The Tussey Mountainback 50 Mile Relay and Ultramarathon won't be run until Oct. 19, but runners will have an opportunity to explore the course through Rothrock State Forest beginning Feb. 8 at the ’Sno Big Deal 10K.
The race is the first of the Tussey Teasers series and is free. Start time is 10 a.m. at the Colyer Lake south parking lot on Lake Road in Centre Hall. Runners should arrive early to sign a waiver.
Conditions for the 'Sno Big Deal will likely be significantly different from those encountered by runners in October. “Rothrock State Forest has four amazing seasons,” said race director Mike Casper.
“The ‘winter wonderland’ factor creates more of an adventure and triumph-over-nature experience for runners in the early Tussey Teasers.”
The 'Sno Big Deal is an out-and-back on leg 10 of the Mountainback course. The surface is part pavement and part gravel. Casper said some runners wear traction devices for snowy or icy courses, but the route is maintained and ordinary running shoes should suffice. In the case of inclement
weather, the race goes on unless roads are closed.
“We encourage prudence, preparation, and safety when driving to and from the runs and while running,” Casper said. He recommended wearing several thin layers along with gloves and a hat to keep warm without overheating while running.
The ’Sno Big Deal is officially Tussey Teaser No. 0 because it was added to the series after the other five races were established. The series continues with Tussey Teaser No. 1, the Laurel Run Switchbacker 10K, at 10 a.m. on March 8 at Tussey Mountain Ski Area. The Switchbacker takes runners on an out-
and-back on the first leg of the Mountainback course.
Runners who complete Tussey Teasers 1 through 5 are eligible for a grand door prize. For more information and details for the rest of the series, see tusseymountainback.com/tussey_teasers.
• Penn State grad student Lauren Philbrook placed 31st in Houston on Jan. 14. Philbrook finished in 1 hour, 16 minutes, 5 seconds.
• John Fegyveresi of State College and Jeff Smucker of Woodward went the distance at CJ's Resolution.Challenge on Jan. 4 at R.B. Winter State Park, completing a total of 14 laps for 22.12 miles in the 3-hour timed run. Sean Clouser of Williamsport was third with 11 laps and 17.38 miles. On the women's side, Janine Gusztaw of Wind Gap and Tracy Wright of Waverly, N.Y., logged 11 laps (17.37 miles), followed by Jamie Celentano of Rochester, with 10 laps (15.8 miles).
• In the Last Man Standing competition, where runners had to complete the same lap in increasingly faster times, the top three men all made it through the 10-minute cut-off lap. John Johnson of Ulster was first, followed by Adam Russell of Rome and Kip Hoffman of Watsontown. In the women's race, Tara Murray of Bellefonte was first through the 13-minute cut-off, followed by Allison Machnicki of State College.
• Jennifer Fleming of State College was third at the USA Half Marathon Championships, completing the 14-minute cut-off.
• Matt Herring of State College won the Fireball 5K on Jan. 26 in cold, snowy condititions in 18:28. Andrew Maguie of State College was second in 19:47, followed by Michael Renz of Port Matilda in 20:26. Emily Fertig of State College took the women's race in 21:57, followed by Meira Minard (22:27)
and Hayley Weyhe (23:24), both of State College.
• SnowFest 3.5-mile trail run, Feb. 9, 1 p.m., R.B. Winter State Park, 17215 Buffalo Rd., Mifflinburg. Registration: $20 by Jan. 17, $25 thereafter and on race day. Website: www.midpenntrailblazers.com.
• Pennsylvania State Snowshoe Championship 5K, Feb. 15, 11 a.m., Nescopeck State Park, Honey Hole Rd., Drums.
• Qualifying race for the National Snowshoe Championships, Feb. 28-Mar. 2, Woodford, Vt. Beginners are welcome and rentals are available. If there is no snow, the event will be held as a trail run. For more information, conatct Frank Gaval at 570-788-4219 or email@example.com, or visit snowshoeracing.com.
• Irish Heritage 5K/10K, Mar. 15, 9 a.m., Joshua House Community Center, 123 W. 10th St., Tyrone. Part of Tyrone's Irish Heritage weekend celebration. Also includes kids Lollipop 50-yard dash and High-heel-a-thon 50-yard dash. Website: www.joshuahouse.com.
• April Fool's 5K, Mar. 29, 9 a.m., Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. Benefits the Centre County Chapter of Penn State Alumni Association's scholarship fund. More information available at nvrun.com and online registration at www.active.com.
• Rodney Myers Memorial Run Around Egg Hill 10-miler and relay, Mar. 30, 2:30 p.m., Gregg Township Elementary School, Spring Mills. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit keleitzel.com/egghill/.
Tara Murray writes a monthly running column for the Centre Daily Times.