Wednesday, December 21, 2016


It's here!

Today, in the Northern Hemisphere, we are "celebrating" the Winter Solstice.

In northeastern Pennsylvania the sun rose at 7:25 this morning, and it will set at 4:41 p.m., affording us the shortest amount of possible daylight.

That's the good news.

From today on, the days will get longer.


As I gaze out my window, snow piles abound and a blanket of crunchy ice covers my back yard.

And the official Pennsylvania colors of brown and gray are in full bloom, and will be until sometime in April.

Running will be challenging for the next 90 days or so. Last year, we had no snow until mid-January, when a storm pummeled us with 30 inches of white stuff.

Already, we've had our share of snow, ice, and temperatures in the single-digits.

I write for a great website,, which is located in Australia. Several of my followers on the site have reported to me about training conditions during their summer, which is now.

Makes me want to hop on a plane and join them.

So, on this conflicting day, let's make our collective glasses half full.

The days WILL get longer.

We ARE coming out of the darkness.

Maybe the winter won't be so bad.

If not, there's always Australia.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


We runners love large places like major marathons and classic races. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, many of us will participate in Turkey Trots, and other races, but on Black Friday, most of us will be happy to avoid the crowds, who will think little of our bruised toenails as they trample us on their way to a cheap flat screen TV.

Well, there is a place where you can take advantage of terrific Black Friday deals that will cover all of your running needs, you never have to leave the comfort of your home, but you actually have to wait until Black Friday to do it.

Visit, look them up on Facebook on their Black Friday Run Deals page, of follow them on Twitter: @BFrundeals. This is the second year for Black Friday Run Deals. It was very popular last Holiday season.

You will be able to take advantage of race discounts from everywhere, and you will also have the opportunity to get great deals on running products.

You won't get trampled at the door, and you won't wait in long lines.

Black Friday Run Deals are happening right now.

Check them out.

You won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


Thanksgiving is upon us, the Winter Solstice is a month away, and right about now, you’re probably thinking about Christmas gift-buying.

If you're looking to purchase something for the runner on your Christmas list, I have an offer for you. You can pick up a gift for your runner for as little as $1.99!

Purchase the best stocking-stuffer ever by going to my Amazon page,, where you can buy the Kindle version of my book, “Personal Best,” for only $1.99.

During my 40 years of competitive running, I have experienced the highs and lows of our sport. From a personal best marathon time of 2:22:54, to a devastating hamstring tear after the 2013 Boston Marathon, I have seen it all. I can personally guarantee you that my books will inspire you and help you to become a better runner.

Both of my books on running, “Running Shorts,” and “Personal Best,” are available at:, as well as the site of my publisher, Lulu will be offering sales from now until Christmas.

And, from now until Christmas day, just drop me an email, at:, send me your address, and I will personally sign and send you BOTH books for the price of one: $14.99, and I’ll even pay the shipping and handling. If you want only one of the books, the price is $9.99, for books that are written by a runner, for runners.

Finally, if you, or a running friend wants to run a personal best time at any race distance from the 5K to the marathon, or if you simply want to get into shape for 2017, check out my gigs on:, where you can purchase a personalized training plan for as little as $5.00. Simply type “running training programs” into the search box, and it will take you to my gigs.

I have written training plans for runners from New Zealand to the Netherlands.

Check out reviews of my training plans, submitted by runners from all over the world at:

I look forward to helping YOU achieve your personal best during the Holiday season and throughout the year.

Sunday, November 13, 2016


It's been a while, and my fingers have atrophied a bit, but I have had a few great weeks coaching a cross country team of which I am very proud.

Following is an article I wrote about the team, which appeared in the Republican Herald newspaper, in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, last week. And, at the end, are the results from the team's journey to USCAA Nationals last Friday.

Although long distance running and racing is an individual endeavor, simply the art of placing one foot in front of the other and going as fast as you can for as long as you can, competitors on a cross country team participate in the ultimate team sport.

Scoring a cross country meet is like scoring a golf match. In both sports, the lowest score wins. A cross country team may have as its top runner, a world-record holder, but securing a place near the front of the pack is the way a cross country meet is won. Five runners are required for scoring. If team A’s runners place 1st, 3rd, 4th, 6th, and 8th, the slots are added up and the team score is 22. Team B’s runners finish in 2nd, 5th, 7th, 9th, and 10th, for a score of 33. Therefore, team A wins the meet.

It has always been my contention that running races reflect the ideals of a democracy. All people begin at the same starting line. And, in a cross country meet, as in a democracy, the unique contribution of all the participants will affect the final outcome. In cross country, a team’s fifth runner is as valuable as the team’s fastest runner. Successful cross country teams need to produce at least five runners that place high, thus keeping the team score low.

During the past eight years I have been fortunate enough to coach several outstanding individual runners at Penn State Schuylkill. In 2013, Pottsville’s Haylee Burnhauser won the Penn State University Athletic Conference state championship, and went on to place 7th at the United States Collegiate Athletic Association national meet, earning All-American status.

This year, with a men’s and women’s team comprised primarily of local athletes, Schuylkill’s runners made history by winning the Penn State Worthington Scranton Invitational meet on both the men’s and women’s side. The victory earned the teams an invitation to participate at USCAA Nationals, held in Virginia Beach, on November 11.

The women are led by Alexis Luna, a freshman from Shenandoah Valley. Alexis placed 2nd at the PSUAC state meet, earning All-Conference status. Sophomore team captain Casey Renninger, a Schuylkill Haven Area graduate, finished 6th at States in 2015 and 5th this year, also earning All-Conference honors. Casey Gregory, a sophomore from Pottsville, placed 9th at States, attaining 2nd team All-Conference status. Sophomore, and Pottsville Area graduate, Justice Dimitro and Jodi Francis round out the team.

