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 ‘kids/parenting’ category
Posted: April 16th, 2014

run amuch

The Eastside YMCA is hosting a mud run for kids. The Run-A-Muck obstacle event is scheduled for Saturday, May 24 at 10 a.m.

Three levels of participation—hard, moderate, and easy—will make it challenging for kids from ages 4 to 13. The 1.5 mile course includes 15 obstacles.

Don’t forget your camera: Spectators will be able to view the kids from designated locations throughout the course.

Like any good mud run, there’s a party at the finish line, complete with music and “mud pies.” But…never fear, parents, there’s a clean-up station where the kids can hose off before getting back into your nice, clean car. (But you may want to have the kids bring a towel & change of clothes.)

Registration deadline to be guaranteed a shirt is April 30. Cost is $20 for YMCA members and $30 for nonmembers. Race day registration is available, but it’s $30 for all and does not include a t-shirt.

My daughters did this race last year and it was fun…though they had some bugs to work out, but that is often the case with first time events. No doubt they’ve worked those bugs out for this year’s event. It won’t be their first rodeo.

Registration form here.

 

Posted: September 11th, 2013

mini

The Eastside YMCA has put together a mini-mud run for kids ages 5 to 12 on Saturday, Sept. 28 at 1 p.m.. Check it out:

Just like the adult counterpart, the Eastside Family Y’s Mini-Mudder will have kids working obstacles in the name of fitness and fun.  The 1-mile course will include a mud section, a section through the woods and a crawling section.

Two courses make it challenging for kids ages 5-12.  Cost is $20 and includes an event t-shirt and medal for all participants.

Event is set for Saturday, Sept. 28 at 1 p.m. at the Eastside Family Y.

Registration deadline is Sept. 21. I don’t know how you register…I can’t find a link, but….

For more information call 899-9622 or ymcaerie.org.

Posted: May 7th, 2013

SONY DSC

So….a reader requested a list of area adventure & fun runs within a 2-hour driving distance and, I was like…sure, no problem. Then I spent like four hours compiling this list because there are so many! Who knew? Now we all do.

Whatever trips your trigger (mud, color, girls-only, seriously tough, etc.), there’s a race for you nearby. Heck, there are 5 cool ones right here in Erie!

BTW — there are many more races in PA, Ohio & NY…I just stuck to the ones that I felt were within an easy driving distance. If I’ve left any off the list, comment below or email me at zipdang22 at aol.

Erie

* Jog ‘n Hog — Presque Isle State Park – June 15  (Run 2 miles, eat pepperoni balls, run back 2 miles)

* Erie Day School Fun Color Run & Walk — Camp Notre Dame in Fairview — June 15 (color run/walk, not timed, very family friendly)

* 3 Mile Isle – Presque Isle State Park – July 27 (Three-mile obstacle/adventure run)

* Beast on the Bay - Presque Isle State Park – September 7 (Erie’s biggest obstacle course — 4, 6, 8 and 12-mile options)

— Join the ERC Beast Team

* Zombie Run (this is LAST YEAR’s info) — Frontier Park – Date TBA (I think it’s 10/12) — 5K Zombie Run put on by the Erie Playhouse

Pennsylvania

* Mud on the Mountain — Seven Springs, PA — May 11 (7.7 mile/26-obstacle mud/adventure run)

* Dirty Girl 5K — Pittsburgh, PA — June 8 (5K mud run that caters to women)

* Project Mud — Wampump, PA — July 13 (5K mud run)

* Run for Your Lives —  Wampum, PA — August 3 (5K obstacle/zombie course)

* Muddy & Messy 5K — Conneaut Lake, PA — July 27 (5K mud/adventure run)

* Warrior Dash — Long Pond, PA — Aug. 24 (3.32-mile mud run)

* Gladiator Rock ‘n Run — Export, PA — Sept. 7 (5K mud run)

* Savage Race — Albrightsville, PA — Sept. 14 (4-6-mile mud run)

