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Anything can happen

October 25, 2011 - Erik Brown
Ordinarily, the Nittany Valley Running Club's forum on Yahoo would have been buzzing yesterday with friendly, good natured banter about Sunday's running of the Tussey Mountainback 50 Mile Relay and Ultramarathon. But the event, which is in essence a celebration of life, was marred by the death of Ed Thompson, a good friend to many in the Nittany Valley running community. The following are a sampling of recent posts on

"Ed Thompson, an avid runner who, along with his brother Sam, was a regular at our Thursday track workouts passed away today while running in the Tussey Mountainback event. He apparently suffered a heart attack while running leg 8... For those of you who didn't know Ed, he was simply a great guy. Please keep Ed and his family in your thoughts and prayers." -- Tom Cali

"It was a shock to me to hear what had happened, and hard to reconcile the supreme tragedy with such an uplifting day and so many individuals' positive experiences and accomplishments. I know Ed would have wanted and urged us all to go forward with the day, with each other, affirming our bonds of friendship and support. Thank you , Ed, for sharing yourself with us." -- Mountainback race director Mike Casper

"The attached photo shows a determined Ed Thompson taking the handoff at the start of leg 8. Like the rest of us, he was enjoying a beautiful fall day in the woods, and the camaraderie of the DCR. I will miss his smiling face at Rec Hall." -- George Lesieutre

"We were strategizing a few minutes before he started his leg when he (Thompson) said, 'Anything can happen. It's a race, and anything can happen.' It's a small consolation, but Ed's brother commented that Ed passed away doing something he enjoyed - running." -- Thompson's relay teammate, James Volkert

Long may you run, Ed.

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