March 2018 Newsletter

Every month, and especially in the winter, your trusty newsletter editors (myself, Geoff Dunbar, and Laura Petto) are in a panic that we will get no articles for the newsletter. But every month, you guys come through! You deserve all the credit for keeping our newsletter going, so keep up the good work, UVRC. This month is no exception, as you’ll see below. As always, please submit any articles, or even just a good picture, to

Table of Contents

Letter from a Board Member

By Jim Burnett

Wooly Syrup Chugging NH Grand Prix Racers,

March 10th the NH Grand Prix Series opens with our favorite hometown race the Shamrock Shuffle 5K. In the past the “Shammy Shuff” has been the launching pad for the UVRC racing team to the top of the team standings with typically 100+/- Wooly Syrup Chuggers toeing the line in front of the Lebanon Town Hall.

UVRC needs everyone – all ages, genders and paces to make a statement to our rivals that:

“We Are Back and Woolier Than Ever!

Any current UVRC member can run for the club and enjoy a 10% discount on race registration. When you register designate UVRC as your NHGP club and enter the appropriate discount code (See your UVRC email for the discount code, or email If you register before March 4th, you are eligible for a swanky t-shirt. (There are no discounts or t-shirts on race day.)

Register NOW for the 2018 Shamrock Shuffle 5K…

In addition, the Shamrock Shuffle is the first race of the 2018 Upper Valley Running Series (go to for details on this 8-race club series). You can sign up for the entire 8-race series for $140, that’s $17.50 per race, at the registration table on race day.

So, what’s not to like, I mean SERIOUSLY…

It’s time to GET YOUR WOOLINESS ON, right???

Zooooooooooooom to that,


Things I See When I Am Running

By Lori Bliss Hill

Race view from Winter Wild Pat’s Peak race.

The Quest to Qualify

By Paul Coats

My story may be either really inspiring, or really pitiful, but it is a nearly 20 year old story now and one I sure hope to finish come April of 2019. Yes, this is the story of my quest to qualify for the Boston Marathon, a quest which began in 2000.

To qualify for the Boston Marathon, you have to run a qualifying marathon quick enough to beat a pre-determined standard for your gender and age group. For instance, I was 42 years old in 2015, and the qualifying standard for a 44 year old male was 3 hrs and 15 minutes. I ran the Vermont City Marathon that year in 3:13:27, so I should have been accepted into the Boston Marathon. But it’s not that simple. It’s never that simple. As if the hardship of training through our winters isn’t challenging enough, there’s the added issue of Qualifying Times “Accepted”. The Boston Marathon attracts loads of really fast runners, and they typically receive more applications from runners that meet the Qualifying Standards than they have capacity for, so in late September they start cutting the slowest of those runners until they reach the maximum number allowed, usually around 30,000 runners. In 2015 there were about 32,000 runners who qualified, so they said to actually make it in, you need a qualifying time that is 2 min 28 sec faster than the published standard. In my age group, that meant a 3:12:32 and faster gets in. I ran a 3:13:27. Less than a minute too slow. I’m over it, can you tell?

Back in 2000, I ran the Tucson Marathon in an attempt to qualify for Boston. It is flat, through the dessert in December, and reportedly really fast. And I like to travel, so I went. Some of you reading this were in Kindergarten at the time, but I was 26 and feeling pretty fast. Qualifying Standard was a 3:10 that year, but I was feeling so good that I ran a PR for the first 13.1 miles of the race and set my eyes on going under 3 hours. I hadn’t trained to go that fast, just thought it was a good idea at the time. Well, it was a bad idea. You should set a high goal, train towards that goal, stick with the goal and run smart. I hit the wall around mile 22 and crawled across the finish line with a 3:12:38. You couldn’t have wrung another second faster out of me. So I vowed to never run so foolishly again, and decided to try again sometime in the future.

Then I moved to NH, got really caught up in a new life, and lamented that there was no running club up here (oh how things have changed for the better!). The next marathon was Disney in 2005, but I was injured during the training season and barely finished the marathon. I tried 3 more times over the years and fell short during training for a variety of reasons: an injury, frostbite on my toes, and even Dengue Fever!

Eighteen years have gone by since setting this goal, and it is entirely possible that the Clearwater Marathon, held this past January, has provided the right venue to chase down that ever elusive Qualifying Time. Kristen and I got to leave the hard freeze of New Hampshire for a long weekend of 60’s and sunny, and time with UVRC’s own Kim Sheffield and husband Marc at their home in Sarasota. If any of you ever wondered if Kim is always as energetic and vivacious as she is at TNT and other UVRC events, wonder no longer … she is! Always inspiring and fun to be around, Kim sent us off to the beaches of Clearwater for another attempt at qualifying, and for Kristen to run the 5 mile event.

