The 37th Annual Sue Crowe Memorial Arts Festival  5K and 10K races took place, as always, on the last day of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.  Race day is traditionally hot and humid.  The weather this year was humid, but temperatures were pleasantly moderate.  We had 739 registrants and 673 finishers.  These may not be the biggest races on the current calendar, but they are certainly the oldest, and well-loved by individuals and families who return year after year.  They are the principal source of income for the NVRC and thus support our sponsorship of youth running, RRCA membership insurance that we extend to many local races, our low-cost timing services, our indoor track meets, and much more.

The courses had to be modified this year because Curtin Road was closed due to construction of the Ice Arena.  Among the changes was an uphill finish on Porter Road.  Times were nevertheless fast, particularly in the 10K.  Winning the 10K was Daniel Craighead, a recent Ithaca College grad now racing on the local scene, and second was AJ Kelly of Altoona, the 2010 winner of the Nittany Valley Half Marathon.  Finishing 4th and 9th were Paul Crowe, now running for Susquehanna University, and John Crowe, a recent State College graduate, two of the sons of Sue Crowe.  First in the women’s 10K was Lauren Philbrook , a Williams College grad now studying at Penn State.  Lauren earned a berth in the January 2012 US Olympic Trials in the marathon.  Second was Beth Herndon, who is finishing a PhD program at Penn State.

James Bronson of Pittsburgh won the 5K, followed by Christopher DiPerna of Port Matilda.  Local trail racing queen Meira Minard entered the 10K, but she was so busy organizing the kids races that she was late to the starting line.  So she ran the later-starting 5K instead.  And won.  Second was Heidi Manfred of Altoona; she and her husband Matt are the cross-country coaches at Penn State Altoona.

Sponsors for the races this year were University Orthopedics, which furnishes the shirts, which per custom have the official Lanny Sommese Arts Festival design on the front; ASEA Water Products; Roaring Springs Water, who furnished more than enough cases of bottled water for the runners at the finish line; Rapid Transit Sportswear; The Centre County Conventions and Visitors Bureau for hosting our Saturday registration;  and The State College Spikes, especially Will West, for hosting us and furnishing services on race day.

We thank these volunteers: manning the desk at pre-registration on Saturday: Michael Goldfine and Jim Myers.  Packet stuffing on Saturday: Erin and Kim Nelson, Andrew Maguire, Carl and Nancy Miller, Dean Capone, John Wilcock and daughter, and Susanna Paul .  Registration on race day: Kim Nelson, Marty Klanchar, Paul Lammert, Rich Olsen, Kathy and TJ Mayo, and Jean Brownstead.  Standing at the corner of Bigler and Pollock, where the 5K and 10K parted ways: Cheryl Capone.  Leading the 10K race on his bike: Marty Mazur, and leading the 5K: Joe Niemann.  At the Shortlidge Plaza water stop: a team from ASEA, headed by Kevin Hinckley, and at the IST 10K Water Stop: a team from Girls on the Run, headed by Jen Hickey.  Food pickup: Mike Weyandt.  Awards layout and handing out: Jean Brownstead and Sara Noss. Wheeling the iced containers of bottled water to the finish line: Todd Baney, and resupplying them: Todd, Judd Michael, and Rich Olsen.

The Kids Races (70 kids total) were organized by Meira Minard, assisted by Steve and Carol  Gentry, Judd Michael, Dean Capone, John Domico, Meira’s husband Greg Loviscky and daughter Abbie, and Bob Crowe.  Bob was everywhere on race day – out on the course encouraging runners, working with the kids, and picking up tables and equipment after the race from the water stops.  We expect that next year Bob will have recovered from his Achilles rupture and will race once more.

Dave Eggler, Race Director