Glenn Murdock, Meacham Area Parks Association board member and race co-director, explained that gathering the community the ultimate goal. “We want to restore Valley pride,” Murdock said. “You have to step up and do what you can for your backyard. We want to show that we have nature in the city.”
A few local runners from the Lake Effect Run Club contacted Murdock asking if they could test run the trail last week. Warning them that the trail wasn’t completely ready, Murdock approved, and eagerly awaited their responses—which were well worth it.
“The course is a unique blend of city and nature,” said local runner Todd Robertson. “The section through Rand Woods takes you from a city street, to what feels like a trail in the Adirondacks in less than five minutes. The community has done a great job getting the trail ready.”
Murdock’s wife, Brenda Erwin-Murdock is the vice president of MAPA
and directs the race with him. Both very involved in the community, they
encourage everyone to come out. “Even if you don’t walk or run, come
cheer on people,” Murdock said. “It really sends a great message that
the community is being united.”
A strong running town, Syracusans have a lot of runs to choose from, so MAPA was eager to get on board. To do so, they attended the race directors meeting held annually by Fleet Feet, the running retail store on Bridge Street in DeWitt, during the entire year’s race schedules were laid out. Murdock and MAPA’s board found the opening in August, and immediately jumped on it.
At the same meeting, they received advice from other running groups that most races hand out T-shirts to participants, so they should try something different. So they chose to hand to the first 200 registered runners a bright orange safety vest that helps with visibility if you’re running on the roads.
After the race, MAPA will hold a chicken barbecue at Green Hills Farm, at 5593 S. Salina St. Local farmers have donated tons of foods and snacks for the event, including Nancy Larraine Hoffmann Farm, Green Hills and Gannon’s ice cream. The event was made possibly by a What If Mini grant from the Gifford Foundation.
Race-day registration cost $25 and proceeds from the walk go to MAPA for environmental improvements in the park as well as programming. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, with the race beginning at 9. Free parking at is available Clary Middle School, 100 Amidon Drive, or at Meachem Field, located along West Seneca Turnpike across from Midland Avenue. To volunteer or for more information, contact email@example.com.