FOOT NOTES: Training for Man Fest


At first I thought Man Fest was a joke, but my buddy and fellow runner Matt Sharp was determined to create a tournament to determine the manliest man.

And this weekend his passion project finally comes to life. Events at Man Fest will include everything from axe throwing to target shooting to arm wrestling. Almost every sport is represented in the game list, except for running, as we concluded it might not be a good idea to have this event in the same “decathlon” as beer chugging. 

Somehow Sharpie has lured me into believing this is a race that I have a chance to win. And I’ve been training as such. 

I’ve adapted many of my outdoor runs on the track, paying a “toll” in the form of push-ups for every lap I complete. At first I was finishing with around 50-60 push-ups, but my numbers have since doubled through repetition.

When I’m not running, I’ve been picking up landscaping jobs for friends and relishing the hard assignments as training opportunities, like last week, when I uprooted a tree stump with just a shovel and pickaxe. I could feel my confidence rising as I later watched the stump blazing to ashes in my fire pit. 

As for the games themselves, I’ve been working on my soccer shooting and cornhole skills as time has allowed, even venturing out to the garage for the occasional game of pool.

What will all of this unorthodox training add up to? I have no idea, honestly. There are so many different events and athletes I’ve never met before, not to mention a Facebook photo contest that will introduce bonus points into the equation.

It would mean the world to make a good showing at Man Fest. I’d dedicate the performance to my late grandma-in-law Daris Shatzer, who always gifted work gloves to every man at the Shatzer Christmas gift exchange, even to me years before my “soft computer hands” began to harden from outdoor toils. Thank you, Daris, I’m finally ready to put these gloves to use.

I’m going to give it my all this weekend and will accept whatever happens. 

After that, who knows what’s next for me, but one thing is for certain: I’ll be getting in Sharpie’s ear to include a 5K in next year’s Man Fest event.


With back-to-back weeks of races in Franklin County, local runners haven’t had to travel very far to get their racing fix.

In Fayetteville, the Dash for Down Syndrome 5K saw Chambersburg sweep the winner’s spots, with Drew Cusick claiming the overall win in 21:38 and Kyrene Zack finishing as top female in 24:35. The 55-runner race also featured strong finishes from Chambersburg’s Derek Book (22:47), John Gow (25:11), Owen Book (25:19), Ashley Tkacik (26:16), Eva Tkacik (26:16), and Justin Tkacik (26:19), as well as Waynesboro’s Jeffrey Hein (26:00) and Greencastle’s Mary Hykes (26:55).

One week later, Chambersburg served as the backdrop for the Harmon Memorial 5K, a race which drew 64 runners. Greencastle’s Jarrett Gelsinger ran away for victory in 17:34, beating the field by more than two minutes. Gelsinger was chased by Chambersburg’s Jim Boyer (19:48), Gabe Putt (21:28), and Shelby White (22:35), as well as Greencastle’s Thelma Reibsome (26:53) and Fayetteville’s Darren Tolbert (27:16).

Fayetteville runner Wing Lam Cheung has been a force to reckoned with in recent weeks. She finished second overall in 24:02 at the Holden’s Light 5K in Harrisburg, before traveling to the Resilience 5K in Hanover and taking third in the 30-39 AG with a time of 21:40.

In Shepherdstown, W.Va., Local.News runners took on the Freedom’s Run, an event which featured race distances of 5K, 10K, half marathon, and marathon. Chambersburg’s Michael Day was a standout in half marathon, posting a time of 1:37:50 to finish sixth in a field of 293 runners. Greencastle’s Dawn Bergquist (5:35:41) was the top local in the marathon, while Chambersburg’s Lindsey Sutton (46:27) and Kaylan Alexander (56:56) set the pace for area runners in the 5K and 10K, respectively.

Locals flocked to Washington, D.C. to take on the Army 10-Miler, a race that drew more than 17,000 runners. Chambersburg’s Rachel Stone led the way for locals, finishing the race in 1:06:54. She was followed by Chambersburg’s Joshua Shinn (1:20:03) and Dustin Walker (1:26:40), as well as Waynesboro’s Jeffrey Januchowski (1:23:05), and Greencastle’s Dennis Land (1:27:12) and Kimberly Deaton (1:32:22).

