Monday, October 22, 2018

The Way, Way Back Machine Is Rusty

Sorry for the dearth of posting lately.  Work is a four-letter word that ends in K.

But it was 41 years ago that we first heard of the plane crash that decimated Lynyrd Skynyrd.  I remember exactly where I was when we got the word over the radio.  We were nearing the hotel in Williamsburg, VA on a Friday evening in the cross country van driven by Coach Groves.  I was seated in the next to last row between Ray Krombel and Kevin Kelly O'Brien.

Also in the van were Captain Bruce Baden (in the shotgun seat) and Captain John Zeigler.  Others included Jim Clelland, Frit Cooper, Mike Wyatt, Larry Mangan and his Freshman roommate Tom Rapp.  (Did I miss anyone?)  Of course I did!  Campbell Lovett, Dave Felice and Brian Boyer were there too!  Bob Snyder was injured.  (no wonder the van was uncomfortable. 14 of us was too many!)

We were on our way to a meet with Willam and Mary and Georgetown on the grounds of the insane asylum next to the campus.  Coach Groves told us a few stories of escapes from the place. Nice to know when you were alone in the woods during the race.

Our warm-up that day was to run the entire 10K course.  Then the race.  And then the warm-down turned out to be the entire 10K course!  I actually fainted during the warm-down and, as always, the only person who noticed was Mike Wyatt, my guardian angel those first 2 years. I think we won the meet, but I hope others chime in with more.

Incidentally, I became a fan of Lynyrd Skynyrd that day when I learned they named the group after their mean gym teacher, Leonard Skinner at Robert E. Lee High School.  hee hee hee

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Homecoming Means Coming "Home" And A Visit With Coach Groves

A Home meet during Homecoming week means a Friday meet.  That means many of us can't swing it. But many certainly did!  Yesterday's Penn State National attracted many Track alums.

The meet went well, especially for the Women, who topped all teams, multiple ranked teams.
In her fourth race donning the Blue & White, Julia Paternain crossed the finish line in 20:30, which marks her third win of the season, two of which have come at the Blue-White Golf Course. Just 11 seconds after Paternain finished the race, sophomore Alison Willingmyre (Wernersville, Pa.) completed the 6k course in 20:41 to finish fifth overall.
Along with Paternain and Willingmyre, Danae Rivers (Derby, Conn.) and Kathryn Munks (Chester, N.Y.) both tallied top-15 finishes. For Rivers, she ran 20:48 to place seventh and Munks took 15th in 21:01. Moria O'Shea (Greensburg, Pa.) rounded out the scoring for the Blue & White as she ran 21:16 to finish 35th.

In the men's 5.2-mile run, the Nittany Lions ran to a 10th-place finish as a team with a score of 252 points. Individually, Colin Abert (Easton, Pa.) paced the Nittany Lion harriers as he placed 10th with a time of 25:17.
In addition to Abert, Alex Tomasko (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) finished 43rd with a time of 25:47 and John McGowan (Northport, N.Y.) took 53rd in 25:54. Underclassmen Isaac Davis (Cogan Station, Pa) and Owen Wing (State College, Pa.) rounded out the scoring as they finished 71st (26:08) and 87th (26:14), respectively.
Homecoming Visit: Steve Walsh and Dan Curran. Photo by Greg Fredericks.

Julia Paternain. Photo by Tom Shiffer.

Womens Start. Photo by Tom Shiffer.

Steve Shisler, Bob Hudson, John McGraw and Tom Shiffer.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The Windy City Makes It Difficult

Tyler McCandless placed 20th (7th American) at the Chicago Marathon on Sunday.  The cool, windy and rainy day made it difficult for many runners. His 1:06:36 split led to a gritty second half fighting the weather conditions. Still, Tyler was within 2 minutes of his career best, and in a major Marathon.


Monday, October 8, 2018

"The Michigan" Results

I had the pleasure to make it in time to see the Division III Hartwick Cross Country workout on Friday during True Blue Weekend.  I suppose its like a combo Parents Weekend and Homecoming all rolled into one.

