News Release - Mayor Thomas S. Richards and Flower City Challenge Coordinator Encourage Participation, Update Public on Event

City of Rochester

News Release

(Monday, April 22, 2013) — City of Rochester Mayor Thomas S. Richards today joined Ellen Brenner-Boutillier, coordinator of the 4th annual Unity Health System Rochester Flower City Challenge, to share updates and make a last minute call to encourage participation in this popular weekend of events to be held on Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 28.

Anticipated to attract nearly 4,000 athletes from 27 states, and many countries, along with thousands more spectators, the weekend will feature a number of athletic opportunities. The Flower City Challenge includes the SMP River Challenge Duathlon & Paddle Triathlon on and along the Genesee River on Saturday and the Wegmans Family 5K and Unity Health System Half Marathon on Sunday. There’s something for everyone — from experienced runner to casual jogger.

The Mayor addressed security measures and stressed that the City has developed an enhanced coordinated plan for the Flower City Challenge weekend in the aftermath of the tragedies of the April 15 bombings at the Boston Marathon and also encouraged vigilance on the part of the public.

“Every athlete knows the inspiration of that phrase ‘keep going, keep going,’” said Mayor Richards. “And it is important that in tribute to those who lost their lives, the injured, their families and all the first responders, that we ‘carry-on and keep going’ in a way that befits the freedoms so cherished as a part of our American way of life.”

“As a sponsor of the Flower City Challenge, we look forward to hosting this outstanding weekend of events for fine athletes from around the world. This event showcases the beauty of Rochester’s historic neighborhoods and parks, as well as our scenic Genesee Riverway.”

“Of course the tragedies at the Boston Marathon are on our minds, and we will have a special ceremony in tribute to Boston, and all those involved,” said Ellen Brenner-Boutillier, event producer. “We continue to look forward to an incredible weekend, with lots of exciting things for residents and visitors alike. There is still time to get involved and register for one of the activities and we encourage everyone to come out and join the fun.”

Registration for the Saturday, April 27 Duathlon and Triathlon continues Monday, April 22 through Friday, April 26 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., at Fleet Feet Sports, 2210 Monroe Ave. and 2522 Ridgeway Ave., ending Friday, April 26 at 7 p.m.

Registration for the Sunday, April 28 half marathon and 5K is open through Saturday, April 27 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Fleet Feet and on the race day at the Blue Cross Arena, April 28 from 5:30 a.m. to 7:15 a.m. Online registration is open until Thursday, April 24 at 11:59:59 p.m.

To date 521 athletes had signed up for the River Challenge Duathlon & Triathlon, more than 2,300 runners for the half marathon and 950 runners are registered for the 5K. At 3,775 registrants, this is the largest number since the event began, and not one runner has dropped out since the Boston Marathon.

Participants in the half marathon and Family 5K will wind through historic Downtown streets and neighborhoods on Sunday, passing by famous landmarks like the Susan B. Anthony House and George Eastman House. Runners will course through Downtown, East Avenue, Park Avenue, Highland Park, Mount Hope Cemetery, Genesee Valley Park and Corn Hill.

Organizers of the weekend also challenge each neighborhood to get involved with a “spirit contest” to show support for runners along their leg of the course. The Highland Park neighborhood is the reigning champion from the last two years.

The half marathon and the 5K races, with a starting point at Broad Street and Exchange Boulevard in Downtown, will create a significant traffic impact along several city streets on the morning of Sunday, April 28. As race day approaches, a detailed schedule of the timing of road closures will be available at

Branding Rochester as a spectacular setting for healthy living and in support of the city’s wellness initiative, the City of Rochester has allocated $40,000 to support the events, which will showcase Rochester to thousands of visitors throughout the weekend.

For details on sign-up, courses, awards, sponsors, the “Spirit Contest” and all other information visit Information may also be found on the City’s web site:


News Media: For more information, contact the City Communications Bureau at 428-7135 or Ellen Brenner- Boutillier, event coordinator at 585-697-3338.



Things To Do