- Erie Living
- Real Estate
- Weekly Ads
With all due love & respect to Presque Isle State Park (we love you…we really do), there are many more places to run in the Erie area than the peninsula. In this occasional series, I’ll introduce you to some other really nice places to run in the tri-state area — some well-known & some off the beaten path. Today, we’re taking a drive down Route 430 to Findley Lake, N.Y.:
From Erie, Addie’s is a quick drive out Route 430 until you, literally, run into town. Take a right on Sunnyside Road in Findley Lake and Addie’s is maybe a mile down the road on the left.
There are four main reasons I <3 Addie’s (and, no, they are not paying me — in cash or frozen treats to say this):
1. The selection of flavors is incredible. And the taste is incredible — Addie’s is the Smith’s hot dog of local ice cream.
2. You can have more than one flavor in your cone. Just tell them you want “New York cheesecake” AND “praline’s ‘n cream and you get BOTH in your cone. (I’ve heard people ask for three flavors). Just try that at another ice cream place without getting a dirty look and “we don’t do that.”
3. It’s inexpensive. A “kiddie” waffle cone, which is the equivalent of a “large” at any other ice cream store, is like $3. And, yes, they take debit/credit cards. (I do believe there’s a minimum charge though.)
This is my friend, Cindy, with her “kiddie” cone:
4. I like running around Findley Lake. It’s just over 5 miles if you go all the way around, it’s mostly flat (some hills on the way to Shadyside Drive) and the scenery/views are beautiful in any season (even winter…though Addie’s isn’t open then). And…if you run around the lake you’ve kinda-sort “earned” the ice cream, right?
If you go running in Findley Lake, here are a few other things you should know:
1. There is free parking near the boat launch/swimming area, which is located to the right as soon as you come into the town of Findley Lake. It’s best if you park there, run, then drive down to Addie’s…or run down (but remember…then you gotta run back on a belly full of ice cream).
2. There are public restroom facilities directly across from the boat launch/public parking lot. The toilets are the eco-friendly, park-type toilets (the kind where there’s a note on top telling you to “keep the lid closed”), but there’s running water and space to change clothes/clean up.
3. There’s not much of a berm on the roads around the lake, but…drivers are friendly and used to people walking/biking — it’s is a recreation area.
4. If you’ve got a bit of daredevil in you, you may want to try the rope swing in the large tree near the parking lot. This is particularly refreshing after you run around the lake and before you head down to Addie’s. If you do jump in the lake and you take off your $200 Garmin watch, don’t forget to pick it up when you leave, like I did. *sigh*
Here’s Dan doing a backflip off the rope swing (not recommended!):
5. If you do go swimming, be aware that Findley Lake is very seaweed-y. My environmental friends tell me this is good — seaweed is the sign of a healthy lake, they say. But…it’s also pretty dang creepy when it’s curling around your arms and legs and neck.
More info about Findley Lake here.
*** Where should I run next? Got a suggestion on future run locations to cover? Want to submit your own? (I accept guest posts!) Comment or send me an email to zipdang22 at aol dot com (spelling out to avoid spammers).
Chocolate candy flip flops from Cafepress.com
Dan Albaugh, race director for the Erie Runners Club’s annual Valentine Prediction Run & Walk (Sunday, Feb. 9), typically tries to pick an unusual premium (hey, it’s not easy to entice runners to race in February!) and this year he’s picked what I predict will be a winner with most folks: flip-flops.
Yes….flip-flops in ERC colors with the ERC logo…so wherever you go this summer, people will know you’re a runner (Though, your calves usually totally give it away).
Whether you are a 6:39-minute-miler or a 13:45-minute-miler, you can win the Erie Runner’s Club Valentine’s Day Prediction Race because the “winners” are the runners who can most accurately predict their race pace not the ones who cross the finish line first!
It works like this: You will be asked to predict your pace-per-mile, based on the road and weather conditions that morning, and race organizers will calculate your predicted finishing time. Those participants who finish the run in a time closest to their prediction will receive a choice from a delicious selection of chocolate awards. Racewalkers are welcome to compete.
The distance? That’s the unknown part of the equation. The race director WILL tell you that it’s between 4 and 6 miles, but you will not have an exact distance (then it would be too easy to calculate your pace).
For the sake of fairness, you are asked to refrain from wearing a watch or other timing or pacing device during the race.
Did you see that note above? You win CHOCOLATE. Combine that with the flip-flops and you’ll see it’s worth dragging your butt to the peninsula to run on Sunday, Feb. 9
Cost is $20 until January 29 ($10 if you don’t want the flip-flops). After January 29 the price goes up $5.
Application & more information here.
I recently got a sneak peek inside the picnic shelter that the Erie Runners Club is building at Beach No. 1 at Presque Isle State Park. The “inside” part is a kitchen, with it’s own separate fireplace. It’s a work in progress (thanks to ERC member and building contractor, Joe Dobrich, who, along with his crew, have put in countless hours on the project). Completion is expected for spring races! Cool what your race fees helped to buy, eh?
