Raining down on the parade, not so much

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Despite rain, Friday’s 5 K Challenge a success

AMHERST - What looked like promising weather for the annual 5 K Cross Border Challenge last Friday drastically turned into high winds, cold weather and a torrential downpour.

But weather wasn’t going to play spoiler in an event filled with excitement and joy.

As supporters cheered him on, eventual winner Tyler Landry, led the way with a time of 17:16.

“It was windy out there for the first 2.5 K, but I pushed through. It’s a great feeling to win,” Landry said.

The weekend long event consisted of a 5 K run on Friday, a 10 K and a half marathon on Saturday and a race for kids on Sunday. Over 500 individuals from as far away as Rochester, N.Y. participated in the races, not to mention the support from volunteers who took the time to help.

“It has been a huge success,” Judi Giroux, event co-founder said.

The fifth annual event was organized by Giroux and her husband Paul with the help of the Cumberland Y Service Club.

The couple created the event to support organizations through charitable donations and to get people involved.

Donations (through registration fees) will be divided between the United Way of Cumberland County, Shriners Hospitals for Children, the Cumberland Health Care Foundation and the YMCA.

“The support is overwhelming. I see people happy and smiling and they can’t wait to participate in the running. And for me to see that as the co-founder it makes my heart swell to see that this happening in Amherst,” Giroux said.

Giroux’s husband is a runner who often participates in as many running events as possible. When they moved to Amherst they discovered there weren’t any programs for runners. So they decided to take action into their own hands.

“We thought, let’s get this thing (running program) going in Amherst,” she said.

As members of the Y’s Men Club, they asked the board if they could conduct the Cross Border Challenge as a club project. Five years after receiving the go ahead, the event has been steadily growing.

“It has grown. In its first year, 20 people from Cumberland County were registered and last year we had well over 120 people.”

The growth of the sport in the area has expanded to the point where two new running groups have formed.

Giroux believes the growth of the sport may have something to do with health consciousness and the fact that more programs are developing.

“It’s a sign of the times where people are wanting to be more physically active.”

Click here for more results and the outcome of the weekend events.

staffreporter@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: 5 K Cross Border Challenge, Cumberland Y Service Club, United Way Shriners Hospitals for Children Cumberland Health Care Foundation YMCA Men Club

Geographic location: AMHERST, Cumberland County, Rochester, N.Y.

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