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...

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Billy Da Kid With Another Video

"Video Production Manager" Billy Cvecko's highlight video from the 2014 Nittany Lion Challenge has been picked up by Flotrack once again. He is certainly making a name for himself.

The big 3 will all be in attendance this weekend to cover the Penn State National. Big 3 being Flotrack, Billy, and us (we aren't big but whatever).
To tack onto Dave's post this morning. Casimir Loxsom will be shaking off the rust for his 4x8 showdown. He'll be lacing em up Saturday at the Camel City Hilton Garden Invitational in Winston-Salem, NC. I was wrong with my last prediction but that won't stop me from saying we will have a new indoor alumni 800 record. There is a good chance that will be the case whenever Cas lines up in his post-collegiate career. I expect him to have rewritten our record book in the mid-distance events when it is all said and done.

PSU is 800 U: It's Even Better Now!

The PSU is 800 U is thrown in there just to offend all the right people.  I've explained it before, so I'll just move on to the exciting news.  The 4 x 800M extravaganza upcoming in Boston next week just got more exciting.  Duane Solomon just put a team together to compete with the NY/NJ quartet headlined by Robby Andrews and the Brooks Beasts of Seattle including our own Casimir Loxsom.

This seems like just yesterday!

That's 3 teams with a chance for the Indoor World Record.  It couldn't get better than this.

Or Could It????

It could.  Because it will be on live TV next Saturday.

A Summary of the teams, with their indoor bests:

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Fast Times From State College High

See what I did there? har har. Disclaimer: I will be tooting my own horn in this post.

The connections between State College Area High School (800 High) and Penn State (800 U) are staggering. Start with our own Steve Shisler coaching the current of record breaking high schoolers.

I am proud to say my alma mater has a new school record in the 4x800 meter relay (I was on the old record setting team). Their time of 7:57.49, run this past weekend at the Kevin Dare High School Invitational, broke our 8:01.50 from the Indoor State Meet my senior year. The time we beat was 8:02.4* and had two future Penn Staters in Nick K. and Bob Hudson. By the way my high school also produced Randy Moore and Chris Mills. 800 High indeed. Oh and by the way again, future 800 U representative William Cather broke his own school record in the open 800 with a 1:54.05. He will be attending Penn State next year and will continue the tradition of State College distance talent to run for Penn State.

*Was probably run on a flat 160 yard hybrid basketball court/track instead the banked 200 meter mondo surface we have now.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Ask the Coach???

So if all goes as planned, I'll be able to ask Coach Groves some questions this weekend for my very first podcast.  Despite the whole concept scaring the (redacted) out of me, it may be a good chance for some real insight.

So send me some questions you want answered by Coach to dfbaskwill(AT)cs(DOT)com (substitute @ for AT and . for DOT, for those who may be slower than the average PSU Track Alumni Golfer!) or via the comments on the bottom of this post.  Only serious questions will be entertained.  We all have millions of un-serious questions that may not be suitable for even our mature audience members! (all 2 of them...)

I'm sure Matt can make sure Coach doesn't see any of the questions ahead of time.  Surprise is one of our chief weapons. A comfy chair will be the least of his worries.

Monday, January 27, 2014

It's Penn State National Week!

I'll be heading up to State College this weekend for the Penn State National Indoor Meet. That's the one that has had a sub-4 mile every year for quite a while now.  So that's what my first podcast will attempt to discuss.  I hopefully will have 3 members of the sub-4 club as well as coblogger Matt Groves and his father to discuss the magic of the mile and what it takes to dip under "the barrier".

The recent death of Chris Chataway points out that there is more than one way to skin a cat, so to speak.  His revelation of never running more than 25 miles in a week certainly made more than one sub-4 practitioner from my era sit up and take notice.  In my day, many miles were thought needed for such lofty goals.  Chris helped pace Roger Bannister to his famous feat and later dipped under himself, despite being primarily a 5000 M specialist.

Hopefully, many of you can stop by and say hello when I'm there.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

People Will Cheat at Just About Anything

Conspiring to cheat at the 2015 Disney Dopey Challenge?
The longer I live, the less I seem to understand.  Why would someone travel thousands of miles from a summer climate to a winter climate just to cheat at a race that few even bother to keep track of?

