Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Podcast In Substitution For The One I Was Supposed To Do

Penn State Track and Field Alumni Golfer Joe Clinton graciously sent me the recent podcast with our very own Tyler McCandless discussing his views on running.  since I was scheduled to do a podcast with him recently, this one will substitute for mine until I can get around to it.  Now that my Karma has returned despite all the taxing circumstances in my life, I'm just waiting for my Mojo to return to full force.

Tyler McCandless has more mentions on this site than just about anyone, including Coach Groves, for many reasons.

  • He is running at an elite level.
  • He is an unapologetic backer of all that is Penn State.
  • He is nearing a PSU Doctorate in Meteorology.
  • He is involved in many charities and gives back more than anyone I know.
  • He wears a PSU headband in every race.
  • He has coached high school runners while doing all of this.
  • He grew up near where I spent a substantial portion of my youth. (I'm just wondering if he ever has been to the Daisy Dairy Bar in Wind Gap?)

And here's the original Karma Chameleon with Boy George from 1983, the better version by far. I have always loved that song:

But I admire the fortitude of Culture Club and their recent live version back in the UK With Dancers!:

And a return of Mojo is right around the corner for Our Group.  Better than anything Boy George could ever hope for!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Fifty Years of Running Every Day For Ron Hill

Congrats to Ron Hill for completing 18,262 days of running every day!  I had the pleasure of meeting him twice.  Both times with a beer in his hand.  Both times after finishing the Maryland Marathon that started at Baltimore's old Memorial Stadium.  The real race with Satyr Hill at the 20-Mile mark!  I ran a 2:4? or so Marathon my Senior Year in high school.  He was already on his fourth beer when I shook his hand right after my finish.  Bill Rodgers stood nearby gingerly sipping a Lite beer after his victory.  Good times,  good times...

From Mark Washburne of  The United States Running Streak Association:

Congratulations to Dr. Ron Hill, 76, from Hyde, England in the United Kingdom, who today (20 December 2014) completed 50 years of running every day without missing a day. In other measures of time, his half a century of daily running amounts to 18,262 days or 2,608 weeks (plus 6 days) or 600 months. Started on 21 December 1964, Dr. Hill has the longest running streak in the world as listed by Streak Runners International (SRI) and the United States Running Streak Association (USRSA). 

Besides possessing the longest known running streak in the world, Ron Hill is a three time Olympian. In the Tokyo Olympics of 1964, Dr. Hill placed 18th in the 10,000 meters, in a time of 29:53, and 19th in the marathon, in a time of 2:25:34. In the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, he placed 7th in the 10,000 meters and ironically ran the same time (29:53) as he had run four years earlier in Tokyo. Dr. Hill's final Olympic games was in Munich in 1972, where he placed 6th in the marathon in a time of 2:16:30 at the age of 33.

During Ron Hill's illustrious running career, he set world records for 10 miles (47:02, Leicester, England, April 1968; 46:44, Leicester, England, November 1968), 15 miles (72:48.2, Bolton, England, July 1965), 25 kilometers (75:22.6, Bolton, England, July 1965), and the 26.2 miles marathon (2:09:28, Edinburgh, Scotland, July 1970).

Ron Hill was also the second athlete to break 2:10 in the marathon. In 1970, Dr. Hill ran a personal best of 2:09:28 at the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, Scotland. At that point, the only faster marathon time was run by Australian Derek Clayton, who clocked a 2:08:33 in Antwerp, Belgium in May 1969. The Antwerp course, however, was suspected of being short by possibly 500 meters. "The course was measured using five cars and was never able to be remeasured," noted Dr. Hill in a 16 December 2014 email to SRI/USRSA. "The Belgians refused to answer any queries about the course." In July 2009, the Association of Road Racing Statisticians rejected the record set by the Derek Clayton at Antwerp for the course being short and now lists Dr. Hill's 2:09:28 as the world fastest marathon at the time it was set in 1970. 

Ron Hill also set a course record for the Boston Marathon. In 1970, he was the victor of the 74th edition of that race in a time of 2:10:30. His 1970 win eclipsed the old Boston Marathon course record set the year before by more than 3 minutes. Ron Hill also won gold medals for the marathon at the European Championships in Athens, Greece in 1969 and, as mentioned before, the Commonwealth Games in Scotland in 1970. During his lifetime, Dr. Hill finished 115 marathons, where he ran 112 of them in under 2:50, 103 in under 2:45, and 29 in under 2:20. His final marathon was the 100th running for the Boston Marathon in 1996, where he completed the historic course in a time of 3:12:46 at the age of 57.

