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Internet brings local runners together

There are all sorts of ways to keep up with and/or join in the local running scene. The Internet, as you might expect, is responsible for a couple of new ones.

Stephanie Eve Boone and Paul Diebold are behind the sites. They are taking different but equally valid ways to interact with their fellow runners.

Boone, who lives in Buffalo, is part of the collection of writers found on, which has gained a certain online niche.

" is basically this Web site that has local sites in tons of U.S. cities," she said. "They somehow have it set up so that if you just log on to in the Buffalo area, it goes straight to the Buffalo site.

"The idea is for local writers to cover certain topics from a local perspective. . . . I chose running because, well, I'm a runner."

If you go to, you'll find a link to Boone's running work. She has been at it since last May, but has picked up the pace in the last three months.

"I'm a college writing teacher [adjunct], and that takes up a lot of my time," said Boone, who has done some freelance work for The Buffalo News. "Last fall I was teaching five classes at two different colleges and tutoring 12 hours a week, so I didn't have much time to write seriously. My fiance encouraged me to cut back to two classes a semester so that I could spend more time on my writing, so that's what I did."

The posts have covered a variety of running-related subjects so far. For example, last week she wrote about the Shamrock Run and the experience of joining 3,500 others in an 8-kilometer dash. (Wait until she gets to the Turkey Trot.)

Boone also is in training for her first marathon, so some of the entries refer to her "Marathon Virgin" status.

"I started that a month ago, I think," she said. "I thought, 'Hey, I'm training for my first marathon. That's an excuse for a blog, right?' "

Absolutely. As it turns out, so is the formation of a running club.

One of the first things the "Trottin' Terps" did earlier this year was to set up a blog site (

"It's a way to invite other people in," said Diebold of Tonawanda, one of the founding members of the Terps. "We wanted to have a site where we direct people to events, give tips, and create a community online."

Diebold has been interested in athletics all his life, but he stuck to baseball and tennis while growing up. Then, he found something new.

"I got the bug last year," he said. "I did some 5Ks, and then ran up to a half-marathon, with everything in between. I wanted to see how far I could take it."

Diebold and friend Patrick Moran decided to form an informal running group. The idea behind the blog was to start some discussions.

"I put subject matters up there, and let people put up responses," Diebold said. "I've asked about training tips, what are people doing in the winter, nutrition, fun places to run and so on."

What started as a small project grew quickly when the Terps were posted on Facebook. In less than three months, the running club had about 175 "friends," and counting.

"It is like a virus," Diebold said about the growth in numbers.

Now it's time to take the next step -- to actually meet some of the other members. The Trottin' Terps will gather for the first time on Niagara Street in Tonawanda to go for a run in Niawanda Park on Tuesday night.

"It will be nice to be a part of a group that has a focus on exercise and improving our personal health," Diebold said. "In addition, there will be benefits of us learning techniques, tips, and advice from each other that would lead to improvements in our running.

"Plus you get a group of people together and it probably can't help but get competitive so that could lead to runners pushing their limits and improving as time goes on."

>Race calendar

* Bemus Point 5K, Long Point State Park Bath House, 9 a.m., March 28, 488-0788.

* Bunny Hop 5K, 1 Legion Drive, East Aurora, 10:30 a.m., April 3, 572-1777.


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