It’s that time of the week again, Friday, and we’re excited to be linking up with You Signed Up For What, Mar On The Run and Eat Pray Run DC again for the Friday Five! It’s a “Free Friday” and we thought we would incorporate our race recap while we share five things we loved at the Buffalo Marathon held over Memorial weekend. Without further ado, here we go!
1. The Location: The City of Buffalo is definitely a beautiful location. Located on the shore of Lake Ontario, Buffalo is in the midst of a 21st century refresh. Billions of dollars are being invested in and around the city and residents are making Buffalo a city to be reckoned with. The city ranked #6 on CNN’s 10 Least Stressed Out Cities!
From downtown to the waterfront, we loved everything we saw and the marathon and half courses definitely highlighted the city’s features. All events were held at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center in downtown. We felt the venue was perfect to hold these events. Easy (free) parking and two floors of ample space and bathrooms were nice to see.
The only event that felt crowded was the race expo / packet pickup. The expo was held upstairs in the convention center, but was only given half of the space. The other half was being used for the post race festivities for the John Beishline Memorial 5K run the same morning.
2. The Course: I briefly mentioned this in #1 above, but we loved the course. First, the course is better than advertised and I understand why people come here to qualify for Boston. It’s relatively flat with the exception of inclines at the start and midway points (or finish of the half).
Winding through downtown, residential, and waterfront portions of the City of Buffalo you get a chance to see many aspects of the city. The five miles (half course) along the water were absolutely beautiful in the early morning hours.
3. The Staff & Volunteers: Thank You! Each and everyone of you deserves a hand shake and a well deserved Mile 27 pilsner! As runners who race many smaller events, and a few big ones, it is not lost on us how hard you work to put on these events.
Everyone was courteous, polite and professional. From packet pickup, gear check, water stations, course and concessions – each person did a wonderful job. And we sincerely mean that!
4. The Swag: We only choose one or two races a year out of our local area and I can tell you one factor that plays a role in our decision is the race swag! Others might not care as much about this, but we do. Swag makes races fun and even more memorable, especially with a shirt you love wearing.
From the medals and race shirts, half and full marathon merchandise, finisher merchandise and chocolate ‘medals’ for the kids mini-marathon, the team at the Buffalo Marathon definitely exceeded our expectations.
Although the race shirts we received for signing up had the same general design, they were customized with different text and shirts colors for the four events held that weekend – 5K, Half, Marathon and Marathon Relay. Importantly, they were not cotton either! The race bibs were not customized with our names like some races, but they were unique for each event. Even the kids got a number 1 bib for there mini-marathon!
5. The Little Touches: Many aspects go into making a race. Many more go into making that event great. The little touches make all the difference! Here are some of those little touches during the Buffalo Marathon weekend:
– 0.0k Party at Templeton Landing to kick off the weekend
– Osteria 166 Block Party following packet pickup featuring a pig roast
– Children’s Mini-Marathon with chocolate medals
– Bands along the course
– Pacing ‘Rabbits’
– Finisher Merchandise for half and full marathons
– Food Trucks outside the convention center featuring local businesses
– Custom Buffalo Marathon Pilsner, Mile 27
BONUS: We got to meet Bart Yasso, CRO of Runner’s World, and take a Bartie!
Overall, we had a great weekend and loved the Buffalo Marathon. We both agreed it is a race we would like to do again. We hope you enjoyed this slightly different Friday Five. Have a great weekend!
Did you travel for a race last week?