Sunday, December 3, 2017


Following is a column I wrote, which was published today in the Republican Herald newspaper.

While some college students were spending their final days of summer vacation at the beach, Pottsville’s Paige Stoner, a senior cross country runner at Syracuse University, spent her August mornings and afternoons grinding out 70-mile weeks.
On the weekends she would toss in her weekly long run, a distance of 18 miles, in preparation for a season of high expectations.
After a successful track season, in which she placed 15th in the steeplechase at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon, for her 2017 cross country season, Stoner and her coaches, Chris Fox and Brian Bell, had mapped out an aggressive training plan that they hoped would maximize her extraordinary running skills.
Her season began with an invitational meet at Penn State. Still logging long, intense miles during the building block phase of her training, she placed second at the 6K distance.
Building speed and strength for races against the best runners in the country centered around workouts on Sweet Road, a challenging incline near the Syracuse campus. A typical workout would consist of a 4 to 5 mile run, with four minutes of hard running, followed by a short rest before beginning another four-minute interval. As the sessions neared their end, Coach Fox instructed Stoner to run at all-out race pace for the final four minutes.
Stoner’s next meet was held in Boston where she placed 24th, in a race that included many of the runners she would face at nationals.
On Oct. 28, Stoner ran the Atlantic Coast Conference championship meet in Louisville, Kentucky.
Her coach instructed her to, “Be patient, hang with the leaders, and don’t make a move until you have about 800 meters to go.”
She ran most of the race in a pack with four North Carolina State runners and a runner from Louisville. At the 4K mark, the race came down to Stoner and her Louisville adversary. With 300 meters to go, the Louisville runner surged into the lead, but Stoner responded, passing her with 100 meters to go and winning the ACC cross country championship with an extraordinary time of 19:52 on the 6K course. She finished a mere three seconds ahead of her opponent.
At the Northeast Regionals, held in Buffalo, New York, Stoner braved 20-degree temperatures and 30-mile-per-hour winds to place second and qualify for nationals.
A week later at the NCAA Championships held in Louisville, Kentucky, Paige Stoner, from Pottsville, Pennsylvania, faced the best collegiate runners in the nation and placed 17th, earning All-America honors.
Stoner is an exceptional runner and an excellent student. More than that, she is a humble young lady who, when asked what advice she would give to young runners who want to run like Paige Stoner, replied, “Don’t overdo it in high school. Run 30 to 35 miles a week, and keep it fun. Do other things. Swim and play Frisbee.”
We haven’t heard the last of Stoner. Track season is coming up in 2018, and she has another year of track eligibility in 2019.
Oh, and the next Summer Olympic Games will be held in 2020.

Saturday, November 4, 2017


It was one year in the making.
At Norlo Park, near Chambersburg, the site of the Penn State University Athletic Conference championship meet on the last weekend of October 2016, Penn State Schuylkill’s women’s cross country team boarded the team bus with bitter disappointment. Much was within their grasp, but they left the race empty-handed.
Schuylkill’s top runner, freshman Alexis Luna, a Shenandoah Valley graduate, valiantly challenged the league’s top runner, Scranton’s Alicia Kasson, before falling short over the last half-mile to lose the race by a 5-second margin.
As a team, Schuylkill’s women fell to Mont Alto by a mere three points.
After avenging both defeats at the United States Collegiate Athletic Association National Championship in Virginia Beach, Virginia, two weeks later, Luna and teammates Casey Gregory and Justice Demitro vowed to exact revenge in the 2017 season.
They began their quest in early July by getting together for informal training sessions. Then, in early August, Luna texted me with an announcement that her friend and two-time PIAA Cross Country Championships qualifier Carly Teaschenko of Shenandoah Valley would be joining the team.
In addition, the team bolstered its talent by adding two local freshmen: Jennie Li from North Schuylkill and Kristen Lowe, a Minersville graduate.
The team went undefeated in PSUAC meets throughout the season, and Luna led the squad in all but one race. At the Brandywine Invitational, as she and Teaschenko paced each other, Luna announced that she, “Just didn’t have it” that day, and Teaschenko took the honors.
As the season went on, Luna earned the PSUAC Runner of the Week honor three times and Teaschenko won the award once.
Last Saturday, in the rematch at Norlo Park for the 2017 PSUAC championship, a year of hard work and determination paid off.
Luna capped a magnificent season by winning the race, with Teaschenko placing second, only six seconds behind. Throughout the race, the two teammates and friends paced each other, leaving the competition behind.
Sophomore Casey Gregory ran her fastest time of the year, placing seventh and earning first-team All-Conference honors along with Luna and Teaschenko. Team captain Justice Demitro ran her fastest 6K ever and placed 11th, while Li finished 14th. They both earned second-team All-PSUAC honors. Lowe captured 16th place.
Penn State Schuylkill won the team title and avenged last year’s narrow defeat. This is the first team in Penn State Schuylkill’s history to win a PSUAC cross country championship.
The conference champions will now compete against more than 50 teams from small colleges across the country at the USCAA National Championships in Virginia Beach on Nov. 10. Last year Penn State Schuylkill placed 16th. The Lions are aiming for a top-10 finish this year.
Stoner wins ACC
Speaking of champions, Pottsville Area’s Paige Stoner is the 2017 Atlantic Coast Conference cross country champion.
Running for Syracuse University, Stoner won the conference championship last Friday, covering the 6-kilometer course in a sizzling time of 19:52. Congratulations to Paige on this remarkable championship run.
(Muldowney is an avid runner and head coach of the Penn State Schuylkill cross country teams)

