By Larry Kisielewski
“These kids don’t care. Don’t respect, don’t work, are lazy and have nothing to do other than cause trouble,” (Times-News 6/25/14)
“This new generation wants everything handed to them.”
“All they do is text and complain.”
“They sit around all day playing video games.”
“When they take over, we’re in trouble.”
Sound familiar? Au contraire, mon frere. There may be a load of X-gens who give the whole generation an under-achieving reputation, but there is also a new breed who are as motivated as any before them. One such individual is our July Getting to Know You subject: Becca Easly.
Rebecca Mary Easley is the eldest of four children. Parents Steve and Michelle raised her and siblings Hannah, Aaron, and Jacob in an atmosphere emphasizing family, religion, scholastics, and athletics.
Steve, quite the runner himself, coached the St. George cross country team when Becca was first introduced to running. Her grade school competition culminated with an eighth-place finish in the Diocesan meet, but by the time she graduated from Villa, Becca had accumulated 14 varsity letters in cross country, track, swimming, and lacrosse. She made states in cross country as a sophomore, junior, and senior, when she helped Villa place fourth in the state, in addition to qualifying for districts in swimming.
She earned her service hours mentoring grade school swimmers. Her senior project was organizing a cornhole tournament benefitting a Costa Rican orphanage. All of this activity didn’t hurt her academics, as she ranked first scholastically in her Villa class.
After a lengthy college search, she settled on Colgate University where, with the aid of a grant and a Rotary Club essay scholarship, she is entering her second year in bio-chemistry.
College hasn’t slowed her down in either academics or athletics. She competes on the Roader cross country team and has participated in the Patriot League championships, while making the dean’s list both semesters with a team-leading 3.57 GPA.
Socially, she gets together with all her Erie friends during breaks from school, but she also has a whole new set of New England friends, thanks to the Common Room at Colgate. She has expanded her community service to participation in an “Adopt a Grandparent” program at school, where she visits a local nursing home to visit with an “adopted” senior citizen.
For the summer, she slows her pace down to regularly run with her dad, and enjoys socializing around a bonfire. She works five days a week in her fourth season at the Erie Zoo. She’s preparing for her fall classes with a little light reading — Organic Chemistry De-Mystified.
When asked if she is in the minority with all her overall motivation and accomplishments, she chuckles and assures me that she knows dozens of individuals, both here at home and at Colgate, who are equally driven. Clearly, our future is in good hands.
Hobbies: Running, movies, family time, reading
Pets: Two dogs – Bandit & Osbert (both Maltese/Shi-Tzu mix)
Dream vacation: Hawaii
Neat vacations: Topsail Island, N.C.; Disneyworld
TV: Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Criminal Minds
Websitse: Facebook, Twitter
Motto: Do your best and you won’t let yourself down
Admires: Parents and high school coach, Therese Brown
Sports teams: Penguins, Steelers, Pirates
Musical instrument: Some guitar
Memorable Run: As a Villa sophomore running the two-miles, she left the track after seven laps, thinking she was done. (She’s majoring in bio-chem, not math!)
Last words: She’s thankful to the ERC for races, motivation, and a sense of community.
** Getting To Know You is reprinted with permission from the July 2014 Erie Runners Club newsletter.
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.
And I thought biathlons were only for the Olympics…turns out there’s one right in our “backyard” in Oil Creek State Park!
The Summer Biathlon is a 6K cross country run (broken up into three separate loops) with two shooting stops.
According to the race website, first timers are welcome & all equipment is provided. The race is open to all athletes over 12 who complete the Note that there is a mandatory first-timers safety clinic at 8:30 a.m. on race day (race starts at 10 a.m.).
What is a Summer Biathlon and how does it work?
The 6K running race is divided into five parts.
The timing starts with waves of two runners leaving every minute and running an approximately 1.2 mile loop.
As you approach the shooting range at the end of the first running loop, you will run into the range, catch your breath lie down in the prone position and pick up an easy to use .22 caliber target rifle. You shoot 5 shots at a 4.5-inch metal knock down target 33 meters away. For each missed target you are required to run a 70-meter penalty loop after the shooting stop.
After this first shooting stop, you run out of the range and run the same 1.2-mile loop again.
The second time at the range you will shoot 5 shots at the same targets from the standing position and run the 70-meter penalty loop for each missed target.
Once you’ve completed the standing position, you run out of the range and run the 1.2-mile loop a final time ending at the finish line.
Remember every second counts!
If you’re doing the Erie Runners Club’s Presque Isle half marathon, remember that you can pick up your packets today & tomorrow at the ERC Pavilion at Beach #1. Pickup today from noon until 6:30 p.m. or Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.
If you can’t pick up early, you can get your packet on race day morning starting at 5:45 a.m.
* 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.
* A Non-Runners Guide to Runners by Mark Remy
Tshirt of the Week
The Wild5K, also known as the Run for Liberty, a 5K trail race in nearby Jamestown, N.Y., is a run for the birds…er…bird…specifically, Liberty, a non-releasable bald eagle who lives at the Audubon Center and Sanctuary in Jamestown. According to event organizers, it costs about $7,500 to care for Liberty every year!
The first Wild 5K Run for Liberty was held in 2003 and had a successful six year run before the event lost it’s chair. But the Center has found a new race director and revamped the run for 2014.
The race is slated for Saturday, July 26. Registration information here.
You can read more about Liberty..and the 5K course here.
If you don’t want to run…they are also in need of volunteers .
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: http://bit.ly/1ogFjJ4. “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 offer.” 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.
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:
* Findley Lake Nature Center 5-miler on July 5 — results here
* 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