20th Annual Penn State Track and Field/XC Reunion

And SAVE THE DATE! The Executive Committee meeting of the Officers of the Group convened and chose the dates for the 2022 Reunion and Coach Groves Golf Tournament. This will be the 20th anniversary of the formulation of this whole shebang, and you better SAVE THE DATE!! So set aside May 13th and 14th, 2022. (Each year will alternate between May and August) We will be going all out for this event and you won't want to miss it. Adult beverages, camaraderie with old and new friends, mediocre golf, AND LIVE MUSIC FROM PROFESSIONALS! Stay tuned...

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Performance Of The Year: 2nd Semi-Final

The poll is closed on the first semi-final round.  We'll sort that out later as I bring in the entries for the 2nd semi-final:

  • Joe Kovacs winning the Thrower of the Year Al Oerter Award for USATF
  • Brannon Kidder's School Record 1500M at Palo Alto, 3:38.8
  • 9:26.59 Distance Medley Relay at PSU National  (#2 NCAA ever)
  • Co-Blogger Matt Groves wins the Hershey Half-Marathon
  • Mahogany Jones with a 3-way All-American performance at NCAA's
  • Darrel Hill's Big Ten Shot Put victory
  • Men's 3rd place finish at 2014 Big Ten XC Championships
  • Mahogany Jones 5th at USATF 200M National Championships
  • Joe Kovacs over 70 feet for the first time at Diamond League beating the Olympic Champion and the #1 Shot Putter in the world
Vote for your top 3. Three enties will make the Finals in the new year, just in time for the start of the Indoor Season (and new Performances of the Year!).

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Good Riddance To 2014

There were many things that were great about 2014 in the PSU T&F/XC Universe.  And the stage is set for many more great things to occur in 2015.  I  hope more and more people become involved in the Program to help make that happen.

2014 was as if I was #98 for the Boston College Eagles, looking to secure a Bowl victory.  Just one small problem...  I can't kick a football.  My year was mostly wide right as well.

And it looks like our Performance of the Year poll was hacked by a renegade band of Austrians who happen to know Gary Black!  I'm going to have to figure out what to do about that???

Monday, December 29, 2014

Post from Paradise

Special thanks to David Baskwill welcoming me back into the fold, after a long posting haitus on my part. (The title of the post is because I'm in Aruba right now. But it has little-to-nothing to do with the actual post)

Happy Holidays and New Year to all the great Alumni across the country keeping up with the blog.  I have been following XC and Indoor seasons from Vista, CA (can’t believe I didn’t get invited to the formal!  I would have flown back!)  But wanted to say here that seriously I am just so proud of the way all of you guys and ladies ran this XC season. And on the dudes’ side – you should know I was grinning from ear to ear after Big Tens and the Regionals.  I was proud of everyone.  From younger guys like Bobby Hill stepping up and making an impact in the post-season, to the steadfast leadership of Matt Fischer, Wade Endress, Glen Burkhardt, and Robby Creese, everyone brought awe-inspiring grit and determination (no surprise).  Cherish the college XC memories.  Every morning this fall I would rise to read about your new successes and it was adding fuel to my fire. Even from 3000 miles away, all of your hard work does not go unappreciated, because you give me a reason to get out of bed in the morning and start training.  So congratulations again everyone, both guys and ladies, and thank you!  I wear the Alumni singlet on the west coast with a lot of pride! At most road races they refer to me as simply "The Guy from Penn State".
Tyler McCandless and I unexpectedly run into each other at a 5K in Encinitas, CA in late October. Naturally we took the pacing duties.  These west-coast runners are so soft.

 So since October I’ve been working as a Recruiter in San Diego, living with my brother Justin, but I spend my mornings and evenings training in North County’s beautiful desert trails.  I’m running with the Milestone Track Club, and a few of us (including me) are building up to a fast 5K at Mt. Sac in April, with hopes of qualifying for Stanford. In the interim we’ll all do a few road races together including the Encinitas Mile and The Carlsbad 5000. My training partners are just all-around a phenomenal group of guys. And talented. It’s a mix of both milers and marathoners with high ambitions.

