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ROCHESTER BECOMES HOTBED

One of the hottest running camps in America is based in one of the colder places. Would you believe Rochester?

Well, Team BrownStone actually has its runners berthed in a camp in New Mexico right now, but when the warm weather returns, they'll be running from Rochester.

Team BrownStone was one of the first two training centers announced last November by Team USA Distance Running, a program designed to put American distance runners back in the lead packs. The other was in Minnesota.

John Luther and Clarke Brown, the two leaders of Team BrownStone, will be at the Runner's Medical Forum, starting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at D'Youville College, to discuss their team and what they'll attempt to do.

The idea behind the training centers is to allow elite athletes, six right now in Team BrownStone, including Jason DeJoy of Jamestown, to train without worrying about supporting themselves.

"What we want to do is take care of all their basic necessities," said Luther, a software consultant and long time Rochester area coach, "so they don't have to go out and race two to three times more than they really should."

It's been a constant complaint over the years that American runners trying to make a living frequently wear themselves out racing every weekend to pick up a few bucks.

In addition to providing housing, Team BrownStone will also provide a weekly stipend to runners.

Besides DeJoy, 27, a 14:38 5,000 meter runner, the team includes Todd Reecer of Palmyra, the U.S. 20K champion with a time of one hour flat; Eddy Hellebuyck, who just turned 40 and is a 1996 Olympian; Mike Mykytok, 29, the 1999 U.S. 10-mile champion; David Morris, 30, the former U.S. marathon record holder, (2:09:32); and Steve Swift, 29, third in the USA Marathon Championships.

DeJoy, a Jamestown teacher, is the only team member who is not running full-time, but he will be during the summer break.

Other team members are training right now in Albuquerque, with the exception of Swift, who came to Rochester last week for treatment of an injured foot.

Luther and Brown will be part of the panel for the Runners Medical Forum that includes national class runner and UB coach Vicki Mitchell, and the medical staff from the UB Sports Medicine Institute.

Awards for the 2000 Buffalo News Runner of the Year will be presented early, and before things get started, runners may register for Saturday's Shamrock Run and the May 27 Buffalo Erie Buick Marathon.

Ed Whitlock, Tony Napoli and Henry Sypniewski, three top older masters runners, will receive awards from the host Buffalo Philharmonic Athletic Club.

Admission is $4 and the event will take place in Madonna Hall, on the northwest corner of Porter and Fargo avenues.

Marathon news

Entry forms were sent out for the city's resumption of the marathon, a Tom Donnelly-designed logo that includes traffic signs bearing a buffalo, Erie County map, a sporty Buick, and two runners.

The application includes a course map, entries for the marathon and four-member teams. And the entry fee is $20, very low for marathons. If you register by Apr. 1, you'll receive a free T-shirt bearing the slogan "I'm Training for Buffalo Erie Buick Marathon."

Entries are available at Tops Markets, or call race director John Beishline for information at 694-5154.

A tribute to a lady

If you run in Delaware Park, you no doubt saw Tony Napoli, who, now 80, is still doing his incredibly long runs. But more often than not, especially in the last few years, you'd see Napoli walking with his wife Mary. She passed away earlier this month, and Napoli said he was nearly overcome by the outpouring of support he received from fellow runners.

More than two hundred runners, some from Rochester and Syracuse, came to express their condolences.

"Just tell them, 'thanks,' " he said.

Upcoming races

Polar Bear Run, 5K, Olcott, 11 a.m., today, 434-8887 or www.MyLockport.com.; Canisius Chilly Challenge, 5K, Canisius High School, noon, today, 882-0466; Old First Ward Shamrock Run, 8K, Buffalo, noon, Sat., 856-8613.

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