SFoR News



October 8, 2015

SFoR Single-Age Course Record Lists for Males and Females Are Now Updated for 2015


It was another great year for making our Male Single-Age Course Record List and our Female Single-Age Course Record List even more breathtaking!  A total of thirteen (six male and seven female) SFoR single-age course records have now become even more impressive.


2015 performances that established new single-age course records for males included:  Nat Larson's (Amherst, MA) 16:10 at age 53; Ken Youngers' (Tucker, GA) 17:35 at age 59; Tom Bernard's (Castro Valley, CA) 17:36 at age 64; Doug Goodhue's (Milford, MI) 20:06 (net) at age 73; Roger Robinson's (Wellington, NZ) 22:29 (net) at age 76; and Willis Moses' (Vestal, NY) 34:53 (net) at age 89.


2015 performances that established new single-age course records for females included:  Theresa White's (Fayetteville, NY) 26:39 at age 7; Lizzie Lucason's (Camden, NY) 18:53 at age 11; Marisa Sutera Strange's (Pleasant Valley, NY) 17:38 at age 52; Kathryn Martin's (Northport, NY) 19:24 at age 64; Edie Stevenson's (Boulder, CO) 21:34 at age 66; Jan Holmquist's (Burlington, MA) 22:14 (net) at age 71; and Anny Stockman's (Rensselaer, NY) 37:31 (net) at age 83.


These lists are simply amazing!



October 7, 2015

SFoR Top 100 Performance Lists for Men and Women are Now Updated for 2015


Congratulations to our 2015 Men's 5K champion and John Trowse Award winner, Omar Boulama, of Walworth, NY for making it into our Men's All-Time Top 100 List with his winning time of 14:40!


Congratulations to our top two finishers in the MVP Health Care Women's 5K, open women's champion and Cohen & Cohen Award winner, Laurel Leone (Fayetteville, NY), and open women's runner-up, Victoria Coates (Kingston, ON), for their also having earned spots in our Women's All-Time Top 100 List with their times of  16:58 and 17:03, respectively.


If you haven't had the opportunity to enjoy these lists, click on the links above or check out our 5K Results page.



October 5, 2015

Loads of 2015 Syracuse Festival of Races Images Now Available for Viewing Online


Thanks to Bob Brock, there are loads of images that you can now access.


Visit www.bobbrockimages.com  and click on the Flickr link to see the images of the MVP Health Care Women's 5K.  Bob is currently in the process selecting the men's photos to post, so check back frequently if you're looking for Bob's shots of this year's  Men's 5K.



October 4, 2015

Four Pending U.S. 5K Single-Age Bests, One of Them a Pending 5K Age-Group American Record and World Best!


What an exciting morning!  We had personal bests and season bests throughout both 5K fields, close races up front, and tremendous National Championship performances--including four pending U.S. 5K single-age bests, one of which is also a pending U.S. 5K age-group record and apparent 5K age-group world best.


Tom Bernard, of Castro Valley, CA, kicked off this year's SFoR record parade with his M60-64 gold-medal-winning performance of 17:36 at age 64.  That significantly improves upon Alex Ratelle's previous M64 U.S. 5K single-age best of 18:00--which has stood since 1989!


About an hour later, Kathryn Martin, 64, of Northport, NY, ran 19:24, smashing Shirley Matson's U.S. women's age-64 5K single-age best (20:35) that has been on the books since 2005.


A couple minutes after Kathy crossed our finish line, Edie Stevenson, 66, of Boulder, CO, crossed the line in 21:34, surpassing the U.S. women's age-64 5K single-age best (21:44) that the late Sharon Dolan ran here in 2008.


And less than a minute later, Jan Holmquist, of Burlington, MA, shaved two seconds (net time) from the U.S. W70-74 5K record and the women's 70-74 5K world best (22:16) that she ran here at the Syracuse Festival of Races one year ago.


We had joyous school group participation, a large non-profit turnout, and great family team competitions.  Thanks to our race committee, all of our volunteers, our sponsors, and everyone who participated for their respective roles in making this morning a special running and walking event!



October 1, 2015

SFoR 5K Runners to Enjoy CompCups at the Water Stop


We're pleased to announce that participants in the Men's 5K and MVP Health Care Women's 5K will have the opportunity to try  CompCups on Sunday.  Conceived, developed, and patented by Russell Houck, of Syracuse, CompCups offer a variety of features that ordinary open-top cups don't.


Those of you who stop by the Dick's Sporting Goods in Shoppingtown between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on Saturday to register or pick up your bib number, shirt, and Dick's bonus certificate can also learn more about CompCups from an informational flyer that we'll have available.  In addition, Russell Houck himself will be at the general registration tent outside Manley on race morning showing and demonstrating the CompCup to interested runners.  If you'd like to learn more about the product before the weekend, you can visit the CompCup website.


