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