On Saturday there was a beer fest at Wildcat, a food truck festival at Black Mountain and live music at Tuckerman Brewing. So,
why, for the love of all that is easier to do when it’s hot, were there people running and walking a one-mile-loop at North Conway’s Whitaker Woods for the Bucks for Bernie’s Kids 12-Hour Relay?
Because it was:
• A wonderful fundraiser for the Kennett High track and field and cross-country team.
• A reunion of some of the original Bucks for Bernie teams from 1993.
• A chance to run an ultra with a team.
• A chance to run an ultra solo.
• All you could eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, bananas, chips, fruit and peanut butter M&Ms.
• At least one pint of Bob Benes’ delicious handmade ice cream.
• To be able to run and play in a hose and sprinkler like a little kid again.
• To push yourself beyond what you thought were your endurance limits in 94-degree heat.
• To hear Johnny Cash singing at the half-mile mark.
• Not a 24-hour relay race but only 12 hours.
We had more laughs, especially as the day got longer and the sun got higher. Some of the laughter was just silly from being with some new and old friends, and some were, well, I can’t remember what but after a while everything was funny. One rule of the relay was only one team member should be on-course at a time. At one point a team of walkers/runners who were having a great conversation all got up at once to go. They all looked at their numbers, laughed and decided they just had to go together.
The course was a one-mile loop with a transition area loaded with snacks and drinks. The water and Gatorade were plentiful and everyone was smart and hydrated, hydrated, hydrated.
For the solo runners, April Farnham of Plainfield, Vt. led the way with 54 miles tallied, followed by Cameron Chamberlain of Dover, 52 miles, Bob “Scoopman” Benes, 40 miles, John Rice, 38; Jennifer Graves, 32; Leslie O’Dell, 31; Meghan MacDonald, 31; Heather Wiatrowski, 31; Thomas Zotti, Kim Bowles and Bianna Descharnais 30, mom and daughter, Kim and Julianna Livingston, 26; Sherri Desmaris and Kathleen Murdough, 20; Julie VanDyne, 13; Vince Vaccaro, 11; Derren Celso, 10; Chloe Van Dyne, 9; Ellen Caputo, 8; Will White, 6; Jane Chauvin, 5; and Lisa White, 2.
For the teams, it was Team Bernie’s Babes and a Bro with Scot Henley, Lori Kidder, Zsuzsanna Laughland, Hilary McCloy and Kim Proulx that won the event with 85 miles. Second place went to my team, The Avengers, with Christine Smith, Mike Bryan, Kevin Callahan, Brian Otis and myself with 66 miles. Next was the husband and wife dynamic duo, The Hare and the Tortoise, Andrea and Rich Leonard, with 63 miles.
The Miss Fits came in next with Sue Davidson, Ashley Benes, Marie Shay and Gretchen Loeffler with 59 miles.
Linda’s (Eldridge) Loopin’ Ladies Team 2 of Jane MacDonald, Marianne Jackson, Mary Nagel and Margie Riforgiato logged 43 miles, followed by Linda’s Loopin’ Ladies Team 1, which completed 34 miles with Diane Bilotta, Linda Eldridge and Diane Yamatino, while Linda’s Loopin’ Ladies Team 3 finished 27 miles with Aldea Alfonso, Melody Nester, Barb Renda and Nancy Travers making up the team.
The real excitement was saved for the end when there were four runners out on the course who had to finish before the 12th hour or that lap did not count. What you would think would happen at the end, the runners slowest last mile, became their fastest for the day. The crowd was so excited. There were elbows and spit thrown, and they all made it to the finish line with seconds to spare.
A huge thank you to Chris and Terry Ballou who pulled this all together and to Tim Livingston for keeping us all moving with his running commentary. A special thanks or if you’re looking for people to blame, goes to Eileen and Bernie Livingston for their support and this race wouldn’t happen without them.
All proceeds from the race, just over $3,000, will go to Bernie’s Kids Track and Field Activity Fund to help purchase equipment like high jump mats, discus Cage, hurdles and timing equipment.
There were about 100 finishers in this week’s White Mountain Milers and Eastern Mountain Sports Whitaker Woods Trail Run. Salomon Shoes was also on hand this week and many runners tried out new shoes and received coupons to shop for those shoes at EMS.
There have been 197 numbers given out for this year’s series and it’s not over yet.
The run is free but everyone is encouraged to become a member of the White Mountain Milers. Membership is $10 for students, $15 for individual or $20 for a family. The membership fees help to pay for the insurance which covers Milers Events like the Trail Run.
White Mountain Miler clothing will be on sale at the weekly event and these proceeds go to our Gretchen B. Hatch Scholarship Fund.
Go to whitemountainmilers.com for more information on the fun runs, including results.
If you like to workout in the gym, especially in the winter, the new Core Community Fitness Co-Op is looking for you. With the closing of Cranmore Family Fitness, a group has taken steps to keep your exercise program going. The new gym will be on East Conway Road, behind Pete’s Restaurant Equipment, and they need your help. Check out the Facebook page and contact them to offer your help.
Run the White Friday Night Vertical Series has ended, but there’s another race happening Saturday, Aug. 3 — the Black Mountain Summer 5K/10K race, which starts at 7 p.m. For more information, go to runthewhites.com.
“I’ve been waiting all winter to start complaining about the summer heat.” — unknown.
Upcoming Races and Weekly Runs
All of the events listed are for runners and walkers. See more events at whitemountainmilers.com and sign up early for extra savings on many races.
• Every Wednesday, Breakfast Run: 6:45 a.m. walk, 7 a.m. run, with 4-mile and 3-mile loops. Meet behind the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce. Always followed by breakfast.
• Thursdays: Salomon Spring Trail Series, greatglentrails.com.
• Wednesdays: Chi Running No Pain, All Gain Training, memorialpophealth.coursestorm.com.
• Thursdays: Tuckerman Brewery Pub Run, runthewhites on Facebook.
• Friday’s Black Mountain Vertical Series, runthewhites on Facebook.
• Tuesdays through Aug. 13: White Mountain Milers free Whitaker Woods 5K Run/2 Mile Walk 5:30 p.m., whitemountainmilers.com.
• Thursday, Aug. 1: I’ll Be Dipped Prediction Run, Madison, whitemountainmilers.com.
• Saturday, Aug. 3: Black Mountain Summer 5K/10K, runthewhites.com.
• Tuesday, Aug. 6: Jim Wellinghurst 5K Madison (more information soon).
• Saturday, Aug. 10: Freedom Old Home Week 15th Anniversary 5K Race, freedomoldhomeweek.net/5k-road-race.
• Saturday, Aug. 10: Dole 3 Miler, Fryeburg, dole3miler.com.
• Saturday, Aug. 28: Kennett Cross-Country Challenge, whitemountainmilers.com.
• Saturday, Aug. 31: Injury Prevention Workshop, backcountrybliss.com.
• Saturday, Sept. 21: White Mountain Milers Half/Half-of-the-Half/Relay and 5K Race, whitemountainmilers.com.
• Sunday, Sept. 22: Kismet Cliff Run, ultrasignup.com.
• Saturday, Sept. 28: the second annual Be the One Trail Running Festival, Littleton, runreg.com.
Donna Cormier is a licensed massage therapist, avid runner, and walker, cyclist, hiker, paddleboarder, and skier, with an office at 50 Seavey Street, in North Conway. For more running information, ideas, contributions, race reviews and results, reach Donna at email@example.com See you on the run.