FOOT NOTES: Take the date from the bars to the great outdoors


It’s very easy to watch and wave goodbye as our relationships slowly, but surely take a backseat to work, child-tending and other adult obligations.

That’s why my wife Sarah and I have been doing everything we can to recommit to going on dates again. We’re aiming for small dates every two weeks, something more elaborate every two months, and something truly special every two years.

So far, though, the planning for these dates has mostly revolved around two things: Wining and Dining.

Neither of us are really drinkers at home, yet our go-to date is a bar crawl through the streets of Carlisle. We’ve never made it through all of the bars before. Heck, we’re usually done after two or three drinks because one or both of us will often get tired or fall ill. And let’s not even get started on the next day. I guess we just can’t hang like with we could in our 20s!

It does beg the question, though, how else can we date or hang out with friends without “going out” to the bar?

Try doing something active.

The first active date idea that comes to my mind is going for a long hike on the mountain trails. It’s a good chance to connect and bond, not to mention improve our health, while traveling as companions to reach a common destination. The picnic lunch might not taste as good as hot wings, but the forest and mountains provide a unique and beautiful backdrop for photos that you just can’t replicate at the bar.

If hiking isn’t your thing, but competition is, try playing an outdoor game. Back in our pre-marriage days, I’d play a load of tennis with Sarah, and we’d talk good-natured smack every second of the way. I was once so confident in beating her in a match that I told her I’d marry her if she won.

When she took me to a break point for the opening set, I started smashing winners left and right, a strategic move that induced both groans and laughs from my future bride. There’s a certain spark that arises from competition. We recognize this feeling from sports, but there’s something to be said when that same competitive spirit finds its way into a relationship.

Sometimes the best active dates we can have are simply showing up to support our partners in their own personal fitness journies. When I first started racing, Sarah would show up to cheer me on and take me out for lunch after. Eventually, she was racing, too, and I really enjoyed following along, taking photos, and bragging about her fitness to anyone that would listen in the world of social media. Even shared workouts can be a date, of sorts, as we can encourage and push each other to be the best versions of ourselves.

Last weekend’s beer-filled date is finally cleared from our systems, I believe, and now it’s time to plan for our next two-week date.

So Sarah, I have a question for you: Will you go out(side) with me?


It was a memorable race day for mom, dad, and daughter as the Timmons family from Chambersburg ran wild at the Dash for Down Syndrome 5K at Fayetteville’s Norlo Park.

Jen Timmons won the race in 20:00, while her husband, Dustin, finished fifth overall in 23:32. Daugther Tenley Timmons also crossed in 28:23 to win the 12 & Under age group.

Jen Timmons took the win over Waynesboro’s Gavin Miller, who was the top male runner in 20:10. Other top finishers from the race include Chambersburg’s Jenna Perry (23:02), Meghan Miller (27:06), and Kate Smith (27:43), Fayetteville’s Wing Lam Cheung (25:53), Waynesboro’s Jeffrey Hein (25:24) and Susie Smedley (26:27), and Greencastle’s Gavin Strait (25:27) and Mary Hykes (26:46).

In Chambersburg, the John H. Harmon Memorial 5K featured a winner from Waynesboro, with Susie Smedley finishing as top female in 25:51. Chambersburg’s Brandon Sherman (22:37), Brian Johnston (22:45), Shelby White (23:11), Steve Vanscyoc (24:31), and Craig Leisher (24:59) all finished in the Top 10, while Jennifer Einherst was the second female in 26:24.

With cooler temps in the air, marathon and half season is well underway this fall, with Local.News runners taking full advantage. The fastest local marathon time over the past two weeks was posted by Waynesboro’s Troy Argenbright, who shined brightly with a 3:26:08 at the Chicago Marathon. Two other Waynesboro runners, Khiem Thieu (4:08:20) and Stephen Bui (4:26:26), were both finishers at the Steamtown Marathon in Scranton.

In Hanover, runners earned their snacks at the Snack Town Half Marathon, which featured top finishes from Fayetteville’s Sarah Zucca (1:51:17), Chambersburg’s Braden Smith (1:54:19), and Waynesboro’s Sheniqua Gilliland (2:09:59).

The Army Ten Miler in Washington, D.C. included more than 12,000 runners, including a handful of standouts from the Local.News area. Greencastle’s Grant Murray (1:13:25) and Dennis Land (1:30:49) led the way, while Waynesboro’s Carol Seltzer crossed the finish line in 1:54:27.

