The Steps 2 Safety 5K will be run for the 13th time on Sunday, and is going strong thanks to community support.
The race was first run in 2001 after a student was assaulted while jogging on the Penn State golf course in 2000 and a group of women who regularly run on the golf course wanted to do something. The group, known as the S5’s after their favorite post-run breakfast special, approached the Centre County Women’s Resource Center, and the idea for the race was hatched.
“They wanted to reclaim the space,” said Anne Ard, executive director of the CCWRC. Steps 2 Safety is always held in October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and always on the golf course.
The race, which has become a signature fundraising event for the CCWRC, according to Ard, has grown and evolved over the years. The S5’s continue to be involved, volunteering, raising money and running in the race, and new community partnerships have formed. Key among those is a long-standing partnership with Penn State Federal Credit Union. In addition to being a sponsor of the race, the credit union encourages its employees to participate. Gail Jones, business development coordinator for the credit union, has been the race committee chair for the past three years.
“It’s a significant organizational commitment to make something like this happen,” Ard said. “When you have a community partner, you don’t have to pull staff from providing services to clients.”
A runner herself, Jones also has recruited her family to participate in the race. Last year, her son ran and her husband took photos.
Jones emphasized that the race caters to both competitive runners and families. The race features chip timing by the Nittany Valley Running Club and prizes for the top finishers, but it is also walker friendly. For the first time this year, the race will feature live musical entertainment by Pure Cane Sugar.
Ard encouraged participants to pre-register, which they can do at www.ccwrc.org through Oct. 4, or from 1 to 3 p.m. Oct. 5 at the Penn State Federal Credit Union, at 1937 North Atherton Street. Registration is also available on race day beginning at noon. The race begins at 1 p.m. at the White Course Drive parking lot off North Atherton Street.
Knights of Columbus 5K
to see changes
The Knights of Columbus 5K is one of the area’s oldest races, though it had a four-year hiatus in the late 1990s. Traditionally the official beginners race of the Nittany Valley Running Club, this year the race will be directed by the State College YMCA with assistance from the NVRC.
The race will get a new two-loop course starting and finishing near the YMCA on Waupelani Drive. The new course will incorporate parts of the old course and allow for family and friends to see runners multiple times during the race.
The race will continue its beginner-friendly tradition with lightly rolling terrain through residential neighborhoods and Orchard Park, age group awards for youth categories and five-year adult categories, and kids races following the 5K.
The 5K begins at 2 p.m. on Oct. 13. Online registration is available at http://www.ymcaofcentrecounty.org/ymca-race-series/kni- ghts-of-columbus-5k. For more information, contact Josh Cone at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local runners have been tearing up the trails and receiving national recognition for it. An article on TrailRunner magazine’s website about its 2013 Trophy Series notes “a strong representation from Pennsylvania runners, especially in the non-ultra categories.”
Central Pennsylvania runners currently leading in the series include Jeff Smucker of Woodward in the men’s 40-49 category, Ashley Moyer of Lock Haven in the women’s 20-29 category, Meira Minard of State College in the women’s 30-39 category and Larie Hall of Bellefonte in the women’s 40-49 category. Smucker and Hall are featured in the magazine’s Q&A with series leaders.
Minard won the Dam Half at R.B. Winter State Park on Sept. 15 in 1 hour, 52 minutes, 3 seconds. Smucker was seventh overall in 1:50:08. In the Dam Full, Moyer took the women’s race in 4:30:18 and Ian Grettenberger of State College was second overall in 3:56:53.
At the Bald Eagle Megatransect, Minard had to settle for second (5:25:30) behind Martha Nelson, a former Penn State grad student now living in Washington (5:11:31). Smucker was fifth overall in 5:03:47.
• Centre Region Youth Cross Country meet — Oct. 12, 8:30 a.m., Circleville Park, 3225 Circleville Road, State College. For youth age 14 and younger. Distance and start time vary by age group. Website: http://www.nvrun.com/index.php/racing/kids/youth-cross-country-program. Contact Greg Fredericks at 466-6976 or email@example.com.
• Tussey Mountainback 50 Mile Relay and Ultramarathon — Oct. 20, Tussey Mountain Ski and Family Fun Center, Boalsburg. Website: www.tusseymountainback.com. Relay registration is closed but ultramarathon registration is open through Saturday.
• Nittany Valley Half Marathon — Dec. 8, 10 a.m., Penn State Ag Arena. Registration: $25. Website: http://nvrun.com.
Tara Murray writes a monthly running column for the Centre Daily Times. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.