November 2018 Newsletter

Welcome to the November 2018 Upper Valley Running Club newsletter! What a fun month of races and the graduation of another amazing wave of Couch to 5k’ers. Keep your submissions coming — email

Happy running!

Table of Contents

    1. Letter from a Board Member: Tim Smith
    2. Is the Upper Valley Running Club Welcoming to Slower Runners? by Julia Neily
    3. Jingle Bell Run December 18th! by Nancy Dunbar
    4. Thank You Couch to 5k by Amelia Sereen
    5. ElliptiGO World Championships by Laura Hagley
    6. Things I See When I am Running by Lori Bliss Hill
    7. Runner Profile: Rebecca Stanfield McCown
    8. Ask the Coaches
    9. UVRC Wooly Syrup Chuggers Finish 2nd at CHaD Hero Half Marathon and 3rd for the 2018 NHGP Series by Jim Burnett
    10. Running by the Woods on a Autumn Morning by William Young
    11. Race Report: Coolidge 5K by Jared Rhoads
    12. The Survey Says…

Letter from a Board Member

by Tim Smith

In 1974 I signed up for my first season of running cross-country mainly because I had visions of becoming a great hiker. As a Boy Scout I had discovered The Great Outdoors and I couldn’t get enough hiking and climbing. I also knew that all great adventures involved going on foot. Lewis and Clark walked most of the way to Oregon. Frodo and Samwise walked to Mordor. So my goal was to be a ranger, trail inspector or ridge runner in the Adirondacks.

And then I put on that first pair of Adidas Roms (white leather with a three blue stripes) and life changed. Within a year I had no time to hike.

My days were filled with all sorts of mileage (some on trails) and thousands of laps around the great 440 yard/400 meter ovals. I still hiked occasionally, and occasionally I went to class, but I lived to run. Running was the reason I got out of bed in the morning and the reason I went to bed before my roommates in the evening. For ten years, from high school, through college and on to Oregon, it set my schedule, picked my friends, dictated my diet and gave me joy.

And then it ended in the steeplechase water jump pit at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.

Suffice it to say it was time to move on in my life; go to grad school, get married, start a family and start a career. For more then two decades I hardly ran a step and most certainly didn’t train.

Shortly after we moved to Hanover in 2002 I became the scoutmaster for troop 45 and was in my boyhood element again, hiking and camping for about fifteen to twenty nights a year. But as the troop adventures grew, and my own boys shot up in statue, I knew that I needed to get in shape to keep up on the hikes. So occasionally I ran a few miles, maybe six to ten miles a week.

Then my boys graduated from high school, I stepped down as scoutmaster and had a lot of time for myself.

That year, on the day that I turned in my grades for the winter term of 2012 I went out for a three mile jog. I was coming back into Hanover on rout 10, by the golf course, when this lightning fast woman came flying past me. Nancy called to me over her shoulder, “You should join our club!” It was a comment I could barely hear over my own gasping for air, but it changed my destiny.

And so the cycle repeats.

To me running has always been about cycles. Besides those cycles of hiking and running, I have had cycles of a few years of fiery hot racing followed by a year of injury and sloth (which means I am looking forward to next year!). Within each year the cycle of the seasons means a winter of base mileage (some on skis), a re-awaking in the spring, sweating miles in the summer, and the fresh air, cool breezes and the smell of leaves which mark cross-country season.

There is the cycle of the week. Saturday and Sunday’s long run, Tuesday’s track and intervals, Wednesday recovery, Thursday tempos, and repeat. The cycle of the workout; warm-up, run, warm down, repeat tomorrow.

And the cycle of the track; 100 meters straight, 100 meters curving left, 100 straight, 100 meters left, and then repeat until the legs scream — and the sprite soars.

See you guys on the next lap.


Is the Upper Valley Running Club Welcoming to Slower Runners?

