Lindsey Scherf was looking for a road race, anywhere between a 5K and a 15K. As a native of New York State, she had heard good things about the Subaru 4 Mile Chase in Buffalo.
So she sent her impressive resume to the race committee, which promptly extended an invitation into the elite field for the 39th annual race, scheduled for July 19.
“This aligned with my training and what I’m looking for in a race right now,” Scherf, 32, said by phone from Sleepy Hollow, N.Y. “I’ve all heard so many good things about this race and with where my fitness is right now and the timing of it for my schedule, it’s just the perfect opportunity.
“I’m really looking forward to running this race. Eyeing the overall course record, it’s quite challenging. Realistically, I want to take a stab at, if the conditions are respectable, the American course record of 20:36 held by my good friend Allie Kieffer.”
Kieffer, a native of Long Island, lived in Western New York for a number of years and blistered through a number of local races, including the 2017 Subaru 4 Mile Chase, when she finished second to Monicah Ngige. The overall course record for women is 20:03, set by Kenyan Cynthia Limo.
Kieffer and Scherf met at a road race in 2012 and became good friends.
Kieffer was one of the in-house announcers at the Armory Track and Field Center in New York City in March 2018, when Sherf set the record for the indoor marathon, running 211 laps around the track in two hours, 40 minutes and 55.3 seconds. Kieffer held the title in 2016, when she ran 2:44:44, also at the Armory.
“Having her as one of the announcers made it extra fun for me,” Scherf said.
“Mentally, most people’s reaction is 211 laps, that can’t be fun,” Sherf said. “It’s way more fun than I thought because one of my best friends was an announcer, I’m a native New Yorker, and I started running at age 10 at races in the Armory, so I had coaches and friends there, and there’s a built-in group of astute spectators that understand the sport of running. It’s actually one of my favorite marathons.”
Making the 2020 U.S. Marathon Trials in February is her goal. But she’s working up to that after taking some time away from professional running and the pressures of training.
Her last year of clicking with her training and racing was through the end of 2016. She finished second in the USA Road Racing Circuit and placed second in the Honolulu Marathon, the highest finish by an American since 1988.
“I beat people with credentials I had no business beating,” Scherf said, referring to finishing ahead of 2014 Boston Marathon champ Bizunesh Deba. “But then I’ve spent the last two years focusing on a consulting business I had going, doing a lot of jet setting from one location to another. All the travel was fatiguing me. Running is not just about having the time in the day, but the energy, and I had other stresses going on. You can’t have the best of both worlds, so I let the running take a back seat.
“But I’m a runner for life. Even when I’m not able to race and train, I try to get out and run a minimum of every other day. It’s in my blood, being active. This year, I moved back to New York, my home base, and I want to start a PhD program in the fall of 2020.”
The doctorate programs she’s looking at are focused on human biomechanics or evolutionary biology. Her consulting background is for wearable technology companies, helping them design and refine their products with her undergraduate degree in psychology and her masters in kinesiology.
“The academic setting I enjoy more than the corporate setting,” Scherf said. “I’d rather work on the knowledge from an authentic standpoint rather than the focus at the end of day to sell something and generate a return on investment. Sometimes you never know until you dabble.”
Scherf dabbled in teaching this past year as a science teacher and coached high school track and field and cross country.
“I enjoyed that more than my own running,” Scherf said. “Sometimes you learn more than you’re probably teaching. One of the things the kids teach me, especially at the high school level, is how fun this is. You can start doing something professionally or semi-professionally and start to take it so seriously, it takes the fun out of it. You put so much pressure on yourself, you forget how to run with that feeling of joy, to take in the experience rather than micromanage every aspect of your day and hyperfocus on results. That’s one thing they definitely taught me.”
Saturday July 13
- Run for Bereda 5K, 8:30 a.m., Welch Field, Elm and Third Streets, Westfield
- Rosie the Riveter 5K, 8:30 a.m., Templeton Landing, 2 Templeton Terrace.
- Tuscarora Nation 10K and 2.5 mile run, 9 a.m., Tuscarora Indian School, 2015 Mount Hope Road, Lewiston
- 50 Yard Finish 5K, 9 a.m., New Era Field, 1 Bills Drive, Orchard Park
Sunday, July 14
- Matthew Hazelton Memorial 5K, 9 a.m., Clarion Hotel, 30 Lake Shore Drive East, Dunkirk
Tuesday, July 16
- Okay 5K Fun Run/Wellness Walk, 7 p.m., Delaware Park Ring Road
Thursday, July 18
- Daemen Athletics Summer Track Series No. 2, 6 p.m., Williamsville South High School Track, 5950 Main St., Williamsville
- Chestnut Ridge 5-Mile Trail Run, 6:30 p.m., Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park
- St. John Vianney Kickoff Run 5K, 6:30 p.m., St. John Vianney R.C. Church, 2950 Southwestern Blvd., Orchard Park
- Tim Frank Memorial Canal Fest, 4 miles, 7 p.m., Crazy Jakes, 26 Webster St., North Tonawanda
Friday, July 19
- Subaru Buffalo 4 Mile Chase, 7 p.m., Bidwell Parkway
- St. Mary's 5K Chowder Chase, 7 p.m., St. Mary's Church of Swormville, 6919 Transit Road.
Saturday, July 20
- The McGreevy Run For All Heroes, 5K, 8:30 a.m., Portville Central School, 500 Elm St., Portville
- Laurel Memorial Run 5K, 8:30 a.m., Silver Creek Village Square, corner of Central Avenue and Main Street, Silver Creek
- Buffalo Undy Run & Walk, 9 a.m., Delaware Park, Amherst/Colvin entrance.
- 10th Annual Character Chase 5K, 9:30 a.m., Union Pleasant Elementary School, 150 Pleasant Ave., Hamburg
Sunday, July 21
- EVL-9 and EVL-4 Trail Runs, 9:30 a.m., Holiday Valley Mountain Sports Center, Ellicottville
Thursday, July 25
- Daemen Athletics Summer Track Series No. 3, 6 p.m., Williamsville South High School Track, 5950 Main St., Williamsville
Friday, July 26
- Kenilworth Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1 Centennial 5K, 6 p.m., Lincoln Arena, 1200 Parker Blvd., Tonawanda
- Seneca Hickory Stick 5K Summer Sizzler, 7 p.m., Seneca Hickory Stick Golf Club, 4560 Creek Road, Lewiston
Saturday, July 27
- Queen City Half Marathon, 10K and 5K, 8 a.m., Sahlen Field, 275 Washington St.
- Dash 'N Splash Family Fun Run, 2.5 Miles, 9 a.m., Frontier Middle School, 2751 Amsdell Road, Hamburg
- Darren Manzella-Lapeira Memorial 5K Run, 10 a.m., American Legion Post 434, 110 West Main St., Brocton
Sunday, July 28
- Lindsay Matthews Scholarship Race, 5K, 10 a.m., Orchard Park Soccer Complex, 6909 Milestrip Road, Orchard Park
Tuesday, July 30
- Jackhammer Trail Series No. 1, 3.2 Miles, 6:30 p.m., Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park
Wednesday, July 31
- Ronald McDonald House 5K, 6:30 p.m., Ronald McDonald House, 780 West Ferry St.
