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Racin' in the street

July 1, 2010 - Erik Brown
                As the Boss would say, “summer’s here and the time is right, for racin’ in the street.” With that simple, yet elegant sentiment in mind, let’s have a look at the local racing calendar.
            July 4th - It’s not too late! You can still register for the Grand Daddy of all local road races, the Hollidaysburg Area YMCA’s 36th Annual July 4th Race in downtown Altoona. With a 15K run, a 5K run, a 5k wheelchair race, a 2 mile walk, and lollipop races for kids 8 and under, it’s a veritable festival of fitness. You can register online up until 3:00 PM on Friday, July 2nd, or at the YMCA up until 1:00 PM on Saturday, July 3rd. They also take walk-ups on race day, but you’ll want to get there extra early if you’re going that route. The races start at 8:00 AM in front of the Mishler Theatre, in downtown Altoona.
            And now for something completely different. (I thought about linking to a Monty Python’s Flying Circus video here, but then thought better of it.) Without further adieu…
            July 11th – Altoona Summer Biathlon! This 5K Cross Country Run with 2 Shooting Stops will be held at 9:30 AM at the Altoona Rifle and Pistol Club. It is open to all athletes age 12 and over who complete a mandatory pre-race clinic. All equipment is provided, and first-timers are welcome! Don’t know what summer biathlon is? Well, here’s the deal. The 5K race (and timing) begins with one runner starting every minute. Running at a controlled pace, you run the first one mile loop. As you approach the range at the end of the loop, you will walk the last 50 meters, catch your breath, lie down and pick up an easy-to-shoot .22 caliber rifle. You will fire 5 shots at 3 ½ inch metal knock-down targets that are 25 meters away. After shooting, you walk rapidly out of the range and immediately run a 70 meter penalty loop for each target you missed before running the same one mile loop again. The second time at the range, you will shoot five targets from the standing position. Again, once you’ve completed the standing shoot, you walk out of the range and immediately run a 70 meter penalty loop for each target you missed before running the same one mile loop one final time. Every second counts! To register, contact Doug Hoover at, or click here for the race entry pdf.  
            July 17th – The Sloppy Socks 5K. It’s Blair County’s premier trail race, complete with six water crossings and plenty of other natural obstacles. A seriously fun and dirty race, in the European Cross Country tradition. Be warned, your shoes will definitely get muddy and wet, so don’t wear those bright new ones just out of the box unless you really want to break them in. Also, bring a towel to clean off after the race. There is no water spigot on site. Race day registration begins at 7:45 AM, the 5K race starts at 8:30 AM. To register, go to:
            August 7thHollidaysburg Area YMCA Canoe Creek Triathlon. Their 23rd annual triathlon features a half mile open lake swim, followed by a 13 mile rolling hills bike ride, finishing with a 5k rolling hills run.  You have the option to do a 5k run or 2 mile walk instead of the triathlon.  With a major following, this event produces nearly 300 participants from around Pennsylvania and Maryland. Registration opens July 5th.
September 6th – The Northern Blair County Recreation Center’s Pump & 5K Run. A two event race event - such a deal! Runners can run a 5K race (50% trail and 50% streets), or they can enter a “Pump and Run” version. Pump and run competitors will bench press up to 30 reps maximum at a percentage of their body weight, with 30 seconds deducted from their 5K race time for each bench lift rep. Age and gender are also factored in the results. Contact the Northern Blair Recreation Center for race entry details.
And now for something relatively normal…
September 12th – The Big Brothers / Big Sisters of Huntingdon County 5K. Participants can choose to compete in the 5K Run or the 5K Challenge Walk. This event is open to all types of runners and walkers. All proceeds stay in Huntingdon County and benefit Big Brothers, Big Sisters. The course on Rails To Trails in Alexandria, PA is shaded and level. There will awards/medals for all age groups. Registration begins at 12:30pm. Contact Gail Clapper at (814) 643-6955 or for more information.
There plenty more where that came from. Check out the Hollidaysburg Area YMCA’s website and the Nittany Valley Running Club’s website for details on many other upcoming races in our region.
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Thanks for reading Against The Wind, and don’t let the fact that Mirror General Manager Ray Eckenrode’s 15 Minutes blog now has top billing on our blogs page deter you from coming back!
"...Now some guys they just give up livin' and start dying little by little piece by piece. Some guys come home from work and wash up, then go racin' in the street..."   -- Bruce Springsteen

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