·        “Danger” David Edwards - formerly of Rogue AC, 3:44 1500m
·        Paul Wellman - team captain, 66 minute half-marathon
·        Justin Turner – officially races for New Balance Prado Racing Team, Active Duty Navy, 65-minute half marathon
·        Mark Sarno, Sean Brosnan, and the Prado Racing Team also all join us for some training sessions as well

Tom Kloos takes me and David Edwards through a fast opening 800m at the Oceanside Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning.

Between San Diego TC, Prado Racing Team, and Milestone TC, there are some awesome club rivalries out here. These teams push me every day to get better.  Paul Wellman offered me phenomenal coaching and guidance this fall.  We put the cap on my XC season last weekend when I ran an 8K P.R. at Miramar Lake.  Looking toward the spring I can’t wait to get back to doing some heavy track work with these guys.

 Penn Staters of course are easy to find wherever you go, by the way.  This fall I had the pleasure of running into Tyler McCandless at the Moonlight Beach 5K in Encinitas, and a few weeks later Coach Gondak at Foot Locker Nationals.  A week after that, the Marathon-Man Deep-Dishing Tyler Jones (PSU XC ’12) drove down from San Francisco to celebrate my birthday with me and relive the Penn State memories while checking out San Diego’s local microbrew scene. Tyler works now in the Bay Area as a software engineer and has his eyes set on soon improving upon his 2:19 marathon PR.  From the looks of it, after some awesome runs along San Diego’s canyon trails with Tyler, he is well on his way.
Cooking pizza and "getting pitted" in the waves: Tyler Jones' two hidden talents outside of running and computer hacking.

 If anyone is looking for a fast, competitive road mile in March by the way, join us for the Encinitas Mile.  Mark Sarno, Paul Wellman and I work on the race’s planning committee and we are looking to attract some more local talent. We’re offering more than $1,000 in Prize Money and you have a free place to crash for the weekend if you need it!  www.encinitasmile.com.  That’s all for now.  Enjoy the winter. -Scarp

Sunday, December 28, 2014

A Penn State Track and Field Alumni Golfer Needs Your Help

Munya Maraire was in a serious car accident in South Africa and had to have his left arm amputated. There is a site established to give him financial help which is really needed.  Please do what you can!

Munya Maraire.
Giveforward Site

Thanks to The Director of Youth Development Artie Gilkes for the link.


As the year draws to an end, here are some reminders for the wonderful members of our group:

  1. Don't forget to vote in the first of two semi-finals for the Performance of the Year.  Vote for your top 3 choices on the left side-bar of the full web-site.  The top 3 choices will make it to the finals, along with the top 3 from the next semi-final (semi-finals were randomly chosen from all the entries submitted throughout the year on the right side-bar by enthusiastic members).  There is still a few days left for the first semi-final.  The second semi-final will be placed in the same location on New Year's Eve and run for 6 days.
  2. Don't forget to click on the Google Adsense ads you find on the web-site.  Every single click makes money for our group.  These funds help defray the costs involved in site maintenance and all leftover funds go directly to the Coach Groves Scholarship Endowment.  The further you click in to any ads you find, the more revenue is generated for us.  Actually purchasing something makes us even more.  The ads are tailored to appeal to what is presented on the site. Some of the ads are for places that you already frequent, like Family Clothesline etc. The security of the ads is great, and every click helps!
  3. And don't forget about our Group Store.  There are plenty of items there that appeal to just about everyone.  And some changes will be coming for even more soon!
  4. And don't forget to sign up for the Dinner With the Coaches following the Sykes-Sabock Meet!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

A New Year, A New Coach, And New Enthusiasm That Top Potential Recuits Will Notice

I'm really looking forward to this year's Indoor Track Season.  And I sense an increase in enthusiasm for the Program from others also. It's as if the efforts of our group, and many others, are having a positive impact.  And any little bit that our group adds to that, makes me very happy.

The great indoor facilities are obviously a big draw to potential recruits.  But there is so much more to entice the finest student-athletes to Happy Valley.

  • The top Go-To school for employment recruiters in the nation.
  • Unparalleled beauty and running trails for the distance guys.
  • Hundreds of involved former athletes of the program giving back.
  • A rich and remarkable heritage of NCAA Champions and Olympians. 
  •  The largest and most active Alumni Organization in the World.  And hopefully some day soon, the largest and most active TRACK Alumni Organization in the World.
  • A coach with all the skills required to make great things happen for all six varsity sports, Men's and Women's Cross Country, Men's and Women's Indoor Track and Men's and Women's Outdoor Track.
Here's a nice article from the Centre Daily Times on Coach Gondak:

Coach John Gondak rises through the ranks to lead Penn State track and field program
By Katy Galimberti

Read more here: http://www.centredaily.com/2014/12/24/4524885_coach-john-gondak-rises-through.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy
— John Gondak’s civil engineering degree was never used for its intended purpose.
He’s not designing or constructing roads or other infrastructure. Instead, he’s building the track and field program at Penn Sate.
Named head coach of the program in September, Gondak was previously assistant head coach for two years and has eight years with the Nittany Lions.
He replaced Beth Alford-Sullivan, who left after 15 years to direct the University of Tennessee program.
After going through a grueling interview process, Gondak, 41, was selected for the job from among a number of qualified candidates, he said.
“I remember (athletic director) Sandy Barbour came down to the team here, and when she introduced me she said, ‘It was a long race, but at the end of the day coach Gondak won,’ and I was very happy to win that race,” he said.
In his first season as head coach, the men’s cross country team finished third in the Big Ten, its highest finish since 2000. The women’s team finished in seventh place.
Under his coaching, Matt Fisher and Jillian Hunsberger qualified for the NCAA championships, finishing 167st and 161st, respectively.
Gondak’s specialty in middle distance and cross country stems from his own competitive experience.
While running for Central Bucks West High School in Doylestown, his interest was sparked by the popular sprint events. But, ultimately, his body had a different idea of what he would run.
“I slowly learned that I wasn’t the fastest person on the team at CB West,” he said. “I tried the hurdles, and when I went under the hurdle the first time when I was trying it I realized the hurdle was not for me.”
His high school coaches directed his focus toward the 800 meters race, which he continued to do while running track for Syracuse University.
Gondak graduated from Syracuse in 1995 as a captain of the cross country team. In addition, his academic persistence led to his being named valedictorian of his civil engineering class.
Even while enjoying success in the classroom, Gondak had an inkling his future would be in track.
On a bus trip home from a meet, he approached Dick Coleman, then the head coach of the track and field program at Syracuse. He asked the coach how he could turn his passion for track and field into a professional career.
That led to a role as a volunteer coach at Georgia Tech while he completed a master’s degree in engineering.
Gondak then continued to build his resume with stops at Toledo and Kentucky before returning to Georgia Tech, his last job before coming back to his home state to coach in Happy Valley.
Through all of his success at other programs, Gondak admits that Penn State was always in the back of his mind.
“Every coach has that one university that they’re really passionate about,” he said. “Penn State was always that university for me.”
Gondak grew up about four hours from Penn State’s campus. His parents were 1968 graduates of Penn State. When a position was open, Gondak submitted his name.
Those connections are only strengthened by his own academic work ethic.
When on the recruiting trail, Gondak said, he looks for similar characteristics in potential Penn State athletes.
He’s not thinking just about the quality of the athletic performance but about how the student fits with Penn State’s ideals, he said.
“If they can have that great mix of being strong academically but also the championship-caliber athletics, those are the kids that rise to the top in terms of our recruiting,” he said.
Once they commit to Penn State and step into the Multi-Sport Facility and into the track and field family, Gondak said, he hopes they see him as not just passionate about the success of the team but as someone who cares about their individual needs.
Still, the tall, lean coach is ultimately driven by success, bringing his work ethic into team practices. With angled features, sharp eyes and a crisp tone of voice, he embodies the image of a no-nonsense coach.
“You try to teach them the essence of competition and trying to appreciate the struggle to become the best that they can be,” he said.
Although he is constantly focused on the success of the team, his at-home family pulls him back to reality.
With one daughter, Jessica, 12, and a son Jeffery, 10, Gondak sometimes is able to wind down when getting them ready for school and helping with their homework. Along with his longtime girlfriend, his children provide a different outlet for his mind to relax.
Still, track is in the Gondak blood.
Unlike his father, Jeffery takes on the hurdles with ease. Gondak said he expects to nudge him into participating in intramural track at his middle school this year in the hope that he will develop a similar passion for track and field.
Other than his family, the Phillies — at least when they’re winning — provide some seasonal relief for the coach’s churning mind. Still, he admits, you can’t flip the switch completely off.
As the indoor track and field season kicks off with the first home meet Jan. 10, Gondak’s focus will shift over the holiday season.
“When you’re good at what you do as a coach,” he said, “you’re constantly thinking about your program — what you can do to make your current athletes as successful as they can be.”
 Thanks to our snow-bound State College native, Bob Hudson for the heads-up on this one.