Sunday, September 3, 2017


Following is my monthly running article, published in the Republican Herald newspaper.
The 2017 edition of Penn State Schuylkill’s men’s and women’s cross country teams is home grown.
Beginning my 11th year of coaching the collegiate harriers at the Schuylkill Haven campus, my veteran team features alumni from several of our local high schools.
It hasn’t always been that way.
Many of my previous teams contained local runners, but often they were mixed with student-athletes from Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and New York City.
After a dual victory at the Penn State Worthington Scranton Invitational last October, Schuylkill’s men’s and women’s teams earned a berth in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association National Championships, held in Virginia Beach, Virginia. There, Schuylkill’s women’s team bested all the Penn State University Athletic Conference squads, earning an eighth-place overall finish.
The women’s team was led by freshman Alexis Luna, a Shenandoah Valley graduate. At the PSUAC meet, Luna placed second, narrowly missing a state championship by a scant two seconds. She returns as a sophomore, seeking to improve on last year’s finish.
Also returning to the team as a sophomore is Pottsville’s Casey Gregory. Gregory joined the team during the middle of last season, and emerged as a formidable runner.
At Shenandoah Valley, Carly Teaschenko punched several tickets to the PIAA Cross Country Championships. A good friend and former teammate of Luna, Teaschenko promises to be one of the conference’s top runners.
Justice Demitro, from Pottsville, is a senior and is the captain of the women’s team. Her leadership and dedication is an inspiration to the rest of the squad.
Jennie Li is a freshman runner from North Schuylkill. Her running skills will add to the depth of the women’s team.
Another newcomer is Kira Reedy from Pottsville. Kira is currently a Penn State student who is training for the United States Marine Corps.
Nico Granito, a junior and a Blue Mountain graduate, is the captain of the men’s team. Joining him is another Blue Mountain graduate and former 400 and 800-meter standout, Tristan Dickey.
Nativity cross country and track is represented by sophomore Brett Rushannon.
Another veteran of last year’s squad, Josh White, is not only a cross country runner, he is also a member of Schuylkill’s basketball team.
Ian McGowan and David Chesakis are freshmen newcomers. McGowan ran track and cross country at Schuylkill Haven. Chesakis participated on both the cross country and soccer teams. They will join a member of last year’s team, Matthew Renninger, another Schuylkill Haven graduate.
Vincent May, from Gordon, is the “veteran” of the team. May served honorably in the U.S. Army, and is running as a sophomore this year.
Rounding out the squad are Pottsville’s Jake Kerby, and wrestler/runner Vraj Patel.
The Schuylkill League has produced many excellent runners who are, in the fine tradition of the Coal Region, admired for their hard work and dedication. Former Moravian College cross country coach Mark Will-Weber once told me he enjoys coaching runners from our region because, “They always give you an honest day’s work.”
My 2016 team worked hard, and this year, both the men and the women have but one goal — a PSUAC state championship team title.
If they accomplish that goal, it will have been achieved with home-grown talent.
(Muldowney is an avid runner and the head coach of the Penn State Schuylkill cross country teams)

Thursday, August 31, 2017


My 20th century wallet has finally gone the way of the flip-phone.

The bulky dinosaur has bulged from my back pocket for years, and it was time to move on.

When I purchase an item, since I rarely use cash these days, I fumble through my credit cards, or flip to the other side of the leather leviathan in order to find my driver's license.

And, during a workout, I refuse to carry a bulky wallet.

So, I have happily leaped into the 21st century with my recent purchase of the Card Blocr, by Conceal Plus.

The Card Blocr is made from a sleek aluminum and titanium alloy. It is lightweight, thin, and will fit into an arm band, with my phone, during a workout.

Card Blocr protects your important plastic cards against distortion and break. It also shields against NFC (Near Field Communication) and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification).

Card Blocr can hold up to 6 cards. I usually carry my bank card, a credit card, and my driver's license, and I'm good to go.

Cards slide out easily, using the handle at the bottom of the Card Blocr. Use your card, lightly press the cards, and they will lock into place after use.

The Card Blocr can be cleaned with a soft cloth and rinsed with cold water. Just let it dry and it is ready to be used again.

I like the light weight and the convenience of the Card Blocr. It really makes carrying a wallet a thing of the past.

Go to, and type: 'card blocr.' The card blocr credit card holder will come up.

You will be glad you purchased this great new product.

