Syracuse Festival of Races Hosting USA Masters 5K Championships

Syracuse Festival of Races to Host
USA Masters 5 km Championships Through 2010

Syracuse, NY ‰ÛÓ The Syracuse Festival of Races, scheduled for its 17th edition on Sunday, October 4, has been selected by USA Track & Field to continue as host to the USA Masters 5 km Championships for men and women in both 2009 and 2010. The selection marks the first time that Central New York has been awarded a multi-year tenure as host to a USA Track & Field long distance running (LDR) national championship.

“The Masters Long Distance Running Committee (MLDR) of USATF is proud to have the Syracuse Festival of Races continue as our host for our 5 km Championship,‰Û¢bCrLf said Don Lein, Chair of USATF’s MLDR Committee.   “Their effort last year drew universal praise from the athletes and road running professionals.  We look forward to another outstanding event in Syracuse.‰Û¢bCrLf

The 2009 USA Masters 5 km Championships is expected to bring more than 300 top age-group athletes to Syracuse to race on a course that has hosted more than twenty U.S. 5 km (3.1-mile) records.  Masters competition in distance running in the United States begins at age 40, and the 2008 5K Championship attracted finishers from age 40 to age 90.  Athletes in the Championship will be competing for individual and club team prize money, national championship medals, and national records at the world’s most popular road race distance.

“Hosting a USATF LDR championship is both a thrill and an honor,‰Û¢bCrLf said Syracuse Festival of Races director, Dave Oja.  “It’s clear that the athletes who competed in the 2008 Championship at the Festival of Races last fall were quite pleased with their weekend in Syracuse and their performances at our event.‰Û¢bCrLf

In a new wrinkle for the Festival of Races, 2009 will be the first time that the event’s weekend has coincided with Syracuse University’s Homecoming and Reunion Weekend.  Oja expects that the overlap “will be a big plus, whether the runners are coming into town from Schenectady or San Francisco.  The home football game and all the other events on and around the S.U. campus will make the visit that much more memorable and enjoyable for all of our visiting runners.‰Û¢bCrLf

Along with its separate 5 km races for men and women, the Syracuse Festival of Races includes the enormously popular MVP Health Care 3K Fun & Fitness Run, and the non-profit-centered Community Walk.  The four events of race morning, Sunday, October 4, are expected to attract more than 3,000 participants and raise thousands of dollars for multiple area non-profit organizations.

Major support for the 2009 Syracuse Festival of Races comes from:   MVP Health Care; a grant secured by NYS Senator John A. DeFrancisco; USA Track & Field; Stickley, Audi & Company; Dick’s Sporting Goods; the Syracuse Convention and Visitors Bureau; USATF-Niagara; Dermody, Burke & Brown, CPAs; News 10 Now; Citadel Communications; the Syracuse New Times; Family Times; P&C Food & Pharmacy; and the Syracuse Chargers Track Club, Inc.


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