Park of the Week: Raccoon Creek State Park

 

Raccoon Creek State Park, located in Hookstown, is a grand park that is definitely worth a visit. The park consists of multiple trails through the forest, gravel roads around the expansive campground area, sidewalks around the beach area, and paved roads that are very well shaded. Personally, I really enjoyed running on the main road through the park because it travels by all the main attractions throughout the venue: the boat rental area, the beach, and the campground.

At the boat rental area, you can take in sweeping views of the lake and the surrounding hills. Running the gravel roads around the campgrounds was a nice way to mix things up. As for the trails through the woods, I didn’t get to check all of them out, but the ones the did run on were decent. However, the trails were not well maintained in some portions, which made for some interesting moments like jumping over fallen trees, across creeks, and over some poison ivy. Overall, it was an adventurous, scenic, and fun run. Raccoon Creek State Park is worth making the trip to see it.  

Here’s my run there from a few days ago: 

USATF National Club XC Championships

USATF Club Nationals

 

The Wolf Creek Track Club is looking to bring an elite team to compete at the 2016 USATF National Club Cross Country Championships, which will take place on December 10th in Tallahassee, Florida.

 

The race is a 10K and will be held at Apalachee State Park. We would like to bring a men’s and women’s team to compete. Each team will need at least 5 members to be eligible. In order to qualify for USATF Club Nationals, the Wolf Creek Track Club must win the USATF Three Rivers Association Championship, which will be held on November 6th. If you are interested in joining our team, please contact us.   

 

If you have met any of our elite standards within the past 4 years, you will receive additional benefits. It is not a requirement to have met an elite standard to be a member of our team. 

 

Park of the Week: Deer Lakes Park (Tarentum, PA)

 

Deer Lakes Park, located in Tarentum, PA, has a mixture of paved paths and dirt trails to run. The paved paths loop around the smaller lakes at the beginning of the park. It is a very scenic, flat route that consists of multiple little bridges over the lakes. You can get a little over a mile on these paths. This would be a decent place to do a threshold run. However, the paths are only wide enough to go two runners wide and there is not much shade.

The park also has a lot of dirt trails through the woods, however some them were not very well maintained and they are very narrow. I would only recommend the trails for the most adventurous runners. Overall, this park is good place to go on a lower mileage day to run the paved paths at the beginning of the park. I was not a huge fan of the condition of the dirt trails, but if you’re feeling adventurous they could be a nice way to mix things up. 

Here’s the map of my run from a few days ago: 

 

Moraine Preservation Fund: Keeping Moraine Beautiful

Moraine Preservation Fund blog photo

Moraine Preservation Fund blog photo

The Moraine Preservation Fund

The Moraine Preservation Fund (MPF) is a non-profit, volunteer organization that maintains and improves Moraine State Park through various initiatives. As runners, we appreciate the tremendous work MPF has done to help maintain the scenic trails of Moraine State Park. Our club has chosen to support the Moraine Preservation Fund because we believe maintaining and improving local state parks is a vital component of building a vibrant running community. The volunteers at MPF work extremely hard to make Moraine State Park the best park it can be, but the organization receives little financial support. We hope that our race, the Restore the Shore 5K & 10 Mile, will give MPF the means necessary to continue carrying out its mission of keeping Moraine State Park beautiful for all of us.

To find out more about MPF visit:

http://www.morainepreservationfund.org/index.html

To sign up for the 5k and 10 mile race visit:

https://runsignup.com/Race/PA/MoraineStateParkPortersville/RestoretheShore10Mile5k

P.S. If you haven’t been to Moraine, you should come check it out as it is one of the highest rated state parks in Pennsylvania

What Does it Mean to be a USA Track & Field Member Club?

USA Track & Field is the governing body of the sports of track & field, long distance running, and race walking in the United States.  Its mission is to “foster sustained competitive excellence, interest, and participation in the sports of track & field, long distance running, and race walking.”  USATF member clubs are instrumental in moving this mission forward.  

Track & field and distance running are sports that have a very diverse set of participants and this is evident just by looking at individual clubs.  There are some clubs that are ages 18 & under only, some clubs are comprised of runners only of an elite ability level, some are primarily road racing and long distance focused and some combine a healthy mix of all the above.  Whatever the specific goal or focus of each USATF member club is, it is helping brighten the future of the sport in this country.

Over the past decade, USATF has constantly been improving and adding to the opportunities for club athletes.  They have instituted a large number of national championships ranging from the road to the track to cross country for all ages.  The most popular event today is USATF Club XC National Championships.  This meet is held every December and is the ultimate USATF member club competition. This year it is being held in Tallahassee, FL and we would like to take a group of Wolf Creek Track Club members down to experience it. Non USATF member clubs cannot compete in this or any of USATF’s other events.

Currently both of our club directors are USATF certified coaches and the Wolf Creek Track Club is in good standing with USATF.

Wolf Creek Track Club Wins the 2016 Pittsburgh Marathon Relay

PittsburghMarathonRelayOn Sunday, May 1st, a team of five Wolf Creek Track Club members won the FedEx Pittsburgh Marathon Relay in a time of 2:31:22 (5:46/mile). The team featured Bryce Nelson, Ben English, Brandon Wise, Ryan Budnik, and Andrew Mascio. Nelson led off for the club with a 4.2 mile leg before handing off to English for a 4.9 mile segment. After that, Wise took over for 6.2 miles until he handed off to Budnik. Budnik raced for 6.7 miles before handing off to Mascio for the final 4.2 miles to the finish.

The club’s toughest challenge came from the Federated Investors Men’s corporate team who finished in a time of 2:42:05 (6:10/pace). “The Pittsburgh Marathon Relay is such a fun and exciting event to compete in because the atmosphere is amazing – there’s thousands of people cheering you on and it’s just a really cool feeling – there’s nothing quite like it,” said Mascio. He went on to say, “I’m really proud of the guys on this team most of whom raced the prior day. I look forward to participating in this event again next year.”