November 2019 Newsletter

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

Happy running!

Table of Contents

  1. Letter from a Board Member by Jim Burnett
  2. #UVRC
  3. Zack’s Place Woodstock Turkey Trot by Bill Young
  4. Couch to 5k by Erin Wetherell
  5. Running at Occom Pond by Tim Smith
  6. Post Runners by Bill Young
  7. New Hampshire Grand Prix by Jim Burnett
  8. Route of the Month: Beaver Meadow/Bragg Hill Loop by Laura Petto
  9. “The Wind was a real drag” by Tim Smith
  10. Runner Profile: Jackie Albanese by Scott King
  11. Ask the Coaches

Running Back in History: The General, the Poet and the Runner

by Jim Burnett

I often think that I was born a century too late. You could say, however, that I was there – at least in spirit. The runner’s mind, floating along atop the runner’s body, can transport you to times and places afar. It can open the door to deep thought and inspiration. So, when I go to New York City this weekend for the marathon, before I run the race, I will visit three hallowed places steeped in greatness – the tomb of Ulysses S. Grant, the Brooklyn home of Walt Whitman and Van Cortlandt Park, the Mecca of cross country running for more than a century. It happens that the Dartmouth Mens and Women’s cross country teams will be competing in the Heptagonals (HEPS) or Ivy League XC Championships on Friday. That morning getting as close as I can to the runners, I will breath in their beauty and their courage and feel the air move as they speed by. At the tomb I will summon the spirits of the age of emancipation and the general who bravely and relentlessly lead the troops and the cause. On Saturday I will walk the short distance from my daughter’s home in Brooklyn to 99 Ryerson St and there evoke the bygone era once again and look for Whitman’s footsteps on the sidewalk and on the front steps leading up to the simple home where he composed “Leaves of Grass.” On to the Expo on Saturday to pick up my bib for my 5th NYC Marathon, the first was 38 years ago when Salazar broke the world record and then had it taken away when the course was found to be 100 meters short. On Sunday I will get up early and take the ferry to Staten Island and at 10:10 am, God willing, when the cannon roars I will stride up and across the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, run through the five Burroughs to the finish in Central Park.


Thanks Jennifer Fullerton for the post below:

Keep the submissions coming, folks! To submit, post a photo to Instagram with the tag #UVRC and we’ll pick our favorite each month. Take back the hashtag!

Zack’s Place Woodstock Turkey Trot – November 28

by Bill Young

This Thanksgiving morning Turkey Trot is one of my all time favorite races. The special needs cause, the enthusiastic crowd, the poultry and Pilgrim hats and the 5K course through the village are picture perfect. The race support is fantastic. Pick up your bib in the warm school gym, sing the national anthem, race “over the river and through the woods,” shout to the jersey cows and pass the town square to Finish at the Start. Tip #1. UVRC Couch-2-5K graduates frequently take home age group medals. Tip #2. The scenic Woodstock Inn fireplace and restrooms are worth a visit before and after the chilly race. Register here to support a good cause and earn your Thanksgiving feast. Race Details Here.

Couch to 5k

by Erin Wetherell

On Saturday, October 20th the “Couchers” completed the CHaD Hero 5k! Although we started in many different places — recovering from injuries, getting back into running after having a baby, trying desperately to stay in shape after the last round of C25k, just looking to make friends and not so concerned with running– we all ended at the same finish line at the CHaD Hero 5k*.

Many thanks to all the couches who lent a helping hand (or running foot?) this session– RJ, Matt, Sally, Mary, Laura– and our sporadic celebrity guest, Toby. A BIG Coucher thank you to Keriann and Scott for all their hard work keeping us organized and on-task, corralling us into one supportive group, dispensing running tips, helping us build our strength (see photos), maintaining the never-ending hope that we might get to celebrate a birthday every one of the 11 weeks, and building community with a variety of creative questions designed to help us get to know one another better. A personal favorite was Amelia’s response to Keriann’s question “Describe your week in two words.” Amelia: “Groundhog kill.”

