Club Elections on November 14th

Be sure to come to the November General Meeting to vote for 4 members of the Board of Directors as well as our Club President.

The meeting will take place at the Blind Hartman’s Tavern on Thursday, November 14th. Dinner is served at 6:30pm, and the meeting starts at 7:00pm.

Candidates for the Board of Directors

Ellie Alderfer

Thank you for your consideration. I have been a Pacer for about 10 years. This is a wonderful group of people who continually propel me to do better things in my life. My inspiration to run for an executive position is to maintain the mission of the club that calls for fun, community, and fellowship. And running. I would bring several years of experience in management, leadership, and service to others to the board. I am a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, a registered nurse, and nationally certified in leadership and management by the American Hospital Association. I understand how organizations should run to maintain smooth operations, be fiscally responsible, and strategically plan for the future. I have enjoyed my current position as club secretary, and would like to bring more to the organization by serving as a board member.

Beth Kohl

Beth is completing her first term on the Board of Directors and seeking re-election.

Karen Rule

I’ve been a member of the Pacers since 2008.   I’ve held the position of race results coordinator for a majority of that time. I can’t exactly remember which year, ages ago, I was asked to start scouring results and become comfortable with excel spread sheets… my eye doctor will surely blame my failing vision on this…  So, after many years of watching the club grow and improve, I’d like to be a part of the Board of Directors so that I can help our club continue our positive projection into the future.

John Thompson

John is seeking his first term on the Board of Directors.

Mike Yoder

Mike is completing his first term on the Board of Directors and seeking re-election.

Candidate for Club President

Steve Maguire

Steve is completing his first term as Club President and seeking re-election.

Letter from the President (November 2019)

by Steve Maguire

Having recently spread grass seed, this biology tidbit from Jay Drasher is timely.  The songbirds we’re seeing (such as the sparrows gorging on my lawn) travel as flocks and will pack on up to about 50% of their normal weight before heading south.  Image the training plan which suggests you become morbidly obese, reduce your sleep, and then your marathon or ultra performance will improve.  

I don’t think mid-race weight gain is ever the goal; nevertheless, last month I noted quite a bit about the food options likely to be encountered at Blues Cruise. Well, Dan Govern, Mike Yoder, Stephan Weiss, Mike Whalen, plus all the aid station volunteers definitely stepped up their game to make this happen.   The traffic on social media brought great praise not only to the event itself, but at points it also appeared that we may also need to publish a recipe book. Thanks to all who volunteered.

Fortunately, on race day, Mother Nature did her part delivering a cool fall temp with a late shower.  Great conditions for running 30 plus miles and the well-marked course delivered. The near record runner turnout arrived at the mile-26 Blues Brothers station feast with accolades of the preceding Margarita burgers, sweet potato balls, quesadillas, homemade soup and Jell-O blocks.  Our French toast didn’t have a chance. One of the potential options for our aid station was pierogies, of which I was told Mike produced a stellar version for the finishers. 

Reading up on Maggie Guterl’s performance at Big’s Backyard Ultra, there was also mention of pierogies.   Maggie was a local runner who’d recently moved off to Colorado. She left many local friends who followed her epic performance at one of the most arduous of races.  This is Gary Cantrell’s running version of Groundhog Day. A 4 miles course with a repeating start time every hour. The last person to toe the line is the winner. Seems simple until you realize the person she had to beat showed up every time for 59 hours straight.   Can’t believe it took the guy 2 ½ days to realize the futility of altering the will of a strong woman before Maggie became the first woman to win this race. So, what does the overall winner of this event win you ask? Beyond the accolades, she’s earned the prize of an entry into the Barkley Marathons.   Not long-ago Jim Demsko and a few Hamburg runners helped her practice the orienteering and sleepless running conditions required for her prior attempt of the epic 100 miler. We wish her luck. If you want to learn more about the Barkley, it is well worth watching the YouTube video the “The Race that Eats its Young”.   