                                                                  My Old Wallet
                                                                      Card Blocr

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


Sharp Mountain, with its many trails, sits directly behind my house. For many years, I ran the trails to find solitude, and soft-surface comfort for tired legs. My Redbone Coonhound, Ruby, logged many miles on those trails with me. Last November, she was diagnosed with a severe liver disease, was given only two months to live, but she fought, and finally lost her battle on Friday. Since her illness, she was reduced to walks rather than runs, and last Wednesday she took her final walk, a brave, but fun, 1-mile trek.
Run with your pups as long as you and they are able. It is good for them and it's good for you. I hope Ruby is running trails and sniffing rabbits in doggy heaven.

Saturday, August 5, 2017


Running is a sport of great diversity. It is definitely a "One size fits all" endeavor.

Following is my monthly running column that appeared in the Republican Herald newspaper today.

More Americans than ever are running and participating in races these days, at distances from 1 mile to the 26.2-mile marathon, and longer.
Perhaps one of the reasons for this popularity is that running is a relatively simple endeavor. It requires placing one foot in front of the other and going as fast as you can for as long as you can.
Running a race is an exercise in pure democracy. Everyone lines up at the same starting line, with the same opportunity to reach the finish line.
And if you’ve ever watched a running race, you will observe that all runners are not skinny. Runners come in all shapes and sizes and have one goal in common: to cross the finish line as quickly as possible.
Bobby Mulhall, 51, of Shenandoah, is not your prototypical runner. He is a bigger guy who has been running road races for more than 21 years and has more than 300 races to his credit. Recently, he shared his thoughts with me about runners who carry a few more pounds with them.
“I think it’s important to get the message out there that you don’t have to be thin to be fit and healthy,” Mulhall said. “There is a misconception out there that thin people are fitter and healthier than bigger people. This isn’t always true.
“Thinner is better, but just because you are a bigger person it shouldn’t stop you from running or exercising. My philosophy on weight is that you should eat healthy, exercise and let your body weigh what it wants to weigh.”
There are a few races out there that recognize the efforts of larger competitors.
“The only local race I know that has a ‘Clydesdale’ division is Shenandoah’s Coal Cracker 10K,” Mulhall said. “I wish more races would add a Clydesdale division.”
Typically, a Clydesdale category includes men weighing 200 or more pounds, and an “Athena” division includes women weighing 150 or more pounds.
Mulhall adds, “By adding a Clydesdale division to races, I think it would attract more runners who might be intimidated to race against smaller, faster competitors. For bigger runners like me who usually can’t earn a medal against smaller runners in our age groups, we would still have a chance to place against our bigger peers.”
Mulhall’s experiences as a larger runner have been positive, for the most part.
“One of the things I love about racing is being around the friendly runners and the positive energy I get from them,” he said. “There was only one time that I can remember someone making a comment to me that alluded to my size.
“Two years ago I was running a 5K in Mount Carmel. There was a woman that I passed about a half-mile from the finish. She then passed me right in front of the finish line. A few minutes later she walked up to me and said, ‘I’m sorry, but I just couldn’t be beat by someone like you.’ Other than that, I don’t remember anyone else ever saying anything about my size. There were a few times over the years though when I was registering for a race, they assumed that I was a walker and I had to correct them.”
If you’re intimidated about becoming a runner or participating in a race, take the advice of Bobby Mulhall.
All you have to do is lace ’em up and get out the door.

Saturday, July 29, 2017


There is something for everybody at this race, which is one of the finest, well-organized, runner-oriented races on the East Coast.

Each year, the Ausherman race adds amenities for runners. This year, it's free massages for race participants. If you haven't run the Ausherman 5-miler, you're missing out on a great race.

Take a ride to beautiful Chambersburg, a quaint community nestled in the hills of south-central Pennsylvania, for this fine race.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017


Following is my column from the Republican Herald newspaper, which was published today.
Paige Stoner is a very talented, dedicated runner. The sky's the limit for this young  athlete.

