February 5, 2013

The Nittany Valley Running Club met at Hi-Way Pizza on North Atherton. Attendees included Bob Crowe, Dave Eggler, Marty Klanchar, Marty Mazur, Todd Baney, John Iceland, Kim and Jonathan Gasper, Dean, Cheryl, and Brian Capone, Rich Olsen, Dave DeGroote, Meira and Greg Minard, Reverend Carl Miller, Alan Cameron, John Wilcock, Jeff Smucker, Judd Michael, Jake Clements, and Alan Effrig, along with guest Cheryl White of Centre Volunteers in Medicine. There was plenty of beer and pizza to go around and plenty of business to do.



First, Cheryl White of CVIM gave thanks to the NVRC for our continued support, and in particular for our contribution of the proceeds of the Nittany Valley Half-Marathon to CVIM. Those proceeds totaled over $9000, and were matched by Lance Shaner dollar for dollar. The NVRC is a big supporter of CVIM. Over the last 10 years, the Marathoners for Medicine group from the Club has raised well over $250,000 for CVIM. Marty Klancher reported that the Marathoners for Medicine will again be doing Spring marathons to support CVIM. For various reasons, including the early close-out of registrations, not too many will run Boston. But that means a bigger field for the Pittsburgh Marathon and Half. Media day for the Marathoners, which will include honorary coaches Russ Rose, Sue Paterno, and Greg Fredericks, will be at the Horace Ashenfelter II Multi-Sport Facility at noon on Thursday, March 14. If you're interested in helping out, contact Marty Klanchar or John Domico.

The First Night Resolution Run 5K was another big success again this year. The race keeps flirting with the 1000 runner mark, and this year was again close, with over 900 participating.

The Indoor Mile Series just finished. Another record year. With the participation of the Penn State running clubs, with kids gunning for a shot at a walk-on opportunity at Penn State, we've been getting faster and faster times. But there are also more people with modest talent looking to set PRs on a world class track. The Series men's record fell at every one of the first three meets, and now stands at 4:14. The women's record also fell and now stands under 5 minutes (4:57) for the first time in Series history. The Indoor Miles are also a great recruiting tool for the Club and Marty Klanchar reports another surge in memberships as a result.

Marty Mazur congratulated Meira Minard for her continued success on the trail running circuit. Meira took her age group in a nationally recognized trail series. Meira thanked Tara Murray for the great coverage and for getting her involved in trail running.

The 2013 NVRC Race Series is off an running. The first two events of the season are done. Points will be posted on the NVRC site. Jake Clements and Alan Effrig are in charge of the Series this year. One big change is that awards, particularly for volunteers, are broadened. Everyone can get the big prizes by volunteering more!

Before presentation of the 2012 Race Series Awards, Marty Mazur presented a plaque from the NVRC to Mark Fedkin in recognition and appreciation of all the work he and the coaches of the Nittany Track and Field Youth Club do to promote running and field sports among pre-high school age kids in our area. Nittany T&F was started some years ago by John Schmidt. John moved to State College about 10 years ago from Kansas, where there had been an active youth program for runners. His daughter Chloe was a gifted runner. There was no program in State College of the kind they'd known in Kansas. So John started Nittany T&F. With some monetary help from the NVRC, John grew the program and handed it off to Mark when Chloe got to high school. Chloe is now running for Big 10 rival Illinois. Mark has three kids. Nikita, the oldest, is now a freshman at Penn State, and ran for State High. His daughter Natasha has been in the spotlight a lot. She's been competing well in regional and national youth track events since she was still watching Sponge Bob. Now a freshman at State High, she is one of their top runners. And Mark will be coaching for Nittany T&F for some years, as he has a 3-year-old Christina who will no doubt wear her Dad out in the years to come. Mark gets plenty of help from other volunteer coaches, many of them NVRC members. It's a big job. Their Spring and Fall programs regularly attract dozens of kids. If you'd like to find out more about Nittany T&F, or would like to help out, go to their web site, and contact Mark!

And then it was time for the 2012 Awards. Among Volunteers, Rich Olsen was 3rd. Rich is a big volunteer at Club events and has directed the Firefighter 5K the last 2 years. Second was Marty Klanchar. Marty is the Membership Director of the Club, co-directs the Indoor Mile Series, and helps out with many Club events and races. Top Volunteer this year was Cheryl Capone. Cheryl was in charge of Club Apparel, ran the last Club election, timed numerous races, and volunteered at several others.

Among racers, the third place went to Tara Murray. Tara is the Club Secretary and could not be at the meeting. Second place went to Meira Minard, who found just enough trail races and extreme events in the Seres to score big. And the big winner, for the second year running, was Alan Effrig. Alan runs every race he can whenever he's in town. It doesn't have to be a Series race, and it doesn't matter if he has a Series race the next day. Alan runs it, and does very well. Last year, the Series was close. This year, not close to close. Congratulations, Alan!

Photos of the Awards, courtesy of Cheryl Capone, are here.

And after that, pizza came…and went!

Next meeting: April 2.