Read more here: http://www.centredaily.com/2014/12/24/4524885_coach-john-gondak-rises-through.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

Friday, December 26, 2014

Another Blast From The Past From Our Oregon Duck Friend On Boxing Day

Dan Martinez, our great Oregon Duck friend,  came across this pic in his perusal of track related stuff from yesteryear.  It's from the 1976 Olympic Trials. That's our PSU great Paul Stemmer and Gary Tuttle in the 10000M trials. Gary Tuttle finished 7th in the 10000M, the same as Greg Fredericks placed in the 5000M that year.

Paul Stemmer, 1976 10000M Olympic Trials.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas: A Post From John Evans, Our Newest Platinum Member

I am humbled to be sharing the Lifetime Platinum Membership Award with Penn State Track/XC legend Brian Boyer. Just being mentioned in the same sentence with Brian puts the significance of the award into perspective.  While I am not sure I am deserving, I thank you all for this great honor.

               As part of the award, I get the honor and responsibility of making a post to this page. I have thought about what topic I would write about in this post. I have decided to correct a glaring omission on these pages. I have not seen one past mention of the Flying Melvin.
The Flying Melvin is when, during a long run, you jump, mid stride as high as you can. At the highest point of the jump, you let out a fart. If done properly, the purpose of the Melvin is to blast one within inches of your teammate’s nose. The Flying Melvin was a staple of long runs while I was at Penn State. I don’t remember a Sunday morning mountain run without a few Melvin’s thrown in.
Team Captain, Jeff Adkins, and upperclassmen, Rob Whiteside and Barry Enright taught the freshman about the Melvin during the first week of practice. Adkins was an engineering major. He taught us  about: the correct angle of takeoff, the correct speed at launch, and when to time the release. Rob Whiteside had a poetic streak. He taught us about the significance of the Melvin to the culture of the team, and the beauty of a correctly executed release. Barry Enright taught us that farts are always funny. As a perennial fourteen year old, I did not need much instruction from Barry.
               During the first week of practice, it became obvious to everyone that one of the other freshmen was going to become the master of the Melvin. My dear friend and teammate, Paul Mackley rapidly distinguished himself as a quick learner. Within just a few days, he had the Melvin down.  I believe his ability can be attributed to two things. First, Paul was a great steeplechaser. I think he still has one of the top times in Penn State history. His steeplechase skill allowed him to time his leap perfectly.  More importantly, Paul had an unbelievable gastric system. He could fart on demand and could burp louder than my fifteen year old daughter screams when I refuse to give her money . We used to go to this cheap Mexican restraint called Pedro’s. Paul would  load up on refried beans and Mountain Dew. He would then blast out a burp that would rattle the windows. More than once, we got thrown out of the place following a Mackley burp. For those of you old enough to remember Pedro’s, getting thrown out of that dive was quite an accomplishment.
               While Mackley’s burps were impressive, his flatulence was a superpower. To give you an idea how impressive was Mackley’s wind, one day we were doing halfs at the Ice Palace. Mackley was leading an interval. He let one rip. I was right behind him. When I got hit with the blast, all I could feel was a wave of heat and humidity. It was like stepping into a sauna. Amazingly, there was no smell.
               One lap later, we hit the fart cloud again. The gas must have needed a little time to ferment, because this time the smell was paint peeling. The best way I can describe the smell is to compare it to a mixture of: cow manure, dairy waste, and rotten hard boiled eggs.  Not only was the smell bad, it was of an unbelievable intensity. It made me throw up a little bit in the back of my mouth. It  almost made me fall to the hard, unforgiving rubber turf of the Ice Palace track.
