The regular meeting of the Nittany Valley Running Club was held on Tuesday, August 3, at the Hi-Way Pizza on Westerly Parkway. The meeting was lightly attended, with summer vacations claiming some, and business trips sweeping away NVRC President Jim Taylor and Membership Director Marty Klanchar. In attendance were Boyd Brumbaugh, Dave Eggler, John Daley, Bob Radzwich, and Marty Mazur. Still, we found enough to talk about over pizza and Sam Adams.

The first bit of good news, though not strictly Club business, is that Boyd is Back! Boyd Brumbaugh, a darn good runner when healthy, has been suffering for over a year with a nasty, debilitating case of plantar fascitis. He's stayed in shape by biking. Though he's been laid up for quite some time, he has been a faithful attendee at Club meetings. Well, Boyd's better. He's up to 5 miles at a crack and feeling good. He attributes his recovery to some Prednisolone shots and other therapy.

The big topic of the evening was the Arts Fest Race. Before he left on his business trip, Jim Taylor gave me some good news. The race made a good deal more money than last year's race. He's still tallying receipts and expenses, but he figures a conservative preliminary estimate is that we cleared $2000, against last year's $500. The difference can be chalked up to 30 more runners than last year, but more importantly, more in-kind donations. The food was pretty much free! We also talked about all the great positive feedback we got about the race, especially about the course. One negative is that due to some technical difficulty, we never got the certification done. There's still some question about whether the course was 10K. Marty "Angstrom" Mazur thinks the course is as close to 10K as you can get without the official measurement. Good race times can be attributed to the fact that the course is a bit easier than previous courses, and the day was pretty nice. It looks like we'll try to keep a very similar course for next year's race, but we'll make sure to get the certification done.

Another big topic was our increased promotion of newbie running. We've started trying to promote running for beginners on a number of fronts. The web site now has the beginnings of a Coaching Page which will have links to general information on training, injuries, etc., and a "For Beginners" page specifically for newbies. On that page is the start of a program called "Couch-To-5K". We're linking that program to an official NVRC Beginners Race, the Knights of Columbus 5K. We'll be giving beginners special incentives to run it. We're also encouraging youngsters to run by making more youth age groups. We're also encouraging team and family running by giving fee reductions for teams and families for the Knights Race. Marty proposed that the Club purchase some incentive prizes (e.g. "I Did It!" water bottles) for newbies out of Club funds, rather than race receipts (which would take away from the charitable beneficiaries) as part of our mission to promote running. That will be decided offline by officers. We may carry these ideas to other Club races. We also discussed some ideas for encouraging newbies to show up for some of our "pre-Group" runs. We occasionally hold a beginner's run at 8 AM on Saturday morning, before the usual (much longer) club Group Run. We haven't had much success with it yet, but we'll keep plugging.

We also discussed winter bike path maintenance, an issue that will come to the fore again soon. John Daley related his experience in the Boulder, Colorado area. Bike paths are well maintained during the winter, as opposed to their condition in State College, which, except for the Borough itself (and I am reminded that we still owe them a fruit basket for starting to plow their paths last winter!), does nothing to keep them clear. He hinted at a card that we might be able to play in our wranglings with local government: many bike paths that parallel highways (e.g. Blue Course) are built with federal matching funds that are given on condition that bike paths be built *and maintained*.

Because of the various absences, much business was left unattended to. Topics include: First Night planning, web site overhaul, design of the new NVRC Headquarters Complex, etc.

Next Meeting: October 5.