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Running notebook: A fine mess

It's been quite a week in the running business.

At first, it looked as if the planned half-marathon at Orchard Park had collapsed. Runners were rather angry, particularly those who had trained for months in preparation for a race that had been postponed nine days before the start. They had every right to be angry too.

However, a few days ago, a coalition of organizations and people got together and saved the race. So hundreds will be taking to the streets early Saturday with the goal of finishing 13.1 miles of running at the 50-year line at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

I'll have a recap of what I thought of the entire episode in my next running column a week from Saturday. Your thoughts, before and after the actual running, are welcome at

Speaking of mix-ups, the CityBration race suffered from a couple of them over the weekend. It's a first-year event and errors are to be expected, but it doesn't make runners any happier.

Number one came the day before, as shirt and number pick-up were promised from 12 to 5 p.m. at the Central Wharf. A couple of runners went down there at 1 o'clock or so, and there was no sign of anyone connected to the race ... and no one in the area knew anything about it. I stopped down later at 4:15 p.m. or so, and the package was available then.

Then on raceday, runners were told they could use a ticket for either Cheerios or chicken wings after the race. The people in charge of those foods knew nothing about it -- and remember, runners don't often carry money with them for races. Then, the athletes found out that their tickets for beer were good ... but that the beer tent opened at noon. For a race that started at 9:30 a.m., this was a bit of a wait. So a lot of runners went home hungry and thirsty.

Rule number one in business: keep your promises.

It's a strange weekend on the calendar, as there's nothing scheduled around Buffalo outside of the Orchard Park run on Saturday or Sunday. Here's the slate, courtesy of

* Road 2 Recovery Mental Health 5K, Delaware Park in Buffalo, 6:30 p.m. on Friday, 883-3331 x321.

* Fitness 360 JDRF Run for the Cure 5K, 2625 Delaware Ave. in Buffalo, 7 p.m. on Friday, 874-2005.

* The 50-Yard Line Finish, 13.1 miles & 5K, Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchad Park, 7 a.m. Saturday, 830-6703.

* D&F 5K Challenge, 1170 Central Ave. in Dunkirk, 9:30 a.m. Saturday, 510-0702.

-- Budd Bailey

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