Faith, family and fortitude.
Pottsville’s Paige Stoner has been guided by these beliefs throughout her stellar running career.
Stoner began running at the Hershey Youth Track and Field competition at the age of 10. By the time she reached eighth grade, she had won the state championship in both the 800- and 1,600-meter races. At Pottsville Area she won the Schuylkill League Cross Country championship all four years, earned the District 11 championship twice, and placed second at states as a freshman.
Her high school track credentials include league championships in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter races from freshman to senior year, a 3,200-meter relay team championship at the District 11 meet as a sophomore, and a 1,600- and 3,200-meter first-place medal as a senior.
At states, she placed third in the 3,200 as a senior with a time of 10:41. In her senior year at leagues she ran her personal-best 1,600-meter time of 4:56.
She credits the high level of competition in Pennsylvania as excellent preparation for collegiate running.
Stoner began her college career at Lipscomb University, a private Christian college in Nashville, Tennessee, where she competed for a year and a half. During that time, after turning in grueling months of high mileage training, she placed second in the Atlantic Sun Conference Cross Country Championships, as well as second in the 5K and steeplechase at the conference track and field championships. Unfortunately the mega-miles took their toll, and she suffered a stress fracture of her foot during her sophomore year.
Stoner decided to transfer to Syracuse University. Today, however, she still maintains friendships with many of her Lipscomb teammates, who share her deep Christian faith.
Syracuse head track and cross country coach Chris Fox knows a little something about running. He has run a 2:13 marathon and enjoyed a very successful 18-year professional running career.
Stoner credits the rigorous but sensible coaching of Fox and assistant coach Brien Bell as the reason for her success and her good running health at Syracuse. Intense six-mile hilly tempo runs, workouts that simulate the steady pace of racing, speedy track interval sessions and weekly long runs, as well as easy rest days, comprise her 60- to 65-mile training weeks.
During the 2016 cross country season, Stoner earned All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors, placing 17th in the ACC and 11th at regionals. She achieved a personal best of 20:32 in the 6K and missed nationals by a mere .02 of a second.
After a successful indoor track season in which she ran a personal best time of 16:05 in the 5K — good enough to place third in the ACC Indoor Championships — she set her sights on outdoor track.
Her 2017 outdoor track achievements include a personal-best time of 33:55 in the 10K and qualifying times for nationals in the 5K, 10K and the steeplechase.
At the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon, in June, Stoner placed fourth in her heat in the steeplechase and 15th overall with a Syracuse school record time of 10:02. She missed qualifying for the finals by two seconds.
Stoner’s immediate goals include placing in the top three at the ACC Cross Country Championships and advancing to Nationals. In track, she is not sure if she will run the steeplechase or the 5K, but she would like to place in the top 10 at nationals.
For the long term, she would like to compete as a professional runner and earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.
Although they are extremely proud of their daughter, Stoner says her parents “never pressured me.” Her deceased grandfather, Bob Stoner, a member of the Pottsville Area High School Football Hall of Fame and a track runner, was, according to Paige, “her biggest fan.”
Paige Stoner is a humble champion. Faith, family and fortitude will always be the keys to her success.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Following is my monthly running column, which appeared in the Republican Herald newspaper today.

A good day to watch a marathon is a bad day to run a marathon
The 121st Boston Marathon provided excellent conditions for the nearly one million spectators who lined the historic 26.2-mile route from Hopkinton to Boston’s Boylston Street, but for the more than 26,000 registered runners, temperatures nearing 80 degrees heated by a tailwind meant slower times and plenty of dehydrated casualties at the medical tent.
Mentally, after training for months and logging thousands of miles in all kinds of weather, waking up to summer-like conditions in mid-April can break the spirit of a marathon runner. Goal times are abandoned and the race becomes an exercise in survival.
Many runners wilt beneath the heat, but for three of our local runners, their drive to complete the task — perhaps inspired by their dedication to training and their devotion to helping others — propelled them across the finish line on Boylston Street and earned them the coveted Boston Marathon participation medal.
Last month we told you about Tower City’s Timmy Harner. A little over a year ago, Harner was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. On Monday, April 17, Harner crossed the finish line at the Boston Marathon.
Harner has not only beaten the disease and run the Boston Marathon, but he has raised over $12,500 for Team in Training, the main fundraising arm of the Leukemia- Lymphoma Society. On June 9, Harner will be the keynote speaker at a seminar for cancer survivors at the Hershey Medical Center.
If you are booking a vacation and you are hoping for warm weather, consult Minersville’s Father Christopher Zelonis. Father Zelonis has run the past two Boston Marathons, braving warm temperatures each time. He also survived tropical conditions at the Run for the Red Marathon two years ago, when temperatures and humidity levels reached 90 degrees.
Father Zelonis donates his time to the elderly at several area nursing homes, as well as serving as a volunteer at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Schuylkill.
Schuylkill Haven’s Rick Devaney is a veteran of nine Boston Marathons. He, too, crossed the finish line despite this year’s heat, and he, like Father Zelonis, serves as a volunteer at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Schuylkill.
Mike Peckman, director of marketing and public affairs at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Schuylkill, heaped praise on his two long distance running volunteers.
“To think we have two members of our volunteer department who are part of a very special club … those who have run the Boston Marathon,” Peckman said. “We are very proud of the training, dedication and accomplishments of both Father Zelonis and Mr. Devaney for the marathon. We are equally proud and appreciative of all they do for our patients, our friends and neighbors, each and every day here at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Schuylkill.”
Harner, Zelonis and Devaney are special, indeed. Their drive, determination, and dedication extend to both their race training and to their desire to serve.
                                                    Timmy Harner

Sunday, April 16, 2017


Best of luck to all the runners who have qualified to run in the world's oldest and greatest
marathon tomorrow.

In my opinion, there is no other race that boasts the history, tradition, and prestige as the Boston marathon.

Enjoy the city, the crowds, and the one-of-a-kind course.

From Hopkinton to Boylston, this is one of the world's most iconic sporting events.

Embrace every moment, and...kick ass!!!

Monday, April 10, 2017


On most days, we like to get out there and begin our workout with a minimum amount of hassle. We simply want to "Just start" our running or walking.

Being somewhat of a 'minimalist' when it comes to my workouts, I really like the jS Running-Walking Tracker and Step Counter because it's simple to use and easy to monitor while running.

