BUFFALO, NY ( WKBW ) The sun shined on thousands of runners who converged on downtown Buffalo for the Buffalo Marathon 2011.
The run kicked off at 7a.m. on Pearl Street near the host Hyatt Hotel. The Buffalo Marathon is divided into three categories- the full marathon ( just over 26 miles); half marathon; or relay teams made up of 4 runners each.
Again this year, the course was fast and scenic, showcasing the beauty of Western New York's waterfront, some of our friendliest neighborhoods, finest architecture, and famous Olmsted parks.
One of the busiest sections of the race was at Buffalo's waterfront where relay runners picked up from other team members and headed through the city to Delaware Park.
The streets surrounding Niagara Square and the Buffalo Convention Center were shut down Sunday morning to accommodate the runners and thousands of supporters ringing cowbells and cheering on friends, family, and fellow teammates.
One of those cheering on the runners was former Buffalo Bill All Star Special Teams ace Steve Tasker. Steve, sporting what looked like a hockey playoff beard, was cheering on his wife Sarah.
Many of the runners are attempting a personal best, qualifying for the Boston Marathon, or just out to enjoy a good run through the city with thousands of others.
The Buffalo Marathon benefits several charities including Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Hospice Buffalo, and research to fight the complications of NF. Many runners and teams were participating in honor of individuals, or running in support of others.
Results were posted at the free post race party in the Buffalo Convention Center, where trophies and some cash prizes were distributed to overall winners; masters class; and winners in various age categories.
Ages ranged from 18 to 80 for full, half, and relay runners.
All marathon runners who finished under six hours picked up a new commemorative finisher’s medal designed after the Buffalo nickel.
All half marathon runners who finish receive a similar commemorative finisher’s medal.
Channel 7's "Eyewitness News" is a proud supporter of this event--With News Director John Di Sciullo; EWN This Morning co-anchor / EWN At Noon anchor Ginger Geoffrey; Director Aaron Pike; and EWN weather anchor/reporter Jennifer Stanonis participating in the relay portion.
Weather anchor Jennifer Stanonis not only participated, but delivered some sunshine after one of the wettest weeks on record. While some runners noted it was a touch humid and warm in the sun, most were pleased that it was dry. Watch Eyewitness News at 6 and 11pm for full coverage.
For the full roster of results, go to www.buffalomarathon.com - or head to the news links section of wkbw.com. The 2011 results should be posted shortly.
Here is the latest release from The Buffalo Marathon organizers:
Buffalo, NY – Nearly 5,000 runners from around the world took part in the 2011 Buffalo Marathon’s full and half marathons, and four-person relay race, which was held today, Sunday, May 29, in Buffalo, NY. Eight of the top three finishers in the various Buffalo Marathon’s full and half marathon race categories are either current or former residents of Western New York.
The top three finishers of the 26.2-mile race around Buffalo in the Open Marathon, Male category were Jynocel Baswetl of Kenya, 2:25:30; Peter Kemboi of Kenya, 2:29:39; and Paul McRae of Jacksonville, FL, 2:37:59. Baswetl also won the Buffalo Marathon in 2006.
Meanwhile, the top three finishers in the Open Marathon, Women category were Veronika Lopatina of Russia, 2:44:39; Salome Kosgei of Ethiopia, 2:48:21; and Meaghan Hayes of Grand Island, NY, 2:54:49.
Top finishers in the Open Half Marathon, Male category were Demesse Tefera of Ethiopia, 1:08:27; Terence Attema of Smithville, Ontario, 1:10:12; and Todd Meyer of Canandaigua, NY, 1:10:46.
Top finishers in the Open Half Marathon, Female category were Jackie Rzepecki formerly of Buffalo, NY, 1:22:51; Katie Aldridge of Alpine, NY, 1:24:19; and Natasha Yaremczuk of Clearmont, FL, 1:24:59.
Top finishers in the Masters Marathon, Male category were Titus Mutinda, 2:39:58; Jim Park of Buffalo, NY, 2:51:55; and Ingo Shult, 3:00:47.
Top finishers in the Masters Marathon, Female category were Tatiana Mironova of Russia, 3:00:58; Mary Jo Townsend Wardell of Port Crane, NY, 3:23:38; and Zarah Dehnashi of Mississauga, Ontario, 3:26:15.
Top finishers in the Masters Half Marathon, Male category were John Tuttle, a resident of Almond, NY during the summer, 1:18:18; Ron Saxton of Spencerport, NY, 1:19:59; and Bill Frawley, 1:20:16. Tuttle is a 1984 Olympian and Masters Runner.
Top finishers in the Masters Half Marathon, Female category were Elizabeth Randell of Buffalo, NY, 1:26:00; Carmel Cerullo-Beiter, 1:32:09; and Jeanne Chiarmonte of North Tonawanda, NY, 1:39:58.
All runners competed for over $10,000 in prize money in the full and half marathons.
Also, some participants ran the full, half or four-person relay race on behalf of a charity, such as Hospice Buffalo, Roswell Park Cancer Institute and research of neurofibromatosis 2.
“The Buffalo Marathon is up 20 percent in registrations from last year,” said John Beishline, Race Director of the Buffalo Marathon. “Thank you to the sponsors, 500-plus volunteers, and Buffalo Marathon Race Committee. Without their support, we wouldn’t have a race. Congratulations to all of the runners, and we look forward to seeing them again next for next year’s Buffalo Marathon,” he added.
Over 500 volunteers contributed their time and efforts to the Buffalo Marathon, helping out with traffic control, handing out water at water stops, assisting with the post-race party, among other tasks.