The skies were clear, the biggest hill was the 47 feet climbing over the crown of the bridge over Clearwater’s Bay, and the race was to be well supported with water stops along the way. Training leading up to the race was mediocre at best – another calf pull in the middle of the season was a big setback, but I’m a runner and stubborn as a mule, so when the gun fired I was out of the gates and cruising at a 7:30/mile pace. Qualifying Standard for my new 2019 age group is a 3:25, and this pace would get me to the finish line at 3:16. If I could even just maintain a pace in that vicinity, I’ll do well enough to qualify with enough buffer to get accepted.

A couple of miles into the race, the pack thins as the 5 mile runners peeled off, leaving us with marathoners, half marathoners, and 50K ultra runners. That still left me with some pretty cool people to chug along with, until mile 6 came and then, “hey, where’d you go?” As it turns out, not many people do the Clearwater Marathon or Ultra, just about 250 runners. I was left with about 5 others running around my pace down the long flat roads of Clearwater. At mile 14 the course leaves the coastal waters of the keys and heads towards mainland. I’m still feeling pretty strong at this point and really enjoying the run. At mile 17 the ultra marathoners peel off to run an extra section, and it is about here that my legs start feeling a little heavier. The course turns North again, taking us up an inland combination of small roads and a separated bike path. I’m working quite a bit harder to keep up the 7:30 pace now, and I’ve moved slightly ahead of my little posse of runners, so I slowly dial back to a 7:40 pace hoping to conserve enough energy for a final push and a chance to run with people again. They never caught me. Mile 19 comes along, and I’m thinking 7.2 more, this will be tough but I got this. Mile 20 comes, and I’ve depleted so much more that I can’t even think about needing to do another 10k. Mile 21, just focus on getting to the mile 22 sign. Then another mile. Where the heck is mile 23? I should have passed it a long time ago! Nope, the watch says it’s still ahead. How will I finish this race? I’m down to an 8 minute pace now, hanging on with everything I’ve got. Mile 24 comes, and you would think that the prospect of only having to do 2.2 more miles would be encouraging. That’s like running along the Rail Trail in Lebanon where we cross under the I-89 bridges back to Omer & Bob’s. Nope, all I can do is try to get to mile 25. Each minute is a challenge now, but I can imagine seeing Kristen at the finish line cheering me on, and then laying on the couch watching the NFC and AFC Championship games in a few hours. I just gotta get to the finish line! Mile 26 comes along and I can just see the finish line ahead – the announcer’s voice is calling names. I’m not in Lebanon anymore, so there’s only one person who will know my name, and she’s the only person I’m longing to see. Along the final stretch and through the coral, the clock says 3:21:08, giving me a net time of 3:21:01. A sweet kiss from Kristen, and the sweet satisfaction of knowing I may have just qualified for the 2019 Boston Marathon by 3 minutes 59 seconds! Now if they figure out that Accepted Times need to be 4 minutes under, well, I suppose I’ll get over it and keep on trying.

Runner Profile: Yufeng Guo

by Lorna Young

Town: Hanover

I was in New York before, running with Central Park Track Club.

When did you begin? I’ve been running competitively since middle school, aside a few brief hiatuses.

Why run? I enjoy the training as well as the competition.

Recent memorable moment: I recently (finally) felt like I had adjusted to the temperatures of the winter. I’m pretty bad at adapting to the cold each year, so it’s always a relief when I finally can stop wearing an absurd number of layers and doubling my gloves.

Best athletic achievement: My college 10k on the track. I had trained all year for that peak race, and it was a big PR.

My favorite race distance is the 10k, though I’m warming up to the marathon distance. The 10k is just the right distance for me where it’s a hard pace, but with enough distance to allow for excitement and room for the race to develop.

Cross training: biking, weights

Favourite route: Running on the path toward Lyme.

Post run treat?  Peanut butter, banana slices, flax seeds, cinnamon, and honey

Strangest place ever run? Raced full-speed on the back roads of Oregon, at 3am, during the Hood to Coast relay, after having already raced earlier that evening. 2 miles up, followed by 5 miles down. Beat my calves to mush. Had another hard 6 miles at 8am later that morning.

First race? Joined XC in 7th grade. My best time was a 14:14 2 mile that cross-country season. Pleased to have progressed a ways since then.

Running hero: Meb!

Why run? Now it’s more about the art of training. In the past, it was more for team and racing.

Ever raced in a costume:  Nope

Shoes Whatever fits and is comfortable. I’ve worn just about every major brand at this point. I’m currently on a Sketchers segment. The GoMeb Razor is very performant!

Injuries: The only popular injury I’ve managed to avoid is runner’s knee. I’ve had everything else! Achilles, Plantar, hip, pelvis, IT band, lower back pain; you name it, I’ve had it.

Cool or hot weather? Cool weather is best, but between hot and cold, I’ll take hot. Especially for training.

