sports

New York City Marathon 2018


It was a beautiful day for a marathon! On Sunday, November 4, 2018 the largest marathon in the world with a distance of 26.219 miles, was held in NYC. Established in 1970 with the course running through all five boroughs of New York, the marathon’s many categories allow anyone to take part. We arrived about 9am and watched from the 18 mile marker (East 96th Street).

This year’s time did not break the course record of 02:05:05 set in 2011 but came close. In the  top spot for  the Pro Men was Lelisa Desisa /ETH with a time of 02:05:59, followed by Shura Kitata /ETH 02:06:01, Geoffrey Kamworor /KEN 02:06:26, Tamirat Tola ETH 02:08:30 and Daniel Wanjiru/ KEN 02:10:21.

In the Pro Women’s category the course record is 02:22:31 set in 2003. Mary Keitany /KEN came very close with a time of 02:22:48, followed by Vivian Cheruiyot /KEN 02:26:02, Shalane Flanagan /USA 02:26:22, Molly Huddle /USA 02:26:44 and Rahma Tusa /ETH 02:27:13.

It was my first time at the marathon and I was very pleased to photograph the fastest men and women in the world!

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Categories: fitness, History, Media, New York City, Outdoors, Photography, sports, Travel | Tags: , , ,

Saratoga Racetrack – Warmups


Categories: Entertainment, Friends of Sanford Stud Farm, Outdoors, Photography, sports | Tags: , , , , , ,

Stickermule Riverfest 2018


Categories: Amsterdam, Amsterdam Photography Club, Celebration, Entertainment, mohawk river, Music, Outdoors, Photography, sports | Tags: , , , , ,

Amsterdam Family YMCA (in Hagaman)


Like many others, this blogger had written off the Amsterdam Family YMCA when it moved out of the City of Amsterdam and established itself in the Village of Hagaman in a former school at 58 N Pawling Street. How dare they abandon us, I thought!  I have to admit it was this type of  narrow-minded thinking that stopped me from seeing just what they had to offer. That was until I met Nancy Carr, Executive Director/CEO of the Amsterdam Family YMCA.

Nancy told the story of just how the Amsterdam Family YMCA had to move. She impressed me as a very well spoken and dedicated individual who really cares about the local community. She also listened to my questions and took the time to answer every misconception I had about the YMCA and its mission. She challenged me to see for myself, offering to give me a tour and a day pass for a free workout. I took her up on that offer on Wednesday and I have to say I was very impressed with the facility, the staff and the patrons of the Amsterdam Family YMCA.

I’m not used to being around kids and the name Amsterdam Family YMCA  made me think there would be screaming children running around the facility while adults were trying to exercise. That was so far from the truth! I should have realized there are many types of families and although the YMCA has a first rate NYS certified day care facility, it is a separate part of the building. They care for infants, toddlers and pre-K children (ages 6 weeks to 5 years old) in four different rooms, each specialized with activities for specific age groups. It operates from 6:00am-6:00pm. I toured the day care during lunch and the children were all well mannered, well behaved and a pleasure to talk to. The day care facility at the YMCA is equipped with video cameras so parents can check in on their children on the internet if they so desire.  A full-time day care enrollment also includes a family membership to the Amsterdam Family YMCA.

The family referred to in the name is more about the interpersonal relationships developed at this YMCA. The staff and patrons all know each other by name. If one of the seniors misses a regular exercise class, Guido the personal trainer checks up on them! The individual attention is what separates the Amsterdam Family YMCA from one of the franchise gyms. Guido took the time to assess my needs and walked me through their exercise machines, correcting my posture and positioning as I did my workout. He managed to make me sweat in no time at all! You can tell when someone really loves their job because their passion quickly turns to expertise. Everyone I met at the Amsterdam Family YMCA had that same passion. Even though I only spent a couple of hours there, I did feel like part of the family! See for yourself…

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Nancy Carr, Executive Director/CEO of Amsterdam Family YMCA

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Guido Posso, Personal Trainer/Instructor, Amsterdam Family YMCA

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Manny, YMCA Staff

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The Amsterdam Family YMCA has a variety of programs and classes for kids and adults, some are offered free of charge. Please check their website for details or visit their facility on Pawling Street in Hagaman. From April 1 – May 31, 2015, the Amsterdam Family YMCA is sponsoring a Scrap Metal Drive with proceeds going to the YMCA.  Call them and they will pick up your scrap metal for free! They pick up in Amsterdam, Hagaman, Perth, Broadalbin, Galway, Tribes Hill, Fort Johnson, Fort Hunter, Cranesville and Minaville.

Call the YMCA at (518) 842-2130

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Categories: Amsterdam, fitness, sports | Tags: ,

A Saratoga Morning


Saratoga Springs, New York comes alive during the Thoroughbred racing season. Its streets, restaurants and parks are full of visitors. For a photographer, this is a great opportunity to practice your skills and get photos that may normally be out of your comfort zone. With three trips to the track this year, this blogger has got a lot of practice. My third trip was monday, August 11, 2014. If you get to the track about 8am, there is plenty of parking and not too much traffic.  If you are not planning on spending the day at the races, you can still visit the track for breakfast or just to watch the horses warm up on the track. There is no charge for this with your trackside parking fee ($12) refunded if you leave before 10am.  Leaving the track at that time gives you the opportunity to visit Saratoga’s other attractions. The following photos represent an inexpensive and enjoyable half-day trip. These photos are my intellectual property and may not be used or reproduced without permission.

