Let it snow? Fieldhouse runners use shelter to shun storms

Runners can find respite from the cold by running in Lavino Fieldhouse once a week

Well, the weather outside might be frightful.

But running indoors on a beautiful 200-meter track each Wednesday night?

Now that’s delightful.

The Mercer-Bucks Running Club has been going in circles (actually “ovals”) for nigh on 40 years at historic Lavino Fieldhouse on the grounds of Lawrenceville (N.J.) Prep School. . .and loving every minute of it.

Runners from throughout the area, including Bucks County, take advantage of this facility to work on everything from speed to just easy conversational training.

It’s been a part of my schedule for decades. The opportunity to run in shorts and singlet when the snow piles up outside is the highlight of my winter weeks.

Runners in all shapes and sizes, old and young, stop by knowing they won’t need hats, gloves, jackets and heavy duty shoes.

You get the fast — like former Pennsbury High School state champions Sara and Olivia Sargent – and the not so fast.

But there’s room for everyone, at any pace, and that’s what makes it fun.

Sessions are held from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Longtime Bucks County Roadrunners official Michael Gross says he enjoys making the short trip over from Bucks to use the track.

“It’s an amazing facility,’’ Gross says. “It’s as good as any big-time college indoor track.’’

Langhorne’s Bill Gould also has been spotted at Lavino, doing intervals with Gross at a rather high rate of speed.

“Bill and I had some amazing workouts there,’’ Gross says. “We greatly appreciate the opportunity to run at such a facility.

“It brought me back to my high school and college days running and racing indoors. It was a great way to stay sharp over the winter months and to meet some folks from the MBRC who were always so friendly to us BCRR folks.’’

Ron Jones goes back to the early days of the MBRC, an organization started, in part, by Newtown’s Curt Seifert.

“Doing interval track work on cold, snowy nights on one of the best indoor tracks on the East Coast allowed me to maintain a high level of fitness,’’ Jones says. “And there’s the fellowship of being indoors with a group of fellow runners, which is a great experience.’’

Pat Duncan, who recently completed the Steamtown and Philadelphia marathons, is a regular at Lavino.

“There’s nothing better than running with old friends inside on a blustery February evening,’’ he says.

Adds MaryAnn Connor, a veteran of the storied facility: “The fieldhouse is a perfect venue to continue your training in the winter, especially when the roads are too icy. I used the fieldhouse while training for my first marathon.’’

The schedule of remaining sessions for this winter:

  • Jan. 10, 17, 24.
  • Feb. 7, 14, 21.
  • March 28.

For more information on the track sessions, visit: www.princetonol.com (Princeton Online), type “Mercer-Bucks Running Club’’ into the search engine. Printable registration forms are available there and checks can be mailed to:
MBI, 687 Route 518, Lambertville, N.J. 08530 (609-773-0459).

Rates are available for singles, families and students.

Or better yet, just come on over about 6:15 one of the aforementioned nights and you will probably bump into me and a blank registration form or two.

And if you don’t have dinner plans, after the track we all head over to Vito’s in Pennington to eat pizza and tell tall tales.

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About Wayne Fish 2452 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.

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