Blues Cruise 50k: Sunday, October 6th

This year’s Blues Cruise Trail Ultra will feature the same amazing course with the same amazing aid stations, but NEW swag and NEW awards! Register NOW on UltraSignup!

Victory Bell for 1st Male and Female Overall!
Paddle yourself to an Age Group Award; Steer your ship to a Finisher Award!
Long-sleeve PATAGONIA tech shirt for ALL participants!
Reversible runner’s beanie–also for ALL participants!

Follow the Blues Cruise 50k Facebook Group for updates and news on training runs.

Not racing Blues Cruise this year? You can still be part of the fun as a VOLUNTEER!

Volunteers are needed at individual Aid Stations as well as at the Start/Finish and on the course. Aid Station captains can be contacted directly for help. Most have put up requests on Facebook. The captains this year are as follows:

  • Steve McGuire (Blues Brothers)
  • Jane Setley (Margaritaville #2)
  • Polly Corvaia (Margaritaville #1)
  • Jeff Hills (Rats Nest)
  • Dave Gallen/Shaun Luther (Fugawi Tribe)
  • Caroline Hill (Oktoberfest)

Of course, volunteers for race day are desperately needed. They can contact me at I will assign them.

Volunteers are needed for the following :

  • Parking
  • Photography
  • Start/Finish Setup
  • Registration
  • Re-Sale Stand (Trying to sell old Blues Cruise stock)
  • Help with awards/timing
  • Help with food/setup
  • Clean-up help
  • Sweeping (Will be from Aid Station to Aid Station)

We will also need people for Course Marking on Saturday, October 5th at 3PM at the Lakeview Pavilion. People who are interested can contact Mike Yoder directly at 610-207-4247 via text or phone call. 

See you in October at beautiful Blue Marsh!

Letter from the President (August 2019)

Did anyone else realize it’s been a month since the Gring’s Mill race? I looked back at the August Pacer Newsletter with Matt’s cool new format and we were requesting volunteers and runners to attend for what was expected to be another great race. Well the race directors, volunteers, runners, and Mother Nature didn’t let us down. Post-race, the Discussion Group on Facebook was filled with a host of action shots and award photos capturing the day. 

Gring’s Mill race directors: Laura, Jane, Caroline

A special mention goes out to Lynne Reddington, who, with the craft of a carnival pitchman, brought focus to the raffle tables and sponsor donations at a level that would make ShamWow jealous. Also, over the last few weeks, Laura Yoder has personally distributed many thank-you cards to our race sponsors. We appreciate that our club members and community support many of these local companies that give back through their sponsorship. 

I have to say we probably missed a marketing opportunity as our own Barb Raifsnider felt running the Gring’s Mill race alone was not enough. Did you see Barb’s picture was featured in the Reading Eagle, running up to the Pagoda at the Radsport Festival just a couple hours after running Gring’s Mill?

Barb crushing the Radsport Pagoda run after Gring’s Mill

Another impressive feat that should be mentioned is April Zimmerman’s completion of Eastern States 100 miler. Hopefully she’ll be kind enough to let us share her race report.

Look for April’s report in next month’s newsletter.

How the time is flying and it’s not even Labor Day yet. Kris Kringle and the Shiver Series are already in the news. The recent Shiver Facebook post is a reminder to take advantage of the lower rates and register early. The Kringle post was a thank you. The Club donated $4,500 to the Berks County Cross Country Coaches Association from the Kringle proceeds. When the cross-country season starts, it’s a good time to get the coaches together with a large check before the rivalries kick in. We wish both the coaches and the athletes a great season. Polly and the coaches would also appreciate if you’ll mark your calendar again for Sunday December 29th for this year’s Kris Kringle race.

Before noting all the great things Dan Govern and Mike Yoder have going on with the Blues Cruise 50k, I’d like to acknowledge that one of our own, Christine Le, is doing The Rut 28k Race out in Big Sky Montana. Traversing epic views and terrain, I think even the great climbers in the club would be humbled by the course. She will start at 7,500 feet and climb to 10,000 in the first 6 miles. Then, typical of the ski resort, she’ll plummet over the next mile to 8,500 feet. This has to be the point I’d look for the chair lift or an exit because no sane person looks up to 11,140 feet and thinks “Where is a good direction to run?” for the next 2 ½ miles. The race is 10 miles up and 7 miles down. 