With 2 weeks off of meets, it was a good time for a big workout for all of the athletes in preparation for Championship Season.  And I would have to say that Coach Tom Hartnett had them well prepared for the whole thing.  Each of them had a thorough understanding of the goals and methods of the workout.  Each athlete had their own pace schedule for the 1600/1200/800/400 workout even including the intervening tempo miles!  That ensured the maximum benefit for all the runners from first to last.  In my day, trying to keep up with the top runners ensured a horrible 10K race in mid-week and a collapse for the real weekend race to come.

The workout started and groups of 2 or 3 took off on their own schedules.  And it was remarkable how close everyone was to their prearranged goals.  The resultant scene was choreographed pandamonium.  Here is video I smuggled out from under the watchful eyes of security:

Daughter the Younger held on for the hardest workout in her young career.  All the other runners also survived.  Smiles were everywhere at the finish as the next day was a rare rest day!

The warm down brought out the smiles.

Coach Hartnett keeping track of the pandemonium.

Daughter the Younger hangs on in her 800.

Our Michigan Friend, Jonathon Cross remembers being in the original "Michigan" workouts in Coach Ron Warhurst's first years at U of M.

"Yes. We did that workout in my last couple of years at Michigan.  Those were the first two years Warhurst coached too.  We did a hard mile on the track then ran on the roads (sometimes over to U of M golf course) followed by another hard mile on the track.We went out a gate at the end of Ferry Field from the track."
He added:
"Getting tired thinking about that!"

Friday, October 5, 2018

The Hardest Workout Of Them All?

Daughter the Younger's Division III Hartwick Hawks Cross Country team has 2 weeks off until their 3 season-ending Championship Season meets.  As part of the school's Parent's Weekend, the team will host parents and Alumni for a workout on Friday at 4:00PM.

The workout chosen by second-year head coach Tom Hartnett is "The Michigan Workout" from Head Coach Ron Warhurst.  Tom has invigorated both the Men's and Women's teams by regaling them with the mystique and history of the endurance test he ran while at Division I Sienna.

The workout isn't your typical "intervals" workout, as it is one that requires a recovery almost as lengthy as a 10K race if run properly.  Here's a summary of a classic "Michigan Workout" from Competitor Running:
Here’s how to do a standard version of The Michigan:
— Warm up with 2-3 miles of easy jogging followed by 4-6 x 20-second strides.
— Run 1 mile (4 laps) on the track at your current 10K race pace.
— After the mile on the track, jog 2-3 minutes off the track to the start of where you’ll run a mile at your tempo run pace. An out-and-back stretch of road or dirt loop will work well for this part of the workout.
— Run 1 mile off the track at your tempo pace, or roughly 20 seconds per mile slower than the mile you just ran on the track.
— After completing the mile off the track, jog 2-3 minutes back to the track for the next interval.
— Back on the track, run 1,200m (3 laps) at your current 10K pace, aiming to hit the same lap splits you ran for the first mile of the workout.
— After the 1,200 on the track, jog 2-3 minutes off the track back to the start of where you’ll run your second tempo mile.
— Run 1 mile off the track at your tempo pace.
— After completing the mile off the track, jog 2-3 minutes back to the track for the third interval.
— Back on the track, run 800m (2 laps) at your current 5K race pace, or roughly 4-5 seconds per lap faster than you ran your first two track intervals.
— After the 800 on the track, jog 2-3 minutes off the track back to the start of where you’ll run your third (and last) tempo mile.
— Run 1 mile off the track at your tempo pace.
— After completing the mile off the track, jog 2-3 minutes back to the track for the last interval.
— Back on the track, run 400m (1 lap) faster than your current 5K race pace, or as if you were finishing the last quarter mile of a race. Focus on running fast but relaxed—hold your form!
— Cool down with 2-3 miles of easy jogging, stretch, refuel.
Coach Groves adapted this workout for use (or misuse!) by Nittany Lions.  We ran a few in 1979 and 1980.  Our version entailed a 3 mile warm up from Rec Hall (1979) or Beaver Stadium visitor's locker room (1980) to the new track in its current location absent the Indoor Complex.

