Minutes from the General Meeting (April 2021)

General Meeting Minutes

Date: April 8, 2021

Time: 7 p.m.

Location: Virtual meeting via Zoom

Treasury Report – Shaun Luther—account is 119% of target. No large expenses the month. Income coming in from Blues Cruise and Charlie Horse races. Taxes are due 5/15, and they will be ready on time.

Races:

  • Charlie Horse Half Marathon (May 29, 2021)—Shaun Luther—registration less than expected only about 30 people signed up so far. Shaun would like to have 100 people signed up. Prospective runners may still be cautious about signing up for a race. Aid stations are being developed. A training run will be announced: out and back from Sleepy Hallow, about 9 miles. Stephan Weiss will assist Shaun with ‘getting the word out there,’ by sending some advertising emails thru his network.
  • Run for the Ages 10K Trail Run (Sunday, June 27, 2021)—Donna Hey—9 people registered so far. At the Friends of Nolde meeting, the group was more positive about holding the race. She got the paper applications to Ron Horn, and they will be put out this weekend at his races. Blair and Donna are likely to change the ending to expand the distance that people will have between each other, probably for this year going back up the long driveway. This would eliminate the scrambled hill climb which is fun, but tends to crowd runners and spectators together at the finish line.
  • Grings Mill 5K and 10K—no report
  • Blues Cruise 50K (October 3, 2021)—Dan Govern—about 100 people signed up so far, and still several weeks/months out. Asked Shaun for the total amount of the money that is set aside from the registration donations, so that money can be allocated to a project. Dan will be looking into the swag, which will be decreased from previous years. He will organize some training runs. April 17 is a clean-up day at the day use area, posting will follow.
  • Oley Valley Country Classic—Lenny Burton—trying to coincide this race with the Apple Fest on Saturday, Oct 9, (a non-church day, so can likely use the main road for a time), start/finish at the fairgrounds. Considering strongly to have the finish going up the hill. He is meeting with the township to confirm the plan.
  • Kris Kringle 5 Miler—no report, will start again in mid-summer.
  • Shiver by the River 5K and 10K—Sue Jackson—last Shiver is Sunday. Steve will bring the trailer. Some adaptive-athletes are running assisted by Pacers. Mike Whalen is running with one of the athletes. Dale Weiss is running with the other runner. Dale spoke about this assistance to adaptive athletes at a pre-COVID meeting. This is the first race where the club members will be supporting this. Sue needs volunteers on the intersections. Show up at 9:30, and relinquish the intersection at 11:20

Committee Reports

Social Committee:

  • Movie night at Goggleworks, April 17, showing “Chariots of Fire.”
  • Mike Whalen asked if the Wine and Cheese Social could be done in the fall—doesn’t want to wait until the Spring of 2022.

Communications Committee

  • Newsletter—Polly Corvaia asked if there was any feedback on stopping the hardcopy minutes. No one has really pinpointed whether this had an effect on membership.

Community Service

  • Weekly runs—going well.
  • Trail Maintenance—Mike Whalen did some of this at Blue Marsh. Thanks, Mike.

Charity Committee

  • Scholarship committee—Ken Seale—Committee is meeting this month and winners will be announced by next month.

Membership committee: Steve Maguire—The annual fee for membership will be discussed in the fall for the 2022 year.

Old business

  • Dale Weiss has been able to finally get his plan in motion to assist with adaptive athletes, with the first group running at the April Shiver by the River.
  • Still trying to find a venue for an outdoor meeting—So far, Steve has not been able to find a suitable outdoor area with lighting.

New business

  • Nolde Forest is doing a clean up of the area in preparation for an official visit on 5/18. Donna will select a day and post online.
  • Ken Seale has accepted a position at customer service at Infiltrator Water Technologies in Connecticut (unfortunately, keeping the Seales at a distance). Congratulations, Ken, and all the best in your new job.

