July 2018 Newsletter

Welcome to the July 2018 Newsletter. Thanks for the submissions, and keep them coming!

Table of Contents

    1. Letter From a Board Member by Geoff Dunbar
    2. An Open Letter to the Couch to 5K Participants
    3. Things I See When I Am Running by Lori Bliss Hill
    4. The Catamount Ultra 50K by Emily Cousens
    5. UVRC Survey by Ryan Scelza
    6. The Survey Says by Paul Gardent
    7. Northern New England by Judy Phillips
    8. Running Buddies by Jim Burnett
    9. Granite State Track and Field by Colin Smith
    10. Chocorua Mountain Race by Joffrey Peters
    11. Book Review: Running For My Life by Julia Neily
    12. Mount Washington Road Race Volunteers by Michael Gonnerman
    13. Windham Flat and Fast 5K by Jim Burnett
    14. Capital City Classic 10K by Jim Burnett
    15. Cats and Running Clothes by Ellen Chandler
    16. UVRC Cares by Jim Burnett
    17. What I Read When I Read About Running
      By Jim Burnett


Letter From a Board Member

By Geoff Dunbar

The early UVRC singlet, featured at the 2011 Bill Luti 5 Miler.

I was recently talking to Max Kinateder, who revealed at last week’s track workout that he was moving to Montreal. We’ll miss you Max! I mentioned something about how a group of us had started the Upper Valley Running Club in 2011, 8 years ago. He was startled that the club was that young. “It seems like such a institution!”, Max said.

So, a brief history lesson. Think back to the halcyon days of 2010, in the Upper Valley. There was a thriving running community. Most of the big local races that you think of (Covered Bridges, Shamrock Shuffle, CHaD, etc), were already established and successful. The Western New Hampshire Trail Running Series was a couple year in, and already a hit with the area trail runners. Kim Sheffield put on a well attended track workout once a week through the summer months, just as she does now. However, when I moved to the area, it was hard to make a connection with these running activities; you had to find them through word of mouth.

Over the winter of 2010-2011 some of us decided to change that. Our initial board members were myself, Paul Coats, Dave and Pam Aman, Steve Andrews, Kim Sheffield, and Krista Oehlke (representing DERT). I won’t try to mention the many others who were instrumental in getting the club going, mainly because I don’t think I can remember all of you. In some ways it is difficult starting a new running club, but in many ways our task was easy. We just needed to get together the people that were already active and community minded in the local running world. We’ve succeeded in that, not because we (the leaders of the UVRC) are awesome, but because we have such a great group of dedicated and welcoming runners in the area.

The first year, our unstated goal was to reach 100 members, and we peaked at 106. I was thrilled and amazed at our 5th place New Hampshire Grand Prix finish (215 points, to winner Gate City with 964). In my mind, we are still a little upstart running club, just happy to have some folks together to run with. When someone like Max refers to us as “an institution”, it still doesn’t quite compute. But, we hover around 300 members now, and compete seriously in (and sometimes win!) the NHGP. I won’t even try to list all of the new programs and activities we’ve introduced in the past 8 years (maybe in a future letter). I guess maybe by now we are a local institution.

An Open Letter to the Couch to 5K Participants

First, let me say ‘congrats’ to you all for joining this amazing program. Kudos! Now the day finally drawing near – the 5K you’ve been training for isn’t months or weeks in the future – it’s days away. You are probably feeling cautiously optimistic, nervous, excited, terrified, happy, proud, or some mix of everything.

I wanted to write to you as I was a formerly reluctant member of the Upper Valley Running Club. I was intimidated by a “running club”. “I’m too slow for a club; clubs are for FAST people”, I told my husband when he coaxed me to join after he went to a few group runs. He tried to convince me that everyone was nice, no one cared about paces that they were just there to have fun. I thought, “he’s fine with it – because he’s fast! Of course he fit right in.” Then came a weekend when the kids were away at their grandparents, the day was gorgeous and I had NO excuse in the world not to attend the Saturday morning group run with him. To my genuine surprise, I found a group of welcoming and warm people overjoyed to see a new face. One ritual of the group runs that I was terrified about was the opening: the group goes around a circle and each person states their pace and how far they’d like to run. I saw that it began with the organizer and went around. I stood near him so that I could listen and go last so I could hear all the other people and the paces. I was positive I was going to be embarrassed to say my pace and that I only wanted to run a “measly” 3 miles. But…as we went around, I heard paces ranging from 5:30 min/mile to 12:00 min/mile. People wanted to run/walk 3 miles and others were training for a marathon and were hoping to do at least 14. No one appeared self-conscious about their pace or their distance and certainly they had no reason to be. Everyone was just happy to be there, in the warm sunlight about to do something they loved. Finally, my turn came and I said my pace and my distance goal for the day. No one laughed. There was no snickering – just smiles and a chorus of ‘welcomes’ when I said it was my first time there. “Had my husband been right?!” I was hesitant to admit, but so far, it seemed like he was.