The Pink Ribbon 5K in Frederick, Md., included strong race finishes from Greencastle’s Logan Dougherty (26:49) and Kyle Barton (27:21), as well as Smithsburg’s Nicole Wilcom (29:22).

In Lykens, Jeffrey Krammes of Greencastle piled up 30 miles in 8:04:47 while competing at the Red Barn 24 Hour. Chambersburg’s Christine Metcalfe stacked up 22 miles in 9:15:32 at the Red Barn 12 Hour.

A number of others were active in races across the region, including Waynesboro’s Denny Mitts (52:28 at Rick O’Donnell Memorial 5 Mile Trail Run; 30 miles in 6:09:53 at Rick O’Donnell Memorial 8 Hour), Greencastle’s Adam Smith (1:58:01 at Snack Town Run Fest Half Marathon), Grant Murphy (3:41:01 at Chicago Marathon), and Jay Myers (4:43:44 at Wineglass Marathon), Fayetteville’s Jillian Cook (27:05 at Talon Trot 5K) and Taylor Nitterhouse (51:50 at Isle of Palms Connector Run 10K), Chambersburg’s Eden Eliff (28:01 at Troegs Hop Dash 5K), Erin Barket (2:38:21 at Waterman’s Olympic Triathlon), Smithsburg’s Gregory Wolfley (44:00 at SCADaddle 5K)

And finally, a shoutout to Waynesboro’s Casey Martin, who finished as the second female in 23:57 at the Hawktoberfest 5K in Hagerstown, Md.

And now, a look ahead:

Five Forks Church Autumn Harvest 5K: Sunday, 3 p.m., in Shippensburg. Compete in this race to benefit the Waynesboro New Hope Shelter, established in 1998 to provide temporary housing for the homeless in Franklin, Fulton, and Adams counties. Register for the race on

Haunted 5K/10K/13.1: Saturday, Oct. 21, 8 a.m., in Boiling Springs. Aim for spookily-fast times in this Halloween-themed race, put on by US Road Running. Look up the race on

End of the Road Half Marathon: Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 21-22, in Waterfall. This event, held at the abandoned Pa. Turnpike, has become so popular that two half marathons will be contested, as well as a four-mile race. Check out the race on

Also: Lititz recCenter Youth Triathlon (Friday, in Lititz); Brush Rush 5K (Saturday, in Little Buffalo State Park); Chernisky Ghost Town Trail-a-thon (Saturday, in Ebensburg); Haunted 5K/10K/13.1 (Saturday, in York); Mahoning Shadow Shuffle Half Marathon (Saturday, in Punxsutawney); Muleskinner 50 Mile (Saturday, in Upper Black Eddy); Vineyard at Hershey Haunted Wine Run 5K (Saturday, in Hershey); West Penn Trail Triathlon (Saturday, in Saltsburg); Empty Stroller 5K (Sunday, in Reading); Pittsburgh Penguins 6.6K (Sunday, in Pittsburgh); Reading Hospital Road Run Half Marathon (Sunday, in Reading); Thirsty Thursday 5K (Thursday, Oct. 19, in Reading); Freedom 5K (Saturday, Oct. 21, in Gap); Haunted 5K/10K (Saturday, Oct. 21, in Akron); Personal Endurance Classic (Saturday, Oct. 21, in Erie); Pocono Mountains Marathon Race Festival (Saturday, Oct. 21, in Greentown); Polar Bear 5K (Saturday, Oct. 21, in Dillsburg); Reidenbaugh PTO 5K (Saturday, Oct. 21, in Lititz); Sinnemahone Trail Run 50K (Saturday, Oct. 21, in Emporium); Susquehanna Township Alumni Association Color Run 5K (Saturday, Oct. 21, in Harrisburg); Bethlehem Running Festival Half Marathon (Sunday, Oct. 22, in Bethlehem); EP Family Fun 5K Run (Sunday, Oct. 22, in Enola); Lititz Stroller Gang’s Fall Family 5K (Sunday, Oct. 22, in Lititz); Tussey Mountainback 50 Mile Relay and Ultra (Sunday, Oct. 22, in Boalsburg); Wilds Mountain Fest 25K/50K (Sunday, Oct. 22, in Waterville).

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