2011 Christmas Light-Seeing Run

December 20, 2011

Last night, nearly 30 runners participated in the annual State College Christmas Light-Seeing Run. As we have the last couple of years, we met at the West Side Stadium on W. College Avenue. The group was a mix of newcomers and regulars, and included at least one visiting out-of-towner. We did a variation of our yearly tour of the west side of town, heading first to the 12 Nights of Christmas display on Sparks St. We also checked out a high wattage display on Wheatfield Dr. Then, it was off to Stonebridge, where the displays tend to be a bit more subdued and tasteful. No 12 foot inflatable Santas or lights that require a separate trunk line from Allegheny Power. Tom Cali's townhouse was quite tastefully done in subdued white mini-lights, as would be expected from a subdued, white mini-Real Estate guy who knows a thing or two about curb appeal. Most homes used the mini-lights, though some were colored and some went so far as to toss them high into rafters and trees.

Heading back toward the West Side Stadium, the group made one more stop, at Marty's house. Vicky served up cookies, punch, and the keys to Marty's liquor cabinet. A bottle of bourbon later, the runners staggered back to the West Side Stadium for some pub food and beer. Another successful Christmas Light-Seeing Run was done. To keep things fresh, we'll scout out a new place for next year's run. Park Forest? Otto's is right there after the run!

Here's where we went on this year's run: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/135610027

A tastefully decorated house in Greentree

 

The group made it safely to Marty's house.

 

Nothing better than cookies, punch, and bourbon in the middle of a run!

2011 Bellefonte Holiday Lights Run

December 19, 2011

There were 34 runners and 3 dogs taking in the holiday lights of Bellefonte along with some well-placed hills to liven up the 5 mile route. Several cut the run in half to get back for their choice of the Christmas cookies and hot chocolate. Our chocolate lab may have sneaked in a few cookies before the run and paid for it "deer-ly" making two unexpected stops along the way. The weather was not "frightful" in the least and an enjoyable night was had by all. It will be a nicer Christmas for our homeless pets at "Pets Come First" thanks to the generous donations of many of the pet lovers in the group.

Happy Running!
Rudolph the Red Nosed Run Deer and Santa Baby

2011 Holiday Group Runs

There are a number of Holiday Jingle Bell Runs in the area in the next two weeks. They're all on our calendar. Here's a list:

(1) Monday, December 19: Bellefonte Holiday Lights Run, 6 p.m. from Bellefonte Area High School. Wear your holiday running gear, bells, lights, hats, ......! You can run/walk 2-5 miles of the surrounding streets of Bellefonte! All are welcome! Families encouraged to attend! Hot chocolate and cookies afterward! We had approx 40 last year and hope to be bigger and better this year! Please let Kim Gasper know if you are coming and do not plan on running/walking.We can use your helpin the refreshments area. Also, please her me know if you would be interested in baking 1-2 dozen cookies to bring along! In the spirit of the season, please bring an item or donation for Pets Come First. Kim's email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

(2) Tuesday, December 20: The State College Jingle Bell Run, a "light-seeing" tour of the Christmas lights in State College neighborhoods on the west end of town. Meet at the West Side Stadium parking lot on W. College and Corl St. at 6 PM. The route is a little improvised and makes some stops along the way including one at Marty Mazur's house for cookies, hot punch and/or bourbon. All are welcome. The pace is easy. The distance is around 4-5 miles, but come and run as much as you'd like. Those who want food or refreshment after the run can warm up at the West Side Stadium. If you're thinking of coming and meeting us along the way, you can call Marty at 360-9967 to find out where we are.

(3) Thursday, December 22: Thursday Track Jingle Bell Run. From Rec Hall at noon. Runners are encouraged to wear holiday attire: bells, crazy hats, costumes, lights...nothing is off limits! Runners head to the track for the famous two-lap year end "workout", then jog through town startling holiday shoppers. The run is about 4+ miles at a moderate pace.

(4) Tuesday, December 27: Tara Murray will lead a group run from the American Philatelic Society at the Match Factory complex in Bellefonte. Meet at the Match Factory at the Philatelic Society entrance at noon. Pace will be easy. Mileage will be 3 or 4. She can give a tour of the Match Factory after the run for those interested. Then the group will head over to the Gamble Mill for lunch.

Hope to see you at one or more of these!

 

2009 Christmas Light Group Run

December 22, 2009

It was cold, but not snowing for this year's Christmas Light run. The crowd was modest, but jocular. John Wilcock, Marty Mazur, Andy Arndt, Dave Moore, Bob Cornwall, Tim Spigelmyer, Dave DeGroote, Jonathan Thurley, Paul Ruby, Denise Weaver, Mary Conner-Righter, Hank Aaron, Carly Simon, Rep. Henry Waxman, the ghost of Ulysses S. Grant, Brooke Shields, Lech Walesa, the Dalai Lama, Homer Simpson, Steve Tyler, Barry Manilow, John Cusack, Ben Bernenke, Gisele Bündchen, Cardinal Franciszek Macharski, Dick Enberg, and Lucy Liu headed out from the High School parking lot.