* Hardcore Mud Run — Phillipsburg, PA — Sept. 28-29 (6.5-mile obstacle course with 18 to 20 obstacles -hardcore)

Ohio

* Warrior Dash — Butler, OH — June 1-2— (3.2 mile mud run)

* Cleveland Challenge Urban Adventure Race — Cleveland, OH — June 8 (5K “Amazing Race” style scavenger hunt race)

* Dirty Girl 5K — Cleveland, OH — July 20 (5K mud run that caters to women)

* Color Run — Cleveland, OH — Sept. 21 (5K “color run”)

New York

* Kiss me Dirty 5K — Kissing Bridge Ski Resort — June 1 & 2 (5K mud run  for women — men can race in drag!)

* Holiday Valley Mudslide — Ellicottville, N.Y. — June 15 (3.5 or 5.4- mile mud run — no shocks, no fire, no barbed wire)

* Color Me Rad — Darian Lake, NY — June 22 (5K color run)

* Tough Mudder — Andover, NY — July 27 & 28 (10 to 12-mile obstacle course – hard core)

* Color Run — Buffalo, NY — Aug. 17 (5K “color run”)

* Hardcore Mud Run — Swain, NY — Aug. 17 (6.5-mile obstacle course with 18 to 20 obstacles, hardcore)

* Run For Your Lives — Batavia, NY — Aug. 17 (5K obstacle/zombie course)

* Tough Mudder — St. Clairsville, OH — Aug. 24 & 25 (10 to 12-mile obstacle course – hard core)

* Dirty Girl 5K — Buffalo, NY — Sept. 7 & 8 (5K mud run that caters to women)

* Muddy Viking — Bemus Point, NY — Oct. 5 (Four-mile mud run)

 

 

Posted: May 6th, 2013

Full page fax print

The Fifth Annual North East Youth Triathlon will be held on June 1st at the North East Elementary Center.

The race distances are based on age (see application) with ages 7-16 racing individually and ages 16-18 (and still in high school) in teams.


Registration begins at 3:30 p.m., first race at 5:00. There will be a mandatory meeting for all racers at 4:45.

Cost $18.00

More information and the registration form can be found here.

Posted: May 6th, 2013

mari2

Mari Howells, center, and her daughters, Sofia & Elizabeth Viebranz.

Mari Howells, of Millcreek, has run the ERC Mother’s Day run with her two daughters, Sofia and Elizabeth Viebranz, for the last four years, staring when Elizabeth was just 9 years old.

“The 1st one in 2010 was so miserable–cold and very windy,” Mari said. “Luckily, my husband had gloves in his car for our 9-year old, Elizabeth. It was her first race, and she was very pretty cold and unhappy. It took her 55 minutes.”

Mari says their times have improved since that first race and Elizabeth was not deterred by that first miserable run.

“She insists we run the Mother’s Day Race every year, as a tradition,” Mari said.

I did a little Q&A with Mari in hopes of inspiring other mother runners to get their brood out there this Sunday morning:

Family: Husband, Gary Viebranz; Daughters, Sofia Viebranz, 14, and Elizabeth Viebranz, 12.

Do your daughters normally run? Do you?

We are “situational” runners. If we have a race coming up, we try to run so we don’t make complete fools of ourselves. I also go to the Y every week with my mom, and I run the track there. She’s 88. I’m trying to get her to walk a race with me, but she won’t. Sofia was on the cross country team at J.S. Wilson for 3 years, and Elizabeth was on the team this past fall.

Honestly, if I didn’t have kids, I wouldn’t run at all. The only reason I do run is because Sofia joined the cross country team in 6th grade and she insisted that we run the Turkey Trot together in 2009. I was over 40, and I had never run anywhere in my life. Needless to say, I was extremely sore the whole weekend, but we kept up with a few races every year, starting with the Mother’s Day run, and we dragged Elizabeth along that year.

Do you run the race or walk…..or do you kinda do both (run/walk)?

I slowly run the whole race, although there’s usually a voice in my head telling me to walk at around the 2-mile mark.

