The regular meeting of the Nittany Valley Running Club was held on Tuesday, February 4, at the Hi-Way Pizza on Westerly Parkway. In attendance were Boyd Brumbaugh, Marty and Andy Mazur, John Pringle, Mike Casper, new member Lisa Nancollas, outgoing Club President Morgan Wasikonis, and the new NVRC President Jim Taylor. The December 3 meeting of the  Nittany Valley Running Club was cancelled, so there was plenty of new business to attend to, including Jim’s inauguration. After anointing Jim with olive oil and performing the secret rites (and after ordering some pizza and beer), we got down to business.

First up: the club wheel. It’s old and beat up. Dave Eggler is trying to refurbish it, but it might need replacing. If so, attendees saw no problem in anteing up for a bigger, better model.

We briefly discussed the Art’s Fest Race. John Pringle suggested that we more finely divide the age groups in the kids race and give out more kids prizes. Morgan mentioned that since we got the 10K course certified a couple of years ago, we haven’t been able to run the race on the certified course because of one campus construction project or another. The same will be true again this year. One bonus of the course certification process is that we also got a 5K course certified in the process. This might come in useful for people wishing to organize a certified campus loop course. Also discussed was the issue of increasing participation in the Race itself. There will be a planning committee meeting for this race later in the month (See Club Notes below for details).

Mike Casper, co-director of the Tussey mOUnTaiNBACK 50 Mile Relay, announced that there will be an planning meeting for the 2003 race on Tuesday, February 18 at 6 PM at the 2300 South Atherton St. office of Kissinger, Bigatel, and Brower Realtors. Those interested in helping to plan this race are encouraged to attend.

One bit of bad news. The NVRC will not be able to hold a Race For The Cure this year. It turns out that we need to be a member of the parent organization, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, for at least a year. We will work on holding a Race For The Cure next year.

The issue of commercial interests advertising in the Club Newsletter and the web site has come up. We agreed that we could continue our current practice of allowing links to commercial sites on our club’s “Miscellaneous Links” page ( misc-links.html), but for now would not accept paid advertising in the Newsletter or on the Club web site. We will further discuss at a later meeting the possiblitly of running advertisement in exchange for donations to a third party (for example the State High Cross Country Booster Club). We have generally allowed commercial interests to provide samples or other promotions for race packet stuffing.

We also discussed for a time ways that we can add to the Club’s enrollment, increase participation of members, and expand Club outreach, in particular to youth athletics. One thing that we will initiate is announcing a meeting agenda before each meeting so that members will know what they can get involved in at each meeting. The announcememts will be by email, and will also appear on the Club web site.

Next Meeting: April 1