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Busy weekend planned for the Baird brothers

June 7, 2017
By LOU REUTER - Senior Sports Writer ( , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - Stuart Baird joined the Lake Placid track team as a junior just to stay in shape to be better at the sport he loves the most: the game of soccer.

But in the process, Baird, who is now a senior and will graduate later this month, found out he's a pretty good runner too. This weekend, Baird will really be put to the test. On Saturday, June 10 he's competing for the second year in a row at the state high school track championships near Binghamton, and the following day, he will be at the starting line of the 13th annual Lake Placid Marathon.

Along with his brother Andrew, who is in medical school at the University at Buffalo, Stuart will attempt to complete the race's full marathon distance of 26.2 miles.

Article Photos

Stuart Baird, left, runs with Lake Placid teammate Henry McGrew during a high school meet at home against Ticonderoga on May 9. The two will be competing Saturday, June 10 as members of the Blue Bombers’ 4x800 relay at the state championships at Union-Endicott. A day later, Baird will be at the starting line to run in the Lake Placid Marathon.
Lou Reuter/Lake Placid News

Baird has been an outstanding three-sport athlete in soccer, basketball and track at Lake Placid, and will attend St. Lawrence University in the fall and play on the Saints' men's soccer team. He said he really began to enjoy running a year ago after qualifying for the state high school track championships along with three other teammates on the Blue Bombers' 4x800 relay.

"It all started last time I made states for track," Baird said. "That's when I really started getting into running. Soccer and basketball, those have been the two sports I really like. Track was the sport that I was least into. Ironically, it's the only sport that has gotten me to the state championships."

Tackling a full marathon will be a new experience for Baird. His longest trek to date was about three weeks ago when he covered 22 miles.

"I'm not really sure how it will go," he said. "I've been going on 10-plus mile runs for the past four weeks and have since tapered off. That 22-mile run obviously hurt a lot. I ran 10 miles and then some friends joined me the rest of the way. They were fresh and I really had to keep up with them. It was tough, but fun."

Baird will race with teammates Trent White, Henry McGrew and Scott Schulz in the state meet, and then return home that night to hopefully be ready for Sunday's trek through the streets of Lake Placid on a hilly course.

"It's a little intimidating," Baird said describing racing on back-to-back days. "But I have confidence in my training and I'm hoping for a good time."

Not only does Baird hope to set a new school record running with his 4x800 teammates on Saturday, he's looking to beat his older brother Andrew to the finish line Sunday. Andrew, however, has experience over his younger brother. A 2010 Lake Placid graduate, Andrew has run marathons before and is also an Ironman finisher.

"He was involved in a lot of sports at Lake Placid - track, soccer, baseball, skiing," Stuart said. "I'd love to beat him. I've been training and he's been busy with med school. We've trash talked a little bit, but I'm sure he's not too worried."

Baird said his older brother and his mother, Cindy, helped provide him inspiration to run in the marathon. His mom, a teacher at the Lake Placid Elementary School, is an avid runner. He said his dad, also named Stuart, is more of a short-distance guy.

Although Baird has this weekend on his mind right now, he's ultimately looking forward to putting all those miles wearing running shoes to work when he dons the cleats for the upcoming soccer season.

"I'm planning to show up well conditioned and in great shape," Baird said. "I've grown up watching St. Lawrence play. I've gone to soccer camp there and I've worked at the soccer camps there. It's a school where I can look at playing right away. There were other options, but I could have been looking at sitting on the bench for four years. St. Lawrence is a school that seemed like a second home to me."

The 13th annual Lake Placid Marathon kicks off at 8 a.m. Sunday, June 11 with a mass start on Main Street in front of the Olympic speedskating oval.



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