We broke to find those running about our pace and distance and a small group of 4 women introduced themselves and we took off. We ran, we chatted, we got quiet when it got hard, we turned around after 2 miles and I ended up running 4 miles. I was so pleased. I’d met new friends, ran farther than I’d hoped, and had generally had a completely wonderful time. I was still skeptical though and thought, “Maybe this was an anomaly. All the fast people must be off racing somewhere.” But as we attended more and more events, met more people, and officially joined the club, I came to realize that my first impression was exactly what the club was all about. It’s a warm and welcoming group of people who happen to all run and that has been my experience at each and every event and interaction.

All that to say – WE WANT YOU. You’re about to complete a 5K and we want you to keep running! Join us. We’re SO excited to have you. We’re pumped for more running buddies, more Tuesday Night Track (TNT) peeps to slog through loops around the track with, and more people to know! I tell this to anyone who’ll listen, but you, Couch-to-5Kers, probably need to hear it more than most. The Upper Valley Running Club really IS this kind of club. We WANT YOU to join Saturday runs. To join the club. To ride the van to away races. To come to love running as much as they all do. Along the way, you’ll run some miles, be proud of your new-found hobby, and meet some pretty fantastic people.

Run like the wind on July 4th! We’ll all be there cheering you on!


A Running Club Convert

Things I See When I Am Running

By Lori Bliss Hill

Have you ever had that feeling???

The Catamount Ultra 50K

By Emily Cousens

After quitting my previous running club and taking a much-needed break from intense road-racing, this past winter I ran completely by feel. I basically didn’t do workouts and surrendered to some delicious, healthy easy pace. In January, two friends presented the idea of us all signing up for the Bear Mountain 50k race in New York in early May. I was fully on board. As the date neared, we all caved and decided to bail on the race. But my running-by-feel had given me a good base and for the first time in what felt like forever, I had been healthy for a for a full year. I was also mentally and emotionally prepared for dropping the money necessary for signing up for an ultra. So I did it. I signed up for the Catamount Ultra.

The training:

Ultras seem like the perfect fit for me because two staples of my lifestyle are running slow in the woods for long periods of time and snacking. To structure (lol…loose term) my training I read Hal Koerner’s Field Guide to Ultra-Running and was constantly on google (“how long should such-and-such run be?” “how much should I eat for such-and-such time?” “is 5,000 feet of climbing a lot?”).

The long runs stood out as clearly the most important part. People described these as opportunities to “dial-in” (I learned that “dialing” is a big term in ultra-speak, i.e. “I had my shoes and socks totally dialed for the river crossing,” I also learned that even socks can be dialed.) things like pace and gear and food. In March, I looked ahead at my calendar picked out a few weekends to run long. But when the time came for these runs, I hadn’t prepped my nutrition (it was not dialed) so I would grab any gu I could scrounge up from the depths of the kitchen cabinet and a 12oz flask and head out the door to a slow death.

My longest run was a miserable 24-miler on the first hot day of spring. It was right before getting on a plane to my brother’s wedding in California, and right after meeting with my new colleagues at a new job. I was tired and unfocused. I parked on Goose Pond Road by the trail heads to Moose Mt and Holt’s Ledge. My plan was to run over Dartmouth Skiway to Dorchester Road, then over Smart’s and down the backside to the Greens Woodlands nordic trails, then back to Dorchester road, back over the skiway, to my car, for the ultimate lollipop of death. My plans went out the window when I found myself tired and crying at the top of holt’s ledge, a mere 2 miles into the run. Not in a good mental or physical place that day, I knew that at that pace of slogging and crying my planned run would take 6 hours. I went down the skiway and hit Dorchester Road and decided to head left towards Lyme instead. I took Baker Hill to loop back to my car and ran a Goose Pond out-and-back for 24 miles and four hours.

Not Dialed: There were a couple components I was neglecting in my training. First, I was training entirely in road shoes. I also hadn’t planned or practiced my fuel. The literature all says to test what you eat before race day, but this can be hard to do. Race fuel is really only available at a few stores in the area, not around the corner at Hannaford’s or Jake’s. For most of my long runs I drank Gatorade or ate Hannaford brand fruit snacks because they are cheap and easy to buy in a pinch when it’s the morning of a long run and the sporting goods stores are still closed. But, the fruit snacks and Gatorade upset my stomach and I had some below-ideal situations when eating them. With a few weeks to go I acquired some Brooks Calderas from Omer & Bob’s and my mom got me a bunch of gu roctane packets (we had been listening to ultraunner podcasts together on a long car ride, when Magdalena Boulet described gu roctane, my mom said, “That sounds incredible!”) which worked great for my training runs. So, even though I was far from “dialed in”, the gu didn’t give me any noticeable problems, which was good enough!

