Tonawanda News

June 5, 2013

DUVALL: On running, with dogs and otherwise

By Eric DuVall
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — A random assortment of thoughts have filled my brain today. You get them in no particular order:

Marathons have been in the news quite a bit lately but the Buffalo Marathon — in which I had several friends running — got me again this year.

Every year I seem to forget they close down my street for several hours that Sunday morning. And though I’m far from a morning person, every year I seem to get stuck in my house unable to leave.

Such was the case again this year when my Sunday morning softball game was nearly missed. I’ve never wanted or needed a helicopter more. Thankfully I was able to hoof it a few blocks and catch a ride with a teammate to the diamond. 

Congratulations to all those who trained and completed the 26.2-mile run. And congratulations, also, to the hearty Buffalonians who threw a big party at the corner of my street, beers in one hand, noisemakers in the other, cheering on the runners at 9:30 a.m.

In Buffalo, there really is any excuse for the party.


Speaking of running, I’ve noticed an uptick in people who jog with their dogs. 

An observation: The dogs always appear exponentially happier to be running than their owners.


Starting to wonder when the NT Democrats are going to announce their candidates. Not that I’m in a hurry to get into campaign mode or anything, trust me.

One of my favorite election season rites of passage: The North Tonawanda-off. Candidates trip over themselves in interviews to note the number of generations that have called the Lumber City home.  I once had a candidate profess ancestry living here before North Tonawanda was even an incorporated city.

I couldn’t tell you what that has to do with running for a common council seat, but whatever makes you feel good.

The other is the candidate debates the News has hosted with the chamber of commerce for local candidates. It’s a good process and as good a chance as voters will get to decide who’s worthy of their vote and who sounds like an idiot.

Let’s just say voters’ definition of the latter and my own can differ from time to time.


I saw former Buffalo Bills great Andre Reed at a bar the other night. I’m not the sort to walk up and ask for an autograph or a picture or anything but he’s one of my favorite athletes of all time. Never the fastest or the biggest — I think I might be taller than him — but the guy turned a simple 7-yard slant into what should be a Hall of Fame career.

If you’d told me during his playing days I’d be following him and Thurman Thomas on Twitter and getting their real-time analysis of Bills games you would have told a 12-year-old kid the coolest thing ever possible was possible. And as a 30-year-old adult who reverts to a 12-year-old kid on Sundays in football season, I still think it’s the coolest thing possible.

Training camp is only six weeks away. Summer is barely here and it already seems like it’s almost over.


On a sports note none of you will care about: My baseball team, the St. Louis Cardinals, is surprisingly good this year. I say surprisingly because they were expected to contend, not dominate. But dominate they have thus far, owning the best record in baseball for much of the last month.

Year after year, they’re in contention. They’re always fun to watch.

Living in Buffalo, it’s nice to root for a team that wins something once in a while. Too bad they’re 800 miles away.


Belated kudos goes out to News city editor Neale Gulley for some outstanding journalism in his three-part series on prescription drug abuse. He spent months researching it and many long days writing it.

The end result was a comprehensive, impacting look at a problem I don’t think many people — myself included — realized was as serious as it is.

If you missed any of it, the stories can be found on our website. I encourage you to read them and for parents to consider much of the advice gleaned from it. 

It’s an important issue to talk about with your kids.

Eric DuVall is the managing editor of the Tonawanda News. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter, @EricRDuVall.