The bib and shirt pickup at the Dick's in Shoppingtown will be located in the area of the shoe deck, straight ahead of you as you enter the store.  Keep in mind that women's Olympic 5,000m finalist and SFoR women's 5K course record-holder, Anne Hare, will be at Dick's from 11:00 a.m. until noon to chat with area runners, sign autographs, and take photos.  Everyone is welcome!



September 29, 2015

No Need To Worry About the Festival Course!


Thanks to all of you who have expressed concern that the recreation lane on the westbound side of Meadowbrook Drive (between Broad Street and Westcott Street) will cause runners at the 23rd annual SFoR to run a different course than the one so many have come to know and love as the site of their 5K PRs.  It's nice to know that so many of you care about racing on the real McCoy!


No need to worry!  That famous SFoR 5K course is in the very capable hands of the City of Syracuse Department of Public Works and DPW Commissioner Pete O'Connor.   By Sunday morning, the barrier blocks will have been moved, the signs will have been pulled, the signpost holes will have been patched, and great times will be had by many--or maybe all.


We've done our part, and the dotted orange tangent line is finished and ready for company.  In the next few days, the DPW staff will do their part.  Sunday will be everyone's one day of the year to run "the Festival course," and then the blocks and the signs will go back into place until October 2, 2016.



September 28, 2015

Come Meet Olympic 5,000m Finalist and SFoR 5K Women's Course Record Holder Anne Hare


In some ways, this is the year of the Festival that we've been waiting for.  Way back in 1994--the second edition of the SFoR--Anne Hare was among a bunch of very talented women registered for our Women's 5K.  Anne was a New Zealander who (along with her husband, Chris) spent portions of northern hemisphere summers living with friends in Niagara Falls, Canada.  It wasn't unusual to see her name in WNY road race results, but she wasn't a familiar face or name to most CNY runners.


In the field with Anne back in 1994 were our inaugural women's champion, Vicki Mitchell; former Canastota High School and University of Tennessee star Patty Wiegand; Syracuse Freihofer's Run for Women veteran, Elaine van Blunk (15:52 on what would become the Festival course); and very successful road racer Laura Mason, of E. Stroudsburg, PA.  We thought that the 1994 Women's 5K would be a very competitive and close race.  Instead, it was one of the most impressive solo road racing performances ever.


Even with our second through fifth women all under 16:22 that morning, Anne Hare won the race by a whopping 39 seconds.  Her time of 15:36 was six seconds faster than the 15:42 that Olympic bronze medalist and three-time women's cross country world champion Lynn Jennings ran on the course two years prior, in the final edition of the Syracuse Freihofer's Run for Women.  Lynn had four other women under 16:00 helping to push her to her 15:42.  Anne Hare ran 15:36 almost all alone.  Photo credit:  Gary Allen


In the 20 years since her 15:36 at the SFoR, Anne has taken note from the other side of the globe of each year's women's winning time.  In each of those years, Anne's 15:36 has survived as our women's course record.  Former Ethiopian star Eyerusalem Kuma came close with her 15:38 in 2002, but the record still belongs to Anne Hare.


Anne, Chris, and their daughters Lydia and Macy will be in Syracuse for the 23rd edition of the SFoR, part of a long-planned family visit to Canada and the U.S. in which Lydia and Macy will get acquainted with some of the places and some of the races that Anne and Chris believe were especially helpful to Anne's having lived the Olympic dream.


As part of their weekend visit in Syracuse, Anne will be meeting and chatting with runners from 11:00 a.m. until noon during the SFoR bib number and race shirt pickup at the Dick's Sporting Goods in Shoppingtown.  Everyone is invited to come and meet Anne; ask her any training and racing questions; take a selfie with her; or get an autograph.


Then on Sunday morning, Anne and Lydia will be running the MVP Health Care Women's 5K as a mother-daughter team, following which Macy (and maybe Chris) will join them for a cooldown among the happy masses in our 3K Fun & Fitness Run.


Come meet and run with an Olympian and the author of one of the greatest distance running performances ever in Syracuse and CNY!



September 25, 2015

Fastest CNY Runners to Vie for John Trowse Award and Cohen & Cohen Award


We're delighted to once again be offering a pair of special $250 cash awards that recognize the fastest Central New York finishers in the Men's 5K and the MVP Health Care Women's 5K at the Syracuse Festival of Races.


The John Trowse Award is sponsored by Allied Sign and was initiated in 2005 in memory of John Trowse.  John was an outstanding distance runner at Fayetteville-Manlius High School, Cayuga Community College, SUNY Brockport, and post-collegiately as an Auburn Pulsar and Syracuse Charger.   John often cited the Syracuse Festival of Races as one of his favorite events, and he ran the Men's 5K at the SFoR five times between 1993 and 2001, breaking 15:00 in four of those five performances.  Previous winners of the John Trowse award include:  Mark Andrews ('05); Jeff Beck ('06); John Butler ('07); Jordan Davis ('08); Kyle Heath ('09); Ryley Miller ('10); Mark Andrews ('11); Brad Miller ('12); Andrea Damad ('13); and Joe Whelan ('14).


