Table of Contents
- Letter from a Board Member by Alex Hall
- Save the Dates by Amanda Kievet
- Here Comes the UVRS! by Geoff Dunbar
- Couch to 5k at CBHM by Mary Peters
- Is This Anything? by Rob Daniels
- Finishing the Major Marathons by Mary Dunbar
- Runner Bio: Sara Roebuck by Mary Peters
- Ask the Coaches
- The Survey Says… Favorite Running Routes
Letter from a Board Member
by Alex Hall
For a long while I thought I had taken the traditional path to a runner’s life. As a youngster I dabbled at summer fun meets at my local track. When I entered middle school, I joined the cross-country team, as well as the track & field team. I continued this path into high school, where they figured out how to fit another season of track (indoor track) and forced me into training through the winter. I was lucky enough to compete in college, which can be a grinding experience. The mileage gets longer, the pace faster, and the competition is much less forgiving. Alas, after graduation came a slight existential crisis of who I was, and whether or not running was still for me. And all this while, it seemed all the runners in my life had taken this similar path. Little did I know just how big and diverse the running world was!
At this point in my life I had run a lot of cross-country courses, far too many track races, and a handful of road races. It took some time, but I started to branch out. I ran my first marathon within a year of graduation and my first trail race a couple years after that. Another couple of years passed and I found myself in a number of mountain races, followed shortly thereafter by some snow shoe racing. I even competed in USATF’s All Terrain Series (Indoor, Snowshoe, Trail, Mountain, Outdoor, Road, XC). With all these new found distractions to keep running interested, I rarely found focus, and that has been fine. But in all this, I always pushed back on one aspect of running I hadn’t experienced: the ultra.
Well that’s changed. On Memorial Day the local trail running community, championed by Michael Holmes & Joffrey Peters (and supported by SOOOO many others, THANK YOU!) put together what they dubbed the Circumnavigation of Hanover. Pooling together resources of area maps, local knowledge, and on-the-ground exploration, they created a series of routes (10, 20, and 31 miles) that maximized time on trail linking trail system after trail system after trail system (and then some). It was a perfect introduction to the long long run and the world of ultramarathoning.
There was definitely some hand holding and some nudging, and to those who were involved: I can’t thank you enough for having me along for the ride. I was amazed at how much I was able to accomplish when I just slowed down and fueled up. With aid stations at every ~6 miles it made it easy to stay hydrated and well fed. Also, I’m proud to report that as a Wooly Syrup Chugger, I drank straight maple syrup to bring it all home. At the end of the day, I had run nearly 32 miles, definitely in excess of 50k! (31.1 miles)
While I don’t see myself making a habit of running ultras, having experienced one, now I’m a lot more curious and a lot less afraid. I’m sure I’ll get out there occasionally, but for now I’m gearing up for the next round of NHGP races. But to everyone out there, I encourage you to keep running, and keep trying new things. You may be surprised about what you learn about both the world around as well as yourself. There is always more to explore.
UVRC Save the Dates
by Amanda Kievet
The UVRC Social Committee has secured dates for the:
Annual Summer Picnic and Barbecue: Thursday, Aug 8, Storrs Pond
Annual Banquet and Awards Ceremony: Saturday, Nov 9, DOC House
More information to follow.
If you’re interested in helping plan these fun club social events, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here Comes the UVRS!
by Geoff Dunbar
Upper Valley Running Series participants, it’s been a few months since our last race, but now the series is back. And with a vengeance! We’ve got three races in the next month:
June 16 – Skip’s Run (4 Miler)
June 23 – Shaker Seven (7 Miler)
July 4 – The Red, White and Blue 6.2 (that’s 10K)
If you want to sign up for the whole series, you can by June 7th. But never fear, you can always sign up race-by-race.
For more information about the series:
Couch to 5k at CBHM
by Mary Peters
Is This Anything?
by Rob Daniels
I had a rare arts and crafts urge recently and finally did something with my old race bibs. I was surprised I didn’t keep one from the Shamrock Shuffle. Maybe it is time for a new collection.
Finishing the Major Marathons
by Mary Dunbar
I (a remote member of the UVRC) just finished the Abbott World Marathon Majors by finishing the 2019 Tokyo Marathon (March 3) and the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon (April 28). The six races in this series are New York, Boston, Chicago, Berlin, Tokyo and London.