By Julia Neily

Yes. I am that runner. Paul Coats asked if the Upper Valley Running Club is welcoming to the 9-12 minute milers. How about even 14 or 15 minute miles for long runs? Yes. You have all welcomed me. Jim Burnett did a Saturday morning run with me and taught me about heart rate monitoring and told me how he makes running a family event. He inspired me and my family will be at Run for Pie, Jeff and Madison will run and Emily will volunteer. My son in law John Walthour will be running it too. Mary Manusco did an early morning Sunday run with me and showed me tricks for warming up and how to dress. Jen Hansen inspired me with what to say in my mind and how to incorporate spirituality into my running thought process. Speaking of running thoughts, the book I am reading how is Mindset by Carol Dweck. I have had a fixed mindset about myself and sports. This means I haven’t believed I could grow and change that “I am a slow runner and not an athlete.” The person with a growth mindset believes he/she can grow and change. I am trying a growth mindset for myself and running.

See you at the track or on the trails or on the roads. Thanks for inspiring me.

Jingle Bell Run December 18th!

by Nancy Dunbar


Please join UVRC for our annual Jingle Bell Run on Tuesday, 12/18/18 at 6:30PM at Ramunto’s Hanover.

This is a fabulous way to celebrate the season and spread some holiday cheer.

Join us for a 3 mile run through the streets of Hanover wearing Jingle Bells. We will run regardless of weather so please dress appropriately and wear reflective gear. All ages and abilities are welcome!

After the run, stay for dinner and a raffle where you will have the opportunity to win some fabulous prizes donated by our wonderful sponsors.

Hope to see you there!

Thank You Couch to 5k

by Amelia Sereen

At age 75 I was active biking and walking and mowing the large steep lawn. Then I survived a heart attack this spring, lost 30 lbs and felt I was getting really fit. So I joined the c25k with the goal to ‘run like the wind’. Turned out I was a walker, but with the support of UVRC coaches and peers I swallowed my pride and continued. I noted an marked and unexpected increase in stamina and strength.

Then, just as I was starting to run a bit I pulled my left calf during warm ups. I dialed way back, but injured it again while walking and finally stopped the training
The injury is recovering slowly with heat, massage, gentle stretching and careful activity as well as a medication change.

BUT, but but, this is not a failure. I am super energized by my increased stamina and strength and will continue on my own and eventually rejoin walking with the group and the next c25k.


ElliptiGO World Championships

by Laura Hagley

It all started as a way to feel like I was running while taking a break after Olympic Trials. The ElliptiGO certainly fulfilled that purpose for me, and yet so much more. The ElliptiGO has become a way to push and set goals mentally, emotionally, and physically (it works wonders to stay in running shape), while competitive running has been on pause.

“Just one hill…” was the phrase in my mind, as I arrived on my ElliptiGO to the race start, at the bottom of Palomar Mountain, CA. In an attempt to boost my own confidence for the impending 4209 ft climb, I envisioned the success of UVRC-ers who have successfully run up the 4650 ft Mt. Washington road race.

I lined up alongside ElliptiGO-ers who had thousands of both miles of training and feet of climbing. It made my proud ElliptiGO climb over Howe Hill/Pomfret VT, and 54 mile round trip Friday commute both seem like child’s play. I began my 11.7mile climb, settling into the rhythmic “whoosh whoosh” of the ElliptiGO pedals, the sound of them augmenting the morning calm.

Perspective can shift quickly, like a harsh head-wind or supportive tail-wind. My mind darted like a pendulum between opposing perspectives – in one second confident in my ability to attack the steady climb, in the next second awestruck by other ElliptiGO-ers digging into the mountain to a degree I had never dug.

Here is the fullness of life; not at the top of the mountain, but rather on my way to the top. Joy comes in the whoosh whoosh, the heart pounding, and in the struggle to move beyond where I’ve been before in both place and experience. It is this position between bottom and top, between here and those ahead, between already in the race but not yet mastered the race, that drives us onward.

The view from Palomar Mountain was vast, as was the ElliptiGO World Championships experience. It was an experience of vast appreciation; there is vast joy in knowing there is more depth to dig…there is more Mountain to be had… on Palomar and beyond.