Plans are in the works for continuing to run even though the formal program has come to an end. Stay tuned, and happy trails until we meet again in the spring!

*Ok, well a couple of us didn’t cross the finish line but only because people are busy being rockstars and have many things going on in their lives, including shmerk work.

Running at Occom Pond

by Tim Smith

This year Tuesday Night Track is heading to Occom Pond at the beginning of November. We will still do workout similar to what we would have done on the track until December. But with the end of daylight savings, it will be very dark, and with a growing number of people out on Tuesday there has been a lot on concern about collisions in the dark.

So Why Occom?

  • Plowed all winter (tracks are never plowed)
  • Light traffic in the evening hours
  • Streetlight all the way around the pond
  • You can make left-hand turns and never cross traffic!
  • It is almost exactly a 1600 meters around (9 meters less then a mile)

We meet at the north end of the pond, near the DOC house. There is a parking lot there, and we start our intervals under the streetlight.

Jim has recently re-painted the 400, 800, 1200 & 1600 meters marks around the pond. But there is also a map included with this article.

In December we go into “winter mode”, where TNT is of lower intensity. But I am planning on keeping our quality up through the Turkey Trot season in the next few weeks.

Do we run in sleet? Ice? Snow? Sub-zero weather? You bet. Of course you are all adults and can make your decision on those foul weather nights.

How should you prepare? It is dark! Find reflective things to wear. Look for head lamps and various illuminated vest, etc. It is true that we tend to out number the cars during the hour that we run. But cars are often driven by people who can not fathom the idea of running when it is a light a picturesque snow and a mere +5 degrees, so they may not be looking for use.

Be flashy!

I’ll write more about cold weather running next month, when it will be a bit cooler than today.

Post Runners

by Bill Young

Post runners always finish last. We also witness some amazing sportsmanship and grit. On Saturday morning, October 5, buses filled with 2,261 young and anxious athletes rolled into Thetford Academy for the famous Woods Trail Run. There were 96 teams from 6 states. A forest of team tents, hammocks in trees, a rising fall morning fog and a perfect a capella Star-Spangled Banner set the stage for drama. Imagine one to two hundred young athletes charging down a narrowing green field to enter a forest path and keep going for 5 kilometers (3 miles). Hills like Morty’s Monster awaited them. As post runners, we trailed the end of the pack, provide aid when needed and witnessed some remarkable human interactions. For example, several runners with special needs had trained, were welcomed and were out for PRs (personal records.) Many student athletes finished and came back out on the course to cheer them on and often by name. The special education teachers who trained and ran with the kids were remarkable motivators. Another exhausted middle school runner lamented, “I am the slowest of them all.” As they headed for the finish line, a fellow post runner corrected her, “You are way faster than all these other people who are not running.” The Vermont State Cross Country Championships in late October offers another intense and inspiring spectator and volunteer opportunity. Congratulations to the organizers, the 80 volunteers and the proud endurance athletes.

Glen Page, Alan Callaway, Bruce Atwood and Bill Young

New Hampshire Grand Prix

by Jim Burnett

Congratulations Wooly Warriors,
In the 2019 NH Grand Prix Series, after grabbing a large early lead at the Shamrock Shuffle 5K in March, the Wooly Warriors held first place in the standings for the first three races, through the Windham Flat & Fast 5K, SWEET! The sixth race of the series, Boot Scootin’ Boogie 5K, proved pivotal, however, as the Gate City Striders extended their team lead in the standings and Greater Derry TC leap-frogged over UVRC to move into second place, OUCH! But, the Woolies showed up en masse for the CHaD Hero Half Marathon, the series finale, and leapt up to second place in the final NHGP team standings, AWESOME!!!

