By Erica Brecher

Running season has begun, with the Buffalo Marathon and Corporate Challenge around the corner. Knowing race-training can result in injuries, Athletic Trainer Jim Starkey warns enthusiasts against overdoing it. “At Excelsior Orthopaedics, we know the importance of self-care, and that most injuries are a result of overuse,” said Starkey, who is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and USA Track & Field Level One Coach. “It’s important to listen to your body, modify training, and address pain in a timely manner.” 

Runners often experience anterior knee pain, IT-band pain, shin splints, and muscle strains, all of which can be helped through rehabilitation. As a runner, Starkey knows the demands of optimal physical performance, and works with runners and other athletes on injury prevention and rehabilitation. 

Jenna Darron, a Doctor of Physical Therapy at Excelsior, loves the social aspects of the sport, saying, “While running seems like such a solo sport, the running community here in Buffalo is amazing. The friendships I have built through thousands of snowy and windy miles are my true passion for the sport.”

Darron is one of the instructors of Run 2 Excel, Excelsior’s newest strength program for runners. “We started Run 2 Excel with a goal of helping the Western New York running community. The program is different because it was built for runners by athletic trainers and physical therapists trained in exercise prescription and the biomechanics of running,” she said. Darron says the exercises are designed to improve running performance and target specific areas to reduce the risk of injury. Runners learn the most effective exercises and proper form to enhance their running performance. “The program is special because it loops back into my own passion for the sport while helping other runners, and bringing people together,” said Darron.

Another Run 2 Excel program instructor is Athletic Trainer and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist Jim Mollosky. “My goal is to take runners to the next level, help them rethink their training, without the need for extensive equipment to get a quality workout,” said Mollosky. With an interesting story of his own, Mollosky started out as a collegiate runner, switched to adventure and trail racing, and now focuses on mountain racing. “Running is my constant in life, and I enjoy having a place to go to no matter my mood, the weather, or how busy life can get,” he said. “When I lace up my shoes and open that door to the world, it is my heart that opens with a deep breath of gratitude knowing I am home.”

Whether you need help recovering from a running injury, preparing for a race, or want to join people who share your passion, contact, or call 716-906-5564. Excelsior Orthopaedics’ specialty in the sport of running has resulted in a long and valued relationship with the Buffalo Marathon, which is May 29, and where Excelsior will provide the post-race recovery area known as the Stretch Zone. Learn more about Excelsior and its many locations, specialties, upcoming seminars, and more at