Shiver by the River: ’20-’21 Recap

The 31st Shiver by the River is finally complete! It was a crazy year. Of the 4 original dates, the March race was the only race held on its original date. Once we added an April race, it was also held, as planned. As part of our Covid changes, we gave finisher awards in lieu of age group awards, and each runner received a swag bag of pre-packaged snacks instead of the snacks normally offered after each race. Here’s a recap of 6 attempts at live races.

  • Three days before the December race, Governor Wolf placed a 50 person limit on outdoor events.  We had 205 runners registered who were given the option to switch to another race, or request a refund. We also decided to hold a race in April to give the runners another opportunity for a live race.
  • Due to the state of affairs, we made January a virtual race. Again, runners were given the option of switching their registration or requesting a refund. The finisher award was a unique COVID-themed medal. Swag bags were available for pickup on the original race date, at Jim Dietrich Park. Only 34 runners gave us results.
  • On the Wednesday prior to the February race, after much deliberation between the race directors and Muhlenberg Parks and Recreation, we decided to postpone the race for 2 weeks. We had had a lot of snow during the previous week, and most of the race course was only plowed enough for 1 car, not a car plus runners. The parking lot at Jim Dietrich also had minimum parking. Everyone gave their best effort for snow removal, but after several days of snow, there was just nowhere to put it. We sent an email to the February runners, explaining the situation, offering to move their registration or to send a refund.  
  • We FINALLY had a live race on Feb 28th.  113 runners braved the cold rain. Our finisher award was a head-wrap or gaiter, with a COVID-themed design. We had lots of positive feedback!   
  • On March 14th, we finally had a live race on one of the original dates!  114 runners participated.  The finisher award was a tumbler, with an infuser and a COVID-themed design. Once again, the runners loved the award.  
  • On April 11th, we had our final race. We had heavy downpours (fortunately the temps were warm) prior to the race, but only light drizzle during the race. Unfortunately, over 60 pre-reg runners were no-shows. However, 98 runners finished the race. We were very happy to have an adaptive runner from IM ABLE with 3 Pacers (Dale Wiest, Michael Whalen, Evan Falk) pushing the athlete through the 5K. Once again, we offered COVID-themed medals to the runners.      

As always, THANK YOU to all the Pacers who participated either by running, volunteering or both!   We sincerely appreciate all of our volunteers, whether you helped us at one race or every race!  We can’t thank everyone enough for their flexibility during the last few months!!!!!

We hope to be back in ’21-’22 with another 4-race series, possibly with some changes due to everything we have experienced in the past year. Stay tuned for more details! 

Sue, Georgine, and Tiffany  

Registration Now Open for the 2021 Run for the Ages 10k Trail Chase!

Sunday, June 27, 2021 — 8:30am, Nolde State Forest

Same great race, for a great cause. This year has a new director.

Come out for the only trail race with an age-graded start (that we know of) on the east coast. Top age group performers have a legitimate shot at the overall title. Even if you aren’t out to win, the race is run on challenging, yet very runnable trails, in beautiful Nolde Forest with virtually no bottle necks. Challenge your families and coworkers to come out and compete on a “level” playing field.

Hey ringers: Here’s a chance to show off a little by passing the whole pack!

Due to COVID restrictions, the race waitlists at 100 runners. Numbers will be adjusted as current park restrictions are lifted.

If spots available, same day registration starts at 7 am.

To register online:
https://www.pretzelcitysports.com/…/run-for-the-ages…/

More info:
https://www.pagodapacers.com/…/Run-for-the-Ages-10k

Letter from the President (May 2021)

by Steve Maguire

I’ve chiseled out some time and will attempt to fill in the gap since my last posting in the Pacer Newsletter. For a Gemini Irishman, you’d think I’d have this gift of gab and long list of topics. Two minutes on the web turns into ten, and I’m now shattered having learned that, of all the Zodiac signs, Gemini are the most disliked. Really missed on picking that rabbit hole to follow. Ideas come easily, and they can swirl in the mind for days; getting them out and remembering the path can be the long intense struggle of writer’s block. I think that’s also why I’m a fan of group runs.

