The regular meeting of the Nittany Valley Running Club was held on Tuesday, December 2, at the HiWay Pizza on Westerly Parkway. Present were Marty Klanchar, Jerry Steffy, Marty Mazur, Dave DeGroote, John Wilcock, Bob Radzwich, Kim Gasper, Matt Petrarca, Tara Murray, Denise Weaver, Tim Spigelmyer, Cheryl Capone, Greg Luna, and newcomers Clara Fajardo and Rachid Haoues. We decided to give HiWay a reprieve and continue to have the meetings there, despite the fact that their taps were broken and they had to sell us (expensive) bottled beer.

Marty Mazur opened up the business end of the meeting by giving a quickie report on the Half for absentee RD Dave Eggler. The race was extremely successful. Dave is still counting the receipts, but we probably raised a pile of money for our worthy charity, CVIM. But despite this upsurge in participation, Dave still hasn't quite put two and two together and permanently moved the race to November. We're working on him.

Cheryl Capone came in part to plug the upcoming Jingle Bell Jog 5K on December 13. A lot of fun. It's the last race in the NVRC Race Series. Don't miss it!

Speaking of the Race Series, it's close. Tom Cali leads, but it's still barely possible he could be overtaken. And the top ranks are filled with relative beginners, including Denise Weaver and Pam Scott. That's the way we designed the series. We hope you like the design, but if you have any suggestions to improve it, Series Honcho John Wilcock will be putting out a request for suggestions by email. The awards series for this year's race will be at the next meeting on February 3.

Next year's Series kicks off on New Year's Eve with the First Night race. After that, the Indoor Mile Series closely follows. The Indoor Mile dates have been released by email and will appear on the web site soon. The Indoor Mile Series is free and open to all members past high school age.

Jerry Steffy mentioned that State High will likely host the District 6 AAA Cross-Country finals late next October. They'll need volunteer officials. It's a great way to help the running cause. Think about helping out when the call comes.

Marty Klanchar reminded us all what a bargain Club dues are. The Road Runners Clubs of America charges us about $5 per member to insure all our races, so half our dues go to that. Add to that the fact that, with Club discounts, a membership will pay for itself if a runner participates in several Club races. And the Club generously supports several youth running programs. So, it's a good thing we do so well with the Arts Festival races, which pretty much float the Club and subsidize all our programs.

Rachid Haoues gave a pitch for a PSU for-credit Marathon Training Course he's trying to get going. He'll be enlisting some kinesiology instructors, as well as Club members who are experienced marathoners, to be lecturers and quest speakers. Sounds pretty ambitious, but one I'd like to sit in on. Rachid is also interested in enlisting the Club's help in getting a Spring Half-Marathon going. Hopefully, we'll hear more about this soon.

So what can we expect in 2009? A lot of the same, plus some more good stuff. But a lot of the latter depends on more people getting involved. Come to a meeting and find out how much fun it is to help out!

Next Meeting: February 3.