Race History/Recaps

Full Marathons – 5
Half Marathons – 24

77th – D&L Half Marathon

Sunday, November 4, 2018 8:00am
Place: 478 out of 549
Bib: 145
Net Time: 02:59:35
Clock Time: 03:00:05

76th – Runner’s World Half Marathon

Sunday, October 21, 2018 8:00am
Place:  1303 out of 1344
Bib: 48307
5K Split: 39:13
10K Split: 1:23:13
10Mile Split: 2:15:15
Net Time: 03:00:26
Clock Time: 03:01:54

75th – Runner’s World 10K

Saturday, October 20, 2018 9:30am
Place: 1217 out of 1299
Bib: 48307
Net Time: 01:25:35
Clock Time: 01:27:26

74th – Runner’s World 5K

Saturday, October 20, 2018 8:00am
Place: 1090 out of 1266
Bib: 48307
Net Time: 00:39:01
Clock Time: 00:39:39

73rd – Runner’s World 3.8Mile Trail Run

Friday, October 19, 2018 3:30pm
Place: 413 out of 458
Bib: 48307
Chip Time: 01:00:07
Gun Time: 01:00:07

72nd – Run Wild at the Lehigh Valley Zoo 10K

Sunday, August 26, 2018 8:00am
Place: 222 out of 247
Bib: 1491
Time: 01:21:21

71st – Ragnar Pennsylvania (Ultra)

Friday, June 15, 2018 (Time: 6:30am)
Bib: 98
Total Team Finish: 34:28:24
Leg 1 – 3.86 Miles
Leg 2 – 3.97 Miles
Leg 3 – 4.11 Miles
Leg 4 – 7.28 Miles
Leg 5 – 7.04 Miles
Leg 6 – (Injured)
Total – 26.26 Miles

70th – Jim Thorpe Half Marathon (Inaugural)

Sunday, April 29, 2018 (Time: 7:00am)
Place: 716 out of 791
Bib: 706
Chip Time: 2:57:16

69th – St. Luke’s Half Marathon

Sunday, April 23, 2018 (Time: 8:10am)
Place: 1516 out of 1582
Bib: 1497
Chip Time: 2:51:57
Gun Time: 2:53:10

68th – Hot Chocolate Philadelphia 15K

Saturday, April 7, 2018 (Time: 8:00am)
Place:  4,401 out of 5,033
Bib: 50394
Chip Time: 2:03:56

67th – Walt Disney World Marathon (Dopey Challenge)

Sunday, January 7, 2018 (Time: 5:30am)
Place: 17367 out of 20091
Bib: 25078
5 Mile Split: 1:13:47
10 Mile Split: 2:36:12
Half Split: 3:28:09
20 Mile Split: 5:29:44
Chip Time: 7:06:42
Gun Time: 7:38:20

66th – 2018 WDW Half Marathon

Saturday, January 6, 2018 (Time: 5:30am)
Place: 16174 out of 20816
Bib: 25078
5K Split: 43:46
10K Split: 1:35:19
15K Split: 2:26:13
Chip Time: 3:24:26
Gun Time: 3:51:53

65th – Walt Disney World 10K (Dopey Challenge)

Friday, January 5, 2018 (Time: 5:30am)
Place: 8988 out of 12897
Bib: 25078
5K Split: 54:28
Chip Time: 1:38:04

64th – Walt Disney World 5K (Dopey Challenge)

Thursday, January 4, 2018 (Time: 6:00am)
No Placements – Timed for Dopey Challenge only
Bib: 25078
Chip Time: 42:40

63rd – Bethlehem Historic Turkey Trot 5K

Saturday, November 25, 2017 (Time: 9:00am)
Place: 527 out of 629
Bib: 4564
Chip Time: 37:53
Gun Time: 38:08

62nd – D&L Half Marathon

Sunday, November 5, 2017 8:00am
Place: 474 out of 594
Bib: 620
Net Time: 02:42:07
Clock Time: 02:42:41

61st – Runner’s World Half Marathon

Sunday, October 22, 2017 8:00am
Place: 1551 out of 1800
Bib: 48021
5K Split: 35:02
10K Split: 1:13:27
10Mile Split: 1:58:42
Net Time: 02:39:03
Clock Time: 02:42:27

60th – Runner’s World 10K

Saturday, October 21, 2017 9:30am
Place: 1335 out of 1459
Bib: 48021
Net Time: 01:21:12
Clock Time: 01:22:35

59th – Runner’s World 5K

Saturday, October 21, 2017 8:00am
Place: 1314 out of 1518
Bib: 48021
Net Time: 00:39:24
Clock Time: 00:45:21

58th – Runner’s World 3.8Mile Trail Run

Friday, October 20, 2017 3:30pm
Place: 447 out of 521
Bib: 48021
Chip Time: 58:00
Gun Time: 01:00:47

57th – Winged Warrior’s 5K @ Lehigh Valley International Airport

Saturday, October 14, 2017 8:00am
Place: 56 out of 94
Bib: 80
Clock Time: 00:31:35
Ran with Elaina (Age 9) – she placed 1st in Females (Age to 14)

