It's one of the great concepts in local races: The goal is to "beat the bear" in the Polar Bear race in Olcott, which was held last weekend. Michael Trendell of Oriskany Falls certainly did that in running a 15:48 5-kilometer time that won the annual race by more than a minute. Elizabeth Smyth of Cicero was the women's winner in 20:11.
Meanwhile, in the Chilly Challenge in Buffalo, Jordan Hamm of Java Center won in 15:53, while Meghan Nolan of Williamsville took the women's race in a sparkling 18:31. I heard some stories that it was a rather chilly day for a run.
There's a new race on the schedule this weekend. The Slush Rush will be held in Fredonia on Sunday. It's a 3K race on the college campus.
Meanwhile, it's always a good idea ot pick up your Shamrock run packet early, as sizes can run out. On Saturday and Sunday, the Old First Ward Center on Republic St. is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. By the way, it's a jacket this year.
--- Budd Bailey