2017 Bellefonte Holiday Lights Run

Decemebr 18, 2017

A spirited group of runners/walkers stormed the streets of Bellefonte to enjoy the Holiday Lights through and around town.The group gathered for a good time, but also to collect some goods and cash to donate to Pets Come First. It was hard to miss the blinking lights of those Santa impersonators, elves and reindeer spreading holiday cheer! Several stopped at the Santa house but he was not there! I guess he was looking over the naughty-nice list again! All made it back to the high school to enjoy some hot chocolate and cookies before heading home! 

pix bellefontexmas17

Runners get ready to see the lights of Bellefonte

Here's a video of the start of the run.

2017 State College Jingle Bell Run: Silent Night

December 19, 2017

The Annual State College Christmas lights run was another success. With the opening of Hi-Way Pizza West, formerly the West Side Stadium, the event was moved back to its old start-finish point. Twenty runners and a dog gathered outside HPW on a mild and breezy evening. Despite going back to our old digs, we changed things up a little bit on the run itself. Instead of heading over to the 12 Days of Christmas neighborhood display on Sparks Street for our first stop, we decided to view the crazy computer-driven display at a home in Foxpointe. Thankfully, the night was warm because it was a long way, over two-and-a-half miles, to get to the home. We could tell when we were getting close because of the line-up of cars waiting to see the house. Fascinated and spell-bound, we stared at the display for a good 15 minutes despite the fact that no one had a radio, so we could not hear the accompanying music. (Weird in this day and age that everyone had a cell phone, each with billions of transistors, that can pick up streaming FM stations via the internet. Yet we were music-less because the low-power home-broadcast FM signal was not on the internet, and nobody carries around a transistor radio, a pocket device made with just a handful of transistors that was ubiquitous 60 years ago!)

After visiting the silent (for us) display, the plan was to head back by way of the Stonebridge neighborhood, which always has some good lights, with one house in particular setting the neighborhood standard. But engrossed in runner conversation as we were, we missed the turn and decided after all to head straight for Bwana's liquor cabinet (or "liqueur cabinet"). Casa Bwana, the always appreciated last stop, promises cookies, fruitcake, and a nip of warming hootch. This year, Bwana offered, besides the usual bourbon, some Krupnik, a strong honey-flavored Polish liqueur. (Note on a distinction: bourbon is a "liquor", in other words a distilled beverage, and specifically a whiskey. Krupnik is, like schnapps, a "liqueur", which is a strong drink made from distilled spirits, but flavored with other other ingredients and further sweetened.)

After imbiming and en-cookie-ing, we headed back to Hi-Way Pizza West for beer, pizza, and wings, and some great conversation. Bwana passed the hat and raised $150 for the State College Food Bank. 

pix scjbr17 start

Twenty runners and one dog line up before the start of the State College Jingle Bell Run

NVRC Joins Clearwater Conservancy For Group Run For Slab Cabin Run Initiative

The Clearwater Conservancy and the NVRC will join in a group run on Saturday, August 19 that will help inform participants about Clearwater’s Slab Cabin Run Initiative. The Clearwater Conservancy is a nationally accredited land trust serving Centre and surrounding counties. The Slab Cabin Run Initiative is a plan by Clearwater to permanently conserve 300 acres of agricultural land owned by the Meyer and Everhart Families of State College. Located next to densely populated neighborhoods—across the street from the State College Friends School and Foxdale Village along University Drive—the property lies in a vital portion of the Spring Creek Watershed, within the Source Water Protection Area for the Harter-Thomas wells which supply the majority of the drinking water to Centre Region residents. Clearwater has raised 88% of the 2.75 million dollars needed to fully fund a land conservation easement on the property. More information on the Slab Cabin Run Initiative can be found at http://www.slabcabinrun.org and in this press release:


The group run will start at the Friends School on University Drive at 8:30 AM with a brief overview of the initiative. Runners will then proceed on the bike path along University Drive past the Toll Brothers development site to the Musser Greenway, through the Greenway and on to the Musser Gap parking on Shingletown Rd. There will be a brief stop along the way to explain the Musser Gap connection to the Slab Cabin Initiative. Then runners will return to the Friends School. All are welcome. The full run out to Musser Gap and back is about 6 miles. Since the route is out-and-back, runners can take in as much or little of the full run as their time allows.

