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Today is the day of the Chicago Marathon, a race a surprisingly large number of Western New Yorkers have spent months getting ready for by running those long 20 milers, worrying about colds or injuries or the flu, especially in this past week before the race.

Since our local marathon moved from fall to spring, each year seems to bring another marathon that runners here pick to run. Fifteen members alone from the Greater Buffalo Track Club are in Chicago today, as Chicago joins the big draws of past falls, the New York City and the Marine Corps marathons.

What do you face when you run a marathon? Esquire Magazine has compiled some of those odd results of running a marathon, putting them in a column this month it appropriately calls "Annals of Self-Abuse."

A sampling: (Calculations are for a 160-pound, 5-foot-10 male.)

Number of strides you'll take: about 35,000. Pounds of pressure on your soles: 12.6 million. Calories you'll burn: 2,620.

Amount of sweat you'll lose on a 65-degree day: about 3.5 liters. Increase in the level of good cholesterol, HDL, in your blood: 13 percent.

Equivalent length of fabric dragged across your nipples by the chafing of your shirt: 880 feet.

Extra number of heart beats running a marathon compared to watching one on TV: 21,000, or 32,550 vs. 11,550.

Breakfast with Kim Alexis

The Lance Christ 5K Memorial Race has come up with a different twist to get you to come out to the race -- Lockport super model and runner Kim Alexis is the honorary race chairman.

The race, set for 9:30 a.m. next Sunday in Delaware Park, is in honor of a former St. Francis High School and Canisius College runner, Lance Christ, who died in 1993.

Proceeds from the race, as well as from a black tie dinner the night before, will go toward the Recovering Child Foundation, set up to help young people with drug or alcohol problems.

Alexis is coming here from California for the race because her father is on the foundation's board. Call John Bonerb at 635-0931 for details.

Melodious reunion

It's been 25 years since Buffalo's oldest running club, the Buffalo Philharmonic A.C., first got started and the club will mark the anniversary with a celebration in late November.

Club members are inviting everyone who once belonged to the BPAC, as well as any other runners who would like to come, to a gathering from 5:30 p.m to 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 23 in the Blue Lounge at D'Youville College.

There will be complimentary refreshments and at 8 p.m., everyone is invited to, what else? A concert by the Buffalo Philharmonic: Bravo Broadway. Concert tickets are $9 to $12. Call Jesse Kregal at 883-4040 or John Abbamo at 885-0997.

And next Saturday, the club is sponsoring one of the best bargains of the racing season, the Buffalo Philharmonic A.C. 10K Chestnut Ridge Challenge. It's only $5 and the hills at the ridge are indeed a challenge. It starts at 9 a.m. Call 667-2135 for an application.

High stepping

Runner's World is out with its fall shoe issue and rates 24 new shoes. It's always nice to see innovations in the shoe industry, but the disturbing trend toward high shoe prices continues.

The average price for those 24 models, a fact that Runner's World doesn't include? A mere $92.90. A $100 pair of running shoes used to be the outrageous exception. It's not anymore.

A bit more fortunate for us is the average price of those shoes the magazine calls "the best of the rest." It's $82 a pair. That still can give you sticker shock, but unfortunately, those sort of prices seem to be more and more the norm.

Nike, by the way, is entering the high-end sports sunglasses field, with its first two pairs priced at $145 and $160. The glasses, more like a singular shield, adhere to the face with two small, semi-sticky round discs called AMPs that are placed on the wearer's temples.

Upcoming races

Holy Angels Women's 5K Run, 10 a.m., today, Shoshone Drive, 834-7120; Community Missions Rapids Run 5K, Goat Island, Niagara Falls, 10:30 a.m., today, 285-7491; Wellsville Chamber of Commerce Ridgewalk & Run, 5K or 12K runs, various walks and starting times, today, 593-5080; Buffalo Philharmonic A.C. 10K Chestnut Ridge Challenge, 9 a.m., Sat., 667-2135; Northwest Buffalo Community Center Run for Hope, 5K, 10 a.m., Sat., 876-8108; Holland Boys and Girls Club 5K, 9 a.m., Sat., 537-2264; Westfield Harvest Challenge, 8K, 10 a.m., Sat., 326-4243.

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