May 2019 Newsletter

Welcome to the May 2019 edition of the Upper Valley Running Club newsletter! Keep your submissions coming — email newsletter@uppervalleyrunningclub.org and check out our submission guidelines here.

Happy running!

Table of Contents

  1. Letter from a Board Member: by Geoff Dunbar
  2. Call to Arms by Jim Burnett
  3. Main Street Mile 2019 by Tim Smith
  4. Opening Day at the Brookmead Trails! by Amanda Kievet
  5. Ryan’s Run by Erin Wetherell
  6. Chicken Farmer 5K Run/Walk by Rosina Johnson
  7. White Mountain Miler’s Cranmore Hill Climb 5k by Liz Prior
  8. Craftsbury Beer Run by Heidi Caldwell
  9. Running in the Upper Valley… and in Denmark by Marty Dyxenburg
  10. Ask the Coaches
  11. Red’s 5 Miler – By The Numbers by Tim Smith
  12. History, Beer, and 21 Kilometers in Berlin by Michael Herron
  13. The Survey Says… Boston Marathon Edition


Letter from a Board Member

by Geoff Dunbar

Post race at the Footrace for the Fallen 5K 2011

Storytime with Geoff! Let’s go back to the first year of the club, 2011. In our first year, we dipped our toes into competing in the New Hampshire Grand Prix race series, a series of road races where the running clubs of New Hampshire compete against each other.

This series is, a pretty good match for our club to compete in. It’s competitive enough for most of the faster runners in our club, but small enough (this is New Hampshire after all!) that it is appropriate and not too scary for _any_ runner in our club to come along to a race. We’ve gone on to win the series twice (2015 and 2016) and have been competitive for a good while now. However, things were different in 2011! First of all, the NHGP was going through a bit of an upheaval in those days, and just getting recognized as a club in the series required some effort. Being new to the series, we had no “home” races; the closest race was the Bill Luti 5M in Concord. Our club was brand new, so most of the membership didn’t really know much about the series, and persuading our own runners to drive an hour or more for these races was hit or miss; mostly miss. So, we had a handful of runners at each race, and placed 5th in the series.

For myself, I loved it. The NHGP is a perfect level of competition for a runner of my abilities and training. At a local race I’ll often find myself running alone with no one to compete with, and a big city or event race I feel a bit lost in the shuffle, but NHGP finds that sweet spot. That first year in the series for our club, 2011, I ran all of the NHGP races to be a Granite Runner for the first time.

The last race in the series that year was the Footrace for the Fallen 5K, mid-October in Manchester NH. Coming into the race I was third in my age group with 33 points, behind Brian Ruhm with 37 points and Patrick Connelly with 34 points. I’ll go on a tangent here: one of the neat things about running the NHGP is I’ve gotten to know both of those guys a little bit; meeting rivals on other clubs in different parts of the state is pretty cool. Patrick especially, because we would sometimes even end up running together in these races. He’s a farmer from somewhere down near Derry. Missed part of the series one year because he stabbed his foot with a pitchfork.

The Footrace for the Fallen course goes up and down those downtown Manchester streets, so while it is not particularly scenic, it is fast and flat. It’s a pretty big race (by local standards), honoring local police, with over 700 finishers that year. That year it was a crowded start but I start near the front. I let the leaders go as I tend to start conservatively and run a steady pace. I notice Patrick is running with the leaders; I don’t think I knew Brian by sight back in 2011. We wind through the streets of Manchester, and I’m running great. It’s a cool fall day, cloudy, perfect for running fast.

In the last mile, probably even the last half mile, I see Patrick ahead. He’s paying the price a little for going with the leaders, and while he’s still running OK, he’s definitely slowed up. Nancy (my wife, for those new to the story) was an excellent runner in high school, and her coaches drilled into her that when you pass someone late in a race, you need to do it like you mean it. She has passed that wisdom on to me, so I go by Patrick pretty quick. I also have a pathetic kick, so I need to get a bit of a lead on someone before the last 100 meters, so they don’t realize they can sprint by me.

