35th Kris Kringle 5-Mile Race Set for December 26!

The 35th running of the KRIS KRINGLE 5 MILE RACE is Sunday December 26th at the Berks County Agricultural Center, 1238 County Welfare Road, Leesport, PA 19533. Registration opens at 8:30, race starts at 10:00. This is an important year for club events to get real racing back after a virtual year.

Race-day registration will be available and we need as many volunteers as possible to get the race off smoothly. If you are racing, consider helping at the registration table. We also need help parking cars, manning road intersections, directing runners at the finish line, presenting awards, and cleaning up afterwards. Volunteers should arrive at the Ag Center between 7:30 – 8:00. Sign the volunteer list at the registration table and let Polly know you are there to help. Masks are required inside the 4H building as per Penn State Extension.

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

Click HERE to register for the best winter race in Berks County!

The How, Why, and True Reason for the Naming of the Charlie-Horse

by Charlie Crowell

I started running in the 1980s, going to local races through the 1990s with the realization early on that I enjoyed trail running over road courses. I trained and ran at home on the Horse-Shoe Trail, doing short out-and-back runs, but thought a point-to-point run would be more interesting. My favorite run was from from Hopewell Furnace at the Chester County line to Plowville which was approximately 17 miles. My Dad, a great hiker of the Horse-Shoe and many other trails, would drop me off. There I was, all alone, with a couple of water bottles, a power bar, no aid stations, and no cell phone. There was no other option but to make it home.

In the Spring of 1997, I went to New York and did Ed Hart’s “Make Your Mother Proud.”  
This was a point-to-point ultra trail run with a one-way ride in an old Greyhound bus somewhere out in the Finger Lakes. In September of 1997, I did the Conestoga Trail Run, first of twenty. This was similar to Ed Hart’s, but with school buses and only ten miles instead of thirty.

Another interest I enjoyed during this time was coaching Special Olympic athletes, year round in all sports. I did this for thirteen years with a ten-year tenure as head basketball coach. All Special Olympic sports were at no cost to the athletes and so there was always a need for funds for equipment, uniforms, venues to practice, and many other things. A light bulb went off – a fund raiser for Berks County Special Olympics!

I had a favorite run on a good trail with no roads (that changed).  Shorten the distance a little. Find a start and finish. My neighbor is the school bus contractor for Twin Valley School District. We had a great cause. Let’s do a trail run. No problem!

I kind of knew everything that had to be done, so in the Fall of 1997, I planned a trail run with a small group consisting of relatives, friends, and Pagoda Pacers, to try out the course, explain what I had in mind, and see if they had any suggestions. Mike and Denise Yoder were the Pagoda Pacers who joined us that day.  On a warm Saturday morning, we ran from French Creek to Sleepy Hollow, and then back to my home in Plowville. After a good run, we gathered around outside to talk, come up with some final plans, and drink some cold Yuenglings. Just as we started, someone in the group doubled over, yelling out in pain with a major leg cramp. Denise calmly said, “You have a Charlie-Horse!” I immediately said, “That’s it. We’ll name the race The Charlie-Horse.”
That was the final missing piece we needed: a name.

People often ask me if I ever got a chance to run the race. The answer is yes; I ran the 8th, 9th and 23rd Charlie-Horses and finished in first place over all. For the rest of this story, you’re going to have to wait for the movie to come out.

I have always enjoyed running with the Pagoda Pacers and now enjoy volunteering at their events.

32nd Annual Shiver Series Starts in Less Than 2 Weeks!

The 32nd  annual SHIVER by the RIVER 5K & 10K is NOW. We need runners!!!  We need volunteers!!!!! 

The first race is Dec 12th, at Jim Dietrich Park, in Muhlenberg Twp.  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.  

Due to the persistence of COVID, we will have some slight changes.  Depending on weather, registration may be outside, at the pavilion to the left of the farmhouse.  If it’s inside, we will ask runners to get their bib, check out our swag and then make their way outside.  If it gets too crowded we may limit the number of people in the farmhouse.  We will have the soup; but instead of bagels, we will have individually wrapped pretzels.  Instead of the tables of snacks, each runner will receive a snack bag at registration (as we did last year).  Depending on the weather, we may ask runners to not gather inside, but instead grab some food and head outside to the pavilion or the porch.    

Per CDC guidelines, we ask that anyone who is not vaccinated to wear a mask inside the farmhouse.

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, Georgine McCool, Tiffany Pantoja

2021 Oley Classic Recap

by Lenny Burton

What a great race!!! Thank you to all the runners volunteers and everyone that helped make this race a great success at its new location. Great indoor facilities, hot food and drinks and the shirts looked awesome as did the awards.  

Andrew Brown, 37 of Fleetwood PA was the 10 Mile winner on the new course, finishing in 1hr 3 mins 4 seconds. Way to go on the big win Andrew!

Congratulations to our 5K winner Mihai Sanchez, 23 of Reading PA for his 18:05 time. 

With over 200 participants, we are proud of the event that we put together. Our proceeds will benefit the Oley Valley Ambulance Association and the Pagoda Pacer Scholarship Fund. 

Thank you to Gallen Insurance, Fleetwood Footcare, Villa Graphics, and our handmade-awards artist Maggie Gallen. Also the RRCA for their continued support and providing the aid station supplies.  

