The Tussey Mountainback 50 Mile Relay and Ultramarathon will follow a new course through Rothrock State Forest in 2013. The primary reason for the change, according to race director Mike Casper, is to eliminate the short section of the course on Route 322.
“It’s always hard to leave any tradition behind, but we’re pleased to now be providing a course that’s 100% on forest roads,” Casper wrote in an e-mail.
The new course will be similar to the old course through the first five of twelve legs, with a minor change at Whipple Dam State Park to make the course exactly 50 miles.
New sections have been added to the course between the Alan Seeger picnic area and Penn Roosevelt State Park and between Penn Roosevelt and Colyer Lake. The old eleventh leg, a hilly out and back from the Bear Meadows parking area, has been removed. The final leg will be the same as in previous years, with the finish at the starting area in front of Tussey Mountain Ski Area.
A map of the new course and descriptions of the course legs are available at www.tusseymountainback.com/course-info.
The Mountainback will be held on Oct. 20, 2013. A series of informal races designed to introduce runners to the course will kick off on Feb. 9 at 10 a.m. with the Colyer ‘Sno Big Deal 5.8-miler. The run starts at the south Colyer Lake parking lot on Lake Rd. There is no fee but runners must sign a waiver.
The Tussey Teasers series runs through June 23. A complete schedule is available at www.tusseymountainback.com/events.
USATF has approved the Mountainback as the host of the 2013 USA 50 Mile Road Championships. The Mountainback has hosted the championships every year since 2004, except in 2006 when the championship race was not held, helping to attract an increasingly large and competitive field of ultramarathoners in addition to a full field of relay teams.
Local race results
Penn State grad student Daniel Craighead, 22, won the Nittany Valley Half Marathon on Dec. 2 in a near course record time of 1 hour, 11 minutes, 46, seconds. Craighead was just 12 seconds off the record of 1:11:34 set in 2006 by Nathan Harkins. Fellow grad student Matt Herring, 22, finished second in 1:12:56. A.J. Kelly, 31, of Altoona took third for the second year in a row in 1:15 flat. After finishing third in 2008 and 2011, Meira Minard, 39, of State College got the women’s win in 1:28:25. Aroline Hanson, 33, of State College, was second in 1:32:02 and Georganne Watson, 27, of State College was third in 1:32:20. Despite the mild weather, participation was slightly less than last year’s record field of 731 finishers, with 693 finishers.
David Moore, 27, of State College won the inaugural Run for Shelter 5K on Nov. 10 in 17 minutes, 10 seconds. Tara Murray, 36, of Bellefonte won the women’s division in 21:15.
Youth led the way at the Girls on the Run of Happy Valley 5K on Nov. 11. Charlie Herlocher, 10, of State College was first in 23 minutes flat, and 11-year-old Carissa Tambroni of State College was the first female and second overall in 23:01. The race included 48 girls under age 14.
Nate Woodman, 15, of State College won the Run to Remember 5K on Nov. 17 in 18:46. Anne Balogh, 18, of State College won the women’s division and was fourth overall in 20:16.
There is one more race on the local calendar for 2012. The First Night State College Resolution Run 5K starts at 6:30 p.m. at the corner of Allen St. and College Ave. in downtown State College. The course winds through Penn State’s campus and finishes back on College Ave. Runners are encouraged to dress in costume and an award is given for the best individual or group costume.
Adult registration is $20 if postmarked by Dec. 29 or $25 thereafter and includes a First Night State College button. Registration for runners 19 and under is $10 and does not include the button.
Participants can register and pick up packets from 3 to 7 p.m. on Dec. 30 at the State College Municipal Building, 243 S. Allen St., or on race day from 4 to 6 p.m. at the St. Paul’s United Methodist Church basketball court. More information and online registration are available on the Nittany Valley Running Club website at http://nvrun.com.
Tara Murray writes a monthly running column for the Centre Daily Times.