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Ah….autumn…football, apple cider, fall foliage and TONS of local races. The cooler temps make for great running conditions and, you’ll find no shortage of opportunities to race before the snow flies. Here are your choices for this weekend alone:
Saturday, Sept. 27
* Battlefrog Obstacle Race (15K, 5K, kids races) – Pittsburgh (Wampum)
* Allegheny Swimming & Diving 5 Miler — Meadville
* Beat Beethoven 5K — Downtown Erie
Sunday, Sept. 28
* 17th Annual Race for Recovery 15K & 5K — Presque Isle State Park
* Wine Fest Stride & Stomp 5K — North East
* Bemus Point 15K — Bemus Point, N.Y.
While I wish I could support Fred & Rana Evanoff at the Allegheny Swimming & Diving 5-miler on Saturday (we’ll get down there one of these years!), Dan & I are heading even farther south to try out the Battlefrog. It’s an obstacle race designed by U.S. Navy Seals at the Mines & Meadows course in Wampum, Pa. (near the ‘burgh).
“BattleFrog was created as a tribute to our nation’s military and to help people learn about the works Navy SEALs do,” says Donn Mann, Battlefrog chief executive officer and retired U.S. Navy SEAL member of Team SIX. “Our events are unique because actual Navy SEALs are guiding and mentoring the racers who are learning to push themselves beyond their personal physical limits.”
“BattleFrog Pittsburgh will be a good gut-check for many OCR athletes,” said Mann. “The BattleFrog team is creating one of our most demanding events ever that takes full advantage of the above-ground and subterranean attributes of the Mines & Meadows park. Frankly, the races at this event will require athletes to have excellent full-body strength along with a great set of running legs.”
Running legs? Check. Full body strength? Ummm……
According to the BattleFrog build crew, this event will be among the wettest they’ve designed so far with all racers participating in the 15K and 5K going through the mines, facing 1/4 mile of subterranean creekbed and then going outside to tackle some of the steepest hills encountered at a BattleFrog event.
Wait….it gets even better…
“Racers and fans will enjoy the popular obstacles known as The Hooyah, a 12′ high slant wall leading to a platform from where racers descend down darkened tubes into a mud pit, and The Tsunami, a signature 16′ high triple-lane wave wall requiring racers to run and climb up the slide, often requiring help from others, and then slide down the other side.
Rhu rho, Reorge. I better be sure to wear my big-girl panties and pack my badassery .
EDITOR’s NOTE: I’m having some issues with our blogging software, so I apologize for not giving you hot links, but I can’t get WordPress to give me the popup box I need to plug them in, so….you’ll have to copy & paste the URLs into your browser for now…hoping this issue is resolved soon).
There are a couple of fun races on the menu for this weekend.
Wilderness Trail Run — Saturday
Saturday is the inaugural Wilderness Trail Run (http://www.erie-runnersclub.org/applications/20140628Wilderness.pdf), a pick-your-distance (20K, 10K or 2K) cross country run at the Wilderness Lodge ski resort in Wattsburg, Pa. (http://thewildernesslodge.net/). The lodge will be open before, during & after the event for food, drinks (there’s a bar) and live music.
Bemus Point 10K — Sunday
Sunday is the Bemus Point 10K in nearby Bemus Point, N.Y. Race starts at 9 a.m. Details and application can be found here: http://www.erie-runnersclub.org/applications/20140629BPS10k.pdf.
KofC 4th of July race — next Friday
Don’t forget about the K of C 4th of July race next Friday — it’s the only race I’ve done that features an actual shotgun start. You have the choice of a 10K or a 5K. The 10K course is hot and hard (grinding hills). The 5K is flat and it offers a little more shade. After the race, there’s beer (mmm….beer) and fruit. This is a nice little race and the Knights of Columbus (associated with the Our Lady of Mercy church) always do their best to put on a nice race. Details & application here: http://www.erie-runnersclub.org/RaceInfo/upcoming_events_view_detail.php?eventID=1174
Findley Lake 5-Miler — next Saturday
Looking ahead, just a day after the KofC race, is the 10th Annual Findley Lake Nature Center 5 mile race in Findley Lake, N.Y. This is a nice race as it’s one loop of the lake and the proceeds go to a good cause — the Findley Lake Nature & Wildlife Education Center. Details & application can be found here: http://www.erie-runnersclub.org/RaceInfo/upcoming_events_view_detail.php?eventID=1267
A new entry in this year’s Erie-area race lineup offers you something really different: The Wilderness Trail Run is a race run entirely on grass, cross-country ski trails, to be precise, at the Wilderness Lodge, a cross-country ski resort in Wattsburg, Pa.
The other cool thing? you pick your distance. What challenge are you up for — 20K, 10K or 2K?
The lodge will be open for socializing, food, drink, and live music (weather permitting).
According to the race directors, cool shirts are guaranteed to all those registered by June 15. Age group awards will be presented in five year age groups along with overall, masters and veteran awards.
Note that kids are welcome, but there are age limits for kids running solo (below) but underage participants are allowed if accompanied by a participating guardian of at least 18 years of age (must register together by mail — application here):
When we got our most recent Erie Runners Club newsletter, I was surprised by the number of spring race applications it contained. April used to be a light racing month, but….clearly, that’s not the case anymore.