Back to the race Dan and Mike are organizing: They’ve designed some great shirts, hats, and a finisher medal, so if you’re on the fence this is definitely a year to run. Putting the numbers in perspective, Dan estimates 400 plus runners; each runner covers 31 miles. Total up those miles and you have a distance that’s halfway around the earth. Thankfully it’s not a relay! To support this great event it takes the help of many. There are 7 themed aid stations, each with a captain supporting the runners. Volunteering on race day or contributing to some of the prep work will make great memories. Bring the family–it’s a full-day event; however, many of the volunteers simply peek in and out as needed. Don’t forget to mark this event– October 6th–on your calendar today.

New Blues Cruise swag

I’ve probably gone long on this entry, and Matt Brophy (Editor-in-Chief) has reminded me I’m late so……got to run….


Wednesday Night Runs: September Locations

We run every Wednesday night–year round–at 6:15pm. Come join us. All paces welcome. No membership required.

Come for the run; stay for the fellowship. Bring a covered dish to share if you have time.

Locations for upcoming Wednesday Night Runs:

–SEPTEMBER 4: MONOCACY HILL RECREATION AREA, GEIGER RD, BIRDSBORO. Bring your trail shoes! Post-run gathering at Pete and Joanne’s: 7 Agata Drive, Douglassville. Bring your swimsuit!

–SEPTEMBER 11: Brian Stoltzfus’s residence, 408 Arrowhead Trail, Sinking Spring, PA.

–SEPTEMBER 18: ANTIETAM LAKE PARK, ANGORA RD, READING. Post-run gathering at John and Lauren’s: 107 Gosling Ct, Reading.

–SEPTEMBER 25: Mike Whalen’s residence (road/trail), 701 Pony Rd, Mohrsville, PA.

11/10/2019: Oley Valley Country Classic

On Sunday, November 10, 2019, the Pagoda Pacers will be hosting the 25th running of the Oley Valley Country Classic 10 Mile and 5k race! It’s our silver anniversary, and we want to make this race better than ever. The changing leaves of the fall season will make a picture perfect course through the beautiful, rolling hills of the Oley Valley. We welcome runners of all abilities and look forward to providing a great running experience for everyone. 

There’s a chance we will be going with a tech shirt, but that’s unconfirmed. Otherwise, we’ll have a traditional long-sleeve cotton shirt with a fall-themed hex logo that looks great! The race will also feature split times at every mile, 4 water/Gatorade stops, hot and cold food galore, and a never-ending door prize table for all participants. This year’s OVCC can make a great fall race, a marathon-training long run, or a casual day running through farm country.

This year’s race will also host the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) 10-Mile Eastern Regional Championship. Thank you to the RRCA for their continued support!

We want to thank our generous sponsors. Their generosity helps continue to make this event a success. Thank you to Level Financial, Bob Fisher Chevrolet, Fleetwood Footcare Center, Gallen Insurance, and Reading Health Physicians Network and Sports Medicine.

This year’s shirts by Villa Grafix are beautifully designed. Its’ our best logo yet!  You will want to pre-register by Oct 29 for only $25 ($1 for every year we have been running the OVCC) to guarantee your size! There will be a raffle for a FREE pair of sneakers from Sneaker Villa. ONLY pre-registered runners will be entered in the raffle. We will have race-day registration and extra shirts while they last.

Awards are handmade by local glass artist Maggie Gallen of the Goggle Works. Each award is one-of-a-kind and something worth striving for.

While you are running your butt off for an award, if you break the course record in the 10-Mile OR the 5K, you can win $150 from Gallen Insurance! Thank you, Gallen Insurance, for your generous support of the Brea- the-Record prize money. (COURSE RECORDS: 10 Mile event M: 52:36 & F 59:42), (5K M: 15:34 & F: 19:11). Good luck to the speedsters!