Going into the race felt like packing for vacation. I went through a checklist and had everything I needed, nonetheless I felt like I was forgetting something. Maybe because going into it, I imagined the training and preparation would all be crazy and impossible. Impossible long runs with impossible climbing. But it all felt pretty normal. It was just running. I guess if I did forget something (and don’t we always?) I would know when I got to Stowe.

Race Weekend:

I was so lucky to have my boyfriend come up to the race with me. I knew part of him wanted to be out their racing, so I was so grateful that he agreed to be my support/cheer squad. I found an inexpensive B&B in Stowe about 10 minutes from Trapp’s for us to stay Friday night. The room was incredibly simple (no TV, no coffee maker) but just right for what we needed: a comfy bed, a bathroom, and a Bernese Mountain Dog who lived downstairs and greeted us like an angel from heaven. We brought our own water boiler for instant oats in the morning, and picked up a 3-to-2 prong plug adapter at the hardware store when we realized the room really is old-fashioned. Unfortunately, the race forced me to miss the breakfast, which I hear is incredible. The evening before the race we did a little shakeout at bib pickup followed by salty bowls of ramen and some hot chamomile tea for me and a focal banger for Tom at ZenBarn. We watched an episode and a half of Big Little Lies and went to bed.

Race day:

This was honestly the best pre-race morning I have ever given myself and I plan to replicate it before all my big races from now on. I woke up early to give myself some digestion time between breakfast and the race (with a 7am start time I should have tried for 4-4:30, but 5:15 was totally fine). Our water boiler worked like a charm and I had two packets of instant oats with peanut butter and a mug of tea while watching a couple episodes of Bob’s Burgers to ease the nerves. Routine of champs.

When I arrived at the race, in the sea of intimidating race vests and arm sleeves, I was met by three insanely magical and calming omens. My middle school cross-country coach/hometown hero Christin was running. A former college teammate from New York was running. And one of my closest high school teammates was running. I took these surprises as a sign that it would be a good day.

When the race started, I had no idea what to do. The books and articles all say to start easy, but how easy? I erred on the side of caution, spending the first mile-ish around 10-minute pace, then I saw Christin’s red singlet up ahead. She has been racing for years and is incredibly strong and smart. I thought, she probably knows what she’s doing, and moved up to run with her. We ran together for about ten miles and chatted the whole way. The miles flew by, both of us surprised to get to aid stations so quickly, and surprised by how easy it felt, “5 miles already?”, “that was the big hill?” She continuously encouraged me and when we sat in 5th and 6th place, she pushed me to move on and chase down the other women. So after 10 miles I moved up and caught 4th and 3rd place, then kept moving.

Going into the half-way mark I caught up to the 2nd place woman, Britta, and we ran together as we passed the start/finish line. At the half-way point aid station I realized how much slower I am at aid stations than the more experienced ultra-runners. The 2nd place woman was in-and-out in a matter of seconds. I lingered for a while, fumbling to refill my handheld flask and stuff gus in my pockets, while disposing of the wrappers I had eaten. I started the second lap in 3rd place. In the next 5 miles I passed 2nd then passed 1st, and went into the first aid station in the lead. At the aid station I noticed Britta was right behind me, forgoing my usual handheld/zipper/gu pocket dance I left the aid station with handfuls of gus and my handheld sleeve in one hand and my bottle in the other. I spent the next descent trying to watch my footing while also regrouping my gear.
Britta and I ran together, chatted, and I felt great until around 20 miles when I suddenly didn’t. I realized that the conversation we were having was taking energy from me, and couldn’t really think straight. At the final aid station, mile 24ish, she flew in and out while I left feeling totally depleted. I smiled at my boyfriend who was handing me gus and chirped out a nice, “I feel amazing babe!” I forced myself to eat a handful of watermelon and another gu, hoping it would wake my legs up but ultimately my legs were not responding. I watched Britta increase her lead from ten seconds to thirty. Around 27 miles I left the woods to cross a big open field and realized I couldn’t even see her at the other end, she was at least 90 seconds ahead of me.

(When I reflect on the race now, I realize my crash is likely from too much sugar paired with careless caffeine consumption/avoidance. I am not a coffee-drinker and rarely have caffeine, but race day morning I decided to have some black tea. Then, during the race, I refused any gu that had caffeine in it out of fear that it would upset my stomach, which was likely the wrong move. I was eating a caffeine-free gu every 30mins and likely had a combination sugar/caffeine crash towards the end. Maybe having a caffeine-y gu in the middle and end of the race wouldn’t have made a difference, but I’m excited to test it out in the future.)