I do get sprinted by someone at the end, but now looking back at the results he was 19, so who cares. I did put a full 12 seconds on Patrick, finishing first in my age group, with my all-time 5K PR of 17:38. (Hollis Fast 5K times excluded). As I recall the finish area was pretty crowded with all of the police festivities, I’m not sure if I even saw results, got a prize or anything. It was hard to find our teammates to hang out, so pretty soon Nancy and I hopped in our car and headed home. No vanpool back in those days!

Much to my shock, when I was looking through the NHGP results spreadsheet a few days later, there was a little lettering next to my scoring “1st in division”! Wait, what? I don’t think I had even looked at the age group that closely before the race to know that was a possibility; after all, I was well down in 3rd place before the race. Astute readers may have noticed, though, that the first place guy, Brian Ruhm, did not show up for the race at all. Patrick Connelly was in second, but just a point ahead of me, so by passing him in the last half mile, I gained a point on him, and we ended up tied for first. Completely surprised, I distinctly remember walking around with a spring in my step for the rest of the day.

Since then, myself and UVRC have gone on to further success in the NHGP. I’ve won my age group 3 more times, abetted by Patrick and Brian both turning 50 and clearing out the age group a little, and been Granite Runner twice more. UVRC won the competition in 2015 and 2016, and now we bring a robust vanpool or more to each away race. 2015 was pretty magical, and when I won my age group again in 2015, I was joined by Alex Hall, Jeremy Huckins, Rob Edson, Nancy Dunbar, and Betsy Gonnerman as other club members who won their age group. I love that first year we competed in the series in 2011, but I have to admit it’s more fun with many friends along for the experience.

Call to Arms

by Jim Burnett

Gate City Half Marathon, Sunday May 19th, 7:50 am Nashua NH

Woolies,
The 3rd NH Grand Prix race is coming right up and Wooly Warriors of all age groups (especially M&W 20-somethings and W 40-somethings) and abilities are needed. As you know its all about showing up. Wouldn’t it be fun to maintain our lead in the team standings???

The vanpool survey has been emailed out. Sign up now. The new van will leave from behind Lebanon City Hall at 5:00 am Sunday May 19th to get us there before the early 7:50 am race starting time (please note updated start time).

Going to meet us there on race day? No worries, website link for directions and race details below
http://www.gcsmarathon.org

The van will make a brief stop for ice cream courtesy of UVRC on the return trip (location TBA). All racers welcome to meet us there for free ice cream!

Register online at
http://www.lightboxreg.com/gcsmarathon_2019
Designate “UVRC” as your NHGP team affiliation.
Use Discount Code to save $10
NHGP-UVRC_2019

Let’s do this..
Zooooooooooooo…
Jim

Main Street Mile 2019

by Tim Smith

The lilacs were in full bloom, filling the air with the sweet perfume of Spring. The evening sun sent golden shafts across the race course. The air temperature was as pleasant as any had felt since last summer.

And then the horn!

A hundred thundering feet heading south for our fastest mile of the year! Hermes and Amazons, I soon found myself losing sight of the leaders.

The first 400 meters, from the golf course, down Ropeferry is deceptively fast with a slight down grade. This is a mile sprint and there is little time to strategies or hold back. Between 400 and 500 meters is they only rise on the course, something hardly worth mentioning – except if your rival is trying to inch away from you.

By the half way point the race course bends onto Main Street proper and you find yourself blasting through campus. Surprised students and true spectators cheer you on past Baker Library and the Dartmouth Green. They can not help themselves, the sight of all those racing, flying, dashing runners really does bring joy to those who behold it.

At the three-quarter mark the race jumps to the sidewalk (although some runners have been there since the start of the Green) and we rush on down Wheelock, down the south edge of the Green. Then a turn up the east side of our finishing area.