At the start of the run, the simple touch of the "Start" button activates the app's running mode, where most activities are controlled by gestures. You can control your music, glance-free by double-tapping anywhere on the screen to play/pause music, swipe right/left to change tracks, and up and down to control volume.

I like the large, easy-to-read running metrics, which are color coded. You can choose to allow the screen to scroll through the metrics, or lock in on one metric, such as distance, pace or duration of the workout. Of course, you can also swipe through the other metrics if you choose.

There is a special mode for armband use where the angle of display can be adjusted to optimize the readout.

And, no other app offers the safety features like the jS Running-Walking Tracker and Step Counter.

The personal alarm function is designed to draw the attention of a passerby in case of an emergency. the alarm is easily triggered by pulling the headphones out of the device.

 An instant call emergency or a saved contact number is activated by using a simple tab and hold gesture.

SMS run details and location can be sent to a saved contact or to a loved one at the start of each run.

Finally, you can turn your iPhone to a side light when running at dusk or in the dark.

Check out the jS Running-Walking Tracker and Step Counter at the App Store.

You'll love this easy to use, safety-loaded app.

Saturday, April 8, 2017


Following is a story I wrote about a young local runner, which appeared in today's edition of the Pottsville Republican Herald newspaper.

Each of the more than 26,000 runners who will toe the starting line at Hopkinton, Massachusetts, on April 17 for the 121st running of the Boston Marathon has a story.
Often the road one takes, the hardship one endures, and the obstacles one encounters can be more difficult than the 26.2-mile journey from Hopkinton to the finish line on Boylston Street.
Schuylkill County will be well-represented at this year’s Patriots’ Day classic.
New Ringgold’s Lisa Georgis, Father Christopher Zelonis from Saint Clair, Meredith Boris from Schuylkill Haven, Steve Boucher from Zion’s Grove, Schuylkill Haven’s Rick Devaney, Orwigsburg’s Michelle Kemmerle, Ashland’s Scott McCormick and Pottsville’s Rachel Schoffstall all have demonstrated the unique drive and dedication necessary to qualify for the Boston Marathon. All have their own stories of successes and setbacks.
But the most compelling story of all of the marathon runners from our region is told by a young man from Tower City.
Timmy Harner is only 31 years old, but running the Boston Marathon has always been an item on his bucket list.
A veteran of two previous marathons, Timmy was no stranger to hard training and long-distance running. But on Halloween 2015, as he completed a training run, he felt unusually fatigued. Two days later, he was able to run only a block before he was forced to turn around and go home. His training pace, which usually averaged about 8 minutes per mile, had increased to more than 12 minutes a mile.
“It felt like I ran a marathon,” Timmy recalls. “Immediately, I knew something was wrong.”
He visited his family doctor, underwent a series of blood tests, and 10 days after his tiresome training run, on Nov. 10, 2015, he was officially diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Four years prior to being diagnosed, Timmy lost his grandmother to the same disease.
The next few months for Timmy were both difficult and life-threatening. On Christmas Eve he was rushed to the hospital with a 106.2-degree fever.
He wanted to give up. His life, at such a young age, he felt, would never be the same. Instead he valiantly held on, and in March 2016 he received a life-saving bone marrow transplant from an unrelated donor. Less than a year after his diagnosis, he was cancer-free.
Exactly a year to his diagnosis date, Timmy received the phone call of a lifetime: he was accepted onto the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training. After a year in which he suffered, battled and beat cancer, his dream of running the Boston Marathon would come true.
His survival, he thinks in part, is due to the strength of his fellow cancer patients, as well as the help of his friend and nutritionist, Ryan Matter.
Still, he often feels “Survivor’s Guilt” when he thinks about the folks who were unable to beat this terrible disease.
So Timmy has dedicated his effort at the Boston Marathon to “Aidan.”
Aidan was hospitalized in 2009 and was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. He lost his battle with the disease and died. He was only 9 years old.
Timmy reached out to Aidan’s parents, and learned that they and their friends plan to run the San Diego Marathon in June and hope to raise $100,000 to fund a research grant in Aidan’s name. Timmy Harner has personally raised more than $12,000 for Aiden. His fundraising site is:
Harner hopes to run the Boston Marathon in a time of 3 hours, 45 minutes, which is an average pace of 8:45 a mile.
In Timmy’s words, “I am still here, fighting every single day and cannot wait to cross that finish line on April 17.”
A marathon is a long race, but to Timmy Harner, it may feel like a short jaunt.
He has already traveled a very long road.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


Running icon, Ed Whitlock, died yesterday, at the age of 86. Below is a blog I wrote on November 27, 2015, entitled "In the Presence of Greatness," after having had the honor of meeting and speaking with Ed at the Berwick, Pennsylvania Run for the Diamonds on Thanksgiving Day 2015.

Ed Whitlock was humble and and gracious. We talked about training (he joked about the irony of his daily training route: a cemetery near his home), racing, and injuries. Ed never stretched, or cross-trained. When he got injured, he would take time off and pick up with his running when he felt he was healed.

After I published my blog, I received a thank-you email from Ed. You would have thought I had handed him a million dollars. 

