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Congrats to Erie runner, Dino Montagna, 32, who recently WON The North Face Endurance Challenge— a 50K trail race in Sterling, Virgina.
Ever notice the paved path that runs alongside the Bayfront Connector in east Erie? I’m routinely surprised at how many local runners/walkers/bikers are completely unaware of it…or how to get it on it…or where it goes.
The trail starts on the campus of Penn State Behrend and runs all the way to Frontier Park (it may appear to end in place, but it doesn’t until Frontier). From there, you can grab bikeway path on 6th street and go all the way to the Sara’s at the Peninsula for a 11 mile (one-way), downhill trip from Behrend.
I recently wrote a blog post all about the trail for Penn State Behrend’s blog. Check it out here. It contains links to a “map my run” map and estimated mileage for several distances (all from Penn State Behrend).
One thing I didn’t cover (as the post was written for the school’s blog) was parking. In summer, you’re OK parking in the Erie Lot or the Logan House lot without getting a visitor’s pass, but when school is in session, I’d suggest you stop by Police Services (directly across the street from the Erie parking lot) and getting a free visitor’s pass. They make it easy with a convenient drive-thru window.
A note from Mike Vieyra, who is helping direct the upcoming Wilderness Trail Run on June 28.
Whether you are registered for the race yet or not, come out and join us for a training run at the Wilderness Lodge. This is the only other day this year that the land owners are allowing us to run their trails at Wilderness Lodge. We will have two 10K training run start times: 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM.
The training run is free, of course.
Questions? Mike Vieyra, mike.vieyra1 at gmail.
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):
Interested in learning the trails at Penn State Behrend? My friend, Dave, an experienced trail runner, will be leading beginner trail runs on Mondays at 5 (starting this Monday).
Dave says they’ll keep it short & do about a 5K at a 9 to 10-minute mile pace. I can tell you from experience that this is technical trail (this is not a paved bayfront “trail” run or wide gorge path run). Wear old shoes.
Meet in the Southeast corner of the Junker Center parking lot (entrance is off Old Station Road).
Here’s a photo Dave shot with his GoPro while on a winter trail run at Behrend (The snow is melted now, of course!):
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!
I work at Penn State Behrend, which offers myriad running options from rugged trails to paved paths to cleared streets (our M&O folks kick butt at clearing the roads/paths here). I mostly stick to streets or paved paths (here are a few of my favorite routes), but last summer I was feeling adventurous, so I said to coworkers and avid trail runners Chris Coulston and Dave Lesher: “Hey, I want to learn the trails around here, can we go for a run sometime?”
I envisioned a nice soft-surface trail run along Fourmile Creek, but I got more than I bargained for. They had me scrambling up the side of mountains, dodging bees nests, crossing creeks, and running on slopes that caused me to yell, “OH. MY GOD. I am not a mountain goat!” And, they were taking it easy on me.
Suffice to say, I haven’t run with those guys again. You know the saying: If you can’t run with the big dogs, stay on the porch.
Proving, once again, that they are more bada@# than I could ever hope to be, Dave recently posted this GoPro video of one of their recent winter trail runs.
If, like me, this is the only way you’re going to experience a rugged winter trail run, enjoy:
Hat tip to Dave Lesher for the video.
You win, guys….you win.
Question: Let’s get off road — what (and where) are your favorite trails to run (with in a 1-hour drive of Erie)?
Asbury woods… Hills, stream crossing… Just did Erie Bluffs and they have developed a lot more also. — Jan Comi
Asbury Woods and Oil Creek State Park — Karen Manganaro
Pleasant Ridge Park. — Megan Corbin
Asbury Woods! — Dennis Albrewczynski
Depending on how fast you drive and where in Erie, for me, Oil Creek State park is always worth the drive down. — Christine Vassen
Re. the O.C. trails: You can catch the trail in Titusville near Drake well museum..park just before Jersery Bridge. Walk up the bike trail about 1/4 mile & the entrance to the Gerard hiking trail will be on your right. Also…at the parking lot is a large display of the trail system where you should find a free map of the park. —Linda Young
Presque Isle has miles of well-groomed trails that are not extensively populated. Enjoy them before the snow flies! — Tom Toale (Editor’s Note: You can enjoy them after the snow flies with a pair of cross country skis!)
Edinboro U. Cross country course (Perry Lane on the wooded side between Scott Road and Darrow Road) and Bull’s Dam (see below) — Ginny Sackett
Some of my favorite places to get off-road:
Penn State Behrend has myriad trails snaking through the woods around campus. They are not marked, but they’re pretty well worn and, so, not hard to follow. None of trails go for very long before emerging on a road or spilling onto campus, but you can usually pick up another trail across the sidewalk/road, etc. Trail heads start in the upper left hand corner above the soccer/lacrosse field, on the left side after crossing the bridge just past the “Behrend fields” sign, and at the foot of Cooper Road (run up the gorge trail, pick up smaller trails at the top).
Bull’s Dam (also known as Eaton Reservoir) has a three-mile flat and wide grass trail around the reservoir, but….there are also miles and miles of single-track technical trail in the woods surrounding the reservoir. Just venture in wherever you see an opening and explore.
Harborcreek Community Park (Clark & Firman Roads in Harborcreek) has a paved trail around the park, but there are also lots of trails through the woods that the local cross country teams run. Again…none of them are more than a couple miles, but they are relatively easy trail running (flat, not too technical), but still give you a nice off-road experience.
Headwaters Park has three miles of trails that are well marked and easy to run without having to look down the entire time. We just discovered this park recently…it’s tucked behind the Country Fair off Route 8 in what I thought was an industrial park. Who knew there were 70 acres of wilderness back there?