Who likes to do this the most…you or the girls?

I think I like it most. I enjoy being around the variety of runners, and the happy camaraderie that you see during a race.

What do you enjoy about the ERC’s Mother’s Day race?

I love the fact that we have a healthy, fun, inexpensive Mother’s Day tradition. It’s a great excuse to get out and get moving. Since we live in Erie, I can’t say that the weather is nice every year, but the odds of good weather are in our favor. People are always in a good mood at the race, and the happiness is infectious.

What do the girls enjoy most about it?

They both told me they like the finish most of all. I think they gave chocolate at the finish one year, so that was especially popular with the girls.

Most memorable moment at any of the ERC Mother’s Day races you’ve done?

The first one in 2010 was memorable for the weather. As I recall, it was miserable—cold, windy and rainy.

The past two Mother’s Day runs, my brother and his family have come from Cleveland to run. It’s always more fun when there’s a group running and cheering you at the finish. They give me a hard time because I’m slower than my brother and his kids—my nephew Aidan finished 3rd overall last year!

Why should other moms & kids do this race?

Even though getting up early and running at Presque Isle doesn’t sound like fun to many of us, it’s actually a good time. Plus, if you go to a restaurant later, you can justify dessert because you ran or walked a 5K.

What do you do after the race? What’s your Mother’s Day tradition in your family?

We go to Panera’s after every race.

Best parenting advice you ever received…and from whom?

When I was pregnant with my first child, the Lamaze teacher said something to the class that’s stuck with me—“Whatever age my kids are, that’s my favorite age.” I find that to be true for me. I can look back fondly at the baby years and the elementary school years, but right now, with my kids being 12 and 14, is my favorite age for my kids.

mari1

Posted: June 13th, 2012

MYAA (Millcreek Youth Athletic Association) is starting a cross-country program for kids in kindergarten through 5th grade. Note that the kids do NOT have to be Millcreek residents.

Here are all the details:

• Three Millcreek regions to choose from:
North – practice and home meets at Westlake/Scott Park
West – practice and home meets at Asbury/Browns Farm
East – practice and home meets at Chestnut Hill/Belle Valley

• Program will run from 8/20 – 10/27.

• Kids will have 3 practices a week. Weekday practices will be in the
evening. Saturday practices will be in the morning. The kids will be
divided into age appropriate groups for practices and meets.

• Team participation in meets and local races.

• Cost of the program is $35. It will cover team shirts and entries into
races.

• Registration July 10th & 17th from 6-8pm at MYAA Building.

• Visit our website here.

The program is also in need of volunteer coaches!

If you’re interested in coaching, post a comment or email me. Nicolina Pierce is heading up the XC efforts, but I don’t want to put her email address (or mine) in this blog because the spammers pick them right up.

 

Posted: June 5th, 2012

Erie ~ Yesterday, the Erie County Department of Health & VisitErie have put together a fun program to get people moving (kids, too!) this summer.  Let’s Move Outside! encourages area residents to get outside and explore 10 trails throughout Erie County.

“It’s an innovative program promoting healthy living and physical activity through the use of public art, local history and outdoor recreation.”

It works like this:  You register at www.letsmoveoutside.org. Then, you walk, run or bike the 10 trails and find the artist-designed marker along the trail. Write the ten-digit pass key you’ll find on the marker into your passport (don’t forget a pencil/pen). Log on & enter the passkey as you complete each trail. When you do all 10, you’ll be automatically registered for a grand prize (including a mountain bike).

The program runs June 1 through October 20 and the trail locations range from Corry to North East to Girard and Union City, among others.

The Lets Move Outdoors passport gives you all the details you need — the trail location, distance, history and more.

Passports are available at: Erie County’s Public Libraries, the YMCA of Greater Erie and its branches, the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, VisitErie, Erie Yesterday’s member historical societies and museums, and the offices of Harborcreek Township, Fairview Township, North East Chamber of Commerce, Corry Area Chamber of Commerce, Asbury Woods Nature Center, Girard Borough and Washington Township.

