Tussey Teaser #5: 8th Annual Eager Seeger Half-Marathon


June 27, 2021
Rothrock State Forest
by Mike Casper

A slight breeze kept the shaded starting area comfortable at the 9th Eager Seeger Half Marathon, the longest and final run of the 2021 Tussey Teasers Series. The entire route is unpaved forest roads. Runners take on a 3.5+ mile hill near the beginning, with streams, ridgetop vistas and more hills along the way. Humidity gave its two cents but there was no rain and much of this course is in shade.

A small pack set a perky pace up the long hill on Seeger Road. There are shorter ascents on the back half and some long, gentle descents that pay back the early effort. The finish line saw two runners sail under the course record set by Patrick Singletary in 2014. Loc O vied with Joseph Clark in the final miles, but Clark edged him out by 30 seconds.

In the women’s race, Baylee Robey was 6th overall and the women’s winner, with Sherry Tirko and Diane Swauger taking second and third.

Bob Kennedy traveled furthest, from New Hampshire, with runners from New Jersey and Ohio also taking part in this fortifier of a run. Bob and Rob Crowe were the oldest participants at 73, and Tyler Rader the youngest at 15454.

Four runners completed all 5 of the “official” Tussey Teasers, earning a complimentary treat from Coldstone Creamery: Matt Balogh, David Lloyd, and Natasha and Sherry Tirko (both Tirkos also ran the optional February 6 ’Sno Big Deal race, a snowy Tussey Teaser #0). Today Natasha won the grand prize, an ice cream cake from Coldstone Creamery.

Thanks to Doan’s Bones and Webster’s Café for donated prizes that were given away.

Race Director Mike Casper ran this race to raise funds for Centre Volunteers in Medicine. For details on CVIM’s work, visit http://www.cvim.net/. If you’d like to support Mike’s effort, you can visit his page at https://cvim.ejoinme.org/791855.

A huge thank you to Nicole Pote and Ken Farnsworth’s fiancée Megan for finish line duty, to Lisa Kracaw, Bernie Ryan, Jordan and Seann Reed, and William Peck for valiant service at the course’s 3 water stations, and to Nicole for race day photos.

These festive forest frolics are not over! The 2021 Discovery Training Series, beginning Sept. 2, will meet on eight Saturday mornings. This free series of low-key group runs will cover the entire 50 miles of the Tussey mOUnTaiNBACK course. Visit this schedule to get the run distances, start locations and driving directions: http://tusseymountainback.com/events/mountainback-discovery-series.

We hope to see you there. Just for the hill of it!

pix teaser5 21 start                                                                          Runners get instructions at the starting line
pix teaser5 21 Raders                                                            Stephanie Rader and son Tyler celebrate the finish line
pix teaser5 21 Goldners                                                             Nathan and dad Keith Goldner made this a family event
pix teaser5 21 DianeS 3rdW                                                                           Diane Swauger was third woman but first in style

pix teaser5 21 SherryT 2ndW
                                                                            Sherry Tirko shows the grit that gets it done
pix teaser5 21 baylee                                                 Winner Baylee Robey enjoyed the challenge today - "BayleeR-topW.jpg
pix teaser5 21 Men Matt Jigar Joseph 3 4 1
                                        Three top men, Matt Balogh (3rd), Jigar Gosalia (4th) and Joseph Clark (1st), celebrate at the finish