56th – Hands-on House Half Marathon

Saturday, September 30, 2017 (Time: 5:30am)
Place: 198 out of 210
Bib: 4519
Chip Time: 2:52:23
Gun Time: 2:52:23

55th – Run Wild at the Lehigh Valley Zoo 10K

Sunday, August 20, 2017 8:00am
Place: 182 out of 207
Bib: 684
Time: 01:13:15

54th – Ragnar Pennsylvania (Ultra)

Friday, June 2, 2017 (Time: 6:30am)
Bib: 91
Total Team Finish: 37:12:30.1
Leg 1 – 3.9 Miles
Leg 2 – 7.5 Miles
Leg 3 – 3.7 Miles
Leg 4 – 9.2 Miles
Leg 5 – 5.5 Miles
Leg 6 – 4.2 Miles
Total – 34 Miles

53rd – runDisney Tinkerbell Half Marathon

Saturday, May 14, 2017 (Time: 5:30am)
Place: 8178 out of 10799
Bib: 23583
Chip Time: 3:20:22
Gun Time: 3:43:46
5K Split: 45:43
10K Split: 1:29:18
15K Split: 2:17:10

3rd Coast to Coast Completed! Pixie Dust Challenge Completed!

52nd – runDisney Tinkerbell 10K

Saturday, May 13, 2017 (Time: 5:30am)
Place: 2588 out of 8623
Bib: 23583
5K Split: 38:51
Chip Time: 1:24:32
Gun Time: 1:47:46

51st – St. Luke’s Half Marathon

Sunday, April 23, 2017 (Time: 8:10am)
Place: 1861 out of 1897
Bib: 3121
Chip Time: 3:00:35
Gun Time: 3:02:17

50th – Hot Chocolate Philadelphia 15K

Saturday, April 1, 2017 (Time: 8:00am)
Place:  5,805 out of 6,257
Bib: 53740
Chip Time: 2:11:16

49th – Walt Disney World Marathon (Dopey Challenge)

Sunday, January 8, 2016 (Time: 5:30am)
Place: 16522 out of 17755
Bib: 26295
5 Mile Split: 1:12:59
10 Mile Split: 2:36:02
Half Split: 3:26:18
20 Mile Split: 5:26:15
Chip Time: 7:08:17
Gun Time: 7:53:55

2017 WDW Half Marathon
Cancelled Due to Weather

48th – Walt Disney World 10K (Dopey Challenge)

Friday, January 6, 2017 (Time: 5:30am)
Place: 8269 out of 11290
Bib: 26295
5K Split: 46:04
Chip Time: 1:35:25

47th – Walt Disney World 5K (Dopey Challenge)

Thursday, January 5, 2017 (Time: 6:00am)
No Placements – Timed for Dopey Challenge only
Bib: 26295
Chip Time: 41:49

46th – Christmas City Candy Cane 5K

Elaina’s First 5K running with me!
Saturday, December 10, 2016 9:00am
Place: 394 out of 533
Bib: 628
Net Time: 00:38:44
Clock Time: 00:38:54

45th – D&L Half Marathon

Sunday, November 6, 2016 8:00am
Place: 718 out of 794
Bib: 142
Net Time: 03:00:13
Clock Time: 03:00:58


44th – Runner’s World Half Marathon

Sunday, October 16, 2016 8:00am
Place: 1789 out of 1897
Bib: 8258
Net Time: 02:56:29
Clock Time: 02:57:59

43rd – Runner’s World 10K

Saturday, October 15, 2016 9:30am
Place: 1402 out of 1516
Bib: 8258
Net Time: 01:21:14
Clock Time: 01:22:37

42nd – Runner’s World 5K

Saturday, October 15, 2016 8:00am
Place: 1375 out of 1535
Bib: 8258
Net Time: 00:40:08
Clock Time: 00:41:03

42nd – Runner’s World 3.8Mile Trail Run

Friday, October 14, 2016 2:00pm
Place: 334 out of 366
Bib: 48258
Time: 01:00:33

41st – Run Wild at the Lehigh Valley Zoo 10K

Sunday, August 16, 2016 8:00am
Place: 115 out of 123
Bib: 1229
Time: 01:24:32

One of the hottest races I’ve ever ran – 85 degrees with 75% humidity at the start. This race was brutal with a major hill at Mile 2. I finished the race towards the back of the pack, and was completely drenched from head to toe with sweat.

40th – runDisney Tinkerbell Half Marathon

Saturday, May 8, 2016 (Time: 5:30am)
Place: 7484 out of 13144
Bib: 21678
Chip Time: 3:03:50
Gun Time: 3:15:23
5K Split: 40:02
10K Split: 1:25:25
15K Split: 2:11:29

2nd Coast to Coast Completed! Pixie Dust Challenge Completed!

