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, December 31, 2020

Who Ran The Most In 2020?

 Who among us happened to run the most miles in 2020?  Treadmill miles do count, but only because that's all I have.  Reply with your mileage on our Facebook Page, or in the comments below!!  And make it miles, because we're Americans dammit and Jimmy Carter blew it in the 70s when he tried to switch us to that ridiculous metric system!  Lasted all of one week, if I remember correctly.

Jimmy knows peanuts and centimeters.

The winner will receive a very nice prize of my choosing.  Because I am a nice guy.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

The Most Popular Running Loops

The results of the poll are in!

The 3 most popular Penn State Track Alumni running routes from the recent inquiry are:

  • The Barrens/Pine Forest/Scotia Range
  • Game Lands/Toftrees
  • Colyer Lake
And don't forget, I neglected to include Skimont/Bear Meadows /Switchbacks. I feel that also would have garnered enough votes to appear here.

The least favorite running routes were:
  • Nixon Road/Marathon Course
  • Houserville /Lemont
  • Bypass Loop

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Workout Wednesday: Snowmageddon Edition


Somewhere in the nominations for favorite running courses/loops, someone mentioned a fun run in the snow (Steve Balkey).  I remember one in particular.

While the first team was away at an Indoor Meet, the rabble like me was left behind to fend for ourselves. So it was with great surprise that I heard from Rob Whiteside on a Sunday morning about going for our usual distance run.

But it was snowing with already a foot on the ground (curse me if it was only 10 inches!) and the motivation wasn't high.  But Rob has always been my muse.  It is why I made him my Best Man, confusing many in those years long ago.

Rob persisted and off we went.  We went down 4 Hills and headed to Swatsworth Road (another loop I forgot to put on the poll!).  Instead of heading toward the Deer Pens and the Observatory, we turned up the hill much later and headed to the newly expanded Airport which had cut off our old route through the woods to what the younger crowd call Sh*tspray.  

This meant about 5 miles through 12 inches (10 inches?) of snow until we hit the fence and had to turn around and retrace our steps.  Those 10 miles in snow without snowshoes was the equivalent of an easy marathon or at least "a hard 20".

But this was back when men were men (and women mostly avoided us).  I forget if I made it back for Brunch in the dorms.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Distance Runners Favorite Loops (The Poll)


I have taken liberties combining/renaming loops to come up with this list.  Of course that can encourage disagreements and outrage and negative comments.  That is sorta the whole point of the blog anyway!

Poll Here

 And after all that, I forgot to add Bear Meadows/Skimont to the list.  Duh...

Monday, December 7, 2020

Having Been Reminded Of The Switchbacks...


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Primal Seven Run

It was a dark and stormy morning. It didn't start out that way. It started out as any normal Sunday morning seemed to when we awoke and realized that we had to hightail it to Rec Hall shortly or we would incur Coach's wrath for being late for the Mountain Run. Usually we had to wait only for Gary (Black) to show up! Shaking off the vestiges of the night before, we donned our scratchy blues and grays and supplemented them with the even scratchier sweats of further gray. It was early Spring which is really late Winter in Happy Valley.

We piled into the Van of Blue with Coach driving, the entire rag tag bunch of 15 or so of us scratching, bitching and farting as usual, before making it to the starting area somewhere in Bear Meadows. The 15 mile run (actually 17 as usual) was throughout Bear Meadows, with the Switchbacks somewhere in the middle. (A chill has unexpectedly run up hundreds of spines of ex-PSU distance runners at the mention of Switchbacks!) All was going swimmingly until the second half of the run, when a dark chill seemed to envelope our world. By then we were spread out sufficiently that few of us were within site of each other. Soon site-lines didn't matter, as the darkness got worse. Then the rain began. A cold, cold rain, that seemed to penetrate to the bone. As we laughed that it couldn't get worse, the lightning began. At first, the frequent lightning was a benefit; it allowed us to occasionally see the road ahead and ever so slowly make it back to the Van. But then, the trees started bursting into flames occasionally, usually right next to us, with trees occasionally falling into the surrounding darkness with a sickening crunch.

As the rain continued, our sweats came alive and stretched to 200% of their former length, taunting us with their elasticity. When we doubled the ends up and pulled them to our groin, they still dragged on the ground in the middle, making running a struggle. (I swear, I'm not making that up!) It got colder, more trees fell and others burned, we couldn't see where we were going unless the lightning hit near us, and we weren't sure if we could find the Van.

Somehow, someone's prayers were answered and several of us stumbled upon the Van in the torrential rain and darkness. It was now as simple as reaching for the key, which all of us knew was always placed on the driver's side front tire, AND IT WASN'T THERE! For the first time in our recorded history, Coach had kept the key, and was somewhere in the darkness behind us, running with the trailing group or possibly lost for all eternity. The downpour continued as we huddled in the ever worsening cold. We didn't speak much, some of us were wondering whether we would ever make it back to the dorm for our Brunch of Chicken Cosmos or something.

When Coach finally made it back to the Van we all hurried in, only to realize that the usual disgusting odors were now magnified exponentially. The windows fogged relentlessly as the yellowish haze built in the passenger compartment. The drive back was only seemingly 2 hours long, and as we were finally nearing campus a thought hit me, that has stuck until this day.

While we were out there in the worst weather I had encountered in my 19 years, I realized that as humans, we were no better off than the common Tree Shrew I had just learned in Evolution Class was similar to our earliest ancestors on the hominid tree. The Primal Seven was formed, as I thought of what the poor Tree Shrews must have felt while stuck in the trees during such a storm.
  1. Cold
  2. Wet
  3. Tired
  4. Hungry
  5. Lonely
  6. Scared And,
  7. Thirsty.
And they had no Chicken Cosmos to look forward to!

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Distance Runners!! Nominate Your Favorite Nittany Valley Runs For Our Poll


What was your favorite run in all of Nittany Valley.  Include a name or description, length or any other info that is relevant.  Hope to get a response from some of you.  You can nominate several if you wish.  In the comments below or on our Facebook site.


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