Metro 10 looks to grow following strong feedback

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 August 2016 at 6:10 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers – Austin Heil, 19, of Medina, center, was among about 300 runners who competed in the Metro 10 races in Albion on Saturday. Heil ran the 10-mile race for the Buffalo team. The Metro 10 in its second year added a 5-mile route as well.

ALBION – The Metro 10 is riding positive momentum following Saturday’s second annual event where runners compete for either Rochester or Buffalo, with the team scoring the most points winning bragging rights and a victory glass.

Many of runners have posted positive comments on Facebook and social media about the race, praising the volunteers at water stops, the local police officers along the course, even the design of the shirts.


Everyone who ran in the race had their name on the shirt, either for the Rochester or Buffalo teams.

Every runner who finishes the course scores points for their team. Rochester took the title for the second year in a row.

“I can’t say enough great things about this race!” Carol Lorenz posted on the Metro 10 Facebook page. “Besides the fact that I love the Roch vs. Buff concept, it’s a great course, personalized t-shirts, and glassware. Great idea to pair it with the music festival. What a great community feel to the whole event. I’ll have to work on getting more of the Buffalonians out there next year.”

The race starts and finishes at Bullard Park. This year the Rock the Park music fest followed the race, using the same stage and tents.

Erin Sidari of Albion ran the 10 mile race for Rochester. She posted on Facebook that she preferred the new course, which kept runners closer to the village. “I love this route better than last years!” Sidari said. “It allows you to see so much more of this little town. Great time!!! Can’t wait for 2017!!!”


Race organizer Thom Jennings of Albion addresses the runners at Bullard Park on Saturday. Victoria Freile, a reporter for the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, served as an emcee at the post-race celebration along with Jim Salmon, host of the WHAM Home Repair Clinic.


Emma Mathes, left, and her Cross Country teammates made an impression on runners at the Mile 9 mark.

Thom Jennings served as race organizer for the Metro 10, with help from local volunteers as well as captains in Rochester and Buffalo. Jennings said he believes the race is poised to grow from a cap of 300 this year to perhaps 500 next year.

“I think it will continue to grow,” Jennings said. “We’re definitely on the right trajectory.”

He said he was proud of the community participation, especially the enthusiastic groups on the water stops. A local Girl Scout troop won the water stop award. In addition to cups of water, the Scouts gave out popsicles, wet wash cloths and sprayed runners with mists of water.

The Albion Cross Country team also was a favorite of runners. The team was at Mile 9 when many of the runners were struggling to finish. The Cross Country team was loud in cheering on the runners.

“The water stop people totally upped their game again,” Jennings said. “I was touched by volunteer support on the course.”

The race was in doubt on Thursday and Friday because a state Department of Transportation permit was needed for using routes 31 and 98. Police Chief Roland Nenni and Code Enforcement Officer Ron Vendetti stepped in for Jennings and worked hard to get the paperwork done for the Metro 10 so the race could go on.

Some of the runners interviewed on Saturday said they enjoy the friendly rivalry among the runners. They noted that at most others races, runners leave not long after the race. At the Metro 10, the crowd stayed throughout the awards presentation and to see which team won. One runner gave the race a positive overall review, but would have liked more people from the community along the course, especially when runners were in the downtown.


Yvette Alexander of Brockport dressed as a Pokemon character to lift runners’ spirits near the end of the race on a hot and humid morning.

The race was planned for late August when many runners are gearing up for fall half marathons and marathons. Jennings also believes the mutli-terrain route – grass, pavement, towpath, orchard (at Watt Farms) – is a draw.

“Really enjoyed running thru the orchard but also loved seeing the beautiful homes in the village,” runner Mary Kummer posted on Facebook. “Plus loved running on the canal. I think we just loved the whole course!!”

Jennings said he hopes the race promotes the Albion community, bringing visitors to the area and giving them a positive impression of Orleans County.

“The volunteers made people feel welcome,” he said. “I really wanted to showcase Albion as a welcoming and friendly community.”

Proceeds from the race go to the Warrior House, an organization that offers a hunting retreat for veterans in West Shelby.