39th – runDisney Tinkerbell 10K

Saturday, May 7, 2016 (Time: 5:30am)
Place: 2521 out of 8639
Bib: 21678
Chip Time: 1:18:23
Gun Time: 1:22:31

38th – runDisney Tinkerbell 5K

Friday, May 6, 2016 (Time: 5:00am)
Bib: 2346
Unofficial Time:

37th – St. Luke’s Half Marathon

Sunday, April 24, 2016 (Time: 8:10am)
Place: 1987 out of 2089
Bib: 2346
Chip Time: 2:46:45
Gun Time: 2:48:45

36th – Hot Chocolate Philadelphia 15K

Saturday, April 2, 2016 (Time: 8:00am)
Place: 5147 out of 6263
Bib: 51261
Chip Time: 1:57:28

This was one of those “really wish I could run it” races… last year’s race was held the Satuday of Easter weekend, making it virtually impossible to make. The 2016 race occurred a week after Easter, and temps were supposed to be in the mid-50’s for the race – perfect running weather. Unfortunately, it ended up barely making it to 50, plus we had a nice steady rain and gusting winds. For my first 15K, I ended up running pretty evenly paced 12:30 miles, minus one longer mile where I stopped for a bathroom break. Otherwise, the course itself was very similar to the Rocky Balboa 10K, although this one had a slightly longer out and back section along the waterfront to add the additional 3.1 miles. The finish line was right in front of the Philadelphia Museum Art. 15K finishers got a very nice medal – although from reading post-race comments, apparently RAM Racing ran out of medals for the last couple of hundred finishers. Thankfully, I did get a medal and the infamous finisher’s mug, containing hot chocolate, chocolate fondue, pirouette cookies, mini-pretzels, a banana, a rice crispy treat, and a marshmallow. For being soaking wet and cold after the race, this was a nice treat.

I probably will run this race again if it has a favorable schedule. The course is pretty much flat save for a small hill at the very end leading into the finish. With the crazy weather in the northeast, the trees started to bloom, making it a very picturesque run. The only negatives were the rain and the wind, but I’ll take that over freezing weather or very hot and humid weather. I probably could have ran faster, but I wanted to be safe with this – and I still PR’ed!

2016 Hot Chocolate Philadelphia 15K Finisher!

2016 Hot Chocolate Philadelphia 15K Finisher!


35th – Walt Disney World Marathon

Sunday, January 10, 2016 (Time: 5:30am)
Place: 18787 out of 19838
Bib: 31327
Chip Time: 7:18:06
Gun Time: 7:49:15

34th – Walt Disney World Half Marathon

Saturday, January 9, 2016 (Time: 5:30am)
Place: 14758 out of 21497
Bib: 31327
Chip Time: 3:07:20
Gun Time: 3:37:38

33rd – 2015 Richmond Marathon

Saturday, November 14, 2015 (Time: 7:45am)
Place: 4461 out of 4521
Bib: 8735
Chip Time: 6:51:43
Gun Time: 7:02:08
10K Split: 1:20:09
Half Split: 3:01:05
20 Mile Split: 5:00:07

32nd Race – D&L Half Marathon
Sunday, November 1, 2015 8:00am
Place: 582 out of 656
Bib: 393
Time: 02:55:24

31st Race – Runner’s World Half Marathon – Hat Trick Race #3
Sunday, October 18 8:00am
Place: 2133 out of 2216
Bib: 9740
Time: 02:58:24

30th Race – Runner’s World 10K – Hat Trick Race #2
Saturday, October 17 9:30am
Place: 1444 out of 1600
Bib: 9740
Time: 01:17:13

29th Race – Runner’s World 5K – Hat Trick Race #1
Saturday, October 17 8:00am
Place: 1314 out of 1656
Bib: 9740
Time: 35:31

28th – Run Wild at Lehigh Valley Zoo 10K
Sunday, August 16, 2015 8:00am
Place: 208 out of 224
Bib: 1225
Time: 01:18:51

2015 LV Zoo 10K Finisher!

The third year for me running this race – same course, same single water stop, same f’ing ridiculous hills. Thankfully, after you hit the midway mark, it’s mostly downhill from there. Unlike last year, where we had a slight rain to start, this race was sunny with increasing heat throughout. I got to run with Eric Knaake, who just recently married his fiance Jen, the girl that convinced me to run two years ago. (Note to Jen – look what you started!) All in all, for my first 10K coming off the ankle issues, and not having a solid training base under me, I’ll take it. And I will definitely be back next year to crush a PR!

The Newlyweds (Jen, Eric) and Nick! 5K (Jen) and 10K (Eric, Nick) LV Zoo 2015!










27th – Allentown Color Fun Fest 5K (ish)

Saturday, July 11, 2015 (Time: 8:45pm)
Untimed/Fun Race
Total Distance: 2.91 miles
Time: 35:43 (12:15 avg. pace)

26th – runDisney Expedition Everest Challenge (5K + Scavenger Hunt)

Saturday, May 2, 2015 (Time: 10:00pm)
Place:  113 out of 419 (Men)
204 out of 1200 (Individual)
Bib:  1279
5K Time: 35:08
Total Chip Time: 1:09:24
Total Gun Time: 1:21:50

25th – St. Luke’s Half Marathon

Sunday, April 26, 2015 (Time: 8:00am)
Place:  2381 out of 2442
Bib:  2907
Chip Time: 2:58:56
Gun Time: 3:00:50


