Broome County STOP-DWI Presents the 30th Annual Chris Thater Memorial Races and Music Festival

 (Binghamton, NY) The Chris Thater Memorial Races and Music Festival will be held this weekend at Recreation Park in the City of Binghamton August 24th – 25th. The event is expected to attract more than 1,200 athletes and up to 5,000 spectators to Binghamton’s Westside neighborhood. 

Christopher Thater was a 23 year-old cycling enthusiast who was killed by a drunk driver in Broome County on October 16, 1983. In 1984, the Broome County STOPDWI Program started an annual bicycle race to remember Chris and to elevate public awareness of substance abuse and traffic safety. Over the years, the event has become one of Broome County’s showcase events and one of the premier cycling and running races in North America. August 24-25, 2013 marks the 30th year of the event. 

“I’m so proud of the organizers, sponsors, community groups, and spectators that have been involved with making this a world class event that brings athletes from across our region and the world to compete right here in Greater Binghamton. Broome County is proud to host this event and is delighted to have the support of SEFCU and all of the sponsors who make this event happen every year,” said Broome County Executive Debbie Preston. 

For 2013, the event will host the 2013 New York State Bicycle Racing Association Criterium Championships, the 1st time the championships have been hosted in Binghamton. The top-3 USA Cycling annual license holders residing in New York State will compete for top honors in several age and class categories throughout the weekend. As a 2013 USA Crits Series race, several events will be live streamed through a partnership with Plexicomm Internet Solutions of Binghamton and SmartStop Self Storage. 

The action begins on Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. with the opening of the expo and the first of 13 bands scheduled to play in the music festival. The Music Fest features several Rhythm and Blues bands on Saturday including the Eric Ross Band and the Ayana D Experiement and Country and Celtic bands on Sunday with the Frank Vieira Band and the Shambles taking the stage. 

Several cycling races will be held during the day Saturday ending with the USA Cycling Pro Women’s race at 5.00 p.m.  Saturday will also feature youth races at 4.00pm followed by a Cycling Skills Clinic at 5.00 p.m. hosted by the Broome County Traffic Safety Program. The cycling skills clinic is designed to be a fun educational activity for children of varying levels of bicycle riding experience. 

On Sunday, racing starts at 8:30 a.m. leading up to the Chris Thater Memorial USA Track & Field 5K Run at 10 a.m. followed by the USA Cycling Pro Men’s cycling event at 12:30 p.m. The Kids Fun Free will begin immediately following the 5K run and will feature Max from the Binghamton Senators. 

Topping the opening day activities on Saturday, August 24 will be the Women’s Pro cycling event at 5:00 p.m. where riders will compete for $8,000 in prize money. The race will feature current USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar (NCC) and USA Crits leader Erica Allar of CARE4CYCLING powered by Solomon Corp, who will be facing off against current NCC 2nd place and 4-timeThater Champion Laura Van Gilder of Mellow Mushroom. Local rider Lenore Pipes of CARE4CYCLING powered by Solomon Corp from Ithaca, NY who is currently in 2nd place in the USA Crits Standings, will also be competing. 

On Sunday morning August 25th at 10:00 a.m. a very talented field of over 45 elite athletes will compete in the Chis Thater 5K. Athletes of all abilities will be competing for over $18,000 in cash and prizes. Age group winners and every 50th place finisher will win either Dick’s Sporting Goods or Binghamton Senators gift certificates. 

At 12:30 p.m. on Sunday the Men’s Pro Cycling race is expected to feature over 100 pros from across the globe competing for $15,500 in prize money. This year’s Pro Men’s event will feature many of the top riders in the Men’s National Criterium Calendar and USA Crits season standings including Hilton Clarke, Carlos Alzate, Luke Keough and Karl Menzies all from UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling. 

On-line pre-registration for the 5K run is available at and will be open through August 23rd. Cycling registration is available at Athletes in both events can register the day of the event at Rec Park. 

Food concessions will feature Terra Cotta Catering for the first time at the Chris Thater Memorial with a menu that will include traditional event food made to their signature standards at prices that everyone can afford. 

The Expo will also feature 10x National Champion and Professional Trials, Freeride, and Stunt Rider Mike Steidley and his Mountain Bike Stunt Show with 3 showings throughout the weekend.  Mike Steidley is one of the most accomplished and prolific Stunt Riders in North America. Steidley's accolades include multiple Trials National Championships, representing the USA in 7 World Championships, a wide array of T.V. appearances and performing his Mountain Bike Stunt Show in 23 different countries to showcase his captivating skills to thousands. 

This free event is made possible by dozens of sponsors including Premier Sponsor, SEFCU. Established in 1934, today SEFCU is among the 50 largest credit unions in the U.S. with more than $2.5 billion in assets, over 240,000 members, and more than 46 branches in the Capital Region, Binghamton, Syracuse, and Buffalo. 

For more information about the Chris Thater Memorial or Broome County’s STOP-DWI Program please visit: or search Chris Thater Memorial Races on Facebook.

08/20/2013 - 10:42am