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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.
Running with other people will improve your performance and it may even improve your running experience (it has for me).
The Tuesday Night Race League, an informal weekly “race” league that is free and open to anyone & everyone of any ability (walkers welcome, too) has a Facebook page now. “Like” it to stay informed about all the group’s happenings and each week’s location and distance options. Not on FB? TNRL news is also posted on Jim Lang’s Big White Trailer website.
This coming Tuesday (June 3), TNRL is at Lake Erie Speedway at 7 p.m. Meet in the parking lot. There is always a longer & a shorter run option.
The Monday beginners trail run group at Penn State Behrend is going to be moving from 5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Park in the Junker Center parking lot and look for the folks gathering in the corner near the soccer fields. It’s “real” trail running with a mostly single-track course and plenty of mud if there’s been a recent rain. Plan accordingly! If you’re on Facebook, join the Erie Trail Runners group to stay up-to-date. More info on the trail run here.
If you’re looking for a group to run with…or you have a group that you’d like to invite more runners to, request to join the Erie Runners Club Running Groups Facebook group.
The Erie Runners Club’s monthly membership meeting heads outdoors tonight. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at the Asbury Woods (barn) picnic pavilion. The club provides hot dogs/veggie dogs and all the condiments, chips, and drinks. Bring something (chips, cookies, etc.) to share…or don’t…nobody will care.
Tonight’s guest speaker is Dr. Dan Young, owner of Young Chiropractic and about 2,234 ultra marathon belt buckles…he’s a bad@#$ and he’s going to be speaking on gait analysis tonight. Learn how your gait effects performance and how you can correct it.
P.S. You don’t have to be a member to attend the meeting. All are welcome.
Volunteers are the lifeblood of any race and especially true for any Erie Runners Club races. The ERC is an all-volunteer organization. Nobody gets paid to put on races or to direct them, but….there are perks given to those who volunteer.*
Little known fact: In most of the ERC races, if you volunteer in some capacity, you get a free entry which can be used for that race (either for you or for someone else) or for a future ERC race.
BTW, there are plenty of jobs you can do that will still allow you to participate in the race (packet pickup, registration, etc.). Why do you think you see the Cass’ working so many packet pickups and registration tables? Those race fees add up when you have two or more family members running!
Interested in volunteering for a future ERC race? You can contact that race’s director directly (say that three times fast). Find contact info for most local race directors here or you can email or text ERC President, David Comi at 814-881-0060.
Need to fundraise?
Got a group (scouts, sports, church, etc.) that needs to raise funds? Round them up and have them volunteer for a race! The ERC will donate $5 for each volunteer you provide. A few notes on this program from Comi:
This money is donated in lieu of the t-shirts we usually give our volunteers. Your group can also use this time to qualify for community service hours, if needed. So it can be a great fundraiser and more, along with a fun time for all. I can be reached at 814-881-0060.
Shut out of the Color Run – Volunteer x 2 & get in!
We have a limited number of entries to The Color Run to provide to volunteers who help us at two upcoming events on May 17 and June 22–The Zombie Run and The Biggest Loser RunWalk. For volunteers who help us out at both events, we will provide a free entry to the sold-out race, coming to downtown Erie on Saturday, August 9. Volunteers must help at both events in their entirety to receive the free race entry, and should email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to register and for more information.
* The volunteer policies are always set by the individual race director, so check to be sure the director offers a free entry for volunteers — the information provided above is exclusive to the ERC races, not all local/regional races.
Every morning before I go downstairs to exercise or go out to run, I glance at the front page of the morning newspaper and this made me smile big this morning:
A page 1 story about the ERC pavilion project. I love the headline and it’s so nice to see this awesome project finally get some much deserved ink!
Pick up a paper today & get the whole story.
More than 700 participated in the ERC’s St. Patrick’s Day Distance Festival this weekend — 452 in the 5K, 256 in the 10K and 10 in the 2 mile walk. It was cold, but the roads were clear (some puddle-dodging required) and there was no precipitation falling…that’s about as good as it gets in Erie in March.
Top honors go to:
1. Andrew Holland, 35, 17:09
2. John Lacy, 18, 17:14
3. Michael Williamson, 21, 17:19
1. Lori Beth Nunemaker, 22, 21:04
2. Kelly Latimer, 30, 21:08
3. Andrea Patmore, 32, 21:15
1. Justin Allen, 25, 35:21
2. Eric Walsh, 45, 35:27
3. Andrew Holland, 35, 35:42
1. Brittany Kaltenbaugh, 22, 41:44
2. Emily Ahrens, 20, 41:49
3. Kelli Proctor, 36, 42:22
There was some complaining about the new awards structure that race director Jim Lang instituted. Here’s what he said about it. AND…he’s welcoming comments):
It was my decision to change to 10% depth (1 minimum) instead of 3 in each age group. I feel about awards the same as I feel about finishers medals – they should mean something. 3rd (of 3) is not the accomplishment that 3rd of 30 is. Awards should reflect that.
