BUFFALO, NY - There was no official timer for the makeshift marathon held Sunday morning in Delaware Park. But Julia Burke and the other runners and volunteers from Western New York all won as they ran all or part of a 26.5 mile marathon. And they really did it to help out folks at the other end of New York state.
Julia was originally set to run the New York City Marathon which was abruptly cancelled when city officials finally realized resources for that race were badly needed elsewhere to help people affected by Hurricane Sandy.
But Julia Burke had another idea. She decided to take her travel expenses and just donate them to the Red Cross relief efforts. And then the idea spread through Facebook and word of mouth to other runners, volunteers, and those who just wanted to donate. Many just decided to pretend they were entering a race with the traditional $20 to 25 dollar entrance fee and just donate it.
So they showed up to run about 14 and a half laps around Delaware Park. Donations poured in. That caused Julia to say "I'm absolutely blown away. This is what Western New York is all about. We're all New Yorkers. We're all together in this."