Meanwhile, I could see Christin closing the gap behind me. I knew she was strong, especially on hills, and my legs were completely done. It took absolutely everything I had to push through the last three miles without getting passed. I have never felt like that before, I could not lift my legs. But when I crawled over the top of the last hill and saw the flat to do the finish, I knew I had sealed second place and would finish below the previous course record.

I am so amazed and humbled by the whole race and by the strength and resilience of my competitors. When I finished, Britta came over to congratulate me (please note she was already walking around and eating snacks), then Christin finished and, still on her legs, gave me an enthusiastic congrats. Meanwhile, I was on the ground crying and shivering and wondering how the heck they were still standing.

All-in-all, I couldn’t have asked for a better day. Of course I wanted to win, but entering the race my main goals were to finish, avoid GI emergencies, and not hate it. Not only was my tummy totally fine, but I had a blast and felt strong. Even in the darkest points of the race, I loved what I was doing.

UVRC Survey

By Ryan Scelza

Ryan put together a survey for the club; thanks to Ryan and the many of you who responded. Here are the results!


The Survey Says

By Paul Gardent

The UVRC membership has an extraordinary amount of knowledge and insight into all things running including favorite running routes, fueling recipes, running apps or gear suggestions. We realized it would be fun, helpful and interesting to share this knowledge in the UVRC newsletter. Each month we will be sending out a very brief SurveyMonkey link to the membership on one or two running topics. Some of the topics will be the usual running questions (favorite running app) while others may be a bit quirky (things I have found on my run). All are sure to be interesting and informative. A summary of the survey results will be published each month in the Newsletter in “The Survey Says” column.

So look for the first survey coming to your email later in July. It is sure to be fun!

Northern New England

By Judy Phillips

Is there anything more beautiful than running in Northern New England? The colors, the challenging terrain, the quiet….the natural beauty. Bliss!

Running Buddies

By Jim Burnett

Mookie on the porch in Hancock Point, Maine, ready for anything. Cadillac Mt in the background.

Mookie leaned in from the back of the Jeep and gently licked the sweat off my cheek. It was midnight and we were just starting the drive back to our family cottage on Hancock Point. A few days before, a running friend, Michael Wade, who now lives in the Bar Harbor area, saw pictures I had posted on Instagram and asked if I wanted to join a group to run up the auto road to view the full Strawberry Moon from the summit of Cadillac Mt. Mookie and I napped strategically that afternoon and our game plan was to meet Mike and friends at the Loop Road entrance to Acadia National Park at 9:15 pm, I would summit Cadillac, take in the celestial show, shuffle back down and drive home with Mook to eat popcorn, watch Brazil try to secure its place in the Knock Out Round of the World Cup, then sleep in and chill by the fireplace during the rainy day that was predicted for the next day.

What I didn’t expect was that Mike’s friend, John, would meet us at the top with chocolate covered strawberries to aptly celebrate the occasion. This offering more than made up for the gauzy cloud cover that revealed only split-second glimpses of the star (moon) of the show and the wind gusts that every now and then shoved us around like a playground bully. No matter. The ketones, induced by our ascent, filled the group with good cheer and we laughed and posed for summit photos with beams from our headlamps drawing pictures in the night sky.

Mookie is my running buddy and one of the most patient and loyal creatures I know. He waited calmly in the Jeep for my return. As I approached, I saw his bristle-brush white and muzzle poke out from behind the car seat and breath softly against the window. I couldn’t see, but I knew his hindquarters and tail were squirming with delight at my return.

Earlier that day Mookie and I circled the Point on our daily 5K walk – up the driveway, down Point Rd, left on a mossy trail through softwoods to Carter’s Beach, along the shore road past the town wharf, around the tip of the Point, back onto Point Rd and down the driveway to the cottage. Mookie chased a doe and fawn in the woodlot next to the driveway, dragged driftwood along Carter’s Beach, sniffed and greeted many other dogs, pooped dutifully off the side of the road, lifted his snout gracefully to enjoy the salt air, nuzzled my pocket a get an extra dog treat and launched happy through the doorway upon return to guzzle water from his bowl.

The day before we ventured to a recently opened Rails-to-Trails path for a walk. This turned into a trail run over remnants of RR ties – a worn out keyboard covered with rocks and roots. We tried this local trail for the first time last summer in an effort to find an alternative to the beautiful but crowded carriage paths at Acadia, a 45-minute drive away. Then, I was hoping to run with Mookie off-leash so he could sniff at his leisure while I cruised along. It took me no time at all to trip and fall.

