June 2022 Newsletter
Note from the Editor
This month's newsletter theme encouraged members to share opportunities to connect, cross-train, and get outside during the summer months. You'll find information about the "active commute" along with some information about a women's pickup soccer group below. Interested in exploring fun new running opportunities? Check out the Upper Valley Trail Runners or Skip's Run.
UVRC Newsletter Team
UVRC Newsletter Team
Table of Contents
- Letter from a Board Member: Introducing UVRC Slack by Robert "RJ" Jones
- The Training that is Easiest to Schedule: Active Commute by Nadia Lafrenière
- Women's Pickup Soccer in the UV by Nicole Losavio
- The Upper Valley Trail Runners by Robert "RJ" Jones & Michele Maxon
- Upcoming Race: Skip's Run by Robert "RJ" Jones
- Meet Kristen Campbell Esty by Robert "RJ"Jones
Introducing UVRC Slack
By: Robert "RJ" Jones
I bring you some exciting news! We’ve been talking in the background for a while about ways we can help our members connect and be more social as a community of runners. Well, a platform that some of our lovely members have been using so far (that has worked tremendously well) is Slack! That’s right y’all we’re moving into the 21st century and we’re making an Upper Valley Running Club Slack channel! Actually, it’s already been made but now we are expanding it!
If you’re unfamiliar with it, Slack was originally created as a workplace teams communication platform that allows for groups of people to communicate on specific topics, share data, and collaborate. But people realized that its functionality really doesn’t have to be just a workplace thing and lots of groups and clubs use it as a communication space for their members.
Slack functions like a near-live message board. It is divided into “channels”, each of which has a different theme, subject matter, or discussion topic. As you can see in the screenshot from my phone below, the channels relate to running activities, community events, and general happenings.
From there it’s just like texting except you text the channel and anyone who is on the same channel can see it. You can also only be on the channels you are interested in so you don’t get a bunch of stuff that is not relevant to you. However, unlike text chains, you can reply directly to one message and create a conversation "thread" so you don’t have to worry about your original message getting lost in the deluge. You can also @ people which is a way of drawing specific people’s attention to your message. The Slack platform also lets you do direct messaging and group messaging that you’re probably familiar with from using a standard cell phone. There are a bunch of other neat little tricks but I think they are better explained in this video: https://youtu.be/RRxQQxiM7AA.
Now I can hear some of you saying; “ugh not another app” or “I’m not tech-savvy enough to use a new thing”. PAH! I say to both of those! If you can send an email or a text message, you can use Slack. But I do appreciate that new things can be intimidating; I do not understand Tiktok for example! And don’t worry, the intent of this is not to replace our club email so you won’t be left out of the loop if you don’t download Slack. The intent is to facilitate communication amongst our members without the clunkiness of our mass email list. For example; let’s say it’s a beautiful day and you are thinking of doing a little run in Norwich. But you don’t want to go by yourself so what do you do? Well, you could go to the Slack channel specifically for “group runs” and shoot out a message asking people if they would like to come. Or let’s say you want to go to a Tuesday Night Track workout but you’re worried there won’t be anyone running your pace. Well, you could message the Tuesday Night Track channel and try to find a buddy, you might even find that people who weren’t going to go for the same reason but will show up because you are! You could also use it to find training partners, talk to other people about injury prevention, or share events that are happening in the community like the Lebanon Farmer’s Market!
Because I’d like to think, Fam, that while we are not just united by our common interest of running, that we are actually a community of friends who are trying to connect with one another. Say what you will about the abundance of time we spend on our phones as a society, but at least with Slack we can utilize it as an additional means to gather and hang out in the physical plane and also make new friends and keep in touch when we aren’t running. I think it will be especially helpful in finding people who have similar levels of running to yourself which I know can be difficult or intimidating in the larger group.