Overall Order of Finish

Place  First        Last                  Sex  Age  Town                 State     Time
-----  -----        ----                  ---  ---  ----                 -----     ----
   1   Joseph       Clark                  M    27  State College          PA     1:20:51
   2   Loc          O                      M    44  State College          PA     1:21:21
   3   Matt         Balogh                 M    22  State College          PA     1:22:02
   4   Jigar        Gosalia                M    26  State College          PA     1:23:26
   5   Sean         Devlin                 M    42  State College          PA     1:38:01
   6   Baylee       Robey                  F    23  State College          PA     1:39:11
   7   Patrick      Singletary             M    55  State College          PA     1:46:50
   8   Tyler        Rader                  M    15  Huntingdon             PA     1:49:20
   9   Ken          Knappenberger          M    45  State College          PA     1:51:08
  10   John         Iceland                M    50  State College          PA     1:51:09
  11   Ken          Farnsworth             M    31  Boalsburg              PA     1:51:37
  12   Garrison     Famiglio               M    18  State College          PA     1:54:08
  13   Sherry       Tirko                  F    47  Warriors Mark          PA     1:55:21
  14   Jim          Maras                  M    59  State College          PA     2:07:51
  15   Diane        Swauger                F    45  Port Matilda           PA     2:08:47
  16   Barb         Kelsey                 F    53  Huntingdon             PA     2:09:10
  17   Jim          Sellmer                M    60  Port Matilda           PA     2:09:22
  18   Alan         Effrig                 M    42  State College          PA     2:17:35
  19   Mike         Casper                 M    62  State College          PA     2:18:10
  20   Brent        Kelsey                 M    53  Huntingdon             PA     2:19:04
  21   Mary         Wike                   F    26  Brookfield             OH     2:20:37
  22   David        Hunter                 M    51  State College          PA     2:21:00
  23   Nathan       Goldner                M    23  Boalsburg              PA     2:21:37
  24   Keith        Goldner                M    58  Kittaning              PA     2:21:37
  25   Daniel       Foster                 M    42  State College          PA     2:21:58
  26   Mitchell     Taylor                 M    20  Syracuse               NY     2:23:00
  27   Jeff         Davidson               M    60  Boalsburg              PA     2:23:47
  28   Jeff         Schiesler              M    65  Port Matilda           PA     2:27:30
  29   Natasha      Tirko                  F    36  State College          PA     2:28:30
  30   Jared        Ali                    M    39  Port Matilda           PA     2:29:26
  31   Bob          Kennedy                M    73  Durham                 NH     2:30:06
  32   Victoria     Maras                  F    23  State College          PA     2:30:42
  33   Todd         Kehrli                 M    59  Glenmoore              PA     2:32:34
  34   Jeff         Williamson             M    53  Woodbridge             NJ     2:34:28
  35   Abby         Lanager                F    29  Pleasant Gap           PA     2:34:30
  36   Rob          Crowe                  M    73  PA Furnace             PA     2:35:17
  37   Stephanie    Rader                  F    33  Huntingdon             PA     2:44:23
  38   Allison      Holmes                 F    39  Huntingdon             PA     2:48:44
  39   David        Lloyd                  M    51  State College          PA     2:54:42
  40   Zachary      Kilmer                 M    37  Bellefonte             PA     2:56:20

Tussey Teaser #3: 17th Annual Beidleheimer Sidewinder 10K and 20K

May 1, 2021
Rothrock State Forest
by Mike Casper

It was sunny and barely forty degrees as runners began to gather at Whipple Dam State Park for the Sidewinder race, the third time featuring the out-and-back route for the 10K and 20K distance. The temperature climbed into the sixties as runners finished and cheered each other on, and several runners celebrated with a cooling dip in Whipple Lake. This race uses WMA age and gender adjusted results. (See below for details.)

Owen Wing outpaced the field in the 20K, with Matt Balogh and David Kennedy close behind. Baylee Robey won the women’s race, with Sherry Tirko second and Diane Swauger third.

In the 10K, Ryan Sullivan beat Cam Mallett by just 11 seconds, with Stephen Nalepa less than a minute back in third. All of the winning times set course records.

In WMA results, three masters runners (one female) scored in the top 10 in the 20K. For the 10K, five masters runners made the top 10. For an explanation of the WMA system, see below.

Special thanks to Zachariah Kilmer and Sidney Lemon for timing and photos. And extra kudos to Zach for changing the RD’s flat tire!