Dr. Hill graduated with a Ph.D. in textile chemistry in 1964 from Manchester University. In 1970, he started Ron Hill Sports, "which pioneered various products including wrap-over shorts, mesh vests, waterproof running jackets and reflective strips." He sold the company in the early 1990s and has since started Hilly Clothing specializing in technical socks and other apparel. Ron Hill was also President of the Road Runners Club from 1987 to 1988.

In a recent statement to SRI/USRSA, Dr. Hill said he has no plans to stop his daily running at 50 years. "I'm ticking along at around 25 miles a week with no intention to stop when I reach 50 years," noted Dr. Hill in an email to SRI/USRSA in November 2014. "I'm the same weight I was when I was 20 years old and I find the mental and physical benefits are tremendous."

We here at SRI/USRSA wish Dr. Ron Hill continued success with his running and his now half century year old running streak.

For more information on SRI/USRSA, please visit our website at:  

Friday, December 19, 2014

Someone Is Undercutting Us With An Alumni Singlet! And It's a Medium!!

Yeah, our next batch will be distributed soon.  But someone is trying to undercut our efforts with about a 66% cut in prices on Ebay.  And it's a Medium!

Old School.
Thanks to Dan Martinez, one of our Oregon Duck friends!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Another Coach Is Recuperating, Plus a Return of Karma

Not a PSU Coach, but as close as you can get to being a PSU Coach...

Longtime State College Little Lions Coach Jackson Horner recently suffered a fall in Florida while weeding his garden.  This resulted in him being admitted to Hospital, having two surgeries and being in Critical Care for a number of days.  Then he was upgraded to Intensive Care for a few days before finally transferring to Rehab.

Cards and well wishes can be sent to:

 Health South, 6150 Edgelake Drive, Sarasota, FL 34240

"The cross-country team coached by Jackson Horner, set an enviable record with six state championship teams from 1963 to 1986."

 Coach Horner is, of course, one of the finest high school coaches that PA has ever produced.  His accomplishments are many, including many team State Championships, individual State Champions, and hundreds of fine individuals.  Not to mention scores of Nittany Lions.  Get Well Soon.

And Karma is back!  Here's Boy George bringing it to you...

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Apologies and Humble Greetings

There has been a distinct lack of posting lately, unprecedented in my more than 6 years of bringing whatever it is I bring to the World Wide Web.  It has been a rough time lately on many fronts.  I'm hoping to see some light shine through soon.

So in the spirit of the season, I bring you a medley of holiday cheer with Daughter the Younger's school chorus.  Actually pretty good stuff...

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Some Lions Prowling The XC Course

The USATF Club XC Championships were yesterday at the Lehigh course.  And there was a big Nittany Lion influence.  Most of you know I'm on my own for the most part, and stressed beyond belief for time and energy.  So I'm not here today to bring you all the details, but I will distribute some tasty tidbits I've come across and then hope others step up to fill in the gaps!

A photo posted by Tyler McCandless (@trackty) on

Tyler McCandless started poorly in last year's race and vowed to do better this year.  So he led the pack at the 1-mile mark this year.  He faded some and ended up in 40th at 30:21.76 on the 10,200M course.  He was still happy, having taken the chance, and as in his meteorology doctorate courses, learned a valuable lesson.  His Boulder Running Co. team was fifth overall.

Owen Dawson was the first Nittany Lion with a very nice  30:01.23 for 22nd place.  Brother Kyle Dawson finished in 31:09.56 for 91st place.  The Bryn Mawr Running Club ended up 10th.

Kyle, left, and Owen Dawson, 3rd form left.

Doreen McCoubrie finished 2nd in the Women's 50 and over  Division (am I allowed to say that?).

Other Nittany Lions were represented in the Nittany Valley Running Club, along with a recovered Beer Miler!

26 #2762 Foster, Kara 24 Unattached 20:28.30
51 #1528 Herndon, Elizabeth 29 Cleveland El 20:59.58
71 #2142 Giannotti, Emily 22 Nittany Vall 21:23.67
80 #2145 Philbrook, Lauren 27 Nittany Vall 21:31.16
153 #2143 Kocjancic, Danielle 22 Nittany Vall 22:42.06
240 #2144 Marshall, Megan 28 Nittany Vall 24:06.97 199

19 Nittany Valley Running Club 601 60 65 125 152 199

Tyler McCandless

A Fuller! That's Tim Johnson taking pics with Brian Fuller next to him.