We are looking forward to building on this event next year and are excited about the experience we have learned with the new course and the new venue.

We will have the aid stations earlier in the course and will move the finish line closer to the main grandstand of the fairgrounds. 

I’m already excited about next year and am open to any ideas or suggestions you have to make next year’s event a great one.

Again thank you to all and we look forward to seeing you next year!!

Race directors, Lenny Burton (leonardeburton@gmail.com) and Barry Goodhart (barrygoodhart@gmail.com)

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

’21-’22 Shiver Series Starts Next Month!

The 32nd annual SHIVER by the RIVER 5K & 10K is NOW.  The first one is Dec 12th, at Jim Dietrich Park, in Muhlenberg Twp.  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.  

Runners can register online at www.pretzelcitysports.com or by mailing the app and a check.  Plus, we will have race day registration.  Pre-registration deadline is 11/18.  Despite everything costing more, we have not raised our prices!!  The shirts this year are a soft, long-sleeve heather burgundy.  Look for a picture on the Pacer Facebook Discussion Page. We are hoping to give you a race very similar to pre-Covid days; however, the Pagoda Pacers are closely watching all event recommendations from the CDC along with state and local health guidelines.  If necessary, mask or other requirements will be communicated, via email prior to race day.

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, Georgine McCool, Tiffany Pantoja

Kris Kringle 2021 — Register before price increase!

Kris Kringle 2021 – PRICE INCREASE ALERT: Register by 11/30 to beat the price increase!

The 35th running of the KRIS KRINGLE 5 MILE RUN will be held on Sunday, December 26th at 10:00 AM
at the Berks County Agricultural Center, 1238 County Welfare Road, Leesport, PA 19533.

Make the most of your holiday weekend! Grab your friends and family and work off those holiday
indulgences with this fun run along a beautiful course, which is also walker and stroller friendly.

This year we are excited to reveal a new logo for the hoodies. Don’t miss out on your chance to own
one. Hoodies are limited to the first 500 hundred registrants, so be sure to sign up early!

REGISTER ONLINE NOW – OR – PRINT MAILABLE RACE APPLICATION!

(As of now, registration will be available on race day, but hoodies are not guaranteed. )

Save money and register before the cutoff! Prices increase on November 30th .

This is a Pagoda Pacer event and proceeds help to fund the Berks County Cross Country Coaches
Association.

Join the Kris Kringle Facebook Event Page for updates. Share the event with your friends & family.

Thank you for your support, and we hope to see you on race day!

Race Directors,
Polly Corvaia, Lisa Domeshek, and Michelle Henry

Charlie Horse: A Quest for the Origin

Next year will be the 25th running of the Charlie Horse Race.  In anticipation of that milestone we are going to publish a two part series on the origin story of this race.  Part I will be a short history of the origin of the term “Charlie Horse”.  Part II will be the true story of how that term was applied to this race from the original race director, Charlie Crowell.

Now someone somewhere reading this may say “hey, weren’t there a couple of years in the early 2000’s where there was no race?” Or “hey what about the Covid year?”  Rest assured that even when there was no formal race, at least one person ran the course on Memorial Day weekend and at least one person paid an entry fee and a donation was made to the Special Olympics.

Part I — “A Quest for the Origin”

According to baseball historian Andy Strasberg, the origin of the term “Charlie horse” can be traced back to a 19th-century baseball player by the name of Joseph Quest.

Strasberg cites a couple different version of the story. Let’s start with the one that’s less likely to be accurate.

From an 1898 article in the New Castle (PA) Daily News:

Joe was employed in the establishment of Quest & Shaw, this city, learning the machinist’s trade, the senior member of the firm being his father. An old white horse named Charley was used by the firm in a wagon utilized for hauling machinery around the works. Charley had drawn so many heavy loads and was so advanced in years that he had a peculiarly wobbly gait, occasioned by his strained tendons. When Joe noticed the ball players limping around Charley’s walk was recalled in his mind and he named the condition of the players after the old horse at his father’s works.

The more probable version of the story, also from 1898, comes from Quest’s former teammate, Hugh Nichol:

Joe Quest coined the phrase a way back in 1882, in Chicago…It’s a racehorse story and it happened this way. Chicago was having an off day. Our schedule called for some eighty odd games in those seasons and we had more spare time than the big leaguers have now. There was racing down on the south side and some of the boys took great interest in it…The tip had gone out the night before that a horse named “Charley” was a sure winner that afternoon…we were all in with the exception of Joe Quest. No amount of argument could induce him to bet a copper on that horse…In the last turn Charley stumbled, went lame in his right hind leg, and the field closed up. Quest threw a fit: “Look, look!” he shouted as the first horse passed Charley. “Look at your Charley horse now.” And he kept it up. Charley finished outside the money and we didn’t hear the last of “our old Charley horse” the rest of the day.

It was during a game Chicago played the next day with Chicago’s George Gore on base and attempting a steal and about half way down Gore stepped into a pocket and sprung a strain, just the way the pony had done the day before and Quest sang out: “There’s your old Charley horse— he’d made it all right if it hadn’t been for that old Charley horse.”

Decades later, after settling in San Diego, Quest died in 1924 and was buried in an unmarked grave. Just recently, however, the Society for American Baseball Research found the money to commission a gravestone for him, thus immortalizing his idiomatic contribution.

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