Complete rules & more info here. (They have a  Facebook page, too.)

I hope you’ll all support this really cool effort to promote physical activity in an entertaining & educational way.

Kids would love to do this — looking for markers, discovering the codes, etc.  It would be a great summer adventure for families or grandparents!

 

 

 

Posted: February 29th, 2012


Erie Times-News/Greg Wohlford

Lisa Thompson at the Erie Times-News did a nice feature story on a new running program that Erie County Juvenile Court has launched for at-risk kids.

Judge John Trucilla, together with members of Erie County Juvenile Probation, launched the running program early this winter. It was inspired by exercise programs for offenders elsewhere.

Trucilla, who has worked with juveniles steadily since taking the bench in 2001, said he is always looking for new ways to help children succeed.

Unlike sports like basketball or football, anybody can run, said Trucilla, the administrative head of Family and Orphans Court.

In addition to the obvious physical benefit, the sport can be a metaphor for life, he said.

“You have ups and downs. You have good days and bad days. If you keep moving forward, you are going to get to your goal,” he said.

“These are kids who do not have a lot of successful things in their lives. We are trying to make kids be successful and positive,” said Robert Blakely, chief juvenile probation officer.

A running program also seemed a particularly good fit for Erie because so many court staff members, including Trucilla, a triathlete, are veteran long-distance runners.

Probation officers Dino Montagna, a marathoner, and Shannon Dylewski, supervise the thrice-weekly sessions with five other officers. Many of the local races they are targeting, like the Law Day race, are organized around issues central to Juvenile Probation programs.

Seven youths from this program are planning to run together in their first-ever 5K run/walk at Sunday’s “March Forth Against Crime,” a race benefiting the Crime Victims Center in Erie.

Read the whole story here.

I have no doubt this program can have a powerful influence in these young peoples’  lives. Running changes everything.  Once you do what you never thought you could….well, then, there’s nothing you can’t do.

“Out on the roads there is fitness and self-discovery and the persons we were destined to be.”
–Dr. George Sheehan

Posted: October 27th, 2011

Because I don’t talk about myself or my family NEARLY enough on this blog, allow me to shamelessly link you to Rhonda Berlin’s Kids Running Wild blog where she featured each of my little runners this week: Kelly and Lauren.

The girls’ school started an XC team for the 3rd & 4th grade this year thanks to the efforts of one dedicated XC mom — Tamara Smith — who worked her butt off to make it happen.

Coach Smith at the XC wrap-up party on Saturday

Tamara’s son, Brock, is a natural runner who ran for the St. Boniface XC team, but when they decided to switch from St. Boniface to Wattsburg this year, Tamara realized there was no XC team, so she tirelessly jumped through hoops and broke through red tape to start one.

Practices started in the late summer before school started and 23 kids showed up. There were kids of all abilities — naturals like Brock, a sub-7-minute-miler, and not-so-naturals who tried really hard — like both of my girls. (OK, Lauren COULD be a natural, but she’s far too social to really care about speed…she’s got people to talk to, butterflies to chase…)

Twice a week, the kids ran with Tamara and a few volunteer parents, including Dan, after school.

They had meets on Saturdays in September and October. There were a total of 4 or 5 meets around Erie county.

The meets were very cool because all the parents cheered for all the kids. And, the fastest kids came back and cheered for their slower teammates. It was competitive, sure, but not nearly on the level that team sports are.

Kelly didn’t love the meets. She’s a typical first-born. She wants to win.

I told her that every person who goes the distance wins. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to run the course— it matters only that you finish it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted: October 25th, 2011

Check out my ode to running over at my personal blog, A Touch of Cass.

Clearly, there are problems running can’t solve — things like cancer and M.S. and mental illness — but it can help make most of the rest of your problems better and more bearable

But, I probably didn’t need to tell you that, right?

So, send that link to a friend who needs to hear it. Tell them they can change their entire life in less than 1 year.

One year from now, they can look and feel better than they ever thought possible.

 

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