24th – Philadelphia Love Run Half Marathon

Sunday, March 29, 2015 (Time: 8:00am)
Place: 771 out of 1226
Bib: 6087 out of 6300
Chip Time: 3:07:58
Gun Time: 3:13:18

2015 Philly Love Run – Why Yes, It Spins!

With the runDisney Goofy Challenge (and my first marathon) out of the way, and the now annual St. Luke’s Half Marathon coming up in April, I wanted something else to challenge me in between. This race seems like a good idea. Friday night, took the family down to Citizen’s Bank Park for packet pick-up – between traffic and a dinner stop, we never made it. So Saturday, I made ANOTHER trip down there – this time I was successful, but also during this time the weather forecast for Sunday changed to windy and cold (near freezing). Sunday came, and after a 4:30am wake-up call, I made the dark drive to Eakin’s Oval in Philadelphia. Parked the car in one of the lots a few blocks away, and joined a couple thousand people trying to stay warm until the race start.

2015 Philly Love Run Finisher

2015 Philly Love Run Finisher

The actual race got off without a hitch, and I was doing pretty well for the first 5 miles, and we journeyed through the streets of downtown Philly. I chose to listen to music while running, and that seemed to help keep my pace steady. The last chunk of miles took us along the river, and around Mile 8, my left knee started to hurt, leading to right calf cramps. The pain got so bad I literally walked the last 4 miles. This was the first race I honestly contemplated quitting. I really did enjoy the scenery, and saw some areas of Philly I never have before, but the end hurt. It’s always a cool sight to finish right in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (the “Rocky” steps).

I made it over the finish and needed wheelchair assistance to the medical tent. Luckily, nothing major aside from cramping. Took some obligatory medal pics, got my goodie bag with Philly Soft Pretzel, limped back to the car, and headed home. I’m figuring on a few days of soreness based on how today went. Not a great run by any means. But I will take the spinner medal!

23rd – Walt Disney World Marathon

Sunday, January 11, 2015 (Time: 5:30am)
Place: 19474 out of 20092
Bib: 23999
Chip Time: 7:19:27
Gun Time: 7:58:51


22nd – Walt Disney World Half Marathon

Saturday, January 10, 2015 (Time: 5:30am)
Place: 19820 out of 22145
Bib: 23999
Chip Time: 3:29:30
Gun Time: 4:09:06


21st – Bethlehem Historic Turkey Trot 5K

Saturday, November 29, 2014 (Time: 9:00am)
Place: 771 out of 1226
Bib: 1360
Chip Time: 36:04
Gun Time: 36:35

Not much to say about this race, except it was COLD! As in around 20 degrees at the start. No corrals to worry about, a couple of people in full turkey costumes, and bagpipers. After the usual Star Spangled Banner, we were off on a short 3 mile trek around downtown Bethlehem – the hilliest city in the Lehigh Valley. Even just running around the area, it was nothing but hills! After finishing the race with a decent but not great time, grabbed a few food items and headed back to the warm confines of my car. I ran this race as my sister was also running it. The best part honestly was the long-sleeved t-shirt, which was of decent quality and useful beyond just a throwaway race shirt.

2014 Bethlehem Turkey Trot – Nick Dani – I am NOT smiling! It was COLD!








20th – Rocky Balboa Run 10K
Saturday, November 16, 2014 (Time: 8:15am)
Place: 2881 out of 3252
Bib: 4917
Chip Time: 1:15:24

I decided on a splurge a few weeks back to run the inaugural Rocky Balboa 10K in Philadelphia! No other reason than the medal looks like the Championship Belt! After getting up around 5am, I made the drive to Philly. It was roughly 28 degrees outside and windy, not the best or most comfortable running weather. The race itself was a 6.2 mile out and back course along the Delaware River. The finish line happened right in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I think I got my share of Rocky-themed music for the day. The best part – I got to meet up with an old college friend Stephanie. She was running her first 10K, so it was nice to see someone I knew. After I got back to the car and thawed out, the ride home was uneventful, although trying to get out of the car after running, being cold, and not moving for almost two hours was interesting. Another 10K in the books, and a really sweet medal on top of it.

One of my favorite medals! Rocky Balboa Run!

One of my favorite medals! Rocky Balboa Run!

Rocky Run 10K Champ!

Rocky Run 10K Champ!

Rocky Balboa Run Start Line - 26 degrees out!

Rocky Balboa Run Start Line – 26 degrees out!

