Posts in the category

Erie Runner wins North Face Endurance Challenge 50K

By | June 16, 2014 8:19 am | 0 Comments


Congrats to Erie runner, Dino Montagna, 32, who recently WON The North Face Endurance Challenge— a 50K trail race in Sterling, Virgina.

According to the challenge organizers, “the course keeps runners on their toes with ever-changing terrain. Overall, the course consists of 50% single-track, 30% dirt or gravel double-track, 10% gravel carriage road and 10% paved road.”
Local finishers are below, in bold.
Top three men overall:
1. Dino Montagna (32), Erie, 3:58:10
2. Steve Hoogland, Springfield, VA, 4:08:20
3. Alberto Camerdeil, Caracas, Venezuala, 4:15:52
Top three women overall:
1. Kara Waters, Ellicott City, Maryland, 4:26:10
2. Alex Wang, Great Falls, Virginia, 4:32:11
3. Sonja Hinish, Arlington, Virginia, 4:35:22
315: Sharon Wesoky, Meadville, 7:13:07

Things I found while looking around — 12/12/13

By | December 12, 2013 2:31 am | 0 Comments

Worth reading

* Life advice from ultra happy ultrarunner Hal Koerner

* What’s for dinner? Need inspired?  11 athletes share their favorite meals.

* Car versus deer versus runner. (This is the kind of crap that would happen to me.)

* Did you know funny guy Will Ferrell is an avid runner & marathoner? Yep, Buddy Elf goes long.



Video of the Week

Next time you have to run on a treadmill, may you do so with the enthusiasm of Meatball, the Corgi on the playground carousel:

T-shirt of the Week

This is a DIY Santa shirt…perfect for Saturday morning’s ERC Snowflake 5K!


Instructions here.



Can you endure?

By | October 16, 2013 7:20 pm | 0 Comments


How many times can you run around this pond (and a little more) in 12 hours? Find out on Saturday during the Presque Isle Endurance Classic.

The event starts Saturday morning at 6:30 a.m. and ends at 6:30 p.m. and the course is simple — it’s a 1-mile loop that starts and finishes in front of Cabin No. 2 (West of the Rotary Pavilion) at Presque Isle.  How many times you want to run that mile in those 12 hours is up to you.

Here’s how race director, Mike Vieyra, explains the Endurance Run:

The primary purpose of this event is to promote cardiovascular fitness in a safe, relaxed and friendly environment. Many individuals will run/walk a distance beyond that they have previously achieved or set a personal goal that is meaningful to them. It is a personal thing and not a competition with other participants.

There are no trophies or prize money to be handed out but we do offer the option to purchase a commemorative plaque that is personalized with your name and accomplishment (miles).

This event was started 30+ years ago by some of the founding fathers of the Erie Runners Club to test the endurance of some of the local runners. It still stands today as a personal test of ones endurance whether it be running or walking or any combination thereof because of the tireless efforts of Rick Ferko and his long time volunteers. Rick’s battle with cancer ended shortly after the 2006 Endurance Run.

Proceeds from the Endurance run — including an additional donation you want to make — are put toward the Rick Ferko Spirit of Social Work Scholarship that gives an annual award to a social work student who exemplifies Rick’s dedication and enthusiasm.

Some people do 1 mile. Some do 10 miles. Some do their age (harder when you’re older, of course) and some people do 64 miles.

Last year, I participated in this race for the first time, and I LOVED it. Sadly, I have to miss it this year (but it’s for a happy reason — we have a family wedding on Saturday).

You can stay and run for 12 hours. You can come & go. You can run 4 in the morning and come back and do 10 after lunch – it’s your race. It’s your challenge.

Race details and application are here.

Pat Krott’s Western States report

By | July 10, 2013 5:59 am | 0 Comments


Erie runner Pat Krott recently completed his first Western States Endurance Run, a prestigious 100-mile trail race in California that is considered one of the toughest endurance events in the country. Pat got it done in a little over 25 hours. Think about that….running/moving for 25 HOURS!

