Runners Notes
By Heather Cass Erie Times-News staff blogger
If you want to know anything about the local running scene, ask Heather Cass. A member of the Erie Runners Club for 10-plus years, she is immersed in the local fitness culture, and she's taking your questions.   Read more about this blog.
Archive for the ‘ERC’ category
Posted: December 30th, 2013

Don’t forget about the ERC’s  New Year’s Day 5 mile race on Thursday, Jan. 1, 2014 at 10 a.m. at the Rotary Pavilion at Presque Isle State park.

This is  the 2nd event in Winter Series

WINTER SERIES: The ERC New Year’s Day 5-mile race is the second event in the series. To qualify for the series award, you must have already completed one of the distances from the Turkey Trot, complete this race, and then you must pre-register for and complete one of the distances at the St. Patrick’s Day Distance Festival, scheduled for March 15, 2014. You can also qualify by volunteering for all three races or by a combination of running/walking & volunteering.

It’s too late to preregister now, of course, but you can find more info here. Day of Race registration begins at 8:45 a.m. at the Rotary Pavilion.

ERC Beach No. 1 Shelter update

ERC runner and general contractor on the ERC Beach no. 1 shelter project, Joe Dobrich, recently posted a new photo of the fireplace in the pavilion. Looks toasty!



Posted in: ERC, Racing
Posted: December 10th, 2013


If the weather forecast is right, the ERC Snowflake 5K will live up to its moniker on Saturday. The race starts at 10 a.m. in front of the Rotary Pavilion. Note, however, that the pre- and post-race festivities (and day of race registration) will be held at Cabin #2 in the Waterworks Area at Presque Isle State Park, next to the Rotary.

Word to the wise: There are no restrooms at the cabins, but…the restrooms will be open in the Rotary Pavilion.

The first 200 registered will get a gift boxed set of two 9 oz. stemless wine glasses imprinted with the race logo. Awards will be given in 5-year age groups.

Day of race registration is $20 and starts at 8:30 a.m. at Cabin #2. Application & information here.

This year, race proceeds will benefit the Northwest Pa. ALS Association (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), The Shriner’s Hospitals for Children, and Orphan Angels animal rescue.

Word to the wise, part 2: Bring your ice cleats and/or Yak tracks. Presque Isle State Park does not use any salt on their roadways…so it’s likely there will be ice. If we’re lucky, there will be snow (which provides traction), too.


Posted in: 5K, ERC, Racing, Winter running
Posted: December 4th, 2013


ERC runner Tom Twohig showed me this photo someone had found at an Erie garage sale and I just had to share it with all of you. This was about the time my own parents were running, but I don’t see them here. Course…neither of them were very fast, so…

Who knows the history behind this photo? What was the “Pepsi Challenge” ? Was it a race?  Local or out of town? What’s the deal? And…How many of these folks do you recognize?  I see at least a couple: Barb Filutze, and Pat Bruno.




UPDATE: From Gary Potts: I do remember the photo and a number of people in it. Besides the people you mentioned, I also see Bill Hoffman, Mike Vieyra and others that I know by face but can’t remember their names. ( must have something to do with age) This must have been taken in Franklin, they use to have a 10K that was quite popular.

Posted in: ERC
Posted: November 6th, 2013


Say hello to the Erie runners club new Pavillion !!

Joe Dobrich, Erie runner and owner of Dobrich Electric & Service, posted this photo & comment on his Facebook page today. This Erie Runners Club Beach No. 1 shelter is going up! (Big shout out to Joe who is overseeing — and I believe donating — the general construction and electrical services for the project).

This project was years in the planning and you should all be proud. You’ve helped pay for this…through portions of your ERC race entry fees that were donated to the project. I know the Erie Marathon directors have donated at least $20K to the project and I’ve been donating a portion of the Her Times 5K money to the project for the past three years, which amounts to nearly $5K in donations. Add in other race donations, fundraisers the club did for the project, and donations from individuals and business and …we’ve got a bricks-and-mortar testimony to our commitment and love for Presque Isle State Park.

You can learn more about the shelter and see the plans here.

It’s going to be a very nice facility for the club (and for the community…this shelter belongs to the PA State Park) to use for Beach No. 1 races. While it won’t be completely enclosed (like the Rotary) it will have an enclosed kitchen area.

Be proud, my friends….look what your obsession has bought! :)



Posted in: ERC
Posted: October 16th, 2013


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.

Posted: September 25th, 2013
Have you noticed the new permanent wooden mile markers at Beach No. 1? Thanks to the Erie Runner Club, now you can go do a 5K any day!
The ERC decided to get the 5K course certified after the parked moved the road (after the Stull Center). Mike Vierya certified the course and Rick Godzwa got the posts and engraved them. Then, Rick and the park maintenance staff set the posts (with the aid of the park’s power auger, Rick notes!).
“The nice thing about these permanent markers is that it will be easy for anyone to set up the course, even if there is snow on the ground,” Rick said.
No doubt, the club is preparing to host a lot of 5Ks at Beach No. 1, which I’m sure will be their first choice once the ERC pavilion is built.  (It’s under construction now).
The first marker post — the start –  is located almost directly across from the Beach No. 1 bathhouse on Old Lake Road.  The second post is located at the 1.5 mile turn around.
Rick said he plans to install brackets to hold mile marker flags that ERC member Linda Huegel is making. The flags will make the markers even more visible on race days.
Kudos to the ERC for working with the park to get these markers installed. It’s something I never even thought of until I saw them at the Prep for Pittsburgh half at Goddard State park this spring. I remember seeing similar wooden markers there and thinking…our club should do something like that. Lo’ and behold, they already had plans in the works.   Thanks, ERC!
Posted in: ERC, Uncategorized
Posted: August 28th, 2013

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,

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!