Nick, and 2 Stephs

Nick, and 2 Stephs


















19th – runDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon

Saturday, November 8, 2014 (Time: 10:00pm – Corral H Start 10:24pm)
Place: 7257 out of 11941
Bib: 6414
Gun Time: 3:23:59
Chip Time: 3:01:45
5K Split: 38:33
10K Split: 1:21:32
15K Split: 2:06:13

18th Race – Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K

Saturday, November 8 7:00am
Bib: 1871
Time: Untimed (43:19 with photo stops)

17th Race – Runner’s World Half Marathon – Hat Trick Race #3
Sunday, October 19 8:00am
Place: 2224 out of 2314
Bib: 9656
Time: 02:55:56

16th Race – Runner’s World 10K – Hat Trick Race #2
Saturday, October 18 9:30am
Place: 1407 out of 1637
Bib: 9656
Time: 01:15:27

15th Race – Runner’s World 5K – Hat Trick Race #1
Saturday, October 18 8:00am
Place: 1170 out of 1591
Bib: 9656
Time: 33:53

On my way to WDW Marathon Weekend (and the Goofy 13.1/26.2 Challenge), I figured the Hat Trick (5K/10K/Half) would be a good gauge for my training. Saturday morning was an early wake-up and drive to SteelStacks for the races. It was a cool but comfortable 50 outside. I was able to run in shorts and a short-sleeved shirt. The 5K ended up being my best race, with a roughly 10:35 pace, pretty good for my standards. My sister Danielle also ran the race, and we ping-ponged positions a couple times. The 10K however, I slowed my pace down to save up for the half. This course took us further into Bethlehem, including a trip down Main Street, looping back across the Fahy Bridge, and running around the front of the ArtsQuest complex for the finish under the flaming arch.

Waking up on Sunday, I had a really sore right knee. I probably should have just called it a day and skipped the half, but of course I ran it. This time we didn’t start near SteelStacks, we had to walk all the way up past the casino, a good 15 minute hike. It was also in the low 40’s with a windchill in the high 30’s (20mph gusts). It was cold and uncomfortable for this race. All I can say is Bethlehem, PA has a LOT of hills, and we ran most of them. By around Mile 7, I was feeling sluggish and my knee was acting up. My pace slowed considerably. This was the first half where I really doubted if I would finish… thankfully, I pushed through it, finishing under 3 hours. Definitely not my best, but not my worst either. I can do better, and train better, and I will. The medals were nice for the races, showing the star of Bethlehem. I need to focus on my pacing and breathing for the longer runs, especially with another half coming up in 3 weeks.

It’s a COLD morning for a half marathon! Cold and windy!

I will be crossing this line 3 times in 2 days – 22.4 miles TOTAL!

2014 Runner’s World Hat Trick Complete!

Completed the 5K and 10K! My right knee is already hurting.

14th Race – runDisney DisneyLand Half Marathon (Dumbo Double Dare)
Sunday, August 31, 2014 5:30am
Place: 10006 out of 15952
Bib: 23522
Gun Time: 3:35:322
Chip Time: 03:01:50
5K Split: 41:34
10K Split: 1:22:52
15K Split: 2:07:13

DDD Recap – Part II

13th Race – runDisney DisneyLand 10K (Dumbo Double Dare)
Saturday, August 29, 2014 5:30am
Place: 8164 out of 9603
Bib: 23522
Time: 01:42:09 (stopping for a lot of pictures)

DDD Recap – Part I

12th Race – Run Wild at the Lehigh Valley Zoo 5K/10K 2014
Sunday, August 17, 2014 8:00am
Place: 205 out of 241
Bib: 129
Time: 01:11:34 (19 second PR)

This was the second year I tackled the 10K. Having gone through this last year, with the same course layout, I knew the first half had some pretty bad uphill climbs. My MapMyRun app registered close to 100 feet vertical difference between the highest and lowest points. Based on my mile-by-mile paces, the worst was around a 13 minute mile right before the halfway point at the steepest incline. My fastest mile was the first one at 9:22, and after that miserably steep hill, my times improved into the low 10’s, which was pretty solid for me overall. Prior to the race, it rained pretty good, but the sun popped out just as we started. This made for a very uncomfortably humid race, although most of the first half was on trails and areas with good tree cover. One of my favorite parts of this race, along the highest point, is running alongside the White Plains Bison. The animals will literally run along with you, with a strategically placed fence between you and them. It’s still a really cool sight to see. Overall, I knocked 19 seconds off last year’s run. I was hoping for a bit more, but the combination of humidity and killer hills (that I don’t normally train for), plus a week off from running (vacation to the beach), and I’ll take it. After the race, I had to get a picture with the penguin.

I’ve reached the top (of the killer hill) and am not all that happy!

Finisher of the LV Zoo 10K!

11th Race – Crush Childhood Cancer 5K

Sunday, May 10, 2014 8:30am
Place: 100 out of 167
Bib: 666
Time: 34:03
Pace: 10:58

I did this run supported a coworker whose son is battled a rare form of brain cancer (DIPG). His family was chosen as one of ten host families that this event raised money for. Honestly, seeing the different people and the challenges they have, especially the kids, is tough. I joined up with Team Aidan and ran the 5K. The weather was warm and muggy, temps in the mid 60’s. Unfortunately, I got bib #666, and I should have known that was a sign of things to come. About halfway into the first mile, I felt a pull on the right side of my chest. From that point forward, between the pain of that muscle strain and allergies kicking into high gear, the remaining 2.6 miles were complete misery. When all was said and done, I finished the race. Made it about 10 feet beyond the finish line and just sat down on the ground. Seeing the kids there fighting cancer, and unfortunately some very tough odds, makes you put things in perspective a lot more. This was one way to show unity and support for the families going through a struggle. There was no medal at the end waiting for us, and honestly, if there was, it should go to the kids fighting for their lives every day against a horrible disease. Aidan’s Avengers will continue to support this brave little boy in his fight for a life, one that must not end this early.