It seems a certain individual has been identified as cheating at The Disney Dopey Challenge earlier this month by the miscreants and lurkers on LetsRun.  I had noted in an earlier post that Disney has been saturated the last 2 years by people from Brazil.  The old cliche was Japanese tourists taking over the parks, but the world economy seems to have shifted in dramatic fashion to the Southern Hemisphere, or something.   But our fun-loving Portuguese-speaking friends from down-under seem to have been infiltrated by a low-life willing to cheat at a Family-friendly, Hobby-Jogger(copyrighted) event.  I just don't understand.

The participants in the event I know are not offended at all and could care less whether any punishment is rendered or not.  And that's even including the fact that the creep misjudged his cheat at the half-marathon and ended up finishing fifth in the awards category for his age group.  This greatly enhanced his chances of getting caught.

Turns out it was extremely easy to cheat by simply skipping a portion of the race where the paths converge.  The fact that you miss a timing mat or official photos at key landmarks seems to be ignored because of the sheer number of runners (35,000 or so total). So much for Disney substituting for the NSA any time soon. I would send them to a gulag or something, but that's apparently just me.

Anyone else on my side?  Vote on the left sidebar poll!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Throwback Thursday, A Day Late...

Thanks to Will Nowicki for sending me this picture of the old man from a William & Mary yearbook (Will's younger brother runs for W&M). Teaching the unnamed athlete proper technique for sh*tting in the woods no doubt.

For some Friday morning coffee break reading. Check out Nick Hilton's thoughts on becoming a "trying-to-be professional distance runner".

Thursday, January 23, 2014

PSU is 800 U: Professional Edition

New Brooks Beast Casimir Loxsom and his new professional running friends have come out of the gate with a bold opening 100 M, so to speak.  Here and Here for more

They are going for the  7:13.94 4 x 800 M World Record in the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston on Feb. 8.  Joining him will be Matt Sherer, Mark Wieczorek and headliner Nick Symmonds.  There is another team of 4 headed by Robby Andrews in the field.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say they will break the record without problem.

From LetsRun.com

Brooks Beast 4 x 800 Based on PBs
Matt Scherer – 1:46.11
Mark Wieczorek – 1:45.36
Casimir Loxsom – 1:45.28
Nick Symmonds – 1:42.95
Total: 6:59.70

What about the NY/NJ Track Club you say? Ok, here is your answer:
Robby Andrews: 1:44.71
Mike Rutt: 1:45.08
Brian Gagnon: 1:45.45
Tevan Everett: 1:46.02
Total: 7:01.26

This could be more exciting than the East Coast vs. West Coast Rap/Hip Hop Wars!

They Don't Make Em Like They Used To

A discussion  via the comments section of my previous blog post as inspired me to dig up an old paper I wrote for college.

It starts with the passing of Sir Chris Chataway on Monday at the age of 82. Best known for pacing Roger Bannister to the first ever mile faster than four minutes and setting a world record in the 5000 meters. Back when the gentleman amateur was the law of the land among British athletes, they adhered to the motto of "effortless superiority". Urban legend has it that Chataway would show up at the track smoking a cigar, place it on the inside rail, run a workout then pick up the still lit cigar.

The paper in mention was for Dr. John Lucas Olympic History class my senior year. I chose to write about the quest for the first sub 4 mile. Made sense since I had already ready two books on the subject. If anyone is interested in reading it, click here to download it*. Still had it saved on my computer. A reader of the blog under the name Truthbetold commented about writing a similar paper and I would be every interesting in hearing more. If it is still out there somewhere.

Pacing History

*I won't be offended by the lack of readers. I probably wouldn't bother to read someone else's term paper from college either.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Enemy of Good is Better

Things are never good enough it seems nowadays.  Just when you think the Disney Dopey Challenge was a feat worth proclaiming (It is!), something comes along to question that.  And of course, it is runners at the tip of the questioning spear of wackiness!

So, 4 races in 4 days at Disney World wasn't enough.  Now 7 races spread out over 11 days and two coasts will garner you an unofficial Hercules Award, as well as Disney's Official Coast-to-Coast Award.  And I'm not stretching it to say things are rigidly defined. At least in the Disney Community.

Goofy Award = Half Marathon and Marathon on separate, concecutive days in Orlando.

Dopey Challenge = 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and Marathon on 4 separate, consecutive days in Orlando.

Tinkerbell Award = 5K, 10K, Half Marathon on 3 separate, consecutive days in Anaheim.

