Things I found — 7/24/14

By | July 24, 2014 1:55 am | 0 Comments

Worth reading

* This blog post — Do you have good scars? — is pretty awesome. Seriously…read it.  Very inspiring.

* What goes through your mind on a run? 75 thoughts every runner has when out for a run.

* Need motivation to exercise? Reader’s Digest say they have 13 tricks you haven’t tried before.

* Outside  magazine says smaller runners have the advantage at Badwater.

T-shirt of the week


Know the lingo: Finish chute

By | July 23, 2014 1:43 am | 0 Comments

When you’re just getting started in a sport, it’s hard to learn all the lingo. Running and walking, like any sport, has it’s own special language and local phrases. Each week, I’ll define a term or phrase that will help you not only walk the walk (or run the run), but talk the talk.

Finish chute

The cordoned off area at the finish line that keeps spectators from encroaching and narrowing the course.  If race officials don’t cordon or fence off the finish line, spectators at large races will soon clog the finish area by stepping onto the road and leaning out to see down the course to watch for their special finisher. Every person has to step just a bit in front of the person next to them (to see around them) and soon…your finish line narrows to a few feet wide.

Just Write 47 ~ Scars

By | July 22, 2014 2:19 am | 0 Comments

If you were to drive by, you could easily miss the mini-memorial, a styrofoam cross with artificial flowers and a similarly decorated wreath. Both no larger than a house cat. Both stuck into the ground in front of a tree with a much larger memorial — a three foot gash in the trunk, marking the place where a young man who was finally getting his life together lost it.

He lived down the street from us and was just a boy when we first moved in. We saw him grow up over the years. I know his mom. He was home on leave the night he died.

As irony would have it, the cross and wreath don’t look all that out of place as the tree is part of a memorial garden on property owned by a funeral home. Directly across the street is the entrance to a cemetery, where I suspect the young man was buried. He died late one night (or early one day, I guess) after spending the night out with a friend. A passenger in a fast-moving car. He wasn’t wearing a seatbelt.

When I see the memorial as I’m running by in the first light of morning, I pause. Standing there, breathing heavy, sweat trickling down my back, I realize it’s for him — that little boy (as I’ll always think of him) down the road.  I think about what it must be like for his parents to drive past this spot. Do they avoid going home this way now, or does it bring some measure of comfort in knowing their son was here?

Then I think about the tree. I touch it’s scar, where the bark was stripped away as it absorbed the blow of a 4,000-pound  tumbling vehicle. I think about how strong that tree must be to withstand that impact and still stand straight and solid.  I wonder if it, too, will ever really heal from that one terrible night.

I turn around and run back home, grateful to be able to do so and thankful for the opportunities that running gives me to think and to see what so many miss.

About Just Write
“What ends up revealing itself when free writing is that everything has meaning. That is a magnificent gift of writing. If we write from a free heart-gut place, our souls start speaking.

Guest Post: Getting to Know Becca Easley

By | July 22, 2014 1:36 am | 0 Comments

By Larry Kisielewski

“These kids don’t care. Don’t respect, don’t work, are lazy and have nothing to do other than cause trouble,” (Times-News 6/25/14)

“This new generation wants everything handed to them.”

“All they do is text and complain.”

“They sit around all day playing video games.”

“When they take over, we’re in trouble.”

Sound familiar? Au contraire, mon frere. There may be a load of X-gens who give the whole generation an under-achieving reputation, but there is also a new breed who are as motivated as any before them. One such individual is our July Getting to Know You subject: Becca Easly.

Rebecca Mary Easley is the eldest of four children. Parents Steve and Michelle raised her and siblings Hannah, Aaron, and Jacob in an atmosphere emphasizing family, religion, scholastics, and athletics.

Steve, quite the runner himself, coached the St. George cross country team when Becca was first introduced to running. Her grade school competition culminated with an eighth-place finish in the Diocesan meet, but by the time she graduated from Villa, Becca had accumulated 14 varsity letters in cross country, track, swimming, and lacrosse. She made states in cross country as a sophomore, junior, and senior, when she helped Villa place fourth in the state, in addition to qualifying for districts in swimming.

She earned her service hours mentoring grade school swimmers. Her senior project was organizing a cornhole tournament benefitting a Costa Rican orphanage. All of this activity didn’t hurt her academics, as she ranked first scholastically in her Villa class.

After a lengthy college search, she settled on Colgate University where, with the aid of a grant and a Rotary Club essay scholarship, she is entering her second year in bio-chemistry.

College hasn’t slowed her down in either academics or athletics. She competes on the Roader cross country team and has participated in the Patriot League championships, while making the dean’s list both semesters with a team-leading 3.57 GPA.

Socially, she gets together with all her Erie friends during breaks from school, but she also has a whole new set of New England friends, thanks to the Common Room at Colgate. She has expanded her community service to participation in an “Adopt a Grandparent” program at school, where she visits a local nursing home to visit with an “adopted” senior citizen.

For the summer, she slows her pace down to regularly run with her dad, and enjoys socializing around a bonfire. She works five days a week in her fourth season at the Erie Zoo. She’s preparing for her fall classes with a little light reading — Organic Chemistry De-Mystified.

When asked if she is in the minority with all her overall motivation and accomplishments, she chuckles and assures me that she knows dozens of individuals, both here at home and at Colgate, who are equally driven. Clearly, our future is in good hands.