Place 2019 2018
1 Gate City Striders – 1,149 points Gate City Striders – 1,453 points
2 Upper Valley Running Club – 973 points Greater Derry Track Club – 1,061 points
3 Greater Derry Track Club – 903 points Upper Valley Running Club – 901 points

There were many new faces racing for UVRC this year and that’s always a good thing. We still have our stalwarts, Geoff Dunbar being the prime example receiving Granite Runner accolades for running in all 8 NHGP races in 2019, but our club is forever happy to welcome new members into its ranks and onto its racing team. Andrew Erickson joined UVRC after a conversation with Alex Hall in the finish shoot of the Gate City Half Marathon, the series’ 3rd event, and also convinced his roommate, Andrew MacGibbon, join us for the CHaD Hero Half, the pair finishing 2nd and 4th at CHaD overall, BAM!!!

The NHGP also recognizes age group winners and individual age-graded winners. Sara Vannah = 1st Woman Under 30, Alex Hall = 1st M30-39, Nancy Dunbar = 1st W40-49, Betsy Gonnerman = 1st W70+. Top age-graded UVRC individuals = 2nd Woman, Dorcas Denhartog, and 4th Man = Andrew Erickson, BRAVO!!!

If you want to comb through the 2019 NHGP Final results or final results from previous years, go to the NHGP website (

I hasten to add that, having now lauded our individual winners, there are many ways to enjoy racing for the club in the NHGP series.
Want to get away??? It’s fun to join in the fun for a vanpool adventure to Concord, Manchester, Nashua or Portsmouth.
Want to see how you stack up against your peers in the Granite State??? You will find that your AG rivals become your friends, WHO KNEW???
Want to hear running stories and get to know your fellow Woolies a little better??? The van rides never disappoint.

And lastly, a special THANK YOU and CONGRATULATIONS to EVERYONE who showed for any one of the series races.
It’s all about showing up, RIGHT???

Route Name: Beaver Meadow/Bragg Hill Loop

by Laura Petto

Link to Strava

Route Distance: 9.21 miles

Elevation: 983 ft

Terrain Type: Paved and Dirt Roads

Description: This was my goal route for a long time – I was overwhelmed by the elevation gain and wasn’t sure I could do it. I grew up running in a very flat area and 300 ft of elevation gain on a long run was a lot! My running buddy told me this route was beautiful, so I set a goal of doing it after building up my hill skills. Now it has become one of my standard routes! It’s easier to do if you run up Beaver Meadow – the hills are more gradual and are a lower grade, even though the net vertical gains will obviously be the same regardless of which way you do it. Beaver Meadow is paved the whole way, but Bragg Hill is dirt for about two thirds of the distance. Even though the elevation profile is significant, it doesn’t feel as bad as almost 1000 ft of elevation gain because the grades aren’t too bad and most of the gain is distributed evenly in the first 4.5 miles, with a few rolling hill breaks. The only really hard hill is Tucker Hill, the connecting road between Beaver and Bragg. The views are absolutely spectacular, a true reward for climbing so much. You can see over the mountains very clearly, and there’s a spot on Bragg Hill that never fails to take my breath away. You can often spot horses and donkeys in pastures along Bragg. The parts of Bragg that are exposed without too many trees yield a sweeping view of Vermont. This route makes me so grateful to live here. The downhills on Bragg are pretty steep, and are a nice respite after the Beaver climb. Happy Hill Road is on the right as you run down Bragg, and the name always makes me smile. It’s a challenging route, but I’ve come to love it!

Variations: Take the Ballard trail instead of climbing up Beaver meadow


“The Wind was a real drag”

by Tim Smith

Recently Laura Hagley posed the question, “What is the effect of wind on a runner?” She also mentioned that when she recently ran the Wineglass Marathon, she was battling a 10-12 mph head wind.

I’ll admit, I didn’t remember the details of the equation for wind-drag, but I knew that it was proportional to the velocity of the air you are passing through squared. So I think Laura was running about 10 mph, and the wind added another 10 mph, so she was pushing against about four times the drag-force of a wind-less day. But that doesn’t actually tell me how it effects a runner.