Laura Hagley DPT, CSCS, EP-C was 25th Female at 2016 Marathon Olympic Trials. She recently placed 2nd female at 2018 ElliptiGO World Championships. Laura can be reached at, or followed on her blog

Things I See When I Am Running

By Lori Bliss Hill

Runner Profile

by Mary Peters

Name: Rebecca Stanfield McCown

Town: Lebanon NH

Where are you from originally and what brought you to this area?
I’m from Pittsburgh PA and I can to New England for graduate school and eventually to Woodstock VT/ Lebanon for work.

What do you do professionally?
I run the National Park Service’s Stewardship Institute

How long have you been running?
About 10 years

Recent memorable moment while running?
Just recently I ran the Baystate Half MArathon Relay with Gunner Currier. I ran the first leg and then ran alongside him while he ran the second. It was so much fun and we both had a great time (and where the 1st place coed team).

Best athletic accomplishment and why?
I ran Boston this past April. I spent a couple years trying to qualify and to finally be able to run, and in some of the worst conditions, was a very special.

If you like to race, favorite race distance? Why?
I love the marathon. It is always a challenge whether it is just trying to cover the distance or get a specific time. It is also pretty humbling, a good reminder that you are not in control of everything. Perfect training can get derailed but horrible weather, so just never know what is going to happen out on the course and you have to get mentally strong and confident to be able to adapt on the fly.

Training partners?
I love my 5:50am running group in Hanover with Laura Hagley, Joe Helble, and Bess Ritter. There is usually at least one person crazy enough to go running with no matter the weather.

Cross training activities?
You can find me at Bikram Yoga Upper Valley. I love both Inferno Hot Pilates and Bikram. I started teaching the pilates about 2 years ago. SO when I’m not traveling for work, come take my class at 6am on Mondays.

Favorite local running route?
I am loving the new Mascoma Greenway, if you haven’t been out on it you need to give it a try.

Favorite post run treat?
I have been trying to be a much healthier eater over the past few years but I still love a good donuts. Recently, in DC is picked a running route that had me running 5 miles to a donut shop, eating a donut, and running the 5 miles back to my hotel. One of my favorite runs!

Who is your running “idol”?
I have so many. Pretty much anyone involved in the Oiselle running community has had a tremendous impact on me- Lauren Fleshman, Kara Goucher, Sally Bergeson, Sarah Lesko. Not just professional runners but people that are making running a sisterhood and uplifting others.

Why did you join UVRC?
I joined UVRC when I first moved to Lebanon asa way to meet people and ensure I would keep running. My kid came on most of my runs in the stroller.

Ever run in a costume?
Not costume but I ran the Disney World Marathon in a homemade tutu and Minnie Ears.

The only running shoe for me is ________.
I don’t have a favorite shoe. Brooks changes the shoe I was in love with so now I am a run in whatever you got type person. I probably have 6 shoes in rotation to that a select based on the type of run I am going to do.

Hot or cold weather runner?
Cold weather, please!

Morning or evening runner?
Morning runner, the earlier the better.

What does your daily workout consist of?
I try to do 2 active things a day. So running and a trip to the yoga studio are usually those things. I work in a park so sometimes a hike or stroll around the grounds happens too.

If you could run with anyone, who would be the person? Where would you run?
I would probably run with my dad. I didn’t start running until he was no longer running. It would be a lot of fun to race him.

Ask the Coaches

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

Nameless asks: Some articles have suggested that runners should be doing upper-body strength training. Is this really that important for runners?

Carly Wynn: I think comprehensive strength training is important for everybody! The body works together, it’s not broken up into a system of isolated parts. And strength training is a great way to strengthen all connective tissue (including bone), stimulate production of human growth hormone, and thereby reduce risk of injury.

