Many people and organizations stepped up to make Metro 10 race a success

Posted 21 August 2018 at 3:59 pm

Photo courtesy of Jack Burris: Runners line up on Main Street at the start of the 10-mile race in Albion on Aug. 18.


Each year our list of people to thank for their help with Metro 10 gets longer. This year we faced some additional challenges but the move to downtown Albion from Bullard Park may have been a blessing in disguise, many people loved the atmosphere and the architecture.

I’d like to start with Village Police Chief Roland Nenni, whose action plan kept runners safe. Many people came up to me and mentioned that the course was perfectly managed by law enforcement. The Orleans County Sheriff, Medina Village Police, Holley Village Police and New York State Police all provided support. Our Orleans County law enforcement are not just protectors of our citizens, they are great individuals and ambassadors for our community. I can’t thank them enough.

This is our fourth year working with the Village of Albion government, and each year they are incredibly supportive and flexible. Three trustees participated in the Metro 10 as did Mayor Eileen Banker. It sends a powerful message to visitors when local officials not only visit an event, they participate in it.

The Village of Albion DPW deserves high praise. In spite of all the projects on their plate, they set up and tore down the event and were right there to answer questions and help with anything we asked. They are a great group of individuals.

Our Albion Cross Country Team and Weed Man have helped cover water stations for four years. With the course change we had all kinds of new challenges, both groups stepped up and showed up, and Weed Man took on a second water station this year after another group couldn’t make it. Wayne Litchfield has helped organize the water stations for years and does so many little things behind the scenes that are crucial to the event, and this year he actually sprung into action and manned a water station along with Jack Burris at the very last minute.

Jack Burris has been a vital and spirited supporter of Metro 10. There are so many things he has done over the years to make this event happen it’s hard to know where to begin. He was with us at 3 a.m. running around in the rain setting up the course, and has provided us with storage space and he is usually the first person we talk to when we need a problem solved or some words of encouragement or a supportive prayer. I am honored to have him as my close friend.

Pete Zeliff Jr. and his wife Sue and Ed Spence and all of the people from The Warrior House are always there to help when we need them. If you need anything they will figure out how to get it and always offer a hand when they can. Ed gets together a group of Veterans to hand out race medals at the finish. It’s incredibly humbling to think that the people who have already served us and protect us are there to serve these runners. I feel incredibly blessed to work alongside such a great charity with some of the most wonderful people you will ever meet in your life.

My longtime friend Jim Salmon has taken time out of his busy schedule to come out and help with the age group awards for four years in a row. After a long race day Jim and I get to share a few laughs, it’s one of the most enjoyable parts of my day.

Marsha Rivers came and did our pre-race prayer this year, twice, once for bikers and once for runners. Marsha brings a wonderful spirit and energy to the ministry, it was a true blessing to have her as part of the race this year, especially because her father and husband have participated in it every year.

Our sponsors make it possible to pull off the many layers to Metro 10. Oak Orchard Health has provided thousands of bottles of water over four years and provided volunteers to hand them out. Intergrow is our largest financial contributor and one of the favorite onsite vendors (people love free tomatoes). The Town of Albion and Town of Gaines provide critical financial support. The Oak Orchard Community Health Foundation, Batavia Downs, Colton RV, Christopher Mitchell Funeral Homes, The Insurance Center, Burris Cleaning all provide financial support as well. Because of all the perks we offer, our race fees don’t cover our costs, so without direct financial support we would not be able to put on The Metro 10 or provide funds to The Warrior House.

Our in-kind support is crucial as well and Tops, Modern Corp, Alex’s Place, The Medina VFW, Karma Water, Bentley Brothers, Larry Albanese and COVA provided costly items such as Gatorade, Porta-potties, Ice, Medical Services, Tents, and Kobota utility vehicles, all items that would cost thousands of dollars out of pocket to rent or purchase. Bentley Brothers has been with us all four years, as has Watt Farms Country Market, whose apple orchard makes our course unique. In spite of all the rain the night before the apple orchard was in great shape for the runners because of the time and care they take to make it safe before the event.

My great friend Bryan DeGraw is at The Metro 10 every year with Mead. People really love his locally made product, and he is another one of those people that can help solve those crazy things that pop up along the way.

Wayne Litchfield has been by my side every year, always ready to help even when he was dealing with health issues this year. If you know Wayne you know he is always helping people. Erin Smith has been with us for two years, and she not only provides a “let’s get it done” attitude, she provides words of encouragement when everything around us seems like it is falling apart. Erin and Jeff Casillo did so many little and big things for this event, and there would be no bike component without them.

Mary Covell is our other superstar this year. She just knew how to be in the right place at the right time. Becky Bashford, Matt Swindon, Hailee Morgan and Bill Irwin all showed up the day of the race and played crucial roles. Crystal Hallenbeck did a great job making our first Health Fair happen. Vickey Beaver brought Team Rochester’s victorious team back in higher numbers, it’s her third year with us.

Adam Johnson and the staff at 39 Problems fed us and the runners this year. We have really fallen in love with that place! Adam has been amazing and incredibly easy to work with.

Of course I would never be able to pull any of this off without my incredible family including my wife Tracy, brother-in-laws Mike and Jack, my sister Kathleen and my sons Thom and Trevor.

Hopefully I didn’t forget anyone, but if I did it doesn’t diminish your contribution. Events, small and large, are never the product of one person’s work, it is the result of community members coming together to make it happen. Whether you have helped us this year, or in past years, we thank you for helping us bring this crazy event into reality for the last four years.

All the best,

Thom Jennings


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