You may remember Gary Cantrell’s (aka Lazarus Lake) name from the Vol State 500K where our own Rhoda Smoker was the top female in 2018, traveling 314 miles in 4 ½ days. Check out Runner’s World’s coverage of Rhoda here.

A few years back, Tom Chobot completed a 200 miler, which is truly a remarkable feat.  The local parents however are probably more impressed and thankful for his and Gwyn’s organization and execution of the Middle School Cross Country Championship.   To all the Pacers that volunteer and support this event, it may be one of the best returns of time and money for the club. It was a memorable morning as captured by Lisa Luther in a photo of the stunning battalion in a charge of wills as they set off through the fog. 

We look forward to seeing some of these student runners and their coaches again at the Kris Kringle on Sunday, December 29, 2019. Mark your calendars for this festive 5-miler. 

If you haven’t done so already, be sure to add the Oley Valley Classic on November 10th and the first Shiver Race on December 8, 2019 to your calendar.  Pop in at the Oley 10-miler and you’ll see the Pacer Trailer now emblazoned with the Pacer logo. As always, volunteers and runners are greatly appreciated.

For any of you still reading, if you would like to follow the “songbird-pack-on-the-pounds training plan,” I would suggest that on Friday, Nov 1st, you check out the bonfire event at Mike and Laura Yoder’s.   Always a fun event where roasted marshmallows make for a good carb loading.   

Friday December 6th at the Pacer Christmas party would be a good follow-up if you still have room for treats. 

Last but not least, don’t forget the General Membership Meeting on Thursday, Nov 14th, where we will be looking to elect members to four slots on the Board of Directors and the Club President.

Time to quit typing, got to run……. Steve

Register for Kris Kringle 5-Miler

Registration is open for the 33rd KRIS KRINGLE 5 MILE RUN on Sunday December 29 at 11:00am at the Berks County Agricultural Center.

We got Hoodies, we got Airline tickets to give away, we got a great course that is part road part trail and all fun. Run CLOCKWISE this year and kill the hill.

Register at or

Proceeds benefit high school runners through the Berks County Cross Country Coaches Association and also provide for college scholarships, free running shoes to students in need and the sponsorship for the Junior High Cross Country Invitational Race.

Minutes from the General Meeting (October 2019)

General Meeting Minutes

Date: 10/10/19

Time: 7 p.m.

Location: Blind Hartman’s Tavern

Special guests: Sandry Krafczez and Michele Boyle of Girls on the Run. The mission of the group is to inspire girls to be happy, healthy, and have fun by establishing lifelong skills for health and wellness. They have three programs: Girls on the Run (grades 3 to 5); the Heart and Sole program (grades 6 to 8), and Camp GOTR, a week-long program over the summer for life skill training. Sunday, Nov 24, is next 5K. They need several volunteers. The spring 5k is in May. ‘Solemates’ is a program with a donation opportunity for individuals who are running other events to earn donations for GOTR.

  • Tom Chobot: recommends, as a club, to provide an incentive for time commitment, such as a running coach receiving the same benefit as a race director. Several suggestions from Tom and others as to how to incentivize members to support GOTR.
  • Recommendation to earmark a certain amount of money to support the volunteers in the club, such as running buddy expense, coach expenses, or Soulmate fund requirements. 
  • Will have some more concrete recommendations. Also, would like to develop a template going forward of how to address other agencies that come to us for assistance.

Treasury Report – Shaun Luther—106% of target; decreased reserve due to expenses from Blues Cruise, race mailings, some trailer expenses, and the Christmas party down payment. 


