June 18, 2017
Alan Seeger Natural Area

by Mike Casper

Runners streamed from various burgs around Pennsylvania to take up the long climb on Seeger Road in Rothrock State Forest and complete the scenic Eager Seeger Half Marathon under clear skies and climbing temperatures for late June, thank goodness for the numerous shaded sections of the course.

Recent construction on Stone Creek Road – taking the existing pavement back to gravel – was still curing – cars were not allowed on the road yet, but runners were – and recent rain made the surface for the last 1.3 miles feel spongy soft.

While the RD was doing course marking the evening before, there was a bear on the road at mile 3. Early the next morning, George Conrad was driving to the race start from Huntingdon and saw a bear in the same spot. When the aid station 1 staff passed through, there he was, and when the lead runners arrived there after the start, there he was again, and they paused before he gave them room to continue.

Loc O, Shundai Li, Brian Thiede and course record holder Patrick Singletary formed an early front group, with O finishing with just a 1+ minute lead. Li took second and Singletary third.

Carole Dudukovich led the women, with Tari Elkin second and Nina Safron third.

Derek Nye completed his first half marathon after less than a year of running, and had a broad smile on his face afterward. Bravo, Derek!

Don Halke paced the route easily with friend LeAnn Martinez. Halke had a heart attack in 2009 and received 2 stents and a quad bypass. “This occurred 2 weeks after running sub 10 at your Tussey 50!” recalled Halke. Halke had a pacemaker implanted in February 2016. He still runs Tussey, and “dials down” his pacemaker for the race.

Four runners completed all 5 “official” Tussey Teasers (three of them also running the optional February 4, a snowy Tussey Teaser #0), earning a complimentary treat from Coldstone Creamery: Stephen Baird (repeating from 2016), Evan Bresler, David Lloyd, and Samantha Weaver. David won the draw for a grand prize, an ice cream cake.

Race Director Mike Casper used this race to raise funds for Centre Volunteers in Medicine. Donations supporting Mike’s run can be made through June 30 at https://cvim.ejoinme.org/71633. For more details on CVIM’s work, visit http://www.cvim.net/.

A huge thank you is due to several volunteers for their time and enthusiasm: Adam Ilgen for picking up the Subway subs; Bob and Kathleen Crowe for enthusiastically staffing aid stations 2 and 3; and Brent, Barb, Natalie and Aiden Kelsey for valiant aid station 1 support, photos by Natalie, and dedicated finish line recording. Below are Aiden Kelsey’s rendering of the 3-mile bear, a deer, and a decapitated snake that were all rumored to be on the course.

Special thanks to CaliKline - Re/MAX Centre Realty, Appalachian Outdoors, and Subway Restaurants for their enthusiastic support of this series.

Several great local races are coming up, and the next group runs in Rothrock are not far away.

Runners should also note that the 2017 Discovery Training Series, beginning Aug. 10, will cover the entire 50 miles of the Tussey mOUnTaiNBACK course via a series of low-key group runs on eight consecutive Thursday evenings. A detailed schedule with run distances, locations and driving directions is available at http://tusseymountainback.com/events/mountainback-discovery-series.


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ESHM pre-start: The RD (left) gives pre-race instructions before jumping into the mix

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Rob Shaver shows the road who’s boss in the final paces

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Evan Bressler moves under dappled shade to the finish line

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Dean Capone motors toward the finish on Stone Creek Road

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Tari Elkin breezes through the final steps of the race

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Nina Safron cruises comfortably to the finish

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Race Director Mike Casper raised funds for Centre Volunteers in Medicine through this race

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Artist's conception of a bear seen during the race.


Overall Order of Finish

Place   Name                 Age     Sex   Town                   Time
—————   ————                 ———     ———   ————                   ————
 1      Loc O                 40      M    Williamsburg          1:31:05
 2      Shundai Li            44      M    State College         1:32:15
 3      Patrick Singletary    51      M    State College         1:33:06
 4      Brian Thiede          29      M    State College         1:33:08
 5      Carole Dudukovich     50      F    Port Matilda          1:41:33
 6      Matt Smith            50      M    State College         1:45:29
 7      Robert Shaver         56      M    Loganton              1:52:35
 8      Scott Faulkner        46      M    Belleville            1:52:52
 9      Evan Bresler          34      M    PA Furnace            1:54:43
10      Scott Sheeder         42      M    State College         1:57:05
11      Austin Boyle          33      M    Lemont                1:58:10
12      George Lesieutre      58      M    State College         1:58:20
13      Tari Elkin            28      F    State College         1:59:52
14      Tom Cali              62      M    State College         2:01:15
15      Pat Kasper            41      M    State College         2:01:15
16      Dean Capone           53      M    State College         2:04:57
17      Nina Safron           57      F    Lemont                2:10:07
18      Mike Casper           58      M    State College         2:11:20
19      George Conrad         39      M    Huntingdon            2:25:05
20      Kylee Ammerman        37      F    Bellefonte            2:25:49
21      Carolyn Triozzi       41      F    State College         2:26:35
22      Steve Baird           39      M    State College         2:28:07
23      Barry Kernfeld        66      M    State College         2:29:22
24      Samantha Weaver       44      F    Jersey Shore          2:31:19
25      David Lloyd           47      M    State College         2:32:16
26      Michael Ranck         66      M    Deer Lake             2:38:06
27      Derek Nye             28      M    State College         2:44:41
28      Vanda Mikone Hurnyi   39      F    Boalsburg             2:44:41
29      Don Halke             58      M    Newport               3:21:00
30      LeAnn Martinez        39      F    Hummelstown           3:34:36
31      Adrienne Mitford      42      F    Harrisburg            3:49:50