Speaking of groups, if there was a way to tap the collective brain power when we’re all off crunching thoughts whilst engaged in some activity, we could solve world problems. Might be a concept for a road race to see if someone could get to the bottom of how much wood can a woodchuck chuck. I can attest, having tripped enough over rocks and roots, these tough questions would be best handled on the road.  

Speaking of road races, I hope you’ve caught some of the positive work being done by Dale Wiest, Evan Falk, Mike Whalen, and others as Race Mates. This April, for the last Shiver, the club was able to help 5-year-old Brantlee Phillips experience the thrill of a 5k through a partnership with IM ABLE, a bit of technology, and Dale’s unwavering commitment to the idea. There is so much potential to this partnership, and we hope others in the club will assist in growing and continuing the opportunities for adaptive athletes. Look for more details through Mike, Dale, and the club.  Next event up for the Race Mates is May 2nd out in Birdsboro, where personally I’m looking forward to participating.

Speaking of Birdsboro, how about visiting the scenic Rustic Park when the Chobot Challenge 15k comes up this May 16th. If you are looking for something shorter, you can test the waters (pun intended) with the 5k run or hike options. If you’re female and 29+, it might be a good place to win some hardware. I understand this trail race is a bit short now, for Gwyn Chobot, who just completed her first 50k in April. (Congrats Gwyn!) For many reasons, in addition to supporting the Sound Studio in Michael Chobot’s name at Penn State, this race is definitely one to support. 

Speaking of support, we were told there were no pictures captured from the recent chain saw training class at Blue Marsh. Fortunately, there were pants under the chaps this year. The western side of the ski loop is the section of trail the Pacers are committed to keeping clear, and the use of a chainsaw requires safety training from the Army Corps. When you see those fallen limbs cut miles from the nearest road, thank Mike Whalen and Brandon Bean.  

Speaking of the lake, Dan Govern, one of the Blues Cruise RDs, is actively working with the Corps on how financially we can support their mission. This is where the phrase “follow the money” comes in. At the most recent Wednesday night run, we started from the upper lot at the Stilling Basin and covered the 2 new sections of trail developed with the Corps and BAMBA working together. The section from the dam to the levy is about 2.5 miles of switchbacks with moderate climbs and descents. Many of our members are also bikers and BAMBA members, so hats off to all those involved in replacing and duplicating what was a cherished part of the lake trail that was lost to the installation of a waterline in 2019.  

Speaking of trails, the Horse-Shoe Trail continues to evolve and Shaun Luther and Larry Sundberg have been the face of the Pacers at some of the maintenance and trail-making days. For the Charlie Horse Half-Marathon, Shaun and Libby have been working out the final details with a few practice group runs being done this spring. It is a great course, slightly technical and challenging, similar to the prior version. Keep your plans clear and sign up early for Saturday, May 29 (Memorial Day weekend), for this Pacer event that supports Special Olympics.  

Speaking of the Olympics, a group of Pacers were able to enjoy a showing of the classic movie Chariots of Fire arranged by Larry Sundberg at the Goggle Works Theater. One of the night’s ticket holders walked away with the collector’s edition Blu-ray. (I suggest you don’t research what anniversary addition it was.) Polly, who seeded the idea, unfortunately was not able to attend as our Reading Knights were celebrating a State Championship basketball game. Adult beverages, soft seats, good friends–I think it was probably a good event that should be repeated. The movie celebrated an ageless battle of training, fortitude, sportsmanship, all leading up to the 1924 Olympics.

Speaking of ageless things, it was similar timing in 1926 when Hans Nolde, son of Jacob, started construction on the stone mansion and sawmill pond at Nolde State Forest. Nolde and Horst was a large hosiery company in Reading, which, coincidentally, made cushioned socks similar to our current running gear. The plant closed in the 50s, but you never know about the inventory. As Race Directors prepping for the Run for the Ages 10k held at Nolde on Sunday, June 27th, Donna Hey and Blair Hogg may have some surprises. Hopefully it’s a bigger gap this year over the younger runners and not old socks.  

