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Runners Brave the Heat for First Coal House Relay Race

"Very excited," said Debbi Grassi, runner.

"Except for the heat" said Donna Russell, runner.

"But we wouldn't let the heat stop us," said Grassi.

"Of course not," said Russell.

The heat didn't stop about 80 runners from coming out to the first Rail Trail Relay in Vestal. 

"The first person runs a mile and then runs back a mile, passes off and the next person does the same thing," said Steve Gilli, runner.

"Everything we've done so far is just individual 5Ks, four milers and thought of this as a thing for a team approach," said Mark Muschalla, race organizer.  "We got a lot of different divisions.  Father daughter, daughter son."

"We were going to do BFF's because we've been friends for many years but then we saw the category for old timers" said Grassi.

"We ran in the college division," said Nick Montesana, runner.

"We kind of wanted a tune-up going into our seasons because we both run cross country," said Kyle Howerton, runner.

"We are in the Athenas," said Stephanie Schafer.  Combined female weight of over 300 pounds.  So the baby weight has helped us."

The race was organized to bring the community down to the trail and let participants be creative.

"Why did you choose this interesting team name?"

"Because I hate running," said Steve Gilli.

And show off their speed.

"We ran it in 22 flat I think.  He was sub 11:50 and I was just over," said Howerton.

Runners say they hope it becomes an annual event.

"Maybe keep it going in the future.  We'll bring our little ones and team up with them," said Schafer.

"Would you do it again next year?"

"Absolutely.  Not right now. Maybe in a day or two.  Next year," said Montesana.

**Ali Warner Fox 40 HD News**

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