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.
Posted: April 7th, 2014

Ah…spring…when you never know what the heck Mother Nature is going to give you. Signing up for a race this time of year is always a leap of faith — you could get snow…ice…rain…wind…warmth…just never know.

Saturday brought wind and some rain, but nearly 80 still completed the 5K for Parkinson’s. Top honors went to Adam Rowe with an 18:35 and Katie Joseph with a 21:57.

Complete 5K for Parkinson’s results can be found here.

Sunday was a much better day for racing with cool, but clear conditions for the Miles for Mercy 5K. Complete results for Miles of Mercy can be found here.

Posted in: race results
Posted: April 3rd, 2014

Worth Reading

5 foam rolling mistakes to avoid.

Glute activtion: 10 must-do exercises (Weak glutes are to blame for many common running ailments, including low back pain and knee and hip problems.

Solid running advice for all of us from ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes.  (“Fail boldly. The more you take on, the more you will fail. But the more fail, the more you will learn—and the more you will succeed.”)

Sore hip flexors? It may not be what you think.

Your running Rorschach Test.


The next big thing in racing?

Funny stuff


Posted: April 2nd, 2014


Looking to relive your high school cross country running days….or recapture your youth by racing as it was intended to be…go easy on your knees….or just looking to challenge yourself with something different?

The Bobcat Country Cross Country Run 5K is a true cross country run on the scenic campus of the Wattsburg School District. Don’t be scared off by the word “Wattsburg” — the schools (all the district’s school are on one large campus) is just a 10-minute drive from I-90 down Route 8 (school is on Route 8).

The race is Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, May 31 at 9 a.m. The event also includes a 1 mile Kids Fun Run and a family and friends non-competitive 5K Fitness Walk.

A cross-country run (read grass…trails, etc.) is not like any road race you’ve done. It’s a true challenge.

Entry fees for the5K events are $20 if registered before May 16 and $15 for the Kids Fun Run. Prices go up $5 after 5/16.

Application & information here.

Posted: April 2nd, 2014

When you’re just getting started in a sport, it’s hard to learn all the lingo. Running and walking, like any sport, has it’s own special language and local phrases. Each week, I’ll define a term or phrase that will help you not only walk the walk (or run the run), but talk the talk.

“hitting the wall”

The dreaded point (and awful feeling
similar to what your body would feel like if you ran into a wall) during
a race when your muscle glycogen stores become depleted and a feeling
of fatigue engulfs you.

From the Runner’s World’s Glossary of Running Terms.

Posted in: Lingo
Posted: April 1st, 2014

Everyone hates March in Erie. I get it. The weather is completely schizophrenic (it’s hot, it’s cold, it’s hot, it’s cold…all in one dang day, sometimes) and, after a loooonggg, cold winter, we’re all anxious for spring.

I saw lots of signs of spring at Preque Isle State Park this weekend — ducks galore in the bay, red-winged blackbirds (the true harbingers of spring), fishermen in hip waiters, boats being uncovered, a turkey tom fanned out and guarding his hens, etc.

long run

Weekend Run No 1: We thought it was spring on Saturday morning at PISP.

But, we know winter isn’t over yet.  We know that spring — flowers, grass, regular sunshine, and trees full of songbirds — doesn’t really arrive in Erie until Mid-May, yet every freakin’ snowflake that falls after March 20 feels like insult to injury.

Snow doesn’t bother me now. Because it can’t last forever. It can’t. And it’s on it’s way out.  (I get depressed when it snows in October and we’ve got months and months of it to go).  In March and April, we get a few warm days mixed in with the cold ones. Like little previews of spring. Soon, those nice days outnumber the crappy, cold ones. The daffodils push through the last of the snow, the ducks fill Presque Isle bay, and office A/C kicks on.

So while the six to eight inches of fresh snow that fell overnight Saturday sent many off the deep end — as if their anger alone could melt the icy heart of Jack Frost — I saw it differently. I realized it might be my last opportunity this season to run in a winter wonderland. I’m sure most of you hope that it is.

Weekend run No. 2:  A mere 24 hours later and winter is baaaackkk! 



Yes, I look forward to solid footing again, but I’m not so quick to wish the winter running season away. I like running in cooler temps. I like cozy layers of Under Armour. I like having pockets to carry my stuff. I like not sweating to death. I like feeling like a badass because I run 8 miles on days other people don’t want to leave their house. I like running in the peaceful silence of winter.

