Posts in the category

Know the lingo: Packet pickup

By | July 30, 2014 1:44 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.

Packet pickup

Where you go to get your race number and t-shirt (or other race premium) and, possibly, a  goody bag.

At many local races you can do this on race morning, but most races also offer an early packet pickup that gives you the option of picking up your stuff the day before the race. This is a convenience for you (less to do in the morning before the race) and also for the race directors (fewer people to get through the line before race start). Whenever possible, it pays to pick up your packet early (plus, when goody bags/giveaways/extras are available…the early birds get the worms).

At some races, especially marathons, there is no day-of-race packet pickup and you must pickup the day before.



Mud Run at Miracle Mountain – Oct. 18

By | July 30, 2014 1:35 am | 0 Comments

mud run

Looking for a little muddy fun this fall? Look no further than Corry.

The APEX Run is one of Erie’s first “Adventure/Mudder” style runs, and is hosted by the YMCA of Corry and by Miracle Mountain Ranch. The run starts on October 18th at 9:15 a.m.  and runners will go in waves.  The run is 5-6 miles with 12 or more obstacles along the way.

Mid-October will be a gorgeous time of year to take a drive to Corry and to run around the mountain getting muddy (though, it could be a wee bit cold then!).

By the way, this is an obstacle run, not a race. It won’t be timed, but they will put up a clock so you can check your own time. Cost is $75 for individuals, with teams of four or more getting a $10 discount each ($65 registration fee per member for teams)

After the run, you’re invited to stay for the Miracle Mountain Ranch Harvest Party.

Here’s more info on the party:

Join Miracle Mountain Ranch’s staff and students for an afternoon of western activities for the whole family. The day will include hayrides, pony rides for kids, a hot dog and hamburger dinner and desserts, a Message from the Mount by Matt Cox, a pie baking contest, an auction of the pies following the contest, a cider-press demonstration, trail rides, and harvest games! This is a perfect event for families, and youth or church groups.

Events will begin at 1:00 p.m. and wrap up at 8:00 p.m.
(1/2 hr. Trail rides $8; meal on a donation basis)

There is no registration required! Just come.

Planned Obstacles

According to the race organizers website, these are the obstacles planned (not sure if they are doing all of these…or if this is just a list of potential obstacles):

  1. The Pit – Muddy, steep incline, climb out of mud pit
  2. Road Cavalettis – series of jumps along the road
  3. Switchback Trail – Natural, steep, wet incline
  4. Spider Web – Rope maze that you weave through
  5. Tire Flip – Tractor and truck tires
  6. Sluice Pipe Crawl
  7. Paintball Run – Wooded area
  8. Britches Burner – Natural, steep, loose rock
  9. Creek Crawl – Natural, wet, cold
  10. Apex Climb – Natural, steep
  11. Apex Wall – Climb over an angled wall w/ ropes to assist
  12. Log Haul – Pick up a log and run it around to a designated spot
  13. Sand Bag Challenge – Fill a bucket, move sand to a different spot
  14. Quarter Pipe – climb up and hit a marker
  15. Pond – Natural, wet, cold
  16. Hydrant – Wet, cold
  17. Orchard Bog – Natural, muddy, stinky
  18. Log Landing Bog – Natural, muddy, stinky
  19. Saw Dust Bin – crawl through saw dust

More info

* Registration here.

* Website here.

* Race  FAQs here.
* Pictures from last year here.

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.

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


Vote for Erie!

By | July 14, 2014 7:55 am | 0 Comments

The Erie Sports Commission, a nonprofit arm of VisitErie (Erie's tourism bureau) is asking Erie residents to help the city win the designation for the Best Natural Sports Destination. Here are all the details: 

SportsEvents Magazine, a national sports trade publication, is holding 
an online contest to determine the best Natural Sport Venue or Destination, as 
voted on by Facebook users. Erie, Pennsylvania is listed as one of 32 finalists 
for the contest. The contest is open until Tuesday, July 22 with the winner 
announced on Wednesday, July 23 at noon. Votes may be cast once per hour. 