He recently wrote a report for – read it here.

Congrats, Pat!

Weekend Race Results (Congrats to Pat)

By | July 1, 2013 1:09 am | 0 Comments

The rain stopped just in time for the Fahey/Ferko races in Harbocreek on Saturday morning. Results here.

Also Saturday morning — the Kids for Saint Nick’s 5K. Results here.

And, on Sunday, The Bemus Point Summer 10K was held  in nearby Bemus Point, N.Y. Results here.

There were several Erie area runners doing ultra distance this weekend including Dan Young and Christine Vassen who ran at Run Between the Suns, a 12-hour endurance trail run event in Franklin, and Pat Krott who ran Western States 100 Miler in 25:30:29 in triple-digit temps in Auburn, California (which makes me feel like HUGE baby for whining about a humid 15-miler on Saturday morning!).

Congrats to you, Pat! (Please forgive me for blatantly ripping these photos off your Facebook wall. :0) )



Guest Post: Oil Creek 100 Trail Runs R.D. inspires newbies to go the distance

By | June 11, 2013 1:51 am | 0 Comments


Tom Jennings, ultra marathoner, race director of the Oil Creek 100 Trail Runs

Guest post  by Christine Vassen

Trail Runner magazine asked readers:  Tell us someone awesome you’ve met through trail running.

I paused when I saw this and thought immediately of Tom Jennings, race director for Oil Creek 100 (and an amazing trail runner himself). I meet Tom at an Erie Runners Club 12-hour endurance event. He was the ‘100 mile guy with the funny things on his shoes.  I was way too intimidated to ask him what they were. I learned that Tom was an ultra runner and I figured that ultra runners never spoke to newbies. (I was wrong on that fact.)

The next year, I read about the Oil Creek 100 trail runs and e-mailed Tom to ask several newbie questions, such as: “Are there really bears out there?” Tom humored me and patiently answered all my questions. I started training for my first marathon.

February in northwestern Pennsylvania is snowy/icy. Jack Frost hits us hard.  As race director, promoting the 50K newbie angle, Tom offered to take a group of us out for the 5-mile loop. I figured, 5 miles = no problem. We arrived and Tom greeted us enthusiastically. We headed up the bike path to the trail. Tom was in great spirits telling us how easy it was. I was already struggling and we weren’t even on the trail yet!

Tom consistently checked on us that day and sent a follow-up e-mail that afternoon to make sure we’d make it home OK. At one point, I realized he was breaking the trail in the snow and I thought this seemed insane. But, to me, that’s what’s trail running is about. Meeting people who make the impossible seem normal and entirely doable.

Last year, I suffered a serious injury. As Oil Creek approached, I had to be there. I couldn’t participate, and I couldn’t even stand and cheer. My loving husband, who couldn’t understand why I wanted to be there, drove me to the race and set-up a sleeping bag on the ground at the finish line. He agreed to leave me there while he went for some food. It started to drizzle. Tom checked on me periodically. Thankfully, Tom covered me up at one point to make sure I didn’t get completely drenched. He understood why I wanted to be there. Only an awesome trail runner would understand.

I got to watch Tom at the Burning River 100, which he is training for again this year.  At 3 a.m., Tom was still making the run look easy. He was laughing and having fun. The next year, I was back at BR100 volunteering at an aid station for much of the day. Last weekend, I participated in a supported Oil Creek training run. Tom goes out early and puts fruit and water at critical points along the trail. At the end of the day, he gathers everything up and leaves zero trace. He also helps maintain the trails.

I would have never had such amazing experiences if Tom had ignored my e-mail or laughed at my silly newbie questions.


Christine Vassen, above, completed the Oil Creek 50K in 2011. You can read her account of the experience here.