For the men, Freshman Hunter Firing, from Blue Mountain, led the team, and earned 2nd team All-Conference honors. Nico Granito, a sophomore and team captain, is also a Blue Mountain graduate. Brett Rushannon, from Nativity, distinguished himself as a fine freshman runner. Josh White, a freshman from Shenandoah Valley splits his time between cross country and basketball. Tristan Dickey, a high school state qualifier in the 800-meter run, from Blue Mountain, is a sophomore. Matthew Renninger, from Schuylkill Haven Area, rounds out the top six runners who will compete at Nationals.

Max Figuerudo, and Vincent May, veterans who have served our country, and Augie Torres, are also members of the team.

From the sweltering days of August until the cool of November, these young men and women have logged hundreds of training miles, on the roads, trails, and the track. For their efforts, they will have the opportunity to run against other small college runners from 42 schools from across the country at Na
Virginia Beach-Penn State Schuylkill's Men's and Women's cross country teams participated at the United States Collegiate Athletic Association's national cross country championship meet on Friday.

For the women, Schuylkill's Alexis Luna was the top finisher among Penn State University Athletic Conference runners at the meet. Schuylkill's women's team also topped all the PSUAC schools. Luna placed 55th in the 198-runner field, with a time of 26:42 on the 6K course. Casey Renninger placed 87th in 28:30. Coral Kreiser finished 104th, with a time of 29:29, followed by Casey Gregory, who placed 126th, in 32:01. Justice Demitro placed 147th, with a time of 35:51. Schuylkilll finished 16th in a 36-team field.

For the men, Hunter Firing led Schuylkill's squad by placing 103rd, with a time of 31:43 on the 8K course. Nico Granito placed 117th, in 32:55. Brett Rushannon ran a 34:36 to place 133rd. Tristan Dickey finished 143rd, in 35:55, followed by Josh White, who ran 37:57 and placed 151st. Vince May covered the course in 41:20 and finished 163rd.

Virginia Beach-Penn State Schuylkill's Men's and Women's cross country teams participated at the United States Collegiate Athletic Association's national cross country championship meet on Friday.

For the women, Schuylkill's Alexis Luna was the top finisher among Penn State University Athletic Conference runners at the meet. Schuylkill's women's team also topped all the PSUAC schools. Luna placed 55th in the 198-runner field, with a time of 26:42 on the 6K course. Casey Renninger placed 87th in 28:30. Coral Kreiser finished 104th, with a time of 29:29, followed by Casey Gregory, who placed 126th, in 32:01. Justice Demitro placed 147th, with a time of 35:51. Schuylkilll finished 16th in a 36-team field.

For the men, Hunter Firing led Schuylkill's squad by placing 103rd, with a time of 31:43 on the 8K course. Nico Granito placed 117th, in 32:55. Brett Rushannon ran a 34:36 to place 133rd. Tristan Dickey finished 143rd, in 35:55, followed by Josh White, who ran 37:57 and placed 151st. Vince May covered the course in 41:20 and finished 163rd.

Schuylkill men placed 21st in a 32 team field.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Autumn is here, and the days are getting shorter.

It's marathon season, and many runners are logging long training runs in preparation for their fall events.

Heavy traffic, distracted drivers, and fewer hours of daylight pose dangerous hazards to runners as they prepare for competition.

Safety needs to be our first priority.

The Dawise waist pack, available at:
is a lightweight running belt that enables you to carry your phone and other items, AND includes a safety light for increased visibility.

This iphone 6 plus running belt is made from extremely light materials hence a user will barely notice it they are wearing it. Although the material is lightweight, it is still very durable and resistant to wear and tear.

The Daswise waist pack with safety light is made from high-quality water-proof polyester material that is highly elastic and can stretch without tearing, ensuring that all your valuables and essentials are kept safe despite the weather conditions. The safety light will keep you visible to motorists.

It has enough storage to carry considerably large Smartphones such as Samsung Galaxy and iphone 6 plus. You can also carry additional items, like bank cards, energy bars and inhalers. It also uses 3 replaceable AG4/377 Batteries that can last up to 60 hours.

This running waist pack has an easy-to-use adjusting buckle that makes it expandable hence can fit any waist size. The buckle of our treadmill running belt is excellently designed hence is durable and insusceptible to breakage.

The Daswise waterproof running belt does not move around or disturb you while you are exercising. Its straps are made from soft but high quality material that wraps comfortably around your body.

The belt is available in three different colors: black, blue, and pink.

Stay safe, stylish, while you run by going to Amazon:
to order this inexpensive and practical running product.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016


The Speed The Light 5K Virtual 5K is a virtual race that can be run (or walked!) anytime and anywhere, even indoors on a treadmill. You can even breakup your virtual run into multiple runs if you would like.

Simply register for the run (, complete the distance at any time and anywhere you desire (don't forget to time yourself), and email us with your finish time. At the end of October we will mail you a finisher’s medal, a t-shirt with the event logo on it, and a $25 iTunes Gift Card (for our winner).

We accept results on the honor system, so you can track your distance and time however you like. The most accurate way to do this is by using a Running GPS watch, but there are also several free smartphone apps available for iPhones and Android devices that you may be interested in.

The cost of this event will be $35 per person. This will cover your shirt, medal, shipping and handeling and a donation to Speed The Light (STL). STL provides essential transportation and creative communication equipment for missionary evangelism. STL is the student-initiated, volunteer, charitable program that provides much-needed equipment to missionaries across the nation and in over 180 countries around the world. Since its beginning, STL has raised over $253 million for missionary equipment around the world. It has provided vehicles for organizations like Convoy of Hope (Disater Response) and F.R.E.E. International (Fighting Human Trafficking). For more information on STL check out

We hope you can be apart of us Speeding Light to a dark world by running/jogging/or walking!

Have Questions? Contact Scott Laurain at

Monday, September 12, 2016


The Games of the XXXI Olympiad, held in Rio last month have concluded.

Despite fears of crime, polluted water, and potential terrorism, the Olympic Games were held without incident.

America led the medal count, with American athletes earning 121 total medals. 46 gold medals were awarded to America, along with 37 silver and 38 bronze.

