The regular meeting of the Nittany Valley Running Club was held on Tuesday, February 7 at the Hi-Way Pizza on Westerly Parkway. Another huge crowd was on hand for the meeting. In attendance were Dave Eggler, Marty Klanchar, Jerry Steffy, Marty Mazur, Boyd Brumbaugh, Amy Paster, Kim Gasper, Mark Fedkin, Bob Radzwich, Mike Casper, Alistair Geddes, Morgan Windram, Scott Brooker, Curtis Louder, and Tarah Murray, along with Diane from the Association for Retarded Citizens (ARC) and Jackie from Victory Sports. It's a good thing a few people had to cut out early, otherwise three pizzas and several pitchers of beer would not have covered the bases.

Before the main Club business, we heard from Diane of ARC and Jackie from Victory Sports. Diane was on a fact-finding mission to see if using a 5K race as a fundraiser for the ARC. She was interested in logistics, course and planning, what to expect in terms of turnout, proceeds, etc. We filled her in. She'll be in touch if they decide to do one. Jackie at Victory Sports (in Hills Plaza) is interested in doing a series of training seminars for Club members. The series will be for runners who are in it for the long term and want to stay healthy and injury free while improving their competitive edge. The series will include information on diet, strength and flexibility training, and other topics. Jackie wants to give the first seminar, with a nice general survey of some of the topics, on Saturday, February 18, at 10 AM immediately following the Weekend Group Run. The plan is to have the run start and finish at the Hills Plaza parking lot. More information will be sent to Club members and posted on the web site.

The Club business was next. We first decided to continue giving away NVRC Club singlets as prizes in the Indoor Mile series. Next, Marty Mazur gave a brief report  on Jeff Bundy's preliminary plans for a Nittany Valley Marathon. Jeff is working on getting sponsorship for such a race. Logistics, course, and date are big concerns. The Fall calendar is generally pretty full of marathons. Too early in the Spring brings weather into the picture, while an April race conflicts with the Boston marathon, in which many in our Club participate for the benefit of Centre Volunteers in Medicine. The goal is to have a race in late Spring of 2007. Marty will keep the Club appraised of progress here.

The main topic of the meeting was NVRC sponsorship of running and training programs. Last month, the Club officers met to hammer out a straw man policy for such programs. Marty briefed the attendees and will be putting out a draft of the policy for consideration by the Club. Scott Brooker, whose Penns Valley Track Club receives a grant from the NVRC was there to add to the discussion. One of the requirements in the draft policy is that all participants in funded programs should be members of the NVRC. Marty mentioned that Penns Valley, while getting a good benefit from the NVRC grant and from our help with the Egg Hill race, has a very low representation in Club membership. Scott worries that adding $6 to his club's fees might drive down participation. A possible "youth rate" was brought up in order to address this, though our Club membership fee has remained unchanged for decades and was probably low back then. This and other issues can be debated among Club members when Marty posts the draft policy. The attendees decided that we should have the policy finalized by the next meeting. There have already been two formal requests for grants from this program. Scott's PV Club and John Schmidt's Nittany Track and Field program have requested a renewal of their grants from last year.

Amy Paster gave a report on progress regarding the Arts Fest Race. It will again be two races this year, a 10K and a 5K. For the first time in years we will use the same course two years in a row. Amy is looking for some AF race photos because the race will be featured in the Preview Guide for the Art's Fest. Jerry Steffy will direct the Kids Races this year.

Mike Casper is looking for some help for this year's mOUnTaiNBACK 50 Mile Relay and Ultramarathon. Mike is about to become a father for the first time and may have to (no, Mike, will have to) throttle back a bit in his involvement in the race. He'd like to have a co-director or two who can help direct the race. He assures us that the race is well established and much of the "infrastructure" is in place. Whoever steps up is not starting from scratch.

Morgan Windram announced that she and her fiancee Alistair Geddes will be moving away in the early summer to continue and further their careers. Both of them are in the field of Geography. Morgan hopes to eventually attain a PhD. Their plans are not definite yet, but they will miss the area and the people (and will be sorely missed). Morgan and Alistair want to leave a gift to the Club to endow some kind of runner's assistance fund, perhaps to pay entry fees for some worthy competitor. Morgan's help and generosity with her time have been very valuable to the NVRC. It's hard to accept even more from her when we know we might not see her around much more. We'll keep you abreast of their plans for this gift, and of their plans regarding their move as they become known.

Kim Gasper, running coach at Bellefonte Area High School, directed a series of races for kids 8th grade and younger in Bellefonte last spring. She's doing it again this year. The Red Raider Rally Run is scheduled for May 20 at the Bellefonte Middle School. There will be races of varying distances for kids from pre-Kindergarten to 8th grade. Details will be posted on our web site soon.

Curtis Louder gave a report on the Arthritis Foundation race that he and Greg Dillon put on in Bald Eagle State Park in mid-December. Curtis was grateful for the help e received from Greg and from the NVRC. The race was not well attended (about 30 runners), but well received by those who participated. Weather was probably a big factor. Our record cold December was starting to show its teeth about then. Conflict with Christmas activities and the remote (but wonderful) setting may have been factors as well. Curtis and Greg are looking for ways to increase participation, including moving the time and venue. They'll be getting back to us.

Next Meeting: April 4.