Archive for August, 2009

Forgive Me, Bart, for I Have Sinned ~ by Mark Remy

This was written by my buddy Mark Remy and published on Runner’s World Online yesterday.

It’s been 13 months since my last confession.

What is my sin? I didn’t run yesterday.

This wouldn’t be a huge deal, if I weren’t training for two fallmarathons. Which I am. The Marathon Challenge (Advanced) Plan that I’m following, designed by our very own Bart Yasso, is tough — it has me doing a hill run,  a marathon pace run, and a long run each week, with just one rest day — but I’d been keeping up very well. Until yesterday.

Yesterday, I lapsed. Yesterday, I let Bart down. I let myselfdown.

It’s worth noting that I didn’t spend the day lying around in a robe, watching TV and eating powdered donuts. I did 3 1/2 hours’ worth of yard work, including a crazy amount of edging — using one of those old-school, low-tech edgers, not a fancy gas-powered one. By the time I was done, I was filthy, soaked in sweat, and dehydrated. This morning I woke up sore, feeling worse than I did after last weekend’s 14-miler.

So, at least I hurt. That counts for something, right? And yesterday’s run, while “long,” was a scale-back 10-miler — not 16 or 18 or anything — which made it more skippable, right? And I’ll do my penance on tomorrow’s 8-mile hill run. Right?

Either way, since misery loves company, I figured it was time to re-open the RW Daily Confessional. If you’ve committed a running-related sin recently, share it in the Comments section, below. Then go forth and run.

And remember: No matter what, Bart loves you.


Alaska: Humpy’s Big Wildlife Runs


Last week I flew up to Alaska for the Anchorage Running Club’s Humpy’s Big Wild Life Runs, events that included a marathon, marathon relay, marathon walk, the Snow City Cafe 5K, the Alaska Museum of Natural History’s Run For Your Life Kid’s Dinosaur Fun Run, and Skinny Raven Half Marathon. The 25th Infantry Brigade’s half-marathon race at FOB Sharana Afghanistan was held in conjunction with the Half Marathon. The ARC  provided t-shirts, medals, and other support to the Fort Richardson soldiers participating in the event. Unlike the run in Anchorage, the brigade’s race was held at an elevation of 7,400 feet above sea level.

I was in Anchorage for four days and did experience the famous summer nights of light. Darkness lasted only four to six hours in the south. We’d be out at 10 pm and it wasn’t all that dark out. Earlier in the season, the northernmost region runs on a never-ending light bulb  with daylight illuminating the land in 24-hours cycles.

Race day, Sunday, August 16th was perfect. Conditions were ideal for racing: 53 degrees at the start with overcast skies and no wind. Temps didn’t go up much throughout the day. Most of the marathon course is on the beautiful Coastal Trail that runs along the Cook Inlet.I was the race announcer and I saw many runners, locals and those from the lower 48, I had just met the two days before. Some I have known from other races including many 50-Staters. My buddy Brian Jackson from NOLA finished his 49th state. Larry Macon from San Antonio did Humpy’s as his 566th marathon. And I am not making this up: Larry has run marathons in all 50 states 8 times. That is being beyond a 50-Stater or a Marathon Maniac. I don’t know if there is a word invented for it yet. If you can think of one, let me know!

A Non-Marathoner in Iraq becomes a Marathoner in San Francisco

While in Iraq, Christian Schauf of the band CatchPenny (they did concerts at each base as part of our Warrior Tours) mentioned he would like to run a marathon some day. Rob Powers and I told him that when we got back to The States we were both headed out to  San Francisco to do race announcing at the marathon.

Christian, age 29, asked us: “Do you think I run it?”
I was like, “Dude, the race is in 2 weeks and you haven’t trained.” I suggested he take the time and do four months of solid training so he could pull off a marathon.

As we were boarding our plane in Kuwait City for the return fligth back to DC, Christian, who lives in Minneapolis, told me, “I think I can run SF.” I listened to his determination and told him, yes he could if he took it easy.

Flash forward, one week later in The City By The Bay. It was a Warrior Tours reunion of sorts with Rob and me there along with Anne Bonney from Under Armour. Instead of all day and night sand storms we just had morning fog that burned off by noon. It was good to recall our crazy time with the troops in Iraq. The highlight was seeing Christian at the finish line, paced by Anne, completing his first marathon ever on nothing more than a 13-mile long run. The dude ran a 4:47 and is no worse for the wear. Congrats Christian!

Our Family’s Race: George Yasso Memorial 5K Run & Walk


I help put on a lot of races but this is my favorite for many reasons. The race which started in 1980 runs through my hometown of Fountain Hill, and it is in honor of my late brother George. ALL of the Yassos help out along with former mayor Steve Repasch and his family including 17-year-old Marisa Repasch who has done this race a record 17 times. We had 14 Yassos volunteering and 8 of them doing the race including my niece 8-year old Maizy Tucker Yasso who wore her talking High School Musical t-shirt on the run. We knew it was going to be a fun day and great race even before the gun went off. How can you miss when the Star Spangled Banner segues into Funkytown?


A big THANK YOU to St. Luke’s Hospital and Health Network for generously supporting our event. Thank you to our very charitable donors, especially John Crampsie,  Richard Master and the Fountain Hill Democratic Club as well as those who contributed to our raffle & goody bags. 

CONGRATULATIONS to our five 2009 scholarship winners. Jim Skelly/George Yasso Fountain Hill Scholarship recipients: Alyssa Conahan and Zach Glagola. George Yasso Liberty Hurricane Club Basketball Scholarship recipients: Brianna Knipe, Aaron Thieme and Christian Rodriguez. We are proud of our scholar-athletes.   


Thanks to all the runners, walkers and volunteers who make this event what it is, a rite of summer in the borough of Fountain Hill. The starting temperature at 9 am was 72° with 82% humidity that quickly went down to 64% by 10 am when we had the awards ceremony preceded by an awesome raffle – 40 prizes! – and post-race spread of real food. Awards went three deep in 10 5-year age divisions. Showers were available to all and the pool was open until well past noon for anyone who wanted to do a true cool down. The 10 women’s age division winners were just sent a certificate for a free running skirt – a $50 value.

Stats are always interesting:  We tied last year’s record turnout of 220 registered entrants. We also hadmore walkers then we’ve had before – many friends and family walking together. Awesome! The field was almost evenly divided between males and females. 

This might be some sort of a record for a Lehigh Valley area 5K: We had a record number of youth this year; 35 who were age 19 & under. Starting next year, we will change the two 19 & under age divisions to two 15 -19 age divisions and award FIVE (!) deep in each male & female categories AND award medals to ALL youth finishers under 15 years of age. We are proud of our 5K kids! If you have questions or notice errors in the race results, please let me know.

Race photos are now posted on our Facebook events page at: Additionally, photographer Alice Lipe was at the race and took some terrific photos you can purchase. She has posted them on her online gallery at:


2009 George Yasso Memorial 5K Race Results: 


The 2010 race date will be announced next spring. Stay tuned!   

Photo caption: Winners of the Women’s 20-24 age division, from left to right: 3rd place Haleigh Duggen, 2nd place Heather Lappi, and 1st place, my niece Elizabeth Yasso.