The third annual Syrathon race series fuels Syracusans’ appetite for running the roads
Rumor has it that spring lurks, ready to strike after the 200th inch of snow has fallen on our forsaken landscape. And with the promise of warmer weather comes the anticipation of seven months or so of flake-free outdoor activities. While it often takes a lot of cold or precipitation to stop a runner in his tracks, it remains one of the few year-round outdoor pursuits. So folks should be in shape for the Syrathon race series, which pushes off March 5 with the Tipperary Hill Shamrock Run and ends, nearly seven months later, with the Eastwood Park-to-Park Autumn Run.
In between await four more races, of varying distances and challenges.
Best of all, each race takes you through some of the jewels of the chain of Syracuse parks, the main criterion for being part of Syrathon. The total mileage this year remains as it was in 2010: 29.2 miles, the sum of Tipp Hill’s four miles; the Mountain Goat’s 10 miles; Paige’s Butterfly Run’s 3.1 miles; the Inner Harbor’s 3.1 miles; the Parks Runs’ four miles; and Eastwood’s rolling five miles.
This year marks the third pedestrian tour of Syracuse parks, and organizers at the Syracuse Department of Parks, Recreation and Youth Programs, with support from Fleet Feet and the Syracuse New Times, hope to build on past success. In 2010, 7,000 racers participated in the series, with 45 runners who completed all six events. In 2009, almost 6,000 runners took part, with a mere 24 finishing each race.
As in the past, terrific prizes await Syrathon runners, including several given out after each race as well as grand prizes among those tough racers who covered the almost 30-mile distance. Here are the races, with pertinent registration information, distances and parks traversed. For information updates throughout the series itself, read Fleet Feet Syracuse’s weekly newsletter, which hits every Tuesday at www.fleetfeetsyracuse.com. Race registration forms are available at each race’s website as well.
Tipperary Hill Shamrock Run
The remarkable growth of this race in its six-year history has necessitated changes to the race course but with those pesky hills remaining.
Saturday, March 5, 11 a.m. Four miles; kids’ run (ages 5-12): .6 miles Burnet Park, Coleridge Avenue and Burnet Park Drive Fees: $20 through Feb. 25; $30 thereafter. Kids’ run $5 www.tipphillrun.com
Some die-hards cried foul after the altered Mountain Goat course eliminated the climb to Woodland Reservoir. This race allows those runners to gain that elevation after all.
Sunday, Sept. 25, 2 p.m. Hiawatha Lake, inside Onondaga Park, Roberts Avenue Fees: $20 www.strathmoreparksrun.com
Mountain Goat Run
While the Mountain Goat features a 3K dash through downtown, you won’t be a true Syrathoner unless you complete the 10-mile hill fest.
Sunday, May 1, 9:20 a.m. (kids’ run), 9:45 a.m. (3K run/walk), 10:15 a.m. (Mountain Goat start) Clinton Square, downtown Syracuse Fees: Through Feb. 28: $25/Mountain Goat; $14/3K; $30/ Mountain Goat and 3K; $5/kids’ run. Feb. 29-April 18: $30; $16; $35; $6. April 19-27: $35; $18; $40; $7. Expo and Race Day: $40; $20; $45; $8. www.mountaingoatrun.com
Inner Harbor 5K
This flat and fast course ends along West Kirkpatrick Street, next to the picturesque Inner Harbor.
Sunday, Aug. 28, 8:30 a.m. (Children’s 1-mile Rainbow Run) 9 a.m. (5K race) Inner Harbor, Van Rensselaer and West Kirkpatrick streets Fees: $18 www.innerwealth.org
Paige’s Butterfly Run
This race features something different, a Centipede Division, in which five coed runners traverse the race course connected by a rope.
Saturday, June 4, 9 a.m. (5K run/walk), 9:45 a.m. 40-foot Caterpillar Crawl (for ages 5 and younger), no charge Federal Building, 100 S. Clinton St. Fees: Online rates through May 20: $20/5K; after May 20: $30. Paper application rates: $25; $35 www.paigesbutterflyrun.org
Park-to-Park Autumn Run
Many runners use this race as an easy jaunt after a grueling October marathon. But once they hit the hills, they realize it’s not that easy.
Sunday, Oct. 23, 10 a.m. Sunnycrest Ice Rink, Robinson Street (next to Henninger High School) Fees: $16 through Oct. 18; $25 thereafter www.eastwoodneighbor.com