In recent years, American middle and long distance runners have been dominated in races ranging from the 800-meters to the marathon by athletes from the East African countries of Kenya and Ethiopia. In fact, athletes from countries all over the world have eclipsed us at the long distance running races in recent Olympic competitions. The Rio Olympics, however, marked a resurgence of American middle and long distance running power.

When American, Galen Rupp, of Oregon crossed the finish line in third place at the Olympic marathon, held on the final day of the Games, he earned America’s seventh medal in the middle and long distances. At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, American long distance runners brought home only two medals. This time around, American harriers captured two more medals in Rio than they had earned in the past four Olympics combined.

American Matt Centrowitz shocked the distance running world by besting the Kenyans and winning the 1500-meter (metric mile) event, snapping a 108-year American drought in the event, becoming the first U.S. runner to win the 1500-meters since 1908. Centrowitz bested the field by turning in a 50-second final lap.

The steeplechase is a nasty event. 3,000 meters in length, and features four hurdles as well as a water jump, which is 12-feet in length. It also is an event in which American runners are rarely competitive on the world stage.

At Rio, America’s Emma Coburn took the silver medal, becoming the first U.S. woman to ever earn an Olympic steeplechase medal. The next day, Evan Jager captured the bronze,earning the United States’ first steeplechase medal for men in 32 years.

Paul Chelimo placed second in the 5,000-meters; while Clayton Murphy and Jenny Simpson earned bronze medals in the 800 and 1500-meters respectively.

Excellent coaching by former Olympian Alberto Salazar, increased training at the thin air of high altitude, which increases lung capacity and endurance, corporate sponsorship, which allows these athletes to put in countless hours of training, combined with extraordinary dedication from the young men and women themselves has catapulted U.S. runners back to the top of the distance running world.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016


Not many races have been around for 29 years, but this one has.

More random prizes, deep age-division awards, in plenty of age groups, cash prizes, food, beverages, and a lot of fun. Chambersburg, a quaint little town, near Gettysburg, is south-central Pennsylvania, is the place to race on Saturday.


Thursday, August 4, 2016


  Following is a copy of my monthly running column, published in the Republican Herald newspaper,, on August 2.

The 2016 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXXI Olympiad, will take place in Rio de Janeiro from Aug. 3-21.

For those who want to watch the greatest runners on the planet, from the 100-meter dash to the 26.2-mile marathon, the running events will begin Aug. 12.

Nothing will be hotter on a hot August night than when “World’s Fastest Human” Usain Bolt steps on the track in Rio to defend his title in the 100-meter dash Saturday, Aug. 16.

Bolt holds the world record for the 100 meters with a time of 9.58 seconds, a record that has stood since 2009. He also holds the world record for the 200 meters, an incredible 19.19 seconds. Bolt owns six Olympic gold medals and 11 world titles.

At the London Olympics in 2012, Bolt achieved an unprecedented “Double Triple” by retaining the 100-meter, 200-meter and 400-meter relay titles he won four years earlier in Beijing. He hopes to earn a “Triple Triple” at Rio, and he has already stated that he wants to destroy the world record in the 200 meters by breaking the 19-second barrier.

Hamstring issues that forced Bolt to withdraw from the Jamaican Olympic Trials earlier this summer may seriously hamper his effort.

America’s Justin Gatlin will challenge Bolt in both the 100- and 200-meter races. The charismatic Bolt has dubbed his races against Gatlin as a “Battle between good and evil.” Gatlin, age 34, has been convicted twice of doping violations, but has tested clean this year.

Anyone can steal the sprint events, but hurt or not, Bolt remains the favorite to achieve an unheard of “Triple Triple” at Rio.

On the opposite end of the running spectrum, an American distance runner will attempt to become the first United States runner to win the Olympic Marathon since Frank Shorter won the 26.2-mile event in 1972.

Oregon’s Galen Rupp is a savvy, seasoned runner who has distinguished himself at distances from the 1,500 meters to the marathon. At the 2012 Olympic Games, he placed second to Great Britain’s Mo Farah in the 10,000-meter (6.2-mile) race. Rupp dominated the field to win the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon on a hot day in Los Angeles back in February. Last month he also won the Olympic Trials 10,000-meter event at Heyward Field in Oregon.

Rupp is taking on a formidable task at the Rio Olympics. He will compete in both the 10,000 meters and the marathon events. There is a week between the races, with the 10,000 being contested Aug. 13 and the marathon Aug. 21. Still, the competition will be fierce, especially from the East African countries of Kenya and Ethiopia. The last, and only, person to win an Olympic marathon and the 10,000 meters was legendary Czech runner Emil Zatopek, who did it in 1952.

From the explosive speed of the sprint events to the steady, measured discipline of the marathon, drama is certain to abound at the Rio Olympic Games.


Wednesday, August 3, 2016


A few months ago I called Ed Whitlock "The world's greatest athlete."

Ed keeps proving me right.

Yes, he's done it again.

Last Saturday, the 85-year old Canadian demolished another age group world record.

At the Ontario masters outdoor championships in Toronto, Whitlock ran a 5K in 24:03.99, breaking the previous mark by almost 50 seconds.

Whitlock owns just about every world age group in the 85-89 age division up to the half marathon.

Stay tuned, as I'm sure we'll be reporting another Ed Whitlock age group record again real soon.

Way to go Ed!

You are an inspiration to every runner.

Saturday, July 30, 2016


Yesterday my 27-year old daughter texted me and asked, "Dad, did you ever have plantar fasciitis?"

It seems as though her running has caused her to develop the nasty ailment of the heel that has afflicted many a runner.

Meniscus surgery to my left knee has caused me to place excessive pressure on my right foot, causing heel pain.

A little over a week ago I tried a new product that has all but eliminated my heel pain, and I heartily recommended it to my daughter.

Soul Insole,, has developed quality arch supports that not only improve your running comfort, but will improve your quality of life.

Soul Insole arch supports will relieve plantar fasciitis, neuroma, bunions, arch/heel pain, as well as aid your posture and alignment.

These arch supports are truly unique and unlike any insoles I've tried.

Soul Insole's flexible design works with your shoes, not against them.