The Cohen & Cohen Award, sponsored by Cohen & Cohen, LLP, of Utica, was initiated in 2012 to recognize the fastest female CNYer in the MVP Health Care Women's 5K.  Previous winners of the Cohen & Cohen Award have been  Amanda LoPiccolo ('12); Laurel Leone ('13); and Hannah Davidson ('14).


Best of luck to all CNY runners at this year's SFoR, and sincere thanks to Allied Sign and Cohen & Cohen, LLP for their generous sponsorship of these awards!



September 22, 2015

The Tangent Line Reappears on Meadowbrook Drive


What a beautiful Central New York day to get out and paint some asphalt!  Temperatures in the 70s, sunshine, and light breezes made for perfect tangent-painting weather, and 121 of the 180-or-so orange dash marks are now visible and ready to help all SFoR 5K runners to their best road race performances of 2015.  With continued dry weather in the forecast, the other sixty or so marks will be down soon.


Nothing says SFoR like the smell of marking paint in the air along Meadowbrook Drive!



September 18, 2015

The Genesee Grande Is Fully Booked for Saturday, October 3


And that means that we've sold out our block of rooms again this year.  There's need to panic, however.  We're hopeful that any clubs or individuals who have reserved a room that they don't need will let us know before canceling the reservation.  That will give us the opportunity to keep that room for someone on the short list of out-of-town runners still hoping to be in our race headquarters hotel.


If you have a room reserved at The Genesee Grande for Saturday, Oct. 3 and you won't be needing it, please e-mail Dave Oja to arrange to have that reservation transferred to another runner's name.  As always, anyone with questions or concerns is invited to call Dave any day of the week at 315-446-6285.



September 17, 2015

Twenty-One States, Thirty-Five Clubs, and Ten Defending Age-Group National Champions Among Championship Entries


The entry fee bump that accompanied September 15 did a lot to motivate folks to enter, and we're now getting a sense of how excellent the 2015 USATF Masters 5 km Championship field is going to be.  We have at least one entrant in each of 19 different masters five-year age groups.  We have all three individual medals accounted for in fifteen of those age groups.  The quality of all of those age groups is really good, and the depth of quality of some of them (see M60-64 and M70-74, for example) is crazy good.


To keep an eye on the men's and women's 2015 USA Masters 5 km Championship fields in all of our five-year age groups, you can visit the "Status of Entries" page anytime.


Here's hoping that everyone stays healthy through Festival weekend, and that a few dozen more masters athletes commit to joining the fun!



September 10, 2015

Bib Number and Shirt Pickup Update:  We'll be in the Dick's Shoppingtown Location on Oct. 3


With the brand new Dick's Sporting Goods store in the former K-Mart Plaza in DeWitt not scheduled to open until mid-October, Syracuse Festival of Races number and shirt pickup will once again be held in the current Dick's DeWitt store in Shoppingtown.  Between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m on Saturday, October 3, runners and walkers will have a final in-person opportunity to enter any of the SFoR events prior to the race day entry fee bump.  In addition, those who are pre-registered will be able to pick up their race shirts, bib numbers, Dick's $5 Bonus Certificates, and other information.


Entrants in the USATF Masters 5 km Championship will find their bibs and shirts in Dick's from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. that Saturday, but those from out of the area staying at The Genesee Grande will be happy to know that the Championship bibs and shirts will be available for them in the hospitality room at the hotel between 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., so there's no need for our many air travelers to find a ride to Shoppingtown.



September 6, 2015

The Oja Family Grows by One:  Matt Oja and Katie Frontino Tie the Knot


Maybe it doesn't sound like Syracuse Festival of Races news, but adding a second Katie Oja to the family--especially when the second Katie Oja is already a seasoned SFoR volunteer--is very good news for our ability to conduct a special event for SFoR participants!


Effective today, the Syracuse Ojas have grown to a very happy family of six.  Come celebrate with us on Sunday, October 4th!  Both members of the happy couple will be wearing multiple volunteer hats to help make it a special morning of running and walking for everyone.


Photo credit:  Ben Levine



August 28, 2015

We're Offering You Five Bucks to Finish Among the Last Twenty at the Festival


Several of our SFoR veteran 5Kers have asked whether we're going to be giving awards to the final ten or twenty in our 5K races again this year, and the answer is:  Why of course!


But the award this year isn't going to be a pair or running socks.  This year we're going to give each of our final twenty finishers in the Men's 5K and the MVP Health Care Women's 5K a second Dick's $5 Bonus Certificate.  Every 5K entrant gets a $5 Dick's Bonus Certificate just for entering, but those who manage to make the final twenty will double their bonus.