Brad Carvellas, Aidan Dunion (Team Aidan), Nick Takacs at the Crush Childhood Cancer 5K

10th Race – St. Luke’s Half Marathon (30th Running)

Sunday, April 27, 2014 8:10am
Place: 2649 out of 2821
Bib: 3287
10K Split: 1:09:10
Gun Time: 2:43:42
Chip Time: 2:41:00

Last year, I ran the 5K during this even, and vowed to return and complete the half marathon this year. Both the 5K and marathon runners start off on the same course, down Linden Street beginning at Allen High School. It’s a downhill start that gets off to a fast pace if you’re not careful. We then go past Cedar Beach to Ott Street, and then a long couple of miles on Martin Luther King Boulevard. A trip through Lehigh Parkway and the Lehigh Valley Road Runners clubhouse, followed by a return trip around Cedar Beach, back onto Linden, with a finish at J. Birney Crum Stadium.

Going into this race, I had one goal – beat my 3:03 best-to-this-point half marathon time. A day earlier, I managed to pick up a nice little head cold, but since it hadn’t settled into my chest, I made a go of it. Morning weather was in the mid-40’s, and it actually stayed that way for most of the race. Previous half marathons plagued me with right foot issues, but a strategically placed metatarsal pad eliminating that problem. My only other problem on this run was hitting “the wall” at around mile 10. I actually felt really good running most of this race, keeping up with the 2:30 Garmin Pace group. Once I got past mile 10, I fell behind, but still managed to keep it going and pull out a 2:41 overall chip time – essentially my new half marathon personal record!

Coming into the stadium is a pretty steep incline, utter misery after having run for over two hours. To top it all off, after finishing, it was another steep hill hike to get to the food. I also had some friends cheering my on near that final hill into the stadium, which always is nice for an extra boost at the toughest point. With the foot issues figured out (hopefully), my next challenge is adjusting race fueling to avoid that mile 10 wall. Had I figured that out, I’m pretty sure I can pull off a 2:30 or better time. Perhaps next year – for now, I’ll take the finish, the PR, and the medal!


Around Mile 10 right about the time I hit an energy wall…

Marathon #3 in the books! I finished with a new PR!

My finishing reward!









9th – West End St. Patrick’s 5K
Sunday, March, 2014 Time: 12:15pm
Place: 616 out of 837
Bib: 954
Gun Time: 33:49
Chip Time: 34:26
Pace: 11:07

Another run on a cool (40 degree) Sunday… at least this one wasn’t in a snowstorm, and a good way to start the local running season. Joining up with Brad (current coworker), Jim (former coworker), Mark (former coworker), and Brad’s wife’s sister (wife was sick), we met up, and all headed over to the race together. The race itself was on Allentown’s West End, starting on the campus of Muhlenberg College.

It wasn’t so much the 40 degree weather that was the problem, but the wind picked up and made it mildly uncomfortable. I decided to forgo longer running pants, and stick to shorts, and a double-layer of tech shirts (short and long-sleeved). For the most part, the strategy worked well, as once I got going, the cold didn’t bother me all that much.

The race itself was 2 loops around the city streets, with the Allentown St. Patrick’s parade (a few days after the official holiday) following the race. It was nice to see so many people lining the streets cheering for us runners. Definitely gave you that extra boost during the times you needed it. Overall, I was hoping to break the 30 minute 5K barrier, but some quad cramping did me in during the second loop. I’ll take an 11:07 overall pace, as it’s more in line with my training from last year. Some more speed work, and I should be able to get that down under the 11 min/mile mark pretty soon.

Brad Carvellas, Jim Quaglio, Mark Payson, Nick Takacs – Allentown St. Pat’s 5K

Brad Carvellas, Jim Quaglio, Mark Payson, Nick Takacs – Allentown St. Pat’s 5K









8th – runDisney Princess Half Marathon
Sunday, February 23, 2014 (Time: 5:30am – Corral I Start 10:15pm)
Place: 11876 out of 20750
Bib: 5824
Gun Time: 3:35:01
Chip Time: 3:09:26
5K Split: 39:54
10K Split: 1:25:36
15K Split: 2:12:03

 Race Recap

2014 Princess Half Marathon Finisher

2014 Princess Half Marathon Finisher







7th – Peeps 5K
Tuesday, December 31, 2013 Time: 1:00pm
Place: 325 out of 460
Bib: 335
Overall Time: 35:00

The annual Peeps Fest in Bethlehem, PA, was the site of the annual New Year’s Eve 5K race, and what a race it was. A little over 450 runners showed up to brave the elements and have a great time. The actual 5K followed a mascot race and kid’s races earlier in the morning, all under the amazing sight of the Steel Stacks (where I’d run the Runner’s World Five & Dime a few months back).

This was the coldest race I have ever completed! In fact, this was the coldest weather I have ever run in. At the race start, it was 28 degrees outside. I opted for 2 tech shirts plus a lightweight insulated jacket, gloves, hat, and long track pants. The layering worked well and I never was truly cold. However, right as the race was about to begin, it started snowing – like snow squall. This continued for most of the race, causing some slick spots along the way. We took a slightly different path than the races back in October, basically doing one big loop around the Lehigh River.

