GRTC Summer Presidents Letter 7.23.17


               Rochester really is a great place for running. We recently spent nine delightful days in Riverside California to celebrate our daughter’s graduation with a PhD in Ethnomusicology (The study of music of different cultures, especially non-western ones). It was a wonderful and fun trip, and of course a chance for me to run in sunny southern California.  Luckily, I was still on east coast time and waking at 5:00 am. I could run early in the morning outside of town (beyond the perimeter of lush green irrigated lawns). This was dry desert terrain with beautiful blue sky but where the only green was primarily cactus and scrub grass. There was some yellow………but this was on the warning signs about mountain lions and rattlesnakes on the trail. I had some truly great runs, with views of the university from the hills surrounding, but it had to be done in the early morning. No one in Riverside could be found running after 10:00 am in the greater than 90 degrees heat. At 4:00 pm when we were in the “cactus garden” at Joshua Tree National Park, it was 112 degrees when we got out of the car. Remembering the dangers on dehydration, we had lots of Gatoraid with us (and I DID NOT try to run). The morning TV news on return from my runs not infrequently focused on fires and evacuations from surrounding areas of the state. Don’t get me wrong. Riverside California is a great community and university and may be my daughter’s home base for some time to come. But I admit that I missed the green. I would recommend a desert run for everyone when you have a chance, but there was also a definite beauty in the lush green sea below us that was western New York as we were landing here in Rochester the following week.


Rochester really is a great place to run. Sometimes we don’t appreciate how well off we are. Though the summer in Rochester sometimes seems short, weather and natural disasters rarely inhibit enjoying a good run (with apology to those living on the shore of Lake Ontario this spring). Even a drenching rainstorm has it charms for running, as long as lightning stays away. The evening national news lately in often filled with natural disasters. A sink hole last week swallowed a house in Florida and was said to be still growing. Fires blaze out of control in the southwest and tornados are reported often across the Midwest. Heat emergencies are declared in many large cities and tropical storms often threaten the gulf coast. Internationally, earthquakes, erupting volcanos and hurricanes top the news. Thankfully these are generally not concerns for us in western New York. It’s nice to come home from a vacation or even just a long run confident that the house is likely to still be there!


               So this summer, go out and enjoy running in the really great climate that western New York has for us in the summer. It doesn’t matter if you are a short distance runner or ultramarathoner. It doesn’t matter if you run for health, for fun or for the awards. Just get out with the running community and enjoy our sport. Check the GRTC calendar on our website for a variety of options and pick your next event. The next RROY races are the Karnocker 5k in East Rochester on Friday night 7/28/17, followed by the Pound the Ground 10 K on August 9th. For the endurance crew, there is the Oak Tree half marathon in Geneseo on 9/3/17 (Labor Day weekend). A favorite of my own, the Oak Tree showcases how beautiful the rural areas around Geneseo can be on a sunny day. But, whatever events you choose, don’t sit home and pass up these many running options that the Rochester community has for you. Get out and take advantage of Rochester’s summers. It unlikely that a natural disaster will interfere. And importantly……………… you shouldn’t need to worry about the rattlesnakes. See you out on the road.




Doug Jones

President GRTC