Finally, there is a tight turn onto the diagonal path of the green. 185 meters, one “stadion”, the length of the original Olympic race. It is just you and Coroebus of Elis in that wild dash to the finish!

This year’s Main Street Mile is:
Thursday, May 16th.
Start time at the golf course is 7:00pm

You can register online until the end of Wednesday May 15th at:
http://hanoverrec.com/info/activities/program_details.aspx?ProgramID=30114

Or race day registration on the Dartmouth Green, 6:00-6:45pm.

Opening Day at the Brookmead Trails!

by Amanda Kievet

Join the Upper Valley Land Trust on the afternoon of May 18th to celebrate the official 2019 opening of the Brookmead Trails! UVLT will be raising money during this event for a stewardship fund that will go toward maintaining the property as a recreational area and upgrading the cabin so that the space is usable both for UVLT and the community.

Agenda:
4pm – fun run, with walking and biking options ($25 entry fee).
5pm – gather at the cabin for a cook out with music and drinks.

UVLT will be raffling off “Sip”tember Fest tickets and giving away Brookmead Conservation Area shirts to race participants and donors.

Ryan’s Run

by Erin Wetherell

The 6th Annual Ryan’s Run is coming up on Saturday, June 1st. This event celebrates the life of Ryan Saunders, who grew up in Lyme and passed away seven years ago.

This is a fun, family-friendly event and is mainly on dirt roads, starting and ending at the Dartmouth Skiway in Lyme, NH. New this year is a free Fun Run for kids at 10am. Money raised from Ryan’s Run are used to support camp opportunities for local youth to attend Horizons Day Camp.

We would love to some members of UVRC there! For those in C25k, this could be a great opportunity for some practice before the Red, White and Blue. Walkers are welcome!

To register, visit https://www.runreg.com/ryans-run

For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/RyansRunNH/

Chicken Farmer 5K Run/Walk

by Rosina Johnson

Join the Newbury Hens for the 9th Annual Chicken Farmer 5K Run/Walk!
Saturday, May 18, 2019
Proceeds go to the Norris Cotton Cancer Center
and the Newbury Recreation Department.
20% Discount Code (CF5K)
TO REGISTER: www.runreg.com/chicken-farmer-5k
For more information: www.newburynhrec.com or call 763-4940 x 210
Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/chickenfarmer5K/

White Mountain Miler’s Cranmore Hill Climb 5k

by Liz Prior

I would like to invite you and your club members to participate in the White Mountain Miler’s Cranmore Hill Climb 5k on June 30th. It is a fun and challenging race, the first 1/5 mile is flat then it turns and starts uphill to finish on the summit of Cranmore Mountain ski area. A chairlift ride down is included, or participants can run down (un-timed). After the race there will a fun awards ceremony, raffle, and food!
I would like to extend a discount to clubs who are able to get 10 or more of members to sign up. Simply email me for your 10% off code.
Registration is up on Run reg https://www.runreg.com/31st-annual-cranmore-hillclimb

Thank you,
Liz Prior
Race Director

Craftsbury Beer Run

by Heidi Caldwell

I hope you’re enjoying some muddy spring running! The members of Upper Valley Running Club (UVRC) are invited to the ‘Craftsbury Beer Run’, a point to point half marathon from the Craftsbury Outdoor Center to Hill Farmstead Brewery on Saturday, June 1. Run entirely on dirt roads and trails with over 2,000′ of elevation gain, this race is adventurous and challenging with spectacular views. Plus, the event raises money for the local nonprofit organization ‘Wonder Arts’ and their initiative to provide students with local, healthy food in the summer months when they don’t have access to free and reduced school lunches. You can find registration and full event details here.

I hope you can come up and join the fun! Please hesitate to reach out with questions – I’m always happy to chat all things running and Craftsbury!

