Wednesday, July 27, 2016

How Does A Real Writer Bring The Story Of The Appalachian Trail Conquest To Life?

 "It's easier than living in the normal world and having to go to work or school."
-Phoebe Whiteside, about her thru-hike of the AT

I have kept all of you updated with the shenanigans of Rob Whiteside and his daughter Phoebe on the Appalachian Trail since April.  But now that they are done, I figured someone else will tell the story better than I.  A real professional writer, for once...

Turns out they averaged more than 16 miles daily, with Rob holding her back some!  But they still beat the average thru-hike (only 20-25% of those that start out!) by about a month and a half.

And Rob owes me a post for the blog and I owe him a Ruth's Chris Steak. (grilled vertically at 1800 degrees for 9 seconds and served on a 500 degree plate coated with butter!)

Tip: You don't need any sides at Ruth's Chris. Entree and dessert (Creme Brulee!) only.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

More Coach Visits Including A Pit Bull!

"That's my kind of dog."
-Coach Groves, about Blanche.

Coach Groves continues to get more visits than the All-Sports Museum!  (And he has better stories!)

This time out, the Backenstose clan delighted him with an opportunity to be surrounded by pretty ladies (am I allowed to say that?) and a pit bull!

Hunter Backenstose with Coach Groves.

Holly and our daughter, Amanda, on the outsides, Julie – Hunter’s girlfriend left of Coach, and Jackie, Amanda’s former college roommate right of Coach

Hunter, Holly and Blanche hanging out with Coach.

Monday, July 25, 2016

It's A Small World, After All

Without even realizing it, Rob Whiteside and his daughter camped with a nice husband wife combo somewhat related to our group early in their trek up the spine of the Eastern United States.  They got along well enough to be invited to stay at their house in New Hampshire toward the end of their quest.

But because you are known by your Trail Name when hiking, they never got any further along to find out they were hiking with the brother-in-law and sister-in-law of another Group friend and familiar face.  It turns out that Wonder and Santa are related to Martha White Collins, a familiar name to most of us (and the namesake of Daughter the Elder!). Cheryl and Kelly Collins are currently in the 100 Mile Wilderness.

Even further shrinking the small world, one of the Collins' daughters graduated from Allegheny College in Meadville (Harmonsburg) , where Rob is from! Allegheny Run For Fun!

Wonder and Santa
From their Journal:

White Rabbit and Large

We have been hiking with a father/daughter pair from Princeton, NJ. He used to make his girls walk the streets with him because they were "practicing to hike the AT". White Rabbit finished high school a year early, got accepted to Swarthmore and then took a gap year to hike. She got her name because she's fast, times herself and is obsessed with time. Her dad came with his trail name. She hikes in and gets set up then waits for her dad. He is usually in about 2 hours after her. White Rabbit makes him dinner and fusses over him. Some hikers have named them Large and In Charge. She usually determines how far they will go each day and he goes along with the plan. It has been really fun getting to know them.

To further make the world small enough for us, the latest visitor to Coach Groves was a high school AND PSU teammate of Greg Fredericks at Wilson High School.  Scott Hagy was a national caliber javelin thrower and occasional long jumper in the PSU Class of 1971.

Coach Groves and Scott Hagy.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Warming Up

So Daughter the Elder picked the hottest day of the year to have us help her move into her new apartment for the upcoming Fall Semester.  95 degrees in State College hasn't happened very often.  And let's not forget the Feels Like 104 degrees!

In addition to the lifting of heavy objects, I had just enough time to take a few pics of the upgrade to the track and attain minor damage to Mobile Blog I by backing into a tree limb!  I couldn't use Nano-Airship 800U due to the 15 mph winds, so all I got were some rotten cell phone pics from a distance.

The under-surface looks complete.

A minimum of equipment.

A lonely steeple pit!
And the PSU Olympian Big Men were warming up jolly ole England in London at the Diamond League meet.

Joe Kovacs won the meet with a throw of 22.04 (72' 3 3/4") and Big Homie Darrell Hill placed 4th with 21.24 (69' 8 1/4").

