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Stiletto “Run” sets higher standard for runners

Are you a runner who is interested in looking into a more unorthodox race? When you dress up, do you go all out? Luckily, there is a way to do both of these things while supporting a good cause. Celebrate Buffalo, Inc. and ShoeFly are hosting the 3rd annual .5K Stiletto “Run” on June 23 at 7pm on Elmwood Avenue between Bidwell and Auburn, with proceeds to benefit the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance.

As its name and mere half-kilometer distance would suggest, this is no ordinary run. In order to be eligible to win prizes, entrants must wear shoes – of their choice – with a minimum heel height of 3 inches, although they do not have to specifically be stilettos. Prizes will be awarded to the first three people to run or walk across the finish line, as well as for the first placing male runner and wearer of the Best Shoes.

Pre-registration is required and costs $25 until the day of the event, and $30 the day of. Those who paid beforehand must be at the corner of Bidwell and Elmwood at 5:30pm, and entrants will be permitted to register until 15 minutes before the start of the race. There will also be an after party on Elmwood between Lafayette and Auburn, complete with food, drinks, music, and late shopping hours for Elmwood area businesses.

According to Sue Marfino, the owner of ShoeFly, the Stiletto “Run” started to honor the store’s grand opening at its current location. The race raised $2,000 to fight ovarian cancer in 2009, a year when 21,500 American women were diagnosed with the disease, according to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance’s website.

Marfino and Adam Wilson, the co-founder of Celebrate Buffalo, said that previous years have seen countless interesting costumes and shoes to go along with the light-hearted nature of the “run.” Outfits have ranged from Britney Spears, to Dorothy and the Wicked Witch from The Wizard of Oz, and many more, with an even wider array of “fun shoes” that runners have selected to wear for the occasion.

“The shoes have been all over the board. Some people doctor them up with extra sparkles, etc.,” Marfino and Wilson said.

According to Marfino and Wilson, no one has been hurt during the “run,” since those who participate in it are free to take the half kilometer at their own pace in keeping with its light-hearted nature. They have received “incredible feedback from people,” and said that the “run” draws a diverse group dedicated to the cause each year.

“People think it is amazing that women and men are running in stilettos,” Wilson said. “Some runners are connected to the cause through family, friends and/or a personal situation so they are excited to be involved if it running/walking, donating or volunteering in some way.”

Ultimately, the Stiletto Run is not just a unique event, but also another way that members of the Buffalo community choose to give back to their neighborhood while having fun at the same time. Marfino and Wilson perhaps best summarized the run’s mission: raising awareness of cancer and supporting those who fight the disease.

“The Stiletto Run is a light-hearted event that brings the Buffalo Community together to support and bring attention to a serious cause, Ovarian Cancer,” Wilson wrote. “It shows that Buffalonians can come together to raise money and have a blast to help others in need.”

For more information about the Stiletto Run, contact Marissa Wilson at (716) 523-6817 or by email, or
or Adam Wilson at (716) 984-7065 or via email. Even non-runners are encouraged to cheer participants on or donate to help fight ovarian cancer via this page.

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