Winter has been here for sure. As of writing this note, Rochester has had the most snowfall this year (60 inches) of any significant city in the USA! But REALLY, all our winter races have been blessed with OK conditions. Even this past weekend’s Freezeroo Hearnish 5 mile race was rainy but not seriously cold, and was a great event for 128 runners. There haven’t been too many days so far this winter when one hasn’t been able to get out on the pavement. Dressed appropriately, being out on the road on a cold but sunny winter day can still be a beautiful experience. Running outside certainly helps ME to avoid cabin fever. As I hear about the weather problems experienced across the country, I still think that we are in a “sweet spot” here in Rochester without TRULY bad weather problems. Perhaps we just know how to handle things.

One joy of winter is of course participating in the Freezeroo series. We still have two races left for you to enjoy. The series this year has been going very well and I think everyone has had a good time. Those signed up for the whole series and its awards don’t need further introduction to this event. However, if you ARE NOT signed up as a series member for this year, don’t despair. You can still sign up individually for the 8 mile Valentines Race in Greece (Braddock Bay Park) on 2/8/20 and for the White House Challenge (4.4 mile) in Webster Park on 2/22/20. Put the White House particularly on your calendar as that will also be the Freezeroo awards ceremony with traditional pizza and running fellowship. It’s certainly not too late to end the winter in running style.

The other winter GRTC flagship event, now just behind us, was the annual awards banquet at the Burgundy Basin Inn. This year’s event was a great time for everyone. The venue, food and beverages were outstanding. Carolyn Kriesen once again did a great job orchestrating the event. We gave out RROY awards, mileage patches and more. This year we focused the evening’s presentation on the life and contributions of the late Bill Kehoe, who has been a well known and loved race director and general “fixture” on the Rochester running scene for many years. Jim May did a GREAT job with the presentation and Mike Reif worked diligently behind the scenes on the power point. Most important, everyone over the evening had a great time. Ask anyone who came. Make sure to sign up early next year and don’t miss out. It is already on the Burgundy Basin Inn calendar for 1/23/21, so mark your own calendar for running the RROY series for 2020 and be on the podium next year.

In regard to the banquet, we should also recognize here the numerous individuals and businesses who donated cash, gifts and services to the evening and who support the running community all year long. Many have been doing this behind the scenes for years and their support helps make such a great event possible. These individuals also contribute all year to making Rochester the great place for runners that it is. Please think of them when you need running related products and services. With the risk of missing someone I would recognize the following:

Mike Reif and Innovative Edge Sports: Donated shirts to RROY age group and overall winners
Donated and printed the certificates for all RROY winners

Dan Medved of Medved Running and Walking: Donated gift certificates for age group winners

Jon Griffiths and Rochester Running Co: Support of the evening and running in general

Don Galetto: Supporting the banquet and RROY series

Charlie Sabatine: Supporting the banquet and RROY series

Vickey Beaver: Donation of her fitness program coupons

Again, thank all of these individuals when you see them for supporting GRTC and running in Rochester.

And don’t forget that even in the chill of winter, spring is just around the corner. So please enjoy the rest of winter, but get ready for the spring as well. The 2020 RROY series start is literally just around the corner. The traditional first race of the season, the YMCA sponsored Running of the Green race, is on 3/14/20. This year also make a commitment to come out for the GRTC spring track clinic. The seven- week course under coaching of Mike Reif and Carolyn Smith Hanna (both GRTC HOF members) is starting this year on Wednesday night 4/29/2020. It will run for 7 consecutive Wednesday nights at the East Rochester High School Track and signup includes registration for the McMullan mile at St John Fisher College on Friday night 6/12/20 (the “final exam” for the track clinic, and a great time). If you have done the clinic before you know the quality and fun of this great activity. If you have never done it before, don’t miss out for 2020. This is an opportunity for runners of all levels to learn how to optimally train for and improve their times in any distance and event.

Once again, don’t let winter hold you back. Get out and participate in the many running options Rochester provides us with all year. Keep your training on track going forward and get your sights set on Spring. Lets all make the most out of our four season running climate. You’ll be glad you did. See you out on the road.

Doug Jones President (GRTC)

Renew GRTC Membership:

Freezeroo Series signup:

Spring Track Clinic:

RROY: Runnin’ of the Green: