Oley Valley Apple Classic Less Than Six Weeks Away!

by Lenny Burton

The temperatures are dropping, and the applesauce weather is slowly becoming crisper like a beautiful, fresh, fall apple.  Open your calendar and mark off Saturday, October 9th as the Oley Valley Apple Country Classic Ten Mile and 5K run! 

This new course will begin at the Oley Fairgrounds on the same day as their annual Apple Festival. This rolling-hill course takes you through some beautiful farm-country scenery in the Oley Valley. Breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the sights as the leaves change while you test your endurance running on a flat, fast course (with a few hills, at times), but doable for runners of all abilities.  The final miles take you past historical architecture on Main Street in Oley and finishing at the Oley Fairgrounds to apple fanfare.  The 5K is a shorter version of the same course, with a flat and friendly homestretch down historic Main St, finishing in the Fairgrounds. 

Each runner will receive a $5 voucher for hot food and drink, while additional food will be available for purchase.

Maggie Gallen, local glass artist, will be making this year’s awards. They are creative and unique, and we wish everyone luck in this year’s event. 

The Pagoda Pacers will support the hydration stations and intersections while providing split times at most miles. 

Proceeds benefit the Oley Ambulance Association and the Pagoda Pacer Scholarship fund. 

Thank you to Gallen Insurance for their race sponsorship!

Come enjoy the morning and bring your friend Bob to see if he can run for his apples!

We are also looking for race volunteers! Please contact a race director, Lenny Burton (leonardeburton@gmail.com) or Barry Goodhart (barrygoodhart@gmail.com) !

Any race questions can be mailed to oleyvalleyapplecountryclassics@gmail.com

Thank you for your support, and we hope to see you on race day, Saturday, October 9th, for the 27th Annual Oley Valley Apple Country Classic!   

Blues Cruise ’21 Just a Month Away!

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.

The captains this year are as follows:

Steve Maguire (Blues Brothers), Matthew Brophy (Fleet Week), Polly Corvaia (Margaritaville), Jeff Hills (Rats’ Nest), Shaun Luther Jr. (Fugawi Tribe), Caroline Hill (Oktoberfest).

Of course, volunteers for race day are desperately needed as well. They can contact me at dgovern1@comcast.net. I will assign them or you can request a spot you feel most comfortable with.

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, Transportation (Drop Bags), Sweeping (Will be from Aid Station to Aid Station).

We will also need people for Course Marking on Saturday, October 2nd at 3PM at the Lakeview Pavilion. People who are interested can contact Michael L. Yoder directly at 610-207-4247 via text or phone call.

We will have shirts from RUSeen this year that have some reflective aspects to them, as well as winter gloves that are reflective.

New hats from HeadSweats
Our 2021 Finishers Medal w/nautical theme of course

Everyone who enters the 2021 Blues Cruise race will receive a customized reusable cup from UltrASpire in their swag bag! The 7oz. UltrAspire Cup greatly reduces the amount of waste generation and environmental impact of a paper cup. It also reduces the number of touchpoints to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID or any other nasty viruses. It’s our way of reducing waste and protecting you and our environment. No grabbing cups this year. Just ask Aid Station volunteers to pour.

Other COVID-related precautions:

  • Aid Stations will have “normal” Ultra running selection of aid but runners will have to ask volunteers for their aid requirements when arriving at an aid station. Volunteers will then provide aid on a small bowl or plate. No more grabbing with your hands in to bowls or use of community spoons
  • Volunteers at Registration, Aid Stations, and Post Race Food will be asked to mask-up.

Registration Open for 2021 Kris Kringle 5-Miler

Welcome back to the race world KRIS KRINGLE! This year’s 5-mile race will be held at the Berks County Agricultural Center on Sunday December 26 at 10:00 AM and we can’t wait to see you there.

The race travels in a clockwise direction this year, as we reverse directions every year giving runners a different perspective of the beautiful course. It is stroller- and walker-friendly. There are fast road sections, slow hill sections, gorgeous trail in the Blue Marsh Lake area, and a section of the Union Canal trail next to a beautiful trout stream. Unfortunately dogs are not allowed on the Union Canal trail, so pets have to wait with your friends at the finish.

Five year age group awards and High School Cross Country team awards. See the application

Save money and register before the cut-off date (November 30). REGISTER BY MAIL: Print application and mail check.  You can also REGISTER ONLINE: service fee applies.      

Questions: KrisKringleDirector@PagodaPacers.com

Looking Ahead to Shiver ’21 – ’22

Dates:  2nd Sunday:  Dec 12th, Jan 9th, Feb 13th, March 13th  

Time:  10:00 am

Location:  Jim Dietrich Park  

We are hoping to return to the pre-Covid Shiver; however, as conditions are changing, we will be following all recommendations from our state & local health agencies, the RRCA, as well as the CDC.  Masks or other requirements will be communicated, if necessary, via email and the Pagoda Pacers Discussion Group Facebook page.  We are keeping our options open regarding the post-race snacks, water stops, registration, etc.  More details to follow as we get closer to our December race.