But now I had to actually look up stuff and do some calculations. So here are the factoids I am going to work from;
The drag force equation is:

  • Fdrag = ½ ρ v2 CD A


  • ρ = density of air = 1.225 kg/m3.
  • CD = “Drag-coefficient”. This number is the effect of the shape and surface of an object. It is small for arrows and large for parachutes.
  • A = Area, a bigger sail generates more force.

What else?

Laura ran the Wineglass Marathon (26 miles, 385 yard = 42, 195 meters) in 2:44:08 (9,848 seconds), so she ran at 4.28 meters/second. Laura also told me her height, and I estimated her width and came up with an area of 0.51 meters2.

Now if only I knew the “Drag-coefficient”.

Most people who work on this problem start by treating the human body as a cylinder, because based on theoretically grounds the drag-coefficient for a cylinder is 0.8 (no units!).

So now I can calculate:

  • Force = ½ ρ v2 CD A
  • = (0.5) (1.225 kg/m^3) (4.28 m/s)^2 0.8 (1.7 m × 0.3 m)
  • = 4.6 kg m/s^2
  • = 4.6 Newtons of force

That is about the force it takes to hold up a 1 pound block of butter – or pint of your favorite post-race fluid.

But my velocity is wrong. Laura was battling a “10-12 mph” head wind. I’ll use a middle wind speed of 11 mph = 4.92 meters/second. Combined wind and motion for ab effective velocity of 9.2 m/s. Then

Force = 21.2 [Newtons] = 5 pounds.

I could now go on to calculate energy, but I want to come back to the problem of a better coefficient of drag for a runner. People have been trying to figure this out since the 1920’s when they put models of runners in wind tunnels. In a 1927 study they measured the coefficeint of a runner as: CD = 0.9.

They also went on to suggest this took 2% to 5% of the runners energy. 5% was based 11.5 yards/second. At that time Harold Abrahams – the central figure of the movie Chariots of Fire – held the world record for the 100m at 10.6 seconds. Which means he averaged 10.6 m/s, or 11.6 yards/second. (A lots of switching units here, I know!)

Finally, in that paper they decide to cast the effort to over come wind as if you were going uphill. On their tables, Laura’s 9.2 meters/sec = 30 feet/sec → 1/33, the equivalent of running up a 3% grade!

A Better CD

But the real problem is figuring out this (CD × Area) combination. In the above number (CD × Area) = 0.43 meters2, but people argue about this. There are other technique for estimate the drag coefficient.

After a sky-diver jumps out of an airplane then will accelerate until they reach something called “terminal velocity”, typically 50-60 meters/seconds. At that point the gravitational-force is balanced by the air drag-force. So you can use this to get a number for the drag-coefficeint, typically close to 1, but that is mainly due to the big, baggy clothing ski-divers wear.

You could also go to a mountain top on a windy day and see how much you can lean into the wind without falling; With a 20 mph I can lean 2-degs into the wind!

Or you can turn to computationally intense simulation of fluid dynamic. It is amazing how many mechanical engineering thesis have been written on the drag coefficent of a runner in the last decade! In any case I don’t find a consistent number for CD, but they all lie in the range of 0.6 to 0.9, but this primarily is because nobody agrees on the shape and surface of a body had aught to described. So in the end I am going to use 0.615 (I’ll explain why below) and calculate energy.

Forceno-wind = 3.5 N
Forcewind = 16.3 N

The energy is simple force × distance.

Energyno-wind = 3.5 × 42195.0
= 149,000 Joules = 36 Cal
Energywind 216.3 × 42195.0
= 686,000 Joules = 164 Cal

(For you science nerds, I am using “food-calories”, ie 1 Cal = 1,000 cal.)

Note: this is energy produced by the legs. If we want to know how many calories she needed to eat we need to multiple by about 4

As a hill

One other ways of thinking about this is that running into the wind is the equivalent of running uphill. The equivalent slope is simple:

  • Fdrag × distance = energy = mass × height × gravity
  • grade = height/distance = Fdrag × 100%/(mass × gravity)


no wind → 0.6% grade (climbed a 264 meter hill)
wind → 2.8% grade (climbed a 1216 meter hill)

For comparison, tuck drive is 6-7% grade. Mt Support is 2-3% !