The Soul Insole is an arch booster and can be added to a full length insole or placed into any shoe.

The biomechanically designed shape of the Soul Insole effectively redistributes pressure evenly across the foot to relieve pressure from the heel and forefoot. The soft support helps to train your foot to strengthen its natural arch without causing the foot to become reliant on support.

It utilizes the existing structure of the shoe to increase support to your arch. As it is flexible, it will feel different in a shoe that has no support vs. a shoe that already has some arch support.
The Soul Insole Shoe Bubble is a small, flexible orthotic insert that makes a BIG difference in the way your shoes feel!  It relieves pressure from your heel and forefoot in EVERY shoe, without changing the fit.
  • Adds Support & offloads pressure for all-day COMFORT!
  • Use for both high arches and flat feet alike
  • Stays firmly in place, yet can move from shoe to shoe
  • Promotes good balance and alignment for all day
  • Save hundreds & have support in the shoes you actually wear
At a time when many of us are training in minimalist running shoes, The Sole Insole arch supports act as a minimalist orthotic that softly raises your arch up to proper alignment, while forming to your feet like a custom insole. Rather than spending hundreds of dollars on orthotics, you can now enjoy increased support, balance, and comfort in all the shoes you like to wear.

Sole Insole is a terrific, inexpensive product, that will enable you to eliminate foot pain from your running life.

Check out a special offer now, at this link:

Your feet will thank you.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016


Running is a tough sport.

Every time we lace up our shoes and hit the roads, we encounter external obstacles like hills, extreme weather conditions, motorized vehicles, and unfriendly creatures.

So before we begin our daily workout, we need to prepare our bodies for the road ahead.

Blisters, chafing, pain, and skin inflammation are problems encountered by every runner. Any one of these issues can often negatively impact our workout or race, and sometimes sideline us if the problems persist.

I am constantly searching for products that will make my running life more pleasant.

Of course the products must work, they must be reasonably priced, and the company must be customer-friendly.

Medzone,, began in 2001, by designing its products based on requests from medical professionals, athletes and in 2002, U.S. Military Special Forces. Over the years their products have been adapted to work for athletes, law enforcement, military and for certain healthcare needs.

ChafeZone®, BurnZone® and PainZone® BlisterZone have proven to help triathletes, cyclists, team sports, dancers, rodeo, hiking, swimming, hockey, basketball, baseball, football, BMX riders, motorcycle riders, industrial athletes, people who suffer from Chub Rub and with any other high intensity activities. Whether you chafe, sunburn, windburn, blister, ache or have arthritis one of Medzone's products can help you.

Over the past few days the temperatures and the humidity have been unbearable. Chafing in one of those high friction areas can be extremely painful and very common on these hot days. Rub some of Medzone's ChafeZone on those problem spots and you will glide through your workout.

BlisterZone will do for your feet what ChafeZone does for other abrasive areas. Blisters can slow you to a stop. They can ruin a race and they can become infected. BlisterZone is an excellent product for your feet.

Mosquito bites and sunburn are relieved by using BurnZone. BurnZone incorporates a natural, local anesthetic in addition to 1% Lidocaine for maximum pain relief. A proprietary blend of essential fatty acids takes the sting and burn out of blisters and minor burns, relieves insect bite itching, and calms skin irritations.

Finally, PainZone addresses muscle, joint and tendon pain with a no-mess, roll-on applicator. PainZone boasts a concentrated no-water formula with the FDA-required 3 anti-inflammatory agents plus two additional anti-inflammatory ingredients to banish your pain. It uses blend of essential fatty acids transports the active ingredients deep into the tissues for long lasting pain relief.

Arm yourself with any or all of these Medzone products, and your running, walking, cycling, and other athletic activities will be much more pleasant and pain-free.


Sunday, July 3, 2016


Following is my monthly column, which appeared in the Republican Herald (Pottsville, Pennsylvania) newspaper today about a local athlete and Olympic Trials javelin thrower, Barry Krammes.
The ancient Greeks believed in “A sound mind in a sound body.”

Around 775 B.C., the Greeks created the Olympic Games as a means of honoring their gods. The Games were held at Olympia, at the foot of Mount Olympus, where the gods and goddesses were believed to have resided.

Athletic representatives, only men at that time, from all Greek City-States attended the Games, with the intent of bringing glory to themselves as well as their home region. The ancient Games included running, long jump, shot put, javelin, boxing, pankration (a combination of wrestling and boxing) and equestrian events.

The Greek City-State of Sparta, known for its military prowess, consistently ranked as the odds-on favorite to win the javelin event, a weapon most Spartan boys could throw for a very long distance.
As the Rio Olympics begin next month, for the first time in eight years a Pottsville native will not have the opportunity to display his javelin-throwing skills on the world Olympic stage. But his dedication and effort for the past 18 years has been Spartan-like.

Barry Krammes, a 2000 graduate of Pottsville Area High School and a graduate of East Stroudsburg University, tucked away his baseball glove after his sophomore year in high school and picked up the javelin, under the tutelage of Pottsville coach Jack Ruch.

This week, Krammes was disappointed to learn that 24 athletes were selected to compete for three Olympic team slots in the javelin and he fell slightly short, placing 25th.

At age 34, Krammes has earned his place as one of the finest track and field athletes to emerge from Schuylkill County, and although his Olympic dream has passed, his accomplishments and his contributions to the sport he loves will continue.

In high school, Krammes narrowly missed going to the PIAA Track and Field Championships as a junior and a senior, despite flinging the spear a distance of 189 feet.

By the time he was a sophomore at East Stroudsburg University, Krammes had increased his distance to more than 200 feet. As a junior, he increased his best throw to 214 feet, earning him NCAA Division II All-American status.

In 2006, he continued his meteoric rise, throwing 244 feet at the USA National Championships. He was seeded 18th at that meet, but finished fifth. Later that year he competed at an international meet in Birmingham, England, where he placed sixth among the world’s best javelin throwers.

At the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials, despite suffering with a double hernia, he placed sixth, setting a personal best distance by almost four meters and achieving the Olympic “B” standard.