Hercules Award (Unofficial) = All seven races in 11 days.

Coast-to-Coast Award = A Half-Marathon or Marathon in Orlando and a Half Marathon in Anaheim in the same calendar year.  Apparently, Disney Land doesn't have a Marathon. Yet!  There are actually two chances for this, so there are people with 2 Coast-to-Coasts out there.  Which should have its own name. Maybe Rich, Unemployed and Obsessed Award?  Just spitballing there...

There are hundreds of people that did this last week.  I'm just saying.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Nittany Lion Challenge Recap

Another fine showcase at the Nittany Lion Challenge.

I am going with co-performance of the meet honors. Bernard Bennett-Green with his break though 400 (46.61 and 4th fastest in the NCAA this season) and Robby Creese winning the 1000 in a US leading time of 2:20.65.

In my meet preview I mentioned that the 1000 meter run has been a showcase event for this meet and it certainly didn't disappoint on Saturday. Robby used his trademark bell lap speed to pull away from the field. Winning with a big kick should be referred to as a Creese Lightning. Although my prediction of a new alumni record did not come to fruition. Owen Dawson came close clocking a 2:22.94 for 4th place and .28 seconds behind Randy Moore's 2:22.66 from 1986.

Event 13  Men 1000 Meter Run
    Facility: F 2:19.53  2012        Robby Creese, P S U      
         PSU: P 2:19.53  2012        Robby Creese             
        Meet: M 2:19.53  2012        Robby Creese, Penn State 
    Name                    Year School                  Finals
  1 Creese, Robby             JR Penn State             2:20.65
  2 Bile, Ahmed               SO Georgetown             2:21.42
  3 Ledder, Billy             JR Georgetown             2:21.77
  4 Dawson, Owen                 Unattached             2:22.94
  5 Peavey, Bobby             SR Georgetown             2:23.87
  6 Dillenbeck, Alex          JR Iowa State             2:25.96
  7 Sorensen, Dylan           SR Georgetown             2:26.54
  8 Gioielli, Joseph          SO Iowa State             2:27.33
  9 Baldwin, Alec             SO Iowa State             2:27.52
10 Reher, Michael            JR Georgetown             2:28.46
11 Seitzer, Dominik          FR Ohio State             2:28.98
12 Kinnare, Kieran           JR Cornell                2:30.79
13 Castelli, Tyler           SO Pittsburgh             2:31.90
14 Dawson, Kyle                 Unattached             2:32.95
-- Zingsheim, Zach           FR Georgetown                 DNF

Kyle Dawson, looking to work on his finishing speed, ran the 1000 after pacing 7th in the mile with a 4:18.43. He will be back in the 3000 meters in two weeks at the Penn State National.

Down in Houston Tyler McCandless started his 2014 with a PR at the USA Half Marathon Championships, part of the Aramco Houston Half Marathon and Chevron Houston Marathon. Tyler tweeted his thoughts on his run. (Officially 17th in 1:03.25)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The NSA Versus Disney: And A Dopey Challenge

This year's version of "Trapped Like a Rat" was even more so than ever before.*  The addition of the Magic Bands made sure that Disney and Co. could track our every move and much, much more. And yet everyone voluntarily placed their band on their wrist and went about having a glorious time conquering the Dopey Challenge.

I'm not sure how I feel about it.  The RFID long-range chip in the band is more of an intrusion into our daily lives than anything the NSA has on us.**  But then again, Disney is not the government.  At least I don't think so?  Here's a little better treatise on the subject than I can bring to the table. And it introduces most of us to the concept of Meat-Space, as opposed to cyberspace.

An innocuous wrist band.
Gary Black is Perfectly Dopey. Except for his hips.
Barb Black is Perfectly Dopey and a 5-time Goofy.
Anne and Martha ran the 5K.
*My Love/Hate of everything Disney doesn't stop me from contributing to their coffers every year.

**A very smart person told me 8 years ago that the NSA and "other agencies" knew everything I say and do,  everywhere I went and everything I write.  I did not believe him at the time, but I do now. C'est la vie.

Some House Cleaning and an Invitation

I finally got around to cleaning up* the links to PSU Track-related web sites and other blogs on the right side-bar.  I added Bernard Bennett-Green's blog at co-blogger Matt Grove's alert.  Having Matt adding to the blog has been a big help, getting this operation closer to what I now hope it can become.

