I know it’s only September, BUT registration is now open for the 2022 Kris Kringle 5-miler!
This year’s race will be on Saturday, December 31st and will travel in a counterclockwise direction. Yes, it is normally held on a Sunday. However, this year the prior Sunday is Christmas Day, and the following Sunday is New Year’s Day. When this happens, the race is held on a Saturday.
Price increase will go into effect at midnight on 12/1. Don’t delay, head on over and sign up for this race to guarantee your hoodie.
Up next on our 2022 social calendar is Pickleball! This event has a cap of 32 players to allow for an optimal experience for all attendees. Space is limited and there is a very good chance that this event will sell out. Because of this, ticket purchases will be limited to 2 tickets per transaction and will be fulfilled on a first-come / first-served basis. To give everyone a fair shot at purchasing tickets, a separate email containing the purchase link will be sent out to all members in good standing on 9/8. Be sure to keep an eye on your inbox so you don’t miss out.
What – Pickleball Event
Where – West Reading Pickleball Courts, 915 Old Wyomissing Road, Reading, PA 19611
When – Sunday, September 25th 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Cost – $10 Pacer members in good standing | $20 for guest of Pacer member
Includes 1 hour of instruction and guided play until 5pm.
Event is open to the first 32 people who register and pay. We have 8 courts reserved.
2 ticket limit per membership
Paddles will be available to borrow for the event; however, please bring your own if you have one.
Pre-registration is required for this event – please do not show up expecting to play if you did not register and pay.
All participants will need to sign a waiver when they arrive at the courts
Again, keep in mind that space is limited, and we do anticipate this event being sold out so don’t delay on purchasing your ticket(s).
The Pacers membership table will be set up at this free event on September 24th from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. It is an all-ages, pet-friendly, outdoor, community event celebrating health and wellness. Sounds like a perfect place to promote our club and what we are all about amongst other like-minded, healthy, active people. If you have some time to spare and would like to represent the Pacers at this event, please reach out to Michelle Henry (email@example.com) for more details. This is a good way to cross off a volunteer block on your Pacer Passport. You can learn more about the event here. If you already planned on being at the event, but sure to stop by our table and say hi!
It’s almost that time again! Club elections are just a little over 2 months away. There will be 5 open board positions for the upcoming election as well as the position of President of the Pagoda Pacers Athletic Club. If you are interested in stepping up and taking on a leadership role in helping to shape the club’s future direction, please consider nominating yourself for one of the open positions. To be considered for any of these positions a candidate must be a Pagoda Pacer member in good standing for at least one year. If you are considering stepping up to either of these opportunities but want to know more, I encourage you to reach out to any of the current board members or current President Michelle Henry over the next month to find out how their experience has been.
More details will be given, and nominations will be accepted in October, but this is just your nudge to start thinking about the impact you can have on the club if you were to be elected for one of these open positions. Be on the lookout for more info next month.
IMG Physical Therapy and Fleet Feet West Reading have partnered to help keep Berks County and the surrounding areas healthy and physically active. We are offering an opportunity to help you keep or reach your athletic and lifestyle goals by having a day of completely FREE SCREENINGS, and you’re invited to attend!
This offer is ideal if you have experienced:
Low back pain Sciatica Arthritis Shoulder, neck, or hip pain Knee or foot pain
In your free screening, your physical therapist will talk to you about the history of your problem, take measurements of your strength, and provide you a written copy of a plan for successful treatment.
ONLY 10 SPOTS ARE AVAILABLE – SIGN UP TODAY!
Appointments are scheduled in half hour increments between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.
To RSVP for your free screen please email your name, the time slot you would like to book, and a brief description of the pain you are having to firstname.lastname@example.org
Treasury Report – Shaun Luther – we are at 190% of target. A lot of Gring’s Mill activity in the current financial report. Income and expenses from Blues Cruise are coming in.
Gring’s Mill 5K and 10K – Jason Karpinski, not present for the meeting. But by all accounts, things went well at the event. However, there was a misspelling on the awards, so we will let Jason make a decision about that (for the one person who noticed and mentioned it).
Blues Cruise 50K (Sunday, October 2, 2022) – Dan Govern brought the jacket swag sample. He will also have a medal created. Some of the expenses are coming in. Hoping for 400 people, not quite getting to the registration numbers (170 currently). Dan states there may be a downward trend in ultramarathon registration entries. The ski loop redo has been contracted – with completion hoped for in September. Volunteers will be needed on race day. This is Dan’s last year as the race director. Mike Whalen has agreed to take over, with Elaine Cook as a support director. Dan, Stephan Weiss, and Mike Yoder will assist through the transition.
Kris Kringle 5 Miler (December 31, 2022) – Lisa Domeshek – everything on track so far.
Shiver by the River 5K and 10K series (First race is December 11, 2022) – Sue Jackson – applications are open online through Pretzel City Sports. There will not be a return to pre-pandemic times during this upcoming season. They will use pre-wrapped food items, and not quite sure of the farmhouse access to runners pre- and post-race. The banquet will go on as usual.
Pacer yoga was held, approx. 30 people turned out. There was not a charge for use of the facility, so Lisa is wondering about giving $75 to the facility. Also, she is asking if anyone wants to do hops picking at that location.
Pickleball – overall cost per person is $20 which includes 1 hour with instructors, court time, and paddles. September 25, in the afternoon (time TBD), at the courts in West Reading. Will have to check what the max number of people are. A motion was made to have the club provide up to $250, seconded, and passed. Depending on the total number this event can accommodate, the organizers will determine how many guests are allowed.
Wine and cheese for 2022 – Jane Setley – Karin Long stepped down as the organizer of this event. We have to skip the event for this year. The preference is to have a place where we can bring our own food/drinks. Looking for a new person to organize this, or potentially Jane and Lisa will form a committee.
Weekly runs – Steve Vida – the information is available on the web page or Facebook discussion page.
Race mates – Kris Jacoby said the last event went well. Two athletes were charioted. There is an event this weekend for two athletes.
Jane Setley, Monday, September 12, Opportunity House cooking dinner for residents. They have been feeding about 80 people lately. September’s meal will likely be about 70. Dinner is at 7 p.m. Six to 8 people needed to cook and serve, others are needed to organize and plan the meal. Financial donations are needed to cover the cost of the dinner, and then a generous anonymous donor has stepped up to cover any remaining cost. Roughly $500 will be needed to cover this amount (just food costs are needed). Motion made to give $150 to the cause, seconded, and passed. A volunteer sheet was circulated. Contact Jane if you would like to volunteer in some capacity.
Long run – Shaun Luther – this Saturday at Green Lane, 2 loops, information on Facebook. No-drop event.
Holiday run for Labor Day – Steve Vida will organize and post details.
Pacer swag shop will be available on-line via RockHound Apparel (Robesonia) – there are several items available. Currently the club will not receive a portion of the proceeds. Discussion followed about this, and it was decided that it is highly likely a Pacer would be purchasing and wearing the item, so no additional markup would be added to the cost for the Pacer club’s financial benefit. It will be a two-week pop-up shop where Pacers would purchase on their own, with their own funds. Dates TBD. Will try to get samples to bring for sizing. Traditional Pacer logo and another design option is likely. Lisa Domeshek and Michelle Henry are organizing.
Beth Kohl – from Kristen Kelly: Trails, Tails, and Ales event for Berks Nature (Alvernia area), Sunday, September 11, 2022. They are looking for someone to do a trail run in the morning that leads into the afternoon event. Steve Vida volunteered to organize a trail run. On September 11, the event starts at noon with run prior (approx. 10 a.m.) Polly suggested involving Fleet Feet. Beth will check into this.
Jane Setley — BAMBA printed and distributed a map of their new trails at Blue Marsh – available at different locations, such as Ganly’s.