We welcome all paces so bring the family! Follow us on Facebook: Oley Valley Country Classic 10Mile and 5k Run. Our FB page will have updates and maybe some surprises revealed along the way, such as a contest for a free entry if you can guess this year’s Hex sign! Hex signs all have names–can you name it? 

Pacers, we can use your help on race day. Contact Len Burton or Barry Goodhart for volunteer assignment or any other questions you may have about the race.  See the Pagoda Pacer website for race application and directions, or register on-line with Pretzel City Sports. 

Race timing will be handled by Pretzel City Sports; they have timed all of our races over the years, and we thank them for handling all the complicated stuff!!

Thank you to all the runners who have participated in this race over the years; we look forward to seeing you again this year. Bring a friend with you!

This year’s event looks to be another great one; I ordered great weather for the day!  This race benefits the Oley Valley Youth League and the Pagoda Pacer Scholarship Fund, so come out and show your support!  See you November 10th!

Shiver by the River 5k & 10k

Dates:  2nd Sunday:  Dec 8th, 2019; Jan 12th, 2020; Feb 9th, 2020; March 8th, 2020.  

Time:  10:00am

Location:  Jim Dietrich Park.  

Sponsors: Fleet Feet; Shillington Family Chiropractic Center; Kohl Pharmaceutical Research, LLC  .   

Details:  Fees have not changed.  Each race includes a post-race buffet of soup, bagels, and snacks.  End-of-year party includes a cold buffet, plus lots and lots of door prizes, overall awards, and 5-year age-group awards.  Last year, we created a new course with less traffic. Apps will be mailed with a Pretzel City mailing and can be found online by CLICKING HERE.  Once again, we are offering online registration, for the series, at

Come out and join us for our 30th season!!!!!!

Race Directors,

Sue Jackson, Kelsey Jackson, Georgine McCool, Tiffany Pantoja

Race Results (August 2019)

August 2019
On the Rocks 16.7k trail
54/76Paul Makurath2:56:541st M70+
Burning River 100 Miler
135/294Laura Yoder29:21:062nd F 50-59
Radsport Mt. Penn Hill Climb Bike
38/67Michael Whalen12:56
Radsport Run to the Pagoda
11/15Michael Whalen14:34
3/4Jackie Snyder16:553rd Female
Run for Taylor 5K
5/113Jimmy Blandford19:381st M45-49
9Brock Kline20:313rd M35-39
17Donny Mengel22:481st M60-64
21Duane Renninger24:342nd M50-54
46Tania Salaneck31:082nd F35-39
51Ruth Machamer32:161st F45-49
54Jim Demsko32:27
113Michael Ranck54:43
Gring’s Mill 5K
6/208Grant Kellenberger20:371st M14 &U
70Mark Mazurkiewicz29:48
81Mary Boggs30:54
82Aly Costello30:55
88Barbara Raifsnider31:131st F55-59
99Larry Drogo32:20
115Sue Jackson33:522nd F60-64
149Yuriko Beaman37:00
181 Rose Hagy43:162nd F70-74
185Jeff Borelli44:36
190Judy Anttonen47:102nd F75+
Gring’s Mill 10K
9/146Dee Koutsourais43:142nd F30-34
19Jess Gockley45:222nd F35-39
30Ryan Watts47:303rd M40-44
32Duane Renninger49:091st M50-54
35Donny Mengel49:253rd M60-64
38Patrick Boggs49:59
62Tony Agentowicz56:14
73Janine Beidler58:50
107Heidi Moebius1:04:401st F 75+
108Aaron Kreider1:04:45
111Julia Hager1:05:47
115Blair Hogg1:06:31
139Cynthia Borelli1:18:00
Half Wit Half Marathon Trail
25/215Dale Wiest2:11:311st M60-67
71Donny Mengel2:33:224th M60-67
107Tom Chobot2:45:11
164Paul Makurath3:13:49
170Barbara Raifsnider3:17:44
Eastern States 100 mile trail
65/133Rhoda Smoker32:12:05
116April Zimmerman35:12:08
Avalon 5 Miler
33/174Karen Rule38:192nd F40-49