These races each accommodate 30,000-50,000 marathoners, but the hardest part is getting into them, because they have 10 or more applicants for each place. I qualified for Boston (twice – for 2015 and 2017), entered New York through the lottery (2014), was a charity runner in Chicago (for the Chicago Parks in 2017), and gained entry as a tourist runner for the Berlin, Tokyo and London Marathons (2017 for Berlin).
I previously wrote about running the Berlin Marathon for this newsletter shortly after the run (here) so I won’t repeat myself. Very shortly after the 2017 Berlin Marathon, on Halloween, 2017, my husband died of heart failure. Keeping running has been a stress reliever for me.
I couldn’t get into either Tokyo or London in 2018, and being a charity runner in those looked a lot more expensive than the Chicago commitment. Charity runners can be a big part of these races; indeed, the London Marathon raised more than £1 billion this year!
Marathon Tours & Travel of Cambridge, MA, came through for me this year, much to my surprise and delight. I had paid them $200 several years ago to put me on their list, but they added new layers of qualifying customers, so I doubted I would ever hear from them. It seems that the marathons are giving them more places – 800 in Berlin now, maybe 400 in London. You have much better chances with them if you do some of the other marathons (or half-marathons) they promote. They particularly encourage the Seven Continents program (including Antarctica!) – but they take runners to many events all over the world.
My goal for recent marathons has just been to get through them fast enough to earn a finishers medal. Bring a 77-year-old woman means there aren’t a lot of people in my age/gender category, so I finished in the top 10 in both races, despite not exactly burning up the course. Even earning a finishers medal can be challenging in Tokyo, as they come along behind the runners and take you out if you haven’t passed cut-off spots in time. I picked up my pace as I saw a car advancing to one of the cut-off points along side of me!
A big attraction for me in doing Tokyo and London is that I have family in these places. My younger son, Bill, works in Tokyo and gained entry to the Tokyo Marathon too, so we ran it together! Well, not exactly together as he finished well before me. My husband’s sister and many of her family live near London, so I was able to spend time with them, too.
Because I am on City Council in an inner ring suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, it has been very interesting to me to visit these big cities and see how they have developed. When you add it up, the Six Stars medal is an expensive piece of “jewelry.” But it made me a minor celebrity: as I walked back to my hotel after the London Marathon with the London and Six Stars medal clanging on my chest, three Chinese tourists asked to have their pictures taken with me. Granted! And a group of 20-somethings walking along the sidewalk toward me cheered for me. When I got on the plane (wearing my medal) to return to the USA, people in business class recognized the medal and were “wowed!” I plan to wear it off and on for the rest of this year.
The people in the cities that put on these big races really turn out and support them. There are crowds, bands, cheerleaders and DJs all along the routes, and lots of volunteers handing out water, electrolyte drinks, pieces of banana and the local equivalents of Gu. Motor traffic on roads comes to a halt for hours. It’s impressive. If they could just control the weather, everything would be perfect. But I have run through cold, rain and wind. Marathon running is not for sissies!
The Six Majors has been a motivation for me to keep running marathons. I’m not sure what’s next, but I definitely want to keep running as long as I can.
Runner Bio: Sara Roebuck
by Mary Peters
Where are you from originally and what brought you to this area?
I am originally from England and my husband and work brought me to the Upper Valley.
What do you do professionally?
I am an Oncology Nurse and currently work in Quality and Safety.
How long have you been running?
I was a recreational runner for a short while before having children (20 years ago), but really only got back into it when I started the C25K program last year.
Why do you run?
Primarily to stay healthy.
Recent memorable moment while running?
On a recent trip to Palm Springs I just really enjoyed exploring the area taking in the scenery and surroundings and ended up going 3 miles more than I planned.
If you like to race, notable race moment? OR most memorable race?
I think the CHaD 5K 2018. I spent that year losing weight and giving it 100% every week in the couch to 5k program, and for the first time ever I finished under 30 minutes and almost 7 minutes faster than the previous year 🙂 It was also an amazing experience being out there with friends from the program who inspired me, encouraged me and who all totally rocked that race in their own way. It was so much fun!
I have my work running buddy Theresa, and of course my 5K heroes twice a week as long as it is above 40 degrees 😉
Cross training activities?
In this last year I started weight training which I am enjoying and I can definitely notice the difference in my running with stronger legs and core.
Favorite local running route?
I do love the rail trail and I have a nice little 5K route in my neighborhood which is my go to.
Favorite post run treat?
Depending on the day and the season, I like a beer, a fancy coffee or gelato.
What made you start running?
I wanted to lose weight and run a 5K without stopping.
Who is your running “idol”?