This time, I fully intended to avoid planting my face among various hard objects underfoot and walk instead of run, but the urge to up the pace overcame me and gradually my walking pace became a very careful jog. “This time I will pay attention,” I told myself sternly. I tried following the advice I had discovered in a book about an aged runner, like me, attempting set an age group record for a 50 mile trail run, “…when the trail is treacherous, you have to be able to not only think on your feet but to think with your feet.” (The Longest Race, Ed Ayers, 2012) I glanced over to critique Mookie’s methods. He was floating along effortlessly, nose to the ground, zigging and zapping from leaf to twig to stone. His paws padded gently from the dirt surface to the tops of ties, roots and rocks – pat, pat, pat… I invoked my feet to speak to me. “Show me the way.”

Scanning the trail a few meters ahead, I selected friendly promontories to aim for. Planting one foot on the dirt surface, I hopped up and onto my chosen target. If I wasn’t sure it would provide a solid landing point, I tapped on it gently with my lead foot and quickly replanted my trailing foot back on something flat and safe on the other side – up, down, up, down, tap, tap, tap… Instead of shuffling along, which has become my technique of necessity in old age when running on a smooth surface, I was hopping like a bunny, slowly but surely. After picking my way along successfully for some time, feeling – almost grabbing – each footfall through the soles of my shoes, a rye smile stretched across my face. “I can do this!”

About five years ago I joined the Upper Valley Trail Runners for runs through Boston Lot, a preserved forest in Lebanon NH offering a maze running trails. Mike Tegart lead the way. His love for trail running was infectious and I recalled how at the time I questioned his seemingly inefficient technique of launching from rock to root to log. It was like he was just looking for trouble. Why zig to the right to jump like a toad to a boulder top, then zag to the left to balance on root before leaping over a log. “Mike, you’re not on the trail!” Later it dawned on me that this was not about running efficiency, this was about crawling across the landscape like an ant. Yes, and I wish I had six legs, this is about feeling your way along slowly, it’s about looking for rocks and roots, not avoiding them.

Mookie stopped for a drink in the stream then looked at me with a look that said, “Follow me.” “Gladly,” I thought to myself and off we went. Running buddies indeed.

Granite State Track and Field

By Colin Smith

In the June newsletter, I wrote an article about the Granite State Track and Field program. At that point we were a few weeks into twice a week practices for the 9-14 year old kids at the Lebanon High School track. The 50 or so kids were having fun learning the skills required by the different events – how to do a sprint start, pace themselves in longer events, do a long long-jump, and how to do a fast and legal relay exchange.

In June they were able to put those new skills into practice at three meets. The first was a practice meet at Newport High School. The Lebanon team looked very fashionable in their tie-dyed t-shirts, and got there first chance to compete against opponents from towns across Western NH, with teams from places like Littleton, Plymouth, Newport, Hanover, New London, and Bow.

The regional championships were at Lebanon High School on a sunny Saturday. This time it was for real, although I didn’t see too much evidence of pre-race nerves (at least not in my house, my son was busy playing with LEGO when I went to see if he was ready, “oh, is that today, Dad?”).

The meeting kicked off with a parade of athletes, like in the Olympics, and singing the national anthem, and then it was down to business. In each event, a first four finish was needed to qualify for the state meet, and over the course of the day there were a lot of hard fought battles for fourth place.

Not suprisingly given the location, Lebanon had one of the largest teams, particularly in the 9-10 age group, and won or placed well in lots of races. And, even amongst those finishing further back, it seemed like everyone had great fun competing at the meet, which is of course the important thing.

In the end Lebanon qualified 22 kids for the state meet, with a team of 17 available to attend the meet at Winnisquam High School in Tilton. At this Friday evening event the best athletes from Western NH were joined by their peers from Eastern NH, with teams from communities like Exeter and Rochester.

There were some standout performances by Lebanon runners in the individual events, including Brianna and Zoe taking 1st and 2nd in the girls 13-14 400m and Ryle winning the boys 11-12 200m (making up for a stumble at the start of the 100m that limited him to 2nd place).

However, Lebanon seemed to save their best for the relays. The 9-10 boys had won the regional meet with a strong anchor leg from Issac (see photo of from left to right Isaac, Eban, Alistair, and Lodi) but were a bit overmatched by the eastern teams and came 6th. But the 9-10 girls (Grayson, Summer, Josie, and Rachel) were front runners throughout with Rachel bringing it home comfortably. And the 11-12 boys (Connor, Ryder, Nick, and Ryle) turned a 5th place after 3 legs into a win, with anchor Ryle storming past the runners ahead of him.

Thanks to Lebanon Rec and the coaching team of John Wolfe and Ralph Horak for putting on such a great program and introducing so many kids to competing in track and field.

Chocorua Mountain Race

By Joffrey Peters

Though this is the first year of this race, I had been looking forward to it for some time. It is one of the few trail races within White Mountain National Forest. While I enjoy the occasional solitude of trails in the Whites, I was looking forward to toeing the line with a number of New England’s mountain and ultra-running crushers.