The World Masters Athletics (WMA) percentage is an age- and gender-graded scoring system based on data. The WMA percentage tells how your age- and gender-graded time compares to the gender world record for a given distance. If your WMA score is 100%, you would have run a gender world record time in your prime. If it's 50%, then the world record holder would have come in in half your time. By the way, 80% is considered National Class level. Today's top 5 age and gender graded finishers were all pretty close to that! See below for how the results of this race are calculated, and how you can use the system to score yourself for other events. Here’s an explanation of the formula:

WORLD MASTERS ATHLETICS (WMA) Percentage Calculation:
AGST = age-gender standard time
OGST = open-gender standard time
AGT = age-graded time
WMA factor = OGST / AGST
WMA factor * actual time = AGT
WMA% (age-performance %) = OGST / AGT (or = AGST / time)

Simplified, your World Masters Athletics percentage is the ratio of the approximate world-record time for your age and gender divided by your actual time.
Example for a 45-year old woman running a road 10 km in 40:00
AGST = 32:33 (AGST if she were a 45-year old male = 29:51)
OGST = 30:20 (OGST if she were a 45-year old male = 26:51)
WMA factor = 30:20 / 32:33 = 0.932
AGT = 0.932 * 40:00 = 37:17
WMA % = 30:20 / 37:17 (or = 32:33 / 40:00) = 81.4%

The next Tussey Teaser is June 6, the Treaster Kettle Test-Your-Mettle 10.6 Miler, with an earlier start, 8:00 a.m., with start and finish at Colyer Lake.


pix teaser3 21 10Kstart                                                             The starting group for the Sidewinder 10K is raring to go

pix teaser3 21 SherryTirko                                                                            Sherry Tirko finishes strong in the 20K

pix teaser3 21 TerryReid                                            Terry Reid was back in Tussey Teaser action today, with a smooth finish

pix teaser3 21 DavidLloyd                                                                      David Lloyd finishes the 10K with a smile

pix teaser3 21 AvaLeone and StephanieRhoads                                      Ava Leone and Stephanie Rhoads complete the 10K to cheers from fellow runners

pix teaser3 21 JimMaras                                                                            Jim Maras cruises home in the 10K

pix teaser3 21 JanetSwim
                                                                     Janet Swim declares victory at the 10K finish

pix teaser3 21 LukeLevis                                                                   Luke Levis is ecstatic to reach the finish line

pix teaser3 21 GraceTomlinson                                                                   Grace Tomlinson wraps up the 10K distance

pix teaser3 21 OwenWing 20K Winner                                                                               Owen Wing won the 20K men’s race

pix teaser3 21 BayleeRobey 20K Winner                                                                  Baylee Robey with the spoils of the 20K victory

pix teaser3 21 10K Winners ChloeConnor and RyanSullivan                        Chloe Connor and Ryan Sullivan won the 10K race; Chloe took a refreshing dip in Whipple Lake to cool down