The Bonus Certificates aren't cash, of course, but they're good for $5 off any purchase at any Dick's location for the remainder of 2015.



August 24, 2015

13 States, 17 USATF Associations, and 22 Clubs Are Now Represented in the Championship


Our eighth consecutive hosting of the USATF Masters 5 km National Championships for men and women is shaping up as another amazing collection of races within our two 5K races.  The 40-somethings are currently under-represented in the field, but most of the other fifteen age groups are looking good.


(And a peek at The Genesee Grande's reservation list for Festival weekend indicates that nearly all of our age groups will be much better than good.)


Remember, all it takes to compete in the Masters Championship is sufficient "life experience" (age 40 or older); a 2015 USATF membership; and an SFoR 5K entry.



August 18, 2015

Our Expanded Non-Profit Participation Protocol is Set to Go; Additional Beneficiaries Welcome!


For the past 15 years, the Syracuse Festival of Races has welcomed any interested non-profit organizations to partner with the Festival in raising funds and visibility for their programs and services.  Dozens of non-profits have benefited from our non-exclusive approach to event beneficiaries, and they have collectively raised nearly $200,000 since the SFoR's 8th edition in 2000.


This year we're hoping to get the word out to even more potential beneficiaries of the SFoR that the opportunity to partner with our event is available to them.  In addition, we've made some changes to our online entry platform at RunSignUp.com that will permit each online entrant to see--as part of the SFoR online entry process--a list of our participating non-profits and make a donation to any other them if  they wish.  We see this approach to non-profit fundraising as a win-win that goes a step beyond support by a running event of just one beneficiary.


If you would like more information or would like to register your nonprofit organization as a beneficiary of the 2015 Syracuse Festival of Races visit the our Beneficiaries page or contact Peg Northrup at pegnorthrup@icloud.com.


For-profit companies, teams, groups, families and organizations who would like to fundraise for their nonprofit charity of choice should register here.



August 7, 2015

3K Fun & Fitness Run T-Shirt Design is Ready to Print


Once again this year, Fayetteville Elementary--under the guidance of art teacher Julie Gratien--has offered a lovely, colorful design for the front of our 2015 3K Fun & Fitness Run T-shirts.


As in past years, this is something of a collaborative effort, with Mrs. Gratien engaging her students in the task of creating and tweaking the design.  Also as in past years, their collaborative efforts have been very successful.


Fayetteville Elementary earned the opportunity to create this year's 3K Fun & Fitness Run shirt artwork by fielding the largest school group at the 2014 SFoR.   I suspect that even with the start of the new school year a few weeks away, Mrs. Valentine is already making plans to insure that Mrs. Gratien and students will have the opportunity to come up with another great shirt design in 2016.



July 30, 2015

Family Team Competition Returns with Nine Categories of Two-Person Teams


The two-person family team awards that have been a part of the SFoR's emphasis on full family participation will continue to offer family fun in nine two-person team categories.  Family members running the 5Ks at the Festival can enter husband-wife, husband-wife masters (both spouses over age 40), mother-daughter, mother-son, father-daughter, father-son, brother-brother, sister-sister, and brother-sister teams.


Since the idea of the family teams is to include all members of the family in the teams, individuals ARE permitted to score on multiple teams.  Thus, a couple with three daughters can register three mother-daughter teams and three father-daughter teams (as well as three different sister-sister teams).  The idea is to all the runners in the family to enjoy the family team spirit.  No need for parents with multiple sons or daughters or siblings with multiple brothers or sisters to choose which among them they'll team-up with.


There's no additional charge for registering as a family team.  The only caveat is that we need to have all members of family teams register and declare their team affiliations by Thursday, October 1st.


With a little over two months to race day, now's the time to nudge those potential teammates out the door for a little training mileage!



July 24, 2015

Four States, Five Clubs, and One 5K American Record Holder Among Early Championship Entries


The 2015 USA Masters 5 km Championship field is off to a great start, with runners already entered from four states (NY, NJ, MA, and GA), and five USATF clubs (Atlanta Track Club, Checkers Athletic Club, Liberty Athletic Club, Shore Athletic Club, and the Syracuse Track Club).  Headlining our ultra-early entries is that of Jan Holmquist, of Burlington, MA, who says she is hopeful of improving on the 22:16 (chip time) she ran here last fall.  Should Jan be successful, it would be the fourth time that the SFoR has hosted the fastest 5K ever run by an American woman age 70 or older.


To keep an eye on the men's and women's 2015 USA Masters 5 km Championship fields in all of our five-year age groups, you can visit the "Status of Entries" page anytime.



July 17, 2015

USA Masters 5 km Championship Registration Is Now Open, and It's Open To Any USATF Member!


