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April 29, 2007

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First Race in Western New York Ultra Series []

Amherst (Buffalo), New York -- April 29, 2007
Peggy Hillery, Race Director

The Buffalo Philharmonic Athletic Club 6-Hour Distance Classic was held on Sunday, April 29, 2007 under the direction of new race directors Sue Devlin and Peggy Hillery. What a beautiful day for these new directors to get their feet wet in the race directing department. Sunny, cool breeze and a high of 61 degrees met the 50 men and 20 women runners at the 8AM start for their 3.25 mile loops around the traffic- free Amherst Bike Path. This year brought out notable runners Philip Lee Clark who was running for the ALS foundation funded Team Blazemann and Brenda and Dave Stillman who entered with their Team Cure training team for Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Our youngest competitors were 18 year old Meaghan Hillery and 18 year old Joseph Mash. Our oldest competitor was 74 year old Carl Pegels, past BPAC race director, who finally got to enjoy what he had directed for 20 years.

Paul Aufschlager, 43 started out the scoring as the leader of a pack of 4 male runners. Close behind was 48 year old Ed Housel, Andrew Rice, 41, and 44 year old Brian Murray. A little shuffling of the runners on the second lap dropped Aufschlager second behind Housel, followed by Murray and Rice. This configuration remained in effect for the next three laps until between miles 16.25 and 19.5 Brian Murray began to make his move. First to be picked off was second place Aufschlager, leaving us with Housel in the lead by one minute over Murray, followed by Aufschlager and Rice. Housel surged and built up his lead over Murray to two minutes in the next lap. Lap 8, going into mile 26, Murray applied the jets and made up time. The results at the end of lap 8 were Housel with only a 25 second lead over Murray and Murray running strong. The nearest competitor was now 8 minutes behind our leaders. Murray continued pounding out the miles and by the end of Lap 9, Murray not only passed Housel but he also gained the lead by a considerable 3 minutes. Lap11 gave Murray the largest lead of the day, 6 minutes ahead of Housel. Murray continued on until there wasn’t a second left on the race clock and finished victoriously with a new course record of 45.18 miles. Housel finished second with 42.25 miles.

The women’s race was a different story. The entire 6 hour race was between 2006 WNY-Ultra Runner of the Year Becky Harman and Katie Stettler. Smiling, determined, and helping one another, these two remarkable runners ran together for the entire race. Both girls finished strong and pumped out 41.71 miles each. The winner was both women. They were winners in more ways than one. They were winners of the race, of their age groups, and for showing a great example to first time runners of the race just how unique ultra runners are. It was heard at the end of the race, one girl said to the other, “We did good today”. Yes, you did. Fantastic team work aided both women and their total miles mirrored that fact. Their nearest competitor was more than 3 miles behind them. Both women will be credited with a win at the BPAC 6-Hour Distance Classic in the WNY-Ultra standings on

Thank you to our sponsors, Hammer Nutrition and Runner’s Roost. Thank you runners for a very enjoyable day. We hope to see you next year.