To vote, like SportsEvents Magazine on Facebook, click on the “Favorite Sports 
Events Vacation Destination!” tab and click on the photo for Erie, PA, or follow 
this link:

“SportsEvents is a major trade publication in the sports world, and we’re 
honored that Erie is included in their short list of the best natural sports 
destinations in the country,” said Ron Sertz, Executive Director of the Erie 
Sports Commission. “With Presque Isle State Park, which offers so many sporting 
opportunities, and many other local parks and waterways, Erie is an incredible 
location for natural venues. I hope our community will show their local pride 
and vote for Erie in this contest to make more people aware of all we have to 

The Erie Sports Commission is committed to promoting the Erie region as a prime 
destination for sports and recreation. The major goals of the ESC are to 
attract, create, support, and host sporting and recreational events that have a 
positive economic impact on the region, and assist in maximizing the potential 
of all regional sports facilities and venues. The ESC strives to enhance the 
image of Erie by showcasing the community, promote wellness through healthy 
lifestyles, and improve the quality of life for community members of all ages.


Recent race results and upcoming races

By | July 13, 2014 2:58 pm | 0 Comments

4th 2

Winners of the K of C 5K run on July 4th — Justin Allen, 16:34, and Carrie Chelich, 19:48

We’ve had great racing weather lately, and surprisingly few race. Perhaps race directors are scared off by the potential of a 90 degree race day. In any event, here are links to results for the most recent races:

* Knights of Columbus Liberty Run (10K &5K) on July 4 — overall & age group

* Findley Lake Nature Center 5-miler on July 5 — results here

* Armed Forces 5K at PISP on July 12 — overall & age group

* Quad Bike race in Edinboro on July 12 — results here

Coming up this week & weekend:

* Thursday, July 17 – Waterford 5K (a rare evening race)

* Saturday, July 19 – Cherry Festival 5K in North East

* Saturday, July 19 – Grady’s Decision 5K at Presque Isle

* Saturday, July 19- Maeve Memorial Run 5K in North East

* Sunday, Jul 20 – Erie Runners Club Presque Isle Half Marathon at Presque Isle State Park

Things I found — 7/10/14

By | July 10, 2014 1:53 am | 0 Comments

Worth Reading

Alberto Salzar’s 10 Golden Rules of Running (solid advice)

Funny Stuff

Amiright, ladies? (especially on hot, humid days!)


T-shirt of the Week


Pose Method class offered July 12

By | July 4, 2014 1:01 am | 0 Comments

Julie Robinson, owner of RunErie, recently moved to Virginia, but at the request of Erie running friends, she and her partner, Sean Donachy, are going to return to the city by the bay (that’s Erie) on July 12 for a running mechanics clinic using the Pose Method of running.

Here are all the deets:

Love to run but sidelined by “running” injuries? Have you tried to learn to run better from videos only to feel even more confused than when you started? Tired of waiting for that illusive “magic mile” where you  start to love running? Then THIS is the clinic for you!

RunErie is pleased to offer a running mechanics clinic that will help you run more efficiently using a scientifically-proven methodology that will unlock your athletic potential!

SATURDAY, JULY 12, 2014 from 8AM-12PM

$75 per person

Location TBD ( but within the City of Erie)

This 4hr clinic will focus on the Pose Method of Running Triangle (Pose-Fall-Pull) with LOTS of opportunity to learn and practice the Pose Method technique. Our coaches will guide you through a variety of drills and skills designed to allow you to “feel” the difference and change your perception of running mechanics.

The clinic is open to all levels and all athletes, including those who run as part of their sport (soccer, football, basketball, etc…). Young children are welcome to attend with prior approval of  the RunErie coaches. Of course there will be some running during this running clinic but it will be much less than you think. For details on registration, check under the “events” tab on our Facebook Page, email us at, or give us a call at 814-450-7786.