 I pulled it together and ran on. One lap later, the smell was still there. While it had dissipated a little bit, I was already weakened with my two prior exposures to the poisonous cloud. I don’t know how I did it, but I held on and got through. Thankfully, we finished the half before I had to get exposed a fourth time. That was the intensity of Paul’s mutant superpower.
               For my entire four years on the team, I did not do a long run without getting hit by at least one Mackley Melvin. Usually, he would hit me on a hill when I was working a little bit. My mouth would be slightly open and I would be taking a big breath of air and, BAM!, he’d  blast me. And it wasn’t just me. Everyone would get hit on a run. Just to give you an idea how impressive Mackley was, he hit me once while we were running Julian Pike and STILL made it to the top in less than ten minutes.
               While Mackley may have been the Cal Ripkin of the Melvin, he cannot claim credit for the best Melvin of all time. That distinction goes to Rick Clelan. I only ever saw Rick do one Melvin, but it only took one to get him a mention here.
               It was during indoor season. Paul, Rick, Rick “Spidey”  McGarry and I were on a long run. For whatever reason,  Clelan was getting the brunt of the blasts. Mackley must have been at Pedro’s the night before because he was really gassy. We were running through the State High athletic fields and Paul was on a roll. After about for blasts in about a five minute stretch, Rick had enough. There was a small set of bleachers, the kind you see next to a high school baseball field. The top of the bleachers were about five feet high. As we ran past the bleachers Rick suddenly veered right and ran up the treads. At the top, he jumped straight up. He had to be at least ten feet in the air. At the very top of his jump, he did a perfect saute. He then ripped the loudest and longest fart I ever heard to date. He landed perfectly and continued back to the Indoor Sports Complex as if nothing had happened. Humbled, Mackley kept his gas to himself for the rest of the run.
               I have seen some amazing athletic performances while at Penn State. I saw the 3200m relay win at Penn Relays in 1983, 85 and 86. I saw Eric Carter run some amazing races. I saw Steve Balkey have his breakthrough race at Syracuse, where he transformed from a hockey player to one of the best middle distance runners in Penn State history. All these feats are impressive. None of them match the pure athleticism of Clelan’s Melvin.
               While Clelan’s Melvin was the most athletic thing I ever saw while at Penn State, it was not the coolest. That honor goes to Bob Hudson when, during a run, he relieved himself right in the middle of College Avenue on a busy weekday without anyone noticing. How Hudson accomplished that feat is another story for another day.
               I learned a lot from my time at Penn State. Two things I learned that come to mind as I write here is that my Penn State friends were the best friends anyone could have ever have, and, as Barry Enright taught me thirty-two years ago, farts are always funny.
               One last thing I want to say on my one time honorary blog post. Running XC Club Nationals was REALLY FUN! I’m talking getting drunk at the office Christmas party and pulling down your pants fun. I’m talking going to a Dead Show, eating a kind brownie, and making out with a: Birkenstock wearing, non leg shaving, patchouli oil smelling girl named Donna Jean fun. Yet, running Nationals didn’t cause me to have any next day regrets or hangovers. Next year’s meet is in San Francisco.  I know Mackley and Adkins are both West Coasters. If they and the other alumni want to, in Coach’s words, “Strap a set of balls on” and form a master’s team, let me know. I’ll be there if I can get a permission slip from my wife.