Some athletes want to compete in triathlon, but aren’t confident enough in the swimming phase to register. Enter a race like the West Penn Triathlon in Saltsburg, which substitutes kayaking for swimming. The Chambersburg trio of Jason Huber (2:29:07), Amy Huber (3:12:25), and Jolene McLucas (4:03:48) all finished the race and returned home with hardware for their efforts.

Moving to the trails, the Rick O’Donnell Memorial races drew a combined 334 runners, including a couple of fast-running locals. Waynesboro’s Courtney Barnett (50:08) and Erica Price (1:02:24) each finished the 5.22-mile race, while Price was also a finisher in the 8-Hour Challenge, where she completed 26.1 miles in 6:06:53.

Finally, a shoutout to Fayetteville ultrarunner Philip Samotus, who was a finisher at the Black Forest 100K in North Bend with a time of 15:30:19.

A number of other runners were involved in races across the region, including Greencastle’s Grace Lewis (58:01 at Boston 10K for Women) and Jarrett Gelsinger (18:56 at Resilience 5K), Fayetteville’s Mary Small (57:07 at Troegs Hop Dash 5K), Chambersburg’s Christine Molloy (4:29:13 at Wineglass Marathon), Sulang Rosado (3:17:17 at Wineglass Half Marathon), Erin Barket (6:05:32 at Waterman’s Long Course Triathlon), Eric Guyer (28:28 at Juniata Valley Trail Run 5K), Kyle Stanalonis (19:51 at Hawktoberfest 5K), and Jill Hazelton (23:18 at Applefest 5K).

And now, a look ahead:

Hustle for Health 5 Miler: Saturday, Oct. 22, 9 a.m., in Chambersburg. Take a tour of the 350-acre Wilson College campus in this race, whose proceeds benefit service-learning experience trips to the Dominican Republic to provide healthcare assistance in local hospitals and refugee camps. Register for the race on

End of the Road Half Marathon: Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 22-23, in Waterfall. This half marathon, which runs through the dark, abandoned tunnels of the Pa. Turnpike, has become so popular it now has races on two days. Find the race on

Go Girls Go 5K: Saturday, Oct. 22, 9 a.m., in Chambersburg. Challenge yourself with this race to benefit Go Girls Go, a local after-school girls’ empowerment and running program. Register for the race on

Also: Buffalo Creek Half Marathon (Saturday, in Cabot); Cousler Park Half Marathon (Saturday, in York); Freedom 5K (Saturday, in Gap); Hempfield Foundation Black Knight 5K (Saturday, in Landisville); Muleskinner 50 Mile (Saturday, in Upper Black Eddy); Oil Creek 100 Mile (Saturday, in Titusville); Pocono Marathon (Saturday, in Greentown); SU Military Science 5K/10K (Saturday, in Shippensburg); Trestle Bridge 10K (Saturday, in Conestoga); Belmar Bridge Half Marathon (Sunday, in Franklin); Dave Murray 5K (Sunday, in Millersville); Reading Hospital Road Run Half Marathon (Sunday, in Reading); Thirsty Thursday 5K (Thursday, Oct. 20, in Reading); Harrisburg Halloween Run 10K (Saturday, Oct. 22, in Harrisburg); Homeland Hospice 5K (Sunday, Oct. 22, in Mechanicsburg); Hoopomani 5K (Saturday, Oct. 22, in Lebanon); Penn Relays 5K (Saturday, Oct. 22, in Philadelphia); Polar Bear 5K (Saturday, Oct. 22, in Dillsburg); Shank Park 5K/10K (Saturday, Oct. 22, in Hummelstown); Bark in the Park 5K (Sunday, Oct. 23, in Harrisburg); End of the Road Half Marathon (Sunday, Oct. 23, in Waterfall); Gettysburg Sunday Race Series 5K (Sunday, Oct. 23, in Gettysburg); Lititz Stroller Gang’s Fall Family 5K (Sunday, Oct. 23, in Lititz); Market Street Run for Blue 5 Miler (Sunday, Oct. 23, in Philadelphia); Race, Run, Ride & Ramble (Sunday, Oct. 23, in Shippensburg); Wilds Mountain Fest 50K (Sunday, Oct. 23, in Waterville).

Foot Notes is a self-syndicated column by Central Pa. sportswriter Andy Sandrik that has been “running” since 2016. Andy always follows back on Strava and can be reached by email at [email protected].

Are you enjoying local news?

First Month 99¢