Some area runners were thinking about running two different J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge races on two different continents - in the same week.
The overall championships were held in Frankfurt, Germany, on Tuesday. Buffalo had three teams take part in that event, as they were the winning teams from last year’s event here. They were at least thinking of running in the Buffalo’s Corporate Challenge, which takes place at 6:45 tonight in Delaware Park.
M&T Bank had the men’s division team, consisting of David Keenan, John Dugan, John Condon and Taylor Hogenkamp. Amherst Central Schools sponsored the women’s squad, made up of Jennifer Koeppel, Amy Fakterowitz, Michelle Brinkworth and Christine Sullivan. Finally, Clarence Central Schools sent a mixed team to Germany, with Geoffrey Koch, Justin Weldon, Stephanie Stevens and Lauren Streit.
A few of those runners were considering the idea of joining more 12,000 runners and walkers in North Buffalo this evening, even though they aren’t eligible to win as part of a team again. The switch in time zones also may give those runners a second thought or two about another 3.5-mile run.
M&T Bank and Amherst Schools both finished 11th in the 13-team field in Frankfurt, while Clarence Schools was 10th. A woman from the Rochester area, Trisha Byler, was the first-place finisher in Germany.
As for tonight’s race, it’s No. 37 for the Corporate Challenge - one of the biggest events of the racing calendar in the summer. The number of registered runners is the fifth-largest in Buffalo’s race history, as 359 companies will send teams. Wegmans will have the large group, with 707 entrants.
As usual, the large number of people in the Delaware Park area will lead to traffic congestion in the area. The following streets will be closed between 5 and 8 p.m.: Amherst (from Colvin to Delaware), Delaware (from Amherst to W. Ferry), and Nottingham and Middlesex (between Delaware and Amherst).
Organizers suggest that participants use the free shuttle service from parking lots at Buffalo State College (Lots G20 to G24). The service runs from 4 to 6:15 p.m. before the race, and from 8:30 to 10 p.m. after it. No parking is allowed on the grass in and around Delaware Park, or at Medaille College. Illegally parked cars will be ticketed and towed.
A donation will be made by J.P. Morgan to the Strong Community Schools Initiative of the Buffalo Public Schools system.