On Sunday, August 29th, we hosted a record 176 Half Marathoners and 52 5K’ers on the Lehigh Valley Trail for the in-person 10th Annual Black Diamond Express Races, which were our first since 2019. These numbers don’t include Virtual Runners and no-shows, which brought us to 289 total participants. Our returning runners comprised 30% of the field, which is an outstanding achievement, and a testament to how people feel about these races.
With official recorded temperatures ranging form 74° at 8AM (with a dewpoint of 70°) to 85° at Noon (with a dewpoint of 75°), these races were hot and humid! But everyone survived, and we had some amazing finish times.
While the weather was not conducive to record performances, Mason Coppi from Ladera Ranch, California (who recently moved to Syracuse) set a new men’s Half Marathon course record of 1:10:04 (gun time), besting the previous course record set by Bryan Morseman, with a gun time of 1:10:46 (gun time) back in 2019. All Half Marathon finishers were presented with ceramic “Gravenware” medals that were designed and individually hand-made by Mendon’s own Geoff Gretton.
Between about 9:25 AM and 9:35 AM, significant rainfall caused a lot of drama for our runners, but with the rain came welcome clouds and cool breezes that provided respite.
Including donations and virtual racers, the races brought in over $15,000 for the Mendon Foundation, which is half of our anticipated income budget for 2021, putting us close to on-track to meet our $30,000 goal for the year.
Robinhood Racing has posted race videos that cover the finishers from the entire race, with the exception of 10 minutes or so of footage that was lost to fallen equipment during the rainstorm. To see them, you can either visit the two results links above and click on the ”video” link next to each name, or you can watch a full movie below – be sure to see the spectacular finish line fall from the weight of the rain at 49:40 and 50:45!!!!
Thank you to everyone who raced today. We couldn’t have had such a great event without your support! Thank you, too, to our sponsors, including Rochester Running Company, Lattimore Physical Therapy of Mendon, The Palmer Family of Companies (Palmer Food Services and G&C Foods), Donuts Delite, Honeoye Falls Marketplace/Mendon Meadows Marketplace, and Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel.
Special thanks also to our many volunteers from the community who made the race possible, including the HF-L Cross Country Team, Boy Scout Scout Troops 4029 and 105, and to the Mendon Fire Department EMT crew, who stayed with us throughout the entire event, handling a few heat incidents and bringing people back to good health. Of course, thanks also go out to Mendon Foundation’s own volunteers, as well as Monroe County Parks, who collaborated on prepping the trail in the weeks prior to the races.
Here are some photos from today’s races: