The Running of the Green was completed successfully this year as a virtual event. Welcome to the view of light at the end of the COVID tunnel. The first RROY series race of 2021, though not the same large group in-person experience as in the past (let alone no green beer at the end) for those 153 of us who participated this was a milestone in the right direction. In particular congratulations go out to Donald Bigelow, Mary Crowe and Karen Godshall. All three GRTC members were randomly awarded GRTC Tee shirts for participating, a pattern we plan to continue in future RROY races. As always, the Running of the Green showed itself as a great way to start the running season in Rochester. 

And now the second event in the RROY race series, the Lilac 10 K race 5/23/21. This iconic Rochester race was announced last week as the first major area race to have an in-person component. It WILL still be different from what we have grown up with. It, and the Lilac 5K as well, will have new courses based at Genesee Valley Park. Participants will be wearing masks except when actually running and will maintain social distance in starting corrals of 50. There will be no spectators at the start or finish and starters will go off in waves of 3 runners at 10 second intervals Participants are asked to put back on their masks immediately after crossing the finish line, maintain social distance there and depart promptly after getting their “to go” goodie bag. Not our past normal but STILL, this is one more major step in our journey forward. Importantly there will ALSO be virtual Lilac 5K/10K options for those who choose this approach. COVID concerns and risk are NOT in reality a one size fits all. How much comfort and risk runners have with in-person running events depends on many factors, including age, underlying health, vaccination status, employment exposures and who is at home to be protected. For those who remain at “high risk” the virtual option may still be most appropriate now and for some time in the future. Again, make your decision about what format is best for you but sign up for this next milestone race of 2021. Remember the RROY series was conceived of and is sponsored by GRTC. We encourage then all GRTC members to support the RROY series and see them as OUR races.

GRTC is also in the process of setting up a 3 race virtual series in the summer. The “Terrain Trio” will allow for running a varied selection of distances and surfaces run between 6/13 and 7/4/21. It will include a 1500 meter course on a local track of your choice, a 5K trail race course at Mendon Ponds Park and a 10K road race at a course to be determined. One will be able to sign up for events individually for $15 or for the 3 event “Trifecta” series at a discount of $40. Results can be submitted with Garmin or Strava data. We are hoping to “cap off” the series with an in-person membership picnic in the summer (COVID permitting) where we will give out series awards and generally have a good time. More details about all of this will be coming soon. Stay tuned also as we make plans for return of our GRTC ultra-race series. Watch your email and our website for updates on all.  

And for GRTC itself our Annual Spring Running Clinic is now live for signup. As with last fall’s clinic, it will be at Center Park in Fairport for 7 consecutive Wednesday nights, 5/12/21 to 6/23/21 from 5:45 to 8:00 PM. Coaching will be under GRTC Hall of Fame members Mike Reif and Carolyn Smith-Hanna. We will though have some new topics and speakers this year so plan on some new experiences if you have done the clinic before. Cost has been maintained at an affordable $45 for the series for GRTC members. Non-members participate at $65 which includes a year’s GRTC membership. As always this is a fantastic way to start the running season, tuning up your skills and building back one’s training after COVID “down time”. We do plan to still follow the basic COVID precautions we have all gotten used to, but having put on this event last fall I can assure you that the program maintains the in-person camaraderie that this series has always been known for. Sign up as below today.

                                             GRTC Running clinic schedule and topics

May 12 — “Running throughout your lifetime”: Going from recreational runner to champion

May 19– RunSmart–the mechanics and how to keep yourself going

               Guest Speakers: Ryan Healey/Dan Geen Owners, Genesee Valley Physical Therapy  

May 26– “Pushing Your Limits“- The Power within your mind and body 

               Guest Speaker: Gary Radford, 64 year old National Masters XC champion  

June 2– Running the Dream in Rochester – Philosophy, events, shoes and more.

               Guest Speaker: Jonathan Griffith, Owner, Rochester Running Company

June 9– Practical Fueling for Runners – Simple daily nutrition strategies 

June 16- “The #TrailsRoc, find out why” –

                 Guest Speakers Eric and Sheila Eagan, Founders of TrailsRoc

June 23– How fast can I run a mile? Real and Virtual Strategies.

                 Guest Speakers:  Carol Reif (RD) and Omar Boulama (last winner) of McMullen Mile, RROY.  

As I have said before, 2020 was an “interesting” year that none of us want to repeat, but there is more and more light at the end of the tunnel for 2021. Put it on your schedule to run the Lilac race, either in-person or virtual. Sign up for our in-person annual spring running clinic. Keep tuned for our Terrain Trio series and our ultra-race offerings. The running community and runners themselves ARE resilient and we WILL all come out of this stronger. I look forward to a robust recovery of our sport in 2021, and hope everyone will be a part of that. See you out on the road (still 6 feet apart for now).

Doug Jones (President GRTC)

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