The Shiver will be a series!!  Pre-registration is only available for the series and we plan to have race day registration for both the series and individual races.  We received a lot of positive feedback regarding last year’s shirt, so we will offer a similar shirt this year.  Once we have finalized the design and color, a sample will be posted on the Pagoda Pacers Discussion Group Facebook page.

Apps will be mailed with a Pretzel City mailing and can be found online, at either our web site or Pretzel City Sports website.  As in the past, we are offering online registration, for the series, at www.pretzelcitysports.com

Come out and join us for our 32nd season!!!!!!

Race Directors,

Sue Jackson, Georgine McCool, Tiffany Pantoja

The Gring’s Mill 5k/10k Is Right around the Corner!

by Jane Setley

Gring’s Mill 5k/10K and Kids Fun Run

Aug 1, 2021

9:00 AM

Berks County Heritage Center


Registration with Shirt has been extended to 7/28,

AND Day-of-Registration WILL BE AVAILABLE​​

We will continue to start this race from the Berks County Heritage center, but NEW this year the race will be chip timed by Pretzel City Sports.

This race is a great one whether you are a new runner or a seasoned pro.  No need to decide what distance you want to run ahead of time; you can simply decide on race day which one you want to line up for. It’s fast, it’s flat, and it often leads to PRs!

Happy to say that we will be offering the “Kids Fun Run” again this year.  The Kids Run is less than a mile long, and it goes right through the red bridge! 

So come out and run the race or come volunteer. Either way, it’s always a great day!

Click HERE to register now!

The NEW Oley Country Classic

by Len Burton

Coming October 9th–just one week after Blues Cruise–the Pagoda Pacers will be hosting the 27th annual Oley Valley Apple Country Classic! 

This year the 10 mile and 5k event will be celebrated at the Oley Fairgrounds and proceeds will benefit the Oley Ambulance Association. We are excited about indoor registration, a great new course, and a post-race apple festival for the entire community!

The excitement is brewing and we look forward to our new fall country classic.

Run for the Ages ’21 Recap

by Donna Hey

A HUGE thank you to Nolde Forest for hosting, and to EVERYONE who came out to volunteer and/or participate in the race this year! I do not believe there is any way that I can truly express my gratitude at the way our running community comes together to pull off events like this so smoothly.

Run For the Ages has a rolling start that begins with the 75+ women at 8:30 am and ends 20 groups later at 9:05 with 2 age groups of 20-year-old men. This group is called the ‘ringers’. This year our runners ranged in age from 15 to 82. 

In order to win this race, later-starting participants need to chase down and pass all the earlier-starting competitors. Early starters need to hold onto their lead time. This year’s race had 3 ringers (we need to work on building that group) and 117 finishers. The 3 ringers placed 12th, 14th, and 23rd overall, not quite overtaking all of the competition, but giving it a great shot! Dylan Servis won the coveted “Nolde Pottery Turtle” by placing 12th overall and having the fastest course time of 43:18.

It’s always fun to be at the finish to see who held their lead and who outran the most people. The results never cease to impress. The top ten finishers of this race were:

  1. Bonnie Stoeckl – start time 8:40
  2. Fernando Moura – Start time 8:43
  3. Don Morrison – Start time 8:43
  4. Raine Fussner – Start time 8:48
  5. Gert Freas – Start time 8:44
  6. Jim Blandford – Start time 8:58
  7. Steve Dvorchak – Start time 9:00
  8. Cole Casadei – Start time 9:00
  9. Brian Stoltzfus – Start time 8:55
  10. Karin Tursack – Start time 8:53

The Pacers and Nolde friends would like to again thank Ted Andrus, the founder of Run For the Ages, for his generous donation of 2 Southwest airline round trip passes. This year’s winner was Megan Robinson.

Thanks again to everyone for creating a great race experience and raising funds to support the Friends of Nolde Forest.

Looking forward to next year. Mark your calendars now: Sunday, June 26, 2022.

Run for the Ages ’21 Fast Approaching!

Run for the Ages 10k Trail Chase

June 27, 2021


Nolde Forest

New Holland Rd, Reading, PA

We’ve got runners registered from ages 16 to 82! NO day-of registration, so get your entries in now! Online registration closes Wednesday, June 23.

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, has great schwag and virtually no bottlenecks. 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!

What’s an age-graded start? Those who have more than a few gray hairs or have yet to hit puberty will get a head start based on age and gender. Typically the oldest female wave starts first. Then the next wave will start, based on 5 year age groups, working back toward the younger (faster?) folks. Wave starts will bounce back and forth between sexes, as derived from the World Masters Association’s dictates. The actual “head start” for each division is posted at www.PagodaPacers.com.  That means you start with your age group (call them your competition if you like). Your group may or may not start with another group. For example, it’s possible that 60-64 year-old men might start at the same time as 50-54 year-old women. Or maybe not.

First ten official runners through the finish line get a Nolde Pottery award.

Questions? Can’t run but want to volunteer? Contact Race Director Donna Hey at Donna.Hey@hotmail.com

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