Speaking of old socks, I’m happy it’s time to put the fleece lined pants away, and the wool socks that provided comfort working my corner at the Shiver Race Series. With each challenge, as the Pacers returned to in-person events, our Race Directors Sue Jackson, Georgine McCool, and Tiffany Pantoja adapted, communicated, and adjusted the Shiver Series. Their guidance focused on the safety of all involved, and the adapted series was a success. Thanks to all the volunteers who came out and helped this team shine.  

Speaking of … Well I’ve got one more thing and then I’m out of gab. We’re committed to having an in-person meeting May 13th. I’ve already purchased the beverages – more details to come. Thanks again to all of you who keep the wheels rolling on this ride and give so much back to the community.    

Got to go…time to run.

Steve

Horse-Shoe Trail Reroute

by Shaun Luther

On April 18th I spent a few hours with some of the HST Conservancy volunteers working on a trail reroute near Geigertown. This section of trail should be familiar to many of you since it was one of the big climbs on the former Charlie Horse course.  The old section is the .8 mile long 350 foot climb from Furnace Rd (Aid Station 2) to the top of the hill. The new section is 1.3 miles long with the same altitude gain.  

A few years ago the so-called Terada Tract of land was acquired by the state of PA and given to the William Penn State Forest to manage. When possible, the HST Conservancy tries to route the trail on to public/state land. When the trail crosses private property, there is alway the risk of a landowner rescinding permission for trail use or the property is sold and new owners don’t want the trail on their property. So it was pretty obvious that this was a good opportunity to move the trail off from private property to protect more of the trail. The HST Conservancy worked with the state to place the trail on the tract and this year finally got approval from the Bureau of Forestry to proceed.

So on the 18th the HST Conservancy formed a work team and the new trail was cut. Most of the new trail follows old abandoned fire roads, so there were only a few spots that required heavy rock work. A majority of the work entailed removing undergrowth and bench cutting a tread.  

I think most runners will enjoy the new section. The hill is much more runnable (maybe that’s not a good thing).

Representing with an old Shiver shirt.

Race Results (April 2021)

Email race results to Race Results Coordinator Karen Rule at raceresults@pagodapacers.com.

Pacer Results- April 2021
Half Wit Half Marathon- trail
11/183Jason Karpinski1:56:53
26Kelly Ammon2:08:162nd Female
27Dale Wiest2:08:321st M60-67
113Katelyn Willis2:58:01
125Steven Holgate3:06:25
165Barbara Raifsnider3:36:27
April Shiver 10K
3Justin Kratz42:26
20Lisa Domeshek57:56
22Ellie Alderfer59:14
36Barbara Raifsnider70:12
April Shiver 5K
13Janine Beidler26:38
15Dale Wiest26:55
16Michael Whalen26:57
19Andrea Adam27:06
27Larry Drogo31:03
29Joanne Patti31:06
49Rose Hagy39:28
April Third Thirsty Thursday 5K
2Brock Kline17:541st M40-49
26Michelle Gallen23:58
42John Thompson25:38
44Lauren Massaro25:473rd F40-49
50Jackie Snyder26:261st F60-67
52Katelyn Willis26:29
61Lisa Domeshek27:12
62Blair Hogg27:132nd M60-67
95Barbara Raifsnider30:404th F50-59
103Larry Drogo31:40
131Helene Horn37:52
135Rose Hagy39:09
April Foolish 10 Hour Endurance Trail Run
20Michael Whalen48 miles9:33:211st M60-69
65Andrew Styer366:01:06
117Gwyn Chobot329:40:532nd F60-69
124Katelyn Willis316:55:50
137Tanara Govern318:10:44
152Barbara Raifsnider288:58:55
156Colleen Fitzpatrick26.25:41:46
174Rick Moyer26.29:07:44
203Joanne Patti164:38:00
204Janine Beidler164:38:03
215Rose Hagy166:48:071st F70+
219Tom Chobot122:53:43
222Jim Demsko123:13:52
Hyner 25k
266April Zimmerman3:21:10
Hyner 50k
51Rhoda Smoker6:22:49
92Anna Piskorska7:00:22
109Lori Johnson7:13:32
119Francesca Mahalak7:20:40
123Tania Salaneck7:24:26
152Donald Mengel7:54:59
181Jenn Guigley8:30:48
206Preston Sleppy9:12:22