I figured on a much slower time this go around as I haven’t been training as consistently since Wine & Dine. Overall, it was a fun experience, and I didn’t push myself too hard given the cold air and drifting snow. Of course, running after a long break means I paid for it the next few days. But I can’t wait for next year’s race!


6th – runDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon
Saturday, November 8, 2013 (Time: 10:00pm – Corral G Start 10:15pm)
Place: 8381 out of 12143
Bib: 5784
Gun Time: 3:18:56
Chip Time: 3:03:36
5K Split: 39:17
10K Split: 1:22:54
15K Split: 2:08:03

Race Recap

2013 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Finish Line

2013 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Finish Line








4th/5th Race – Runner’s World Festival (Five and Dime – 5K/10K) 2013
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Bib: 4199 (20199)

5K Time: 8:00am
Place: 1413 out of 1857
Time: 33:50 (10:52 pace)

10K Time: 10:30am
Place: 1771 out of 1900
Time: 01:19:03 (12:43 pace)

It was 41 degrees outside for the 5K start… much colder than I ever ran or trained for. This was intended to be the next step in my progression towards the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon. As much as people say you should never try anything for the first time during a race, I broke that rule twice: wearing long sleeves, and wearing a lateral support knee brace. The brace actually helped me avoid for the first time in a while the patellar tendinitis that plagued me through the last two months. The long sleeves didn’t really bother me all that much. Not knowing what to expect going in, given that my training had been wildly inconsistent since the last competitive race, I simply wanted to match my 11min/mile target training pace. In that regard, mission accomplished.

Crossing this line twice in one morning - 9.3 miles total!

Crossing this line twice in one morning – 9.3 miles total!

Early morning arrival for the Five and Dime - right before 7am!

Early morning arrival for the Five and Dime – right before 7am!

National Anthem before the start.

National Anthem before the start.

The race went off without a hitch… albeit with a false start. Everyone started running and then abruptly stopped. Apparently, we were too far away to hear them announce that we were being “walked up” to the start line, and everyone got excited and started running for about 250 feet. Kinda funny, and anti-climactic at the same time. I did enjoy the run past the Bethlehem Steel Stacks and across the Fahy bridge. By mile 2 however, I moved to a run/walk approach because the cold was getting to me. The course logistics and support was definitely above average to anything I have experienced. Multiple water stops, port-o-potties a plenty, and a bunch of viewing locations with cheering spectators calling us out by name. I finished with a slower than expected time, but stayed under my target training pace. After collecting my medal, getting the requisite “official” race photo with said medal, grabbing a banana, bagel, and water, I had about an hour to kill before the 10K.

I then made what I would consider a cardinal sin for a back-to-back run… I sat down. Throughout the morning, I met some really awesome people, including a group from Trinidad and Tobago who came here just for the races. But after about 20 minutes of sitting, trying to get up, get settled, and get back into the racing mindset was harder than I expected. This was also the point of “what the heck did I sign up for” start creeping in my mind.

Sea of running humanity!

Sea of running humanity!

The start was pretty straightforward comparing to Round 1, but nearly a half mile in, I felt a twinge in my right hamstring, the same leg that had the brace and related patellar tendon issues. Looking back, I realize now that I did the smart thing and dropped to a longer run/walk interval rather than powering through. The hills in South Bethlehem were killer, and I definitely hit a mental and physical wall before Mile 3, but then I ran into some wonderful people that helped me get through. Saw a friend’s mom yelling encouragement from her front porch. Ran alongside a girl who was training a search and rescue dog… yeah, the dog was running 15K this morning. (I told myself then and there I was not getting beaten by a pooch, even though the german shepherd could easily outrun me in open space…) Even though the weather was cold, and my allergies were kicking into high gear, I did make it a point to grab something at each water station to help clear my throat. At around Mile 4, I began trading leads with another girl, who was on about the same run/walk ratio as I… by the time we hit midway through Mile 5, we started chatting a bit and trying to encourage each other. I think that all helped to ease the aching muscles that were beginning to really irritate me mentally. As we rounded 3rd Street, and came back to the Sands Casino, we had about a half mile to go… we both talked about the sprint to the finish. Came around the final corner and saw the last quarter mile to the finish. We both pushed hard and crossed the finish line together. After crossing the finish, I grabbed the side railing and knelt down, as my quads were on fire. Collected my medal, got my official race picture taken (with both medals), a bottle of PowerAde, another banana, and some Belvita crackers, and then set out to slowly walk off the racing.

9.3 Miles, 2 Medals, Over a Thousand Calories = Well Worth It!

9.3 Miles, 2 Medals, Over a Thousand Calories = Well Worth It!

My finishing buddy Nicole - crossed the line together.

My finishing buddy Nicole – crossed the line together.

