Runners prepare to hit the pavement during this weekend’s Buffalo Marathon

BUFFALO N.Y. (WIVB) – Thousands of marathon runners are getting ready to lace up their sneakers. The Buffalo marathon takes place this Sunday. It’s the first time in more than 15 months that a large race is being held in Buffalo again.

“We’re thrilled. We were one of the first to postpone in March. It’s been a long 15 months. We’ve working really hard to get to this point and we’re excited to get back to normal, said organizer Greg Weber.

Volunteer crews were busy setting everything up for this weekend’s event. More than 2,500 runners are expected to participate. The Buffalo Marathon raises money for Kaleida Health, and organizers say they’ve reached a donation record.

“I’m just blown away by the generosity of the community,” he said. “It really makes me choked up and I figured by tonight we’ll reach 200,000 dollars.”

The Buffalo Marathon kicks off at 10 a.m. Sunday outside the Buffalo Convention Center. The 5K race is on Saturday from 7:30am to 8:15 am and the relay race also takes place Sunday from 10:00 am until 1:00 pm.

“A few weeks ago we couldn’t have spectators, so spectators are welcome,” Weber said. “We’re encouraging residents to get out there and cheer people on. We’re also encouraging residents to put their sprinkler on. It’s going to be hot on Sunday and the runners are going to need it.”

Buffalo resident Faustenia Murrow plans to walk the half marathon.

“I’m excited, nervous and scared,” she said. “This is the first time I’m doing an in-person half marathon, and I’m scared because I want to finish, I want to do it in good time, and I just want to represent the big girls.”

She’s also representing her sister, Yassmon Young, 41, who passed away in September. Morrow helped raise more than $500 for cardiovascular research in honor of her sister.

“I know that she is with me, because my sister has been such an encourager and you know many people have lost people in the middle of COVID, and so to cross the finish line, I’m doing it for her, I’m doing it for my family,” she said. “I’m representing Buffalo.”

Sarah Minkewicz is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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