I started out just trying to get more than 11 golfer's to attend the 2008 Coach Harry Groves Golf Tournament, but things soon morphed into more than I had ever envisioned.  Thanks go to a lot of people, and you know who you are.  (Muse, Assistant Laureate etc...) My original hope to travel through this life as anonymously as possible being blown all to heck, I'll still only post as Skwilli and keep photos of myself to a minimum on the blog. (Unless of course I make it onto The Cup again!)

At 60 hits consistently daily now, with a high of 100 daily for several months, we are becoming a go-to site for stories, news, alerts and mirth concerning PSU Track and Cross-Country, both past, present and future.  And I want to make it even more.  And you can help. Please spread the word.

I hope to add more History to our footprint via the upcoming Podcast.  That's if I can get over my natural shyness, lack of technological knowledge, and general mediocrity.  As Kermit the Frog once sang, "It's not easy being green."

I have an idea for the first several Podcasts, but I would love ideas for other 20-30 minute interviews, Q and A's or other formats conducive to the Podcast form.  Let me know. 

And any other links for PSU-Track-related web-sites and blogs will certainly be considered!

*I have eliminated links with no activity for longer than a year.  Some sites with a link to our site have been spared just because I'm a nice guy. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Back In Action

Some people recover quicker than others and that is certainly the case for Kyle Dawson and Owen Dawson. Now it's no secret that these guys are endurance monsters but some of us who raced last weekend haven't left the ice bath yet.

All kidding aside The Nittany Lion Challenge is tomorrow at the Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track and both Dawson's are entered in the 1000 with Kyle doubling in the mile (heat sheets and schedule). Kyle, who is preparing for a fast 3K at the Penn State National, will be getting some quality speed work while Owen is racing in the meets showcase event. Ryan Foster ran a then school record in the 2010 edition only to see his 2:19.60 bested by Robby Creese in 2012 with a 2:19.53 (which happens to be the collegiate record). Owen split a 1:51 800 last weekend and I wouldn't be surprised to see a new indoor alumni record* tomorrow (currently held by Randy Moore at 2:22.66).

Last thing before moving on from last weekend is reading Bernard Bennett-Green's thoughts on the Penn State Indoor Relays in his official team blog.

*Speaking of records the Penn State Indoor Relays 4x800 meter relay meet record, of which I ran on, survived for another year. It's really all I got from my time in college besides some piece paper with a few top administrators signatures on it.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Lucky 13th Annual Coach Harry Groves Golf Tournament is Coming!

A gimmee for sure.
In a meeting of the Official Idiots in Charge today, preparations for the weekend of fun were finalized. Clark Haley and Harry Smith have been busy in firming things up for us.  Some highlights:

  1. The Golf Tournament is on May 17 at 12:00 Noon at the Former Elks Club Course, now called Mountain View Country Club.  18 Hole Shotgun start with a four-man best ball format (whatever the technical name is!) where you get to choose the best of your foursomes shots on every shot.  There will be some skill events before the golf begins with a 50/50 monetary prize involved.  Maybe Mark Hawkins can sink another 40-footer...
  2. There will be a Friday night reception, May 16 at 7:00PM for everyone involved at the Hampton Inn/Damon's Complex on Rt. 26 near the track.
  3. There will be a Awards Dinner back at Damon's following the golf. The comedy ramblings of Clark Haley as host will award prizes to just about everyone.
  4. There will be a Climb of Mount Nittany for those not golfing for the seventh year in-a-row.
  5. Fees will be $150 this year.*
  6. Efforts are underway to expand the Council of Idiot Officers to include members from every decade, sex and every track and field discipline. Everyone is invited and welcome in our group!
  7. All monies raised above costs are destined for the Coach Harry Groves scholarship endowment.  Help ensure the continued presence of PSU Track and Field.
  8. A block of special rate rooms has been set aside again at the Hampton Inn.  Use code PST when booking the room.
Questions and suggestions are always welcome.  We would appreciate everyone taking the time to spread the word to Alumni unaware of our efforts.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Scrapple for Breakfast

A mash of track and field related media for your Wednesday morning. If you happen to be from Pittsburgh and have a Penn Relays watch, this will be an enjoyable read.

Pittsburgh Pirates all-star center fielder Andrew McCutcheon is encouraging all you Pittsburgh natives to return home and run the Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon in May.


