By Stephen Dowling, special to The Conway Daily Sun
CONWAY — With temperatures warming and some hopeful light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, the White Mountain Milers running club is excited to announce its event schedule for 2021.
The 35th running of the White Mountain Milers Half Marathon returns on Sept. 25. The New Hampshire half marathon record was set on this fast and scenic course in 1989 by Dave Dunham of Bradford, Mass., in a blistering 1:05:43. The race starts and finishes in downtown North Conway at Schouler Park. Since its inception, the race has raised over $120,000 for the Gretchen B. Hatch Scholarship fund, which supports both Kennett High School and Fryeburg Academy seniors.
Last year alone, the club awarded $9,000 to local students for help with their college tuition.
The 2021 edition of the half marathon will be limited to 500 participants, so it is recommended that would-be runners and walkers sign up early to guarantee a place at the start. Early registrants can take advantage of a reduced entry fee by signing up at wmmhalf.com.
The annual Whitaker Woods Summer Series is set to begin on June 8. A longstanding summer tradition in North Conway, it is a free nine-week 5k trail race or two-mile walk through Whitaker Woods. Summer Series races take place each Tuesday at 5:30 PM, rain or shine.
Participants receive a recorded time upon completing their run or walk and age group awards are presented at the end of the series in August. The Summer Series dates back to 1979 and attracted over 200 entrants in 2019. A special thanks goes to Eastern Mountain Sports and the Livingston family for supporting and sponsoring the series.
The Bucks for Bernie’s Kids 12-hour trail race takes place on July 31 at Whitaker Woods. This unique race is a fundraiser for the Kennett High School track team; all money raised goes directly to support the team. The event is named for Bernie Livingston, who has coached at Kennett for 40 years.
The race starts bright and early at 7 a.m. and ends at 7 p.m. Participants may form teams of two to five people, or choose to compete in the solo division. The course consists of a one-mile flat loop on trails through Whitaker Woods, and the team and the solo runner with the most accumulated loops at the end of 12 hours wins. Prizes of $75 gift cards are awarded to the first solo male and female, $50 gift cards are awarded to the top team, and $25 gift cards are awarded to the second place team, plus there is an added $100 bonus for breaking the course record of 60 loops.
A well-stocked aid station is available on site to keep the runners sustained throughout the day, along with music and raffle prizes.
Fast Camp is a six-week summer training program supported by the White Mountain Milers, geared towards prepping middle school, high school, and collegiate athletes for their cross-country seasons.
Coach Tim Livingston and daughter Julianna have run this camp since 2016. For more information contact Coach Tim at (603) 447-2216.
The Kennett Challenge Race features the Kennett and Fryeburg cross country teams going toe-to-toe with runners from the White Mountain Milers. The event will be run on the cross country course at Kennett Middle School on Aug. 31. The race starts at 5:30 p.m. and all are welcome.
There is no entry fee, and sandwiches, cookies and treats are served afterward.
Due to ever-changing COVID regulations and restrictions, runners should be aware that all races are subject to change based on evolving state and federal mandates.
For more information about any of these events, or to join the White Mountain Milers, go to whitemountainmilers.com.