  • Charlie Horse—Shaun Luther— registration is open. The date is the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. Awards are being created, but will need assist with spray painting them.
  • Run for the Ages—Donna Hey—the race has a Facebook page. The date is June 28, 2020. The Nolde Forest education center is already reserved for the Saturday before, so set up is better. Ted will still provide Southwest airline tickets.
  • Grings Mill—Jane Setley—some of this past race’s sponsorships are still outstanding and need to be finalized.
  • Blues Cruise—Dan Govern, 445 registered, 354 finished. Profit was down a bit, but this year was designed for an investment in the race. Positive feedback on aid stations, marking, enthusiasm, and food at the finish. The participants’ follow-up on the Facebook page is full of enthusiasm for the event: ‘Great overall race.’ UltraSignup has three people signed up already for 2020. There is a slight increase in entry fee for the 2020 race.
  • Oley Valley Country Classic—Lenny Burton— Sunday, November 10; 100 runners signed up so far. The directors have been working with OV youth league about the expenses they are incurring for the race, some of which Lenny and Barry were not aware of. They will meet with the OVYL board to discuss options, so everyone’s time and money are used wisely. More volunteers needed and appreciated. 
  • Kris Kringle 5-mile run—Polly Corvaia—Sunday, December 29; 25 signed up. ‘100 Races Club’  will set up a table. Polly is looking for input as to what she should be charging for vendor fees.
  • Shiver by the River—Sue Jackson—has applications available. Mailing will be going out soon. Always need volunteers, but really wants runners. Everything is pretty much set. The races are the second Sunday of the month, starting in December. 10:00 a.m. start, registration opens at 8:30, and usually done by noon. Will use last year’s course, which has a much better paving situation.
  • Jr. High Cross Country—Tom Chobot—Saturday, Oct 19. Reading Fairgrounds. Takes about 12 volunteers. 

Committee Reports

Social Committee:

  • Bike ride was postponed due to conflicting events.
  • Steve Maguire talked about potential dates for the Reading Royals annual Pacer gathering; he will send out a few dates, probably in January or February.
  • The Bonfire at the Yoder’s is Friday, Nov 1, 6 p.m.-ish. Bring a covered dish. Donations needed of things to burn (no sofas).
  • Christmas party, Grill Fire Company, Friday, December 6.

Communications Committee—Jon Durand—no issues to report.

Community Service:

  • Reading Hospital Road Race—Beth Kohl—Sunday, October 13—could use a few more volunteers

Charity Committee:

  • Yearly Project—Beth Kohl—Scholarships, will start announcing these deadlines soon, especially for the cross country portion.

Membership committee: No report

Old business

  • Still need paint of trailer.

New business

  • Elections coming up for the board. Four positions opening—now everyone is on the 2-year cycle. President position open. If you are interested in running, send an email with a short bio to  There are 5 meetings per year, and the purpose is to guide some of the decisions and issues. This announcement will be posted on the Facebook page, so elections will be held at the November meeting.
  • Jon Durand thanked the club for the flowers for his family’s bereavement.

Shiver by the River

The 30th annual SHIVER by the RIVER 5K & 10K is upon us.  Join us on the 2nd Sunday of each month: Dec 8th, Jan 12th, Feb 9th and Mar 8th, at Jim Dietrich Park, in Muhlenberg Twp.  In case you missed us last year, please note the new time:  Registration opens at 8:30, both races start at 10:00. If you can’t run all 4 of them, run 3, run 2, or run 1.  

Each year at the Shiver banquet, we ask the runners to complete a survey, asking what each runner likes best, what they like least, and any comments or suggestions.  We really do read those, and we sometimes make changes based on the suggestions. For instance, many of you have asked that we start the race earlier, so effective Dec 2018, we started at 10:00.  Below are a few responses to some of the most frequent questions. We will have more FAQ in future newsletters.  

Question(s):  Why don’t we have awards for 5K vs 10K? Why don’t we start the 5K & 10K at different times? Why don’t we have a different course for the 5K and 10K, instead of running the 5K twice for the 10K?  The answer to these questions is the same: What makes the Shiver unique is that each runner can choose their distance as they are running, possibly running 10K some months and 5K other months. Hence, the awards are combined; the starts are at the same time; and the courses have to be combined.  