A timed mile was then run as one group, immediately followed by a tempo run of 2 miles to the Observatory fields past the Deer Pens for the second timed mile.  Immediately after the second timed mile, runners return to the track at tempo pace for the last timed mile, this time in scattered, bedraggled groups.

For those of us in the middle or back of the pack among the large number of distance runners in that day, keeping up with the leaders on the "tempo" runs between timed miles, was not an option.  Merely trying meant running essentially a 10K race (usually on a Wednesday).  This almost guaranteed a horrible race on Saturday if one was on the schedule!  I have to check my logs to see if I have any of these workouts documented with the surrounding races?  Or any of you can check yours and chime in!

Gary Black remembers one of these workouts with Tom Rapp clocking a 4:14 on the final mile, to the taunts of those coming in behind him.  I was nowhere near this event, as I could not keep up with the leaders following the second mile.  But I wasn't in the last group either, and I'm kinda sorta proud of that!

I have reached out to Ben Flanagan, Michigan's NCAA 10K Champion to opine on his remembrances of any Michigan Workouts.  I hope to hear back soon.

I had breakfast with Ben at 2017 Big Ten Champs.
Jonathon Cross, Michigan Alum and Friend of the Group, ran for the first years of Coach Ron Warhurst and may offer some great insights also!

Monday, October 1, 2018

Progeny In The Endurance Ranks

This post features the offspring of friends continuing family athletic exploits in Division 3 Endurance Sports.  I have to say Endurance Sports because noted crackpot and our Erwin Shroedinger Endowed Chair for Advanced Physics has a daughter who apparently received slightly more than 50% of her genes from him!   (Just kidding, Ron Moore.  Ultra-Trail running isn't even slightly crazy.  Wink Wink.)

First up is Elizabeth Moore, who is a triathlete in the new sport of Women's Triathlon at Transylvania University in Kentucky .  She has won all three events so far as a Freshman, and is qualified for the National Championships.  I have a feeling we will be seeing more of her in the future.

Elizabeth Moore

Second up is Phoebe Whiteside, who we all know from her trek of the entire length of the Appalachian Trail with her dad, Rob Whiteside, 2 years ago! Remember, I have also trekked the entire width of the Appalachian Trail and have a t-shirt to prove it. She runs for Suburban Philly Swarthmore College.

Phoebe Whiteside

Third is Valerie Collins, daughter of Group Friend Martha White Collins.  She runs for the Tartans of Carnegie Mellon University in the Burgh.

Valerie Collins, 87

Last, but not least is Anne Baskwill, Daughter the Younger, who has found a new love for running at Hartwick College near Cooperstown, NY.  With her previous hurdling activity in high school, she may just run the Steeplechase for the first ever year of Track at Hartwick.

Anne Baskwill, front left
Please forward news and pics of any more progeny in the college athletic ranks!

Friday, September 28, 2018

Many Members All In One Place At One Time (Long, Long Ago...)

If you wanted to get the most group members and Friends of the Group in one race outside of an actual team race, there couldn't be a better one than the Arts Festival Race.  In the early years of the race, it consisted of two 5 mile loops of the campus, starting and finishing at Rec Hall.

Many team members and graduates were, of course, hanging around State College for the hoopla surrounding the rather new Arts Festival.

So in 1978, more than 500 toed the line, and among them in order of finish!
  • Greg Fredericks
  • Jim Allahand
  • Jim Clelland
  • Michael Wyatt
  • Bob Snyder
  • John Zeigler
  • Frit Cooper
  • Dan Draper
  • Gary Black
  • Charlie Maguire
  • David Baskwill
  • Bill Kvashay
  • Tom Clarke
  • Don Ziter
  • Kevin O'Brien
  • Hugh Hamill
  • Nick K
  • Carl Bechdel
  • George McWilliams
  • Mark Haywood
  • Brian Mount
  • Bob Hudson
  • Terry Losch
  • Peggy Cleary
  • Martha White
  • Kim Long
Other notable names:
  • Bill Reifsnyder
  • Sam Bray
  • Sue Crowe
  • Karen Hollick (my Podiatry School classmate)
  • Ray Feehery (another Podiatry School classmate)

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Sometimes My Posts Turn Out To Be Something Entirely Different Than I Intended

I was planning on a post detailing the numerous PSU Alumni Golfers at the Reunion of the State College High School Cross Country team.   But other things struck me as worthy of a post.  Including a party I came across at a really weird time.