 

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Categories: Entertainment, History, Outdoors, Photography, Sanford Stud Farm, sports, Travel | Tags: , , , , ,

Sanford Stakes Centennial


Saturday July 19, 2014 marked the 100th run of the Sanford Stakes at the Saratoga Raceway. The race is named for Amsterdam’s Stephen Sanford (1826-1913) , born in Mayfield, NY, member of the US House of Representatives, who among other ventures, ran the Hurricana Farm where he trained Thoroughbreds. The farm was renamed the Sanford Stud Farm by his son John Sanford II, Congressman and carpet manufacturer, born in Amsterdam in 1851, who built his home on Church Street (what we now know as Amsterdam’s City Hall).  Sanford descendant Landine L. Manigault, her son Pierre Manigault and his daughters India and Gigi Manigault were at Saratoga Raceway for the Sanford Stakes. Pierre Manigault lives in Charleston, South Carolina and is Chairman at Evening Post Industries and Garden & Gun Magazine. His mother Landine Manigault lives in Stonington, Connecticut and is the daughter of Gertrude Sanford Legendre, sister of Stephen “Laddie” Sanford and Sara Jane Sanford, children of John and Ethel Sanford whose parents were Stephen Sanford and Sara Jane Cochrane.

Friends of the Sanford Stud Farm celebrated with a visit to the National Museum of Racing & Hall of Fame, followed by a luncheon at the Saratoga Raceway track-side clubhouse.  Amsterdam artist Dan Czech designed the Sanford Stakes Centennial commemorative poster using period design. Pierre Manigault presented Friends founder Sam Hildebrandt an original purple and gold Sanford jockey silk. Sam’s father Louis Hildebrant was a very successful Sanford jockey.

It was a humid day but the air-conditioned clubhouse was a great way to watch the races. Some things have changed at the track since my last visit in the late 80’s. High definition flat screen monitors abound, posted on kiosks throughout the grounds with a huge monitor at center track. Cigar smoke fills the air as people study their racing sheets to place their bets. The racetrack grounds serve as impromptu campsites as people bring lawn-chairs, coolers and food, selecting a site on the lawn to claim stake for the day. The clubhouse patrons decked out in their finest causal attire, enjoy the day in the style. Beer and alcohol flowed on both sides of the fence, fueling shouts of enthusiasm as well as groans of disappointment.

The 7th race was the Sanford Stakes and thanks to the Friends of Sanford Stud Farm, I had a place at the finish line and access to the Winner’s Circle for the race. Big Trouble won the Sanford Stakes in the last stretch as he shot from 4th place to victory. The Sanford Stakes Cup was presented to Big Trouble jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. and trainer Tony Dutrow by John Sanford’s great granddaughters India and Gigi Manigault. A slew of reporters soon flooded Winner’s Circle including reporter Adam Shinder from The Recorder. Congressman Paul Tonko appeared in Winner’s Circle to support one of Amsterdam’s Historic events.

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Categories: Amsterdam, Celebration, Entertainment, History, Outdoors, Sanford Stud Farm, sports | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Meet Liu Nai Hui – Professional Table Tennis Athlete and Coach


One of the many stars that make up the constellation that we call the World Peace and Health Organization is Liu Nai Hui a World Class table tennis champion. She now holds the title of 2012 US Open Women’s Doubles Champion having won the title in July with Jenny Zhao. In 2011 Liu was the US Open Women’s Single Champion and has won Table Tennis Championships around the World. As a Table Tennis Coach Liu had the pleasure of seeing her student Michele Luo win the 2012 AAU Junior Olympic Games.

Today the World Peace and Health Organization celebrates Liu Nai Hui by opening The World Table Tennis Championship Training Center at 10 Main Street in the village of Fultonville, New York. The building a former Masonic Temple, was completely renovated with regulation lighting and tables that occupy two floors of the building. They hope to provide world class table tennis instruction for the public in the near future.

Of course the grand opening included a traditional Chinese Lion accompanied by gongs, drums and cymbals to ward off any residual evil spirits left in the century old building. A formal introduction was given by Buddhist Holy Master Zinguang Shang Shi and the Table Tennis tournament began. The Center also had a visit from Fultonville Mayor Robert Headwell. There was truly a sense of joy and accomplishment that was palpable in the center today. At one point I felt as if I no longer needed the service of my wonderful translator Jennie Wong as the communication was understood on a higher level. This is really the beginning of something greater, a starting point that is fully supported by the local community who appreciate the opportunity presented.

Namaste

Categories: Celebration, sports, WPHO | Tags: , , , , , ,

Boxing in Amsterdam


The City of Amsterdam, New York hosted a rare boxing event in Shuttleworth Park on Saturday, August 11, 2012. A friend gave me a ticket, so of course I had to photograph the event. I was only able to stay for about an hour and would miss the local fighters whose featured matches would come up later. One such fighter and native Amsterdamian is now on the Professional Mixed Martial Arts circuit. Tommy Marcellino was kind enough to pose for me.

Photographing boxing is not an easy task. Aside from the quick-moving pace, the referee is always jumping right in front of the boxers, blocking potential shots. The padded ropes surrounding the boxing ring often conceal the boxers faces, especially the shorter boxers.

Carl Strock, a columnist with the Schenectady Gazette is really proficient at photographing boxers. I’ve seen some of his work, capturing the boxer’s expression as he is just hit in the jaw; drops of saliva frozen in mid-air as it is forced out by the momentum of a punch. I didn’t get any of that.

Tommy Marcellino

Categories: Amsterdam, Entertainment, Photography, sports | Tags: , ,

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