You’ve got options this weekend with four 5Ks in the area:
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.
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 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.
* Herald Sun: The truth about modelling: What I wish I’d said to my fans . While this isn’t running related, it’s quite interesting.
* The Reebooted Body: The Health and Fitness Industry is Dead (And That Includes You, Paleo). A must-read for anyone concerned about their own health, diet and fitness, you know…like you.
* How to balance running and strength training (and, yes, you should be strength training!)
* Downhill running tips (If you’re unaware there’s a technique to running downhill, it’s possible you’re doing it wrong. These tips are really helpful.)
For your favorite athletic supporter:
Available here in various styles starting at about $22.
There’s a 5K for everyone this weekend with seven — count ‘em, seven — of them being offered in nearby locations this extended holiday weekend (Monday is Columbus Day…so get out all your Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria decorations!).
* 5k Run to End Trafficking – Corry American Legion, Corry, Pa.
* Harvest Hoof-It — Penn State Behrend, Erie, Pa.
* Zombie 5k — A zombie fun run put on by the Erie Playhouse at Brown’s Farm, Millcreek, Pa.
* Lucy Town 5k — Jamestown Savings Bank Arena, Jamestown, N.Y.
* Hermitage House 5k Run/Walk — Hermitage House South Campus, Cambridge Springs, Pa.
* Warren SuperKwik Half Marathon Challenge — Warren, Pa.
*Lucy Town Half Marathon — Jamestown Savings Bank Arena, Jamestown, N.Y.
* Pink Warrior 5k — Presque Isle Wine Cellars, North East, Pa.
* Columbus Fire Dept 5k — Columbus Vol. Fire Dept., Columbus, Pa.
As for me, I’ll be joining four girlfriends for 26.2 miles around Baltimore, Maryland. If you care to track me, Cyndie, Robin and/or Leann, you can sign up to do so here. Don’t expect much….our intentions are to run slow, talk all the way and make Jessie & Leann’s first marathon a fun and memorable one.
A few random running news & notes:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Note that this proof is short-sleeved, but the race shirts are actually long-sleeved.
The race is this Saturday at Presque Isle State Park’s Rotary Pavilion. There’s a 5K at 9 a.m. and a 10K at 10 a.m. Run one or run both and earn that “distance festival” on the race shirt.
Day-of-Race entry is $20 and you’ll have to buy the shirt separately (if available). Remember to bring cash or check because the ERC doesn’t take credit/debit. (Please, please, please, ERC…..invest in a little cell-phone credit card swiper or something, nobody carries cash these days!)
Race details & application here.
Done the color-run thing? Done the mud-run thing? Done the zombie-run thing?
Well, here’s the next big thing — Electric runs.
Electric Run™ is a 5k run, a show, participation art, and celebration of life. Incredibly talented artists and lighting technicians with experience creating beautiful art and light at Coachella, Dreamworks Animations, and some of Vegas’ hottest shows have come together to create a world that will fill you with wonder.
Participation Art / What to wear
The Electric Run is a show; the course is the set and the participants are the cast! Come let your light shine and your creative juices flow. Add your own creative spark by dressing up in other-worldy costumes that glow, shine, blink, and dazzle. Show us all what you’ve got!
- Glowing neon trees changing colors to match the music
- Tunnels with dancing patterns and figures on the walls, ceilings, and floors
- Lakes and rivers glowing in other-worldly hues
- Tunnels of light created by a rainbow of lasers
- Glowing arches and columns
- Neon saguaro cactus
- Red rock cliffs glowing in psychedelic colors and patterns
- Glowing arches changing color in tempo
- Colored fountains dancing to the beat
- Entire buildings lit so brightly that they can be seen from space
- And so much more.
You can hop on the bandwagon here, but looks like it might be a long ride as there are no events schedule in any of the big three cities around us.
Lots of photos here.
I caught up with Andy & Brian Smith, race directors for the annual Jog ‘n Hog 4-mile pepperoni ball race. Andy & Brian are brothers who grew up in Erie and now live outside of Philadelphia, but come home each summer to put on the Jog ‘n Hog. This year’s race is scheduled for June 15 at Presque Isle State Park.
Briefly explain the concept of a Jog ‘n Hog.
It’s pretty basic. It’s an out-and-back course where you run two miles, stop and eat a large quantity of food and then run two miles back. In each city where we hold a Jog ‘n Hog, we choose a food that is unique to that area. Hence, pepperoni balls in Erie.
What is your tie to Stanganelli’s?
We have no tie to them actually. We approached one of the owners last year, Tommy Spagel, to see if he was interested in partnering with us on the race and we knew right away that he was our guy.
What did Tommy say when you explained the Jog ‘n Hog?
