Runner Profile

Nancy Dunbar

Name: Nancy Dunbar

Town: Hanover, NH

Where are you from originally and what brought you to this area? 

I grew up in the Mountain West living in Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona as a child. After graduating from college, we lived in the Bay Area for a few years and then Seattle for almost 15 years. We came to New Hampshire when I took a job at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. 

What do you do professionally?
I am a physician and the Medical Director of the Blood Bank at DHMC. 

How long have you been running? 

I started running in middle school. The school held an “Olympics” type competition and I won the “marathon” which was actually a 4-mile run. 

How long have you been running competitively?

I ran middle school track and have been running competitively ever since then. 

Why do you run?

I enjoy running to relieve stress and stay fit. 

Recent memorable moment while running?

This summer I have been exploring the trails in Boston Lot. I managed get lost one time exploring a new route home and found myself at the quarry. It turns out I was heading in exactly the wrong direction! I guess that is why we call it “Lost A Lot”. 

Best athletic accomplishment and why?

The year we moved to New Hampshire I ran the Mt. Desert Island marathon. The race was perfect in every respect. I ran it smart and finished strong with a new PR. Marathons are notorious for being very humbling so when you do one right, it is a real achievement. 

If you like to race, favorite race distance? Why? 

My favorite distance is the 5K. It is short and sweet and the suffering is brief. 

If you like to race, notable race moment? OR most memorable race?

My most memorable race moment was the Arizona state cross-country championship my junior year in high school. I was not favored to win but felt great that day. I realized I had a chance to win near the finish when I found myself in second place about 200 meters behind the leader. As we approached the finish, she kept looking back at me. That motivated me to sprint and I passed her in the chute just before the finish line. Since then my racing mantra is “never look back”!

Training partners?

I enjoy running with my husband Geoff Dunbar. He is a bit faster but always adjusts his plans to include me so that we can spend time together. 

Cross training activities? 

In the past couple of years we have taken up road biking. It is a great way to maintain fitness and not run every day. 

Favorite local running route?

I love running in Boston Lot. My current favorite route is DHMC trailhead -> Mainline -> Spiny -> Otherside -> Southside -> around the lake and then to Sachem Village along the Stonewalls trail. On Strava, I am the current “Local Legend” on Half Spiny. I think that just means very few people run there!

Favorite post run treat? 


Strangest place ever run?

I always go exploring when I travel. I remember running along a drainage canal in Orlando, Florida with one of my travel friends. We both realized that there might be alligators and that we probably should not have left the sidewalk. We ran extra fast that day. 

Any notable streaks or other unusual running events?

I did once participate in a 24-hour relay, which meant running a mile every couple of hours for a fundraiser. It is actually much harder than it sounds! 

What made you start running?

I found something I enjoyed and it turns out I was also good at it. 

Who is your running “idol”? 

I’m not sure I really have an idol but I do have running in my blood. My grandfather was a competitive miler in college. 

Why did you join UVRC? 

We had enjoyed our running club in the Bay Area and wanted to connect with other runners when we moved to the area in 2010. This led to the formation of UVRC.

Ever run in a costume? 

No, not that I can recall.

The only running shoe for me is ______________________. 

Something that fits and feels comfortable. Unfortunately, every time I find a shoe that I like the manufacturer changes it! I currently run in Topo.

Ever been injured? How did it happen?

Thankfully, I have been relatively sturdy thus far. I have had issues in the past with piriformis syndrome and metatarsalgia but have been able to get through it with rest and cross training.

Hot or cold weather runner?

Hot, any day!  I grew up in Arizona so I love the heat. Winter is rough for me. 

Morning or evening runner? 

Evening. I am not a morning person. 

What is your motivation?

I run to stay healthy and sane. I also love to eat!

I run therefore I ______________________.

…stay healthy, am tolerable to be around, and do not feel guilty about occasionally indulging in junk food. 

How did you become interested in running?

I started doing 5Ks in middle school and enjoyed pushing myself and placing in my age group. I have been running ever since. 

What is your favorite race?

I have a weird fascination with the Manchester (NH) Marathon. It is a very difficult marathon in every respect- difficult course, not particularly scenic, not a lot of crowd support, etc. but it is the only marathon I have run more than once. 

Favorite running book/film?

Chariots of Fire

What does your daily workout consist of?

I usually run home through the woods 3-5 miles 3 times per week and do a longer run on the weekends. On off days I either rest or bike. 

How about favorite work out?

I love 400 repeats on the track. 

What is your diet like?

My diet is decent but I am not a paragon of virtue. I love junk food! 

If you could run with anyone, who would be the person? 

I love running with my husband Geoff. It is so great to be able to share this hobby together. 

Additional input or comments? People to mention?

I am so thankful for UVRC and the friends I have made through the club. It is amazing that a community this small can have this opportunity. 

What else should the club know about you?

I am learning Italian and would love to find a running friend willing to run and speak in Italian with me. 

Aside from running, what are your hobbies?

I love to travel, cook and garden. I have gotten good at making both Kombucha and Limoncello these past few months. 

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