What time of the day do you prefer to run? Evening runner. I can do mornings, but it’s a struggle.

Motivation? Find out what I’m capable of.

I run therefore I Recover.

Book: The Science of Running, Steve Magness

Daily ritual: Running, stretching, recovery

Favorite workout: 8-10 times 10K at threshold pace with 1min rest. (Editor: A 50-60 mile workout?!!? Don’t try this at home. I’m guessing he meant 1K).

Diet: I eat vegan with the following modifications: I also eat seafood, ice cream, and dumplings. Dairy and eggs used in smaller quanities incorporated with other foods (e.g. baked goods) are also fine. It sounds complicated but actually simplifies things a lot since it’s not as strict as 100% vegan.

Run with: Deena kastor, mammoth lakes. The long-time holder of the US marathon record has had an incredible long-lived career. She is an amazing role model for runners.

Why do you enjoy being part of UVRC? I enjoy chatting about training methodology and racing strategy, looking forward to discussing all manner of things with everyone!

Ask the Coaches

By Geoff Dunbar

Got a question for the coaches? Send it to and I’ll send it on!

“Hot and Steamy”:

I have a question. I heard it’s not a good idea to take a hot shower after a run, but when it’s cold outside it’s the first thing I do when I’m done running. Is it true that hot showers are bad for your muscles after a run?

Brandon Baker:

I have not heard that- definitely can be a shock to the muscles to change surface temperature so quickly, but I always feel better with a shower on these cold days! Just don’t let the water get too hot in the first few minutes.

Carly Wynn:

Cool question. My first thought was of my own personal opinion and experience. I did a little research to see if there’s any evidence for what I tend to experience:

A hot shower right after running can indeed increase muscle inflammation. (My knees always feel puffy.) Furthermore, heat dilates blood vessels, slowing blood flow, which can have a couple of effects. It can induce light-headedness, though I doubt you’d continue jumping straight in the shower if this happened to you continually. But it can also impede recovery slightly by slowing down the process of re-circulating oxygen and carrying away any leftover crud in your bloodstream post-workout. By contrast, a cool shower will constrict blood vessels, effectively squeezing the blood out and increasing circulation, jump-starting recovery (part of the idea behind ice-baths.)

There is some evidence that dramatically altering your blood pressure right after a workout increases your risk for sudden stroke or heart attack, but the evidence is not conclusive and I would expect the shower would have to be a pretty extreme temperature.

My final thought is that if you regularly get back from runs and feel like you need to jump immediately in the shower, you’re letting yourself get chilled after a workout. You should return from workouts at a pleasant enough temperature to sit around for a few minutes, maybe long enough to stretch or foam roll, or get a snack. Always change into a dry shirt immediately after running, even if the weather is lovely or you don’t think you sweated. Coming home feeling chilled means your body is devoting critical resources post-workout to warming itself, not starting the recovery process from your run.

UVRC Stickers

By Lori Bliss Hill

I have UVRC Euro stickers available for $4. (See below.) Send check to Lori Bliss Hill, P.O. Box 725, Enfield NH 03748. Limited quantity.

Annual Lebanon Down Syndrome Awareness Fun Run and Celebration

By Judy Phillips

Start Time: Wednesday, March 21 at 5:30
Location: Lebanon Green (Fun Run) / Salt Hill Pub (Celebration)
Registration: Donations accepted.

Individuals of all abilities welcome to participate and celebrate.
Celebration with food and drinks at Salt Hill Pub in Lebanon after the Fun Run.
Featuring raffle prizes during the celebration from businesses owned and operated by individuals with Down syndrome.

Contact: Luke Webster
Phone: 603-315-3500
Donation page:

Running Routes

By Jennifer Hansen

If you need to run a test half-marathon, do you know that there is a perfect 13.1 mile loop right in the middle of the UV? Sunday morning is a great time to run it. Start anywhere. I like running it clockwise. Starting at Starbucks in Hanover, run to the LISTEN Center in Lebanon via Lebanon St/ NH 120. Turn R on High Street and right again on Mascoma St. At the other end (the road is now called Old Pine Tree Cemetery Rd), turn R to run down Seminary Hill and pick up Rt. 10, all the way back to Starbucks.

Other long and hilly routes I have enjoyed/suffered through:

Just under 15 miles — From downtown Lebanon, run E on rte 4 and turn R before you get to 4A onto Eastman Hill Rd. Up and over takes you over 89 and then you can turn right to run up and over Methodist Hill Rd. Turning R on 120 takes you back into Lebanon.

A bit over 15 — From downtown Lebanon, run out to Ruddsboro Rd via 120 and Etna Rd. Once you get to the top of Ruddsboro, it’s smooth sailing back on Rte 4 to the center of Lebanon.

Such a great way to get out a bit and around other parts of our area.


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, recipes for vegan bacon, etc, send to

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