How awesome was this man? Here's a sample of his times at various ages. 5K: 17:23, age 67. 18:21, age 73. Half marathon: 1:20:14, age 69, 1:22:03, age 70, 1:38:59, age 81. Marathon: 2:51:02, age 68, 2:54:48, age 73, 3:15:54, age 80, 3:56:33, age 85. 

Rest in peace, champ.


In this world of overpaid, egotistical athletes, playing their professional sports, shamelessly hawking any product to make a buck, then bragging about their accomplishments, yesterday, in Berwick, Pennsylvania, at the 106th running of the Run for the Diamonds, I had the honor for being in the presence of greatness.

It was my privilege to meet, and speak with 83-year old Ed Whitlock,

In my estimation, Ed Whitlock is the greatest living athlete on the planet.

So, in an effort to be completely accurate, I'll list Ed's accomplishments, as listed on his Wikipedia page.

" In his 60s after retiring he started to concentrate on road racing and latterly the objective of becoming the first man over 70 to run a marathon in less than three hours. After an initial attempt at age 70, injury prevented another attempt until age 72 when in 2003 he completed the marathon 2:59:10. In the following year, he lowered the record to 2:54:49 and in 2005 ran 2:58:40 at age 74, to date (2013) the oldest man to run under three hours for a marathon.
In 2006 he set the world record for the 75 to 79 age group with a time of 3:08:35 at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon,[2] and in the Rotterdam Marathon on April 15, 2007, Whitlock lowered that mark to 3:04:54 on a day when the marathon was stopped after three and a half hours because of high temperature.
On September 26, 2010, Whitlock ran the Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon in 1:34:23.4.[3]
After turning 80, Whitlock improved the marathon world record for his age category by almost 15 minutes to 3:25:43 at the 2011 Rotterdam Marathon on April 10, 2011.[4] He then further improved on his age category world record at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 16, 2011, lowering the record to 3:15:54.[5]
At age 81, on Sunday, September 16, 2012, wearing bib number 1, Whitlock broke the Canadian and unofficial world half-marathon record at his hometown inaugural race, the Milton Half-Marathon, running 1:38:59.[6] In 2013, he lowered the record to 1:38:11 on the same course.
Whitlock also competes on the track, where as of 2012 he holds 15 world age group records ranging in distance from 1500 metres to 10,000 m and age groups 65+, 70+, 75+ and 80+, as well as the three age group marathon records 70+, 75+ and 80+.[7]"

That's right folks, a 3:15 marathon--at age 80!

I have never met a more gracious, humble man. Ed Whitlock is a great athlete and competitor, but he is an even greater individual, He told me he can't wait to turn 85 so he can assault more age-group records.  Even more than the delicious turkey, my meeting Ed Whitlock was the highlight of my Thanksgiving Day.

I just hope some of his talent, dedication, and determination rubs off!

Monday, March 13, 2017


Recently I did a Q&A with my favorite fitness website, Linked Fitness. Enjoy the read and check out this great site.

1) How long have you been running and what made you start?

Ask the Running Coach with Joe Muldowney | Linked Fitness CommunityI ran track and cross country in high school and college, but it was after I graduated from college in 1975 that I began to run seriously.
Having graduated from college and knowing that team sports were behind me, I enjoyed the freedom that running afforded me. I could train anytime, without having to worry about a partner or a team to train with.
I ran my first road race in the spring of 1976, and my first marathon later that year. With the exception of a few injuries, I haven’t stopped. I have kept a running logbook since 1976, and it tells me I have run over 122,000 miles in 41 years of competitive running.
Recently, I learned I rank 24th on a list of 38 runners who have run sub-3-hour marathons in five decades.

2) How do you motivate yourself to go out for a run?

Running has always been therapy for me. During my more competitive years, I wanted to train my best in order to race my best.
These days, as an older competitor, I realize that rest days are important, but if I miss an extended amount of time due to injury, I become anxious, and sometimes quite irritable.
In short, I love running so much that motivation has never really been an issue for me.

Related Article: How to Motivate Yourself to Run

3) Should I eat before a run? If yes, what do you recommend?

I adhere to the “2-hour” rule. If I plan to run at 9:00 a.m., I won’t eat anything after 7:00 a.m. I do recommend eating something prior to running as opposed to running on an empty stomach.
Keep it light, but I believe that some food in your body makes you stronger as you run.

4) Which part of my foot should I land on when running?

A distance runner should be running heel to toe, in a smooth, rolling motion. Sprinters should be on their toes; but not distance runners.
Remain relaxed, keeping your arms in the shape of the letter ‘L.’

5) Can I train for a race on a treadmill?

Ask the Running Coach with Joe Muldowney | Linked Fitness CommunityAbsolutely!
Place the grade on the treadmill on 1% to simulate outdoor conditions, listen to music or watch television to reduce the boredom, and you’re all set.
A few years ago, an American from Alaska qualified for the Olympic marathon team by logging most of her training miles on the treadmill.

6) What tips would you give for running downhill?

Relax, allow gravity to propel you, keep your arms loose, and use the downhill as an opportunity to gather strength for the uphills and the remainder of the run.