Timing by the Nittany Valley Running Club

10K Results

                                                    WMA%       FINISH    
 PLACE         FINISHER                                         TIME
 -----         --------                             ----       ------
    1  Eric Sutherland, 56, State College, PA      73.77%       43:43  
    2  Ryan Sullivan, 20, State College, PA        72.15%       37:13  
    3  Cam Mallett, 23, State College, PA          71.79%       37:24  
    4  Bruce Hulse, 68, Spruce Creek, PA           71.02%       50:33  
    5  Stephen Nalepa, 20, University Park, PA     70.32%       38:11  
    6  Franklin Berkey, 48, Bellefonte, PA         69.92%       43:13  
    7  Jeremy Bell, 19, Lititz, PA                 68.64%       39:07  
    8  Terry Reid, 62, Bellefonte, PA              68.42%       49:40  
    9  Chloe Connor, 21*, State College, PA        65.66%       46:12  
   10  Keith Henderson, 56, State College, PA      64.05%       50:21  
   11  Jim Maras, 59, State College, PA            63.94%       51:46  
   12  Garrett Campbell, 20, Lansdale, PA          62.68%       42:50  
   13  Quincy Reese, 20*, University Park, PA      62.63%       48:26  
   14  Jodi Patterson, 19*, University Park, PA    62.63%       48:26  
   15  Dom Feola, 21, State College, PA            62.56%       42:55  
   16  Brad Scanlon, 20, State College, PA         62.08%       43:15  
   17  Elijah Kamermans, 35, State College, PA     61.81%       44:23  
   18  Jigas Gosalia, 26, State College, PA        61.21%       43:52  
   19  Raymond Amigo, 24, State College, PA        61.21%       43:52  
   20  Mike Casper, 62, State College, PA          61.18%       55:33  
   21  Jennifer Harris, 24*, State College, PA     60.71%       49:58  
   22  Eli Zakarian, 19, Danville, PA              60.40%       44:27  
   23  Alexander Nazarchuk, 24, State College, PA  58.86%       45:37  
   24  Travis Cohenour, 42, Orbisonia, PA          58.45%       49:20  
   25  Hayden Davidson, 20, State College, PA      56.87%       47:13  
   26  Gregory Luna, 55, Homestead, FL             56.62%       56:29  
   27  Frank Schoepfer, 20, State College, PA      53.42%       50:16  
   28  Meredith Bouvier, 33*, University Park, PA  52.94%       57:33  
   29  Natasha Tirko, 36*, State College, PA       52.78%       58:14  
   30  Victoria Maras, 22*, State College, PA      52.33%       57:58  
   31  Megan Ellery, 21*, State College, PA        51.93%       58:25  
   32  Jessica Robles, 22*, State College, PA      51.85%       58:30  
   33  Luke Levis, 45, Port Matilda, PA            50.27%       58:43  
* indicates females
24 finishers among Open Men
9 finishers among Open Women
24 male finishers
9 female finishers
33 total finishers
20K Race
                                                      WMA%     FINISH    
 PLACE         FINISHER                                         TIME
 -----         --------                               ----     ------
    1  Owen Wing, 22, State College, PA              77.14%   1:12:33  
    2  Matthew Balogh, 22, State College, PA         76.21%   1:13:26  
    3  David Kennedy, 21, State College, PA          75.92%   1:13:43  
    4  Jason Sammut, 24, State College, PA           71.74%   1:18:01  
    5  Patrick Singletary, 55, State College, PA     71.63%   1:32:21  
    6  Alex Gornick, 27, Bellefonte, PA              67.69%   1:22:41  
    7  Baylee Robey, 23*, State College, PA          67.39%   1:32:27  
    8  Carl Hill, 21, State College, PA              67.25%   1:23:13  
    9  Sherry Tirko, 47*, Warriors Mark, PA          66.10%   1:43:08  
   10  John Iceland, 50, Warriors Mark, PA           62.90%   1:40:41  
   11  John Girouard, 21, State College, PA          58.41%   1:35:49  
   12  Diane Swauger, 45*, Port Matilda, PA          52.80%   2:06:36  
   13  Jeffrey Oliver, 28, Baltimore,Md, Md          49.14%   1:53:53  
   14  Kendra Washburn, 32*, State College, PA       42.77%   2:26:01  
* indicates females
10 finishers among Open Men
4 finishers among Open Women
10 male finishers
4 female finishers
14 total finishers

The 2013 Draft Challenge Relay

John Sheakoski, the "Commish", has started the ball rolling on the 2013 Draft Challenge Relay, the "race within a race" of the Tussey mOUnTaiNBACK 50 Mile Relay and Ultramarathon. The DCR, as it's known, is open to anyone who can run (not walk) their assigned Legs of the relay. The mOUnTaiNBACK has a new course this year, so there'll be a lot new going on, from new strategies to new training runs. So even if you're a DCR veteran, this year will have something different. Newcomers: Now's the time to jump in!

The DCR has its own web page including info on how to participate, results of all past DCRs, leg stats…pretty much everything you need to know. Here's the link


Bookmark it! It'll be updated regularly, and referring to the page will save the Commish a few headaches!

