As local trails and roadways thaw, runners who spent the winter logging miles on a treadmill emerge and the running calendar blooms with events of all kinds. In addition to the slew of road races, there are opportunities to run on trails, conquer obstacles and even race with a dog.
Runners itching to get off-road have plenty of trail options.
Those who are new to trail racing or looking for a shorter race to get their season started can try the Bunny Blitz 5K Cross Country Trail Run on April 4 at 9:30 a.m., hosted by the YMCA of Centre County. The course, on private land starting from the Harpster Ball Field on Marengo Road in Pennsylvania Furnace, gives runners an opportunity to enjoy the woods of Spruce Creek Valley. For registration and more information, see www.ymcaofcentrecounty.org.
Trail runners looking for a longer challenge can sign up for the Rothrock Trail Challenge on June 6. The race, organized by the same people as the sold-out Hyner View Trail Challenge, starts and finishes at Tussey Ski Area in Boalsburg. The course has been modified and shortened to 17 miles but still includes plenty of its signature rocks and elevation gain. The event is part of the LaSportiva Mountain Cup and Trail Runner Trophy Series and usually attracts top trail runners but also welcomes less competitive runners and speed hikers. Register by May 20 at www.rothrockchallenge.com.
Many runners train with a canine companion but few races allow dogs to participate. The Dog Jog 5K on April 25, hosted by and benefitting Pets Come First, gives Fido a chance to race. Runners without dogs are welcome too. The course, on the Grange Fairgrounds in Centre Hall, includes both pavement and grassy cross country sections. The 5K begins at 10 a.m. and other activies, including a 1.5-mile walk, rescue and vendor fair, and silent auctions, take place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information and registration, go to www.petscomefirst.net/dog-jog-2015.
Those looking to spice up their run with a new challenge can tackle 18 obstacles over the course of 5-7 miles at Left Right Repeat's Mud and Obstacle Run May 2 and 3 at the Grange Fairgrounds. Organizers promise plenty of mud, finisher medals, and entertainment for spectators. The event isn't timed but participants in the competitor wave on May 2 can compete for individual and team prizes. To sign up, see www.leftrightrepeat.net.
• Marc Dingman won the Red Cross 5K on March 21 in 19 minutes, 19 seconds. Lindsey Hartman was the first woman in 24:20.
• Patrick Singletary, 49, of State College, bested the field at the Rodney Myers Memorial Run Around Egg Hill. Singletary won the 10-miler in Spring Mills on March 22, finishing in 1:01:24, more than 4 minutes ahead of Alan Effrig, also of State College. Brian Garthwaite of Lewisburg was third in 1:06:11. Bob Cornwall, 54, of State College, was the first masters runner in 1:12:07. Kendra Black, 27, of Aaronsburg ran away with the women's race in 1:09:35. Liz Ladrido (1:12:54) and Tara Murray (1:13:27), both of State College, rounded out the top three. Deb Simoncek, 47, of Howard, was the top female masters runner in 1:17:00.
• Alan Effrig won the Kinesiology Club 5K on March 28 in 20:16. Melissa Minniti was the first woman in 22:39.
• April Fool's 5K, April 11, 10 a.m., Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. Hosted by the Centre County Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association. Proceeds go to a scholarship fund for Penn State students from Centre County high schools. Registration: www.active.com/university-park-pa/running/races/5th-annual-april-fool-s-5k-2015.
• FaithCentre 5K ”King of the Hills” 10K Run/Walk, April 11, Bellefonte Area Middle School, 100 N. School St. Benefits the FaithCentre Food Bank and Pet Food Bank of Centre County. Registration: www.faithcentre.info. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Race Judicata 5K, April 12, 9 a.m., Lewis Katz Building, Penn State. Benefits the Penn State Dickinson Public Interest Law Fund. Website: https://pennstatelaw.psu.edu/news/race-judicata-raise-money-public-interest-law-fund.
• Tussey to Whipple 11-miler, April 12, 9 a.m., Tussey Ski Area. Part of the Tussey Mountainback's Tussey Teaser series. There is no registration fee. Runners arrange their own transportation from the finish at Whipple Dam State Park. For more information on the series, see http://tusseymountainback.com/tussey_teasers.html.
• Morgan Stanley Pink Zone 1-Mile Run, April 12, 11 a.m. Starts at the Pegula Ice Arena and finishes at the HUB. Competitive, cancer survivor and “Fun Run” heats. Online registration: www.imathlete.com/events/EventOverview.aspx?fEID=23754.
• Paterno Family Beaver Stadium 3 Mile Run and 1 Mile Family Fun Walk, April 19, 11 a.m., Beaver Stadium, Curtin Rd. Benefits Special Olympics. Finish on the stadium’s 50 yard-line. Website: http://specialolympicspa.org/beaver-stadium-run.
• Coaches vs. Cancer 5K, April 25, 10 a.m., Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. Benefits the American Cancer Society. Online registration: www.active.com (search for “Coaches vs. Cancer”).
• Linden Loop 5-mile run, May 3, 2 p.m., 120 Linden Hall Rd., Linden Hall. The event, benefitting the Rock Hill School, includes a 5-mile or 28-mile supported bike ride at 1 p.m., a 5-mile walk at 1:30 p.m., and the 5-mile run at 2 p.m., as well as tours of the historic school. Website: http://rockhillschoolatlindenhall.blogspot.com. Online registration: http://bit.ly/lindenloop2015.
• Victory 5K Run and 1 Mile Family Fun Walk, May 16, 10 a.m., Our Lady of Victory Catholic School, 820 Westerly Parkway, State College. Online registration: www.olvevents.org/events/victory-5k-run.
• Black Moshannon 5K and 10K, May 23, 10 a.m., Black Moshannon State Park. Website: http://movalleyymca.org.
• Self Defense for Runners, June 5, 6 p.m., Monarch Martial Arts. The workshop is open to all runners ages 12 and older. Advance registration is required. Registration: http://www.imathlete.com/events/SelfDefense.