August 2022 Newsletter
UVRC Newsletter Team
UVRC Newsletter Team
August Racing Update
By: Geoff Dunbar
Stay cool out there, UVRC runners!
Upper Valley Running Series
We finished the 3rd race in the series, the Red, White and Blue 6.2 on July 4th. It was a great time, congratulations to all finishers! And also to the Couch to 5K finishers, who mostly did the 5K. But that still counts towards "finisher" status for the series. The UVRS site has links to the results for RWB, and current standings for the series: https://bit.ly/2022uvrs
The next race in the UVRS is the Under the Tree race, August 20 in Hartland VT. Again, the 10K is the scoring race, but the 5K is finisher eligible.
See the website (above) for links to series races, as well as overall information on the series.
New Hampshire Grand Prix
No July race in the NHGP, so UVRC is still in first! However, it's not time to get complacent. We need to get out and put up results in the track 5K. Run anytime you like, submit your time here: https://www.runreg.com/nh-grand-prix-5000m
Then, the next race in the NHGP is the Sandown 5 Miler, August 6 in Sandown NH. It's a bit of a trek for us, and you can bet our competitor clubs are looking to get back at us. Let's get as many folks down as we can sign up for the vanpool here: https://secure.rec1.com/NH/city-of-lebanon/catalog?filter=c2VhcmNoPTIxNTEyNDI=
If you have no idea what the New Hampshire Grand Prix is, check the website: https://www.nhgp.org/
Western New Hampshire Trail Running Series
July was a busy month in the WNHTRS, with 3 races!
- All Out Trail Run, July 9 Claremont NH.
- Frenzy in the Forest, July 16 Sunapee NH.
- Hurricane Hill, July 23 Hartford VT.
No rest for the wicked, or the trail runner. 2 more races in August:
- STOAKED, August 6 Hanover NH.
- French's Ledges Trail Race, August 20 Plainfield NH.
Results, information about upcoming races, and about the series in general: http://www.wnhtrs.com/
The Dunbars at the Red, White, and Blue 6.2 in Lebanon.
New Twists this Summer to TNT
By: Dorcas DenHartog
Most of us come to Tuesday Night Track after a day at a desk, walking hallways, and in the car. I know when I step out onto the track after a day in the classroom, my first steps are a hobble, then a jog, then maybe I am warmed up enough to feel like I can stride. Physically, I am a skeleton still tied up in knots of muscle. Mentally, too, my brain is knotted up with thoughts of, “I only have this x number of minutes for me, between work and home and family responsibilities. I have to get in as much running mileage as possible. I have to start running immediately to make the most of my precious workout time.” And doggedly I hit Start and go.
But I shouldn’t start running as soon as I hit the track. There is a more efficient way to warmup, that also improves running form and prevents injuries. That is why we have added in dynamic warmup exercises to the Tuesday Night Track workouts.
The dynamic warmup progression Tim and I have been introducing is a sequence of exercises that move from slow and simple, forward and backward motions focusing on the hip/leg connection and simple balance, to more complex, multi-limb, side-to-side, dynamic, quick movements. Just like a jogging warmup, your heart rate increases, your soft tissue temperature rises. But unlike jogging, the ancillary soft tissues are stretched, prepared, strengthened, and reminded how to run well. As Jason Fitzgerald of Strength Running.com notes, a dynamic warmup “actually warms you up! It elevates your heart rate, respiration, perspiration, opens capillary beds, lubricates joints, and metabolically primes the body for running.” And, unlike jogging, you are thoroughly warmed up, yet have taken fewer foot strikes. It’s easier on your joints!
Not only that, studies that compare aerobic work, static stretching, and dynamic stretching, show that dynamic stretching improves your jump height, and it improves your ability to reach peak force in your running kick, better than jogging (aerobic) or static stretching. So, jogging for a warmup is akin to sitting too long in the hot tub. Convinced?
Granted it is important to catch up with friends during our warmups, before we are panting too hard to carry on a conversation. But in doing so we aren’t paying attention to what our body is doing, just minutes before we ask it to run hard, quickly, fast. Dynamic warmup exercises give every body part that you will be asking to participate in this interval session a chance to prepare for something more demanding than getting out of the chair and up from your desk.