Thursday, Aug. 1
- Daemen Athletics Summer Track Series No. 4, 6 p.m., Williamsville South High School Track, 5950 Main St., Williamsville
Friday, Aug. 2
- Run For The Corn, 2.2 and 3.8 miles, trail, 6:30 p.m., Behind the Eden Elementary School, 8289 North Main St., Eden
Saturday, Aug. 3
- Old First Night Run/Walk, 2.75 miles, 8 a.m., Chautauqua Institute
- Run for Life, 5K, 9 a.m., Life Church, 4928 Seneca St., West Seneca
- Christine Padasak Memorial-Autism Awareness 5K, 9:30 a.m., The Children's League, 393 North St., Springville
- St. Christopher Summerfest 5K, 6:30 p.m., St. Christopher Church, 2660 Niagara Falls Blvd., Tonawanda
Sunday, Aug. 4
- Run 716, 15K, 7:16 a.m., Flying Bison Brewing, 840 Seneca St., Buffalo
- Stephen's Cross-Country Run, 5K, 9 a.m., Long Point State Park, 4459 NY-430, Bemus Point
Monday, Aug. 5
- Mud Run 6.5K trail, 6;30 p.m., Erie County Reforestation Refuge, South Feddick Road, Boston
Tuesday, Aug. 6
- Jackhammer Trail Series No. 2, 3.2 miles trail, 6:30 p.m., Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park
Thursday, Aug. 8
- Checker's Athletic Club Mueller Mile, 1 mile, 6:30 p.m., 11 Main St., Tonawanda
Friday, Aug. 9
- Raby Family Memorial 5K, 6;30 p.m., Lewiston Porter Senior High, 4061 Creek Road, Youngstown.
Saturday, Aug. 10
- Erie County Fair 5K, 8:30 a.m., Gate 6 Erie County Fairgrounds, Hamburg
- Beast of Burden 100 Mile, 50 Mile, 25 Mile, 10 a.m., Widewaters Marina, 718 Market St., Lockport
Sunday, Aug. 11
- Kidney Walk & Run, 5K, 9 a.m., Wilkeson Pointe, 225 Fuhrmann Blvd.
Monday, Aug. 12
- Bond Lake RUT Run, 3.4 miles, cross country, 7 p.m., Bond Lake Park, 2571 Lower Mountain Road.
Tuesday, Aug. 13
- Jackhammer Trail Series No. 3, 3.2 miles trail, 6:30 p.m., Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park
Wednesday, Aug. 14
- 33rd Annual Moonlight Run, 5K, 8 p.m., Island Park Pavilion, 5583 Main St., Williamsville
Friday, Aug. 16
- 41st Annual Bob Ivory 5K, 6:30 p.m., St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute, 845 Kenmore Ave.
Saturday, Aug. 17
- Sunset Bay Experience Reach the Beach 5K, 9:30 a.m., Sunset Bay Beach Club, Iola Drive, Irving
- Buffalo Sabres 5K, 9:30 a.m., KeyBank Center
- Cross Country Crusade, 5K, 10 a.m., Knox Farm State Park, 437 Buffalo Road, East Aurora
- KIA Memorial Road March, 10K, 11 a.m., Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park
Sunday, Aug. 18
- Embracing Hope, 5K, 8:30 a.m., Delaware Park at Parkside
- Runway 5K, 10 a.m., Niagara Falls Airport, 8800 Porter Ave.
Tuesday, Aug. 20
- Eden 5K, 6:30 p.m., on the track at Eden Jr./Sr. High School, 3150 Schoolview Road, Eden
- Jackhammer Trail Series No. 4, 3.2 miles trail, 6:30 p.m., Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park
Thursday, Aug. 22
- Lancaster Striders Mile, 6:30 p.m., Como Lake County Park, 2220 Como Park Blvd., Lancaster
Friday, Aug. 23
- Seneca Hickory Stick 5K Summer Sizzler No. 3, 5K, 7 p.m., Seneca Hickory Stick Golf Club, 4560 Creek Road, Lewiston
Saturday, Aug. 24
- Muddy Buffalo Obstacle Course Run, 5 miles, 9 a.m., Buffalo Ski Club, 7414 State Road Route 240, Colden
Sunday, Aug. 25
- Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish 5K, 11 a.m. 57 Center Ave., North Tonawanda
Tuesday, Aug. 27
- Jackhammer Trail Series No. 5, 3.2 miles trail, 6:30 p.m., Chestnut Ridge Park, Orchard Park
Friday, Aug. 30
- WNY Running Hall of Fame presents Tom Donnelly's Hall of Fame 5K, 6:30 p.m., Elmwood and Bidwell