Good news for those of you who've been watching the 2015 National Championships page at USATF.org and waiting for the USA Masters 5 km Championships page to go live.  This morning was the morning, and everyone can now access the Championship registration site by clicking here.


In case you're not aware, the USA Masters (40+) 5 km Championships for men and women are run in conjunction with the Men's 5K and MVP Health Care Women's 5K at the Festival.  There are no qualifying standards for competing in the Championship; it's open to any current (2015) member of USATF.  Whether you'd like to run on a team representing your local club, or would just like to be eligible for USATF Championship awards in your individual age group, you might enjoy entering the Championship this year.



July 13, 2015

SFoR Regulars Spotted at the Boilermaker


It's always a mid-summer pleasure to touch bases with (or at least catch a glimpse of) SFoR regulars who are in Utica for the Boilermaker.  This year we couldn't miss Lizzie (1st female overall) and Morgan (3rd female overall) Lucason's finishes at their inaugural appearance in the Boilermaker 5K.


The 15K was loaded with familiar names.  Last year's MVP Health Care Women's 5K champion (and former S.U. star), Sarah Pagano, finished ninth overall among the women and third female U.S.  Utica's Rich Cohen placed fourth among the masters men.  Auburn's Karen Simmonds-Brady placed third among masters women.  (Karen now a masters runner?!)  Fernando Cabada placed 11th overall (1st U.S.) in another fine Boilermaker performance.  Charger Brittany Burns, of Watertown, placed second in the women's 25-29 age group (not including overall prize money winners).  Mike Brych, of New York Mills, nabbed a second-place age-group award among men 35-39.  Genesee Valley Harriers Mike Nier, Carl Grimm, Melissa Senall, and Audra Najokas-Knapp also earned age-group awards,  as did Tim Riccardi, of Marietta, and Mary Swan, of the Athena Track Club.  Reno Stirrat held off Mark Rybinski as they went 1-2 in the men's 60-64 age group (where have we seen that scenario before?).  Doug Wood, of Sylvan Beach and the Syracuse Track Club, celebrated his recent birthday by winning the men's 65-69 age group.  And Ted Sullivan, of Williamsville and the Belle Watling Track Club placed third among men 80 and older.


Needless to say, this was another terrific edition of the Boilermaker.  Congratulations to all the finishers!



June 27, 2015

Our 2015 Entry Form Is Available Online and Ready to Print and Mail!


Thanks to Donna Goyette, of M&S Desktop Publishing, those runners and walkers who prefer paper entry forms are now good to go for the 23rd annual SFoR!  Whether you need one for yourself or a few dozen for your non-profit group, school, or workplace team, you can find the most recent version of our printable form on the SFoR registration page.


As usual, using the paper entry form and paying by check will save you a couple dollars per entry, so we're happy to continue to offer the old-school entry alternative--especially if you're looking forward to the fun of multiple two-person family teams.



June 23, 2015

Two Years in a Row at The Genesee Grande


We're pleased to announce that The Genesee Grande will continue to serve as the SFoR race headquarters hotel in 2015.  We're fortunate to have multiple excellent hotels interested in hosting us each year, and our visiting runners have helped us to make the difficult decision.  Apparently distance matters in road racing, and many of our runners have a strong preference for a short drive to the race site on Festival morning.


The Genesee Grande is located at 1060 E. Genesee Street in Syracuse, at the corner of E. Genesee Street and University Avenue.  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 Tuesday, September 3or when 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.


Our block of specially priced rooms has sold out in recent years, so please book early to avoid missing the special rates!



June 16, 2015

General Online Entry Is Open at RunSignUp.com


Registration is quietly underway for what we expect will be one of the most exciting running events of the year.  General online registration for all four of the Festival's race morning events is underway at RunSignUp, and you can get there anytime via the link on the SFoR registration page.


The 5K early bird entry fee is available through the end of June, so there's always a good reason to enter early.



May 6, 2015p>

Tops Friendly Markets Returning As Community Walk and Post-Race Refreshments Title Sponsor!


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 2015, 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 4, will find the Tops Post-Race Refreshments Area a welcome (and delicious) sight to behold.



May 1, 2015

May Day!  May Day!  It's Feedback Friday!


It's a month of rebirth, renewal, and hope that springs eternal.  There couldn't be a more timely occasion to present this note from Patrick Wrobel, of Seneca Falls, following his 2013 race at the SFoR:


"Thanks for running a nice event.  I know you put an awful lot of work into it.  I look forward to it every year.  It was a lifetime PR for me this time.  Clocked 19:53 at age 61."


Way to go, Pat!  That's a memory than can last a lifetime!



April 24, 2015

It's Feedback Friday!


