Broome County STOP-DWI and SEFCU Presents the 2014 Chris Thater Memorial Races

Event held in downtown Binghamton August 23-24, 2014

(Binghamton, NY) The 31st annual Chris Thater Memorial Races presented by SEFCU will be held the weekend of August 23rd-24th in Downtown Binghamton. The event is expected to attract more than 1,200 athletes and up to 5,000 spectators to Binghamton’s downtown business district. Held in memory of Christopher Thater who was killed by a drunk driver, the event consists of public, amateur, and pro cycling events, a 5K Run, several youth races, a Crossfit competition, a health and wellness expo, and a preview of the upcoming Downtown Binghamton Restaurant Week.
 
The 2014 event adds several new events and has several changes to the location and schedule. Among the most significant changes is the move from Recreation Park on Binghamton’s West Side to the new downtown course. “Our goals in moving the race course from our home at Rec Park are to increase awareness about the dangers of impaired driving amongst the 21-34 year old demographic, add more races and events, showcase the sponsors that make the event possible, and bring people downtown to see the progress being made in the City,” said Chris Marion, STOP-DWI program coordinator.
 
Changes to the event schedule include moving the 5K Run to Saturday evening at 5:15pm, moving the USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar Women’s and Men’s race to 6:00pm and 8:00pm on Saturday evening, and the addition of the Patrolman Lee Barta Crossfit Challenge presented by CrossFit Binghamton.
 
The action begins on Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. with the first of 18 cycling events. The Health and Wellness expo, organized by Plan Ahead Events of Binghamton, begins at Noon along with the Barta Crossfit Challenge, also at Noon. A new Youth Duathlon organized by the Broome County Triathlon Club begins at 11:45am with a Cycling Skills Clinic and the run-bike-run duathlon at 12:45pm. The 5K begins at 5:15pm followed by a free Kids Run at 6:00pm. Saturday concludes with the NCC and USA Crits Pro women’s race at 6:00pm and men’s race at 8:00pm. On Sunday, racing begins again at 8:30am with the public races and ending with a second pro event for the women and men.
 
Several downtown streets will be closed to traffic throughout the weekend but parking will be available for free at all downtown parking ramps as well as the DoubleTree Hotel.
 
Quotes
 
“I’d like to thank the organizers, sponsors, community groups, and spectators that have been involved with making this a world class event that brings athletes from across our region and the world to compete right here in downtown Binghamton. Broome County is incredibly proud to host this event and we are delighted to have the support of SEFCU and all of the sponsors who make this event happen every year,” said Broome County Executive Debbie Preston.
 
“We’re very excited about the race moving to Downtown Binghamton and the new energy it will bring,” said Mayor Richard C. David. “In addition to raising awareness regarding substance abuse and safe driving, this event brings thousands of visitors to our community, spurring economic activity and making our City truly come alive. Many thanks to the organizers, volunteers, sponsors and competitors who year after year help make this weekend a success.”
 
“If even one person drives under the influence, our work is not done,” said Michael J. Castellana, president and CEO of SEFCU. “We are proud to support Broome County STOP-DWI and the Chris Thater Memorial Races in their continuing efforts to save lives.” Established in 1934, today SEFCU is among the 50 largest credit unions in the U.S. with more than $2.7 billion in assets, over 300,000 members, and 46 branches in the Capital Region, Binghamton, Syracuse, and Buffalo.
 
Registration
 
Registration and event details for all events are available at www.ThaterMemorial.com
 
5K Run online pre-registration is available until 10:00am on August 21st. The cost is $20 without a shirt and $25 with a shirt. Day of registration is available at the DoubleTree hotel Atrium for $30 and shirts are available while supplies last for $10.
 
Cycling pre-registration is now closed but day-of registration is available for all races in the MetroCenter. For a complete list of races and fees, visit ThaterMemorial.com
 
Youth Duathlon registration is available online until 10:00am on August 21st and day-of registrations will also be accepted in the MetroCenter.
 
5K Run
 
Athletes of all abilities will compete for $6,000 in cash and prizes in the USATF sanctioned 5K Run. The new start and finish line is located on Court St near RiverRead Books and chip timing is provided by Leone Timing and Results. Runners can now register in a mixed-gender team as well as a group division of 3 or more of their friends. With the reduced purse and new team categories, organizers do not expect to see as many elite level runners but plan on a large event.
 