Kipchoge’s “V” formation

One last question which Laura asked was, “What was the effect of the “V” formation of pacers around Kipchoge’s recent sub-2 hour performance?” I actually found a really nice article by some fluid dynamics engineers based on the Kipchoge’s 2017 2:00:25 performance. They did some very sophisticated simulation and came up with some interesting results


It just so happen that Laura and Kipchoge are within 1 inch and 1 pound of each other! Since they had modeled Kipchoge in such detail, I ended up using their drag-coefficient & area; this is where the 0.615 cited above comes from.

They calculate Kipchoge’s drag force for various arrangement. Then from this they calculate Power to overcome that drag. They also note that Kipchoge can produce about 300 Watts of power, and using the fact that power is proportional to the cube of the velocity, they come up with time change due to the various arrangements. (see table below)

Kipchoge no-wind
car V-pacer car &
Drag-Force 6.6 N 4.6 N 1.8 N 1.25 N 0.0 N
Power to Overcome Drag 39 W 27 W 11 W 7.4 W 0.0 W
Time difference 0:00 min -1:36 min -4:00 min -4:29 min -5:39 min

My number vary for the article by 6-9 secs. I also added the treadmill variation, where you don’t push through air at all.

Now I can do the same calculation for Laura’s race:

Laura no wind +11mph
(tail wind)
(head wind)
car &
Drag-Force 3.5 0.08 16.3 1.25 0.0
Power to Overcome Drag 15 W 0.33 70.0 5.5 0.0
Time difference 0:00 min -3:54 +11:49 -2:32 -3:59

The article goes on to conclude a few things; 1) the car had a smaller effect then the V-formation pacers. 2) In a normal marathon the leader is often in a pack for 20 or more miles, 80% of the race. Therefore a winner might only see a minute or so difference between an official race and an idealized trial.

What about for UVRC’s Laura?

Laura has already mentioned that she felt the effect of having some big guys in front of her, so she was probably not penalized by a full 11 minutes. But if she could get a V-formation for a few miles on a windless day?

By the way, the Wineglass Marathon also dropped 58 meters, start to finish, but with a few rolls in the middle. Someday I’ll have to write about how come “downs” don’t equal “ups” for a runner.

Runner Profile: Jackie Albanese

by Scott King

Name: Jacqueleen (Jackie) Albanese

Town: West Hartford, VT

Where are you from originally and what brought you to this area? I’m originally from New York and bounced around New England my adult life. I landed in the Upper Valley because my partner is now working for Dartmouth.

What do you do professionally? I work as a consultant in energy efficiency. I help design and implement programs to help building owners reduce their energy use and carbon output.

How long have you been running? Maybe 10 years.

How long have you been running competitively? I still don’t think I run competitively. The first race I remember entering was a 5k fun run about 10 years ago. Of course, this doesn’t count elementary school track.

Why do you run? I find running to the most utilitarian way to get exercise. I like the friendships I’ve developed from running and the way it makes me feel afterwards.

Best athletic accomplishment and why? For two years I did a team event called the Seneca 7. It is a 77.7 mile running relay race with 7 team members. Each team member has three legs. While the runner is running instead of driving to the next exchange point (e.g. VT 100), our team biked there. It was strenuous (physically) and involved a lot of coordination with pulling gear and water. The race itself was poorly organized so we stopped doing it. (If someone wanted to create a similar type of race in this area, I would totally help!)

If you like to race, favorite race distance? Why? I like a good 10k. It’s long enough to feel like you need to train for it, but short enough where you don’t have to train too much.

If you like to race, notable race moment? OR most memorable race? My one and only trial race was in Pisgah state park. I distinctly remember the moment I realized that walking up the hills was about as fast as running up them.

Training partners? All the C25k folks

Cross training activities? Biking, hiking, and weight training.

Favorite local running route? I do love the nice flats of a bike trail. Realistically, I have a 4-mile loop I do from my house.