And with some spring weather now making an appearance in the northeast, it's time to start thinking seriously about more enjoyable outdoor running and good race times to come.  Mike Melfi, of Clay, is always thinking about both, especially when it comes to the Festival:


"You put together another amazing morning of racing!  Wow!  I absolutely love that course.  You know that!"


Yes, we do know that, and we're counting down two more years until Mike can love the 2016 Festival as a masters runner!



April 17, 2015

It's Feedback Friday!


When it comes to sheer enthusiasm and use of figurative language, nothing surpasses this note from Bob Nugent, of Binghamton:


"Congratulations on an epic event.  The wild intensity and shoulder to shoulder racing of the top male masters runners in the United States was one for the ages.  The first kilometer was like surfing a twenty-foot wave of energy and adrenaline.  This was a celebration of racing on the highest level.  SFoR does it right!"


Well said, Bob!  We've always thought that a little genuine excitement at the starting line is a big help to EVERYONE in the starting pack who's hoping to go a few seconds faster than usual.



April 10, 2015

It's Feedback Friday!


Always having enjoyed hosting the Canadian runners who come to the SFoR looking for a great time, we very much appreciate this compliment from Jeffrey Brison, of Kingston, Ontario:


"I appreciate being included on the database . . . your race is the best I've ever attended (and I've been running road races since 1979)."


Thanks, Jeffrey!  Coming from as experienced a road racer as you are, that's high praise indeed!



April 3, 2015

It's a Particularly Good Feedback Friday!


So we present this metaphorical analysis by Fred Miller, of Liverpool, which is one of our all-time favorite comments from a Festival participant:


"It was quite amazing to be among the starting crowd of top-shelf, national-class runners.  Other than Festival of Races, only the Boilermaker (locally) can really compare to such field depth . . . The Festival of Races gave me a feeling of running a down-home race combined with national class talent.  Sort of like having gourmet food prepared and served in your own kitchen!"


WWell put, Fred; and you nicely capture one of the things that our race committee hopes to achieve at every edition of our 5K races:  Give every runner in the SFoR the opportunity to have his or her name in a truly special set of road race results.



March 27, 2015/p>

It's Feedback Friday!


How about a much-appreciated comment from a parent and coach, Phil Lucason, of Holland Patent:


"I wanted to thank you for such a great race.  My two daughters and their friend had a great time, and all set personal bests."


Thanks, Phil!  It's always our pleasure to have Lizzie and Morgan in the Festival field--making sure that the younger end of the age spectrum is well represented at our event!



March 20, 2015

It's Feedback Friday!


And in the middle of a month that probably doesn't include many "favorite days" for those of us living and training in the northeast, Laurel Chiesa, of Manlius, helps focus our attention on a better day to come:


"The FOR is my favorite day of the year with my son.  The icing on the cake is the prize!  I appreciate the family focus it provides.  I am always inspired by the runners in their 70's and 80's and look forward to many more Festival races."


WWhat a coincidence, Laurel!  SFoR Sunday is one of my favorite days of the year with my son as well!



March 16, 2015

Dick's Sporting Goods Continues Its Outstanding Support of CNY Runners!


There's great news for Central New York (and beyond) runners today, as Dick's Sporting Goods has confirmed that they once again 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 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 our on-site awards presentation (beginning 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!/span>



March 13, 2015

It's Feedback Friday!


IIn honor of our long-running winter of 2015, we present Karanya Aksornkoae's long-runner comment regarding the Festival:


"Even though I am more of a long distance runner, this is a MUST race for me every year."


We're tremendously glad to here it, Karanya, because variety is the spice of life--and running 5K races is great speedwork for your longer races!



March 6, 2015/p>

It's Feedback Friday!


Let's kick off the month with a note from The Running Professor, Paul Carlin, of Indianapolis, IN:


"I just wanted to thank you and your team, Linda, Greg, and Terri, for making me feel so welcome and helping me have an excellent and productive time this weekend.  Being there helped me remember why so many folks come back year after year and to be so thankful that Syracuse FoR was my introduction to the world of Elite Masters LDR.  I hope to return regularly."


Paul has journeyed to the SFoR both as an athlete and as an author, and we enjoy having him here in both capacities on race weekend.  To enjoy his coverage of masters LDR (and other running topics as well), you might want to bookmark www.runningprof.com.



February 27, 2015

It's Feedback Friday!


And we're happy to close out the work week and get ready to say goodbye to the coldest month on record for Syracuse with these kind words from Eugene Tung, of Lansdale, PA:


"You and your family run one of the most amazing and well-organized LDR events in the country.  Thank you for your efforts in sustaining a great race and keeping Masters competition alive and healthy in the Northeast."


Thanks, very much, Eugene!  We appreciate both your compliment and all of the Philly-area runners who've made the trip to the SFoR down through the years!



February 20, 2015

It's Feedback Friday!