NVRC Supports 2020 Unofficial "Day of Caring"

The 2020 United Way Day of Caring was canceled due to COVID. But in the middle of October, a small group of volunteers, along with Joe Hughes, the Penn State Golf Courses PGA General Manager, decided not to let the PSU golf course perimeter trail go back to a state of nature. Liz & Jim Kisenwether, and Cheree Jones coordinated the project. Also involved were Tracy Hanahan and Bill Kupinski.

The crew concentrated on areas near Walker Clubhouse, hole #8, and sections of the wooded path parallel to Blue Course Drive.

The Nittany Valley Running Club, as usual, offered to chip in for food and drinks, but the crew was small enough that Cheree Jones and Joe Hughes picked up the tab. The Club will get it next year when there's a bigger crew!

Here are some photo highlights of the day.

pix dayofcaring 20 before2

An example before picture before brush clearing.

pix dayofcaring 20 after2

Jim and Liz Kisenwether, Joe Hughes, Tracy Hanahan, and Bill Kupinski in an "after" shot of a cleared area.

Read more: NVRC Supports 2020 Unofficial "Day of Caring"

NVRC Group Run Survey

June 8, 2020

The NVRC is looking to start up group runs again. We’re asking for your input now to help us to decide under what restrictions we’ll do this, whether the runs will be ‘official’, i.e. run under the aegis of the Club, listed on our web site Calendar and Facebook page, etc. The question of their ‘official’ status comes down to whether they’ll be covered under our liability policy provided by our umbrella organization, the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA). Local runners are currently free to organize group runs using our listserve, which is not an ‘official’ NVRC organ. However, if we were to advertise them on our web site or Facebook, potential liability questions could arise. In addition, many if not most of our group runs have, in the past, been led by Club officers. So, as you can see, even if we kept group runs as ‘unofficial’ meet-ups, connection to the Club and liability could come into play.

To help us make these decision, we’ve put together survey regarding starting group runs during the current Pennsylvania "green phase" of the COVID-19 pandemic response. Only the first three sections have required responses. The last section on your running personal habits is completely optional, as is the comments section.

Note that some pairs of questions are intended to cover some issues from 'both sides': e.g. Are you willing to participate in group runs if masks are required during the run? / Are you willing to participate in group runs if masks are NOT required during the run?

NOTE: We intend to have a general minimum policy for our ‘official' group runs based in part on state rules and guidelines for group activities, on the guidelines and recommendations of the RRCA, and on the responses of this survey. However, some group leaders may want to lead runs under more restrictions. If the group leader wishes more than the minimum restrictions, he or she will be asked to make them clear in the group run description.

Please take about 10 minutes to fill out the survey. And please put your ideas in the Comments section.


Join the Tussey mOUnTaiNBACK Draft Challenge Relay!

Have you thought about running the Tussey mOUnTaiNBACK 50 Mile Relay, but couldn't find a team to join? Or have you gotten a team of your buddies together year after year only to have the team fall apart before race day because of one excuse or another? Here's the remedy: Join the Draft Challenge Relay. The DCR is a pool of runners that are drafted into equal size teams with the objective of making the Draft teams as equal in overall talent as possible. The DCR teams then have a friendly race-within-race against each other. The DCR is open to runners of all abilities; the only requirement is that you be able to run (not walk) your assigned legs.  And it's quite possibly the most fun you'll have this Fall. This year the team size is 7, so there are opportunities for runners who want to run one or two legs of the 12 leg course. For more information, go to the DCR web page. The race is October 16. But you need to decide on whether you'd like to be in on the DCR by July 30. The Draft will be next month.

2020 Nittany Valley Running Club Indoor Mile #3

February 8, 2020
University Park, PA

The season finale of this year’s Indoor Mile Series saw some great races despite the fact that numbers were down a bit due to the virus that is running around town lately. The ‘fast heat’ of the mile was run first (it’s usually run last) in order to give those runners in that group who would also be running the 3K time to rest up. Nicholas Deamer led from start to finish to easily sew up this year’s Indoor Mile Series title, based on the sum of the best two runs. Nick’s time was 4:32.72. Second was Kirk Mummert in 4:35.65, and third was Matt Balogh in 4:41.55.

