The regular meeting of the Nittany Valley Running Club was held on Tuesday, August 2, at the Hi-Way Pizza on Westerly Parkway. The members on hand were Jim Taylor, Marty Klanchar, Dave Eggler, Marty Mazur, Tom Cali, Dave Eggler, Boyd Brumbaugh, Jerry Steffy, Bob Radzwich, Mark Fedkin, Kim Gasper, and Amy Paster. A big turnout: 3 pizzas and 4 pitchers worth. (Note to Club Members not in attendance: They now serve Otto's Red Mo Ale at Hi-Way).

The big item on the agenda was to re-hash the Arts Fest Races. The group pored over reams of data, computer printouts, emails, and the like assessing the Arts Fest Races. The good news is, the race was a success with over 500 runners competing in either the 5K or the 10K race, and about 125 kids in the Kids Races. Both numbers are up from recent years. Most runners thought the course was very good.

There were numerous problems with the race this year, most of them small, but some requiring more thought and attention. The Kids Races were not well run in comparison to how we've done them in the past. This was mostly due to the fact that our usual Kids Race directors were called out of town suddenly and those left to sort it out quickly found that organizing a proper kids race is a lot harder than it looks. In future years we will pay more attention to this. We discussed some ideas for registration and prizes for the kids. Given our Club mission, it is likely that we will significantly reduce race fees for the Kids Races. We'll lose money on those races, but count it as money well spent. In the 10K and 5K races, we will probably keep the current course and make some minor modifications at the finish line and, if needed (as it usually is), for University construction. The biggest problem we had was volunteers not showing up. A critical water stop, the only one on the second half of the course, was left unmanned. We discussed ways we can make sure this doesn't happen again, including assignment check-in sheets. Jerry Steffy also suggested sponsored water stops, i.e. tables where a company or organization could put up a big banner advertisement and staff the table and provide water. We also thought of ways to get more people to volunteer, including offering reduced race fees at other races for those who volunteer at a Club race. Another thing we will address is that there were a couple of spots on the course where people made wrong turns. This will be fixed with more signs or course marshals.

We'd like to thank Kate Pezanowski for stepping into the breach and taking on the AF Directorship on short notice. She did a bang-job. Another bit of good news about the AF Races is that we already have an experienced AF Director for next year's races. Amy Paster, a past NVRC President and AF RD will be the AF RD next year. She immediately enlisted Marty Mazur as her course-meister, and will need help from as many of the rest of you as possible to make next year's races successful.

This year, the NVRC will have a Club Picnic. The picnic will be held on August 28 at Tudek Park from 3:30 till dusk. If you'd like to help, please contact Marty Klanchar or Jim Taylor.

Finally, as has been previously announced, Jim Taylor is stepping down as NVRC President. Jim has served the Club very well in the last couple of years. The members present decided to nominate Jerry Steffy to take over as NVRC President. Jerry newly retired and newly moved to the area, but already very involved in local running. Jerry has a lot of experience in coaching and promoting running in his native Michigan. We will present Jerry for confirmation to the membership.

Next Meeting: October 4.