Thater Races Bring In World Class Athletes

By WBNG News

August 26, 2011 Updated Aug 26, 2011 at 11:17 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Hundreds of runners and cyclists from all over the world are in to compete in the Chris Thater Memorial races.

The races are looking at the biggest elite running field ever, with more than 400 people from 7 countries already registered.

"It's pretty amazing actually. I wish more people realized the caliber of runners we do get. We have our record course holder was 13:28 and that's a record that's held for 10 years so to give you an idea, it's one of the fastest 5K records in New York State," says Grace Tabeek, director of the 5K race.

For the 5K, organizers say the best vantage points are along Riverside Drive and Beethoven Street, or right at the finish line.

The elite race, for both men and women, goes off Sunday morning at 10:00 am.

With races scheduled throughout the weekend, organizers are keeping one eye on the weather forecast.

But they want fans to know, that the races are scheduled and will go off, even in the rain.

"This is a rain or shine event. We'll be having a race, everything's a go. We will call a race, if a race happens to get cancelled, it'll be called at the time of the event, but cycling and running, it's sports where we're assuming there's a race," says event coordinator Jim May.

Also, just like in years past, fans are encouraged to bring their cow bells to the event.

Organizers say running and cycling are about the fans making noise and the cowbells help cheer on the athletes.

They say when fans ring the bells as the athletes go by, it adds to the excitement of the event.

For a look at the complete schedule, you can log on to b c stop dwi dot com.

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