Kara Foster . Photo by Michael Scott.
John Evans, left ran too, but I couldn't find anything. so here is a pic of him and Paul Mackley a few years ago!

Owen Dawson .

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

USATF XC Club Nationals This Weekend

Our Director of Fun Teddy Quinn pointed me to the article highlighting the fact that this year's championships will have the largest field ever at the Lehigh course in Saucon Valley.  And right there at the top of the article is a nice pic of our very own Track Alumni Golfer Kyle Dawson, leading the pack!

I told Teddy that if it wasn't a Dawson it would be a Fuller!
Joining him at the event will be John Evans, who will be lacing them up representing our very own USATF team!  Thanks, John.   He relates that his expectations are muted, but I assured him that getting to the starting line means he has already won in my book.  Have a good run!

Also there will be Doreen (Startare) McCoubre, who happens to be the Grand Poobah of the entire Mid-Atlantic Division of the USATF, of which our team is part. Her help was integral to having a team representation in the USATF.  Thanks Doreen!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Drip, Drip, Drip...

Fellow Alumni Golfers Brian Mount and Bill Malchano have alerted me to the abrupt elimination of the Men's and Women's Track programs, and the Men's Cross Country program at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.  Brian went to William and Mary, a fellow school in the Colonial Athletic Conference.  Bill lives in Wilmington.

Apparently, the school will keep only Women's Cross Country and add a Sand Volleyball program to come to compliance with Title IX.  Yeah, you read that right.  Track and Field is being replaced in its entirety at a Division I school by Sand Volleyball.

And I doubt this will be the last we hear of similar "decisions". And you all know I don't consider sand volleyball a sport.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Rusty Boots At Penn Relays With a Bonus Appearance By Coach Groves

It took us a long time to ascertain the origins of the team cheer and mascot (of sorts).  It turned out that the original Rusty Boots were actually javelin spikes sometime in the 60's. With the spikes in the front AND the back, javelin spikes are like the velociraptors of track and field equipment.

Artist's Conception of Javelin Spikes portrayed as a Dinosaur.
Artist's Conception of Other Track Spikes portrayed as a Dinosaur.
So when I got wind of a javelin thrower who won the Penn Relays Javelin and the 4 x 100 Relay minutes apart, I was intrigued.  It gets even better when you realize that Jerry Dyes was wearing his Javelin Spikes for the entire competition. Meet Officials would not allow him to change spikes, so he just kept wearing his Rusty BootsThere's a heck of a lot more at the link on Jerry, including stories of challenging college quarterbacks  on who could throw a football further.  Indeed, Jerry Dyes is a fellow Rusty Boots member. (Thanks to George Brose for the tip.)

The original PSU Rusty Boots.
 And Group Friend and Museum Curator Mike Fanelli came across this great listing from the 1949 Penn Relays high school 4 x 880 yd Relay.  It happens to list Leonard Black, father of Alumni (Golfers) Barb Black, Steve Black and Gary Black, running in the same heat as Coach Groves.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

It's Mega-Submission Sunday! Our Members Are the Best

As our ranks have grown, along with the enthusiasm for our purpose, I have been receiving more and more submissions for posts.  I can't tell you how great I find all of them.  I truly appreciate each and every idea, even the nasty ones that occasionally come in.

Rather than space them out and make my week's posts easier than ever, I'm going to present them all at once, like the Idiot I am.  We are truly gaining momentum and will surely have the largest and most active Track and Field Alumni Group in the World shortly.

First, let's pat ourselves on the back a little bit.  When Director of Youth Development Artie Gilkes alerted me to Elizabeth Herndon's victory and world record at the recent First Annual Beer Mile World Championships, we scooped everyone with the knowledge that she was a Penn State Track and Field Alumni (Golfer).  That's despite the fact that I couldn't immediately get a post up due to the constraints of an unfair world.  So thanks, Artie.  A job well done.  Burrrrp...

Second, our Tennessee connection, or should I say one of our Tennessee connections, Dick Geiger, brings us word that Joe Kovacs has won USATF's Al Oerter Award as Thrower of the Year!