The Penn Relays are a big deal to all of use who have been involved with Penn State Track and Field. Check out this poem in the The Atlantic by University of Maryland Professor Michael Collier entitled “Penn Relays”. 

Lastly but certainly not least. The USTFCCCA Indoor Preseason rankings are out and the men will be starting the season ranked 6th in the nation. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Soap Opera is Cancelled: The Long Drive is Over

Photo courtesy of Debby Nicholas.

I managed another 12 of the total 15 hour drive back to PA yesterday.  The Dopey Challengers are seemingly fully recovered and looking forward to another challenge next year.  Both Barb and Gary would have placed 2nd overall in the 18 year-old age group! They finished higher up overall than either expected.  I honestly have no idea how they do it.

So all is well, except now I must somehow manage to jump back on the treadmill for a "brisk" 3-Miler...

Someone told me a Disney Movie should be made to commemorate Barb and especially Gary's achievement.  We need a title!  Go to the left side bar and vote for your favorite title.  Or add one of your own in the comments.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Penn State Relays Observations

A great weekend for Penn State. James "Pope" Franklin* and a great number of quality performances at the Penn State Relays. Since I was participating I did not get any photos but I'll link to some when they become available. Results and a much more professional recap here.

A Nittany Lion took first place in a whopping 19 out of the 35 events contested including a 1-2-3-4 sweep in the men's 500 meter dash and a collegiate record in the women's 4x200 meter relay. We couldn't tell who won the 500 as twins Brandon and Bernard Bennett-Green were separated by 1/100th of a second (talk about identical genes). Third was freshmen Byron Robinson while Alex Shisler book-ended the sweep.

My performance of the meet goes to Mahagony Jones, Dynasty McGee, Megan Osborne, and Kiah Seymour for setting a new collegiate record in the 4x200 clocking 1:35.65.

Alumni singlets were worn with pride in the 1000 meter run and Distance Medley Relay. I used the age old strategy of just running away from everyone and winning the "B" heat of the 1000 in 2:33.98 while Brian Fuller, Kevin Fuller, Owen Dawson, and Kyle Dawson came third in 10:02.84 in the DMR. Kyle showed his trademark toughness on the anchor leg as he looked in extreme pain trying to make up ground and reclaim the DMR title for us graduates. The B team of Mark Fuller, Vince McNally, myself, and Chris Cipro were 7th in 10:41.41. Still beating two schools despite Vince coming down from the 10K to run a 400 leg; and he never was a sprinter to begin with. First place and current number 1 world ranking** went to the varsity team in 9:59.94.

Next week is the Nittany Lion Challenge at the Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track. I don't believe there will be any alumni participating but the big timers will certainly be putting on another fine display of athletic prowess.

*I believe it was signified with white smoke coming from Old Main
**Unofficial of course

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Lunch Menu Has More Pain and A Nice Stew, But We're All Out of Stew

Gary Black pulled off the ultimate something at the Dopey Challenge at Disney World today.  He finished the 4 races on 4 consecutive days averaging 10:34/Mile without walking a step.  For those not sure of the difficulty of this challenge, it's a lot harder than it sounds.  And Gary has 2 artificial hips.  I'm pretty sure he'll be the only finisher who can state any of that.*

He had squirreled away his PSU Track Alumni Singlet somewhere on his person and put it on before the finish.  So there should be some good photos coming.  (BTW, he says the shirt garnered nothing but good comments and cheering, so we have that going for us!)

Barb is still out on the course, but passed 20 Miles with a faster pace than she started with, so I'm hopeful she will become Perfectly Dopey soon.

 *There is at least one other. Gary beat him though.

"The Breakfast Menu is Pain and Donuts, and We're All Out of Donuts"

The Dopey Challengers all shuffled off from their temporary domiciles to the same staging area as the last 3 days with very little in mirth tagging along.  Yesterday's warm and humid Half-Marathon seemed to take the cheer out of the entire crowd.

Thankfully, the weather today is cooler and has significantly less humidity. But none of the competitors are eager to sign up for next year's version.  The advice from those in charge of the event is to run/walk the event for survival's sake. Those 6 medals won't just magically appear.

In slightly faster running, the Penn State Relays* were yesterday, but Matt will chime in for some direct reportage.  Our fellow Track Alumni Golfers were in-house and at-large all over the Ashenfelter Complex, fielding 2 teams of DMR entrants.