Happy trails,
Heidi Caldwell

Running in the Upper Valley… and in Denmark

by Marty Dyxenburg

It’s now been six months since I relocated to my home country, Denmark, and I miss all of you UVRC runners a lot. Especially the “Couch to 5k”’ers (c25k) were my running companions during the 2 years I lived in Lebanon. There, I got two BFF’s, Lori Stevens and Heidi St Peter, whom I ran many races with, and not least trained for the same races with.

Here in Denmark I am in a local running club, and looking back it’s interesting to compare how the running clubs function and what we could learn from each other.

First of all I have noticed that the UVRC has a lot of “bad ass” runnners, who run no matter if its rain or shine. The weather has to be really bad before running is canceled. Here in Denmark, we have almost the same temperatures all year round, which makes it very convenient to run during the winter. However, most people will stay in door if it’s occasionally raining or very cold. And “very cold” here means below 32F.

Another difference between the runners is that the runners in UVRC are at very distinct, different levels. I saw basically three categories of runners: the beginners, who were in the c25k program, the next level, let’s call them “c25k graduates”, and then the fast runners. And yes, “fast runners” is a broad category, but I noticed a big gap between the c25k graduates and the next level, faster runners. A gap that I don’t see over here. I probably noticed it because I myself was in the middle category in UVRC, but over here I am one of the faster runners. In other words, the UVRC runners are generally faster than runners over here, but there’s very few runners in the UVRC middle group.

Which makes me wonder if the middle category runners in the Upper Valley are just not running in the club, but on their own. I’d guess that they exist out there somewhere.

I also noticed that practice doesn’t seem so well organized for the slower pace runners, especially when doing track runs. After warm up, the runners will be asked what paces they want to run, but typically only the faster runners will speak up. Over here, it’s pre-defined what groups that will be running together, based on pace, and each groups “host” will communicate today’s program before the runners divide into the groups and start practicing.

That said, I did find it easy to connect to other middle pace runners in the UVRC, and we would typically define our own practice anyway. I had great support in the other runners, which is the absolute reason for me to be in a running club. I can’t run on my own. I can’t even get out of the front door if I am to run on my own. The UVRC was a great club for me to get my practice done with fellow runners.

Comparing the clubs again, a similarity is that both clubs practice Tuesdays and Saturdays, and Saturday is used for longer distance street runs. That seems to be a globally applicable principle. Other similarities are the social events, like club nights at a local restaurant, and the newsletters, like the one you’re reading right now.

If you ever come around, then don’t hesitate to contact me. I will help you all that I can with lodging and whatever. It’s very easy to run over here. Denmark is a flat country – no hills at all – and we have races every weekend from March until October. I can recommend the Copenhagen Half Marathon 15.Sep, or The Crown Princess’ Bridge Run 28.Sep (5k & 10K).

Looking forward to see you again… in Denmark or in the Upper Valley !

Marty

Ask the Coaches

Got a question for the coaches? Send it to newsletter@uppervalleyrunningclub.org and I’ll send it on!

Scott King:
Is there an exercise that I can do to help me with hills? I am a big guy and the extra weight really bogs me down going up hills. Other than running hills there must be a strengthening exercise for helping push up those hills.

Carly Wynn:

Strength training has it’s place, of course, but there’s nothing better than running up hills to make you better at running up hills. Adding structure to those workouts will be much more effective than just running as many hills as possible. Considering your form is another great way to increase efficiency on hills. Here are my suggestions for strength training, technique, and hill running:

Strength training: lots of ways to skin the cat. You’re looking to hit a few major muscles groups here: lower back, glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves. Specific exercises will vary a lot based on what equipment you have available. With your own body weight and some dumbbells you can do supermans and other core exercises, any variety of squats/lunges, deadlifts, vertical jumps, calf raises, you name it. There’s nothing particularly special about strengthening these muscles for uphill running versus general strengthening, though a little bit of specific movement won’t go amiss: I recommend some explosive exercises like vertical jumps, single leg step/hops, and box jumps to simulate uphill running motion. If you want more specific ideas for exercises or instruction for how to do them, be in touch personally, as there’s way too much detail involved to try to cover it all here. Instructional videos are often helpful. I have a couple running- specific-strength exercise videos available, which are linked below.