Prizes will be awarded to the top runners in the open and master divisions as well as the new mixed-gender and group division. Age group winners and every 50th place finisher will win either Dick’s Sporting Goods or Binghamton Senators gift certificates.
 
Cycling
 
The women’s pro race will feature 35 of the fastest sprinters in the US competing for a $7,500 purse. The field includes 2013 Chris Thater Memorial champ Erica Allar of Team Colavita who is currently the USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar (NCC) points leader. Allar will look to defend her title against current USA CRITS Championship Series points leader and 4-timeThater champion Laura Van Gilder of Mellow Mushroom.  3-time champ Tina Pic, riding for Fearless Femme, will look for her fourth Thater win as well. Everyone will be watching newcomer Coryn Rivera of UnitedHeathcare Pro Cycling who is coming off n historic summer where she sprinted to a sixth place finish and earned the title of Best Young Rider at the inaugural La Course, a one-day women’s race at the Tour de France. Rivera also took the win at the Tour of Utah’s first women’s race earlier this summer.
 
The men’s pro cycling race is expected to draw over 70 pros from across the globe competing for $15,000 in prize money in the new “twilight” race format. This year’s event will feature many of the top riders in the Men’s National Criterium Calendar (NCC) and USA CRITS season standings including 2-time Thater champ Hilton Clarke along with teammate and 2013 Thater winner Luke Keough from UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling. The top USA Crits Series riders competing in the 2014 races include David Cueli and Frank Travieso of UnitedHealthcare/The 706 Project.
 
Youth Duathlon
 
The event consists of young athletes running one lap around the same .66-mile course used for the 2014 cycling races, then transitioning to their bikes to ride 2 or 4 laps based on their age group, followed by a final run of .66-miles. The event is broken down by age groups which consist of a 7 to 10 year old division and an 11 to 13 year old division. The event is not timed but a running clock will be available if parents wish to record their child’s time.
 
Patrolman Lee Barta Crossfit Challenge
 
The 2014 Barta Challenge is expected to be the largest Crossfit competition in the Southern Tier. With three workouts guaranteed for each registered athlete, the event includes an “Rx Division” and a “Scaled Division” for both men and women. Registration is now closed with over 60 athletes having registered. Competition standards and information are available on the CrossFit Binghamton website, www.CrossfitBinghamton.com.
 
“It's an honor to have an event as well known as the Chris Thater Memorial Races incorporate an event named after my father. Keeping his legacy alive in the community he served has a special meaning that my family and I deeply appreciate,” said Lee Barta’s oldest son Dan Barta.
 
Health & Wellness Expo
 
The Health & Wellness Expo will give spectators an opportunity to meet and ask questions of local health and wellness experts between noon and 8pm on Saturday, August 23. The expo will include a chiropractor, massage therapist, water specialist, yoga instructor, fitness center owner, physical therapist, a women's adventure weekend coordinator - and more. 
 
“Between the live demonstrations on stage, the events you'll learn about that take place in our area to keep us happy and healthy, the material these experts can send you home with, and the hands-on massages, there is plenty to be excited about,” said Annette Snedaker of Plan Ahead Events.
 
Binghamton Restaurant Week Association
 
Food concessions will feature Terra Cotta Catering with a menu that will include traditional event food made to their signature standards at affordable prices.
 
In celebration of the Chris Thater Memorial Races moving to Downtown Binghamton, over a dozen local venues will be offering pasta specials on Friday evening as part of PastaFest. Binghamton FoodieFest takes place on Saturday and will include a preview of the fall Binghamton Restaurant Week menus at several downtown restaurants. Sunday is BrunchFest where several restaurants will open up just for Sunday brunch. For details, visit bingspot.com
 
Christopher Thater
 
Christopher Thater was a 23 year-old cycling enthusiast who was killed by a drunk driver in Broome County on October 16, 1983 near Harpursville, NY. In 1984, the Broome County STOP-DWI Program organized an annual bicycle race to remember Chris and to elevate public awareness of substance abuse and traffic safety. Over the years, the event has become one of Broome County’s showcase events and one of the premier cycling and running races in North America.
 
For more information about the Chris Thater Memorial or Broome County’s STOP-DWI Program please visit: www.bcstopdwi.com or search Chris Thater Memorial Races on Facebook.

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08/20/2014 - 8:19am