And a good day to once again keep it local with a gratifying note from Dave Moore, of Syracuse:


"I just wanted to tell you how much fun my family had at the Festival of Races today.  My sons both ran and actually came in first in the brother-brother category.  But the best part was when Sean and his wife Lanti, who is Indonesian and new to this country, did the Fun & Fitness run together.  Lanti had a great time and now wants to do more running.  And I looked at all these families doing the run together and how happy everyone seemed, with the music playing and another nice weather day for the race.  You do a great job with this event and make a lot of people happy."


Thanks for taking the time to write, Dave!  Making a lot of people happy sure works for our race committee, volunteers, and sponsors!  It's great to know that we're succeeding at our goal of being an ideal event for entire families and for everyone from first-time race entrants to Olympians!



February 13, 2015

It's Another Frigid Feedback Friday!


Remembering kind post-race comments such as this one from Lloyd Hansen, of Salt Lake City, UT, can warm event the coldest of February evenings:


"I spent a couple of hours at the Syracuse airport with several runners waiting for our flights.  All they could talk about was what a tremendously wonderful event you and your team put together."


Thanks, Lloyd!  We're mighty admiring of your individual men's 65-69 national championship (18:46 at age 66!), and your Ann Arbor Track Club team's M60+ national title of last fall!



February 10, 2015

MVP Health Care Confirms Another Year as Title Sponsor of Our Women's 5K!


MVP Health Care has confirmed that the company will be partnering with the Syracuse Festival of Races for the eighth consecutive year, once again as Title Sponsor of the MVP Health Care Women's 5K at the 2015 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 2014 event ranged from 15:54 to 52:02--demonstrating 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 6, 2015

It's Feedback Friday!


And a good day to hear the kind words of Mark Zamek, of Allentown, PA:


"Having directed some races myself, its easy to see the attention to detail you guys give to the event. I have to say that I've never run a race so well marked . . . Thanks again for putting on such a great race!  It makes it a pleasure as a participant to be a part of it.  Seeing those top masters women coming into the finish gave me chills!  I wish I could run that fast!"


Thanks, Mark!  So do many of us wish we could run that fast--and we sure enjoy the inspiration of seeing others do it in person at the Festival!


Mark, by the way, is a mighty impressive road racer himself.  His 2015 SFoR time of 16:27 at age 51 ranks as a world-class performance.



January 30, 2015

It's Feedback Friday!


And this week we look to Burlington, MA, famous as the home to multiple American holder Jan Holmquist.  Jan clearly enjoyed her experience at the Festival in 2014:


"OMGI feel SO SPECIAL!  Pinch me! . . .  I was at a USATF-NE Board meeting last night and told everyone that I love the SFoR and it is THE BEST race put on by the BEST RDwith family and friends to assistin making a very successful experience for master runners."


Thanks so much for your Liberty Athletic Club energy and enthusiasm!  For those who may have missed it, Jan ran lst fall's MVP Health Care Women's 5K in a women's 70-74 5K American record of 22:16--the third time that record has been broken on the SFoR course.  For a look at the current list of 5K road race American records for masters five-year age groups, click here.




January 23, 2015

It's Feedback Friday!


So let's continue hop-scotching around the country with the kind words of Tom McCormack, of Jonesborough, TN:


"I want to compliment you on putting on the best organized race that I have participated in since my introduction to USATF races last year.  Your commitment to making the experience something to remember for each athlete is unsurpassed.  We just got back from the National 12K in Alexandria where I broke my old US record and had the top age-graded performance.  It has been a great year, but nothing has felt as good as my performance at the Syracuse Festival of Races."


The SFoR performance to which Tom is referring is his men's 60-64 5K American record of 16:58--which makes Tom the first American male age 60 or older to break the 17:00 barrier for 5K on the roads.  Tom has dual U.S. and Irish citizenship, and he recently passed along the good news that his time has also been ratified as the Irish national 5K record for his age group.



January 16, 2015

It's Feedback Friday!


Maybe some sunny and warm feedback from Nancy Stewart of the Atlanta Track Club can take the chill off this CNY winter:


"I am seriously amazed at how well your race is run and how nice/accommodating your volunteers are.  Thank you again for a job well done!"


Speaking of sunny and warm, Nancy burned the Festival 5K course last October in 19:38--at age 58!!



January 9, 2015

It's Feedback Friday!


Let's keep it local this week, with some short and sweet feedback from Kristin Baker, of Syracuse:


"Everyone LOVES SFoR; thank you so much for the hard work you put into it!!"


Right back at you, Kris:  Everyone in the Ed Smith community loves the work you put into keeping the Boys & Girls Cup in the main office at Ed Smith year after year!



January 2, 2015

Welcome to Feedback Friday!


Let's kick off the 23rd year of the Syracuse Festival of Races with something new:  Feedback Fridays.  Each Friday we'll post written feedback that we've received from SFoR participants, spectators, volunteers, sponsor representatives, course residents--pretty much anyone who offers it.