In the second heat, Allie Martin, won handily in 5:11.85. This was the fastest women’s time in this year’s Series. Allie won the Series in 2018, but Allie did not run another mile this year, and so was not eligible for a Series title. Second was Jay Kopper in 5:14.50. and third was Doug Schunk in 5:46.69, a personal best for him. Quincey Reese took fourth in 5:52.90, a ten second improvement over her last mile time and enough for her to win the Women’s Open Series title.

In the last heat, Kasey Cicero ran a blistering bell lap to finish first in 5:58.63. Second was Dan Eisenhauer in 6:04.03, and third was taken by Tara Murray in 6:10.01.

The 3K run saw Brian Clark take the race in 9:25.87. Nicholas Deamer was a close second in 9:26.73, while Matt Balogh finished third in 9:34.97. Jaimie Wright set out to break her own record in the 3K. Her goal was to break 11 minutes. That’s 44 seconds a lap. And more than half a minute faster than her record. Ambitious! This year, Jaimie had already sewn up the Masters Women’s mile trophy for this year, so she sat out the mile in order to concentrate on the 3K. Her first 1K was close to the target pace, but she slowed down after that. But Jaimie still ended up crushing her record, finishing in 11:23.9, nearly 13 seconds faster than last year’s mark!

This year’s Predicted Time Contest in the mile was surprisingly close. Phillip Pillin predicted a mile time of 6:39 and ended up finishing in 6:38.73, or 0.27 seconds off. But he barely beat Nicholas Deamer, who had predicted a 4:33 run and finished in 4:32.72. Just a hundredth of a second farther from his prediction than Pillin!

2020 was another good season, with plenty of great runs and a few records set! We’ll see you next year!

pix indoor20 3 wright3k
Jaimie Wright broke her own Indoor Mile Series Women's Masters record in the 3K
Mile Run

 Heat 1

 Place  Name                      Time
 -----  ----                      ----
  1.    Nicholas Deamer          4:32.72    
  2.    Kirk Mummert             4:35.64    
  3.    Matt Balogh              4:41.55    
  4.    Garrett Campbell         4:45.11    
  5.    Mitchell Gray            4:48.44    
  6.    Calvin Pash              4:48.64    
  7.    Ethan Wright             4:55.91    

 Heat 2

 Place  Name                      Time
 -----  ----                      ----
  1.    Allie Martin             5:11.85    
  2.    Jay Kopper               5:14.50    
  3.    Doug Schunk              5:46.69    
  4.    Quincey Reese            5:52.90    
  5.    Scott Anthony            5:58.39 (M)   

 Heat 3

 Place  Name                      Time
 -----  ----                      ----
  1.    Kasey Cicero             5:58.63    
  2.    Dan Eisenhauer           6:04.03 (M)   
  3.    Tara Murray              6:10.01 (M)   
  4.    Jim Sellmer              6:29.96 (M)   
  5.    David Williams           6:35.29 (M)   
  6.    Marty Klanchar           6:35.45 (M)   
  7.    Phillip Pillin           6:38.73 (M)   
  8.    Gillian Russell          6:51.23    
  9.    Darcy Bowman             7:07.14    
 10.    Rich Ciervo              7:38.53 (M)   
 11.    David Lloyd              7:56.67 (M)   

 3K Run

 Place  Name                      Time
 -----  ----                      ----
  1.      Brian Clark            9:25.87    
  2.      Nicholas Deamer        9:26.73    
  3.      Matt Balogh            9:34.97    
  4.      Jay Kopper            11:13.22    
  5.      Jaimie Wright         11:23.90 (MR)   
  6.      Keith Henderson       12:12.50 (M)

(M) Masters Runner
(R) Indoor Mile Series Record