FOOT NOTES: A trio of running goals for 2024


My year in running, as the kids say, was kind of just mid.

Don’t get me wrong, there was nothing wrong with my 2023. I put in 860 miles of work and stayed injury-free for the entire year, and I’d say my test run through the waters of intermittent fasting was a success: I shed about 30 pounds and have more muscle definition now than I’ve ever had. 

It’s been a really good 365 days, overall, but when it comes to running, I’ve done more maintaining than taking any big steps forward. 

And there’s nothing wrong with that, but as we begin to roll into the New Year, I’d like to better spend the limited time I have on honing my craft. 

My priority will be improving my diet. The intermittent fasting in 2023 had been a cheat code for snacking, or so I thought. I frequently got away with crossing the line from snacking into binge-eating, all while still losing weight. It was intoxicating and empowering in its own shameful way but once again I learned, for about the 15th time now, that you can’t outrun a bad diet. 

Sure those empty calories were “coal for the furnace” and non-consequential on the scale, but my energy levels took a marked dip, especially in the back half of the year. In retrospect, filling up on McDonald’s meals and entire boxes of cookies probably wasn’t the best way to fuel my exercise routine.

Another focal point I have for 2024 is to become a more social runner by taking better advantage of the group runs that are locally available to me. Interacting with running friends may not seem like a viable way to level up in the running arena, but it’s about more than just trying to be popular. I’d argue that when you’re in an athletic setting and training with others who share the same passion, you’re going to improve just from the competitive camaraderie.

The word “competition” brings me to my next running goal for 2024, which is to actually run some races this year. For someone who loudly preaches that time and pace aren’t what running is all about, it’s ironic that it’s my insecurities over time and pace that have prevented me from venturing onto the race paths. 

I believe that the best way for me to clear this hurdle is to just hit the “register” button on impulse before I can have a chance to talk myself out of it. The words “just do it” have become a cliche over the course of time, yet they still are applicable for many instances in our lives, and I think this is one of those instances for me.

If you haven’t figured it out, yet, I’ve got my work cut out for me in many ways this year, as do the rest of you, I’m sure. 

Let’s collectively approach this New Year with enthusiasm and encouragement for one another, and make 2024 a running year to remember.


Calling Brooke Schellhase a Masters standout would almost be doing a disservice to the Fayetteville runner, especially when considering she’s still running circles around women half her age.

Schellhase, 42, showed plenty of pop in her legs at The Last Mile in Duncannon, a hilly five-mile race. Schellhase dominated the women’s field, clocking a 35:37 to finish nearly a minute and a half faster than runner-up Ann High of Beavertown, who finished in 37:03.

In Harrisburg, Matt Kuhns made sure Franklin County was well-represented at the New Year 5K, with the Chambersburg runner finishing sixth in the field of 227 runners with a time of 22:48. 

Chambersburg’s Stan Vaughn (20:42) and Lauren Vaughn (28:44) took on the Twilight Race 5K in Altoona, while Greencastle’s Denise Boyer (37:19), Brielle Boyer (39:16), and Stephen Boyer (39:22) were all finishers at the Resolution Run 5K in State College.

Finally, Chambersburg’s Natalie Storm crossed the finish line in 45:12 at the Reindeer Run 5K in Aberdeen, Md.

And now, a look ahead: 

Pirate 5K/10K: Saturday, 8:30 a.m., in New Cumberland. Run for precious medals in this race, held at Roof Park. Find the race on

Springettsbury 10K: Saturday, Jan. 13, 9 a.m., in Springettsbury. The York Road Runners Club Winter Series rolls forward with this race. Check out the event on

Ninja 5K/10K/Half: Saturday, Jan. 13, 8 a.m., in York. Aim for a sneaky-fast time in this event, which features three different race distances. Look up the event on

Also: North Park Half Marathon (Saturday, in Allison Park); Shiver by the River 5K/10K (Saturday, Jan. 13, in Scranton);Shiver by the River 5K/10K (Sunday, Jan. 14, in Reading).

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