Pacers Donate to Berks Special Olympics

by Shaun Luther

Even though we had to cancel the 2020 Charlie Horse and Dirty Pony. The Pagoda Pacers still made a donation to our charity partner, Special Olympics of Berks County. Through donation during registration or foregoing their refund, participants donated $280. The club voted to “match” that donation with $1220 from club funds for a total donation of $1500. Thank Yous go out to participants, Harold Anagnostopoulos, Charlie Crowell, Warren Drezen, Agustin & Luciana Gisinger, William Fisher, Bobbi Johnson, Chris Masterson, and Kevin Rudd. And Thank You to the Pagoda Pacers A.C. for your donation. Pictured right to left. RD Shaun, Benny Crowell, Heather Foltz from Special Olympics, RD Libby, and race founder Charlie Crowell.

Charlie Horse & Dirty Pony Canceled

Due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the COVID-19 virus, we have sadly come to the decision to cancel both the Charlie Horse Trail Half Marathon and the Dirty Pony 5K. We have been monitoring this situation closely for a few weeks and have been holding off making this decision, hoping that a way forward would become clearer. However, we do not want to spend a lot of money in preparation for the race and then not be able to refund entry fees if we have to cancel at the last minute.

The Pagoda Pacers Athletic Club uses this race as a fundraiser for the Berks County Special Olympics, and despite not having the race this year, we would still like to make some sort of a donation. We have appealed to the runners who pre-registered to consider donating their entry fees to this fine group, assuring them we will pass along 100% to that organization.

We would also like to appeal to the membership at large to consider making such a donation to compensate for the loss of this fundraising event. Click HERE for more information about donating to Special Olympics programs across Pennsylvania, including here in Berks County.

Shaun Luther and Libby Crockart, Charlie Horse Race Directors

Letter from the President (July 2019)

Up until a few days ago I thought I’d be writing about volunteers, upcoming races, and looking forward to seeing Matt Brophy’s touch on his first Pacer Newsletter as editor.

If you’ve been current with the Pagoda Pacers Discussion Group on Facebook, you are probably aware of what has been a tumultuous July. One of my experiences in my youth was being a pallbearer for an uncle. For me, the scrawny high school kid, he was a large man both in stature, but also in how he carried himself. He looked like Lee Marvin in The Dirty Dozen. He was a factory worker–a machinist. He was also an athlete. However, his time of youthful athleticism was taken by WWII. He never spoke of his wartime experience, which I believe for him and many others was a coping mechanism.   

Grabbing that brass rail was a first for me. Carrying that casket may have been one of the most formative points of my youth. The strain of the weight while I looked down upon the flag draped in front of me left an impression that remains with my soul. I’ve told many a person being a pallbearer is an important life experience. 

Now, as a club, we mourn the loss of James Cramer, and as I thought of touching on this point in the Newsletter, something hit me. You see my experience of carrying that casket was not singular; there were others. I did not bear that weight alone. My heart goes out to Jim’s family and close friends. My utmost respect and admiration go out to the family of trail runners that made multiple trips to the AT looking for a friend. Share the good stories of Jim, and remind everyone we need not bear this weight alone.

The weather has been brutal the last few weeks. Between the rain and heat, it’s a wonder anyone has had enough motivation to change the calendar, let alone run. I think typically August is supposed to be the hot month, so if you’re training for something, find a buddy and a really early start time. Mike Whalen posted some good hints a few weeks back on the Discussion group on “hyper-hydration” and managing water intake during the heat.  Well worth reaching out to Mike if you have questions. 

As I noted in prior months, the Charlie Horse race was very successful, and we were fortunate to present a check for $3,400 to the Special Olympics and meet a few of their athletes at our July meeting.   A similar motion was approved to present to the “Friends of Nolde” our 50/50ish split from the Run for the Ages. Up next is the Grings Mill 5k and 10k

Yep, as you read this we’re soliciting for volunteers and runners for Sunday August 4th at the Berks County Heritage Center. Spend a little time with friends and fellow Pacers at possibly one of Berks’ oldest continuous running races. The work of many lightens the load. See you on Sunday.