This will all be over before we know it.


Pix by Eloise

About Just Write
“What ends up revealing itself when free writing is that everything has meaning. That is a magnificent gift of writing. If we write from a free heart-gut place, our souls start speaking.

Posted: April 1st, 2014

Spring racing season kicks off in a big way this weekend with three–count ‘em three–5Ks to choose from and, next week is a repeat–with another three 5Ks being held in the Erie area.

Here’s the run down.

Sat., April 5

Linked by Pink 5k at Carneval Pavilion at Gannon University, 9 a.m.

Run for Parkinsons 5K at Rotary Pavilion, Presque Isle State Park, 9 a.m.

Sun., April 6

Miles for Mercy 5k at Rotary Pavilion, Presque Isle State Park, 8:30 a.m.

Sat., April 12

Erie Spring Veterans Run at Beach No. 1 at Presque Isle State Park, 9 a.m.

St. Peter Cathedral School and Parish Family 5k Run at St. Peter’s Cathedral, 3 p.m.

Sun., April 13

Be a Hero Run 5K at Beach No. 1 at Presque Isle State Park, 9 a.m.

Posted in: 5K
Posted: March 28th, 2014

Every morning before I go downstairs to exercise or go out to run, I glance at the front page of the morning newspaper and this made me smile big this morning:


A page 1 story about the ERC pavilion project. I love the headline and it’s so nice to see this awesome project finally get some much deserved ink!

Pick up a paper today & get the whole story.

Posted in: ERC
Posted: March 28th, 2014

Finish this sentence: I Run to_______________.

…maintain my ability to run. — Pat Krott

…get away. — Jodi Herman

…stay fit and have fun. — Tom Madura

…challenge myself! — Christine Kalie

…my car when it’s pouring down rain. — Rob Engelhardt

…stay in shape. Lose weight. Be able to keep up in soccer game. Feel a sense of accomplishment. To explore unknown territories. And finally EAT ICE CREAM!!! — Jessie Zahner

…counteract criticism, to feel comfortable with myself, to be able to keep up with others, to not have my ass kicked by running girls. — Tom Twohig

…get the last chicken wing. — Doug Oathout

….fit into my clothes. — Lisa Shade

…socialize and check something off my to do list. — Renee Uht

….socialize (beer, ice cream and pancake runs rock!), Destress and challenge myself! — Leslie Cooksey

…think, pray, gain perspective, develop perseverance, de-stress, feel strong, express joy, relax, focus, and to just be me. — Karen Beebe

…feel strong. — Carol Crandall

….drink more wine!  — Tracy Jenks

…get my daily high. — Barb Armour

…reduce the stress that build up from the aggravation of work. The run clears my head & gets me ready for “what next?” — Jim Lang

…feel better about everything. —Kristen Currier

…because I’m a parent!!!  — Jenn Bauer-Pinzok

…stay sane. — Michael Morris

…beat the clock. — Jack Byers

…relax. — Amy Cronk

…stay healthy, have some me time, and model a healthy lifestyle for all the children in my life both at home and at school. — LeAnne Morton

…train, get in shape, spend time with my hubby, de-stress, & socialize. — Lisa Meyer

…relieve stress, catch up with friends and burn enough calories to eat ice cream and drink beer :) — Stacey Hammer

…stay healthy and also because my dad, who is no longer with us can’t run anymore! — Kristen Carpenedo

… go to the bar and the coffee shop and to hang out with with friends. Also to consume, coffee, food, and/or beer. — Matt Kleck

…feel a sense of accomplishment. — Lauren Kelly

….relieve stress. —Melissa Bessetti

….hang out with friends and to decompress. —Debbie Humphreys

…stay sane. —Bri Hodges

…collect my thoughts, relieve stress, and to socialize with friends!!! — Brenda Carr

…socialize. That is all. —Jen Kelly


Posted: March 28th, 2014


According to ERC runner and contractor, Joe Dobrich, the Beach No. 1 pavilion at Presque Isle State Park is now officially the Erie Runners Club pavilion.

How awesome is that?!!!

The pavilion includes and enclosed kitchen space, a covered picnic space and a two-sided stone fireplace.

Come and help the ERC celebrate — and dedicate the pavilion– at the first official event there — the Poker Run 5K on Saturday, April 19th. Even better, it’s a FREE RACE for ERC members. All the details here.


Posted in: Uncategorized

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