Watching the Chris Thater races in style

By Conor Mooney

August 25, 2013 Updated Aug 26, 2013 at 2:06 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) For decades, bikers and runners have flocked to Recreation Park on the west side of Binghamton for the Chris Thater Memorial.

The races honor a biker killed by a drunk driver.

Now in year 30, the event has become a tradition, not just for the athletes, but also for spectators.

More than 1,000 people signed up just to run in the Chris Thater 5K race.

Add many professional bike racers and spectators and the event becomes one of the biggest annual events Binghamton's west side has to offer.

"This is my first time doing this race and it's definitely one I'm going to come back to every year," said runner Kim Poletto from Vestal.

But the racers aren't the only ones participating in the tradition.

Many local residents take to their front porches to start traditions of their own.

"We're always right out here, the entire weekend," said viewer Audrey Miller.

What makes the Thater unique is the course, which runs almost entirely through residential streets.

A lot of those streets are shutdown during the weekend, but many resident's said they didn't mind.

Many can be seen outdoors watching some of the fastest runners and bikers around.

"It's a little bit inconvenient, you know, because it blocks the streets, but we usually plan this weekend where we have people come and visit. Everybody sits on the porch and has a good time," said Thomas Jackson, of Beethoven Street.

Rita Rudwig of Seminary Avenue added, "I always have a party every year the road was closed, so we decided to have it here. We have our family and friends."

The Chris Thater Memorial wrapped up on Sunday.