2014
General Online Registration Is Now Open at RunSignUp.com!


Online registration for the Bankers Healthcare Group Men's 5K, the MVP Health Care Women's 5K, the 3K Fun & Fitness Run, and the Tops Friendly Markets Community Walk is now available via the SFoR's entry page at RunSignUp.com.


 We're looking forward to four amazing events on Sunday morning, October 5th!  Come enjoy amazing!



August 12, 2014
The SFoR CrowdRise Page is Now Good to Go!


Our participating non-profit beneficiaries will be delighted to learn that the Syracuse Festival of Races page at CrowdRise has been updated for 2014.  That means that any interested non-profit organization can now visit the SFoR page at CrowdRise and set up its own donations page--which has proven to be very effective.


For those who might not be aware, the SFoR embraces an "all are welcome" policy with regard to non-profit fundraising via the Tops Friendly Markets Community Walk and other events at the Syracuse Festival of Races.  All interested non-profit organizations are invited to join us as participating non-profits and raise funds and visibility through their pledge-centered participation in the Festival.   Since 2000, scores of participating groups have reaped the benefits of participation, raising well over $150,000 for their programs and services.



August 4, 2014
Back By Popular Demand:  Complimentary 5K Entries in "Our Race of Champions" Offer


Thanks to those of you who've been requesting it, the Bankers Healthcare Group Men's 5K and the MVP Health Care Women's 5K at the 2014 Syracuse Festival of Races will be offering complimentary pre-race-weekend entry to runners who meet our Race of Champions qualifying standard.  In order to be eligible for complimentary 5K entry, you must have been the first male finisher overall or first female finisher overall in a 2014 road race with at least 250 officially timed finishers.


If you have met the Race of Champions qualifying standard and would like to request a complimentary SFoR 5K entry for 2014, please feel invited to e-mail your request to DaveOja@FestivalofRaces.com.



August 1, 2014
Open Prize Money for Individuals and Club Teams Returns to the Festival; $4,500 Is Up for Grabs


Thanks to the sponsorship of Bankers Healthcare Group and MVP Health Care the men's and women's 5K races at the Syracuse Festival of Races will offer a significantly expanded prize structure in 2014.   The first five male finishers and the first five female finishers will receive $500, $400, $300, $200, and $100 for their respective individual finish places.  In addition, the top two men's and women's USATF club teams will receive $300 for first place and $200 for second place.


Allied Sign Company will continue its sponsorship of the John Trowse Memorial Award, a $250 check for the first CNY male finisher.  Cohen & Cohen, LLP will present a similar $250 award to the first CNY female finisher.


The open prize money is exactly that:  open to anyone who runs fast enough to earn it.  Thus, the fastest of the masters athletes in the USA Masters 5 km Championship will be eligible to displace younger runners and take home open money in addition to masters money--if they're fast enough to do so.


For an outline of both the $4,500 in open prize money and the $10,000 in Masters Championship prize money that athletes and teams will be competing for on Sunday, October 5, click here.



July 28, 2014
Race Headquarters Hotel Reminder:  Festival Weekend Will Be Grande!


It appears that the members of the SFoR race committee aren't the only ones looking forward to Sunday, October 5, because we're getting a lot of e-mails asking about our race headquarters hotel.  


Our 2014 race headquarters hotel will be The Genesee Grande Hotel.  Located at the corner of E. Genesee Street and University Avenue (1060 E. Genesee Street) in Syracuse, The Genesee Grande is a pleasant walk from the heart of the Syracuse University campus, and within two miles of the SFoR start line.


Reservations for SFoR entrants and their guests are available at the special Syracuse Festival of Races rate of $99 per night (plus tax) for standard "single queen" or "double-double" rooms, and $114 per night (plus tax) for Jr. Suites.  In order to be guaranteed the special rate, guests must make their reservations by Thursday, September 4, or whenever our block is filled, should that occur first.  Please make all reservations by calling the hotel at 315-476-4212 (or toll-free at 800-365-4663), and be sure to mention the "Syracuse Festival of Races room block" at the time of registration in order to receive the discounted rate.


