SYRACUSE, N.Y. - (September 25, 2011) - With the 19th Syracuse Festival of Races (SFoR) still one week away, runners from 27 states, the District of Columbia and Canada have already registered for either the Men's 5K or the Women's 5K. And when the starting gun sounds outside Syracuse University's Manley Field House on Sunday morning, October 2, Meadowbrook Drive is going to be the destination on the minds of every participant in Syracuse's only national-destination road race.
"Wherever I go in the country, runners ask me about the Festival course and what makes it so fast," says Dave Oja, founder and race director of the SFoR. "It's not surprising, because a fast, record-eligible course is a huge benefit to every runner in a road race - whether he or she is attempting a world record or just hoping to finish in a time a little faster than what he or she ran the week before. In the running sports, a little bit faster is a little bit better."
Since its first use in 1992 for the final edition of the Syracuse Freihofer's Run for Women, the SFoR course has hosted 35 performances that have tied or improved upon various U.S. 5K road records. During those 19 years, no other Syracuse road race has hosted even one U.S. record at any distance.
Further illustrating the drawing power and success of the SFoR course is its having hosted an astounding 24 world class performances (performances age graded at 90% or higher) in each of the past two years. In comparison, Utica's world famous Boilermaker 15K produced 16 world class performances this past July, and all other Syracuse-area road races combine to host no world class performances in most years.
"With far more people finishing 5K races each year than any other distance, and with 5K races far outnumbering road races of any other distance, it's very gratifying that Syracuse resides on the short list of places to go to run really fast at the world's most popular road race distance," Oja admits. "And, of course, it's an extra benefit for local runners of every pace and level of running experience to have both the Festival course and the amazing field of runners it attracts right here in their own back yard."
In addition to the men's and women's 5K races, SFoR events include the non-competitive MVP Health Care 3K Fun & Fitness Run, the Tops Friendly Markets Community Walk and the Fitness Forum / Syracuse Orthopedic Specialists Joint Replacement Run & Walk. Participants in the various SFoR events range from area pre-school children and their families to world class age group athletes as old as 93 competing in the 2011 USA Masters 5K Championship.
Additional information and online entry for the 19th Syracuse Festival of Races is available at: www.festivalofraces.com
this article Courtesy of Running USA wire