Winter hasn’t been acting like winter, at least so far, and that’s good news for the folks who put together the Bucks County Roadrunners Club’s annual Winter Series.
Snowfall has been negligible as the WS nears its midpoint on the 11-race schedule at Tyler State Park.
Of course, having said that, there is some white stuff forecast for Saturday but probably not enough to cancel or modify this Sunday’s Polar Bear 8-Mile event.
“The weather so far has been incredible,’’ says Winter Series director John O’Brien. “No races have been canceled or modified. It’s been a great start.’’
The Winter Series is offering finisher medals for the first time this year. Any runner who qualifies for an age-group award and completes the 100K combined distance of the races receives that commemorative.
Those, combined with moderate racing conditions, have brought out plenty of runners.
“Our numbers are up for each race so far this season,’’ O’Brien says. A typical race draws close to 300 runners on the challenging Tyler hills.
The WS has been providing offseason racing since the formation of the club in 1978.
With five races in the books, defending men’s champion Jamie Gray is off to another fast start and has yet to be defeated this year. On the women’s side, Allyson Thompson is also undefeated.
The BCRR Winter Series raises money for a number of great causes.
For instance, some $400 was raised for the Give a Christmas Fund at the Jingle Bell 5.3-Miler.
Meanwhile, each week seems to bring out a new theme.
The club’s Wild Card race happened to coincide with the Eagles’ wild card playoff game, so there was a little extra excitement that Sunday. And no doubt there were more than a few green hats, tops and gloves in the field.
Wild Card director Joe Boyce took some off-the-grid pleasure in designing a course which incorporated most of Tyler’s treacherous inclines.
Boyce, who also oversees the club’s McTuesday night group run in Yardley, says it’s fun to see the runners’ reactions to the course when they reach the finish line.
“It’s a course you don’t know in advance,’’ Boyce says. “The degree of difficulty is measured by how many obscene gestures we get at the finish. It’s the perfect blend of pain and pleasure.’’
For veteran runners, the races combine competition with pleasure. The “after parties’’ at the pavilion are legendary. Coffee, hot chocolate, soft pretzels, candy and more.
“There’s something for everyone,’’ Boyce says.
For more information on the Winter Series, visit www.bcrrclub.com.
BCRR Winter Series Polar Bear 8-Miler, 9 a.m., Tyler State Park, Newtown. Contact www.bcrrclub.com
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