All participants and their families are also invited to return later in the day, at 4:30 PM, for a social at the Cobble Creek Clubhouse where there will be snacks and refreshments and a presentation by the Clearwater Conservancy of a broader overview of the Slab Cabin Initiative. The Cobble Creek Clubhouse is at 3296 Shellers Bend. (Turn onto the northernmost entrance to Shellers Bend from Blue Course Dr. Look for the Cobble Creek sign on your left. Make a left into Cobble Creek, then take a left and follow the driveway until you come to the clubhouse on the right.)

2014 Christmas Light-Seeing Run

This year's State College Christmas Lights-Seeing Run was done under much different circumstances than last year's. Instead of 5 inches of snow and a big crew, this year a pretty steady rain was falling and hampering turnout. Still, about a dozen people showed up at the Westside Stadium. The Toltens brought their young son Will, who really wanted to see the 12 Days of Christmas display a good mile away from Westside. So we knew we were going to run at least 2 miles. In the rain. And most of the assembled didn't want to miss a run by Bwana's house for cookies and bourbon. So we pulled our hoodies close and headed out. The rain was steady, but not torrential, so it wasn't too bad once the crew got going. The 12 Days did not disappoint. And since the rain wasn't too bad, the runners headed through Greentree (which, truth be told, has really crummy lights). Then off to Bwana's house. The cookie's were great, as was the bourbon. And this year, Dave DeGroote treated Bwana (and by extension, the group) to some Benedictine and Brandy, a real heartwarming experience. As the runners left Bwana's house, they noticed that the rain had stopped! Off to Westside Stadium for beer and pub food. This year, despite the low turnout, the group raised a nice chunk of change for the State College Food Bank.

Read more: 2014 Christmas Light-Seeing Run

Cherry Run Trail Run #2

June 20, 2015

It was a little like herding ducks to get everyone together for our second Cherry Run Trail run. It's a bit of a field trip (all the way out to Lamar!), and the weather of late has been "nice weather for ducks", but I had thought that the prospect of lunch at Elk Creek Cafe would have made this an automatic on people's schedule. Still, there was a lot of hemming and hawing and unresolved schedule conflicts. But by the time the run started, there were 7 runners that were there to do the whole loop, plus another runner who'd meet us at the end and another who'd meet us at Elk Creek. 

The Cherry Hill Trail is well described in my report of a family hike a few years back. It's a beautiful, mostly forested run. Rocky, but not too technical (i.e., nothing like Rothrock), with some modest climbing. The big thing is that the tail end of the trail can be muddy, and our recent rains made the last few miles the muddiest I've ever run through on that trail. Still, nobody's shoes were sucked off their feet by the mire.

Lunch at Elk Creek was excellent, as was to be expected. The beer was magically cold and delicious after the 10 mile run. Everyone said "We HAVE to do this again." Keep a lookout for a couple of dates, maybe in August and early autumn.

pix group cherry15 1 rhodo

A few of the runners who completed the Cherry Run Trail run

pix group cherry15 1 sox

Muddy feet and still allowed a seat at the Elk Creek Cafe

pix group cherry15 1 elk

Pilsners and Pale Ales are emminently guzzlable after a 10 mile run.

Bellefonte Holiday Lights Run

December 19, 2013

We had a festive group of approx. 30 runners/walkers and 6 canines that traversed the streets of Bellefonte spreading good cheer! Afterward, we warmed up with some hot chocolate and cookies! The weather was perfect and nice change from last year’s torrential rain! We collected donations for Pets Come First so our furry friends can enjoy the holiday cheer as well! Thanks to all that came out! Hope to see you again next year! Talk is of going back to our original route to include Curtin and Linn Streets next year!
Merry Christmas and have a Happy Healthy New Year! Safe travels to those heading home outside Centre County!