Third, with Christmas coming there had to be some Holiday-themed runs, and our William and Mary link Brian Mount happened to be a course marshall at the Chambersburg Christmas Dash For Cash when all 3 Fullers dashed by at the front of the pack at 3 miles.  I have somehow misplaced the actual results he sent me, but will be reporting them in an addendum when I can find them.  I think he said Brian Fuller was in the lead as he blurred past.

The Winning Team, full of Fullers.

Fourth, PSU is 800 U's Steve Black finished filming an appearance as Officer Charlie in the Destination America Network presentation of "The Mill Race Monster", part of its Monsters and Mysteries Series. This will air in the Spring of 2015.  Steve has other appearances coming:
  • AMC's "The Turn" episode 4.
  • "Liberty or Death"  -300 appearances.

And I haven't even gotten to all of them!  Next up, A true Rusty Boots story.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Yes Coach Groves, Norma Jean Always Did Her Morning Run

The only reason I ever was allowed to walk on to the Nittany Lion team back in 1977 (Again, "Thanks Coach!") was a decision I made half way through 1975.  I'm not sure where it came from really, as there was little in the way of literature then.  Running World and its authors may have actually stimulated my "unique" idea to get better at running following the collapse of my basketball career.

I'm talking about the decision to do "2-a-days", of course.  I had a somewhat rigid schedule during the school year  of  3 miles at 6:00am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and 5 miles at 5:45am on Tuesday and Thursday.  That counted even days with cross country or track races in the afternoon.  Saturdays were usually just one run, but often 2 anyway.  Sundays were long run day in homage to whoever first dreamed that up.  While this only added 19 miles to my weekly totals (60-70 miles being my norm with the mornings, with several 100's thrown in sporadically), it added an edge to my psyche.  I honestly figured this should mean I should beat everyone I came up against, as I knew no one else was doing it. At least in my limited little world.

And it was true.  I did lose a few XC races that Senior year, even to a teammate at first.  But half-way into the season, I made an error by ignoring my coach's orders and setting a course record in winning my first XC race ever.  We had been asked to run as a group, in order to help the slower runners run faster and theoretically score better as a result.  The team had a vote and unanimously voted to suspend me for the next meet, where I had to run as a JV runner, starting a minute after the real race.
I was quite pissed, but realized there was no changing things on a team I alienated during the summer by not smoking marijuana at the Shrine of St. Mary with everyone else at Summer Camp at Mount Saint Mary's. (Still haven't, by the way.  Thank Goodness, I have no need for that kind of stuff.)

The day of the JV race came, and I ran with an abandon I had never had before starting the "2-a-days" and I won the whole race despite starting a minute behind everyone else.  I figured I was running more than anyone, therefore I should be beating those who were running less.  I still say twice a day runs are the most important thing anyone can do to improve at running.  And the "easiest".  Science backs me up.

As did Coach Groves!

Morning runs were a big part of the adjustment to college distance running for everyone at PSU.  Even though I was doing it regularly before I arrived, it was still a big adjustment.  Looking back, it is obvious that those with the best resumes took this seriously.  I refer to the morning routines of my Freshman Captains Bruce Baden and John Zeigler especially.

I was still pretty religious about morning runs the first 2 years, and only shirked a little Junior year too.  My "career" happened to mirror my morning ritual.  Take note, youngsters!

So when I was tipped off to a very unique photo by our best Canadian friend and Drone Fuhrer, all of this morning run stuff came pouring back into my consciousness.

Yes, everyone in the PSU Track Alumni Golfing Universe,  Norma Jean once had a morning run ritual to compliment her other health and fitness routine.  The more I learn about her early life, the more I like her.  The lousy bastards that ruined her (including Joe DiMaggio) robbed us of so much more.

Marilyn Monroe on a morning run in 1951.
This is from the blog Go Feet.  Here are some other links to Marilyn's fitness routines.

The Rules of Fitness, According to Marilyn Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Pink and Black!

Wearing pink and black in honor of Penn States original colors appears to be the new thing for our sports teams. If any watched the basketball team beat Virginia Tech this week you may have noticed they sported the throwback colors and now Jordan Lucas would love to suit up in something similar for a football game.

Photo via Onward State

Photo via Onward State
Lest we forget the women's cross country did the same thing back at the 2010 NCAA Championships. Sparking the infamous "Pink and Black" chant.

The original throwback
Or the best race of Cody Edlings career.

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