There are of course a few rules though nothing that should surprise you. Like all of our club spaces both digital and physical, Slack is to be one of respect and courtesy. I won’t go into all the minutia of what you can and cannot say but in general follow the golden rule; “don’t be a jerk”. And do not use the space for profitable gain. *Some* exceptions can be made but only with prior consent from the admins.
But if all that sounds good to you, you can download Slack on Android, Google, and Apple phones and it also has a web browser version: https://slack.com/ .
Our specific Slack channel can be accessed with the following link: https://join.slack.com/t/uppervalleyrunclub/shared_invite/zt-170qgj61g-sO9xpcPHglswde74BmQkHA\.
I also volunteer myself as tribute if you have any questions or difficulties!
The Training that is Easiest to Schedule: Active Commute
By: Nadia Lafrenière
For my whole adult life, I have commuted to work on my bike most days, especially in the warm season. I started doing so because I could not afford a bus ticket, but I really got hooked and saw my mood and energy increase when I bike in the morning. It also helps me be mentally sharper and awake.
One thing that I like about active commuting, whether it is biking, walking, or rollerblading (anyone?), is that it is not easy to cancel. You have to commute anyway, so you would need to make a new plan if you cancel. Since bikes get premium parking spots, my commute between Hanover and Lebanon takes the exact same time on a bike and with a car, including the walk from the parking lot. The only difference in my schedule is that I don’t have to schedule a workout on top of it. Conclusion: biking instead of driving saves me time!
I’ve heard a bunch of reasons why people do not bike to work, and here are solutions to them, in case you are not yet convinced:
Will I need to take a shower when I get to work?
Most people who bike during the morning, when the temperatures are cooler, do not need to take a shower at work. But I would definitely recommend carrying fresh clothes and deodorant.
The Upper Valley is not flat. What about those hills?
They are just there to help you build muscles ahead of race days. (This is also supposed to be a workout!)
What if I’m working from home?
You can pick an imaginary office and bike to this place a few times a week. Maybe it’s a place with scenic views or just another town with a nice bike path. You can even choose a new office every day if you want to vary your commute!
If you happen to bike (or rollerblade) to work, I’d love to hear how it works for you!
Women's Pickup Soccer in the UV
By: Nicole Losavio
I love this month’s newsletter theme and the opportunity to share fun ways to get outside over the summer months! As someone who no longer lives in the UV and who misses seeing my UVRC people on a weekly basis, the longer summer days seem to provide countless opportunities to reconnect!
Yes, the typical summer staples will always be among my favorites like kayaking, bonfires, extra long walks, and outdoor movies will remain in the rotation. Is it really summer if you don’t float down a river, paddle across lakes and ponds, take a bike ride just to get lunch somewhere new, or take hours-long walks? (I’ll just assume your answer was no.)
That’s not why I’m writing today. I’m writing to invite the women of UVRC to come on out for pickup soccer!
Keri Niles and I started a women’s pickup group back in 2019 (aah, the pre-pandemic days) and, along with Emily Clough, are working to get it going again. This is an 18+ group that encourages players of all levels and abilities to join the fun. When we played three years ago, our numbers varied week to week but we always had a great time.
We’ll meet on Sundays at 6:30 p.m. at Pat Walsh Park in Lebanon from July 26 through August. To learn more, ask questions, or get updates, consider joining the Women’s Pickup Soccer (NH/VT Upper Valley) Facebook group.
Whether it’s been years (maybe even decades) since you last played or you play regularly, we hope to see you there! We had an amazing group of women who participated three years ago and I'm excited to help others find community through soccer in the months ahead.
The Upper Valley Trail Runners
By: Robert "RJ" Jones & Michele Maxon
Friends, I love to lace up and hit that sweet sweet pavement as much as the next guy but one simply cannot ignore the bounty of beautiful trails we have available to us in the Upper Valley! If you haven’t given trail running a try, you are in luck because not only do we have a HUGE variety of trails for every inclination and incline, there is a dedicated group of runners that would love to have you join them on those trails! The Upper Valley Trail Runners is another great running-based club in the Upper Valley that I consider a close sibling of the UVRC and I hope that one day we will merge together into one SUPER CLUB TO RULE THEM ALL! But until then I highly encourage you to check them out! And if you weren’t sold yet here is Michele Maxson from the UVTR with some good olde fashioned hype and more details than I can give!
