Runners give Metro 10 strong endorsement

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 August 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Runners take off at the start of today’s Metro 10 race in Albion. This spot is on Route 31 near the CRFS parking lot. There were about 400 runners in Albion today.

Runners liked the course that went through historic downtown Albion, north to Watt Farms, through an apple orchard, and then a series of country roads, passing corn fields, tractors and more apple trees.

The 10-mile course turned to the canal towpath off Densmore Road, and included a final stretch on pavement at Butts Road and Route 31 before the finish at Bullard Park.

Runners pass by the First Presbyterian Church, part of the historic Courthouse Square.

Omar Boulama, 21, of Rochester was the first overall finisher with a time of 52:20. Boulama said he enjoyed the course with the change in terrain and the varied scenery.

“It wasn’t boring,” he said.

These runners cross over the Main Street lift bridge. The Metro 10 is the first-of-its-kind race where runners ran for either Rochester or Buffalo. When the points were tallied, Rochester claimed the first Metro 10 cup.

“I loved the race,” said Albion native Heather Snyder, who now lives in Columbia, Maryland. “It was great to see the two cities come together for the love of running.”

A pack of runners heads up a hill on Route 98, nearing Bacon Road.

“There was a lot of nice scenery, said 26-year-old Jason McElwain of Rochester. He was fifth overall with a time of 1:02. “J-Mac” first earned fame about a decade ago when he scored 20 points in the closing minutes for Greece Athena. He is a highly functioning autistic amateur athlete who has run the Boston Marathon in under 3 hours.

Watt Farms parked its orchard train by the course.

Runners commented they enjoyed the run through the orchard at Watt Farms, which took them by a pond with lots of waterfowl.

Mike Neidert of Albion runs through a sprinkler set up by the Boy Scouts on Densmore Street.

Margy Brown of Waterport enjoys being sprayed with water at the 6-mile mark, a water stop run by the Girl Scouts. The Girl Scouts also had wet towels and earned a $300 award for the best water stop.

Runners pass by corn fields on Zig-Zag Road.

“I love the small towns and going by the farms,” said Hannah Davidson of Saratoga, the top overall female finisher with a time of 59:38. “For a first time event, this was very well put on.”

A member of the Orleans County Clay Crushers has water ready for runners at the 8-mile mark on the canal towpath.

Kirsten Struble, a member of the Albion Cross Country team, and her teammates were enthusiastic boosters at Mile 9 in today’s Metro 10 race in Albion, a 10-mile trek on foot where runners squared off from Rochester versus Buffalo.

The cross country team also manned a water stop at the ninth mile on Butts Road.

The finish line is set up in Bullard Park.

Each finisher received one of these medals.

Rochester claimed the Metro 10 Cup and many of the runners posed for photos with the trophy afterwards, including this group, from left: Jared Ziegler, Ron Ziegler and Ed Martin.

Fleet Feet employees, Jim Marchetti (left) and Kraig Connor, carry the trophy to the Fleet Feet van. The trophy will spend much of the next year in Fleet Feet’s Rochester stores.

“This was a very good first-time event,” Marchetti said. “They have a great base to build on.”