In Memory of Jim, and Why I Now Have to do a Triathlon

On The Run


Beautiful blue skies and perfect temperatures on Sunday, July 9, saw the return of the original White Mountain Milers Cranmore Hill Climb 5k. Ninety five runners and walkers finished the 3.1-mile climb celebrating the life of our friend and fellow White Mountain Miler,  Jim Soroka,  who was a great inspiration to all who knew him. Tim Livingston of Conway was the first finisher on the mountain in a time of 23:41, followed closely by Andrew Drummond of Madison 24:57.  Hilary McCloy of Madison was the first female finisher in 29:48 followed by Sarah Bolthrunis of Somerville, MA in 32:12.

I am so honored to have received the Jim Soroka Spirit Award at the race Sunday.  The Award, presented by Marianne Jackson and the White Mountain Miler Board, took me totally by surprise.  Margie Soroka set up the award by remembering Jim’s first foray into the racing world.  He was recruited to take on the swim in a trialthlon relay team, even though he hadn’t swum since high school and he was now 58 years young.  At the finish of his swim, Margie recalls him panting and prone on the beach and she wanted to get EMT’s to help him.  He shooed her away, saying he was fine, and when he regained his breath exclaimed, “That was so much fun!”  Little did they know that was the beginning of Jim’s new passion for triathlons and his completing the Kona Ironman.

Go to for complete race results.

Looks like Jim Johnson of Madison is back from an injury, running a 35:34 in the Beech River 10K Race on July 1, in Ossipee.  Erin Yelle of Center Conway was the 2nd female in a time of 46:35.  Check out for results and future races, including triathlons, duathlons, and the White Mountain Milers Half Marathon set for October 29, this year.

The 2017 Ordination Rock 5K was run on Tuesday, the 4th of July in Tamworth with a record 143 participants.  First runners over the finish line were Zachary Switaj 16:56 and Leslie O’Dell in 19:40 with Gretchen Loeffler walking her winning 38:43.  This race is growing and sounds like a lot of fun. Checkout full results at

Sunday, September 3, is the date of the Gaige McCue Memory 5K Race on the Fryeburg Mountain Division Trail, Route 302, at the Visitors Center. Proceeds from this race go to Gaige McCue Memory Scholarship which is awarded to a Fryeburg Academy Senior Alternative School Graduate and to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Race info and application may be found at Gaige McCue Memory Scholarship on Facebook.

There’s still time to join or start your own team for the Bucks for Bernie’s Kids 24-Hour Relay of July 28 and 29. Contact Steve Dowling at or on-line at to join the fun.  My team’s name is the Maniac Milers and we’ll be wearing the blue shirts this year.  Don’t forget, the relay happens rain or shine.

The Julbo and Salomon White Mountain Milers Summer Race Series Week 5 saw nearly 100 runners finish the courses.  The temps were high late in the day, but didn’t discourage anyone.   There are only three more weeks to go in the official series.  Anyone who has run six of the eight races is eligible for prizes, even Kevin Callahan.   Hope to see you there this Tuesday, 5:30 P.M.

Kristina Folcik of Tamworth NH, by luck of the lottery, ran the Mt Marathon 3 mile race in Seward, Alaska on July 4th.  If there’s any question to the steepness of this race, their logo shows a runner with a mountain goat, all volunteers are encouraged to bring plenty of warm clothing and everyone on the mountain should bring their bear spray. A 3022 ft elevation gain, 34 degree average slope steepness, the Mount Marathon Race is believed to be oldest mountain race in the United States, started in 1915.  In 1963, the race allowed women into the race, nearly a decade before the Boston Marathon allowed women to enter.

Now, take into account Kristina’s flying 26 hours of round trip for the 3 mile race.  We used to complain about a 2 hour drive for a 5K!

Steep, slippery, muddy, possible snow and ice, wood, brush, loose rock, dust, cliffs, and waterfalls, are just some of the race features. Folcik admits she’s a trail runner but really loves running rocks and climbing and the Kismet Cliff Run, or Beast of the East, is one of her favorite local races.  Kristina finished 44th of 279 women finishers and 12th of 86 in her age group, in a time of 1:08 on the Alaska Mountain and plans to go back to Mt. Marathon.  “I thought I was a mountain runner, the truth is that I am not yet a true mountain runner!  This race was inspirational and gave me the kick in the pants to really get myself in shape for this stuff!  

Read more about Kristina’s adventures in her blog, and her guiding business,

Looking at the race calendar below, looks like Saturday, August 5 is the big day for racing in the valley.   The Freedom race is 7 AM, the Fryeburg race is at 8 AM, and the Midnight Owl is whatever time you want to start to finish a 15K at midnight.  Not sure if you can get from Freedom to Fryeburg in time but a morning race and an evening race should work!  Midnight Owl Race Director Madeleine Bedard Ryan would like to remind everyone to sign up by July 23 to save a few dollars and insure getting a race t-shirt.

“The five S’s of sports training are: Stamina, Speed, Strength, Skill and Spirit;  but the greatest of these is Spirit.”  —Ken Doherty, Irish professional snooker player, commentator and radio presenter.

Upcoming Races and Weekly Runs: (Please note: All of these events listed are for runners and walkers!)

  • Every Wednesday, Breakfast Run: 6:45 a.m. walk/run and 7 a.m., with 4-mile and 3-mile loops. Meet behind the Mount Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce. Followed by breakfast at Stairway Cafe.
  • Sunday Group Runs: Check or White Mountain Milers on Facebook for details.
  • Tuesday Jun 6 – Aug 1: White Mountain Milers Trail Race Series – 5:30@Whitaker Woods
  • Saturday July 23: Tri for the Y, /
  • Friday and Saturday July 28-29: Bucks for Bernie 24 Hour Relay
  • Saturday Aug 5: 4th Annual MIdnight Owl 15K Prediction Run, North Conway,
  • Saturday Aug 5: Rev. Dr. George F. Dole Celebration 3 Mile Road Race,
  • Saturday Aug 5: 13th Annual OHW 5K Road Race Freedom NH,
  • Tuesday Aug 8(?): Madison Old Home Week 5K
  • Sunday Aug 20:  Great Glen Trails 7K Trail Run–Biathlon Benefit  (Sean Doherty’s Olympic Biathlon Bid)
  • Sunday Sep 9:  Gaige McCue Memory 5K Race (gaigemccuememoryscholarship on Facebook)
  • Sunday Sep 24:  Kismet Cliff Run, North Conway
  • Sunday Oct 29: White Mountain Milers Half Marathon


Donna Cormier is an avid runner and walker, cyclist, hiker, paddleboarder, skier, and massage therapist with a new office at 50 Seavey Street, NoCo. For more running information, ideas and contributions, race reviews and results, reach Donna at See you on the run!

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