The regular meeting of the Nittany Valley Running Club was held on Tuesday, August 1 at Sunset Park. The meeting was held in conjunction with both the Tuesday Evening Beginners Group Run and the NVRC Annual Picnic, so not much Club business was transacted. We had a big crowd: Nate Harkins, Martha Nelson, Tom Cali, newcomer Ron Saluga, Dave Eggler, Marty Klanchar, Paula and Tom Jech, Kim Gasper, Tara Murray and her husband, Amy Paster, and Marty Mazur, along with Club President Jerry Steffy and the Beginners Group including Vicki Summers, Dave DeGroote, Dave Moore, and several others.

Before the pizza came, people had a bit of fun and the officers did a little business. The weather was hot and humid, but still the Beginners Group showed just how fanatically inspiring Jerry has been by doing a "Poker Run": The runners five laps around a short but hilly course in the park, each time picking up a playing card. The best hand won, and that hand belonged to Vicki, who pulled three-of-a-kind. Jerry was left with a worthless 4-flush.

Meanwhile, Nate had brought his laptop and was showing some stills and video of the 30th Annual Escarpment Trail Run, which was held in the Catskills last weekend. Martha was the top female finisher of that gruelling 19 mile race, but not without suffering several slips, falls, scrapes, and bruises, along with a bit of recovery time in the medical tent. Nate captured one of the falls on video. Martha was pretty much toast at the time of the fall, and narrowly missed some jagged edges on the rocky, muddy trail. Though we laughed a bit at the repeated showings, we all felt a bit of Martha's pain as well. We're very proud and happy to have Martha sport her NVRC singlet whenever she competes.

The officers conducted a little business. The Sue Crowe Memorial Arts Festival Races were very successful. The number of runners was about the same as last year.
Not too many snafus. Numbers were down a little in the kids races, particularly the 1/2-mile race for the older kids. The kids races were very well run this year. If we continue with the same course, I need to work on the finish area. We decided on a gift of $500 to the trust fund that has been set up for the Crowe kids' education and $500 to the OLV track and field program, a program which Sue had been coaching when she died.

Once the pizza showed up, people got down to eating and talking. One side topic was the upcoming Tussey mOUnTaiNBACK. There was a little talk about John Sheakoski's Team Challenge. John is trying to round up as many moderately accomplished runners as he can to participate in an NFL-style draft for 4-person teams. That should add a new twist this year. Marty Mazur explained some of the rules, nuances, and strategies of the relay to the beginners and newcomers present. Some of the Beginners group are toying with the idea of competing, as well. There was also a side discussion about one of the new unofficial "annual multi-sport" events that some Club members have already had several times this year. To learn more about that and anything else you found confusing above, you'll just have to show up at the next meeting!

Next Meeting: October 3.