Becca Bits

Hobbies: Running, movies, family time, reading

Pets: Two dogs – Bandit & Osbert (both Maltese/Shi-Tzu mix)

Dream vacation: Hawaii

Neat vacations: Topsail Island, N.C.; Disneyworld

Music: Pop

TV: Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Criminal Minds

Websitse: Facebook, Twitter

Motto: Do your best and you won’t let yourself down

Admires: Parents and high school coach, Therese Brown

Sports teams: Penguins, Steelers, Pirates

Musical instrument: Some guitar

Memorable Run: As a Villa sophomore running the two-miles, she left the track after seven laps, thinking she was done. (She’s majoring in bio-chem, not math!)

Last words: She’s thankful to the ERC for races, motivation, and a sense of community.

** Getting To Know You is reprinted with permission from the July 2014 Erie Runners Club newsletter.



Presque Isle half marathon results

By | July 21, 2014 2:09 am | 0 Comments


As my daughters and I drove to our volunteer gig for the ERC’s Presque Isle Half Marathon on Sunday morning, I lamented my choice to volunteer instead of run because the weather was so perfect on Sunday — nice and cool, which is not the norm for the Erie half marathon! (Seems every year I do the Erie half, it’s 86 degrees and humid!).

However, I had a great time working at water stop #6. I’ve volunteered at a lot of races, but I’ve never worked a water stop. That said, I’ve run enough races to know the important parts — water first, Gatorade second (yell that constantly); hold the cup out with the edge pinched between finger and thumb; expect to have some spilled on you; if a runner makes eye contact, they’re taking your cup, etc.  (Hmmm….actually water stop etiquette and information might be good blog topic one of these days, eh?)

ANYWAY…I was glad to be there to cheer on more than 1,100 runners who did the loop we Erie-area runners know oh, so well.

Here are the complete results.

We didn’t stay too long after we finished at the water stop and cruised back the the finish to pick Dan up, but it seems moving the post-race picnic to the start point (ERC Pavilion) went well. The picnic food (Three B’s was cooking right on site) smelled fantastic. The atmosphere was fun with DJ Kelly (Larry Kisielewski) playing music and the finish line in sight from the picnic area. Because nobody had to go anywhere for the picnic, late finishers arrived to find a party instead of a desolate finish line as they have in past years when all the speedier folks were long gone to the picnic.











Run, shoot, run, shoot, run (a real life biathlon)

By | July 18, 2014 1:57 am | 0 Comments

And I thought biathlons were only for the Olympics…turns out there’s one right in our “backyard” in Oil Creek State Park!

The Summer Biathlon is a 6K cross country run (broken up into three separate loops) with two shooting stops.

According to the race website, first timers are welcome & all equipment is provided.  The race is open to all athletes over 12 who complete the Note that there is a mandatory first-timers safety clinic at 8:30 a.m. on race day (race starts at 10 a.m.).

What is a Summer Biathlon and how does it work?

Biathlon start

The 6K running race is divided into five parts.

The timing starts with waves of two runners leaving every minute and running an approximately 1.2 mile loop.

As you approach the shooting range at the end of the first running loop, you will run into the range, catch your breath lie down in the prone position and pick up an easy to use .22 caliber target rifle. You shoot 5 shots at a 4.5-inch metal knock down target 33 meters away. For each missed target you are required to run a 70-meter penalty loop after the shooting stop.

Biathlon range

After this first shooting stop, you run out of the range and run the same 1.2-mile loop again.

The second time at the range you will shoot 5 shots at the same targets from the standing position and run the 70-meter penalty loop for each missed target.

Once you’ve completed the standing position, you run out of the range and run the 1.2-mile loop a final time ending at the finish line.
Remember every second counts!

More info and registration information for the Summer Biathlon can be found here.

Half Marathon packet pickup

By | July 18, 2014 1:48 am | 0 Comments

If you’re doing the Erie Runners Club’s Presque Isle half marathon, remember that you can pick up your packets today & tomorrow at the ERC Pavilion at Beach #1. Pickup today from noon until 6:30 p.m. or Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.

If you can’t pick up early, you can get your packet on race day morning starting at 5:45 a.m.

Things I found — 7/17/14

By | July 17, 2014 2:56 am | 0 Comments

Worth Reading

* Wouldn’t you be the s$%# if you showed up at the races with this tailgating bad boy: The Coolest Cooler

* Need a new challenge? How about the world’s toughest race?

* How much does sitting negate your workout benefits? (This is sort of depressing for people like me…who sit all day)

* Tempo runs explained.

Funny Stuff

* A Non-Runners Guide to Runners by Mark Remy

* 8 of the worst things that happen while running

Tshirt of the Week


This 5K is for the birds…literally

By | July 15, 2014 1:56 am | 0 Comments

wild 5k

The Wild5K, also known as the Run for Liberty, a 5K trail race in nearby Jamestown, N.Y., is a run for the birds…er…bird…specifically, Liberty, a non-releasable bald eagle who lives at the Audubon Center and Sanctuary in Jamestown. According to event organizers, it costs about $7,500 to care for Liberty every year!

The first Wild 5K Run for Liberty was held in 2003 and had a successful six year run before the event lost it’s chair. But the Center has found a new race director and revamped the run for 2014.

The race is slated for Saturday, July 26. Registration information here.

You can read more about Liberty..and the 5K course here.

If you don’t want to run…they are also in need of volunteers .