SFoR runners and their families and guests have already booked seventy (70) room nights, so we recommend making your reservations well before the September 4 group deadline.  This is likely to be the second consecutive year that the SFoR room block at our race headquarters hotel sells out completely.



July 21, 2014
2014 3K Fun & Fitness Run T-Shirt Design Revealed


Julie Gratien and her students have done it again!  The art teacher at Fayetteville Elementary (in the Fayetteville-Manlius CSD) has been providing beautiful artwork for the front of our 3K shirts for several years, and this year she enlisted the help of her students.  Their collaborative effort, to appear on the T-shirts that we'll be producing for this year's 3K Fun & Fitness Run, is another six-color beauty that speaks for itself.


For over two decades, we've offered the school with the largest participation in each year's 3K Fun & Fitness Run at the SFoR the opportunity to design the artwork for the subsequent year's 3K T-shirt.  Throughout much of the 1990's, it was Longbranch Elementary (in the Liverpool CSD) that was the perennial provider of our shirt design.  But that torch was passed to Laurie Valentine's Fayetteville Elementary group, which has now enjoyed the opportunity for more than a decade.


Some of our veteran school group coordinators are already making plans to organize the students, families, teachers, and staff members for the SFoR's annual celebration of personal fitness and the beginning of the new school year.  If your school or your children's school community would like to join the fun, e-mail Deb Peterson-Smith for information on how to get started.



July 14, 2014
The Entry Form is Finished and Available for Downloading


Those of you who prefer to enter with a paper entry form are now good to go, as our 2014 entry form is just a click and print away.  Entering on paper forms and paying by check will save you a couple of bucks, and we're still at least a couple of weeks away from opening online registration.  If you'd like to join the masters runners from eight states who've already entered with paper forms, that option is now available.



June 9, 2014
Bankers Healthcare Group Confirms Title Sponsorship of the Bankers Healthcare Group Men's 5K


It's pleasure for the SFoR to welcome Bankers Healthcare Group to our sponsorship team!  We appreciate their commitment to supporting the competitive and fitness pursuits of runners of all ages and levels of experience.  Check SFoR News in the coming weeks for details on the exciting and positive changes that await individuals and teams in the Bankers Healthcare Group Men's 5K at the Syracuse Festival of Races.


Learn more about Bankers Healthcare Group by visiting the company's website.



May 19, 2014
Nationwide Insurance Will Sponsor 5K Finisher Medals for the Third Consecutive Year


The popular commemorative medals and neck ribbons that our Men's 5K and Women's 5K finishers received in each of the past two years are about to become part of a 3-piece collection.  Nationwide Insurance has confirmed their commitment to sponsoring 5K finisher medals again this year, which is sure to delight our 2014 participants who leave this year's event with a 22nd-anniversary medal.


Whether it's the first, second or third of these beauties that you hang in your trophy case, it'll be a quality item to commemorate your performance at this year's SFoR!



May 12, 2014
Tops Markets Extends Its Title Sponsorship of the Tops Friendly Markets Community Walk


It's a great day in May when Tops Friendly Markets confirms its continued support of both the Tops Friendly Markets Community Walk and the Tops Post-Race Refreshments Area at the SFoR!


Both will be back in 2014, with the Community Walk once again the focal event for many of the non-profit organizations who benefit from their pledge-centered participation in the SFoR each year.


And whether they're finishing the Men's 5K, Women's 5K, 3K Fun & Fitness Run, or Community Walk, all participants on Sunday morning, October 5, will find the Tops Post-Race Refreshments Area a welcome (and delicious) sight to behold.