Question:  How is the scoring done?  Answer: Each runner gets points equivalent to the place they finish, regardless of 5K or 10K.  If someone is the 35th person to cross the line in the 5K, they get 35 points; if they are the 35th person to cross the line in the 10K, they get 35 points.  A runner must run at least 3 of the races to be eligible for an award and if they run 4, the highest points are dropped (example, if a runner finishes 10th in the Dec 5K, 20th in the Jan 10K, 25th in the Feb 10K, and 15th in the Mar 5K, their points would be 10 + 20 + 15).   Even if several of the front runners only run 1 race, points for all runners are equivalent to the finish place .  The points assigned are not affected by how many in your age group finish the race in front of you. After the March race, the total points for each person is accumulated; then we sort by age group, and then by points, to determine winners in each age category.  We don’t calculate points for runners only completing 1 or 2 races.  If the runner completes 3 races, we total their points. If the runner completes 4 races, we determine the worst finish and drop those points, accumulating the remaining 3 races.   

If you choose not to run the race, please consider volunteering.  We need volunteers before the race, for parking and registration; during the race – on the road, at the finish line, and in the farmhouse; and after the race – for cleanup.  If you can help prior to the race, please plan to arrive between 8:00 – 8:15.  If you can help with the race itself, please arrive no later than 9:30. Look for one of the race directors somewhere around the farmhouse.   Thank you in advance for your support!

Hope to see you there!!!

Sue Jackson, Kelsey Jackson, Georgine McCool, Tiffany Pantoja

Volunteers (and runners) needed for Oley!

The Oley Valley Country Classic 10 Mile and 5K event will be on Sunday, November 10. Come out and support the runners and the club by volunteering to help make the race a success!  There’s plenty to do: race set up, runner registration, course marshal, or clean up.  Please reach out to Barry Goodhart: or Len Burton: to let them know you can participate. You can race and volunteer on the same day, and we will assign you accordingly.  There will be same-day registration and extra shirts available while they last! Come out and have a great day with fellow Pacers running or volunteering!  See you on race day, and follow us on Facebook:  OleyValleyCountryClassic10Mileand5kRun

Race Report: Call of the Wilds 50k

by Andy Styer

So, I signed up for this race early on, based on the description only as ” rugged, wild and lots of big climbs”. Everything I wanted to test my training and skill set. I figured this would be a good, end of season run to explore a new place. My “A” race for the year, Laurel Highlands 70.5 miler, was done and in the books. I thought that was the hardest race of the year, but boy was I wrong! I had no idea what I was in store for.

Almost immediately after the run starts ( at 6am, in the dark), you are hit with a short road section and then a gradual climb. Don’t let this runnable section fool you, because after about a mile of easy running, you get smacked with your first climb up the Mid-State Trail. And then down. And then up. And then down. The big climbs never end, and the hard, rocky descents don’t either. And when you aren’t going up or down, you are running off camber on the rocky Mid-State Trail on moss-covered and slippery rocks. Falling and tripping is the normal here, and this course requires all of your body muscles and mental focus.

About halfway through the race, you get a little break as you come down to the village of Ramsey, where you get a short reprieve from the hills with some flat running on the Pine Creek Trail. BUT, only to get greeted with the biggest climb up, up, and up! After that you get to go back down and get another nice 2-3 mile runnable section before you then get the hardest of them all: the Torbert climb. Steep and straight up around mile 26 with mostly dead legs.

The aid stations were great, with enthusiastic volunteers who were cheering you on and making lots of noise! The PA Trail Dogs put on a great event! I was happy with my effort, finishing this in 6:56. From mile 5 to the end I was passing people and no one was passing me – a good feeling to have in the race. This ends my season for the most part, but as many people know, I have been racing this year to raise funds for pancreatic cancer research, having lost my mom to this dreaded and deadly form of cancer 15 months ago. Click on this link to check it out:

Although Laurel Highlands was my “A” race, this was my best and hardest race. So, if you want to know what Eastern States is about, but don’t want to run it, check out its baby brother and sign up for Call of the Wilds!