Many people helped make Metro 10 race a success

Posted 29 August 2017 at 7:41 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: Runners wait for the start of the 10-mile race on Aug. 19 in front of Bullard Park in Albion.


The 2017 Metro 10 Race proved the third year is the charm with an increase of 100 runners and the look and feel of a great event. Tentative plans are underway to continue the event in Albion, we have an initial commitment from the Village of Albion to secure Bullard Park for Saturday, August 18, 2018. The Village Government and Village Police Department have been tremendous supporters of Metro 10.

There are scores of people to thank, starting with the great water stations brought together by volunteer coordinators Wayne Litchfield and Erin Smith. The Albion Cross Country Team, Jen Higgins and her Girl Scout Troop, and the Genesee-Orleans Ministry of Concern joined us for the third year in a row, Weed Man was with us for the second year in a row and Orleans Community Health joined us for the first time. We receive 100% positive feedback on our water stations, they are the best in the region!

Behind the scenes, Jack Burris has filled in all the gaps and allows us to store and stage all the things we need to get things up and running. Mike Neidert is another person who helps with a slew of things. This year he stepped in and helped with parking when Bullard Park was filling up. Both of them seem to be in the right place at the right time.

Rick Newbould and his daughter Amanda have set up and torn down all the tents for three years. They do a ton of work and are responsible for the look of the post-race. Brad London and John “JT” Thomas provided us with sound. My good friend Preach Freedom provided the perfect vibe for the day with his amazing music, and another good friend Bryan DeGraw returned for a third year with mead from 810 Meadworks. We also welcomed Pastor Randy Lebaron who graciously prayed with our runners at the start and Gary Withey for singing the national anthem. Paul Sottnik sang for our runners at mile 5 and was fantastic.

The food crew provided nearly 1,000 tacos, first to the Community Kitchen on Friday night-a wonderful organization that allowed us to use their kitchen- and then to the runners, walkers and volunteers. The group includes my wonderful wife Tracy Jennings, my amazing niece Sue Zeliff, and our good friend Renee Rowley. Jessica Downey was not only part of the cooking crew on Friday, she organized the Micro 10.

Jim Salmon is another three-year veteran of the event. Not only is he a champion of Orleans County, he is a one-man promotional team for Metro 10. Jim is a vital part of our post-race and always arrives with a huge smile.

The volunteers from The Warrior House, especially Ed Spence, have been an amazing addition to the event. Ed loaned me his truck for an entire day, allowing us to pick up all the food and drinks without having to rent a vehicle.

We cannot forget our team captains, Vickey Beaver and Marissa Pace, who are incredible ambassadors and helped us even out the teams this year. Over 80% of our participants are from out of the county, which provides a clear economic boost.

I have an amazing group of family members who helped pull off the event including my nephew Pete Zeliff Jr. and his mom, my sister-in-law Kathy, and my brother-in-law Mike Zeliff. My son Thom Jr. set up and monitored the course, and my sister Kathleen and my brother-in law Jack came up from Savannah, Georgia to help with everything as well.

Kara Richenberg and Rhyn McDevitt from the O.M.G series helped with securing and distributing beverages at the finish and are a pleasure to partner and work with. Tim Elliot of Medina helped us secure a bunch of ice from the Medina V.F.W on race morning.

Everyone who helped with the Micro 10, including Homestead Wildflowers, Energize Albion, Della’s Chocolates and the employees of Rosicki, Rosicki and Associates and Steve and Jessica McClary. We had a beautiful day to send little Baylee her love notes.

Thanks to the Orleans County Health Department for the misters, COVA for being there a third year in a row, and all the guys from the Village of Albion DPW for extra help setting things up and moving them around and getting us the power we needed to run everything and cleaning things up when it was all said and done.

Special thanks go to Watt Farms Country Market who allow us to route through the apple orchard, and that part of the course is by far the most commented on in our post-race survey. We appreciate the fact they prep it for our participants, and everyone loves it!

Our third year sponsors include Fleet Feet (our very first sponsor), Bentley Brothers, Batavia Downs, The Town of Albion, and Oak Orchard Health. We are so grateful for your continued support and we know there is no Metro 10 without all of your support.

Our second year sponsors include Intergrow, Tops, Modern Corporation, RTS Orleans, The Insurance Center in Batavia, Orleans Community Health Foundation, and Genesee Beer. Most of our second year sponsors significantly increased their support this year to accommodate for the growth of the race. Intergrow not only provided the most cash of any organization, they also donated tomatoes for the tacos.

Our first year sponsors include M&T, Lawley Insurance, Apex Wind, Christopher Mitchell Funereal Home, ARG Disposal, Labatt, and Road ID. With all of your support you helped us balance the books this year, we look forward to growing with you.

A group of friends that not only help me get through Metro 10, they help me through life, Terry and Laura Stephens, Bobbi Houseman and Chris and Megan Dix all showed up to assist because that is what friends do. Megan recently passed away, and while she may not be with us on earth she remains in all of our hearts as she flies with the angels.

Finally, thanks to everyone who supported in any way, big or small way, especially local and regional media outlets that help get the word out. As you can see, The Metro 10 is truly a community effort and I hope it is a source of pride for all of us.

Thom Jennings

Race Organizer