Next comes setting up your strength workout. On a basic level, strength training is organized in sets, reps, and rest based on your goals. Building muscle mass looks different from building max strength or endurance strength. Endurance strength is likely what most runners are aiming for, and building minimal muscle mass is also ideal for distance running, especially uphill running. One easy way to structure your strength workouts is to organize them in sets of three per exercise, reps of 8-12. Rest for 3 minutes in between sets, or superset the exercises with exercises that work different muscle groups (upper and lower body). Aim for two strength sessions per week, working the same muscle groups but with different exercises.

Let’s consider form, and one exercise you can do to improve it. Minimizing “noise” in your upper body will make for a more efficient stride. Keep that upper body loose and neutral, with a slight forward lean. Don’t hunch, and don’t stand straight up. Hold your elbows at roughly 90 degree angles, and rotate comfortably from the shoulder. In the gym, add arm swings with dumbbells. Holding light (5-10 lb.) dumbbells in each hand, assume a similar posture to hill running (though with less forward lean, as you’re standing on flat ground). Move your arms as though you are running up a hill, focusing on a clean, forward and back motion, rotating through the shoulder. Try to minimize bobbing up and down or twisting. Strengthening your core is another great way to keep the upper body stable. So add some core and some arm swings to your strength.

When you run hills, imagine yourself running with a light step. Don’t be tempted to “push the hill back” or take huge steps. Land lightly on the ball of your foot, and imagine yourself springing right back off that foot and onto the next (but don’t go too far and make it like jumping. Lift from the knee, bringing your foot only as high as is necessary). Even if your run never looks like you’re a ballerina, imagining yourself that way will keep your stride lighter and turnover quicker.

As it happens, my favorite intensity workout is hill reps, and I have written an article on how to structure this workout, with variations, and the physiological spiel behind why it works and what adaptations you prompt by doing it correctly. Rather than try to paraphrase it, I’ve provided the link here. Other resources, including some photo and video instruction for strength exercises, can be found here.

And smile when you go up hills! It’s true that our brains take cues from the positions of our facial muscles, so if your face looks anguished your brain will tell your body that you’re suffering! Keep your face as light as your footsteps. We do this for fun, right?

Cheers,
Carly

Carly Wynn is a personal coach at www.CarlyOutside.com, and can be reached at Carly@CarlyOutside.com.

Jim Burnett:

When it comes to strength training I defer to Carly, see her answer to Scott’s question. Beyond or instead of strength training for improving your ability to run hills, I suggest hiking on hilly trails. Scott lives in Lebanon, so I suggest he head over to Boston Lot and commune with nature on its miles of trails. If you are comfortable jogging on the flat sections, go right ahead, then when you hit an incline go into power hiking mode. Feel your quads, hammies and calves warm to the task. I find uphill hiking to be a great way to stretch my calves too. Don’t go crazy with this but let your heel drop as you place your foot on rocks as you ascend. Another way to strengthen your legs for hills is to climb stairs, either inside on a building staircase or outside on bleacher steps. Fair warning: some runners hate to do stairs, as in, “Boring,” while others get into a gentle, almost meditative rhythm while walking or running stairs. One last piece of advice, be careful as you descend and when in doubt walk down slowly. That’s it, it’s easy. Start slow and speed up gradually and have fun out there. We are so fortunate to have such an amazing system of trails in the Upper Valley = Runners’ Heaven for sure.

Jim Burnett is the president of the Upper Valley Running Club.

Red’s 5 Miler – By The Numbers

by Tim Smith

Last month I wrote a short piece based on some statistics from the Shamrock Shuffle. I ended that article speculating about what our club’s numbers would look like when we had an away race. “Reds Race For A Better Community”, a 5 miler in Dover qualifies as an away race, nearly 100 miles from the Upper Valley, and ending 3 meters above sea-level.

A few numbers first before the plots. Red’s had 486 runners, almost exactly half the number at Shamrock (973). There were 109 club runners at Red’s, which is 22% of the field, Shamrock had 160 club runners for only 16% of the field. And UVRC fielded 22 runners at Red’s compared to 97 at Shamrock.

In the figure below the plots on the left are from Shamrock. The green curves are UVRC runners and the red curves are runners from other clubs. I’ve scaled the green and red curves by a factor of 5 because club runners were only 16% of the field.

The plots on the right are from Red’s. Again the green curves are UVRC runners and the red curves are runners from other clubs. This time I have scaled the curves by a factor of 3, since club runners made up a larger fraction (22%) of the total field.

There are all sorts of interesting things going on here!

The “Finishing Times” plot shows the number of finishers every minute. Red’s is a 5 miler, and so the times are longer, but there are similar trends. In the overall distribution there are two peaks in the Shamrock, at 28 and 35 minutes. For Red’s there are peaks at 40 and 48 minutes. Coincidence?

But what really grabbed my attention were the three humps on the UVRC/Shamrock curve and the three humps on the Other-clubs/Red’s curve. A month ago I speculated that because Shamrock was a local race we might have had a broader spectrum of our club represented. I would like to know how far runners in those 55 & 62 minute humps from other clubs traveled?

On the “Age” plot we can see that the youthful end of our club carried the day. In fact the overall average age of runners at Red’s was older then Shamrock, but the club runners were younger!

By the way, a shout-out to Leb. Rec., Shamrock has a very youthful spike in the under 15 crowd which dwarfs Dover’s. Or is this just 5k vs. 5 miles?

In “Age Graded Scoring”, at Shamrock UVRC peaked in the 50’s and other clubs in the 60’s. At Red’s both curves peak in the 60’s. I like to think UVRC is slightly in front of the other clubs. But knowing the numbers behind the curves I know I don’t have the statistics to really say that.

In conclusion? Our thirty-somethings and faster runners seem to enjoy time in a van, road-trips and breakfast!

Or maybe I should conclude that chugging wooly-syrup in the Upper Valley makes us more youthful and faster when we are on the road (but fewer in number). Statistics don’t lie. Statisticians however . . .

History, Beer, and 21 Kilometers in Berlin

by Michael Herron

Los geht’s! The Berlin Half-Marathon is a fantastic race that winds its way through a variety of Berlin neighborhoods. The course is pancake flat, which is typical Berlin. It was lined with spectators and music for much of its 21 kilometers (also known as 13.1 miles, but this is a European race after all). There was ample water on the course as well as slightly warm tea — I am not sure where this tradition comes from, but, having run a number of German races in the past, it is not uncommon to be offered warm tea while running. I have come to like it. After the race there was beer available, the “alkoholfrei” version in this instance. This drink has mixed reviews in my family. It is not completely gross, but it is also not extremely good.

The half-marathon starts on Straße des 17 Juni (the Street of June 17), between Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate and the Siegersäule. This starting location represents many sides of German history. The Brandenburg Gate is a symbol of modern German unity and sat just inside (that is, on the east side) of the Berlin Wall during the Cold War. The Siegersäule, which means Victory Column, commemorates various Prussian military victories—not exactly celebratory anymore. And the street name where the half-marathon starts is dedicated to an uprising in East Berlin in 1953 that was violently put down by Soviet troops.

The 2019 Half-Marathon took place on April 6, and there was an exposition the day before the race at Templehof Field. This is another interesting site in Berlin, the former location of Templehof Airport. This is the airport with which various western counties supplied Berlin during the Soviet blockade of the city in 1948 and 1949.

I ran this race with my son Felix, who is studying at the Technical University-Berlin. After the race Felix and I went to what is basically a large beer garden to hang out with friends in Berlin Social Runners, a UVRC-like group in Berlin. Should you be in Berlin for a trip and want to find a group for a Saturday run, just show up at the Brandenburg Gate at 10am!