I see Fullers! Photo stolen from KKOB. Thanks Kelly!
*The Women apparently set a Collegiate Indoor 4 x 200M record!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

PSU Track Alumni Golf Soap Opera: Imelda Marcos Must Be Running This Zoo

The dynamic duo of Gary and Barb Black are out there on the course of the half-marathon in the Disney Dopey Challenge.  I know this because I was awakened every fifteen minutes by fireworks as each cattle chute of runners set off. Can't a sloth get any sleep around here?

Addendum:  Both finished the Half-Marathon in brutal 99% humidity.  There is much gnashing of teeth and general belly-aching among all the Dopey Challengers. Compression is now necessary to revive enough for the Marathon ahead. Barb was talked off a ledge after the finish and we are enroute to Downtown Disney's Running Store for a full body compression outfit. The line for the hot tub is now longer than the line for pasta. Distraught Dopey's are milling about everywhere, as if doomed soldiers before Pickett sends them forth.

The day yesterday was spent strolling around the Animal Kingdom by most of the team.  With the high of 81 degrees, that meant an 82 degree swing from when I left for Florida.  The most interesting animals were the throngs from Brazil.  Somehow, half of their country must be here.  They are a well-behaved and happy group, and Portuguese is more prevalent here than English, Spanish or Spanglish...

81 degrees and sunny.

The other half of our team waited in a line at the running expo, so that he could get a place in another line in order to be ushered into a final line to purchase Special Edition New Balance/Run Disney running shoes.  I swear Imelda Marcos must have dreamed this up.  And how it took them 24 years to think of it, I'll never know.  When you have 7,000 people who pay $500 to run 4 races in 4 days while being trapped like a rat, you know they'll pay premium dollars for Special Edition shoes.  I think they have sold more than 20,000 pairs in just the first 2 days.  I fully suspect the other shoe companies to have competing lines next year.  Even those sharks late to a feeding frenzy sometimes snag a good meal anyway.
Imelda would be drooling.

Back to the Future

College is a training ground for the professional world. Two guys on the varsity team are looking to be great additions to the Alumni Blog upon graduation. Senior Bernard Bennett-Green will be the varsity teams official blogger and Billy Cvecko is putting together some great highlight videos. Here is one from the Blue/White Meet.

The Penn State Relays are scheduled for this afternoon and we do have some alumni action with an entry in the 1000 meter run and two distance medley relays. Check back tomorrow for a recap and pictures of the meet.

Friday, January 10, 2014

In Good Company

It is said "you are known by the company you keep". Some of our own are rubbing elbows, and pounding pavement/mondo, with come very good company. 

If you follow current events in track and field you would know that 2013 World Champion silver medalist Nick Symmonds has changed shoe sponsors from Nike to Brooks and will be joining their Beast Training Group in Seattle, WA. And if you read this blog you would know that group is the post-collegiate training grounds of our Casimir Loxsom. Which leads me to state that since I have worked out with Cas, and Cas will be working out with Symmonds, by the transitive relation I will have worked out with Symmonds. 

Cas isn't the only one joining forces with someone boasting Olympic credentials. Leah Rosenfeld is now on the roster with Team Run Flagstaff Pro and Ryan and Sarah Hall.  The press release also list Life Back on Track Relay team member Nick Hilton which of course adds to our presence on the elite distance running scene.

Unfortunately membership in these groups requires one to race in gear issued by a sponsor instead of an alumni singlet. Guess we will have to let that slide.

Photo courtesy of Cas Loxsom

PSU Track Alumni Golf Soap Opera: As the World Showcase Churns

Today's 10K in the Dopey Challenge is only double the simple baby steps from yesterday with the real challenge starting tomorrow at the Half Marathon.  But you wouldn't have known that from the complaining from the actual challengers during yesterday's stroll around Epcot's World Showcase in the steady downpour.

Found this statue of Grete Waitz behind the Norway exhibit at Epcot yesterday.  That reminded me of Friend of the Group Martha (White) Collins, who beat her (and everyone else!) at the Leggs Mini-Marathon in NYC in 1978 or so.  All 4' 10" of her confounded the reporters for quite awhile before they could identify the winner.  Mary Cain before Mary Cain's parents even met...