7) Should I avoid running the day before a race?

Ask the Running Coach with Joe Muldowney | Linked Fitness CommunityThat is an individual decision.
I have always run a couple of easy miles the day before a race, but a good friend of mine has run his most successful races when he takes a day or even two days off before the race.
Don’t leave your race out on the roads. Make sure you go into a race fresh and strong. If taking the day off from training the day before the race works best for you, then, by all means, do so.

8) Have you ever hit the wall in a marathon? What is the best way to avoid it?

I have run 54 marathons, and I have been fortunate to never have, “Hit the wall.” I attribute that good fortune to a training method I have adhered to for years.
When training for a marathon, it is simply not enough to turn in the long runs. Rather, my training was based on ‘quality’ long runs. For example, a sub-3-hour marathon averages out to about 6:56 per mile. If I ran four 20-milers in preparation for the sub-3-hour race, I would start with a 7:30 pace for the first 20-miler, then get close to a 7:00 pace for my final one.
Simulating race pace during your long runs can help you to avoid hitting the wall.

Related Article: Half Marathon Training: A Guide for Beginners

9) How do I know when to replace my running shoes?

Ask the Running Coach with Joe Muldowney | Linked Fitness CommunityIf your sole wears down to the white midsole area. If, when you look at your shoes, they lean inward or outward, or simply if you can feel too much of the road beneath your feet, it’s time for new shoes.
Running shoes are a runner’s most important investment. Never try to squeeze extra miles out of you shoes. Doing so is inviting an injury.

10) What is your favourite race distance?

The marathon has always been my favourite event. Running a marathon is like baking a cake. If you use the proper ingredients and mix them correctly, you will create a masterpiece.
I enjoy locking into a pace and grinding it out. The marathon can be a race of attrition, and if you’re properly prepared, you will outlast the competition.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


If you enjoy reading running statistics, I mean every conceivable running statistic, there is a site you absolutely must visit.

The Association of Road Race Statisticians, ARRS,, was created by Ken Young.
ARRS focuses on elite distance running at distances from 3000-meters and longer. ARRS has a huge date base of more than 900,000 performances from more than 160,000 races by more than 35,000 elite distance runners from around the world.

Simply put, if there is a legitimate running performance or achievement that is noteworthy or elite, you will find it on the ARRS site.

The task of compiling the mountains of data has pretty much fallen on Ken Young, as the influx of race results increases. Currently, he is seeking sponsors so that he can hire a programmer to structure the online data base. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, contact Ken at:

You can also become a member of the ARRS for $50 a year. Members receive 50 issues of the Analytic Distance Runner, which is distributed to members through email, on a weekly basis. The newsletter contains comprehensive information about road, track, and cross country events.

Just like many road races and endurance events, the ARRS needs our support to continue to keep an accurate listing of distance running records.

Visit the site or contact Ken Young to learn more.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

24 of 38

"I ain't old, but I've been around a long time."

From the song, "Been Around a Long Time," by Delbert McClinton.

Most days, when one opens their mail, it is filled with advertisements, political jokes or comments from friends, bills, and occasionally, something useful or informative.

On Saturday morning, as I perused my email, sipping my coffee on a cold March day, I received a message from Ken Young, president of the Association of Road Racing Statisticians.

The ARRS focuses on elite distance running at distances from 3000-meter and longer. Many of the statistics been generated from the ARRS database which has more than 900,000 performances from more than 160,000 races by more than 35,000 elite distance runners world-wide.

Mr. Young informed me that I earned 24th place on an all-time list of runners who have broken the 3-hour marathon mark for 5 different decades.

Indeed, I ran my very first 26.2-mile race at the Harrisburg Marathon in Pennsylvania, in November 1976, where I turned in a time of 2:49:06. In November 2010, I ran a time of 2:59:01 at the Philadelphia Marathon.

Following are my best times for each decade.

21 Nov 2010   2:59:01     Philadelphia PA/USA       Philadelphia
17 Apr 2006   2:55:33ax   Boston MA/USA             Boston
20 Apr 1992   2:33:52a    Boston MA/USA             Boston
18 Apr 1983   2:22:54a    Boston MA/USA             Boston
17 Apr 1978   2:29:21a    Boston MA/USA             Boston

Yes, I've been around a long time. But it's been a pretty good run.

Friday, February 17, 2017


"Almost heaven, West Virginia, Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River."

Take Me Home, Country Roads--John Denver

Morgantown, West Virginia is a magical place. Nestled in the Appalachian Mountain range, along the Monongahela River, the city of about 31,000 residents swells from August to May with the arrival of students from around the world who attend the famed West Virginia University.

Football and basketball dominate the West Virginia University scene. In fact, the University's basketball arena bears the name of perhaps it's most famous alumnus, NBA legend, Jerry West.

Since 2015, however, this small, friendly city, with a big-city atmosphere has become known for another athletic endeavor, and people are beginning to take notice.

On September 23, the third annual Morgantown Marathon will be contested.

