18th Annual Linda Yalem Run to Be Held Sept. 30 at UB

WNY law enforcement agencies instrumental in apprehending bike path killer to be honored

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: September 13, 2007 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- For 17 years, the University at Buffalo has honored the memory of slain student Linda Yalem and promoted personal safety by holding a 5K race on the UB North (Amherst) Campus.

But this year's event, the 18th-annual Linda Yalem Safety Run, has special significance for members of the UB community with the capture of the man responsible for raping and killing Yalem in September 1990 as she trained for the New York City Marathon on the Amherst bike path along the northern edge of the North Campus.

Altemio C. Sanchez pleaded guilty to being the bike path killer, responsible for murdering three women, including Yalem and Joan Diver, wife of UB faculty member Steven Diver. Sanchez is now serving a sentence of 75 years to life in the state prison system.

To honor the Western New York law enforcement agencies instrumental in apprehending Sanchez, the university has named the agencies honorary starters for the Sept. 30 race. Representatives of the agencies will be recognized and receive a framed photo and race numbers. Among those expected to attend the start of the race are H. McCarthy Gipson, Buffalo police commissioner; Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard; Gerald Schoenle, chief of University Police; Investigator Josh Keats from the New York State Police, and Lt. Joe LaCorte and Detectives Michael Rose, Ed Monin and Ted Donoto of the Amherst Police Department.

With the capture of the bike path rapist and murderer, the race this year is bittersweet for the entire UB community, notes Andrea Costantino, director of student life and race director for the Linda Yalem Safety Run. "This is a special and emotional year for the race," Costantino says. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of Linda Yalem and the other victims.

"A dark cloud has been lifted and we are especially thankful to the many law enforcement agencies that finally put an end to this mystery," she adds. "UB will continue to hold the race to promote personal safety to the running and walking community."

Years after its founding, the race continues to be a significant event for the UB community, says Dennis Black, vice president for student affairs. "Years ago when this race was suggested to me by Nan Harvey and Emily Ward from UB Athletics, the outpouring of support for the cause was amazing. That it continues nearly two decades later is a testament to the strength of our community and the strength of the bonds we share as parents, sisters, friends, husbands and partners," Black says.

More than 1,000 runners and walkers, and more than 600 volunteers, are expected to participate in the run, which will begin at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 30 on the North Campus.

The 5K USA Track and Field-certified race, one of UB's most enduring traditions, is one of the most popular races in Western New York and a qualifying race for The Buffalo News' "Runner of the Year" series.

The race, which is open to serious and casual runners and walkers, will start and finish outside Alumni Arena. Overall male and female finishers in the open division will receive cash prizes. Post-race events will include food, prize raffles, merchandise and a Kids' Dash.

Registration fees are $20 for the general public and $15 for UB students. The registration deadline for runners/walkers is Sept. 27; volunteers must register by Sept. 21. For more information or to register, go to http://www.lindayalemrun.buffalo.edu.

Sponsors of the race are Campus Dining & Shops, Certo Brothers, Chakra Communications, Family Justice Center, Joseph Galanti/iDesign Ideas, Pepsi, SYSCO, Trinity Marketing, the Division of Student Affairs, United University Professionals and the University Bookstore.

Race friends are the Division of Athletics, the UB Alumni Association, Niagara Walkers and Runner's World.