2009 Chris Thater Memorial Races and Music Festival

Brought to you by premier sponsor SEFCU 

(Binghamton, NY) The 26th Annual Chris Thater Memorial Races and Music Festival will be held this weekend at Recreation Park in the City of Binghamton August 29th-30th.  The event attracts more than 1,500 athletes from around the world and more than 12,000 spectators to line the streets of the Westside neighborhood.  Throughout the weekend professional and local athletes will compete in cycling and running events. 
“The Chris Thater Memorial attracts world class athletes to compete right here in Greater Binghamton while promoting an important message,” said Broome County Executive Barbara J. Fiala.  “I want to thank Jim May STOP DWI Coordinator and his staff, for the work he does year round to bring this major event to our community. This is an event for the whole family to enjoy and I thank the many sponsors and volunteers for their contributions to this event.”
2009 marks the 26th year of the Chris Thater Memorial. This free community event is organized to heighten awareness about drunk driving and to promote healthy lifestyles. It is named in honor of Chris Thater an avid cyclist who was killed by a drunk driver.
“The Chris Thater Memorial Races continue to grow despite the economic climate and this year we have expanded to include a music fest to accompany this premier racing event,” said James May, Broome County STOP-DWI Coordinator and founder of the Chris Thater Races.”  “Great appreciation is given to our premier sponsors SEFCU and Broome County and all of our other community sponsors who support a professional cycling and running event of this caliber here in Greater Binghamton.” 
The exhilarating action begins on Saturday morning at 10:30am with cycling events. Cyclists travel at speeds of 30-35mph on the course set up on the city streets surrounding Recreation Park. A number of different cycling races will be held during the day Saturday ending with the pro women’s race at 5pm.  On Sunday, racing starts at 8:30am leading up to the 5k run at 10am and the pro men’s cycling event at 11:30am. For the full schedule of events and entertainment click here.  For a listing of competetors, team managers and musicians click here.
This year, the Chris Thater Memorial Races will also include the Chris Thater Memorial Music Festival from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday August 29th and from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday August 30th. Some of the bands include: The Parlor Cats, Voodoo Highway, The String Band and Dirt Farm. Entertainment will also include a large expo/vendor display area with a food concession by Lupo's and will feature performances by Will Stafford, a unicyclist/ juggler and Mike Steidley, a national champion stunt mountain bike trials rider.  
“I applaud the efforts of the Broome County Stop DWI Program,” said Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D-Endwell). “Not only are the Chris Thater Memorial Races an opportunity to educate the public on the consequences of drinking and driving, but the event attracts thousands of visitors to our community.”
“We’re proud to participate in this great tradition,” said City of Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan. “The races memorialize the life of Christopher Thater, and help raise awareness of substance abuse and traffic safety. Now in its 26th year, the event has grown from a small local race into one of North America's premiere cycling and running meets, attracting competitors from across the world. I applaud everyone involved in organizing the races, and I encourage our residents and visitors to attend.” 
About SEFCU: Established in 1934 as the credit union for state employees, today SEFCU is among the 70 largest credit unions in the U.S. with over 1,000 ways to join, more than $1.7 billion in assets, over 175,000 members and 37 offices in the Capital Region, Binghamton, Syracuse, and Buffalo. In addition to standard deposit and loan products, SEFCU offers 24-hour banking by phone and Internet, electronic bill payment and eStatements, investment and insurance services, and a full range of business banking services. Find us on Facebook® or follow us on Twitter®.
About the National Racing Calendar (NRC): Entering its 12th season in 2008, the National Racing Calendar  (NRC) is an all-inclusive road cycling series sanctioned by USA Cycling. It is designed to provide a ranking system for all elite level cyclists, both amateur and professional, through participation in the nation’s premier cycling events. For more information on the NRC, visit http://www.usacycling.org/nrc/, or contact Justin Rogers at (719) 866-3266 or jrogers@usacycling.org. The 2008 USA Cycling rulebook can be found here: http://www.usacycling.org/news/user/story.php?id=369
STOP-DWI stands for "Special Traffic Options Program for Driving While Intoxicated". The STOP-DWI Program was enacted by the State Legislature in 1981 for the purposes of empowering county governments to coordinate local efforts to reduce alcohol and other drug-related traffic crashes within the context of a comprehensive and financially self-sustaining alcohol and highway safety program.


08/26/2009 - 9:52am