In addition, last year’s awards resulted in nearly half of the awards purchased being wasted. Incomplete age groups and folks leaving without them left 2 boxes of plaques with nothing to do with them. That’s wasteful, and a real pain to deal with.
The 10% awards was NOT an attempt to be cheap. It was an attempt to make the awards meaningful and less wasteful.
I would consider 20%, min 1, up to 5 deep. If we were to go back to 3 in each age groups, I would restrict it to pre-reg, so if there are only 2 registered by 1 week out (when awards are ordered), there would only be 2 awards. If there is nobody in the age group, we would get no awards. Or something else.
IMHO – awards/plaques/medals are just clutter. It’s the accomplishment that matters…not the token. As a race director, I know how expensive medals are (that’s why I don’t give medals at my race) and I know that the majority are never picked up.
Complete results for the 5K, 10K, 2 Mile Walk and the St. Pat’s combined 15K (those runners who took the challenge and did BOTH the 5K & the 10K) and the Winter Series results (Turkey Trot, New Year’s Day 5-Miler and St. Patrick’s Day) can be found at BigWhiteTrailer.com.
Photos, photos, photos
Photos from GoErie’s Street View here.
My photos are below.
Groooovy beach towels
Speaking of the ERC Winter Series….this year’s series premium was a very cool tie-dye beach towel in your choice of five colors. Missed out on the series prize? Don’t fret, I have it on good authority the club will be selling leftovers at the ERC merchandise table at future races. No word on the price yet.
Also…if you missed out on the ERC flipflops (premium from the Valentine’s Day race), you can now purchase those for $10.
St. Pat’s Packet Pickup
If you’re registered for the St. Patrick’s Day distance festival race on March 15 and you want to pick up your packet and timing chip early, you can do so on Friday, March 14 at the Beach No. 1 pavilion from 1 to 7 p.m.
Note, though, that the race is at the Rotary Pavilion on Saturday. There will be no parking near the Rotary on race day — park at the cabins, Beach 6, Beach 8 or the cookhouse.
Try the trails?
If you’re not doing the ERC St. Patrick’s Day race and you want to try trail running, Mike and Jan Vieyra are inviting you to join them and other ERC runners for a training run on a 5-mile loop over the river and through the woods– Asbury Woods, that is. Meet at the picnic shelter (behind the Asbury barn, across the street from the Nature Center) at 7:30 a.m. Several folks are planning on running multiple loops at various paces.
Think Thanksgiving…in May
ERC President & Turkey Trot race director, Dave Comi, is dangling a carrot to encourage attendance at the summer membership meetings. He’s offering a discount on Turkey Trot registration to every member at the May 12 meeting (place to be announced, but it is often at the Asbury barn). You can sign up for just $17, which includes the sweatshirt.
Membership meetings are held the 2nd Monday of each month. In the summer, they’re held outdoors at local picnic shelters. The club provides hot dogs and soda, members often bring something to share (chips, cookies, fruit, etc.), but you don’t have to. Families welcome.
Beach Party for the 1/2
The post-race festivities for the Presque Isle Half Marathon will not require a drive up to Waldameer this year. The picnic and awards ceremony will be right at Beach No. 1 in the new ERC shelter. Race directors are encouraging you to bring your outdoor chairs and beach gear and spend the day relaxing…after you run around the peninsula, of course. The premium this year is a beach towel. Perfect!
From the ERC:
Today is the last day to register online for St. Pats to qualify for the winter series premium, it is a beach towel this year. The order will go in on Monday and due to the expense of the item we will not order more then applications that are completed by today. If you want a shirt the deadline is next week and we do not plan to order extra shirts for day of race. Races are chipped timed with a disposable chip and there will be a Friday pickup at the beach 1 pavilion from 1-7. Still looking for volunteers for road marshal and finish line, please let me know if you want to volunteer and if you qualify for the winter series premium call me tonight after six at 814-474-3282 so I can order your premium.
I got a sneak preview of the design for this year’s ERC Mother’s Day 5K shirts. Check it out:
Shirts will be purple this year.
Registration is now open! Cost is $17 before April 30th ($20 after) and kids 12 and younger are just $10 ($15 after 4/30). Note that there is no additional fee to register online — and it’s quicker and easier for everyone if you do so.
The race is…duh…on Mother’s Day, which is Sunday, May 11, at Beach no. 1 at Presque Isle State Park where…God/construction crew/weather willing, we’ll be enjoying the brand new ERC pavilion for pre- and post-race festivities.
Membership in the Erie Runners Club entitles you to discounts on many of the ERC races, discounts at local sporting goods stores (including Achille’s Running Shop) and the monthly ERC newsletter — delivered by email or snail mail (or you can even elect to receive both).
Note that the free race does not include a race T-shirt. If you wish, you can add that on for $6. Or, if, like my family, you have more race T-shirts than closet space, you can elect not to get a T-shirt. (I don’t know about you, but I love it when race directors give you the option of not getting a t-shirt…I have SO many).
You can register for the Poker Run here and there is no additional cost for online registration for ERC members. (Race is $10, plus a $2 registration fee for non members). Note that the ERC membership list will be checked on race day to be sure those who registered as members actually are members.