The crew headed through the Vatican City (the neighborhood behind OLV) for the 12 Days exhibit, then got on the bike path to Stonehenge. But they were too late for the Winter Solstice sacrifices. They thought of dropping by Tom Cali's house to pester Esther (Tom was at a CVIM Board Meeting, followed by a penmanship class), but decided to head straight to Sheakoski's house. There, the group was greeted by a Scrooge-like visage who turned a deaf ear to their pleas for beer. Disappointed, but undeterred, the runners wended their way slowly down the hill and into Marty's neighborhood, where they were warmly accepted for cookies and a wee nip at Bwana's house. After a round of bourbon, the runners did a jolly jig as they headed back to the High School parking lot to get their rides home.

A great time was had by all. Stonebridge had the best lights and Bwana's street (except for Bwana's warmly inviting pool of light), the worst. Next year, Bwana will provide bunny slippers and brandy snifters for all. The group might never get back to their cars.

2010 Christmas Light Group Run

December 21, 2010

A nice sized group of about a dozen of us set out from the West Side Stadium for a light-seeing tour of the southwest fringes of State College. We hit the 12 Days exhibit on Sparks St, then wound our way up to Orchard Park and thence to the bike path into Stonebridge. We hit Cali's house, where Esther and the Calis' majestic greyhound greeted us. We sped by Sheakoski's house, then dropped Kathy LDC off at her place. From there we headed downhill to the dark neighborhood of Scrooges near Bwana's house. The lone pool of light at Casa Bwana was a welcoming sight, as were Mrs. Bwana and the Bwanas' ever-vigilant watchdog/media star Sheila. After some cookies, hot cider and bourbon, the crew staggered back to the West Side Stadium for a nightcap.

Sorry to those who showed up late and had to find/catch us. I had a route in mind prior to the run but wasn't sure how much we'd hew to it. Next year I'll put out a cell number for those who want to play catch-up along the route!

Directions To Game Lands Runs

People new to our frequent runs in State Game Lands 176 usually need directions to the meeting spot. First of all, SGL 176 is divided in two parts, the Scotia and Toftrees sections. The larger Scotia section is northwest of town. The smaller Toftrees section is north of town. Here is a map by the Game Commission showing the locations of the two sections.

There are two common meeting spots for a run in the Scotia section, so people organizing Game Lands runs need to specify where the run will start. The most common meeting spot is the first, the Patton Woods parking lot, because it has more parking. The Greenbriar entrance is about two miles from there by car (or just over a mile by Game Lands trail). The meeting spot for a run in the Toftrees section of the Game Lands is near the Ale House in Toftrees.

Directions to Patton Woods Parking Lot: From State College, take W. College Ave  west (it's also Rte 26 south) to Science Park Rd. Go right on Science Park. A bout a mile and a half later, there is a big intersection with a light where Science Park meets Circleville Rd. Continue straight past this intersection. Science Park changes names to Valley Vista Dr. Up the hill about a quarter-mile, make the left at Bachman Dr. A block later, bear right as the road turns into Circleville Rd. Continue on Circleville about 3/4-mile. As you head down a hill toward a curve in the road, there is a gravel lot on your left. That's the Patton Woods lot. If you have left the woods and are driving by some farm fields with a park on the right (Circleville Park), you have passed the lot. Here's a link to a map:

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF&msa=0&msid=101374492592006061341.000452dac4de80375e33d

Directions to Greenbriar Entrance: The Greenbriar entrance to SGL 176 doesn't have a parking lot, per se, but just a small turnout area on Sleepy Hollow Rd. This starting spot is used less frequently than the Patton Woods lot. As above, take W. College Avenue to Science Park Rd. Then, at the light at Circleville, turn left.A block later, the road continues but becomes Sleepy Hollow Rd (Circleville turns right up). Stay on Sleepy Hollow. About a half mile later, there isa large sign for the Greenbriar development on the right. There is a parking turnout at this sign. This is the Greenbriar entrance. Here's a link to a map:

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=101374492592006061341.000462ccd7c9654dd9286&z=15

There's a fairly detailed map of many of the trails in SGL 176 available here, in case you want to explore on your own.The map makes more sense once you've been into the Game Lands a few times. So come along on the next guided tour!

Directions to the Toftrees Game Lands Entrance: The Toftrees Game Lands parking lot is right next door to the American Ale House in Toftrees. There are two ways to get there. You can follow Fox Hollow Rd from the PSU stadium for a couple of miles and turn left onto Cricklewood. The Game Lands parking lot will be a 1/4 mile on the right. Or, turn right off the expressway onto Waddle Rd, right onto Toftrees Ave, and then left at Cricklewood. The Game Lands will then be 3/4 mile on the left, just past the Ale House. If the parking lot is full, there are places to park on the road.