Here, for your advance race planning pleasure, are the April races you have to choose in the Erie area:
3rd Annual Running for Parkinsons — Saturday, April 5 — Presque Isle State Park, Rotary Pavilion
Prep for Pittsburgh Half Marathon & 5K — Saturday, April 5 — Goddard State Park
Miles for Mercy 5K – Sunday, April 6 — Presque Isle State Park, Rotary Pavilion
Be a Hero Run 5K — Sunday, April 13 — Presque Isle State Park, Beach 1
5K Poker Run/Walk — Saturday, April 19 — Presque Isle State Park, Beach 1
Law Day 5k — Saturday, April 26 — Erie County Courthouse, Erie
Scots Survival Run — Saturday, April 26 — 3 Ring Box, 8348 Route 99, Edinboro
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.
Other than the ERC’s annual St. Paddy’s Day race, we don’t get many opportunities to race in Erie in March. Probably because few race directors are willing to take their chances on the weather. For that in-like-a-lion-out-like-a-lamb adage…we all know that in Erie, that’s really May. March is unpredictable. We could have a blizzard or it could be 65 degrees, you just never know. (Though, it seems the safe bet this year is cold & snowy!).
But, apparently, the Crime Victim Center of Erie County isn’t afraid of little ‘ol Jack Frost, they are, once again, hosting their March Against Crime 5K on Sunday, March 2 (snow be damned!) at the Rotary Pavilion at Presque Isle State Park at 9 a.m.
Registration is just $20 ($2 less for ERC members if you register today) and includes a short-sleeve t-shirt. If you want a long sleeve t-shirt, add $5. You must register today if you want to be guaranteed a shirt. The easiest way to register is online, but if you prefer a paper app, you can print one…just be sure to get it postmarked today.
They’re offering early packet pickup on Friday, Feb. 28. You can find details about that & any other race info here.
Don’t forget about the ERC’s New Year’s Day 5 mile race on Thursday, Jan. 1, 2014 at 10 a.m. at the Rotary Pavilion at Presque Isle State park.
This is the 2nd event in Winter Series
WINTER SERIES: The ERC New Year’s Day 5-mile race is the second event in the series. To qualify for the series award, you must have already completed one of the distances from the Turkey Trot, complete this race, and then you must pre-register for and complete one of the distances at the St. Patrick’s Day Distance Festival, scheduled for March 15, 2014. You can also qualify by volunteering for all three races or by a combination of running/walking & volunteering.
It’s too late to preregister now, of course, but you can find more info here. Day of Race registration begins at 8:45 a.m. at the Rotary Pavilion.
ERC Beach No. 1 Shelter update
ERC runner and general contractor on the ERC Beach no. 1 shelter project, Joe Dobrich, recently posted a new photo of the fireplace in the pavilion. Looks toasty!
If the weather forecast is right, the ERC Snowflake 5K will live up to its moniker on Saturday. The race starts at 10 a.m. in front of the Rotary Pavilion. Note, however, that the pre- and post-race festivities (and day of race registration) will be held at Cabin #2 in the Waterworks Area at Presque Isle State Park, next to the Rotary.
Word to the wise: There are no restrooms at the cabins, but…the restrooms will be open in the Rotary Pavilion.
The first 200 registered will get a gift boxed set of two 9 oz. stemless wine glasses imprinted with the race logo. Awards will be given in 5-year age groups.
Day of race registration is $20 and starts at 8:30 a.m. at Cabin #2. Application & information here.
This year, race proceeds will benefit the Northwest Pa. ALS Association (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), The Shriner’s Hospitals for Children, and Orphan Angels animal rescue.
Word to the wise, part 2: Bring your ice cleats and/or Yak tracks. Presque Isle State Park does not use any salt on their roadways…so it’s likely there will be ice. If we’re lucky, there will be snow (which provides traction), too.
Marathon race directors, Mike & Jan Vieyra are, once again, putting on low-key, just-for-fun Race Across Erie County and you’re all invited to participated. Here are all the details:
R.A.C.E. – 9th Annual Dec 14th
The Run Across the County of Erie this year is nearly the shortest distance possible – 10.5 miles. Previous years have been up to five times that distance – join us for the shortest run of RACE. We will be running country roads in West County beginning in State Game Lands 101 and finishing at Lake Erie in State Game Lands 314 – half the run will be in state game lands. We will meet somewhere in West County at 8:00 AM to car pool to the start. After the run will meet at Avonia Tavern (11:00) for a post run social hour. More specific run details will be posted on the ERC FB page by December 10th.
Email us at Eriemara@gmail.com before December 10th if you are interested so we can finalize the car pooling plan for the point to point run. Car pooling volunteers are needed.
Thanks – Mike & Jan Vieyra
You’ve got options this weekend with four 5Ks in the area:
Friday — Twilight 5K
Friday evening is the Twilight 5K at Penn State Behrend — a candlelight run through campus. Kids fun run starts at 6 p.m., 5K starts at 6:20 p.m. and 2-mile walk starts at 6:25 p.m. Application and information here.
Saturday – Zombie Run & Trick or Trot
There is, apparently, another Zombie run this weekend at Beach No. 11 at Presque Isle State Park. I hadn’t heard anything about this event until I saw it listed on the ERC’s upcoming regional race list. According to the race application, proceeds benefit Special Olympics.
Sunday —Boo Run Run 5K
Sunday morning is Safenet’s annual Halloween trail & sand adventure — the Boo Run Run 5K at Beach No. 9 at Presque Isle State Park. Costumes are encouraged…and are always creative! Prizes for the best costumes. Information & application here.