As you do each exercise, focus on the precision, range, and synchronization of each motion. Within the exercises are cues that improve your balance, strength, and mobility, as well as give an opportunity for you to notice and correct imbalances. Can you balance on one leg better than the other? Why? Is that or will it cause a problem?
Not able to run? The dynamic warmup can also be used as a workout in and of itself. If you are coming back from injury or getting back into running, this routine gently guides your body through a progression of movements that you can pause at any time. Do those that serve you; put aside those that don’t.
Below is the general routine we have been following. If you have questions about how to perform one, most can be found on Youtube. Here is a simple one that I like because it includes glute activation with a band.
Tim and I appreciate how TNT runners have taken up this new way of warming up. And we hope you feel, as a Next Gen runner said to me, “I’ve been doing this warmup before my runs, and I think it’s helping me run better!”
UVRC: Dynamic Warmup Progression
- Use before all runs or as an off-day stretch routine.
- Quality before speed: runner’s head up, vertical* upper body, 90deg arm swing, and BALANCE.
Perform the stretch/drill for 25-30meters, then jog back to start the next one.
- scoops (aka: shoo the chickens). leg straight out, front heel down/toe up, torso stright as you scoop open hands down and forward and lift up
- Georgias/knee squeeze - squeeze knee to chest and rise up on standing toe
- walking quad stretch - pull one heel to butt, reach up with opposite hand
- figure-4 glute stretch/standing pigeon
- forward lunge and twist at the waist
- side lunge, back and forth, step, turn, alternating foot that is leading the lunge
- swing leg up and touch foot with opposite hand
- knee up then swing leg back to RDL, reach both hands towards ground
- A-step, 90deg arm swing
- A-step with paw down - knee to horizontal, then snap lower leg to horizontal, then paw/scrape foot beneath you; 90deg arms
- A-SKIP, arm swing 90deg.
- B-SKIP, arms swing 90deg
- La’s (beautifuls) - sideways with arm swings up and over head, down and in front of waist
- carioca with high knee cross over, arm swing 90deg
- high knee run, arm swing 90deg
- butt kick run, arm swing 90deg
- high and hang A-SKIPS, use your arms!
- heel walk / toe walk
- 50% effort accelerations, like a sprinter start low then rise to vertical stance in 10meters, hold for ten strides, then decelerate
- 70% “ “
- 90% “ “
Now you’re REALLY warmed up!
Come *Pace* the CHaD Half with UVRC
By: Mike Kokko
or about a decade now the club has provided pacing at our two largest local half marathons: Covered Bridges in the spring and CHaD in the fall. If you've run either race in recent years you have likely noticed a contingent of your fellow UVRC members running with snazzy "PACER" shirts and signs, balloons, or other paraphernalia while cheering on the runners around them. Maybe you've thought to yourself, "gee, that looks like a lot of fun, maybe I should give it a try!" Well, now is your big chance! The 2022 CHaD Hero Half Marathon is coming up on Sunday, October 9th and the race organizers have asked us for more pacers than we typically field for them.
We are actively recruiting pacers for CHaD, so if you think you might be interested please fill out the Google Form linked below ASAP: https://forms.gle/TzcVrD3okC8M6HNL6
We need to send the CHaD folks a pacing roster *this month* so please sign up now!
Maybe you're still on the fence? Maybe you're asking yourself...
Q: What's the big idea with pacing?
A: Lots of runners have goals. Maybe you can relate. Our job as pacers is to help people reach their half marathon goals by running a more-or-less consistent pace for the entire race and cheering on anyone and everyone along the way.
Q: How much experience do I need?
A: None! Well, you don't need to have ever paced a race before, but you should be comfortable enough running a half marathon that you can do it a little more slowly than usual so you have the bandwidth for cheering.
Q: Can I set a PR or win prizes while pacing?
A: Nope, sorry, but ask anyone who has paced a race before - it is a very rewarding experience in a different sort of way.
Q: How fast will I have to run?
A: That's up to you! We're fielding pacers for finish times between 1:30 and 2:30 at increments of 5min/mi (exactly as we do for Covered Bridges). There is a spot in that Google Form to indicate your preferences.
Q: How do I stay on pace?
A: Watches help. We recommend the GPS variety (and can help find some to borrow if needed), but checking a regular watch at the mile markers can be very effective as well. We'll give you a pace band with target times at each mile so you don't have to do any mental math while running!
Q: How accurate does my pace need to be?
A: We do our best to stay "on pace," but everybody runs a little faster or slower at times, especially around the hills. You don't have to be a perfectionist about this. Half marathons are pretty forgiving in that there are a lot of miles over which to average out variations in pace. The main goal is to get folks to the finish line a little before the target time.
Q: Will I be running alone?
A: Hopefully not! We'd like to field 2-3 pacers per pace group.
Q: How much does it cost?
A: Nothing! In fact, pacers get free race entry as well as the aforementioned snazzy "PACER" shirts to wear. Pacers do not have a fundraising minimum, but you are welcome to raise money for CHaD if you wish to do so.
Q: Will I get paid?
A: Yes, in gratitude! But no, sorry, not in cash. This is a volunteer gig.
Q: Can I dress up like a superhero?
A: We ask that you wear your "PACER" shirt to remain visible to runners, but feel free to add superhero accessories around that.
Q: Is filling out the Google Form now a binding commitment to pace CHaD?
A: No - there are always roster changes due to injury, last-minute scheduling conflicts, etc. Please sign up if you think you might be interested and will be available on October 9th.
Q: What about COVID?
A: The CHaD folks are planning on an in-person race this year but reserve the right to make adjustments if/as necessary. To keep everyone safe we'd ask that you not pace if you have symptoms on race day. There's a statement to this effect on the CHaD website.
Q: Who will answer all of my other questions?
A: Mike Kokko (email@example.com) or Rebecca Stanfield McCown (firstname.lastname@example.org)!
Pacing is a super fun way to participate in CHaD - we hope that you'll join us!
The Importance and Impact of Volunteering
By: Ryan Scelza and Shelby Whittet
On June 29th Paul Coats sent our club an email that encouraged us to help out at a couple upcoming running events. Through that message, I explored the Vermont 100 for the first time and was excited to sign up to volunteer. As I arrived on that sunny July afternoon I quickly learned how big of an event it was and how interesting, supportive, and awesome the trail running community is. For those who are unaware, the Vermont 100 is a nationally acclaimed event that happens right in our backyard in beautiful West Windsor. Upon clicking on their website, the event is described most succinctly as: “450 Runners. 70 Horses. 17,000 Vertical Feet. 30 Hours.” It offers both 100 mile and 100K options, and yes, also allows horses! The two other most important pieces of information about the race are that it takes 500+ volunteers to make it successful, and that they raise thousands of dollars for Vermont Adaptative, which makes outdoor sports and other activities accessible for people of all ages with cognitive, developmental, physical and emotional disabilities.
I enjoyed my involvement so much that I felt a strong desire to share with our group just how important and rewarding volunteering at races can truly be. In the 13 hours I was there (5pm-6am) I helped the Race Director’s husband (and current course record holder) organize garb from past years and load their van, was the grill master for 3+ hours, which is comical as I am a vegetarian and haven’t cooked a real hamburger in forever, helped direct people and horses to their appropriate finish lines, and then helped give out the coveted belt buckles and horseshoes to all of the proud finishers. As the night turned into day on Sunday morning, watching new finishers cross the finish line remained exciting, however my eyes and body were glad my shift was over and that it was finally time to go home. My exhaustion could not compare to what the runners were feeling, but I left feeling proud of my contributions and appreciative of the dozens of new friends I had made.
Fellow UVRC Member Shelby Whittet was at the Stage Road Aid Station, which I understand UVRC has organized a group for in the past. Her experience was different than mine in that she was helping racers during the race, but similar in the fact that she absolutely loved it. Shelby shared, The Stage Road Aid Station came in at mile 30. Runners started on Saturday at 4 a.m., and started coming through the Aid station where I volunteered around 9:30 or so. Considering how early they started it was incredible to see how much energy and enthusiasm the runners had coming into the station. While the Star Wars theme was a fun one, I don’t think that had much to do with the energy runners and their crews brought to Stage Road.