Addendum:  John made me very happy with this submission.  Not just because it means I don't have to come up with a post, but because he reminded me of some very fond memories.  Pedro's was a very favorite haunt in the olden days.  It was originally Weiner World, and has since become Baby's, owned by Matt Millen Suhey, at least at first.  Taco, chili and chips for $0.99 (or double for $1.98!) on Thirsty Thursday meant a free extra-large Mountain Dew (back when it was with pure cane sugar like God intended).  So lunch and dinner were taken care of on that day of the week.  He also referenced our very own Blog Muse who guides me to this day with his poetic charm. Some of what he brought to the underclassmen following my exit probably came from me. May God have mercy on all of us.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

It's Time For The "Performance Of The Year" Semi-Finals

I have divided the nominations into two parts randomly.  Vote for your top 3 on the poll on the left sidebar.  Three entries from both semi-final rounds will make the finals.

The first of two semi-finals
  • Women's team Indoor 4 X 200M Relay  Collegiate Record  
  • 3 Fuller Brothers wearing Alumni Singlets for the approach of Hurricane Iselle in Hawaii
  • Mahogany Jones coming in 3rd in NCAA Indoor 200M
  • Joe Kovacs USATF National Champion Shot Put
  • Will Barr Big Ten Shot Put victory
  • Elizabeth Herndon's World Record Beer Mile
  • Brannon Kidder Athlete of the Week with NCAA-leading 800M
  • Matt Fischer Mid-Atlantic XC victory and Athlete of the Year
  • Women's Indoor School Record 4 x 400M Relay and 5th at NCAA
  • Cas Loxsom 2nd at USATF National Championships 800M
  • Gary Black's Dopey Challenge (5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Marathon) on 2 artificial hips
Remember, vote for 3!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Head's Up For The Coach's Reception! And Another PSU Track Alumni Golfer At XC Nationals

I have been remiss in promoting the Coach's Reception for Coach Teri Jordan and Coach Harry Groves that will occur following the Sykes-Sabock Challenge on Saturday February 7th at 6:30PM to 8:30PM.  This will be an Italian buffet with an open bar.  Right down any Alumni Golfers alley!

Please RSVP by emailing Will Rottler back at wdr13@psu.edu with the number that will be attending. 

Co-blogger Matt Groves, Coach Jordan, Coach Groves, and Dan Jordan.
 After finally coming across the photo of John Evans at the recent USATF XC Club Nationals, another PSU Track Alumni Golfer has emerged!  Apparently there was a mix-up after the race which made the Masters results unavailable for awhile, and I missed people.  Michael Gross also laced them up at the race for the Greater Philadelphia Track Club.  While this earned him praise from me and a little envy, he falls short on a Platinum Membership only because he didn't have an Alumni Singlet!  That means he will continue to pay the same dues he always has for membership in the group ($0 annually) in perpetuity.

Michael Gross in another Michael Scott photo!

If you know of others, please alert us!

Monday, December 22, 2014

This Weeks Sign Of The Apocalypse

Via Philly.com

"Who says you have to work up a sweat to enjoy a post race party? Definitely not the founders of New Era Events who are hosting the first ever Instant Gratification Run, the shortest running course probably in the history of running. (Should they be calling the Guinness Book of World Records?) At this very unique event, participants will run a total of 0.0 miles. So how is this a race you might ask? Well, there will be a start and finish line, entry bibs, awards, race t-shirts, all the things you expect at a race with one exception: the actual running part....."

The End Is Near

A True Trailblazer!

Despite being called "an older gentleman" by one of our younger set, he laced up the spikes at the recent USATF Club Cross Country National Championships.  I tried to appease his psyche a little by reminding him what we all thought when we were 8 or 9 years old.  Anyone over 30 was ancient back then.  It did hurt a little to realize that he is actually younger than I am...

John Evans. Photo by Michael Scott, again!

John Evans became the very first to run in his Alumni Singlet and represent our very own USATF Mid-Atlantic Division team (Penn State Track/XC Alumni).  For his efforts, he has been given just the second Lifetime Platinum Membership in our group.  He'll never pay dues again!  And he gets a post of his very own choosing on the blog.

John was only sad that no one joined him in making a team, and that Coach Groves was not there to call him a part of the female anatomy at the finish.  He relates he had a lot of fun at the event!

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: http://www.runeveryday.com/  

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 .
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