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Buffalo Marathon working with county, state to resume this spring

Organizers say the density will be the key to having the race in May, and they will need the community to be flexible.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Buffalo Marathon was postponed last year, but Buffalo Marathon executive director Greg Weber says organizers are doing everything they can to hold the race on May 30.

With 5,300 people already registered, organizers are working with Erie County and New York State to ensure the right safety guidelines are being followed.

"Density is going to be the key to this, social distancing masks," Weber said. "Last May, everybody would've been up in arms, but now everybody has learned that it's the proper way to behave.

"That said, the social distancing and everything, it changes on a daily basis so we have to be very fluid, everybody has to be very flexible. We have to work together as a community to make this happen."

That would include testing runners ahead of time, if the state required it.

"We have to follow state guidelines. If the state were to require everyone get tested, we would certainly go down that road, but we would have to talk to our athletes and say how badly do you want to have this the event," Weber said. 

When the state required Bills fans to get tested in advance, it cost $63.

Weber isn't sure how many runners would be willing to pay extra money for a test, when $65 was the cost of the registration fee.

There are no plans at this time to have runners get tested though.

Weber says he will continue to provide updates to the public either weekly or biweekly about the race.

That includes letting runners know if they are still able to have it in May or if it will be postponed further. 

Some 500 more runners will be able to register Monday in a community slot. Their registration fee will only be $25, but half and full marathon runners will have to individually fundraise $500 for Kaleida Health.

Relay runners will have to fundraise $1,000 as a team.

There will also be a virtual component. Runners will have the option to do a half or full marathon during the week leading up to the race. 

Runners who don't want to compete this year can also defer for free.