Holley Rotary brings back Jim Ferris 5K on June 1

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 May 2024 at 9:26 am

Provided photo: Jim Ferris is shown giving maximum effort in a race. Ferris was one of the top runners in the Rochester region in his 40s and early 50s.

HOLLEY – A 5-kilometer walk and run honoring the memory of one of the area’s top runners will be returning to Holley on June 1.

The Holley Rotary Club is organizing the Jim Ferris Memorial 5K. The race is coming back after an absence of several years, going back before the Covid pandemic.

“We’re excited to do it,” said Shannon Brett, the Holley Rotary president. “We want to turn it into a community event.”

The Rotary Club wanted to bring back a 5K and have it be part of Holley’s June Fest. The Rotary Club choose to continue to honor Ferris with the race.

Ferris was one of the top runners in the Rochester region in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He died at age 53 from a sudden heart attack on May 7, 1994.

Ferris was a dominant runner in the master’s division, over age 40, beating fast runners half his age.

Ferris graduated from Holley in 1959. He was a star baseball and basketball player, and scored 38 points in one basketball game, then a school record. He played on the basketball team at Niagara University.

Ferris was in the ROTC program and served with the Army in the Vietnam War. He stayed in the Reserve, retiring as colonel in 1993.

Ferris and his wife Linda lived in Clarendon. They raised two daughters, Carson Ferris-Zeolla and Jane Ferris.

Ferris did not start running competitively until age 43. At age 47, he ran his fastest 5K in 15:44. He averaged between 16 to 17 minutes in most of his races, which are blazing fast times.

For a 10K, 6.2 miles, Ferris ran 32:45 for his fastest at that distance.

Brett said the race will bring people together for an endurance challenge, and also raise money for Rotary to give out to causes in the community.

The course will start and end near the elementary school, and go through part of the village, and Telegraph and Hurd roads.

“It should be a fun race,” Brett said. “We wanted to bring it back.”

The race starts at 9 a.m. For information about registering to participate, click here.

To sponsor the race for $100, which gets your name on the back of the race shirt, send a check to Holley Rotary Club at P.O. Box 224, Holley, NY 14470.