From 2009-11, Krammes taught and coached at East Stroudsburg South High School. In 2011 he went to Finland to work with the National Scholastic Athletics Foundation, which assists young people interested in the sport to develop their talents with the guidance of expert coaching.

In 2012, at the U.S. Olympic Trials, he threw the javelin a distance of 77.99 meters, the equivalent of almost 256 feet, nearly as long as a football field.

He tied for third place at the 2013 Nationals, making him eligible for the World Championships.
His skill at heaving the spear allowed him to compete in Finland, Great Britain, the Czech Republic, Poland and Germany.

A devastating knee injury crushed his chances this year, but Krammes is undeterred. Krammes has coached athletes who will compete in the Olympic Trials, he hosts the American Javelin Festival and true to his roots, coaches at The Javelin Factory in Mary D every Sunday.

If you are a young athlete interested in becoming a javelin thrower, you owe it to yourself to contact this champion. You can contact him on his Barry Krammes Facebook page.

Krammes’ philosophy is, “If you have a dream or passion, go after it.”

He’s done so, and now he is sharing his passion with others.


Thursday, June 16, 2016


Now, this is getting a bit redundant.

Last Friday evening, he did it again!

85-year old Canadian, Ed Whitlock, arguably the world's greatest athlete, did what he does best: set a world record.

At the Cambridge Classic Mile, held annually in Cambridge, Ontario, Whitlock obliterated the previous mile record for men aged 85 or over, by turning in a time of 7:18. The previous record was 8:04.07 held by Germany’s Josef Galia, set in 1985.

A bit ho-hum for Whitlock.

Did I mention that, back on April 24, at the Waterloo Half Marathon, Whitlock ran a time of 1:50:47, breaking the previous half marathon age group record by nine minutes?

Ed Whitlock is the first person over 70 to have broken three hours in the marathon when he ran 2:59:10 in 2003. Since turning 70, he has broken the three-hour barrier multiple times including a 2:54:48, at age 73. He holds age group records from the 1,500 meters to the marathon.

Ed Whitlock is remarkable.

What's more, having had the privilege of meeting him at Berwick's Run for the Diamonds last November, he is a very humble, gracious man. It was an honor be in his company.

Soon after meeting him at Berwick, I wrote a blog about it. The next day I received an email from Ed, thanking me for the kind words.

Congratulations to Ed Whitlock, and here's hoping he continues to rewrite the record books for many, many years to come.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016


After 40 years, I still get it.

At a social event, the grocery store, or from a stranger on the street.

"Are you still running?"

My reply?

Something like, "If I'm still vertical, I'm running."

"You runners are crazy," is often the response.

Well...the latest statistics, as reported last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in two articles published online by the Journal of the American Medical Association, indicate that over forty percent of American women are obese, as compared to thirty five percent of American men.

That's the bad news.

The good news is that more Americans are running and entering races, at distances from 5K to the marathon, than ever.

If you run, contrary to what the naysayers claim, you will not, "Drop over," "Ruin your knees," or, during the winter months, "Freeze your lungs."

What you will do, however, is control your weight, lower your blood sugar, increase your blood flow, and strengthen your heart.

Running increases one's self-esteem, and it actually fortifies joints and ligaments, Running significantly decreases the chances of dying from cardiovascular disease, simply because when you run, you decrease your resting heart rate, so your heart doesn't have to work as hard.

Research has shown that running can raise your level of good cholesterol and increase lung capacity.

Diabetes, blood pressure, and osteoporosis can all be controlled by developing a running regimen. Running reduces the risk of having a stroke, by creating arteries that can become superhighways, and for women, running reduces the risk of breast cancer.

There are few positive ways of relieving stress that are better than running.

A bad day at work, family stress, or grief can all be relieved by going for a run. On the days of the birth of my children, on the day my father died, and on September 11, 2001, I dealt with happiness, sadness, and anger by lacing up my running shoes and taking to the streets.

When you run, you sleep better, and you eat healthier. Sometimes you need a supplement to enhance your protein needs. Checkout

Running is truly "The people's sport." It is inexpensive. Purchase a good pair of running shoes and you're ready to go. No matter how fast or slow you may be, you may enter a race in which you line up next to an Olympian. And, there is no retirement age. Canada's Ed Whitlock just set the world record for the mile run. He turned in a time of 7:18. Ed Whitlock is 85-years young!

Do not be intimidated. Running is for everybody. Start out by walking, then ease into a run. You don't have to "Look like a runner." If you have the motivation to begin a running program, you ARE a runner.

Running is as easy as putting one foot in front of the other. Once you begin to run, the benefits will last a lifetime.

Monday, June 13, 2016


The summer season is here, and for many of us, that means it's time to relax and catch up on our reading.

Whether you are going to the beach, the mountains,  or lounging in your own backyard, if you want a good dose of running inspiration, I have a deal for you.

 Both of my books, Personal Best and Running Shorts are available now, for the lowest price yet, $7.99 each, AND, we'll pay the shipping and handling.  Visit, and just click on the 'store' tab. Heck, that's about what we pay for a pair of socks today.

You can also go to Amazon, at: where you can find both books, reviews of them, and the Kindle version of Personal Best for $1.99. Try finding a pair of socks for that price these days!
The books are also available from my publisher's site:
Fact is, if you plan to take you first running step, run your first marathon, or want to learn how to drop that marathon time, Personal Best will offer ways for you to achieve your goal.
If you want to be inspired, to laugh or cry, with stories from the road, read Running Shorts.
And, as my readers know, I pride myself as a "hands on" author. Having trouble with plantar fasciitis? Let me tell you about the 'donut' cure.

Trying to break 3 hours for the marathon? We can develop a training plan together to make that happen.
Summer is here.
Want to achieve your personal best?
Let me know.
I'll help you get there.


Monday, June 6, 2016


Following is my column, published in the Republican Herald newspaper today.

Memorial Day, a day set aside to honor those who have paid the ultimate price in order for all of us to enjoy our freedom, has just passed.

