I've already suggested to Chuck Tokarz, the race director of this weekend's Bunny Hop, that a moment of silence by held on Saturday to honor Henry Sypniewski. I'm sure he thought about it as quickly as I did ... which is to say, immediately.
Henry was unique.
I knew of Sypniewski, who died on Sunday night, but didn't know him until I took over the running column several years ago. It was an interesting experience.
Henry was a great letter-writer, as he wrote me often about a variety of items. We're not talking emails, either -- actually notes on paper, mailed through the U.S. Postal Service. How many letters do people write these days?
Sometimes Henry would write to tell me about his latest exploits, in case I missed them. Sometimes he'd write to comment on some aspect of the Western New York running scene, perhaps an issue like a runner of the year race that was too far away for his tastes. I got the impression sometimes that he thought I was the running czar in Western New York, able to fix injustices with a wave of my hand. If only. What's more, I think he mentioned the Battle of the Bulge in every note, somehow. One time, when talking about a lack of age-group medals for the 90-over set, he said, "You'd think I'd have finishing fighting at the Battle of the Bulge."
That was Henry, feisty to the end. We won't forget him.
The racing schedule takes one last downturn with only one race on the calendar because of the Easter holiday. After this, it's truly full speed ahead. Here's the schedule, courtesy of buffalorunners.com:
* Bunny Hop, 1 Legion Drive in East Aurora, 10:30 a.m. Saturday, 572-1777. It's the hilliest 5k in Western New York. Make sure you check the time; I goofed last week and listed it at 9 a.m.
--- Budd Bailey