Many of the comments we'll post are from the barrage of kind e-mails we receive in the days and weeks immediately following each year's event.  But we're happy to hear from you anytime of the year, so feel free to send us your feedback whenever the spirit moves you.  No need to wait until October!


These kind words are those of Ruth Thelen, of St. Johns, MI:


"Year after year, I find the Syracuse race to be the best of all races and certainly the most competitive!  The volunteers are always outstanding as well of all of the USATF staff.  Great job!!!"


Thanks so much to you for making the trip from Michigan so frequently, Ruth, and for noticing that our volunteers are outstanding!  We couldn't agree more!



January 1, 2015

Happy New Year To All!


2015 will be 23rd year of the Syracuse Festival of Races, and the ninth year (1994 and then 2008 through 2015) in which the event has hosted both the men's and women's masters 5K road race national championships.  We're looking forward to hosting our best, most enjoyable edition yet on Sunday, October 4, 2015, and we hope that all of our faithful participants and a record number of Festival first-timers will be on hand to enjoy their best race of the year!



December 8, 2014

USATF Records Committee Ratifies Three More 5K American Records at the SFoR


The list of national records achieved on the Syracuse Festival of Races (SFoR) 5K course grew by three last week, as USA Track & Field (USATF) ratified three pending 5K American records run at the October 5, 2014 edition of the SFoR.  The new records were formally ratified at the USATF Annual Meeting in Anaheim, CA, Dec. 5.


With the ratification of these three performances, Tom McCormack, 61, of Jonesborough, TN, is now the American 5K record-holder for men age 60-64.  Tom covered the Bankers Healthcare Group Mens 5K at this falls SFoR in 16:58.  That performance trimmed two seconds from Jim ONeils elusive M60-64 5K record that stood for 28 years, and it makes Tom the only U.S. male age 60 or older ever to break 17 minutes in the nations most frequently run road race distance.  Tom has dual U.S. and Irish citizenship, and he tells us that his performance has also been ratified as the men's 60-64 5K Irish national record.


Also now elevated to American record status is the performance of Sabra Harvey, 65, of Houston, TX, who ran the MVP Health Care Womens 5K at the 2014 SFoR in 20:27.  That dramatically improved upon the previous W65-69 5K American record of 21:16, which was set by Margret Betz at the Syracuse Festival of Races in 2001 and had stood for thirteen years.


The third of the 2014 SFoR performances ratified last week was that of Jan Holmquist, 70, of Burlington, MA, who covered the MVP Health Care Womens 5K at the 2014 SFoR in 22:16.  Jans performance lopped 61 seconds from the previous W70-74 5K American record, set by Marie-Louise Michelsohn at the Syracuse Festival of Races two years ago.  Jans mark is a "third-generation" W70-74 5K American record for the SFoR, as Marie-Louises record had been preceded by the W70-74 5K American record of 24:02, run by the amazing Margret Betz at the 2007 SFoR.  For a look at all of the masters age group 5K American road records, click here.


Also added to the list of American 5K single-age bests is Libby James' SFoR performance of 24:00.  At age 78, Libby's Festival time age-grades at a whopping 106.76%!


Congratulations to Tom, Sabra, Jan, Libby, and everyone else at the 2014 SFoR who enjoyed special performances!



October 18, 2014

Paul Carlin Wows With Masters Information and Insights at RunningProf.com


For those of you who may not be aware of the relatively new website, take a few minutes sometime soon and browse Paul Carlin's writings at www.RunningProf.com.  Of particular interest to present and past SFoR participants are Paul's detailed and insightful pre- and post-race treatments of the 2014 USA Masters 5 km Championships--both the women's and the men's--at this year's SFoR.  Paul includes quite a few images as well.  Enjoy!



October 8, 2014

Check Out SFoR Images Galore at Bob Brock's Photo Website


When you're looking for online images of the 2014 SFoR online, be sure to browse Bob Brock's large collection of images on his Flickr page.  From the Bankers Healthcare Group Men's 5K to the MVP Health Care Women's 5K to the 3K Fun & Fitness Run and the Tops Friendly Markets Community Walk, Bob has captured a lot of the morning's action and enjoyment in the start and finish area at Manley.



October 5, 2014

Thanks and Congratulations to All On a Terrific Day!


Phew!  What a great day!  Our first dry-weather race day since 2010 was a pleasure for everyone on hand:  those celebrating their fastest race of the year; those enjoying the Festival course and atmosphere; those running their first road race ever; those in the throng of 3K Fun & Fitness Run and Tops Community Walk participants; those volunteers and sponsor representatives who made the event happen; and those spectators who witnessed another three pending American 5K records.


Congratulations to all, and thanks for helping to make today's 22nd annual SFoR special in so many ways!