All who have served, particularly those who have given their lives for their country, deserve our thanks and respect.

Dating back to the Civil War, Schuylkill County has had its share of heroes who have selflessly devoted themselves to the cause of freedom.

Last year on June 2, we lost the bravest of the brave, Army Captain Jason B. Jones, 29, of Orwigsburg. He gave his life for his country, but a life that was filled with joy and giving continues through the efforts of his family and friends as they “pay forward” in a manner in which Jason would have been proud.

I have had the honor of knowing three generations of the Jones family, particularly Jason’s parents, Jay and Suzy. Jason was an A-student in my eighth-grade social studies class at Blue Mountain Middle School. He was an extraordinary athlete who eventually went on to become Blue Mountain’s scholar-athlete in 2003, and a young man who entered my class each day with a smile and a positive attitude.

Jason’s legacy lives on through many community projects. This coming weekend, anyone who wants to continue Captain Jones’ spirit of good works can do so by taking part in a race that truly benefits the local community.

The second annual Flag Day 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run, sponsored by the Blue Mountain Eagle Foundation, will be held Sunday, June 12, at 9 a.m. Registration begins at 8 a.m.

The race will start and finish at the Orwigsburg Memorial building. This is a wheel-measured 5K (3.1-mile) run/walk through Albright’s Woods and the walking paths around Blue Mountain Middle and Elementary schools. The course is mostly flat and shaded, with one hill. The 1-mile Fun Run will be held on Grove Street, starting and ending at the Memorial building.

All Flag Day 5K participants may choose to donate a portion of their entry fee to one of these Eagle Foundation Scholarships: The Captain Jason Jones Memorial Scholarship or the Leslie J. Schoffstall Memorial Scholarship.

Schoffstall was a 1979 Blue Mountain graduate and Blue Mountain Sports Hall of Fame member for her track accomplishments. Leslie served many years as a coach for the Blue Mountain track teams. She passed away earlier this year.

Awards are plentiful for participants in this event. In the 5K Run, prizes will be given to the top overall male and female and the top three males and females in each age group: 14& Under, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60 & Over.

In the 1-Mile Fun Run/Walk, awards will be presented to the top overall male and female, with ribbons for all participants.

More information can be found on the race’s Facebook page: Blue Mountain Eagle Foundation Flag Day 5K. Online registration can be conducted at:

This is a terrific event, benefitting a great cause, in honor of a true local hero.

                                                                 Captain Jason Jones

Thursday, May 19, 2016


A few weeks ago, I wrote about a great new fitness site called Linked Fitness.

It is a comprehensive site for anyone interested in keeping fit.

Following is their mission statement.

We believe that keeping fit and healthy doesn’t have to be a chore. Our mission is to inspire you to achieve your goals by providing all the latest fitness information and a wide range of tools to support your progress and keep you on track.
Join the Linked Fitness Community and get creative by designing your own profile and connecting up with other members to share your ideas and keep motivated. Find sporting and fun fitness events to attend in your local area. Nothing interesting happening near you? Why not create your own fitness group and invite others to meetup and get active with you in your neighborhood.

Linked Fitness will be here for you every step of the way to provide you with the knowledge and inspiration you need to succeed. Whatever your fitness level or lifestyle, we understand that keeping fit and staying healthy can be tough, so let us support you in achieving your goals whilst still having fun.

And, it is absolutely free to join Linked Fitness.

Check it out. You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, May 12, 2016


Today is Dixie's birthday.

My chocolate Labrador Retriever is 10 years old.

There is one universal truth in life: we love our dogs. Dogs are the best. In some cases, they are more loyal, trustworthy and loving than humans.

We call Dixie, "Mother Teresa." She does not possess a mean bone in her body. She loves, loves to be loved, and remains a puppy, even at her advanced age.

Dixie is a runner, and serves as a canine version of all of us who love to lace up the running shoes.

As a puppy, she would routinely run 3 to 6 miles with me, on the secluded mountain trails behind my house.

On one of those workouts, she was chased by two dogs, who did not share her kind heart. In an effort to escape, she twisted her leg, developed a pronounced limp, which was diagnosed as a torn ACL. She was only two years old.

A skilled surgeon repaired the leg, and, although it sometimes gets weak, the repaired limb has served her well.

Just like all aging runners, Dixie has reduced her mileage. 2 miles seems to be her limit these days. And her pace has slowed. Her workout is now is reduced to a fast trot. She breathes heavily and sleeps a lot when she returns from her run.

But, like all of us, when she hears the words, "Time to go for a run," she is ready to spring into action. And, as we all tend to do, she starts out too quickly, and pays for it as the workout goes on.

I see the greying of her face. I realize that the lifespan of our dogs is way to short, and I am gripped with sadness.

She knows if I'm injured or ill, and she lies next to me, often with a big paw draped across my chest. She senses sadness, anger, and pain.

My wife reminds me that I treat Dixie like a baby, and my reply is, "What's your point?"

Dogs ARE a our babies, and they earn and deserve our love every day.

Dixie and I are going for a birthday run now.

I hope we can go for many, many more.

Saturday, May 7, 2016


Most of us love to train.

Our daily workout, whether it be running, walking, cycling, or swimming, is an essential component of our day.

We stress our bodies in ways most other people cannot imagine, because we want to achieve our personal best during our competitive endeavors.

We try to consume healthy foods, but sometimes that just isn't enough. As we seek a competitive edge, we search for a wellness product that is all natural, containing no stimulants. A product that helps fight inflammation, high blood pressure, and one that can increase our endurance and performance. A product that is vegan, non-GMO and gluten free. 

Check out Zeal., or at:

Zeal is a terrific product that is an all-in-one nutritional formula that shortens recovery time, thus enhancing training efforts. It increases endurance and stamina, which will improve race times. Zeal decreases inflammation and pain, which aids in recovery, and it lowers blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol levels.

I highly recommend Zeal as a product that will give you a competitive edge, in a safe, natural way.


Wednesday, May 4, 2016


Running has always been an integral part of my life.