One of the fun aspects of large German races is that number of languages one hears. Danes seemed to be heavily represented this year at the Berlin half-marathon. The music and signs on the course were very inspiring, in particular one sign that read, “Anstregend? Selberschuld.” I would translate this as, if this race feels hard, it’s your fault for not training enough.

At 4 kilometers the course passes by Charlottenburg Palace, which dates to the 17th Century; some of the original building remains although much was damaged in World War II and has been reconstructed. Another course highlight, around 11 kilometers, is the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, known as the Gedächtniskirche or the “Memory Church.” The Gedächtniskirche was bombed in the war and to a large extent remains in its damaged state as a memorial and a reminder of the horrors of war. At 15 kilometers the half-marathon runs by Potsdamer Platz, which is a prominent place in Berlin. Potsdamer Platz was destroyed in World War II and then not fixed afterward because the Berlin Wall ran through it. During the Cold War, part of the Potsdamer Platz train station was a ghost station, which means a station through which western trains ran but did not stop. Inside the Potsdamer Platz station there are pictures that date to period. There are also some pieces of wall remaining near the train station, but Potsdamer Platz is has now been thoroughly redeveloped. The Philharmonie, where the Berlin Philharmonic plays, is nearby and so is the stunning Bahntower, which is the headquarters of deutsche Bahn, Germany’s main railway company. Finally, at the finish of the half marathon, you run through the columns of the Brandenburg Gate. This is a great way to end a tough morning.

The 2020 edition of the Berlin Half-Marathon takes place on April 5. You cannot go wrong spending a week in Berlin and learning about the city. No car travel required at any point. You can get everywhere in the city on public transportation, and on race day your running number qualifies as a train and bus ticket on the way to and from the start. Wir sehen uns da!

The Survey Says… Boston Marathon Edition

The 123d running of the Boston Marathon was held on Monday April 15th. The winners were Lawrence Cherono of Kenya (2:07:57) in the men’s division, and Worknesh Degefa of Ethiopia (2:23:31) in the women’s division. For this month’s survey we asked UVRC members for their thoughts on the Boston Marathon. (36 responses).
Enjoy the results and look for next month’s survey!

What are your feelings about the Boston Marathon? (N=36)

Did you actively follow or participate in this year’s Boston Marathon? (N=22)

Have you ever run the Boston Marathon? (N=36)

If yes, what was your experience like (not how did you do, but the overall experience)?

  • Crowds and fan support was unbelievable!
  • Amazing! The atmosphere was incredible. The majority of a marathon course lined with spectators is hard to imagine.
  • The crowds were great and it was well organized–large group running is negative
  • It was ok. Waiting alone in the athlete village; dealing with a dead toenail (great med help from athlete village ‘docs’, and another medical conundrum; did not plan/have a good breakfast. Points to learn from!
  • Unforgettable! No matter what everyone tells you and what you read, I found I had to experience it for myself. Awesome
  • Great crowd support, unpredictable weather, fabulous organization and fuel stations
  • Once amazing, once devastating
  • An awesome experience all around. The Greatest Spectators in Sports.
  • It’s one of those days every runner’s eyes are focused on one thing. It’s fun to be part of the experience, either running, watching, or dreaming about it.
  • Trained on the course for 10 years — so, very familiar run. Great crowds at Cleveland Circle, before they pu up the pedestrian barriers.
  • Terrific-not like any other
  • Ran it in 1994, a day of terrific tailwinds. The crowd support was amazing, all the length of the course there were no gaps
  • It was amazing! Best marathon experience ever.