Dates: 2nd Sunday: Dec 11th, Jan 8th, Feb 12th, March 12th
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Location: Jim Dietrich Park
Apps have been mailed by Pretzel City Sports and can be found online by clicking HERE. Pre-registration is only available for the series; however, we will have race day registration for both the series and individual races. Online registration, for the series, can be found at www.pretzelcitysports.com. New this year: we are offering a knit hat and gloves instead of a shirt with registration. Once we make a final decision, we will post pictures on the Pagoda Pacers Discussion Group Facebook page.
Each race includes a post-race buffet of soup, pretzels and snacks. End-of-year party includes a hot/cold buffet, lots and lots of door prizes, and overall awards and 5-year age group awards. As always, this buffet is free to any runner who registers for the series or runs at least 3 races. There is a nominal charge for all others.
Race weekend began upon our arrival at our cabin on Thursday night. We spent Friday driving around and seeing the area a bit more and getting one last run in before race day. While driving to packet pick-up Friday evening, we quite literally almost ran into a mama black bear and her two cubs, just a mere few hundred yards from the Happy Dutchmen aid station. After an eventful trip to packet pick-up, we arrived at Little Pine State Park and greeted many familiar faces before making our way to the cabin to settle in for a fairly restless pre-race night.
Race day started dark and early at 3:00 a.m., and with the non-traditional breakfast of a peanut butter sandwich and a side of chicken and rice. We left the cabin at 4:00 a.m. to make our way to the start line. The anxiety was building in me, and I kept saying, “I just need to get started.” 5:00 a.m. and the race started with the crowd cheering, “5, 4, 3, 2, 1.” I made the decision to start towards the back of the pack in order to calm myself down and force myself to settle in for what would surely be a long day-and-a-half of forward movement.
The first couple miles seemed to fly by as we approached the first climb for the day, which I was warned by Jim Blanford to be quite possibly the worst climb of the entire race. I began my ascent with Andy Styer in tow, as Jess Gockley cheered us on with a joyful, “Oh come on, this is runnable.” Upon reaching the summit of the first climb, I was relieved to think that the climb was not too significant. Through the next several miles, I had the opportunity to talk to familiar faces with familiar names such as Andy, Brooke Schell, and Ryan Espulgar. A new name and face was met in this section: Kip H. Kip is a light-hearted, humorous, and clearly knowledgeable runner who helped pass the time before the second aid station. Shortly after arriving at this aid station, we climbed to what was, for me, the most stunning vista of the entire race.
The next attraction was also the first crew-accessible aid station at mile 17.8: Lower Pine Bottom. Coming into this aid station was overwhelming as there was a ton of people running around and cheering. I was immediately jumped on by Tod Slabik’s crew (Mark Weaver and Kyle Benjamin), everybody’s crew (Jim and Karen Blandford), and my own crew chief and girlfriend, Michelle. Before I knew it, my bottles were filled; Michelle had replenished my gels and stroopwafels, and I was off with pickles and turkey wraps in hand. The high of the aid station was very short-lived as I was stung by a bee just a few steps back onto the trail. In traditional trail ultra-running fashion, I decided to use this as a mental game and use the adrenaline rush of the bee sting to push the next hill.
The miles ticked on, and before I knew it, I was coming upon the Hyner Run aid station at mile 43. Shortly before this stop I hit my first big low point; however, coming out onto the road section knowing we were approaching the aid station, I was able to push a 9:30 min/mile pace for almost a mile. The Hyner Run aid station was a sight-to-be-seen with what seemed liked hundreds of folks camped out in chairs spread out all over the lawn and a bank of at least 3 tents with anything a runner’s heart could desire or dream of. At this aid station I began what became a new system of maintenance: change shirt, wipe feet with baby wipe, apply Desitin, and finally new socks. I picked up my first pacer at this stop, Michelle “Squats” Batt.