As a volunteer, it was a lot of fun to have the opportunity to connect with other volunteers, runners, and their crews. Everyone who came through was very grateful for the support. A few of the runners without crews, in particular, made sure to stop and thank each volunteer for our time, and expertly crafted peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
It was a lot of fun to give back! The opportunity to cheer on runners and riders (I’m also an equestrian so seeing the horses trot through was a treat each time) who came through was really rewarding. It was also great to meet other people in the running community from near and far. The third runner who came through the station was on his second 100 miler having just finished one in Spain the previous weekend. His family called him “Superman” and really, I couldn’t agree more."
Throughout the event, Carolyn Stoker, the Volunteer Coordinator, did a great job in finding a variety of fun tasks for everyone to be a part of and try out, and after the race she couldn’t say enough about how important volunteers are to its success. She added, “Especially this year, due to COVID, volunteers have been more challenging to find and makes me forever grateful to the incredible people who donate their time, energy, and enthusiasm to this event.”
I was also fortunate to see one of our own UVRC members cross the finish line for the 100K – Chris Ritland, at 14h 56m! Congrats, Chris! Connecting with Chris in the weeks that followed, he emphasized his own appreciation for the volunteers, along with the support and wide variety of foods available at the aid stations. The 100 mile course features 25 aid stations, giving the runners plenty of opportunities to hydrate, but also highlights just how much effort is required to keep them staffed and ensure they can provide help and assistance when it’s needed.
As I looked ahead to future races I then learned of the Vermont 50, which is a similar but smaller race in Brownsville. Subtract the horses, add bikes, along with a variety of different lengths: 50K run, 50M run, 50M relay, 50M bike. I recently signed up to volunteer there later this year, and connected with the Race Director, Mike Silverman, who also organizes the CBHM. Mike reiterated just how strong the sense of community in these races is, and accurately described how great it feels to get absorbed into it. We talked about the history of both VT 50 & 100 races, the overlap with the people, committees, and fundraising, but most importantly, he simply stated, “Nothing happens without the volunteers.” He welcomes any and all of us to join their team on September 25 – check out all of the different ways you can volunteer here.
The UVRC does a great job in offering opportunities to connect with one another through our TNT workouts and pizza nights, Saturday morning runs, our new Slack channel, and the running series, and it will be exciting to increase our representation at these and other local races that would love our help. RJ noted in a recent email that we are looking to build out our volunteer committee, so please consider joining! If you have any interest, let the team know at email@example.com.
Trying a Tri
By: Keri Niles
I completed my first (sprint) triathlon on Sunday, July 17th at Branbury State Park in Salisbury, VT. This was the second race in a three-race series put on by Vermont Sun. I’ve been swimming, biking, and running for years, but was very nervous to try my first triathlon. Being very familiar with the running race “culture” I was mildly worried about not knowing what to do or where to go for a triathlon. I watched several videos on YouTube about “transitions”, talked to people I knew who had done triathlons in the past, and I had a great friend who signed up for the race with me and helped me set up – both my equipment and my mental state. When I arrived, I was one of few people not wearing a wetsuit or a triathlon race suit. I couldn’t find my bike rack. I was quite intimidated, but the race gun was going to go off with or without me, so I headed down to the beach and tried to take some deep breaths.
The swim – This is the portion I was most looking forward to. We were swimming in Lake Dunmore and I had been training for many months. Sadly, this turned out to be my least favorite of the three disciplines. I was not expecting the women in my heat to kick me, hit me, swim over me, under me, through me, and to push me underwater. Lesson learned.
The bike – I was most nervous for this portion. Anyone who has biked with me knows I am all about the leisure on the bike. I just used clip-in bike pedals for the first time a few years ago and have probably only gone on 10-20 “real” bike rides since then. But I surprised myself and ticked the miles away one by one and finished much faster than I was expecting!
The run – You will be happy to hear that this was my best event of the three. Of course, my legs were tired, but I had trained and knew what to expect. I was very happy with my 5k time and ended up finishing in the top 20 overall for the women.
I think it’s always hard to try something new as an adult. It makes us vulnerable, but I think in the end it can make us stronger. I’m very glad I finally signed up for a triathlon and am already looking forward to my next one in August!