Things I found 5/30/13

By | May 30, 2013 1:48 am | 0 Comments

Worth Reading

* Build a better core with these 5 Workouts for Stronger Running

* And….once you work on your core, you can maximize your mobility with these 6 exercises. (Um..seriously, don’t discount mobility, the lack of it causes many injuries because we compensate with crappy form).

* Yes, You Can Run an Ultramarathon (Tips, guides, advice here…see links to more info at the bottom of this intro article).

* Long run on a hot day? Suck down a slushie first.   “A new study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that runners who drank a ten-ounce slushie (made of blended ice and sugar water) were able to run 19 percent longer before exhaustion in 93-degree heat than a control group drinking the same ice-cold beverage in liquid form.”

P.S. I’ll have More hot weather running tips posted tomorrow!


running funny

Tshirt of the week


Available here for $20.



Run the Great Lakes Marathon Series

By | April 3, 2013 1:29 am | 0 Comments

Here’s a fun challenge for you marathon lovers! Run 25 marathons that take place along the 5 Great Lakes (including Erie) and qualify to get a free jacket from the Alliance for the Great Lakes.

Yeah, I know, that’s one pricey jacket when you consider the race fees for 25 marathons, but….it’s not about the jacket, right? It’s about the challenge of doing 25 Great Lakes marathons.

Check it out:



The Great Lakes Marathon Series is a collaboration of 25 marathons that take place along the 5 Great Lakes. The goal of this series is to invite the running world to come and enjoy the unique beauty of each race, while simultaneously raising awareness of conservation and restoration efforts of the Great Lakes as well as focusing on the Great Lakes ecosystem and economies.


The Great Lakes Marathon Series is for runners who are interested in experiencing a variety of marathons along the Great Lakes, while at the same time making a positive impact on the eco-system of the Great Lakes Basin.

The series is for fast and slow runners alike with individual prizes being awarded based on the number of Great Lakes races you complete throughout your running career. We will award prizes at benchmarks along the way, with a grand prize for those runners dedicated enough to finish all 25 great lakes marathons in their lifetime.

The Great Lakes Marathon Series members invite you to sign up for free HERE. Through this site you will be able to upload each of your finishing times and track your progress.

In addition to the individual commitment from each member in the series, we have partnered with the Alliance for the Great Lakes, a 4-Star rated independent citizens’ organization devoted 100 percent to the Great Lakes in both the U.S. and Canada.


When a registered member has completed the 25 Great Lakes Marathon Series Races each one of their races will be verified by a Great Lakes Marathon Series administrator. Upon completion the member will be contacted and an official eco-friendly Great Lakes Marathon Series Finisher jacket will be mailed out.

The finisher award will be provided at no additional cost to all finishers who have completed all races in the series.

Please note that if you have run any of these races prior to signing up for the Great Lakes Marathon Series, they will not be allowed as fulfillment towards completion of the series. You will have to run the race again.

Can you handle The Cinco?

By | March 20, 2013 2:00 am | 0 Comments

moustache mug

Are you the kind of runner who enjoys a challenge? Do you always sign up for BOTH the 5K & the 10K at the ERC’s Turkey Trot & the St. Patrick’s Day race? Never miss the ERC’s Presque Isle Endurance Classic and a chance to run for 12 hours straight?

Then, I’ve got a new challenge for you: The Cinco—a half marathon followed by 5-mile, 3.1 mile, and a 1.5-mile races for a total of 22.7 miles!

Here are all the details:

The hills of northwestern Pennsylvania along the Allegheny River and Conewango Creek are set to play host for the first time in 2013 to the Cinco Races Half Marathon, 5K, 5-Mile, 1.5-Mile and 22.7-Mile runs, all of which are open to runners as well as walkers — with the exception of the longest race, which is open to runners only.

Set to take place on the day before Cinco de Mayo (Saturday, May 4, 2013) the race follows an out-and-back course that starts in the parking lot of the Warren Mall, just off the Market Street Extension. From there, runners head east along Hatch Run Road over Conewango Creek and then north on Conewango Avenue Extension, followed by a left turn to head east on 4 Wheel Drive.