April 16, 2014
The Festival to Serve as the Culminating Event of the 2014 Chargers Grand Slam


We're delighted to announce that the Festival will be the culminating event of the 2014 Chargers Grand Slam, a new series of races offering area fitness buffs the challenge of finishing a race at four of the five events and thereby earning 2014 Chargers "Grand Slammer" status.  All finishers in either the Men's 5K or the MVP Health Care Women's 5K at the 2014 Syracuse Festival of Races will receive credit in the Grand Slam.


The Chargers Grand Slam is open to all interested runners and walkers, and it costs them nothing more than the entry fees for the Grand Slam events they choose to enter.  Beginning with the 5K and 10K races at the 35th annual Hess Express Swamp Rat Races at Oneida Shores Park in Brewerton on Saturday, June 14, the Grand Slam includes one Chargers-conducted event each month.


Along the way from June to October, would-be 2014 Grand Slammers will also be seeking to finish the 5K or 10-miler at the 42nd annual Cazenovia July 4th Foot Races on Friday, July 4; the 21st annual Willow Bay 5K Run and Fitness Walk for Women in Onondaga Lake Park on Saturday, August 16; and the 5-miler at the 12th annual Fayetteville Classic at Beard Park in Fayetteville on Saturday, September 20.


Everyone who finishes a race at four of the five 2014 Chargers Grand Slam events will receive free entry for the Last Chance Trail Run and Pancake Breakfast at Highland Forest, where all of the 2014 Grand Slammers will be awarded their 2014 Grand Slam performance running shirts.



April 11, 2014
Helen Botti Is First Again!


Not in her age group this time, but in being the first entrant in the MVP Health Care Women's 5K at the 2014 Syracuse Festival of Races.  This will be Helen's seventh consecutive trip from her WNY home to run the Festival, and she'll be joined by three of her Checkers Athletic Club teammates whose entry forms weren't far behind Helen's:  Fran Rowe, Edna Hyer, and Christa Maier.


Helen, Christa, Fran, and Edna will be seeking to medal once again this year in the W70+ division of the USA Masters 5 km Championship--which the SFoR will be hosting for the seventh consecutive year.  Edna will be celebrating October 5 in a new age group, as she has become and octogenarian.  It's going to be fun!



April 4, 2014
The Genesee Grande Will Be Our 2014 Race Headquarters Hotel


We're delighted to announce that our 2014 race headquarters hotel will be The Genesee Grande Hotel.  Located at the corner of E. Genesee Street and University Avenue (1060 E. Genesee Street) in Syracuse, The Genesee Grande is a pleasant walk from the heart of the Syracuse University campus, and within two miles of the SFoR start line.


Reservations for SFoR entrants and their guests are available at the special Syracuse Festival of Races rate of $99 per night (plus tax) for standard "single queen" or "double-double" rooms, and $114 per night (plus tax) for Jr. Suites.  In order to be guaranteed the special rate, guests must make their reservations by Thursday, September 4, or whenever our block is filled, should that occur first.  Please make all reservations by calling the hotel at 315-476-4212 (or toll-free at 800-365-4663), and be sure to mention the "Syracuse Festival of Races room block" at the time of registration in order to receive the discounted rate.


We urge everyone to book early, as the SFoR room block sold out completely last year!



March 28, 2014
Dick's Sporting Goods Confirms Bonus Certificates for 1,000 5Kers, Top M&W, and Age-Groups


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 (located just east of the finish line) as soon as the respective sets of official results are posted.


And a bit later on SFoR morning, the first will be the last (at least when it comes to receiving the Dick's Bonus Certificates at the Festival) as the first overall Men's 5K finisher and first overall MVP Health Care Women's 5K finisher, will receive a $100.00 Bonus Certificate at the same yellow and green Chargers tent at approximately 11:30.


Feel free to click on the Dick's Sporting Goods logo above, and see the special online offers currently available to runners and all other types of sports enthusiasts!



March 21, 2014

MVP Health Care Confirms 2014 Title Sponsorship of the MVP Health Care Women's 5K


MVP Health Care has confirmed its seventh consecutive year as a Festival Title Sponsor, returning in 2014 as Title Sponsor of the MVP Health Care Women's 5K at the SFoR.