Posted: July 17th, 2013


This is my circle of speed work running friends after a recent night of too many 400s to count (I totally lose track, so I need all of them to remind me what number we are on).

For many of us, running with other people gets us much faster and further than we ever would alone, but…how do you meet people to run with?

1. Join the club. A good place to start is by joining the Erie Runners Club and maybe attending a few membership meetings (2nd Monday of the month at 7 p.m., currently at Asbury Woods park…they move indoors in fall) and/or newsletter stuffings (1st Monday of the month at the Plymouth Tavern at 7 p.m.). The newsletter stuffing nights are actually a lot of fun, believe it or not, and the club provides free wings, pretzels & beer after! Admittedly, it tends to be the same people who show up at all the meetings and newsletter stuffings, but…trust me when I say, they know everyone in the area who runs. Ask around. Find out if they know anyone in your area who runs about your pace.

2. Friend the Erie Runners Club on Facebook. Then, request to join the Erie Runners Club Running Groups group (say that three times fast). This is where you can learn about some group runs in the area. Or post the time/distance/location you’re looking for someone to run with.

3. Chat up your competition. When you do a race (oh..and racing is a great way to meet other runners and make friends), make it a point to chat up the people in slightly in front of you (after the race, of course). Just simply say…hey, nice race…I was trying to catch you the whole time. They may just invite you to join them on training runs.  They are the ones you want to run with. You’ll get the most out of running with other people if you run with those just slightly better than you.

4. Attend a 5K training program. Harborcreek Township offers a great learn-to-run program every summer (it’s over now, but look for it next May!) and there’s one for women that started Saturday. It’s not too late to join.  Details here.

5. Ask me. I  know tons of people who run in the Erie area. There’s a pretty good chance I can find someone that runs your pace that you may be able to meet up with for weekend long runs (or whatever). You need to tell me a few things: gender, age, pace-per-mile, what kind of distance you want to do (if you’re training for a race…tell me the distance).  You can email me at zipdang22 at aol.



Posted: June 24th, 2013


The Erie Runners Club broke ground on the beach no. 1 picnic pavilion on Saturday morning before the Run for Shelter 5K.

According to ERC President David Comi, the pavilion will be up and running in just 90 days, hopefully by labor day.

The indoor- outdoor facility can be used year round, for races and other gatherings. It’s NOT for the exclusive use of the ERC. It is a public facility that will have to be reserved just like any of the other pavilions on the park, but….the ERC is sure to get plenty of use out of it as many of the races are run from Beach No. 1 (and, now, more may be).  It will surely be a welcome site for the Turkey Trot, I know!


The pavilion project has been two years in the planning process (and, honestly, we’ve been talking about it longer than that!).

Dave Comi told WICU-TV:  “It just grew from that, from a 10 by 10 just roof to a 40 by 60 with enclosure, running water, sink, electrical, and it’s just phenomenal.”

You can help cover the cost of the pavilion by purchasing bricks with your family name to be placed outside the shelter.

To fill out an application, just click here.



Posted in: ERC
Posted: June 19th, 2013


In the mood for a 5K, you can get your fill this wekeend with three 5Ks in as many days.

Friday, June 21 (6 p.m.)  — The Fun Run in the Sun 5K in Harborcreek Community Park benefits Habitat for Humanity and offers a post-race picnic. $20 day of race. Application here.

Saturday, June 22 (9 a.m.) — The Run for Shelter 5K is an Erie Runners Club race to raise money for the Beach No. 1 Shelter project. The race starts — where else! — Beach No. 1 at Presque Isle State Park. This is a great race and a great cause to support because, let’s face it, we runners have PLENTY to gain by supporting this pavilion project (you know…like a warm, dry place to congregate before & after Beach No. 1 races!!! $25 day of race. Application here.

Sunday, June 23 (8 a.m.) — The Alex Johnson Memorial 5K XC race starts and finishes at the Greene Township Building on Tate Road in Greene Township (Tate Road is just a couple miles up the road from the i-90 Wattsburg exit). Take note of the XC in that race name — this is a cross-country race, so…you’ll be hightailing it through grass and, given the rain we’ve been having, a wee bit of mud, too. $25 day of race.  Application here.

I triple-dog-dare you to do ALL of them! (And if you do…you need to tell me so I can give you your props!).

Kids can try a Du

Also this weekend, is the What are you Du-ing this Summer Kids Duathlon in Fairview on Saturday at 9 a.m. Details on that here.

Posted in: ERC, Local running, Racing

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