Once runners hit Big 4 Road, they make a right and head north, starting a long stretch of the race that unfolds alongside the creek for the next few miles. After runners pass the mile 2 marker, Big 4 Road turns from pavement to a combination of dirt and hard-packed gravel, running along the creek as it winds through the woods here along the edges of the Allegheny National Forest. Organizers note that this stretch will be closed to traffic during the race, to allow runners to use the entire width of the road.

The half marathon route brings runners north all the way to Akeley Hollow Road — they’re cautioned to be on the lookout for potholes along this stretch — where they make a right and head east for another few miles until they reach the half-way turnaround point, just past the intersection with Cole Hill Road. After they make the turn, they retrace their steps along the route they’ve just run, all the way back to Warren Mall for the race finish.

The race’s most unique feature is its 22.7-mile “Come & Go” Race (ever heard of a 22.7-mile distance, by the way?), in which runners will get to participate in every one of the day’s races in order from start to finish. They’ll start with the half marathon and next run the 5-mile race, the 5K and the 1.5-mile to finish it all off.

Scheduled starting times are: 7:15 AM for the half marathon, followed by 9:30 AM for the 5-mile race, 10:25 AM for the 5K and 11:00 AM for the 1.5-mile race.

The Cinco is a Cinco deMayo-themed event offering crafts, entertainment, and fiesta food for the whole family. Kids and adults love to dance with the growing herd of Cinco bulls and scramble a tthe Cinco pinata smash that ends the event.

Along with free Tim Hortons coffee and hot chocolate prior to the race, racers will enjoy the traditional fruit, water and chocolate milk as well as fiesta beer provided by Michelob Ultra and awesome tamales, nacho chips and pan dulce.

The Cinco has great swag, including a moustache mug. Check out all the stuff you will get here and what you can get if you place.

Currently, the Cinco is $80 (price rises April 5) and individual events are: $60 for the 1/2; $25 for the 5-mile; $25 for the 3.1 mile; $20 for the 1.5 mile.

Need more inspiration, watch this 1-minute video:

Beast on the Bay – registration options

By | January 23, 2013 2:27 pm | 0 Comments

If, like me, you are far too cheap to pony up $100 to participate in the Beast on the Bay, an extreme obstacle course challenge to be held on September 7 at Presque Isle this summer, it looks like you’ve got options.

I received this from race organizers today:

Barber Beast on the Bay is an extreme obstacle course challenge that will take place along Lake Erie at Presque Isle State Park. The total course length will be a grueling 12+ miles, but individuals of all fitness levels are encouraged to participate as there will be turn-around points marking 4, 6, and 8-mile routes.

The obstacle course is designed by a U.S. Navy SEAL who has some hardcore challenges in store for competitors so sign up and prepare to scale walls, traverse bodies of mucky water and race through lots and lots of sand!

Cold beer, refreshments and live music await you at the finish line… so run fast!


Thanks to suggestions from many of our Beast followers, we are now using for our registration. This gives participants the option of getting a reduced price or even free registration if they would like to fundraise for the Barber National Institute.

When you go to the registration page on, you may choose from three options:

  • Pay $100 registration fee, no fundraising commitment
  • Receive a $50 discount by committing to fundraise $300 for the Barber National Institute
  • Register for free by committing to fundraise $550 for the Barber National Institute ($1.00 processing fee applies)

If you choose to fundraise, makes it very easy with all of the tools to create a fundraising webpage to send to your family and friends. You can ask them to help you “beat the beast” and support this worthy cause, and they can quickly and easily make a donation on the secure site.

By participating in Barber Beast on the Bay at any level, you are helping the Barber National Institute provide greater hope and opportunity for children and adults with disabilities. And you’ll have a great time proving that you can “beat the beast.”

It’s not too early to register!

For more information about the event, please visit