For runners, upper body strength should certainly include core strength. The core stabilizes your stride, prevents twisting, and supports a strong and deep breath. It doesn’t take much: 2-3 sessions a week each 10-20 minutes in length is sufficient. I recommend starting with 10-minutes abs: for 10 minutes straight, do a different exercise for every minute. Do this workout twice a week to start out with. Done! Alternatively, doing 2 or 3 sets each of 2 or 3 different exercises with a couple minutes rest in between is a good workout.

I always have my athletes do a small amount of arm/shoulder strength training as well. Certain exercises can help support a neutral arm swing (no twisting) and in general promote balance across the chest and shoulders (no rocking). Again, it doesn’t take much. Runners aren’t looking to build muscle, especially in the upper body. Strength training without substantial muscle building is achieved by manipulating the weights and number of reps. I always recommend calisthenics (body weight exercises) and low-weight/high-rep sets for weight training.

Strength plans are highly individual, so drop me a line if you have specific questions about the best way to make an upper body strength training plan fit into your run training.

Carly Wynn is a personal coach at, and can be reached at

Jim Burnett: Should runners be doing upper-body strength training? Is it really important? My answer to this question echos the Hippocratic Oath = do no harm. If your physique resembles a T-Rex, then perhaps upper body strength training would help to round out your fitness. But for the average age group competitor upper body strength training is a peripheral and marginally helpful arrow for your training quiver. Consider a few things first before you give it a try. Maybe you are already getting upper body strength training and you didn’t even know it. Think about your current daily routines. Do you use your arms to lift, pull, push multiple times a day. Most people do, so when you do push a door open, feel the muscles in your arms working and consider your body position. Did you lean into the door first, your back straight up not slumped forward? I suggest that if you practice “body awareness” you can you can work on all your muscle groups throughout the day improving your technique as you go. Think “balance”, think “progressive movement” = slow at first … And, don’t forget recovery. Ideally, every time you flex a muscle there should be a conscious relaxation afterward. Just like breathing in and out. Keep it smooth and feel the warmth. If I had to guess, I would say that upper body strength training is more about developing your overall mental discipline than it is about improving your arm strength so you can pump your arms hard down the home stretch of a marathon. Competitive runners can overdo training (no surprise there) so if you want to try upper body strength training, do it with your mind’s eye wide open and don’t expect a PR in your next 5K. Consider what you are doing already that strengthens your upper body and make sure that your technique is good – balanced, progressive and that you exhale – allow equal time for recovery, i.e. “do no harm.” If nothing else your arms may “look” better. Don’t you just love to see a great set of “pipes”?, yeah me too! Not to mention a great set of abs, so don’t forget to work your core, right? “Plank” it baby,

Greg Hagley: I don’t think that runners need to lift weights with their arms to build arm strength. Rather, runners should lift weights with their arms in order to build postural strength for running. A certain amount of strength is needed to hold the spine erect and to control trunk rotation. This is perhaps an over-simplification, but I do think that it is the main purpose for runners lifting with their arms.

How about you, club members? Any suggestions for how to make the club as inclusive as possible? Send them on to, or corner your local friendly board member and give them your thoughts.

UVRC Wooly Syrup Chuggers Finish 2nd at CHaD Hero Half Marathon and 3rd for the 2018 NHGP Series

by Jim Burnett

CHaD Hero Half Marathon Start

It would have been nice to win the last race of the 2018 NH Grand Prix Series but more importantly the Wooly Syrup Chuggers showed up in force and ran and paced their way to godliness while joining 3,158 event participants to raise $780,000 (and counting) for CHaD kids = Winners All!!! October 14th, 2018 turned out to be a perfect fall day for the races.

The NHGP Series started in 1994 and since entering into the team competition in 2011, UVRC has finished 5th, 3rd, 3rd, 3rd, 1st in 2015 and 2016, 3rd and finally 3rd again this year. It was fun to win back-to-back in 2015 and 2016, but in the long run, as the saying goes, it’s all about showing up at the starting line and fostering team spirit. I encourage anyone who has thought about becoming a Wooly Racer and not done so yet to take the leap next year. I guarantee that you will surprise yourself – come old, come young, come fast, come slow…but just come.

