The 11th annual Purity Spring 5K Race at King Pine took place on Nov. 22, one of the coldest Thanksgivings on record. Ninety runners and walkers braved the temps and snow with Andrew Doherty taking first place overall in 21:20 and first place female was Haley Heinrich in 25:25.   

Making it extra special was the snow cover and the snow guns in full operation at the finish!  This all made for some great photos by Joe Viger which you can see psr5k.com along with the results. Race Director Catalina Kirsch says the race raised $1,500 to benefit local youth programs.

We traveled to Cape Cod for the holidays and found a 5K Turkey Trot in Chatham.  The entry fee was $22 and canned goods for the food pantry.  There were also tickets for sale for a raffle to benefit the food pantries in the area.  Even with the cold, there were 2,000 people running and walking the course, which ran along rolling hills with ocean views.  It was 5 degrees with the wind chill but there was no snow.  Some families run this race every year while others were golfing on very green courses.  A different world for sure. 

Congratulations to Theresa Struble of Conway who just completed her goal of running 1,000 miles this year.  

Theresa says, “This year was, for sure, a self-care for me and every step was meaningful for me. Every year I start the year off thinking, ‘This year I'm going to run 1,000 miles!’ This year was no different, and I don't know if it was the weather or just a lack of motivation, but I ended the first half of the year with only 340 miles.  I had no motivation, was feeling horrible about my ability and extremely low on self-confidence.   

“I decided that for the month of July, I would run at least 1 mile every day and that it would be a 100-mile month.  One month turned into two, and then three and here we are nearing the end of November, and I have run at least one mile per day, every day since July 1 — that’s 148 days of running.  It has been self-care.  I've had amazing solo runs.  I've had the company of some amazing women.  I ran Ragnar Cape Cod in May, and I think that was when I realized that I needed to work on myself.  I was so unhappy with myself and my performance because I knew I could do better.  Fast forward to Reach the Beach in September. I've run Reach the Beach for the last 8 years, and this year was the first year that I felt I did really well.  I tackled my miles!   

“The last 148 days have been a whole lot of  ‘You can do this!,’ for me.  I feel that my hard work paid off when I ran the White Mountain Milers’ Half Marathon in October.  I had had my previous best half marathon time in this race, and I arrived that morning with the intention of beating it, and I did!  Every mile of that race, I said to myself, ‘You can't keep this pace for 12 more miles, for 11 more miles, for 10 more miles…’ etc.   But I did.  Running is a lot of conversation with yourself.  Proving yourself wrong.  Telling yourself, yes you can.  I tag a lot of my Instagram posts ‘#Irunforme’ and ‘#irunfromthecrazy.’  I run for me, and I run to keep my sanity.  Free therapy? Sort of! Hahahaha!”   

When asked if she has any running goals for 2019, Theresa quickly  answered, “100 miles every month and a sub 2-hour half marathon.” 

I’m feeling quite motivated by Theresa’s commitment.  I know Steve Dowling had a streak of running every day for a year or more, but the 1,000 miles for the year may be more doable for many of us.  Anyone else want to try 1,000 or more or less for 2019?  Let me know!

If you didn’t get all your Christmas shopping finished on Black Friday, here are a few ideas for gifting to the runners on your shopping list. Safety gear. There are headlamps and even shoe lights that you can put on your running shoes to see and be seen.  Reflective vests are available, some with lighting built in, and some gear has reflective material.

Running socks, gloves and hats.  Always a must for the winter.

From Vince Vaccaro: a race entry!  What a great idea. Races can become expensive, especially if two or more in a family want to enter.  This could be a great motivational goal.

Gym, pool, yoga or exercise class punch cards.  Great for cross training, especially during the winter months. 

Running shoes or a coupon for them.

Headphones or a watch with GPS for tracking distance and pace. 

Books on running

Catherine Kyle wants to re-gift five pounds and five years. 

A blender, juicer and cookbooks. 

And the best for last: White Mountain Milers’ clothing.  The White Mountain gear is now for sale online at wmmgear.com.  We even have onesies for the youngest Miler members.

With that note, it’s not too early to be thinking about the White Mountain Milers’ Christmas Party.  It is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 9, high noon at the home of Steve and Cathy Dowling on Wallis Way in Kearsarge.  Directions are on the website, whitemountainmilers.com.  Bring a side to go with the turkey or a dessert for after and a gift for the Yankee swap with a $15.00 limit, or a white elephant gift.  Come to run, walk or as Steve says, just come for a cup of coffee before lunch! 

Leslie O’Dell announced that the sixth annual Dirty Girl Trail Race will be held at Tin Mountain in Albany, on Sunday, May 19, 2019, at 9 a.m. This women-only running event will see a new course and the addition of two distances to choose from, a 10-miler which is two loops and the 5 miles of one loop. 

Another new addition only offered in the 10-mile distance, is the Athena Division for women at or over 165 pounds (using the USAT rules). Check out Dirty Girl event on Facebook for more information.  Registration is live now!

The running community disabled list is growing.  The last column I mentioned Eileen Livingston fell and broke her shoulder.  Joe Fay traveled all the way to Australia to tear his Achilles while playing pickleball.  Be careful out there.

“Running cleared the day's cobwebs from my mind and focused my thinking, and gave me time and space to sort out anything that was bothering me, or to detach and think of nothing at all.” ― Jeff Horowitz, “My First 100 Marathons: 2,260 Miles with an Obsessive Runner.”

Upcoming races and weekly runs 

All of these events listed are for runners and walkers! Sign up early for extra savings on many races. Check whitemountainmilers.com or White Mountain Milers on Facebook for other morning runs.

• 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.

• Sunday, Dec. 2: Jingle Bell Run in Freeport, Maine (jbr.org/freeport).

• Sunday, Dec. 9: Jingle Bell Run in Portsmouth (jbr.org/portsmouth).

• Sunday, Dec. 9: White Mountain Milers Christmas Party (whitemountainmilers.com).

• Sunday, Dec. 16: Jingle Bell Run Concord (jbr.org/concord). 

Donna Cormier is a licensed massage therapist, avid runner and walker, cyclist, hiker, paddle boarder 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 dmcorm21@gmail.com See you on the run.

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