Thursdays are track days for a small group of men and women. This is not a formal thing -- the exact workout depends on who's there (usually numbering from a dozen to as many as thirty or more) and what they feel like doing -- but the group is very reliable about showing up. A typical workout might be something like six 400 meter intervals at 70-115 seconds (that's a pretty big spread, but we get a big spread of ability, too), or a 400-600-800-600-400 pyramid, or laps that include 100m striders, with folks doing more or less, faster or slower. We even got covered in the Centre Daily Times! If this appeals to you, meet under the Rec Hall bleachers at noon, or show your face at the Penn State outdoor track (indoors in winter, at the new Multi-Sport Facility) around 12:20 or so on Thursdays. Say "hey!"
The Thursday Track Crew is a group of runners who suffer from the delusion that regular speed workouts will help them run faster races, even though quite a few in the group are past their prime. And, in fact, the workouts have helped a number of runners improve their times and achieve their racing goals. But the Crew is not just for runners with racing experience, or even runners who want to race. In fact, it's as much a social thing as anything else.
The Crew began in the early 90s when charter members Marty Mazur, Mike Dooris, Jim Myers, and others, decided they needed to do some regular speed work. The Crew started going to the track, irregularly at first, then stuck to Thursday. A regular meeting day, and the regular humorous email exhortations of Marty Mazur (aka "Bwana") gained the group more adherents with time. The group welcomes newcomers. One of the purported benefits of showing up regularly is getting Bwana's wacky weekly track report, wherein he doles out gold stars to the attendees and good-natured jibes to the laggards.
The group meets every Thursday in the warm up area behind the bleachers in Rec Hall. They head out at about 12:10 for a leisurely jog down to the track (a mile and a half each way). You can also meet them at the track by about 12:25. Most of the year, the group runs at the Penn State outdoor track. During the bad weather months, the Crew heads to the Multi-Sport Facility/Horace Ashenfelter III indoor track, next to the outdoor track. At the track, the group does a varied workout adding up to about two more miles of hard running. They usually have fifteen to thirty runners of varying ages and abilities show up on any given week. The more people who show up, the more likely you'll find one or more runners who run your pace, or who can challenge you to go a bit faster. It's a great social time. You'll start racing faster.
NOTE: The group is VERY regular. We met every Thursday, except Thanksgiving, and have been known to run even when the University is closed for bad weather. If the weather is bad, we now have the option of using the MSF Indoor Track Facility. In this case, if it's wet out, please bring an extra pair of dry track shoes. If the weather is too treacherous to even run to the indoor track, we work out on the Rec Hall track.