This is great news for the girls and women of all ages, abilities, and levels of experience who look forward to running the world's most popular road race distance on the renowned SFoR course.  From first time road race entrants to world record holders, the MVP Health Care Women's 5K offers everyone a unique race experience.


As last year, the MVP Health Care Women's 5K will start at 9:50 on race morning.  Finisher times in our 2013 event ranged from 16:51 to 52:08--proving that the MVP Health Care Women's 5K really is the race for every pace!


Is there a better way to celebrate health and fitness than joining like-minded women from coast to coast on a safe, beautiful, and inspirational road race course?



February 14, 2014

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 2013 masters performances for the 5K distance (page 44) has a distinctly Festival flavor!


Hearty congratulations to Brian Pilcher, Kevin Miller, and Kristian Blaich, whose 2013 SFoR performances ranked as the 5th, 7th, and 10th best men's masters 5K performances of last year!


Similar kudos to Kathy Martin and Jan Holmquist, whose 2013 SFoR performances ranked as the 2nd and 6th best women's masters 5K performance of 2013!


Thanks to the outstanding performances of Brian, Kevin, Kristian, Kathy, and Jan, the Syracuse Festival of Races is delighted to be--for the second consecutive year--the nation's only road race to host as many as five of the top 20 5K masters performances.



January 3, 2014

Masters LDR Committee:  "Three More Years!"


Sincere thanks to all of the members of USATF's Masters LDR Committee for the wonderful compliment they paid the Syracuse Chargers Track Club and the Syracuse Festival of Races race committee by asking us to extend our hosting of the USA Masters 5 km Championship through 2016.  Our October 5, 2014 edition will be our seventh consecutive hosting our nation's 40 and older national championship at the world's most popular road race distance--and we're already working hard to make it another outstanding road race experience for everyone in our fields.


As has been the case in each of the past six years, the men's and women's 5 km Championship races will be run concurrently with the SFoR's Men's 5K and MVP Health Care Women's 5K.


And as 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 any U.S. citizen age 40 or older on race day, Sunday, October 5, 2014, who is a current member of USA Track & Field.


To learn more about joining USATF and becoming eligible to score in USATF championships, you can visit www.USATF.org.



October 26, 2013
Got Family Team Awards?  We Do!


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 (daveoja@festivalofraces.com) and we can arrange a convenient pickup day and time.



October 21, 2013
ale Single-Age Course Records List Updated:  Thirteen 2013 Additions to the SFoR Honor Roll!


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
Male Single-Age Course Records List Updated:  Eight 2013 Additions to the SFoR Honor Roll!


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
Kathy Martin Named USATF Athlete of the Week


Kathryn Martin, 62, of Northport, NY, has been named USA Track & Fields 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. Martins 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 womens 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 womens 65-69 age-group 5K world-best time run by Margret Betz at the Syracuse Festival of Races in 2001. Ms. Holmquists 21:19 age-graded 101.15%.


Congratulations to Kathy on another USATF Athlete of the Week honor!



October 9, 2013
Got Images?  Check Bob Brock's Festival Images Site!


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
HOO-WEE!  That Was One Moist Hoot of a Morning!


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
Thanks to All For Entering!


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
Late Registration and Packet Pickup Today at Dick's Sporting Goods in Destiny USA


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
Championship Watch:  Registration Explosion Puts the "Gee!" in "GVH; Willow Street Women Are In; Championship Entries Reach a Record 237!


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
Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?


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
S.U. vs Clemson Kickoff is 3:30 p.m. on Saturday--Perfect for SFoR Packet Pickup and Site Setup!