The race was originally billed as a 25 km race, but due to logistical challenges of having a race in the Whites, the course changed. It ended up being just a tad longer than half-marathon distance with about 3500 ft of gain – mostly in a single climb. From the start in a field near the Hammond Trailhead the course rambled, through rolling hills on single track and forest roads for the first 5 miles, before hitting the one-and-only aid station. From there, the course climbed Chocorua Mountain via Brook Trail, ascending the memorable scramble to the summit, where runners’ numbers were checked. Dropping back down the scramble, the route took the Hammond Trail down a knee-smashing decent back to the start.

The race started at 9 am. There were about 180 entrants, several of whom were fellow Upper Valley runners: our very own Kevin Hartstein, as well as Vanessa Garlick, and Brandon Baker who organized the recent Ascutney Hill Climb and Shaker Seven races.

Race day was sunny and warm – about 60 F at the start, getting up to nearly 80 by early-afternoon when the last finishers crossed the line. The paces started off frantic with a lead pack forming behind local legend and eventual winner Tristan Williams. I stupidly held on to the 7-minute-per-mile pace in hilly terrain, and paid for it later. After the first mile I dropped off, and soon could not see the front pack of 5 runners.

When the course opened up onto dirt roads, Kevin and Brandon passed me as I slowed to what felt like a crawl. After the first aid station a few more people passed me charging up the early shallower hill grades, but I knew most of them would come back. And indeed, by the time I reached the summit, most of them were again behind me.

At the summit I gave the volunteer there a fist-bump, and took a minute to look around and have a snack. It’s truly a beautiful summit – steep, scrambly, exposed, and with 360-degree views of the Mount Washington Valley, the Lakes Region, and much of the White Mountains. Stunning!

After taking in the views and catching my breath, I took off down hill. While track workouts have generally made me faster, I would not say that they have improved my downhill running! My legs did not have the expected power and I found myself keeping the brakes on all the way down, instead of letting loose as I had hoped. My wobbly legs still let me reel in and pass a few more people charging down hill, then barely held me upright through the final flats and gentle hills toward the end. I finished in 2:22, more than 20 minutes after the winner, and about 11 minutes behind Kevin, who took third. Tristan Williams was in a class of his own that day (as he often is), winning by 10 minutes over Jason Lantz, who won the Vermont 100 in 2013, and who recently moved to NH.

Brandon finished a few minutes behind me, having had a rough race, and Vanessa placed second for women with a bloody knee! There were a number of bloody knees and bumps and bruises from stumbles and falls, but the mood was generally upbeat, supportive, and fun.

The after-party had a few pony-kegs of beer on ice, and a food truck serving up hot dogs, veggie wraps, and ice cream! The ice cream was great, but personally I found the food and beer a little lacking. In all, though, the race was wonderful and a great way to spend a June morning. Hopefully race directors Ryan and Christina Welts manage to fight through the logistical difficulties of dealing with the Forest Service and pull off the race again next year! It’s sure to be a classic.

Book Review: Running For My Life

By Julia Neily

I went to the 5 colleges’ book sale and in the running section I met Betsy Gonnerman. She was so friendly and helped me find all the books on running. I bought half of them trying to be moderate. Not my strength. I returned the next day and bought the rest for half price.

So far my favorite was “Running for My Life” by Lopez Lomong

This is a memoir starting with about a 6 year old boy in Sudan captured by rebels and put into a camp to become a boy soldier. I thought this was just a book about running and was surprised to learning it also included faith. This man was strong in so many ways.

The boys were taken from their mother’s arms during a church service. They were thrown into a truck and taken to a camp where they were fed oatmeal with sand mixed in. Three boys who were from the same village became his angels as he called them and helped him escape to a refugee camp in Kenya.

In order to play soccer with the older boys the younger ones had to run 18 miles first. So Lopez got used to running at an early age. He had a positive attitude and strong faith. As the book continues more good things happen to this young man. I hope you will read it.

Mount Washington Road Race Volunteers

By Bill Young

Only One Hill Orange Flag Wavers

Intrepid Mount Washington UVRC volunteers once again ruled the parking lot, motorcycles and black flies on Friday afternoon before the infamous MWRR.  Check out the sartorially color coordinated orange flags and shirts. The UVRCVFWT (upper valley running club volunteer flag waving team) earned 8 lottery by-pass numbers for 2019.  Now more UVRC runners can be punished by the 7.6 mile/12% grade auto road plus 231 mile per hour wind at the top!

Windham Flat and Fast 5K

By Jim Burnett

Yes, we could have used more Wooly Warriors at the Windham Flat and Fast 5K on Sunday, but the Chuggers that did toe the line (17) were an Elite Special Ops Force indeed. And, the weekend get together was topped off by a brunch at Talia’s courtesy of UVRC. We did get up early for the vanpool ride down but we were back at 1 pm bearing awards and smiles.