During my most competitive years, the challenges of training, racing, and putting forth my best efforts became a positive addiction.

As I get older, less competitive (and slower), I thoroughly enjoy passing on my knowledge of the sport through coaching.

Currently, coaching on the collegiate level, at Penn State Schuylkill campus for the past eight years has been an absolute pleasure. I have been fortunate to coach two state champions, and a one All-American.

A few years ago, I coached the junior high school track team at Pottsville Area High School, in my hometown.

Obviously, my expertise lies in the area of long distance running, but I love coaching sprinters. Secretly, I'm envious of sprinters. Their speed and smoothness is a stark contrast to my plodding style of 'grind it out' distance running.

On of my team members, young man from Pottsville, Anthony Kelly, a sprinter, impressed me with his speed, his positive attitude, and his willingness to learn the sport. He was a standout as a 100 and 200-meter runner, and a member of the 4x100 relay team.

I followed Anthony's high school football and track careers, as he excelled as a sprinter and a wide receiver.. He then went on to become a standout star at tiny Kutztown University, a small college, nestled in the hills of Pennsylvania Dutch country.

Kutztown University has produced several NFL players, most notably Buffalo Bills Pro Bowler, and recent NFL Hall of Fame inductee, Andre Reed.

Over the weekend, Anthony's skills,  dedication and work ethic paid off, as he was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League.

Yesterday, I was honored, as one of his former coaches, to be part of a ceremony celebrating his send-off to Tampa later this week.

Congratulations to this fine young man and his family.

I wish him great success and star-status during his NFL career.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016


Over the past few months, I have read about too many runners who have been fatally injured by motor vehicles. Sadly, most of these tragedies have occurred when visibility is poor.

Just last week, a respected school superintendent from New Jersey was hit by a vehicle and killed, as he ran with his dog, at 6:15 a.m., just one mile from his school.

More then ever, it is imperative that runners increase their visibility, as distracted drivers dominate our roadways.

Most of my running occurs during daylight hours, but when I am forced to run early in the morning, or after dark, I don my reflective gear, which includes vests, hats, armbands, and shoes, as well as brightly colored clothing.

My small northeastern city is riddled with potholes, which sometimes resemble the lunar surface, so in addition to remaining visible to large vehicles, I am concerned about my footing during the hours of darkness.

As an additional precaution, I'm running with a headlamp, the Foxelli MX 500, and I love it.

Check out the details below.

Sunday, May 1, 2016


Gee, if you register for a half marathon (name will not be mentioned) by a certain date (very soon), you can get in at the low, low price of $110!

Come on!

Get real.

Look, sometimes runners throw money at foolish things.

Don't do it.

I'm not a salesman.

I'm a runner, whose career has spanned 40 years, 54 marathons, over 1,200 road races, a 2:22:54 marathon, and a 3:04 marathon at age 59.

In my two books, I tried to pass along that wisdom, in an entertaining, yet informative way.

Now, by visiting, you can buy one of my books for $7.99. No gimmicks, no shipping and handling, just my signature, and this blog, where, in the true spirit of "service after the sale," you can ask me questions about training, racing, or anything running-related.

I guarantee that the $7.99 you spend will do more for your running than that $110 half marathon "bargain."

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


The world's greatest athlete has done it again.

On Sunday, at the Waterloo, Ontario Half Marathon, Canadian phenom, 85-year old Ed Whitlock, destroyed another world record. Whitlock crushed the 13.1 mile course in 1:50:47, that's an 8:27 per mile pace, destroying the previous age group record for 85-year olds by 9:17

Currently, and this number is certain to rise, as Ed Whitlock relishes the fact that he's a year older with another age group to dominate, he holds more than 80 age group world records at distances from 1500 meters to the marathon.

Last Thanksgiving Day, at Berwick's Run for the Diamonds, I had the honor of meeting Ed Whitlock. The man ranks as one of the most gracious individuals I have ever met. We discussed training, injuries, and our love of running.

In November I wrote a blog about my thrill of meeting this living legend.

The next day I received an email from Mr. Whitlock thanking me for writing about him.

The way I see it, Ed Whitlock has many more records to break and several more age groups to dominate.

Monday, April 25, 2016


The magic of modern technology requires I hit the 'Send' button and this blog makes its way around the world, so I suppose I can't speak for all corners of the earth, but for most of us, this time of year provides nearly perfect running conditions.

Temperatures are pleasant, but not too warm. Most mornings are cool, and some afternoons are breezy. Sunshine feels good after a long winter of darkness. And speaking of darkness, the increased hours of daylight afford us more hours in which we can conduct our outdoor activities.

It's a good time of year to race, and races abound everywhere.

Colors, sights, sounds, and even the smell of the air seem more distinct, as we, as runners experience them in a way that mere mortals can't.

So appreciate each moment that you are able to get outdoors to run, walk, cycle, or swim.

Because, it really is a perfect time of the year.

Friday, April 22, 2016


Thanks to today's information age, it is easier than ever for fitness enthusiasts to acquire information about staying fit and maximizing our fitness level.

Check out a new site that offers training advice in a variety of fitness sports for folks at any level, lists events, finds groups to get you motivated, and allows you to create your own profile and record your fitness journey in the community.

Following is a description of the Linked Fitness mission.

The site is: Linked Fitness., and you can register for free.

"Here at Linked Fitness, we believe that keeping fit and healthy doesn’t have to be a chore. Our mission is to inspire you to achieve your goals by providing all the latest fitness information and a wide range of tools to support your progress and keep you on track.

Join the Linked Fitness Community and get creative by designing your own profile and connecting up with other members to share your ideas and keep motivated. Find sporting and fun fitness events to attend in your local area. Nothing interesting happening near you? Why not create your own fitness group and invite others to meetup and get active with you in your neighbourhood.

Linked Fitness will be here for you every step of the way to provide you with the knowledge and inspiration you need to succeed. Whatever your fitness level or lifestyle, we understand that keeping fit and staying healthy can be tough, so let us support you in achieving your goals whilst still having fun."

