Great Day of Racing in the Genesee Valley
Another successful Oak Tree Half Marathon & 5K is in the books! 267 finished the Oak Tree Half Marathon on what was forecast to be a steady rain but turned out to be a perfect intermittent light mist for these distance runners. Another 247 finished the Oak Tree 5k. Each course features some of the scenic lands protected by Genesee Valley Conservancy due to their important natural features, including the John W. Chanler Island Preserve, open to the public year-round for recreation and educational uses.
For the second time, Tim Chichester (Hornell) won the Oak Tree Half Marathon. His time of 1:09:06 bettered his then course-record setting 2011 victory of 1:09:09 but fell shy of the current standing course record of 1:08:27 set by Kip Tisia in 2014. Tim now holds the second and third fastest times ever run on the Oak Tree course. Running for the Genesee Valley Harriers, Tim has impressive accomplishments including running on the U.S. Mountain Running Team, being the second American finisher at the Boston Marathon in 2012, and qualifying for the USA Olympic Marathon Trials in 2016. Originally from Mount Morris, NY Tim graduated from SUNY Geneseo.
First-time Oak Tree runner Kathryn Potter (Honeoye Falls) also ran an impressive time, second fastest for a female on the course, winning the Oak Tree Half Marathon in 1:24:15 just shy of the course record set in 2008 by Katherine Aldridge of 1:23:39. Kathryn also runs for the Genesee Valley Harriers, giving the running club a sweep of the half marathon distance. Kathryn won the Lilac 10K in a time of 35:52 and held the top qualifying position in the Oak Tree Elite field. Runners hitting qualifying times can earn free entry into the race.
The Oak Tree 5K was swept by Geneseo residents. Overall, Paul Rellstab took his first victory at the Oak Tree in a time of 17:31. After competing in 2014 (18:59) and finishing 9th, Paul finished 5th in 2016 (17:40) before capturing this year’s victory and taking home the coveted Oak Tree trophy to plant.
On the women’s side, youngster Catherine Staley, ten, finished in 20:00 to capture the women’s division of the Oak Tree 5k. Her time set a new 10-14 age group record and improved upon her 2016 time of 20:44 which also set an age group record for the <9 category. Despite her small stature, locals recognize her as someone who can set and hold a quick pace.
The 2018 Oak Tree Half Marathon & 5K Run/Walk will take place on Sunday of Labor Day weekend, September 2, 2018 starting at 8:00am, 5k will begin at 8:20. Registration will open on June 1st online.
Over $18,000 were raised to support the conservation mission of the Genesee Valley Conservancy, a local non-profit working to protect habitat, open space, and farmland in the Genesee Valley in which Geneseo is located. Learn more about their work here.
*All proceeds from sales benefit the Genesee Valley Conservancy