I don’t really have an “idol” but I have always enjoyed watching running races and as a kid it was always Steve Cram and Seb Coe. I also loved Paula Radcliffe (with her unique little head bob) and more recently Mo Farah.
Are your reasons for running now the same or different than the reason you first started?
Definitely different. I run now because I enjoy it, it makes me feel good and I continue to improve and get stronger and faster. I also love the friendships I am building as part of the UVRC.
Why did you join UVRC?
I joined so I could keep running with friends and make new ones. I also thought it would be great motivation to try some more races and keep challenging myself.
Hot or cold weather runner?
Definitely warm to hot weather.
Morning or evening runner?
What is your motivation?
My physical and mental health. To be able to go outside and run means I am alive and healthy, and for that I am thankful.
What is your favorite race?
One of my favorite races to watch on TV and in person is the Boston Marathon.
Favorite running book/film?
I don’t have a favorite book or film but I watch any and all marathons and track and field events I can, and cannot help but be inspired the runners.
What does your daily workout consist of?
3 days a week I am weight training in the gym and I also try to run 3 days a week. I am currently training for the CBHM so have been going on at least 1 long run (>6miles) a week.
Aside from running, what are your hobbies?
I love traveling, meeting new people and trying new foods. I am thinking of making my new hobby participating in races around the country and the world as an excuse to travel more.
Ask the Coaches
Got a question for the coaches? Send it to email@example.com and we’ll send it on!
Colin Smith asks:
I’ve been reading a bit about how to improve my running and beyond the usual things (lose weight, run more miles, do tempo runs/speed workouts) I keep seeing stuff on running economy and cadence (e.g., the rate of 180+ measured by Jack Daniels for elite runners). I’m interested if anyone in the club has tried to increase their running cadence to improve running economy, and if so, how, was it successful (e.g., faster race times), did they use an app or watch to measure cadence or one of the metronome apps to help run at a certain cadence. It’s not something I know much about but I am interested to know if it is something worth learning more about and trying to do something about.
I’m one of the lucky ones whose cadence is almost invariably 180…so I’ve never measured anything further. But I don’t think it has to be exactly that for everyone, especially when you start running on terrain that’s not a track or road.
I tend to fall more on the side of encouraging athletes to learn what an efficient stride feels like. Economy is definitely something runners should think about, and I’m a fan of exercises, drills, and workouts that strengthen the correct muscles groups, teach accurate firing patterns (at a neural level), and help the athlete understand what efficiency feels like.
Dynamic movement strength exercises that target the glutes, hamstrings, and calves can all help with economy, as can gentle hill reps (think more along the lines of strides on an uphill, not like mountain running.) The hill reps in particular are a good time to think about the efficiency of the stride. It’s easier to notice things like over-reaching when running hills. I tell my athletes to strike a balance: each step needs to have a pop to it, but don’t get bogged down in the push. Likewise, hill running shouldn’t feel like jumping, but the time on the forefoot should be minimal to avoid plodding. The knee and hip drive should reflect an overall gentle forward lean, but avoid hunching. See what I mean? Balancing act.
The feel of a good stride for gentle hill reps translates well to running on flat terrain. Supplementary exercises will strengthen the supporting muscles, and athletes will recognize the movements practiced in the drills when they’re actually running. It’s functional, run-specific strength.
Clearly my ideas on this are anecdotal and “feel-based,” and I don’t have recommendations for apps or tech gadgets than can decipher the effect of changed cadence upon economy and eventually race times. There’s a lot that goes into race-times, and although I have seen athletes improve when they modify their stride and cadence, it’s impossible to determine how much of that improvement came from which change.
If this approach appeals or answers the question, readers should feel free to shoot me an email and I can send you some videos of the type of exercises I mean.
Carly Wynn is a personal coach at www.CarlyOutside.com, and can be reached at Carly@CarlyOutside.com.
per Jack Daniels:
It is helpful to figure it out on a treadmill. A treadmill allows you to keep the speed and incline constant, while you practice increasing your turnover/cadence/steps per minute while keeping the pace and eventually the effort, constant.
Set the speed to an easy distance effort. Incline1%.
Watch the timer on the treadmill. Count the number of times your right arm swings forward OR your right foot strikes, in a minute. Multiply by two = number of steps per minute.
If it is less than 90 steps per minute, play with:
- increasing steps per minute
- shortening your stride
if you are running at 179 steps per minute or less, make it a point to practice on the treadmill. Or run on a flat outdoor section of road with your watch, to work towards increasing the number of steps per minute.
More steps per minute = less impact per footstrike (less ‘ow!’) = equals less injury and fatigue per run.
