The regular meeting of the Nittany Valley Running Club was held on Tuesday, December 2, at the Hi-Way Pizza on Westerly Parkway. In attendance were Boyd Brumbaugh, Dave Eggler, Mike Casper, Jim Taylor, Karl Leitzel, Ben Howe, Ben Niebel and Marty Mazur. On tap was some Sam Adams Winter Brew, a dark and sweet Holiday refreshment. The cult of the pepperoni, onion, and green olive pizza is growing!

The biggest topic on the table was Penn's Valley running and the Run-Around-Egg-Hill race, now scheduled for late March. Karl Leitzel will direct the race with the able assistance of Ben Neibel. Karl has a lot of good ideas for the race, the proceeds of which will, in the first year, help start up a middle school track program in Penns Valley. Karl plans to make the race a 10 miler, with options for relay teams. He also wants to establish a kids' race, and to include other community activities. Karl came to ask the Club's assistance for the race. By putting the race under our umbrella, the Egg Hill run will have insurance coverage and can benefit in other ways from the NVRC's tax status. The officers present agreed to help Karl, and in doing so laid the foundation for the NVRC's Eastern Empire.

The group also discussed next year's Art's Festival race. Jim Taylor is hoping to make a little more money on the race, which barely broke even last year. The race, which is one of the Club's main sources of revenue, has not raised its entry fee in many years. The fee is now well below the local average. The race fee will be increased for the 2004 race, but membership in the Club will be encouraged by offering a substantial discount for members. Jim also plans to encourage kids to run in the Kids Races, which have become a substantial percentage of Arts Fest Race revenue, by increasing the number of age groups.

The Nittany Valley Half-Marathon is coming soon. Dave Eggler gave his report on the race's prospects. The number of pre-registrants this year already exceeds the total number of runners in last year's race, which was hampered by its falling on the Thanksgiving weekend. The weather is not looking good for the date, but at least we will probably avoid the brunt of the coming snow storm. Sign ups are also starting to come in for New Year's Eve's First Night 5K.

Marty Mazur reported on some of his plans for the NVRC web site. He wants to get a race page, similar to the one he set up for the Tussey mOUnTaiNBACK Relay,  devoted to each of the Club sponsored races. Race directors can then customize the page and include applications, maps, results, photos, and other information. Marty would also like to develop a Kids Page with details about all the local running programs and events for youngsters. He is also planning to wrap up the Race Director's pages and update the Maps pages to include some of the latest running routes.

Next Meeting: February 3.