Join today, at This is an exciting and a very informative site.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


Jimmy Buffett once wrote a song entitled, "It's My Job."

The tune celebrates the dignity of performing one's job, from street sweeper to bank president.

I try to respect the dignity of everyone's line of work, but I must say I do take issue, at times, with those whose job it is to deliver the weather forecast.

As I watched yesterday's Boston Marathon, I was pleased to see the graphic that told me the high temperature would reach 58 degrees, with a mild headwind. Almost perfect conditions, I mused.

Then I watched as the leaders of the women's division labored through the Newton Hills, reading a subsequent graphic which read, "72 degrees."


Come on.

What happened to 58?

The bottom line is, yesterday was an unforgiving day for runners in the 120th Boston Marathon.

Conditions didn't approach the over-90 degree reading of 1976, or the heat of the 1982 race, which was dubbed, "The Duel in the Sun," or even the 80-something blast furnace conditions of 2012.

But make no mistake about it. For most runners, after training through cold winter conditions, yesterday's Boston Marathon felt like a day at the beach. And, when one is running a marathon, a day at the beach is the very last place one wants to be.

There was no cloud cover and there is no shade, (no leaves on the trees yet) and conditions were perfect for spectators, which meant conditions were very imperfect for runners.

Few marathons are as unforgiving as the Boston Marathon. If a runner "Lets the genie out of the bottle," that is, goes out too fast, in this race, the race is lost. Never mind how well you were running at sixteen miles, because, at Boston, that's where the race begins.

One can roll a coin from the start at Hopkinton, and it will continue to roll all the way to Framingham. A fast downhill start could lead to a personal best 10K time at the Boston Marathon. The Newton Hills, however, will snatch that time away and jolt fast starters back to reality.

You can't fool the Boston Marathon. One must enter the race rested and with fresh legs. Run too many races prior to Boston, and the course will make you pay.

Yesterday's times weren't so much slow as they were conservative. Runners who respected the unforgiving nature of the course and the day were able to cut their losses and take what the course would give.

Congratulations to all who crossed the finish line yesterday. You have added your names to the list of Boston Marathon heroes. And you learned that the Boston Marathon is a very unforgiving race.

Everything you need to know about the Boston Marathon can be found in both of my books, at:,

Saturday, April 16, 2016


Boston, Massachusetts is the epicenter of the running world at this moment. The thousands of runners, their families and friends, and the people of the city who adore them are mingling, and enjoying the sights and sounds of one of the world's great sporting events.

Runners will be treated like the special athletes they are, by pedestrians, police, waiters, and cab drivers. The people of Boston know and respect runners. And, they know and respect an iconic event that has been conducted for the past 120 years.

On Monday, Patriots' Day, nearly one million spectators will cheer on the runners, in what could be described as one big block party. They will blast music, tunes like the 'Rocky' theme, 'Chariots of Fire,' and 'Born to Run,' from frat houses and front lawns. Water, orange slices, and wet cloths will be offered to runners by ordinary spectators. At Wellesley, thousands of girls from the college will display signs, scream at the runners, and even steal a hug or a kiss.

Boston College, Red Sox fans, and Commonwealth Avenue denizens will escort the runners into the city, where, they will make a right on Hereford, then a left on Boylston toward the greatest finish line of the greatest marathon on the face of the earth.

Monday's weather appears to be ok for both runners and spectators. A high temperature of 64 degrees is expected. Runners would prefer it to be a bit cooler, but 64 isn't too bad.

It's a great weekend in Boston.

But it will be a greater Monday.

Sunday, April 10, 2016


“Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”

-Hebrews 12:1

When the nearly 30,000 runners line up at the starting line in Hopkinton, Massachusetts on April 18 for the 120th running of the fabled Boston Marathon, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, will be represented by one “Fast Father.”

Father Christopher M. Zelonis, 39, is a Catholic priest who resides at Saint Clare of Assisi Parish in Saint Clair and ministers to the Catholic population at the Schuylkill Medical Center, Pottsville, as well as several area nursing homes. He grew up in Saint Clair, graduated from Nativity B.V.M. High School in 1994, earned Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees at Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, and was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Allentown in 2003.

Halfway through his seminary career, in response to looming health concerns in his immediate family and personal spiritual struggles, he began to improve his previously poor habits of diet and exercise.

Walking soon graduated to running as his weight decreased and his miles increased. Aside from running a 5 mile race in the seminary, and a handful of local 5Ks near a previous assignment in Reading, Zelonis did not consider himself to be a competitive runner.

In 2009 he returned to frequent running after a hiatus. By 2012 his long runs became more frequent; on one day off he surprised himself and his mother by running to Tamaqua to meet her for dinner.

 The suggestions of friends and the sight of “26.2” bumper stickers finally convinced him to sign up for the Via Marathon, held in Allentown, Pennsylvania, which he completed in September 2013 with a time of 3:36:12.

At last year’s Pocono Run for the Red Marathon, Zelonis survived blistering temperatures, and upon crossing the finish line, earned a trip to the medical tent, a victim of heat exhaustion and dehydration.  More importantly, however, he earned a qualifying time of 3 hours, 3 minutes, 12 seconds, which qualified him for this year’s Boston Marathon.

His quest to run the Boston Marathon, however, would not come without a significant obstacle.

While visiting friends in San Antonio last summer, Zelonis embarked on a daily training run. A quarter mile from home, he stopped at an intersection, but a vehicle making a right turn did not. The car ran over his foot, the compression and torque tore his heel, and he received stitches both inside and outside of the skin.

Undeterred, he slowly built up his training mileage, recovered from the injury, and has returned to marathon-running form.

On Saturday, he competed in the Two Rivers Half Marathon, a 13.1-mile race, held in Lackawaxen. There he ran a personal best time of 1:23:29, earning a second place finish. Later in the day, he completed an “Easter Double,” as, on wobbly legs, he celebrated an Easter Vigil service.

In Boston, on Marathon Monday, thanks to superb preparation and intense dedication, Father Zelonis is certain to run his best in the race God has set before him.