Bib Name Club Pt 
===== ================== ========================= === 
376   Pam Moore          Upper Valley Running Club 9 
400   Rebecca Stanfield  Upper Valley Running Club 9 
229   Laurie Reed        Upper Valley Running Club 8 
318   Megan Miller       Upper Valley Running Club 8 
380   Rick Currier       Upper Valley Running Club 8 
226   James Burnett      Upper Valley Running Club 7 
383   Mary Mancuso       Upper Valley Running Club 7 
385   Geoff Dunbar       Upper Valley Running Club 6 
386   Nancy Dunbar       Upper Valley Running Club 6 
350   Elizabeth Gonnerma Upper Valley Running Club 4 
375   Tom Moore          Upper Valley Running Club 4 
381   Gunner Currier     Upper Valley Running Club 4 
295   Kenneth Stone      Upper Valley Running Club 3 
384   Ellen Chandler     Upper Valley Running Club 3 
378   Jose Suarez        Upper Valley Running Club 2 
347   Karen Wright       Upper Valley Running Club 1 

Tiff Currier also ran to a 5K PR!!!

Betsy Gonnerman came in first in the Women’s Age-Graded competition.

Team Scores (Unofficial)
Gate City Striders  199
Greater Derry TC    158
UVRC                 89

Although UVRC lost ground to GDTC, we still are the second place team after 3 races, by 39 points, GCS is first and GDTC is third.

Come Join in the Fun…



Capital City Classic 10K

By Jim Burnett

Wooly Warriors,

22 Chuggers lined up in front of the NH State Capitol for the Capital Classic 10K last Saturday for the 4th race of the 2018 NH Grand Prix Series and, despite a few gaps in age group representation, garnered a solid 92 team points to finish in 2nd place behind the Gate City Striders (GCS) 168 pts and squeaking by Greater Derry Track Club (GDTC) 91 pts. GCS now leads the way in the series with 758 pts after 4 races, UVRC remains in 2nd with 545 pts and GDTC trails in 3rd with 505 pts.

The Woolies had strong individual performances across most age groups.

  • M U30 – Travis Peters 7th
  • W U30 – Mary Peters 3rd (5th woman overall)
  • M30-39 – Joe Burnett 3rd (9th man overall)
  • W30-39 – Karen Wright 10th
  • M40-49 – Rich Smith 1st (6th man overall)
  • W40-49 – Alison Findon 13th
  • M50-59 – Tom Moore 10th
  • W50-59 – Kim Sheffield 4th
  • M60-69 – Len Hall 2nd
  • W60-69 ouch! 😂
  • M70+ ouch! 😂
  • W70+ – Mary Dunbar 1st 😃

19 of 23 finishing Chuggers scored team points. As always it boils down (like Wooly maple sap) to who shows up across all age groups. So, if you want to pitch in and be a Wooly Syrup Chugger Warrior next time, particularly if you can help fill an age group gap (just sayin’) come join in the fun for the 5th NHGP race, the Bill Luti 5 Miler, Saturday July 21st, in Concord NH. Racin’ Season is officially in “full tilt” (I love that expression).

And, and, and, if we really want to think ahead, pencil in the 6th NHGP race, the Epsom Old Home Days 4 Miler on Sunday, August 12th, Epsom NH. Plans for another Wooly Group post-race breakfast stop are in the works = 😋

What’s not to like???
Come join in the fun!!!
Score some points!!!
Chug some Wooly maple syrup
or smother it on your pancakes…
Zoooooooooom to that…

Cats and Running Clothes

By Ellen Chandler

This is my cat, Bella, who hopped on my heap of Covered Bridge clothes as I got in the shower. They were totally disgusting but she thought they were awesome. Sort of funny.

UVRC Cares

By Jim Burnett


As I write there are 3 more boxes of running shoes waiting to be picked up from our front steps to be sent to the MORE Foundation Group in Delaware for recycling. The “new look” boxes pictured above explain the recycling process carried out by MORE.

Fast Facts…

  • One pair of used athletic shoes can generate One Million Tree Seeds every year for decades!
  • Reforestation of a country can be accomplished with One Million Kids and Your Shoes!
  • 1 pair of shoes off sets 1 ton of CO2!
  • 5,000 products are made from trees; a regenerative supply of fuel, food, fiber and organic commodities!
  • Your athletic shoes are sold to street venders creating jobs. This funds the entire Project!
  • MORE purchases tree seeds, supplies and tools for one million kids to plant one tree each!
  • In the past 3 years UVRC has now recycled 750 pairs of athletic shoes through MORE!!!