2018 NHGP Top Individuals Among All Teams
Male Age-Graded Standings
Rich Smith – 5th
Joe Burnett – 9th
Alden Hall – 15th
Len Hall – 18th
Jeff Reed – 22nd
Kevin Hartstein – T-30th
Jim Burnett – T-30th
Rob Edson – T-30th

Female Age-Graded Standings
Betsy Gonnerman – Champion
Bess Ritter – 7th
Laurie Reed – T-11th
Cindy Edson – T-11th
Mary Peters – T-15th
Dorcas Denhartog – T-17th
Kim Sheffield – T-24th
Pam Moore – T-26th
Mary Mancuso – T-29th
Megan Miller – T-29th
Jennifer Hansen – T-29th
Ellen Chandler – T-32nd
Liba Hladik – T-32nd

Granite Runners (ran in all 8 races for UVRC)
Jim Burnett
Karen Wright
Tiff Currier

Top 3 in Age Group
Mary Peters, W0-29 – 2nd
Joe Burnett, M30-39 – 3rd
Rich Smith, M40-49 – 3rd
Jim Burnett, M60-69 – 3rd
Betsy Gonnerman W70+ – Champion

UVRC Pacers on Route

Running by the Woods on a Autumn Morning

by William Young

Congratulations and thank you to the Vermont 50 volunteers, runners and race organizers from the UVRC. Race Director Mike and Volunteer Coordinator Liba do a superb job running a complex event: 50 K runners, 50 mile runners and cyclists, kids’ fun runs, and over-the-top hoopla. September 30 was a picture perfect Vermont Fall day. Mary, Angie, Doreen, Ken, Hillary, Patrick, Colin and the DartMOOSE welcomed hundreds of runners. The UVRC has owned RALPH’s AID Station for the past 5 years. “Water and Sports Drinks HERE! We got M and Ms, Fig Newtons, Water Melon, Oranges, PB and J, salted potato chunks and Chips. Drop Bags over here. Free photos with the MOOSE.” Lydia (UVRC) was the first female at 7.1 miles with a big smile and high fives. Fast and steady Jim (UVRC) stopped to chat with 24 “miles to go before I sleep.” I am sure there were more UVRC runners but the view from inside the DartMOOSE was limited. When the last tough competitor came through about 10 AM, Colin, Mary and Travis jogged off to sweep the 4 miles of country roads to the MARGARITAVILLE Aid Station. All the cycling and running competitors pass through this Caribbean-Vermont hub.
UVRC’s own 50 miler Rob Frost was spotted running uphill, smiling and we think reciting,

“Whose woods these are I think I know…” The other Robert Frost would be proud.

Race Report: Coolidge 5K

by Jared Rhoads

The First Annual Coolidge 5K is in the books! This race was the first in what the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation in Plymouth, VT, hopes to be a new fall tradition in the region. UVRC member Jared Rhoads served as the race director and UVRCer Jim Burnett helped with course measurement. The ceremonial starter for the 5K event was Vermont State Representative Charlie Kimbell (D), and the starter for the “I Do Not Choose to Run” 1-Mile Walk was former Vermont Governor Jim Douglas (R).

The 5K runners in this mixed-surface course ran about a mile on low-cut grass, and the remainder on hard top and dirt roads. In addition to some breathtaking foliage and country scenery, the course featured historic landmarks such as the Coolidge birthplace and homestead, as well as signs with historical facts and pithy quotes. Professional race timing was provided by BART Timing. The overall winners each received $100; age group winners each received a half-gallon of local apple cider; and many other runners and walkers were winners in the raffle/giveaway.