By: Michele Maxson
Hey my fellow running peoples. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed yet or not, but we live in a perfect place as far as trails go. We’ve got everything you can ask for, double-wide tracks that are great for a lunchtime stroll, or rolling slightly technical trails in the middle of town to feel like you’re getting away from it all while still being all in it, we’ve even got Mt. Washington if you feel like having a nice epic day in the mountains. I’m here to tell you we even have a group of people who love to run on those trails! We are far more prevalent in the area than black bears, but can be just as elusive. Let’s be honest, as a group, us trail runners are pretty independent, we may or may not shave….or use deodorant. We’re all fairly different, some of us find it thrilling to pack as light as possible and get FKT’s (fastest known times) on a hut to hut traverse, other’s like to load down our packs with snow shoes, first aid gear, and an obnoxious amount of PBJ sandwiches and get lost up in the Whites. The great thing about us though, is that we’re a pretty low-key group of folks who would love to share our trails with roadies. It’s not that we don’t like road running, I mean, you roadies are way fast and you all look crazy hot in your running shorts. Seriously, I love you guys, but when I stand toe-to-toe with you at a race, I feel like a buffalo standing in a herd of gazelles.
As the snow melts and the black flies return, so do the Upper Valley Trail Runners. We're a pretty loosely formed group of runners who are always looking for other masochists, I mean, running friends to share the trails with. You can find group runs on www.meetup.com (search for Upper Valley Trail Runners). We’ve been meeting every Thursday at Parcel 5 at 5:30p and exploring some of the trails in the area. This run is a NRLB (No Runner Left Behind) and we can do anything from 1 mile to 7 depending on the group dynamic. If you’ve ever wanted to try trail running, but have been intimidated, I say that you should come join us. Why? Cause we’re as intimidated by you as you are of us! As the summer progresses we’ll probably start rotating our Thursday runs to different locations, but they will always be NRLB and, knowing us, someone in the group will probably be carrying a first aid kit, whiskey, and/or a sandwich so there’s no need to worry if you’re not sure about yourself. We can patch you up, fatten you up, or just give you a shot of courage.
So this was my plug for the Upper Valley Trail Runners. I hope to see some new faces on the trail soon. And if any of you see a new face at a TNT that slightly resembles (or smells like) a buffalo or Sasquatch, be nice to them, talk calmly and quietly, and don’t make too much eye contact, it’s probably a trail runner.
Upcoming Race: Skip's Run
By: Robert "RJ" Jones
Friends, I feel like Father’s Day doesn’t always get its fair shake. Obviously, Mothers are awesome and deserve all of the love in the world but so do Father’s! But Mother’s Day has cornered the market on brunch and who ever heard of Father’s Day dinner or lunch? If only there was some other tradition we could do to celebrate the Dads…oh wait there is!
The 2022 Skip Matthews Memorial Run in Lebanon that will return this year on Father's Day, Sunday, June 19!
- Skip's Run will be the 3rd race in this year's NH Grand Prix Club Road Running Series.
- Remember that your participation helps UVRC score Grand Prix points.
- Registration for the 4-Mile Race and 1-Mile Fun Run/Walk is now open at www.skipsrun.org.
- Race proceeds support the Dartmouth Cancer Center, formerly the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, at DHMC for brain tumor research.
- Race Details: USATF certified course; Free wicking t-shirts to pre-registered runners for the 4-Mile Race; Awards; Post-race BBQ hosted by Salt hill Pub is FREE FOR ALL RUNNERS, VOLUNTEERS, and SPECTATORS!
- There are still 5 or 6 available volunteer spots open this year for helping with race day activities. Please reach out to Paul Coats email@example.com if interested!