We made our way through familiar trails from the Hyner 50k course and eventually arrived at the Aloha station of Dry Run, mile 51.2. At this point I started to truly get tested mentally. I had a thought that would have surely made me quit had I been alone in this effort. That thought was of course a rational one, “I AM ONLY HALFWAY?!?!” After refilling bottles, enjoying bacon soaked in chicken broth, and reapplying my headlamp, we were off to traverse the last 12 miles of our time together. We passed the time by discussing many animal topics such as: “What is a dromedary?”, “Is that a tree frog making that noise?”, “Is a millipede or a centipede poisonous?”, “Did you know that manatees use farting to regulate their buoyancy?” Anyway, we eventually made our way to Slate Run, mile 63.
At Slate Run my crew, led by Michelle “el Presidente” Henry, jumped on the previously mentioned system of maintenance. I was led back onto the course by my next pacer, Steve Vida. We had 40 miles to cover with just about 15 hours until the cutoff. We were in good shape for time, but I knew we had to keep moving. The miles slowly ticked by as we traversed what was possibly the most runnable sections of the course. Unfortunately, my feet were so tender that I was unable to muster much more than a quarter- to a half-mile of running at a time. Each transition from down-slope to up-slope and vice versa became more and more painful. Fortunately, my mind stayed alert as I confirmed trail math with Steve, “If I keep at least 25 minute miles for the last 10 miles, I should have about half an hour to spare…right?”. To which Steve would take a couple seconds and respond, “Correct.”
With about 10 miles to go, I started to get very dizzy and my vision quickly tunneled in to a small circle. Without looking up from my feet, I said, “Steve, I keep getting dizzy.” In classic Steve fashion, he responded with “okay.” I decided to look up, and all of a sudden I really got dizzy, but my visual field expanded exponentially and Steve said, “Good–a change of perspective.” It was at this point that I felt my lowest, and Steve said later that he realized I was in a really tough spot. Steve has a saying that is well known within his family, and he pulled this out (somewhat jokingly) at this moment, “It will all work out.” Luckily, it was at this point that we noticed three individuals walking towards us over the horizon. These three were Andy, his girlfriend Kim, and Kelly Ammon. Kelly asked what they were surely all thinking, “How are you feeling?” All I could think of for some response was, “Eh, okay I guess. Like I have traveled 93 miles.” Seeing familiar faces lifted my spirits tremendously. I knew at this last aid station with my crew, Barrens, I could not sit, and would need to pass off my bottles, grab food, and keep moving. I looked at Michelle H. and said, “I cannot sit; I love you; thank you.” Later Michelle told me she had piled stuff on the chair so I had no other option but to stay standing.
The last 10 miles seemed to take as long as the first 93, with each downhill feeling like my feet were tearing apart. But, I knew if I did not get injured, I was going to cross that finish line. I pushed through the infamous rattlesnake den and down the last few downhills, which felt like they would be un-runnable even on fresh legs. Downhills that even made Steve say, “GET ME OFF THIS FREAKING MOUNTAIN.” Finally we heard cheers and knew for sure that the finish line was approaching. I passed my pack and poles off to Steve and crossed that line with my traditional round-off, much against the advice of Steve. I was greeted by cheers from everyone remaining and given the best hug from my crew chief Michelle. Did I mention that I was DFL? I could not be happier to hold the honor of finishing dead last in what was quite the adventure.
Eastern States is an incredibly well-run race with aid stations crewed by some of the best and most helpful individuals. It may not be the best pick for one’s first 100-miler, but I would recommend it to anyone who is interested. For me, it may be a one-off, as I cannot imagine it getting any easier. I want to thank my crew chief for putting up with all the long training hours and complaining, my pacers for keeping me moving and keeping my mind occupied, and lastly to all the locals who spent their weekend driving around and cheering on all of us idiots. I have my eyes set on bigger and longer races and seeing where I can push my body and mind to. I truly believe I have a lot of potential to unlock and look forward to writing many future race reports.
Lastly, always remember, when you hit a rough patch out on the trail…”we are the lucky ones.”