Top Female Overall: Emily Stack (24) 23:17
Top Male Overall: Kevin Baird (28) 23:09
Women’s 19 and under: Sheridan Harville (13) 43:42
Men’s 19 and under: Cooper Rhoads (7) 27:03
Women’s 20-34: Audra Harter (33) 29:55
Men’s 20-34: Kevin Stack (29) 23:17
Women’s 35-49: Amy Horner (42) 29:49
Men’s 35-49: Keith Culver (45) 28:17
Women’s 50+: Martha Perkins (54) 25:26
Men’s 50+: Charlie Kimbell (53) 25:32

Full results are up at Cool Running.
If you didn’t get out to Plymouth VT for this year’s run, join us next October for the Second Annual Coolidge 5K!

The Survey Says…

Last month we reported on your “all-time favorite race that you have done.” This month we are reporting on the “race at the top of your bucket list for a race you haven’t done.” In comparison to races you have done your bucket list races hit the longer distances. And you had some interesting reasons why the race was on your bucket list. For those of you who didn’t respond you might just get some ideas of races to shoot for.
Here are your responses.

Enjoy the results and look for next months survey!

Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) trail races 50K and up
It seems really well-run, a kind of unique and special experience, in Europe of course making it unique, and by the time I get enough points to qualify my youngest would have graduated from college so I’ll consider going to expensive Europe in the pricey summer months.

Hardrock 100; Silverton, CO; 100ish miles.
It traverses much of the San Juan Mountains, over steep passes and summiting one 14er. It’s an awesome route, and a huge challenge (the course averages over 11k feet, and has over 30k feet of climbing).

Rocky Raccoon 100 miler in Texas and any of the nation park series
I want to run another hundred and I love national parks

Chuckanut 50K on Chuckanut Mountain in Bellingham, WA
I went to college in Bellingham and ran these trails extensively but got more into long races post-college. I would love to go back and experience the race! It is a gorgeous area and the weather is almost always running-friendly: not too hot and not too cold.

Wasatch 100, Salt Lake City Utah, 100 miles
It seems so unachievable which makes it all the more interesting to set as a goal.

Western States 100. Squaw, CA. 100 miles
I really love the Tahoe area and running ultras and this is the premier 100 mile race in the United States.

Vermont 100
Another great and classic ultra in the area.
Challenge; positive experience with VT50 and pacing.

Vermont 50
It would be the longest distance I have ever done in a single event.
I’ve mountain biked it and love the course. I’d like to get in good enough shape to run it – I like trail running now more than road running and while I have relatively little interest in running a road marathon, I’d like to try some longer races to see what I can do. I’m confident i could get in shape to do the 50K so that would be the place to start.

Barkley Marathons
“In my dreams!” Hardest ultra-trail race ever. It does have a “fun run” with a 40-hour window.

Boston marathon
Near family Big deal
Hometown appeal and the splendor of it. I’m from Massachusetts originally. I doubt I’ll ever qualify on time and I’m not particularly keen on the idea of having to raise thousands of dollars in order to run it as a charity entry.
Everything I have heard makes this the top marathon to do, plus I finally earned my qualification this year!

Paris Marathon
J’aime Paris.

New York Marathon
Do I really need to elaborate?

Big Sur Marathon California
Locations, views

Mount Desert Island marathon
I have completed 1 marathon to date, and i did not reach my goals (i admit they were lofty). This marathon would be a good chance to redeem myself on a beautiful course with a lot less elevation change then my first marathon.

Death Valley Marathon
I would love to be able to say I ran Death Valley! Entire course is below sea level with fantastic view

Disney half marathon
Disney!! It’s magic
Where else can you run in a tiara???
Any Disney Half Marathon (2 attempts to date, only completing 8+ miles each time. It’s the awful standing in the cold early AM air that does me in!)

Goofy Race – Marathon and a Half Challenge
I love the Magic Kingdom!!!

Shaker 7, Enfield, NH 7 miles
I live in Enfield right on the route so it would be fun to do!

Falmouth Road Race, Falmouth MA, 7.1 mile
Big, well organized race, great support, classic New England race

The Dixville half marathon
It’s all downhill

Mount Washington Road Race
Something I have always wanted to do once!

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 Amanda Kievet, with article collection by Laura Petto. Any comments, questions, submissions, sub 2 hour marathon tips, etc, send to

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