You can check in on your cadence while outside on a run by using your own watch. You could also put a Timex watch on 1-minute countdown-repeat, so you don’t have to look at your watch to see when a minute is up.
Lastly, as you drive around Hanover, watch the Dartmouth men and women’s team runners. Notice their torso position, arm swing, leg swing, and tempo/cadence of their legs, even as they run easily. It’s a good visual. Recall that image when you run.
Dorcas DenHartog coaches cross country running at Hanover High School and summer track for UVRC.
Laura Hagley, DPT, CSCS, EP-C runs competitively for Millennium Running Club. She placed 25th at 2016 Olympic Trials, and competed in the Elite Women’s Wave of the 2016 Boston Marathon.
Last Spring when I was running with Rich Joseph he was obsessed with
tuning his cadence to 180. I remember him having his watch beep at a
Tim Smith is the former two-time president of the UVRC, and coaches winter TNT for UVRC.
Dorcas DenHartog again:
Those ‘metronomes’ are very helpful. HHS XC team coaches (Eric and I) have an app called ‘Pulse’ on our cell phones – originally to help his son’s practice the violin. We will pull them out now and then as a reminder to the kids.
In Hailey Middlebrook’s article in Runner’s World (January 8, 2019) entitled “Should We Really Care About Cadence,” the results of a cadence study by researchers from the University of Michigan performed on the top 25 male and female finishers at the 2016 100K world championships in Los Alcazares, Spain were discussed. The study found that cadence was widely varied among the racers, ranging from 155 steps per minute to 203. The average cadence for the group was 182 spm, very close to the “gold standard” established by Jack Daniels after he counted the turnover rate of pro distance runners racing in the 1984 Olympics. The study also found that racers with the highest and lowest average cadences finished the race (100K) within a couple of minutes of each other. Results of a survey of the runners’ height, weight, age, speed and running experience revealed that only speed and height had an effect on runners’ cadences. When they ran faster their cadence increased and taller racers’ steps were less frequent than shorter racers.
My takeaway is that every runners’ skeletal structure, leg length etc, is somewhat unique but on average when the human body runs, it finds efficiency at about 180 spm. We are “geared” to the “golden standard.” If you want to run faster, you must increase your stride length by developing the muscles in your legs that launch you forward (calves), pull your leg back to the front (hamstrings) and absorb the impact when you land back on the ground (quads). The distance runners, as opposed to the sprinters, must develop the cardiovascular fitness to sustain this power output over time. My advice is to increase your cadence relative to your baseline (180+/- spm) while training (intervals, tempos, long runs) and, with time, your increased leg strength and fitness will gradually increase your stride length to the point where will be running at a faster pace at your baseline cadence than you were before – you will be running more efficiently.
Jim Burnett is the president of the Upper Valley Running Club.
The Survey Says… Favorite Running Routes
We received a great response to our May survey asking you to tell us your favorite running route. We have organized them by town/area with longer marathon training runs at the end. Enjoy the results!
Boston Lot/Burnt Mountain:
Many mentions of Boston Lot trails enter from the Wilder Dam, DHMC or Lebanon side. Super trails!
A great 4 mile run is to park at the DHMC trail head, run up to Burnt Mountain, around the lake, up Indian Ridge and back by the DH water tank. (stop for a dip in the lake by the open area)
East Road out and back from Cornish Flat. This route is dirt for 3 miles, paved for the last mile, very hilly and challenging. I usually turn around at 3 miles, for a pure dirt road run
I like to run the Shaker 7 route. It is close to my house and has a good variety: rolling hills, rail trail, dirt road, backroads, and of course the beautiful bridge and Route 4A along the lake. It’s a good distance for me and I always feel like I accomplished something great after doing it.
People seem to miss the Enfield/Canaan part of the Rail Trail. Park by the laundromat and head south. “peaceful and quiet”
Pine Park received many mentions. (Note: the winter logging has left forest looking in bad shape but the trail is fine.
Occom Pond loops with extensions down into Pine Park or around the Green
Many mentions of the Hanover/Etna loop From Hanover on Lebanon street to Greensboro, left on Etna Rd, left on Trescott and down East Wheelock back into Hanover (or down Grasse Rd for more distance) ~8 mi
I love the Storrs Pond Roller Coaster trail. The trail around Storrs Pond is about 2 miles (be sure to include the run up the field at about .5 mile. Several loops around is a great workout with many elevation changes.