If no, do you hope to run it someday? (N=24)

Comments

  • Pipe dream/Bucket list
  • Prefer to increase frequency of 5k to 10k as well as trail runs over stretching for Boston
  • First, I need to run a marathon, then, I’ve heard it isn’t a fun course, once I find myself running marathons (several important training steps away from my now) I think I’ll probably only run fun/beautiful marathons, unless someone asks me to run it; then, if I qualified, I probably would
  • If I ever get back in shape, maybe again.
  • Too intimidating.
  • Asphalt is too painful to run on for so long.
  • Maybe? I love the idea of running it, but the training and qualifying times are mildly terrifying!
  • I am not into marathons. Half marathons are just fine to me.
  • If I can qualify, and manage to sign up within the two minute window I heard the race filled up this year!
  • Running has become a part of my life that I thought I had left long ago. UVRC has rekindled my passion for running and this year was the first year I ever went down to watch the Boston Marathon Live. I was not there to see the winners but the diversity of runners. I found that they were as diverse as the runners in our club. Perhaps more diverse in many ways but in abilities and reasons for running most likely similar
  • It isn’t a goal of mine, but if it happens, I’m sure it would be very amazing!
  • I would love to run it again someday. I would likely never BQ, but there are so many ways to run it as a charity runner, I’d recommend folks do that if they want to experience it!
  • I’m a 5Ker, maybe a 10Ker someday, but you long distance runners are crazy. I love you though. 🙂
  • I don’t like to run marathons.

Did you follow any particular runners in Boston?

  • UVRC members (X5)
  • Des Linden (X3)
  • Des Ryan. Hoping that the ‘Ryan and True Coffee’ would power her through to another win!
  • John Wolfe (UVRC), my two cousins and Joan Benoit-Samuelson THE GREÅTEST
  • Friends, American elite field, a couple of international elites
  • Leaders and friends
  • 🙂 I read the list of Upper Valley runners, Great Job everyone!
  • UVRC runners and several from our old running club, Heartbreak Hill Striders
  • Adam Groff
  • Lain Ridgway, Cara Baskin, Alex Hall
  • Freddi Triback, Brian Walfield (fellow trail runners)
  • Rick Currier
  • All the USA women
  • This year, my aunt’s sister and Rick Currier.
  • Desiree Linden, who is one of my all time favorite world class runners.
  • No, but it would have been that lady in Ramunto’s husband. For sure.
  • Joanie, friends

Any other comments

  • Those times are not real
  • Congratulations to everyone who ran, and to the organizers and fans who make it such a wonderful event for the runners who come from near and far.
  • It’s a phenomenal event that touches lives around the world
  • If you run it, don’t underestimate the course. And make adjustments for the weather, or it will make you pay!
  • I guess, I just really like that it exists
  • My favorite part is that it’s still a full marathon only, without having multiple races in one.
  • Everybody should run it. Very, very exciting.
  • I watched my dad run it in 1978?
  • It is really a Big Deal – I would like to experience it one day.
  • It was my first time ever watching it in person. We stood for a half hour watching the wheelchairs, amazed at their strength. I was like a little kid when the elite female front runner came through – couldn’t stop jumping up and down, cheering. I was mesmerized by her stride and focus. Never seen anyone run that like in real life!
  • As a spectator I enjoyed it but found myself losing interest after a while. Then it clicked, thanks to one fan who stood next to me. She was calling out names left and right with words of encouragement following. I talked with her and I was caught up in the excitement of cheering. An experience I will never forget. Looking forward to more to come.
  • I used to work in Boston and was there (at the finish line of the marathon) at the time of the bombing six years ago. I haven’t been back (to the marathon) since.
  • Having run my first marathon last year, I felt a special connection with the runners this year and loved watching the finish camera. Especially the last 100 yards or so. What an accomplishment!
  • They should tighten up qualifying times so there is no uncertainty of getting in if you run a certain time in another marathon
  • Laura Petto looked like a blue raspberry once when we standing at the bus stop.

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 Laura Petto. Any comments, questions, submissions, winter running tips, etc, send to newsletter@uppervalleyrunningclub.org.

Comments are closed.