Morgantown is a city of rolling hills, so if you're looking for a pancake-flat marathon, this race is not for you. But the Morgantown Marathon is a unique, runner-oriented race that will both challenge and motivate you, as you run through all seven wards of the city, past festivals, bands, and enthusiastic spectators.

For many runners, qualifying for the Boston Marathon is a major goal. If you hail from a region where the geography is flat, the hilly Boston Marathon course can be devastating. Running a race like the Morgantown Marathon is excellent preparation for a course like Boston.

Temperatures in the 50s and 60s during September, along with plenty of shade, are both beneficial to marathon runners, and are featured at the Morgantown Marathon.

If you're looking for a challenging marathon course, a race that is well-organized with many amenities, cheering neighborhood crowds, and breathtaking scenery, you owe it to yourself to place the Morgantown Marathon on your running bucket list.

And if you're not quite ready to tackle the marathon, consider the 'Morgantown Thirteener' Half Marathon.

The out and back course will take you through the city's neighborhoods, keeping you motivated with festivals, bands, and cheering spectators.

Or, you can run the Mountain Mama 8K race. This event begins at the WVU Coliseum, courses through city neighborhoods, and back to the coliseum. The race will kick off the 3rd Annual Morgantown Marathon weekend experience.

For additional information, check out the race website:, go to the Morgantown Marathon Facebook page, or follow them on Twitter @MotownMarathon.

Hope to see you at this great marathon event.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

7 FOR '17

Following is an column that appeared in today's Republican Herald newspaper, published in Pottsville, Pennsylvania.

We are a little over a month into a year that, thus far, hasn’t been too bad for runners. Temperatures have been relative mild and snowfall has been minimal.

As you embark on your training for this calendar year, I would like to offer seven tips for ’17 that should make your running more productive and enjoyable

1. WRITE IT DOWN- I believe it is essential to keep an accurate log of your workouts. I've done so for over forty years. Write your workouts in a log/date book, on your computer, or on a calendar. Write a Russian novel, or keep it brief. However you choose to do it, writing it down allows you to study what works and what doesn't work for you, why you ran great or poorly, and any changes in workouts that may have caused you injury.

2. SPEED-We all love to get out there to take in the scenery, listen to music, or enjoy a workout with friends. But, once a week, on weeks when you're not racing, go to your local track or stay on the road, and run something fast. Intervals or tempo runs are fine, but if you want to race faster, speed work is a must.

3. GO LONG-Whether you are planning to run a 5K or a marathon, a weekly long run is essential. If you're running a 5K, your long run may be 6-8 miles; whereas for a marathon it could be 20 miles. (but not every week) Now here's the key. LSD, long, slow distance, is meaningless. Make your long runs count. If you are aiming to run a race at an 8:00 pace, run your long runs at an 8:30-8:45 pace. Long, slow distance makes long, slow runners.

4. PUMP IT UP-Running is great exercise from the waist down. Too many runners, however, neglect their upper bodies. Two or three times a week, design a 20-30 minute upper body lifting regimen that features low weight and high repetitions. Build strength, not bulk, so when your legs tire, your upper body can carry the day.

5. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY-Take a rest day if you feel a specific pain rather than soreness. Resting when the pain or illness occurs will keep you from missing much more time if the condition worsens.

6. SAVE YOUR MONEY-Stop racing so much!! Your body needs time to heal. If your goal is to run more races than anyone else, by all means, race every weekend. But if you like EARNING your hardware, by winning age group awards or more, then target and select your races and make them count. Quality, not quantity goes the distance.

7. ENJOY-Run a beer race, crawl under the barbed wire, dress in a tutu, do a zombie run. Keep it fun. Does this contradict the aforementioned Rule #6? Not at all. Select your races, but keep your running fun. Go to big races, but support small races. Both in training and racing, keep it fun, and you will enjoy this sport for a long, long time.

Have a happy and healthy 2017.

Sunday, January 8, 2017


Back in 1976 when I began my road racing career, I sometimes was forced to drive several hours to find a race.

Today, on any given weekend, I am able to locate several races within 45 minutes of my doorstep.

And that's a good thing.

I think.

Through my personal contacts and posts on various social media outlets, I hear about folks running back-to-back marathons. "Festivals," where one can remortgage the home and run a 5K, 10K, AND a half marathon on the same weekend. More and more races, all willing to take your bucks, while you water down your times and risk injury.

If you slow down, chances are you won't slow down.

Pick your races carefully.

If you are competing in more than two races a month, your times are suffering and your risk of injury is increasing.

Select fewer races and aim higher.

It's January, and in most places, it's cold. Dress properly, log big miles, and run one, yes one race, during the month.

Increase to two races in February, and continue with that schedule throughout the year.

If you plan to run a marathon or a half marathon, don't overrace during the month before the event; then, allow your legs to heal after the race. If you run a marathon, it takes one day for each mile of the race for your body to completely heal. In other words, you should wait a month before you race again.

Racing too much may increase your medal count, but it will inflate your times.

In the end, quality eclipses quantity every time.

Race less and your times WILL improve.

And, if you want an inexpensive, personal training plan, check out my gigs on Fiverr. Go to Health and Fitness, and check out my Running Shorts training plans.