While the group does not...
  • condone under-aged drinking
  • condone excessive alcohol consumption
  • condone drinking and driving
this very well may be the greatest party I have ever witnessed...

This was Saturday morning on South Pugh Street, right across the street from the parking garage of our newly adopted Reunion Hotel, the Days Inn.  And that was after the Nittany Lions played a late night game in Illinois.  My hat was tipped to the die-hard partiers who numbered in the hundreds.  They had already begun to scatter by time the first police car came.  Eventually, 4 police cars were there.  There were no arrests and everyone ended up smiling as the crowd happily cleaned up the mess and disbursed.  Like it never even happened!

This was less than half the crowd at its peak!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Another Reunion

Mad Mex was the scene of another reunion last night, with a 75% Nittany Lions concordance.
It was actually a Reunion of the State College Little Lion 4 x 880 yards PA State Champs in 1978!
This included from right to left, Martha White, Bev Pazur, Terry Sweitzer, and Paula Froke. Only Martha left State College for the pastures of UVA.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Barkley Dogs. Even One Named Barkley!

The man in charge of the Barkley Marathons, Lazarus Lake, is every bit of the eccentric stereotype one would expect.  But the man behind Lazarus Lake, Gary Cantrell, is nothing of the sort.

In real life he is a retired accountant who just completed a walk/jog across America.  His feat ended just the day before he had to be back in Tennessee for the recent Barkley Fall Classic.  It took him 126 days from the Atlantic Ocean in Connecticut to the Pacific in Oregon.  Read his daily posts...

Also, it turns out that Laz is an author.  When he found an abandoned dog that had been shot in the rural Tennessee mountains, he saved him.  After twice trying to find a suitable home for the dog, the dog kept finding his way back to Laz.  so he named him "Big" and published all his adventures in book form. 

And even our very own Erwin Shroedinger Endowed Chair for Advanced Physics, Ron Moore got into the action.  At last years Barkley race, Ron couldn't run and was crewing for another when 5 puppies were found abandoned in the wilderness.  All were eventually adopted, with Ron taking one home which he named Barkley.  (I think several others share the same name!)

Barkley, center 2017.

Barkley 2018.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Where Have The Fullers Been?

Well, everybody knows I can't tell any of them apart!  They missed this year's Reunion and Golf Tourney for sanctioned and approved reasons. They have been getting married, having babies and buying houses, is all I know.

And now one has snagged a trifecta of races culminating in the York White Rose Run. ( I ran the first of these, oh so many years ago!)

Brian Fuller, the handsome one, (hee hee hee) won the 5-Mile race in 25:31.  The fact that he was wearing our Alumni Singlet garners him extra mulligans in next year's Golf Tourney.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Getting Better With Age (And Sponsor Bling!)

I plan on taking way too much credit for Ron Moore's continued improvement in his quest to run the Barkley Marathons.  (Honestly, I deserve none.) He ran the baby brother Barkley Fall Classic for the third time yesterday, and had one of his best ultra-marathon performances ever!

Luckily for me, he modeled the Nike Dri-Fit t-shirt I had made up to spread the news of my Podiatry Practice to eccentric types in rural Tennessee.  I expect the appointment calls to commence early Monday morning.  Plans are already underway to expand the sponsor equipment to get Ron over-the-top.

Ron was 25th overall (out of >400 entrants) with a time of 9:57:22 in the 50K rugged trail race.

Next up:  How dogs figure prominently at the Barkley
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