Headwaters Park and the Headwaters Natural Resource Center was created by the Headwaters NRC Trust.
Located near I-90 and Route 8 is a unique area creating the headwaters of Mill Creek. 35 acres adjacent to the Thomas E. Bundy Industrial Park was donated by Erie County for the creation of our conservation park.
I’ve also been meaning to check out Harborcreek’s Six Mile Creek Park (off Clark Road). Some trail running friends have said there are nice paths there.
Trail running can be dangerous for a several reasons. You can get lost. You can fall and get injured (and be miles from help). And trails are, of course, usually not populated and are found in remote (isolated) locations. So…please heed these tips:
* Run with a friend, if possible.
* Always carry a cell phone (but understand it might not work if you’re in a very remote location)
* Dress in layers. Things can cool off fast…and if you get too hot, you can always take off layers.
* Pay attention. Make it a point to pick out landmarks or certain trees, particularly if the trail forks, so you can find your way back out.
* Wear gloves to avoid bloody palms when you fall (it’s a given that trail runners occasionally fall).
* Carry ID.
* Don’t wear headphones.
* Tell someone where you are going and when you’re leaving. This is good practice…no matter where you are running.
Trail running rules
Just as there are etiquette rules in racing, road running and group running, there are trail running etiquette rules, too.
A few random running news & notes:
Bull Dam run is Sunday
Sunday morning (9 a.m.) is the 2nd annual Hitting the Trails run at Eaton Reservoir (Bulls Dam), 10021 Ashton Rd, North East, PA 16428. The race director is offering both a 5K course and a 10K (more challenging, more trail) course. Here are all the details:
5K walk runners: You’ll be running/ walking on the grass/ gravel multi-purpose trail around the reservoir. Keep the water to the right and you can’t get lost. It is a loop course. This is a great course for entry level trail runners.
10K runners: You will be running on grass, woodland terrain, dirt, leaves etc. on a majestic winding well marked trail through the woods around the reservoir. Much of this run is completed on single tract trails. There will be plenty of opportunities to pass the competition on straight-aways. This is a run that will take you through pines, hardwoods, open areas, with some challenges of minor hills challenges. This course is largely based on trail biking routes existing onsite.
AND….there will be pancakes after, provided (and cooked) by the Greg’s Boy Scout Troop 82 of North East who are benefitting from the race. NOTE: There are not age group awards for this race because it’s a fundraiser, but…there are pancakes…and that’s better than any medal, plaque or certificate, right?
Registration, application and more information here.
Erie Marathon needs you
The Erie Marathon committee sent out the following plea earlier this week. If you’re not running, consider giving back and volunteering. (I’ll be working registration on Saturday and I’ll be road marshaling (and CHEERING) on Sunday).
19 Days until the ERC Marathon/Half Marathon and we need volunteers!
Races cannot be held unless there are volunteers and the Erie Runners Club has the best!
We need people for parking on Sunday, 5:00 am. and we need Road Marshals, Sunday, 6:30 AM
If you are confirmed, Thank you!
Not sure, Contact David Comi at 814-881-0060 or Teresa Wigham, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please leave your name, phone number, email address, the area you would like to work and shirt size.
TNRL is Wrapping Up !?!
Seems like just yesterday Jim Lang was telling us that the Tuesday Night Racing League was starting up again and here it is already winding down. Fall schedules and shorter days make it hard to continue the TNRL after September. And, besides, it’s something to look forward to in the spring, right?
There are just two TNRL’s remaining. They are:
September 3, 2013 – North East Cherry Runs – Gibson Park, North East
September 10, 2013 – 6:30 start – Evanoff home – 4550 South Hill Rd, McKean PA (Season Finale!)
More info about TNRL here.
Newsletter Stuffing moved to Sept. 3
Note that due to the Monday holiday, the ERC newsletter stuffing “party” will be moved forward one evening to Tuesday, September 3 at 7 pm. at the Plymouth Tavern (usually in the front room). First, you help collate, fold, tape and label the ERC newsletter, then you enjoy free wings, pretzels and beer/softdrinks courtesy of the club.
Biggest Loser race photos
The Biggest Loser official race photos are up and they are free, free, free for you to download! Check them out here. (Mine are…as always…appalling. I will never give you my bib number…never!).
BTW — word has it that race is being moved to Penn State Behrend next year. Waaaahhhh? Hit the hills my friends, no avoiding them up here in these parts!
Oh…now this is good news — the organizers of the Eaton Reservoir Trail run (also known as the Bull’s Dam run) — a 5K run or a 10K single-track trail run — have lowered the price to $20 AND…that includes post-race pancake breakfast! Woot! Woot!
This race is a fundraiser for the Boy Scouts (Troop 82 from North East), who know how to lay a trail and how to whip up some fluffy pancakes, so…why not put this unique race on your Labor Day weekend to-do list?
BTW, any friends or family who are coming with you but are not running the race can eat breakfast for just $5 for adults and $3 for kids under 12.
Team registration is now available, too. So…get your buddies together and do it together.
If you’ve already registered….
The race director will be issuing you a $5 refund (the race was $25) at registration and…if you wish to be added to a team, you can still do that, too. Just email the race director. You can find his contact info on the race’s website.
Hope to see you all there!
Dan and I are definitely running…and it’s my birthday on 9/1, so…you have to let me win. Also, I love cheesecake. And carrot cake. And chocolate cake. And ice cream cake. I love cake. Bring cake. (Just kidding…do NOT bring cake…this girl don’t need it!)