Velvet Rocks/Mink Brook: My favorite route is the taking the Velvet Rocks Trail off of East Wheelock Street, connecting to the AT, coming out by the Co-op, running past shanty town to the Mink Brook Trail, following it to the river, and then connecting back to East Wheelock Street. I like this route mainly for the great swim spot on the river, which is a nice place to take a dip and cool off about halfway through. Link here
My favorite is to run around Lake Morey. Perfect 5 miles up and down.
The Rail Trail received a number of mentions starting from CCB or the covered bridge lot. “so soft, so scenic, so easy”
Any route that includes Sunset Rock road, especially starting from Route 4. The climbing grade hits my sweet spot for being a challenge but not overwhelming and I love where it suddenly leaves the woods and you are greeted with a view of Ascutney and Killington, etc. Good memories of past runs with the club.
The new paved part of the rail trail in Lebanon. The 5 mile round trip is beautiful with a slight downhill on the way out and a slight incline on the return trip.
River road in Lyme is a hidden gem! Park by Wings market East Thetford, run across the bridge towards Lyme and go either north or south on River Road, both are great!
One of my favorites is the 8ish mile Beaver Meadow/Bragg Hill loop in Norwich. It’s challenging with the long uphill but the views are so rewarding!
Park at King Arthur, head south on Rt 5, right on Hobson, left on Beaver Meadow, Huntley Meadow loop , through Norwich and back to KAF…for a nice ice latte
Plainfield elementary school trails – great variety of single and double track, and awesome views from the top (French’s Ledges).
One of my favorites is River Road in Plainfield. Great out and back along the river. Stop at McNamara Dairy for delicious chocolate milk.
In the summer I love to run on Willow Brook Road. Park by the True’s Ledges swimming hole do an out and back on Willow Brook Road. Finish with a dip in the swimming hole!
Along the Ottauquechee River between Taftsville and Woodstock, VT. Park near the Taftsville red covered bridge (across from the Taftsville General Store) and run along the river.
I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you. Ok, ok…. The Woods Trail at Thetford Academy. Particularly going off the main trail into the woods. But it will be our little secret.
I love doing the trails behind Thetford Academy!
* Marathon Training Runs *
Epic run: From Hanover to Union Village through Norwich, back on route 5 along the Connecticut River.
Start from the Dartmouth green, run down West Wheelock/Main St. all the way until Turnpike road. Take a left onto Turnpike then keep going and run up New Boston Lot road. Keep going your desired distance, then turn around. Instead of going back Turnpike, when coming back, take a right onto Moore, a left onto Beaver Meadow, and then a right back onto Main St and run back to the green. 🙂 It’s a great route and usually has lots of doggo sightings!
A long, hilly, scenic tour of the upper valley: From Hanover take Lyme Rd, and turn onto Reservoir Rd, run up Grasse Rd. Take it to the top until you hit Wheelock, turn left and go until it ends in Etna. Go right until it ends, and then go left towards Leb, until it hits 120, then cross 120 and go up the hill, turning right at Mt. Support Rd. Go up to the hospital and around, coming out on the other side at 120, and follow it back into Hanover.
One of my favorites is a Hanover -> Thetford bridge loop. Here’s how to do it: Park near the Ledyard Bridge. Run up Tuck Drive (ugh!) to the Dartmouth campus, then over to Route 10N (running along the golf course). Keep running up Route 10 N. until you get to River Rd. (left side). Run up River Rd. to Lyme Rd (around 5 miles or so). Then over the Thetford bridge to Route 5 (Vt). This is about the halfway point. Take a left on Route 5 south, and run on the left side of Route 5 until you get to Norwich. There will be a split at about mile 19 at River Rd. (Vt side) that takes you back to the Ledyard Bridge where you started. Total distance 21 miles! Great run and Route 5 is pretty safe for runners (mostly :).
One of my favorite long loops is from Beaver Meadow School (at Beaver Meadow Road and Chapel Hill Road West Norwich), northwest on Beaver Meadow Road, then over Downer State Forest Road to Downer Road, Star Mountain Road, Old Moses Farm Road, Rt 132 and into South Strafford, then back on Turnpike Road to Chapel Hill Road.(or Mine Road and through the Copper Mine to Chapel Hill Road). I like it as it’s a long, dirt road/non-technical trail run in beautiful countryside and forest with just the right amount of climbing to be challenging but not relentless.
About this Newsletter
This newsletter is put out monthly 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 Amanda Kievet, with article collection by Geoff Dunbar. Any comments, questions, submissions, winter running tips, etc, send to firstname.lastname@example.org.