As part of being a finisher, each runner got a wristband for a free can of beer. Can’t say no to that… while I was under the beer tent listening to the winner’s ceremony, I met up with the girl I crossed the finish with. We chatted for a bit, took a celebratory picture, and listened in amazement at how fast the winners of each race ran. What really set the tone for the entire day was the winner of the Five and Dime (5K+10K best overall time) declined the monetary award at the risk of giving up his amateur racing status. He instead opted to offer it to the last place finisher of the 10K, a young 20-something woman who many of us got to watch cross the finish. As she was running down the final stretch, followed by police on motorcycles and racing support staff on bicycles, a line of people cheered, some cried, and it was just an amazing amount of support energy for something that this person accomplished. I know many people will never understand that feeling, and it’s so easy to get caught up in the “I didn’t do good” or “I could have run faster” (trust me, I know I’ve had and probably will continue to have those thoughts), but as a fellow runner on that course, going through the training, the ups and downs, and everything in between, it was bittersweet.

Can't beat the sound of those medals clanging together on the walk back to the car!

Can’t beat the sound of those medals clanging together on the walk back to the car!

It was also an interesting auditory experience walking back to the car, hearing the clanking of both my medals hanging on my neck, and then realizing the chorus of clanking medals from a7ll of the other “Five and Dimers”.

Can't beat the sound of those medals clanging together on the walk back to the car!

Can’t beat the sound of those medals clanging together on the walk back to the car!

3rd Race – Run Wild at the Lehigh Valley Zoo 5K/10K 2013
Sunday, August 18, 2013 8:00am
Place: 187 out of 226
Bib: 196
Time: 01:11:53

After only two 5K’s, why not attempt the 10K distance. Prior to this race, I’ve hit the 6+ mile mark three different times during my training, so I knew the distance was doable. The morning temperatures were in the low 60’s, which made for perfect running weather. The 5K and 10K runners started out together at the main parking lot, went down one of the side roads, across part of the Game Preserve Trail, and then split, with the 5K runners circling back around into the zoo, and the 10K runners getting treated (or abused) by some of the nastiest hills I have ever run. I thought the KCB race was bad… I was wrong! The last major hill in this race seriously was at least a 30 degree climb, total vertical ascent of around 300 feet. Most of the runners, including me, walked that hill. My only gripe for the entire race, aside from the brutal hills, was the lack of more than one water stop along the course. The first two miles I ran a pretty solid 12 min/mile pace, chatting with a former classmate from Desales. Then the hills came, my pace slowed, and I did walk a bit, until about the 4 mile mark, where I surprisingly ran two of the best miles in any races, down to a ~9:35 min/mile pace. I finished in under 12 min/mile overall. While it won’t win any awards, it’s a good starting point for me to PR next time, and it gives me a good baseline to move up in the runDisney start corrals for the Wine & Dine.


2nd Race – Kreidersville Covered Bridge Challenge 2013
Saturday, June 1, 2013 9:00am
Place: 49 out of 90
Bib: 140
Time: 35:32

My second foray into the world of 5K races, the KCB Challenge proved to be such on a bright and sunny (and warm) Saturday morning. It was already in the 70’s by the 9am start. The course had its share of hills, and just when you thought the hills were over, another one smacked you head on. Thankfully, towards the back section of the course, a few families were standing by the side of the road with their garden hose offering to spray down any runners that ran past. By that time, everyone was soaked with sweat anyway, and a nice cool refreshing blast of water felt great. I really enjoyed this race as it was more spread out than the St. Luke’s race. Very picturesque course, running through a historic covered bridge, and a really nice selection of fruit, baked goods, and other treats (Rita’s Italian Ice) afterward… plus being 5 minutes away from home.

Julia Rutch and Nick Takacs

Julia Rutch and Nick Takacs

1st Race – St. Luke’s 5K

Sunday, April 28, 2013 9:00am
Place: 293 out of 565
Bib: 5648
Gun Time: 32:14
Chip Time: 31:41

For my first race, I definitely overdid during the first half of the race, getting off to a fast (downhill) start from William Allen High School in 55 degree weather on a brisk Sunday morning. Once I got near the turnaround back to J. Birney Crum Stadium, allergies kicked in heavy, making breathing a bit difficult, and necessitating more frequent walk breaks. The cherry blossom trees didn’t help… found out that I apparently am allergic to those. Managed to make it back to the stadium and sprint the last 300 yards around the stadium track to cross the finish faster than I ever ran 3.1 miles in my life. My wonderful wife, also running her first (and probably last) 5k clocked in at a nice 36:36.

After collecting our medals and bottle of water, we headed over to the food area, where I proceeded to try a black bean brownie. Tasted like a normal brownie (thankfully)! A much needed trip to the massage tent, a visit with the resident chiropractor, and a short walk back to our cars. The rest of the day was pretty much spent limping around, but it was well worth it!

Post-race picture - can you tell we're soaked (and tired)?

Post-race picture – can you tell we’re soaked (and tired)?

Jackie Dorney, Erik Knaake, Jen Schiller, Nick Takacs, Hilari Takacs, Suzanne Fasolka

Jackie Dorney, Erik Knaake, Jen Schiller, Nick Takacs, Hilari Takacs, Suzanne Fasolka

His and Hers

His and Hers


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