And here's my plate of Kung Pao for those keeping score.

a plate of pure joy.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Penn State Track Alumni Golfers Soap Opera: The Easy Part

The Quest for Disney's first Dopey Challenge has begun with today's 5K.  Barb Black and Gary Black have volunteered to represent PSU Track Alumni Golfers.  Can Gary become the first ever double hip-replacement patient to topple the challenge? 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Trapped Like A Rat Five: The Oldening

Finally made it to Disney where I always feel trapped like a rat. My love/hate relationship with Disney continues.  Despite having the easiest traffic situation ever the entire way, the drive somehow still gets harder every year.  I'm getting old, I guess. The Oldening is quite a horror show.  Our elders tried to warn us and we paid them no heed. I did 14 of the 16 hours necessary this year.

Left York with a temperature of -1 degree and made it to Orlando with a high of 65 degrees today.  Really kind of surreal actually.

Everybody with me is running the 5K tomorrow, and I will join them in spirit by doing my usual 3 in the AM.  Two miles today was a struggle, especially with the dizziness from having not run outside in quite a while.  They never talk about that when discussing treadmill running.  I could write a book...

And I'll get around to providing the specifics on the 13th Annual Coach Harry Groves Golf Outing for those who didn't get the Clark Haley email soon.  With the PSU Team's schedule conflict this year, we will be getting back to our roots.  This will be a perfect opportunity for those who haven't been with us before or those who have not golfed in several years.

My Greatest Fear

With the Arctic temperatures covering much of the country runners every where must make a choice; run inside, run outside, or don't run at all. Run outside and you better layer up and take precautions so this does not happen to you. Every mans greatest fear and quite possibly the worst pain one can experience*. When frost bite kicks in and you are 6 miles from home there isn't much you can do except pray and keep running. I am thinking of patenting a sock like glove for protection down there.

Not Recommended
*Worst pain a man can experience. I have been yelled at by women on multiple occasions for not mentioning child birth on the list of most painful experiences.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Time Travelers Stump Physicists Again

As I head to Orlando for Trapped Like a Rat V, it has come to my attention that Physicists again have expressed sadness that they failed to detect any evidence of Time Travelers.  This time they used 1 trillion Tweets via Twitter to try to identify any anomalous activity.

Rather than view this as a failure, I tend to think that it just shows that Time Travelers are a savvy bunch.  I figure they leave plenty of evidence behind, but there is a group of them to clean up after them.  I envison a crack team of ruthless Time Travelers that go back in time and whack any Physicist who happens to discover them in their cribs. I've seen proof of this in many movies.  What else do we need?

I'll be bringing updates from the Dopey Challenge in Disney World next week.  That's the 10K, 5K, Half-Marathon and Marathon on sequential days. Maybe I'll even make up our first Podcast to experiment with the form.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

A Curmudgeon's View of Modern Day Pro Football

1. The second and each subsequent time a Home Team plays "The Bells that Toll" on a 3rd down for the Visitors, a touchdown shall be rewarded to the Visitors.

2. Each player with hair covering their name shall cost their team 3 points for each half they are used and be forced to wear their name on the back of their pants. They also cannot have their name said on commercial broadcasts.  "Prima Donna" shall be substituted.

3. Each time a second TV timeout occurs after 1 or fewer plays occur, the network owes each viewer $10, payable in beer.

4. Each player over-celebrating a normal inconsequential play for TV exposure shall cost their team 1 point and 1 timeout. This is football, not beach volleyball

5. Each announcer can say "red-zone" only once per game. Any extra mention will result in a punch to the head from Mike Ditka.

6. Each player unsnapping and snapping their chin-straps more than once per play or playing with their mouthpiece like an obsessive-compulsive patient must do 3 laps of the field before being used in another play.  Just like 8th grade gym class.

7. Each player that misses "spiking " a football over the goalposts squarely must apologize to Julius "Dr. J" Erving before being put back into the game.

8. TV Networks must pay each person in attendance $100 in BTUs or brats each time they demand an 8 O'Clock game when a 1 O'Clock time was available and the temperature reaches below freezing at any time during the game.

9. Any player celebrating by pounding their chest demonstrating "it's all about me" shall have their chest pounded by each player on the field for the opposing team for that play and forfeit 3 points from their team's score.

10. Each kicker celebrating by pointing to the sky after any play shall be forced to play linebacker for the next 3 plays for his team's defense.

Friday, January 3, 2014

When Did Professional Track Become the NFL?