Favorite post run treat? Water with a Nuun tablet.

Strangest place ever run? I don’t have a strangest place. But I’ve done a few Ragnars and the strangest time I’ve run is at 3am.

Any notable streaks or other unusual running events? Seneca 7 race.

What made you start running? Fitness…or the lack thereof. And my love of carbs.

Who is your running “idol”? I don’t have one.

Are your reasons for running now the same or different than the reason you first started? Same-ish

Why did you join UVRC? I joined Couch to 5k because I needed to start my running journey over again. I broke my ankle in June 2018 so by this spring I really could only run about a mile before I got shin splits and many other running related injuries.

Ever run in a costume? I ran with a cape once – hardly counted as a costume.

The only running shoe for me is Altra Duo.

Ever been injured? How did it happen? I broke my ankle in a frolicking incident gone wrong. We were jogging in a field calling our dog back and forth and I tumbled over him (or he knocked me over from behind?).

Hot or cold weather runner? Mild-hot.

Morning or evening runner? Either. Morning is easier because I’m not alert enough to make up excuses to not go.

What is your motivation? How strenuous (or easy) hiking up the hill is.

Favorite running book/film? Running with Sherman

What does your daily workout consist of? In the summer it is some outdoor activity (running, biking, hiking, canoeing). In the winter it is a weight training class at the gym at least 3 times a week. Walking the dog is a daily activity throughout the year – including on trails.

Aside from running, what are your hobbies? Cooking, gardening, other outdoor pursuits

Ask the Coaches

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

Carly Wynn:

Before addressing “training the stomach” I’d like to challenge the idea that it’s bad to run on an empty stomach.

Do you feel okay running before breakfast? My opinion is that if you’re not doing a long run or intensity, you can run on an empty stomach if you don’t feel fatigued or dizzy.

Your glycogen stores will be lower after a night of sleep, but you’ll have some glycogen to get you started, and the body will transition to fat for fuel when that runs out. Additionally, there is research indicating low-intensity exercise in a fasting state post-sleep utilizes fat as fuel more efficiently than post-meal. While sleeping, and in other times of low glycogen (stored sugar), your liver breaks down fat into ketones to be released into the bloodstream as fuel. Getting up and heading straight out for a run may allow you to continue efficiently using ketones, so your body is better able to utilize fat as fuel than it might be later in the day post sugar-consumption.

Now, there is also research indicating that running on an empty stomach does not lead to further fat loss than eating before running, but this is mainly because athletes overcompensate by eating too much after training hungry. If your appetite is under control, you’ll be able to avoid this easily. Loss of muscle tissue resultant of training on an empty stomach can also be mitigated by sticking to low-intensity aerobic exercise (not strength training or doing intervals) and refueling immediately after with a high-protein snack. Your body does not want to eat its own muscle, and will do so only as a last resort, so if you FEEL good training like this, go for it.

Can you schedule long runs and intensity for later in the day when you can eat earlier? If not, you could try having a small volume of food before the run, like a spoonful of PB, and then nibble on a high-sugar snack during the workout like you might during a long race.

There’s no good science saying “eat this for a happier running stomach.” Low fiber foods will be easier to digest, as will simple carbohydrates, but in general I don’t like to advise eating more simple carbs. Still, you could avoid the oats, as they’re pretty high fiber. Nut butters are good though; low volume and high calorie. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with energy bars if they’re settling well. I get that they’re expensive and not necessarily nutritionally diverse, but if you only need one once a week before an early morning intensity session that’s not too bad.

Maybe one of the other coaches will have advice for training the stomach to hold food better while running, but my biggest advice is to:

  1. Schedule intensity and long runs for times when you’ll have plenty of time to eat beforehand.
  2. Try small volumes of high calorie food before runs where you’re really truly time crunched and need fuel, and maybe have a small sugar snack during the session.
  3. Don’t be afraid to train low-intensity (easy and distance runs) on an empty stomach if you feel good doing it! Just refuel shortly after.

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

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

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