Like most people, he looked a little confused by the whole concept. But he’s a runner and he pretty quickly saw how fun the race could be. It only took him a few minutes to get onboard.
Why did you create this race?
We’re always looking for ways to challenge ourselves and doing the “same old, same old” road races is boring. On a lark, we drove down to Raleigh, NC, three years ago to do the Krispy Kreme Challenge – run 2 miles, eat a dozen glazed donuts, run two miles back. There were 7,000 other crazy people doing it and we had a great time. That’s what gave us the idea for Jog ‘n Hog.
Did you both “meet the challenge” in Raleigh?
Sadly, no. One of us ate 8 ½ donuts and the other ate 10 ½. It was a lot harder than we thought it would be. And the run back was pretty slow.
Are you both runners?
We do run, but we say that we’re more “Hoggers” than “Joggers” at heart.
Other than the eating, what else sets the Erie Jog ‘n Hog apart?
We’ve added a bunch of new elements to this year’s race. We now have two divisions – Whole Hoggers eat 6 pepperoni balls and Half Hoggers eat 3. We thought that would open the race up to people who were a little apprehensive about attempting 6 balls. We also gave people the ability to form teams this year and get discounts if they have 10 or more people on a team. That has been very popular, and some of the team names people have come up with are great.
Some of the better ones are the Pepperoni Princesses, Ordine Reale della Pepperoni (Royal Order of the Pepperoni Ball), The Happy Hoggers, Running with Scissors, Jog of Shame, Pork Bellies, Team Porkins, and Gettin’ Piggy With It.
Who is your average Jog ‘n Hogger?
Really anyone who wants to do something a little off the wall. We have serious runners who do it and every-so-often-runners who do it. We originally thought that our audience would be college-age kids and people in their 20s. But we’ve found that a lot of our runners are in their 30s and 40s.
Why do you think that’s so?
Most people lead pretty predictable lives, and it’s easy to get in a rut. A Jog ‘n Hog is something completely wacky to do. Plus, it’s something you can really brag about on Facebook.
Last year’s race was the first one, right?
Yes, last year was our first race in Erie. In fact, the Erie race was our first one ever.
I have to ask the question…did anyone puke?
We ran three races in 2012 – Erie, Philadelphia and Nashville – and we only had one person “lose it.” It’s one of the biggest misconceptions about our race – that it’s a vomitfest. It’s actually not…most people are smart enough to know when to stop eating.
Registrations for this year have already passed your total number of runners last year, right? To what do you attribute that success?
Like anything, it takes a few years to get the word out there and establish a reputation. We think people heard about how fun the race was last year and decided they didn’t want to miss it this year.
Do you see the race continuing to grow in the future?
Definitely. We think it will become a unique Erie tradition that will draw people not only from this area but from all over. Last year, we had runners from seven states run the race. Most were originally from Erie but we foresee a time where people come here just to do the race, even if they have no connection to Erie.
Are the pepperoni balls hot/warm? How do you keep them that way?
They’re warm. Stanganelli’s makes them fresh the morning of the race and then wraps them up for the trip down to the peninsula to keep them warm.
Any drinks to wash them down with?
We provide lots and lots of water at the eating area!
Did anyone turn in the $50 bacon ball last year? (Note: One pepperoni ball was secretly replaced with a bacon-stuffed ball last year. The runner who found it received $50 cash.)
That’s a funny story. We knew ahead of time which bag the bacon ball was in and we kept an eye on the guy who grabbed that bag. Well, he tore right through the 6 balls and then took off for the finish line. He was so focused he didn’t even realize one of the balls was the bacon ball! We had to chase him down in the parking lot after the race to give him his $50.
Anything fun like that (the $50 bacon ball) planned for this year?
Absolutely. This year we’re adding a “pace pig” to the race. Basically a runner dressed as a pig. We’re challenging people – “Will you beat the pig or will the pig beat you?” We’re also planning a twist on the bacon ball that we’ll be announcing on our Facebook page in the coming weeks.
Are there awards?
We have pig trophies for the top male and female finishers in the Whole Hogger and Half Hogger divisions. It’s very important to note that the awards are given out on the honor system. It’s simply impossible for us to keep track of every runner and verify if they truly ate all of the balls. We have to trust that the first runners who cross the finish line are being honest about eating all of their pepperoni balls.
Is the race timed or is it just for fun?
We set up a timing clock at the finish line, but we don’t keep track of times. The race is really just about having fun.
No day-of-race registration, right?
Correct. We do that because we need to know the number of pepperoni balls to have on hand that day.
Anything else you want to add?
We tell people all the time that this isn’t a “high-pressure” race. It’s 100% about having fun. If you can’t eat all of the balls, no worries. If you have to walk back to the finish line, that’s OK. If you want to dress up in costumes, do it! Just have fun.
This year’s shirt design: