I began writing this column seven or eight years ago, after emailing Bart Bachman asking why The Conway Daily Sun didn’t have a running column.

Bart answered with, “When can you start writing a column?”

SUP-Donna Cormier 2.jpg

Donna Cormier

Since then, I’ve had the pleasure and excitement of sharing stories, reporting on local races and runners, young and old, and promoting local events. Most importantly, running and writing this column has helped me connect with people in the valley in ways I never thought possible. That said, I realize at this point, life has become very busy, and it’s time for me to hang up my pen and free up some time.

Of course, I’ll forever be committed to running, walking, volunteering whenever possible, cheering on others, and enjoying outdoor sports, but now it’s time to commit more time to family, fun and my own fitness.

I will run my 30th marathon and I’m looking forward to traveling more for hiking, skiing and racing.

And speaking of commitments, I’ll never forget, and still must deliver on, the triathlon I committed to the late great Jim Soroka, as even to this day he continues to motivate many of us in the valley.

I thank my editors Bart, Terry Leavitt and Lloyd Jones and everyone at The Conway Daily Sun for their help through the years.

And most of all, I thank you for reading my column, contributing to my column, and letting me know that you enjoyed it.

According to Wikipedia, the definition of a New Year’s Resolution is: “a tradition, most common in the Western Hemisphere but also found in the Eastern Hemisphere, in which a person resolves to change an undesired trait or behavior, to accomplish a personal goal or otherwise improve their life.”

I asked a few people to share their 2020 outdoor activity — running, walking, skiing —New Year’s Resolutions.

Paul Kirsch

Paul Kirsch, with is dog Sky, enjoys the winter running by hitting the snowmobile trails in the valley. This year he hopes to continue to enjoy the local trails with his dogs and close friends. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Paul Kirsch of Madison, race director of the Acidotic Cranmore Mountain Race and Loon Mountain Race, Purity Spring Resort 5K and World Mountain Running team coach has a two part answer:

“1. Practice gratitude — stay injury free and continue to appreciate and enjoy the amazing trails in the valley with my dogs and close friends.

2. Run almost half as fast as I think I used to run.”

You’ve got this, Paul!

Sara Holtby

Sara Holtby

Sara Holtby of Conway, board member of Core Community Fitness and Jen’s Friends Cancer Foundation wants to ski at Black Mountain in Jackson enough to make the season pass a great deal and to ski, hike, bike, swim and run with friends and family every chance she gets!

Leslie O'Dell Thanksgiving Race2017

Leslie O'Dell was the first place female at the annual Poland Spring 5K Thanksgiving Race in East Madison in 2017. (JOE VIGER PHOTO)

Leslie O’Dell of Albany writes that, “Although I’m still working on my schedule for 2020 and currently fighting hip bursitis, you’ll find me at the Racing to the Moon Uphill Ski Series put on by Ski the Whites at Shawnee Peak.

“Running goals: USATF-NE Grand Prix Road Race Series, with the Vermont City Marathon being my main focus of the series. I ran my marathon PR there in 2015 and DNFed in 2018. Looking forward to going back and finishing somewhere in between those two. Haha. Planning to head back to the Escarpment Trail Race in New York in July and maybe the Vermont 50 in September. Definitely a lot of other races in between.”

Go Leslie!

Frank Holmes

Frank Holmes

Frank Holmes of Eaton, past vice president and clothing czar of the White Mountain Milers, wants to stay injury free this winter and be able to run his 18th Mount Washington! Frank also wants to run all of the Mountain Series Races that he enjoys during the spring and summer.

Holmes admits, “You know, you would think that by my age I would have figured out that I shouldn’t try and run through injury?”

Yes, Frank.

Andrea Masters

Library Director Andrea Masters is seen in her office at the North Conway Public Library. (MARGARET McKENZIE PHOTO)

Andrea Masters says her running goal for 2020 is to run at least twice every week.

“It sounds so easy but it’s actually quite hard with all the other fun athletic stuff to do here in the valley. And then there is work, too …”

Ah, the work/play balance. Let me know if you figure it out, Andrea!

An anonymous person wrote committing to full-on triathlon training for a tri a month this summer.

Oh, it’s going to be a busy summer!

Terry Livingston Ballou

Terry Livingston Ballou

Terry Livingston Ballou writes, “My first and foremost goal for 2020 is to stay healthy. Last year, I had a pelvic bone stress fracture which led to months of missed running and weight gain … not to mention the inevitable crankiness that comes with being sidelined. This year, I’m really listening to my body and taking a break before my body takes a break for me. I’m planning on competing in my first ever World Masters Championships this July in Toronto … so the focus is on track. Wishing everyone a healthy and happy New Year!”

Wishing you health, wisdom and speed in the new year, Terry.

Coming up next weekend is a snowshoe race at Whitaker Woods. The 10th annual Whitaker Woods Snowshoe Scramble is happening on Saturday, Jan. 18. The scramble is a 4-mile race and is a qualifier race for the U.S. Snowshoe Association Nationals to be held Feb. 28-March 1 in Leadville, Colo.

Go to mwvskitouring.com for more information, including registration and special lodging packages for visitors.

Sunday was the first Breakfast Run of 2020, and once again it was food, fun and exercise.

The next Breakfast Run will be Sunday, Feb. 1 at the Dowling Homestead on Walis Way. For more information, go to whitemountainmilers.com.

I began writing this column seven or eight years ago, after emailing Bart Bachman asking why The Conway Daily Sun didn’t have a running column.

Bart answered with, “When can you start writing a column?”

Since then, I’ve had the pleasure and excitement of sharing stories, reporting on local races and runners, young and old, and promoting local events. Most importantly, running and writing this column has helped me connect with people in the valley in ways I never thought possible. That said, I realize at this point, life has become very busy, and it’s time for me to hang up my pen and free up some time.

Of course, I’ll forever be committed to running, walking, volunteering whenever possible, cheering on others, and enjoying outdoor sports, but now it’s time to commit more time to family, fun and my own fitness.

I will run my 30th marathon and I’m looking forward to traveling more for hiking, skiing and racing.

And speaking of commitments, I’ll never forget, and still must deliver on, the triathlon I committed to the late great Jim Soroka, as even to this day he continues to motivate many of us in the valley.

I thank my editors Bart, Terry Leavitt and Lloyd Jones and everyone at The Conway Daily Sun for their help through the years.

And most of all, I thank you for reading my column, contributing to my column, and letting me know that you enjoyed it.

See you On the Run!

“I messed up already. 2021 is going to be my year, I know it!” — not me!

Upcoming Races and Weekly Runs for 2020:

Time to start setting goals for the new year. Sign up early to get motivated in your training and save money!

Please note: All of these events listed are for runners and walkers.

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

• Saturday, Jan 18: 10th Annual Whitaker Woods Snowshoe Scramble, North Conway (mwvskitouring.com).

• Sunday, Feb 1: White Mountain Milers Breakfast Run, 9 a.m. (whitemountainmilers.com).

• Saturday and Sunday, May 2-3: White Lake Ultra Races (rockhopperraces.com).

• Saturday, May 16: Black Mountain Spring Vertical 5K (runthewhites.com).

• Friday, May 29: Start of the Friday Night Vertical Series, Black Mountain (runthewhites.com).

• Saturday, May 30: King Pine Tri and Duathlon, Madison (tritekevents.com).

• Saturday, Jun 6: Tunnels to Towers, North Conway (tritekevents.com).

• Saturday, Jun 6: Chocorua Mountain Race, Chocorua (rockhopperraces.com).

• Sunday, Jun 7: Cranmore Mountain Race, Cranmore Mountain (acidoticracing.com).

• Tuesday, Jun 9: White Mountain Milers Summer Series at Whittaker Woods Begins (whitemountainmilers.com).

• Sunday, Jun 28: Cranmore Hill Climb, Cranmore Mountain (whitemountainmilers.com).

• Sunday, Jul 12: Loon Mountain Race, Loon (acidoticracing.com).

• Saturday, Jul 18: Bucks for Bernie’s Kids Relay Race, Whitaker Woods (whitemountainmilers.com).

• Saturday, Aug 1: Black Mountain Summer 5K/10K, (runthewhites.com).

• Saturday, Sep 17: White Mountain Milers Half Marathon (wmmhalf.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 dmcorm21@gmail.com. See you on the run.

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