Minard, McArthur win Mount Nittany Marathon

A late entrant ran away with the women’s title at the third running of the Mount Nittany Marathon on Sept. 6. Meira Minard, 42, of State College, finished in 3 hours, 14 minutes, 55 seconds — 10 minutes ahead of the next woman. Minard, who has won the Nittany Valley Half Marathon and many local trail races, said she was encouraged to enter the marathon by friends just days before. Two weeks later, Minard won the Dam Half Trail Marathon.

Cool and foggy conditions greeted runners at the starting line. Race director John Hook reminded the crowd they were running to support Mount Nittany, invisible through the fog, via the Mount Nittany Conservancy. A couple of hours into the race, the fog burned off, exposing runners to the sun. Many took advantage of impromptu offerings of cold water, popsicles, and sprinklers in addition to the race’s official aid stations.

Following Minard was Alison Jumper, 40, of Fayetteville, Ark., in 3:24:58. Rebecca Rose, 21, of Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., took third in 3:28:40. The next three spots were taken by the marathon’s top finishers in 2014, all masters runners. Mary Kreis, 45, of Belle Vernon, who finished second last year, was fourth in 3:29:39. Becky Wittrig, 47, of Port Matilda, was third in 2014 and second this year in 3:30:58. Last year’s champion, Amy Prokop, 45, of Huntingdon, finished sixth in 3:24:28.

Scott McArthur, 25, of Somerville, Mass., was first overall in 2:40:12. Seth Senior, 29, of State College, was second in 2:50:39. Rounding out the top three was Christopher Wilbur, 24, of Brockport, N.Y., in 2:56:09.

Though twenty-somethings took the top three spots, more experienced runners gave some impressive performances in the marathon. Tom Cali, 60, of State College, was the first masters runner in 3:09:53, taking seventh place overall. Age group champion Anthony Cerminaro, 79, of Jermyn, finished in just over 4 hours (4:03:11). He was beaten in the men’s 70 and up age group by 71-year-old Philip Krajewski, of Liberty (3:39:19).

Hannah Rose, 25, of State College was first overall in the Mount Nittany Marathon 5K in 19:10.

Tussey Mountainback

The Tussey Mountainback 50 Mile Relay and Ultramarathon has featured record-holding ultramarathoners such as Connie Gardner, of Ohio, and Mike Wardian, of Virginia, as speakers. This year, the pre-race dinner will feature a local runner.

Rebecca Donaghue, head coach of the State College girls’ cross-country team, will speak at the dinner on Oct. 24. Donaghue competed in the 2008 and 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials and is training for the 2016 Trials.

Dinner guests also will hear from the race’s beneficiary, the Mid-State Literacy Council. The dinner will be held at Toftrees Resort and Conference Center at 6:30 p.m. RSVP to 238-5918 or

The Mountainback course covers 50 miles of mostly unpaved roads in Rothrock State Forest, beginning and ending at Tussey Mountain Ski Area. Runners can participate on relay teams of two to eight members or run the whole course as an ultramarathon. The 2015 race date is Oct. 25. Relay registration is open through Saturday and ultramarathon registration continues through Oct. 10 at

Event organizers are recruiting volunteers to help out on race day. Interested volunteers should contact Brittany Svoboda at or 470-3579 for more information.

Race results

Nathan Pecht, of Snow Shoe, won the Snow Shoe Fall Festival 5K on Sept. 19 in 20:35. Crystal Pecht, of State College, was the first woman and second overall in 23:40.

At the Team Snap 5K for Jamie Barbarich Covol and the National Brain Tumor Society on Sept. 27, Andrew Piccolo, of Bellefonte, was first overall in 21:13. Margaret Ellis, of State College, was the first woman in 26:03.

Running calendar

•  Centre Region Youth Cross-Country Meet No. 2, Saturday, 8:30 a.m., Oak Hall Regional Park, 120 Linden Hall Rd. Free. Website:


•  Raven Trail Half Marathon, Sunday, 9 a.m., Poe Valley State Park. Online registration:


•  Girl Scouts Thin Mint Sprint 5K and Tagalong Trot (half-mile run for ages 6-plus), Sunday, 10 a.m., Pennsylvania Military Museum, Boalsburg. Online registration:


•  Centre Region Youth Cross-Country Meet No. 3, Oct. 17, 8:30 a.m., Oak Hall Regional Park, 120 Linden Hall Road. Free. Website:


•  Penn State Kinesiology Club 5K, Oct. 18, 10 a.m., outside Osmond Building on Pollock Road. Online registration:!5k/c23eq


•  Fear No Eagle 5K Run & Walk, Oct. 18, 10 a.m., Bald Eagle State Park, Howard. Combination trail and road course. Benefits Coaches vs. Cancer and the Bald Eagle Area Cheer Teams. Online registration:


•  Steps To Safety 5K, Oct. 18, 1 p.m., Penn State Blue/White Golf Course, corner of North Atherton Street and White Course Drive. Benefits the Centre County Women’s Resource Center. Online registration:


•  Run, Walk, and Roll Mile Race, Oct. 24, Rec Hall on Penn State campus, 9 a.m. Benefits Penn State Ability Athletics. Heats for persons with disabilities, competitive runners, and kids and walkers. Online registration:


•  Run for Shelter 5K, Nov. 7, Centre House, 217 E. Nittany Ave., State College. Benefits Housing Transitions. Online registration:


•  Give ‘Em 5! Run for Veterans 5K and 5-miler, Nov. 8, Bellefonte Middle School. Benefits the Veterans Assistance Fund. Online registration: