On the Run

On the Run: Rochester, NY

On the Run
Written by Charlie

As runners, we have the amazing and unique opportunity to see a lot of various towns, cities, and countrysides from the best possible angle – on the ground. We all run in interesting places at times and it is always nice to snap some photos of what we see and take in the beauty of the landscape or cityscape. In that spirit, I am going to start doing some posts of various places that I might run and photos of what I see on the way. If you would like, send me your cities and photos as well for others to see and so we all know what to look for when we run in those places!

On the Run: Rochester

Ok, this is a little cheating! 🙂 It is really a plug for my hometown! I had to fly back to Rochester for a couple of days recently to take care of some paperwork. While there, I could not resist running on my favorite road and route. Even though it has only been 5 months since I was there, I had lived there my entire life so to not have run on those roads in so long made me really miss them!

Running Groups

Rochester is known for many different things but should also be more noticed by runners! There is a very vibrant running community as well as many running groups/clubs. The one that I ran with the most frequently was the Bagel Bunch. It is a group of great runners of all talent and abilities. One of the people that run with the Bagel Bunch is a young man who recently took up running (a couple of years ago) and clocked a 3:01 for his first marathon. His name is Jason McElwain. He is most famous for his 4 minutes in a high school basketball game that he played in as a senior. That was his only basketball game that he played there (he was the team’s manager) but was still able to score 20 points in 4 minutes. What made it all the more incredible is that he has autism! His story has been told in major media outlets around the US and was featured by ESPN at the ESPYs. To read more about him, check out the story and follow up here.


As a running destination, we have several races in town. There is the Rochester Marathon as well as a couple of half-marathons (the Flower City Challenge and the Shoreline Half Marathon on beautiful Lake Ontario). There are also numerous 10Ks and 5Ks (in addition to other distances) throughout the year. Many of these races make up two race series – a winter series and a summer/fall series.

The Rochester area also has a very popular ultramarathon community. There are several ultramarathons that take place in the course of a year. One of them, that I have run a few times, is the Mind the Ducks 12 hour ultra. In addition to that, there is also the Winter 100 and the Summer 100 – two more races that I have participated in several times. Those two races are on the same course – the Erie Canal path – at different times of the year. The winter is in January/February and the summer is in August. Both present unique challenges and have become hugely popular.

And of course…

On the Run

One of my favorite parts of my run last week in my hometown was the opportunity to run into CVS and buy quite a bit of Vanilla to feed my Bluebirds. As someone who currently lives in Europe, I have very much missed my Vanilla cards! The nice part is that this store is always well-stocked – which is great since it is just down the road from the headquarters of the Western NY chapter of the United Manufactured Spend Association (a made up name, of course, for my family’s house) :). It was so nice to get to take advantage of the $5,000 limit there!

ANYWAY, if you plan on ever traveling through or visiting Rochester, please let me know! I would love to give you some tips and help you to enjoy your time there even more. On top of that, I can definitely tell you the best places to run while you are there! Enjoy!

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • Hope you didn’t raid the whole stash at my cvs! Except for the cold winter running season, it’s a pretty good community!

    • Hey, fellow Rochesterian! This was the CVS English/Long Pond – I think you will be just fine there :). Have you run the Valentine’s Day 8 miler in Greece before? It is a fun winter race! Good to hear from you!

  • I have never run in my life, but when I saw you were from Rochester, I couldn’t help but read. I brought 2 friends from Chicago to Rochester to Park Ave Festival weekend. I show them how we like to get down small city style. I am a Chicago girl now, but I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the years I lived in Rochester.

  • Nice to see postings about Rochester – I spent lots of time there – Went to school at the University At Buffalo so you were my southern neighbor – I miss the snow… And I live in New England – Nothing like running with crampons on your sneakers