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
Championship Watch:  Melody Fairchild and Brian Pilcher Join Our Field; Record Numbers Entered in Various Age Groups


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
You Can Now Follow The Festival of Twitter


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
Championship Watch:  Doug Goodhue is Back; Anny Stockman and Willis Moses Seek Festival Four-Baggers; CO Gains in SFoR Border War with KS


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
Rescue Mission Joins the 2013 SFoR Fundraising Parade


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
Championship Watch:  Kathy Martin Returning; Fay Bradley Debuting; Michigan Heads East; TNT, Garmin, and HFC Teams Join the Fray!


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
Here Comes the Tangent Line!


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
3K Fun & Fitness Run T-Shirt Design Revealed; Thanks to Julie Gratien of Fay-El


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
Championship Watch:  Entries Reach 100; Nine Defending Age-Group Champions Entered; Here Comes the ATC!


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
The Billboard is Up!  Check Out the SFoR Board on I-690 East!


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
Dick's Sporting Goods Discounts a Click Away for SFoR Entrants, Friends, and Family


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
Still Time for Interested Non-Profits to Join in the Fundraising and the Fun


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
Room at the Inn?  TBA.  In the Meantime, Kudos To Those Who Beat the Sell-Out!


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
Championship Watch:  Sonja Set to Defend; M&W Septuagenarian Team Champs and W65-69 Medalists Are Back


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
SFoR Sanction Approved Via USATF's New Online Sanctioning Process


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
Final Finishers 5K Awards Announced; Ten-Places Deep for Both Men and Women


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
Cohen & Cohen, LLP To Sponsor $250 Cash Award For MVP Health Care Women's 5K Champion


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
Refreshments Watch:  Larabar Returns, and Food Should Taste Good Chips Are Joining the Party!


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
Time To Make Maplewood Inn Reservations at the Special SFoR Rate is Dwindling


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
Uno Chicago Grill Joins Applebee's, Subway, and Salsarita's Just Beyond the Finish Line


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
Championship Watch:  W75 Defending Medalists All Returning, and Marisa Enters a New Age Group


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
Championship Watch:  Belle Watling Entered and Ready to Defend M80+ National Title


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
Early Bird Entry Fee Runs Out on Wednesday


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
USA Masters 5 km Field Now at Ten States and Counting


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
Dick's Sporting Goods is In; Bonus Certificates Await 1,000 5Kers, Top M&W, and Age-Groups


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
Our 2013 Entry Form is Printed; Print One Now and Save the Online Service Charge


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
Tops Friendly Markets to Continue as Community Walk and Post-Race Refreshments Sponsor


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
The Maplewood Inn Continues As "Home Sweet Home" for Visiting SFoR Runners in 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
Committee Approves Construction of Man-Made Drumlin on Meadowbrook Drive


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
Thanks to Nationwide Insurance, Our 5K Finisher Medal is Back!


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
SFoR Shifting to GetEntered.com for Non-Championship Online Registration in 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
Ed Buckley, SFoR Single-Age M77 and M78 Course Record Holder, Dies at Age 91


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.


To register (and/or see who else is currently registered) click here to visit the USA Masters 5 km Championship registration page.  To learn more about USATF membership, you can visit www.USATF.org.



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 daveoja@festivalofraces.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


We're 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.

Keep an eye for both for information on area events and topics of current interest in every issue!



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


MVP Health Care has just announced its fifth consecutive year as Title Sponsor of the MVP Health Care 3K Fun & Fitness Run at the SFoR, and we couldn't be happier!


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!


We're delighted to unveil our 20th anniversary logo!


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?

As you probably already know, this years Syracuse Festival of Races will be the 20th running of the event that dominates the list of the best performances in the history of Syracuse-area road racing.  In addition to the many hundreds of 5K personal bests recorded by Upstate New York runners at the SFoR, the Festival has hosted five national championships (with the sixth coming up), multiple top-ten world-ranked open 5K road race performances, dozens of U.S. 5K records, scores and scores of world-class performances, and a variety of Olympic medalists and world-record setters.


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 20th annual 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 our SFoR 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 to daveoja@festivaofraces.com 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!