What I Read When I Read About Running

by Jim Burnett

Heart Rate Monitoring: It was a hot Saturday on the rail trail but I had no complaints. After starting with the UVRC Omer & Bob’s group run I was on my own shuffling along at an easy pace. Having recently read three books about using a heart rate sensor to monitor my effort while training, my goal for the day was an out-and-back timed run of 90 minutes starting with a 15 minute warmup then gently ramping up the pace until reaching the top end of my “easy” zone. Most athletes in training are familiar with heart rate zones of exertion. You can go by perceived effort – easy, moderate, difficult, hard, or use formulas to determine these zones then monitor your efforts using a heart rate sensor, usually a belt strapped around your chest that sends signals to a watch on your wrist.
If you are interested to learn more about heart rate monitoring, I suggest you come to Roy Benson’s talk on the subject to be held right after TNT at Dartmouth track on July 24th, location TBA but probably at classroom under bleachers or, if not, Howe Library in Hanover or refer to the following books.
Heart Rate Training, Roy Benson and Declan Connolly (2011)
1:59: The Sub-Two-Hour Marathon, Dr. Philip Maffetone (2014)
80/20 Running, Robert Johnson and Matt Fitzgerald (2014)

A Runner’s Story: I love to hear a runner’s story – his memoir, her autobiography or, second best, his or her biography as told by another runner.
Deena Kastor’s story, Let Your Mind Run, is a page turner that reveals her true grit and determination. In high school Deena ran full throttle from the gun and hung on to the finish. She was unbeatable, literally, for years as a teenager in California. She also stepped up and won national championships in cross country simply by running hard. Deena had good gut instincts and knew she needed help to get to the top. She packed her bags, and dog, Aspen, drove across the country, knocked on Joe Vigil’s door and begged him to let her join his all-male training group. Joe is the famous cross country coach who lead North Adams State to multiple NCAA DIII Championships and then applied his training group methods to professional runners. “What are your goals?” Vigil asked upon her arrival. “To break 15 minutes in the 5K and run in the Olympics.” Joe gave Deena a shot. He was a task master and she did everything he told her to do. After years of running scared, Deena realized that fears could be transformed and visualized as positive outcomes. From Joe, Deena learned the power of positive thinking, she relaxed and let her mind run. The results: Bronze medal in 2004 Olympic Marathon, holds US women’s marathon record, 2:19:36 (2006), formerly held women’s road 5K, 14:54, Carlsbad 5000 (2002), among many others. Deena delivered!

In On a Cold Clear Day (1992), Frank Murphy chronicles the running career of little known American distance runner, Buddy Edelen, who crossed the Atlantic to train with the Brits in 1960. Following in the footsteps of the first sub-four minute miler, Roger Bannister, the English were the world’s best long distance runners at the time. Banging out ridiculous interval workouts like 40 x 400 @ between 76 and 69 with training partner Mel Batty, and weekly mileage consistently over 120 miles, Edelen developed into a “beast” at long distances culminating in his crowning achievement, the American, course and world record at the 50th running of the Polytechnic Marathon in 1963 in London, 2:14:28. As he said after setting the record, “The days of the plodding marathon are over. It takes speed work like the 110-yard sprints I practice and the hard training on the roads to give you both the pace and the stamina you need.”

At the age of 48, onetime marathon world record holder Alberto Salazar suffered a heart attack while walking across the Nike campus in Beaverton OR on his way to coach an Oregon Project workout. He flatlined for 14 minutes before miraculously making a full recovery overtime. In his memoir, 14 Minutes (2012) he tells his runner’s story and talks about, among other things, his family’s escape from Cuba as Castro came to power and his near death experience. Salazar’s success as a Massachusetts high school cross country and track star earned him a chance to train with the Greater Boston Track Club, while still in high school, and with the likes of marathon great Bill Rodgers. At GBTC he was also taken under the wing of legendary distance coach Bill Squires. Rodgers marathon victories, 4 in Boston and 5 in New York, were due in large part to Squires. He convinced Rodgers to back off his tendency to overtrain and injure himself and to instead rest up and recover between hard workouts. Squires tried but ultimately couldn’t persuade Roberto to take his foot off the gas. Roberto abandoned GBTC and skyrocketed to early success and in 1981 set a then world record for the marathon at NYC, 2:08:13, but soon after ran himself into the ground, shortening a promising professional career. It was Salazar’s ability to block out pain that did him in.

About This Newsletter

This newsletter is put out monthly (more or less) by the Upper Valley Running Club, the premier (and only) running club in the Connecticut River Upper Valley Region. This month, the newsletter was edited by Geoff Dunbar, with article collection by Laura Petto. Any comments, questions, submissions, fartlek workout suggestions, etc, send to newsletter@uppervalleyrunningclub.org.

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