Saturday, July 23, 2016

One Update And Possibly Another

It turns out that the world is always smaller than we thought.  As Rob Whiteside (Large) and his daughter Phoebe (White Rabbit) trekked on toward the finish of their thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail they met another pair of hikers, Wonder and Santa.  Turns out they are the in-laws of Group Friend Martha White Collins, Kelly and Cheryl Collins!  Wonder and Santa are finishing things up in the 100-Mile Wilderness.

And as I head to State College in Mobile Blog I to move Daughter the Elder into an apartment for the Fall Semester, I will take Nano-Drone 800U for possible pics of the progress of the Outdoor Track refurbishment.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Cas Loxsom's First Ever 200M As A Professional!

Casimir Loxsom has lobbied for 3 years now with his coach to run a 200M race.  And Coach Mack finally relented.

His 22.18 time was pretty darn good and was followed soon thereafter with a 47.10 open 400M and another 48 second 400M relay leg.  All of this was at an all-comers meet!

Next up on his schedule is the Tracktown Summer Series where he will be running an 800M as part of the New York team, with Matt Centrowitz as his teammate.

Portland:  Bridget Franek – 3000m Steeplechase
New York:  Casimir Loxsom800 Meters

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Visiting Coach Is Becoming A Trend

Our Course Marshall sends me another pic of a visitor for Coach GrovesTom McGlynn had the pleasure of listening to some of his stories during his morning walk.  And others have inquired how to visit him at Juniper Village, his current residence.

Don't worry, Coach never runs out of great T&F stories for all of us!

Greg Fredericks, Coach Groves and Tom McGlynn.(Yes, that's a Harvard hat AND another story!)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

White Rabbit And Large Summit Mt. Katahdin

That means they did it!  A through-hike of the Appalachian Trail is a very hard enterprise, but I never had a doubt.  Congrats to Rob Whiteside and Phoebe Whitside.

Phoebe will be starting college and cross country shortly.  I wonder how this hike translates into XC training?  As she told me, "We'll find out."

Coach Groves Gets A Visit From Our Official Physicist*

*Nuclear Engineer!

Brian Boyer braved the vagaries of airports on both sides of the Pond and came back to his hometown for his 40th HS Reunion.  Which is great, but I think he picked the wrong Reunion!

Anyway, he had the opportunity to visit Coach Groves and show off his version of our Wrist Band on a Steam locomotive in Vienna.  Still waiting on those donations to make next year's version!

Wrist bands linking our group across generations!

Brian Boyer and Coach Groves reminisce.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Appalachian Trail Dominated: It's Only A Matter Of Days

Rob Whiteside and his daughter Phoebe are nearing the completion of  "the hardest thing I have ever done".  And that includes running with the likes of All-Americans with our Group back in the day!  They have had their first glimpse of the prize, the finishing summit of Mt. Katahdin.  The hardest part remaining may be dealing with the strictest Rangers on Earth!

There is a reception for their supporters and admirers, but please RSVP if interested on the Facebook site.

The finish from afar.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Two Nittany Lion NACAC Champions

That's the North America, Central America and Caribbean Championships which were held in San Salvador, El Salvador for the under 23 year-olds.

Danielle Gibson won the Triple Jump for her native Bahamas, while Isaiah Harris bested the field in the 800M.

Danielle Gibson 44' 5.25"

Isaiah Harris 1:47.52
And yes, that's our Group's wrist band on the Throwback Singlet clad Isaiah!

Sunday, July 17, 2016


Artie, Rebecca and Paavo.
That rumbling and earth shifting you felt yesterday was the union of Rebecca Donaghue and our group's Director of Youth Development Artie Gilkes. These are the only two people I know who took longer than I to finally tie the knot after meeting their significant other.

All of us at Blog Central congratulate them but remind Artie of the wisdom instilled upon me by my father-in-law 28 years ago...  "No married man wants to live to be 100." RIP Leonard C.  Black.  hee hee hee

Web Statistics