- Many longstanding executive board members are retiring after this 17th edition of the event, so we're asking UVRC members to please consider joining the organizing team effort for next year. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested!
Meet Kristen Campbell Esty
By: Robert "RJ"Jones
Name: Kristen Esty
Town: Pomfret, VT
Where are you from originally and what brought you to this area?
I grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA. I really love the Upper Valley region and used to vacation here growing up. I moved to the area in 2014 when I took a job with Dartmouth College.
What do you do professionally?
I am a Business Solutions Consultant for the Advancement Division of Dartmouth College.
How long have you been running?
Since 2010, about 12 years!
How long have you been running competitively?
About the same, I started with a 5k, then a half marathon, then some trail races. Two years later I did my first marathon!
Why do you run?
It’s fun, it’s relaxing, it has enormous mental health benefits. Also, you can do it pretty much anywhere, I always bring my sneakers when I travel.
Recent memorable moment while running?
I was on a long run with Jackie Albanese, fellow C25k alum and coach, when we found a lost Bernese Mountain dog! We ended up on a little adventure to find her owner.
Best athletic accomplishment and why?
Finishing the Vermont 50k in 2019. I never really thought I could run that far until I did it.
If you like to race, favorite race distance? Why?
There aren’t many of these races, but I love the 10-mile race. It’s long enough to be in true distance running mode, but short enough that you don’t need to spend all of your free time training.
If you like to race, notable race moment? OR most memorable race?
I once did a very silly trail half-marathon in Pennsylvania where there was this huge, deep mud pit you had to cross. Everyone’s shoes were coming off and a volunteer just sat at the mud pit fishing out shoes and bringing them to a pile at the finish. Luckily mine stayed on!
Thanks to UVRC and Upper Valley Trail Runners, I have so many wonderful training partners! My most recent long-run buddies are Jackie Albanese and my husband, Amos.
Hiking, skiing, strength training
Favorite local running route?
Running the carriage roads in Marsh-Billings National Park in Woodstock.
Favorite post-run treat?
Coffee and a breakfast sandwich!
Strangest place ever run?
Through the halls of the Harrisburg State Hospital, an empty building where they filmed Girl Interrupted, as part of a crazy running game called “hashing.”
Any notable streaks or other unusual running events?
Before I moved to the Upper Valley, I was an active member of the Hash House Harriers, an extremely silly running and drinking club made up of local “hashes” across the world. There isn’t a Hash in the Upper Valley, but if anyone wants to start one, let me know! I believe Burlington and Boston are the two closest.
What made you start running?
Just general fitness, to be stronger for ski season.
Why did you join UVRC?
To meet other runners, learn about routes and races in the area.
Ever run in a costume?
Many times, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hash_House_Harriers Never in a race though, too much potential for chafing.
The only running shoe for me is:
Hoka (at least right now). I also love Mizuno.
Ever been injured? How did it happen?
I strained my IT band just after my first marathon, I had been overtraining - instead of building up mileage very slowly, I jumped into long distances with few rest days. Now I take my rest days seriously and haven’t been injured since!
Hot or cold weather runner?
Cold, much easier to add clothes to get warm.
Morning or evening runner?
Either, but usually I prefer morning.
What is your motivation?
I have no idea what compels me to live like this.
I run therefore I...
What is your favorite race?
The Covered Bridges Half Marathon through Pomfret and Woodstock is the race I most want to run again. Beautiful course, great support, very well organized, and lots of friends participating.
Favorite running book/film?
I loved Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run! Just skip all of the barefoot chapters.
What does your daily workout consist of?
I change things up day to day, lately I’ve been following a Greg McMillan plan to run a faster 10k. I combine that with a strength training plan from Fitness Blender.
How about favorite workout?
Going for long, conversation-pace runs!
What is your diet like?
I generally eat following the principles of Myplate.gov and Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook, which means plenty of healthy carbs, vegetables, and proteins like beans and chicken.
Aside from running, what are your hobbies?
Cooking, reading murder mysteries.