Donna Cormier: On the Run — One ruck of a day

  • Published in Running

By Donna Cormier

This was a marathon of marathon weekend for me. On Saturday, I, along with Laura Holtby, Brian Otis, Bob Otis and Joe LaRue rucked the second annual Tough Ruck in Concord, Mass. Originally run on marathon day, the Tough Ruck was only open to our military in honor and in memory of our fallen service members, police, firefighters and EMTs, while raising funds to support military families in times of need. Now the ruck is open to civilians and Military Friends Foundation in partnership with the Boston Athletic Association, the National Park Service and the Old Manse and held the Saturday before the Boston Marathon.

Each ruck (backpack) must be 15 pounds for the lightweight division and 35 for heavy weight division. Most of us ended with 20 to 23 pounds carrying water and extra clothing; Joe was carrying over 35 pounds. Rucks are weighed before and after the 26.2 miles.

It was an amazing experience and I think the toughest marathon of my 28. A total of 740 finished in the lightweight, heavyweight and military divisions. We did a walk/run but walked more as it's not easy to run with extra weight on your back. The course was mostly dirt roadway and looped twice around historic Concord complete with Patriot's Day reenactments. I walked behind a fife and drum corps, saw the British Red Coats lining up for a march, passed Colonial soldiers on horseback and others teaching rifle drills to young tourists.

I passed the same ruckers along the course and more than one young serviceman answered, "Thank you, Ma'am." to my words of encouragement. That made me feel old but Brian was cheered on with a "Go old guy!"

The spectators were amazing and the water stops were a welcome sight. In the Lightweight division, in a 10th place tie, Donna and Brian 6:35:36; Laura 6:56:03 for 21st, and Bob 54th in 7:40:29. Joe was 16th in the heavyweight division in 6:32:24.

On a side note, I only rucked with Brian at the very start and just before the finish.

My daughter Laura and I stayed together for the first 16 miles. What an honor to support our military. Go to for further information.

After a day off for Easter, Monday saw the 121st running of the Boston Marathon. I worked the post-race massage area along with 60 other massage therapists from all over New England. Between 11:45 a.m. and 6 p.m., we massaged over 600 athletes. I met runners from Maine, Arkansas, Kansas, Germany, New York, California, and one Texan who has run Boston over 30 times and has an automatic "in" each year.

Most athletes felt the day was much warmer than they had expected and first time runners to the Boston course felt it was much harder than they had anticipated. One man from Pennsylvania I met just couldn't stop smiling. He was so happy with his time and the crowd support which he felt was the best he had ever experienced in any race.

Congratulations to local Boston finishers; Madison's Jim Johnson 2:40:37; Kristina Folcik of Tamworth, 3:12:46, Richard Fargo of Chatham, 3:19:17; Kelly Rayen from Center Ossipee, 4:03:39; and Linda Parrish of Albany, 4:35:00. Go to for photos and results.

White Mountain Miler Trash Queen Catherine Kyle invites all her loyal subjects to help clean up our adopted roadway on Wednesday, May 3, at 7 a.m. Meet at First Bridge on River Road and enjoy breakfast on the Milers afterwards.

"Make America Fast Again!" — sign seen along Boston Marathon course 2017 must have worked with Galen Rupp, who was second place, first American in 2:09:58, fourth overall was American Shadrack Biwott in 2:12:08, and in the women's race, Jordan Hasay was third woman, first American in 2:23 and Des Linden in fourth , 2:25:06. Congratulations to all Boston Marathon runners and volunteers.

Upcoming Races and Weekly Runs

All of these events listed are for runners and walkers.

• Every Wednesday, Breakfast Run: 6:45 a.m. walk/run and 7 a.m., with 4-mile and 3-mile loops. Meet behind the Mount Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce. Followed by breakfast at Stairway Cafe.

• Sunday Group Runs: Check or White Mountain Milers on Facebook for details (

• Tuesday, April 25: Kennett High School Track Meet — volunteers needed (contract This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to volunteer).

• Saturday, April 29: 5K Trail Run at White Mountain Waldorf School (

• Wednesday May 3: WMM Adopted Road Clean Up. 7 a.m. First Bridge.

• Saturday May 6: Running Rascals 5K ( Race Director Carol Viens, (603) 539-6032 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

• Tuesday May 9: Kennett High Track Meet— volunteers needed (contract This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to volunteer).

• Thursday May 11: Solomon Spring Trail Run/Walk Series (

• Saturday May 13: Dirty Girl Trail Race (

• Sunday May 14: Mother's Day Fun(ny) 5K & Kids Mustache Run, at the Ed Fenn School in Gorham, (Runforyou on Facebook)

• Saturday May 27: Division II Track and Field Meet will be held at KHS (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

• Saturday June 10: 5K Color Run for Fun (

Donna Cormier is an avid runner and walker, cyclist, hiker, paddleboarder, skier, and massage therapist with a new office at 50 Seavey Street, North Conway. For more running information, ideas and contributions, race reviews and results, reach Donna at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. See you on the run!