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Fit as hell: Buffalo races you must run this spring

Get ready to run, Buffalo.

blog by Ben Kirst  • 

For a city whose population often gets stereotyped as a collection of snowbound fatsos, Buffalo has a lot of road races. The winter months don’t even slow us down too much—most weekends in Western New York offer local runners an opportunity to stretch the legs against opponents clad in a fierce combination of moisture-wicking Lycra and mom’s knitted mittens.

Spring is about to arrive, however, and slippery sidewalks and 40-mph crosswinds of our darkest months will soon be a thing of the past. Even better, there are a number of excellent road races within the limits of our fair city over the next several weeks that are doable for both the gaunt and the girthy. Here are five specific races that the serious Buffalo runner—whether serious about mile splits or serious about the post-race party—should notch between now and Memorial Day.

March 31: Bengal Run 5K—First of all, Buffalo State College has one of Western New York’s most underrated logos—that Bengal is dope. Second of all, gentlemen, this race in support of the Buffalo State College’s Alumni Association Legacy Scholarship Fund is chock-full of college coeds. JUST SAYING. The course begins at Buffalo State and winds through Elmwood Village, a flat, scenic place to get your run on. The post-race party is quite popular. The first 500 entrants get a gift. And you’re supporting higher education, which, according to Rick Santorum, makes you a snob. Sweet.

April 15: Canisius College Shoes for Shelter. This race is held, in its entirety, within the serene confines of Forest Lawn Cemetery (1411 Delaware Ave., Buffalo). Home to some of Buffalo’s most famous residents from days past, as well as a pretty ballsy deer, this is a race well worth running—nothing gets those feet moving like the grim specter of Death.

April 28: Buffalo Undy 5000. Believe in the work of the Colon Cancer Alliance? Strip down and strap on those Asics. Participants in this family 5K race and fun run are encouraged to run in their underwear to show their support in the battle against colon cancer. The course is a delightful jaunt around the golf course at Delaware Park. Apologies in advance to distracted linksmen and women.

May 18: Buffalo Greek Fest 5K. Another race that swings through the heart of the city, beginning at the famous Hellenic Orthodox Church Of the Annunciation (146 West Utica St., Buffalo) with extended stretches through the Elmwood Village and historic sections of Delaware Avenue. The post-race party has good food and a lot of beer. You should sign up for this one.

May 27: Buffalo Marathon, Marathon Relay and Half Marathon. Oh, you thought this was all fun and games and running around in your underpants, did you? Nope—time to pay for all of that beer and Bengal-ogling. The half-marathon stretches through wide swathes of South Buffalo and the West Side. The full marathon covers the First Ward to Hertel Avenue and lots of ground in-between. Participants are entitled to a pre-race pasta dinner and a post-race party that runs for over six hours—which you will enjoy wrapped in an aluminum foil blanket while sipping broth from a plastic cup. Have fun!

TAGGED: buffalo marathon, buffalo state college, delaware park, elmwood village, forest lawn cemetery, greek fest, road races

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