Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — A group of dedicated runners from Niagara County are finishing up a 12-man relay race along the Lake Ontario shore today, heading for Niagara Falls after a start Friday morning in the eastern suburbs of Toronto.
The group is participating in the Ragnar Relay, a 193-mile route that began in Coulburg, Ontario and essentially takes participants along the Waterfront Trails east to Burlington, Ontario, then south through Hamilton and Ste. Catharines before finishing on Victoria Avenue in Niagara Falls.
Denise Salmons, the group leader, said the Trails actually start at the head of the St. Lawrence River and continues to the Falls. The race will help raise money to help regenerate the trail. The Niagara County group is also raising money for HERA’s Women’s Cancer Foundation.
One of the group’s runners, Cookie Butcher, said the foundation’s goal is to promote Health, Empowerment, Research and Awareness in the fight against ovarian cancer.
According to Salmons, everyone in the group are experienced runners, but this is their first attempt at a relay. The relay consists of 36 legs, so each runner will participate in three legs along the route.
The group left the Lockport area Thursday evening and the run began Friday morning at 6:30. Runners ran through the night in order to finish up this afternoon.
Butcher said most of the people in the group run half and full marathons.
“We thought this would something different to do,” Salmons added. “It’s going to be 193 miles of pure fun.”
The group consists of Salmons, Butcher, Jim Pease, Cindi McEachon, Bridgitt Borek, Nancey Keleher, Molly Lutz, Meghan Lutz, Judy Johnson, David Godsell and Jennifer Klumpp. They are all form Niagara County.
Joining them is April Patterson, a 1998 graduate of Niagara Falls High School but now a resident of Key West, Fla.
They were being escorted by a two-man crew of Dan Salmons and Paul Mayers.