The White Mountain Miler Half Marathon, Half-of-the-Half, Half Marathon Relay and 5K, is set to run today, Sept. 21. There is still time to sign up for any of the race distances this morning, but if you’re not running, please consider volunteering for this townwide event. Or come out and cheer the runners on and make a sign! All proceeds from the race go to the White Mountain Miler Scholarship Fund. Go to information at wmmhalf.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer.
Congratulations to the 4x400 Relay Quad Squad; Tim Livingston, Terry Ballou, Todd MacDonald and Abbie Desmarais for their win in a time of 4:20 at the first annual Millen 4x400 Relay on Friday, Sept. 13.
The race took place on the Livingston Oval at halftime of the Kennett High School’s first home game football game. There were seven teams running and “no dropped batons or pulled hammies,” said Terry Ballou. Second place went to Team Mismatched, third to Neon Lights, followed by Blue Flames, The Scoopers, Green Team Dream Team and Project Mercury. A good time was had by all. Check out the video by Roger Marcoux (Roger also ran on Team Mercury) on White Mountain Milers Facebook.
Peter Howe of Intervale took top honors in the 50-mile distance in the Kilkenny Ridge Race last Saturday in 10:58:45. Ben Thompson of Medford, Mass., took first in the 25-mile distance in 4:37:18. The race, which starts in Stark, included Mount Waumbek. There was a mandatory “kit” and distance completed to do this race. Full results may be found at ultrasignup.com. Great job, Rockhopper Races.
Congratulations to White Mountain Miler Ashley Benes, who took second in her age group at her first triathlon, the Pitch Pine Challenge Sprint Division in 1:34.24. Full results are at coolrunning.com
So I had to miss the 4x400 relay, the Kilkenny Ridge Race and the Pitch Pine Challenge because Friday morning we got into our car and drove northeast for seven hours to get to Caribou, Maine. Did you know there are no caribou in Caribou, Maine? They tried to reintroduce them a few years back, but as one local put it, “they all moved back to Canada!”
We went to Caribou to run in the Northeastern Most Marathon in the U.S. and to see lots and lots of potatoes. I lived in North Fryeburg, Maine, for years, and I was very used to running by potato fields and being passed by potato trucks. Well, “The County” is on a much larger scale in potato farming. They also farm a lot of cabbage and beets and the land and the people are wonderful and fun.
On Saturday, in the rain, we toured around the marathon course and were told that it used to be a flatter course until a few years ago when some roads washed out. Evidently, those roads have not been reopened enough for a road race as this was no easy course. Beautiful, but not that easy.
We picked up our race bibs and swag, a nice bag full, and since they gave us cowbells, we stayed to cheer on the kids’ 1.2-mile race. This race was a finish line for the kids who pledged to run 25 miles through the summer on their own, with the rec department and with the school. The 1.2 miles gave them a 26.2-mile finish with medals, high fives from “Chris the caribou” and a hot dog and bean supper. There were 100 kids in the fun run.
Saturday was windy, wet and cool, so we were very happy our race was Sunday. Sunday dawned cool with a slight breeze and a few clouds. The race featured a half marathon, marathon and relays for both events. The course wandered around neighborhoods, headed north on Route 1 and then headed east toward the New Brunswick border on backroads that were rolling hills and just spectacular scenery. The sun was shining, and someone told me I was “freckling.” A sign at one house noted, “Chafing. The Struggle is Real.” Who can’t relate?
Mile-9 of the marathon and half marathon course honored and remembered Maine’s Fallen Heroes from all wars and conflicts. It was an emotional mile seeing photos of service members, mostly young, who have given their lives for our country.
At the halfway point, the half marathon people left the course and headed to the finish. Shortly after, I saw the eventual winners of the marathon heading toward the finish. The course climbed up above the Aroostook River to farms with potatoes, blueberries and lots of geese. The turnaround at 18.5 miles was a sight for sore eyes and legs. I came into the finish area hearing the Patriots game and then my name. There were 52 finishers in the marathon and there were baked potatoes at the finish. A long trip but definitely worth the pain.
The new Core Community Fitness made a big move of equipment from Cranmore last weekend and things are looking great. Projected opening and an open house is set for Sept. 28. You will see some familiar workout weights, machines, signs and faces at Core. Core Community Fitness is located behind Pete’s Restaurant Equipment and Lupine on East Conway Road. Check out the Facebook page on how to join the club.
There’s still time to sign up for the 2019 US Mountain Running Championships, which is being held on Sept. 29 at Waterville Valley. A 7-mile race up and down the mountain is on tap and the race is brought to you by Acidotic Racing. Volunteers are always welcome and more information may be found at acidoticracing.com.
Please be aware that hunting season started Sept. 15. Please wear your best orange outfit when out playing.
The Mount Washington Valley “Clean a Mile” challenge is still on through Oct. 1. We have our favorite routes for exercise or maybe you drive a route that could use some work. I challenge you to take one mile and clean up the road or trail. You will be responsible for taking care of said trash. You get a full-body workout “plogging” and receive thanks from me and the valley and the environment for making this an even more beautiful area.
“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald — the first day of fall, Monday, Sept. 23.
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 Mount Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce. Always followed by breakfast.
• Tuesday until darkness comes early: Group runs, timing on your own, Whitaker Woods, North Conway, 5:30 p.m.
• 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: 100 Acre Challenge 5k, Believe in Books, Intervale.
• Saturday, Sept. 28: the second annual Be the One Trail Running Festival, Littleton, runreg.com.
• Sunday, Sept. 29: Waterville Valley Mountain Race, acidoticracing.com.
• Saturday, Oct. 5-6: Bubba’s Backyard Ultra, runthewhite.com/ultrasignup.com.
• Saturday, Oct. 19: River Fire 5K Run/Walk, Berlin, coosfamilyhealth.org/racemenu.com.
• Saturday, Oct. 19: Fourth annual Forest 5K Family Fun Trail Run/Walk, White Mountain Waldorf School, runreg.com.
• Sunday, Oct. 27: Randolph Ramble 10K, Randolph randolphramble.com.
• Saturday, Nov. 9: Blackout 5K/10K Mountain Race, Jackson, runthewhites.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.