Mentally Navigating Virtual Racing Fatigue

Do you miss lining up on the starting line at major city races?

Fleet Feet West Reading is hosting a FREE Facebook Live Event on Tuesday, May 11 @ 6:30pm to share some mental tools and actions to navigate the fatigue that we are all experiencing surrounding virtual races.

Follow Fleet Feet on Facebook and tune in on May 11 to view.


This will be a 20 minute round-table discussion, followed by a Q&A session.
Registration is not required.

Hosted by:

Jess Cammauf, M.S., LPC,
Mental Performance Consultant Candidate
Wilson High School Track & Field Coach


Zach Barker
Fleet Feet Manager
Alvernia University Track and Field Coach
Elite Marathoner

The Race Mates Are off and Running!

Prior to the pandemic changing everything running-related, Dale Wiest presented at a Pacers’ meeting the concept of our members volunteering to use adaptive joggers to allow athletes from the IMABLE Foundation to participate in local running races. The combination of the relaxation of social distancing rules, the Shiver by the River race going live, and a recent Pagoda Pacers monetary donation to IMABLE allowed Dale’s vision to become a reality. On April 11, 2021, Dale, Evan Falk, and Michael Whalen joined super athlete Brantlee Phillips at the starting line for a wet and cold 5K adventure. Brantlee enjoyed the speedbumps and puddles as he passed cheering road marshals, other athletes, and fans for a commendable 14th place finish. The three Pagoda Pacers Race Mates all agreed that this was an extraordinary experience. The first place overall female runner presented Brantlee with her large trophy!  Brantlee proudly wore his finisher’s medal to school the next day and was very proud of his accomplishment. It is reported that Brantlee has the “race bug” and is looking to compete again.

IMABLE Athlete Brantlee Phillips along with Race Mates Wiest, Whalen, and Falk (left to right)

The Race Mates program is in its infancy and we are hopeful to grow the program rapidly. IMABLE has purchased additional adaptive joggers and we are scheduled to assist four athletes on May 2, 2021. The goal of the program is to eliminate the barriers that prevent athletes from participating in running events. Currently the only races that will be considered are 5K or less, paved, or smooth rail-to-trail. There are many safety factors that need to be considered for this program.  All Pagoda Pacers are eligible to participate as a race guide or in other volunteer roles in the Race Mates program. Please contact Dale Wiest, Kristen Jacoby, or Michael Whalen if you are interested.

Dale: Wiesty58@gmail.com

Kris: sjacoby2@ptd.net

Michael: Michaelwhalen102@gmail.com

Wednesday Night Runs (May 2021 Locations)

April ended with a HOT night at Blue Marsh. Is it summer already? Get your sunscreen and bug spray out; bring an extra water bottle, and come run with us on Wednesday!

Reminder: We need everyone to sign in (and sign a waiver) before EACH Wednesday Night Run. This is necessary for our insurance and for contact tracing (if necessary). Make sure you familiarize yourself with the GROUP RUN GUIDELINES AND WAIVER before attending.

May 5: Shillington Park (by the pool)

May 12: Brentwood Trailhead, Reading (Bring a New Pacer)

May 19: 1454 Oak Ln, Reading (Mt Penn trails–on-street parking on Oak Ln and Amity St)

May 26: Trout Run Sports Complex, Exeter