Via The People

"International middle distance runner Asbel Kiprop is set to be charged in an Iten court in connection with assault of a night guard, a senior police officer has confirmed. Keiyo North sub-county police chief Joseph Ireri told The People daily that the runner would be arraigned in court once investigations into the incident is completed. “We want to ascertain the extend of the injuries that was inflicted on the victim of attack on the material night by Kiprop before we come up with the charges to prefer against him in court,’ stated Ireri.

The renowned two times world 1500 metres champion who is also a police officer,allegedly entered into a bar in Iten town on Sunday night past the stipulated drinking hours and forced his way into the social joint while drunk. The night guard identified as James Mukuria who was manning the bar told him that the main door had been locked since the official drinking hours were over and police officers on patrol would arrest them if they find the joint operational at that time."

Sounds like a story more commonly associated with American professional sports leagues. One would find it hard to believe a skinny distance runner would be able to beat up a security guard especially considering he looks like a stiff breeze would blow him away. I know if I tried this at Bill Pickle's I would be landing face first on Allen Street.

Kiprop is denying the incident took place and that the local media is trying to frame him. Interesting none the less.

Should an Old Dog Even Try Learning New Tricks?

I'll admit, I'm terrified.  

But somehow resolute at the same time.  I'm trying to get the final piece of gumption to undertake a new and frightening facet of my herding of cats.  The blog has been growing steadily for 5 years now, and the recent addition of Matt Groves has expanded the reach and view to a hipper and less curmudgeonly crowd.  (Thanks Matt!)

Penn State Track and Field Alumni Golf: The Podcast will be coming soon.

I'm not certain about the date, or the frequency (or the quality!), but I'm getting close.  I have done extensive research (read Podcasting for Dummies), and purchased all the items I will need to bring a semi-pro (!) podcast to the Universe of PSU Track Alumni Golfers (a real-deal microphone and software!).

I have done television interviews and shows several times, but thankfully they will be very hard to find even with the wonder of the internets.  I have a face for Radio, but can't stand to hear my own voice played back.  A bad combo for anyone who still has decided to go forward with the Podcast idea.  But somehow, I think the concept needs to be done.  It will allow a different audience to be exposed to the Group and will enliven the blog for our dedicated dozens of readers.  And no one else is as moronic as I am to do it.

I hope to interview the bigwigs (which may mean even you!) of PSU Track, even from afar via Skype.  I'll also try to have round-table discussions on real topics important to our group.  I also hope to continue the idea of Mirth in a fresh way.  Any ideas or concepts you have would be appreciated.  Any tips on the field of podcasting would also be relished.

Here's a review of our first podcast even before it happens!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year Starts off Well... And Kung Pao Chicken!*

My family, minus me of course, took part in the Red Lion Double Deuce prior to the cigar drop for the New Year for the 11th straight year.  Daughter the Younger won $20, which is the lowest amount our family has won in recent memory.  But still an OK way to start the year. (My kids are encouraged to always save 50% of their gains by their evil dad.)

Tyler McCandless traveled from the Mountain time zone to participate in the NYC Midnight Run where he placed sixth or so!

Tyler McCandless toeing the line.

But the best PSU Track Alumni Golfers results come from State College itself.  Both Artie Gilkes (16:14!) and Rebecca Donaghue (17:48!) won their divisions at the State College New Year's Run described as "Loony".
Rebecca Donaghue and Artie Gilkes.


*You must watch the video for the unsolicited Kung Pao reference. Thanks to our W&M link for the State College results.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 Performance of the Year

It wasn't as close as I thought it might be.  We had more votes than ever and the clear winner this year is the Penn Relays Distance Medley Relay Championship of America. After a drought of fifty-three years, the PSU quartet was able to ascend to the podium!

 Brannon Kidder (2:53.5)
 Brandon Bennett-Green (45.6)
 Casimir Loxsom (1:46.7)
 Robbie Creese (3:58.9)

2.    (Tie)   - Casimir Loxsom, Brannon Kidder finishing 2 and 3 in the 800 M at the NCAA       Championships.
                  - Indoor Distance Medley Relay Record 9:26.6
3.    (Tie)   -  Casimir Loxsom - Athlete of the Meet at Penn Relays.  
                  - Ryan Whiting 2nd at the IAAF World Championships in the Shot Put.
4.    -  Cas Loxsom's American Record 600 M at Big Ten Indoor Championships.
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