June 9, 2013

Running: Going the ultra-mile to remember an old friend and support a cause

By John Rolfe

Brian Hinchee's friends remember and celebrate him for his energy, sense of humor, devotion to friends and family, and being "always up for a spontaneous adventure." So it's fitting that the Brian Hinchee Memorial 60-Mile Run was conceived by a couple of friends, and former cross-country and track teammates of Hinchee's at the University of New Hampshire, amid the convivialities of an Old Port bar.

Andrew van Hoogenstyn and Wesley Moseman, both of Portland, were discussing marathons, and then ultramarathons -- van Hoogenstyn was thinking of undertaking them in a couple of years -- when the idea of a Portland to Portsmouth, N.H., run -- Port2Port -- came up.

"Why wait?" was Moseman's approach, and "he took the initiative on organizing a lot of it," van Hoogenstyn remembers. The date: Saturday, June 15.

"Once we realized it was a very do-able physical challenge, we decided it should be done for a reason," said Moseman. "For the friend who passed away almost three years ago. A memorial run, get old teammates together in his memory, and raise money for the fund that's in his name."

The cause is the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance Brian Hinchee Memorial Fund, and you can donate by going to the Port2Port Facebook page.

Both former Wildcats have strong running resumes. Van Hoogenstyn, 28, who competed at Scarborough High, nailed a PR 2:31 at the 2012 Cape Cod Marathon. He races in a Dirigo uniform and also won a half-marathon at New Bedford in October, in 1:10:20. New York native Moseman, 24, since college days has gone "love/hate" with running but keeps fit (he's a Maine Pedicab driver) and did a 38-mile, 10,000-foot-ascent ultra in Hawaii last year.

Training for the 60 has been solid. Moseman did a "sandwich" run (two long runs in 24 hours) of 15 miles on the Eastern Trail, at 6:45 pace, then 20 miles around town at 7:30, finishing "strong and ready." Van Hoogenstyn is race-fit, coming off the Maine-iacs Cabot Trail Relay victory, and ran a 23-miler at 7:15 pace. So their plan of submitting sub-8s for 60 miles sounds well advised, although as van Hoogenstyn observed, "who knows what can happen in 60 miles?"

It's actually 60.7 miles total, from Monument Square in Portland to Congress Street in Portsmouth, via Route 1, then inland at Kennebunk and southwest down to Dover, N.H., then southeast to Portsmouth. They will leave at a heat-beating 5 a.m. sharp and plan to finish in early-to-mid afternoon. They will have the company of various teammates and friends and supporters, a number of them teaming to complete the 60 relay-fashion, and crew with an EMT friend, Lindsey McMillan.

And when they finish? "Take a little nap, and then have a get-together," van Hoogenstyn said, acknowledging that this too would be in the spirit of Hinchee, whose charisma and openness drew people to him.

"He would love the idea of the run but definitely wouldn't run the 60 miles," van Hoogenstyn said in affectionate tribute. "He'd run 10, but he'd be there happy to see us at the finish. In a chair, with a beer, getting a tan."

"I'M ALMOST across the Mississippi," Alison "Ace" Bradley said when reached on the phone early Thursday afternoon. Bradley spoke while running, and her comments were punctuated with scary-sounding whooshes from vehicles barrelling past, but she reassured that drivers have been courteously giving her room on the 2,800-mile run from New York to Los Angeles, which she started on Monday, May 6.

Bradley's "Running for a Reason" feat, a benefit for the American Cancer Society and the Cancer Society of New Zealand, on Thursday took her beyond Edwardsville, Ill. En route to Columbia, Mo., a flooded bridge imposed a detour that added about 5 miles to the high-humidity day. On Friday she expected to pass the 1,000-mile mark. The week included a 53-mile day Tuesday, her top-mileage day so far.

Running without a support crew since May 31, she's had a harder time staying fueled, and while she doesn't know how much weight she's lost, she does know her bicep measurement has dropped an inch. But the blisters developed amid Pennsylvania rains calloused over, the mysterious ankle injuries that forced her to rest two days in Ohio have healed, and she'll have a crew again beginning Wednesday, which will help in maintaining higher-mileage days toward the goal of making Los Angeles early in July.

People have been kind, hotels have been generous with free nights, and "the Facebook support, with comments pretty much all the time, means a lot." Go to "Running 2 fight cancer" on Facebook for updates and more.

 

John Rolfe of Portland is a road runner. He can be reached at 791-6429 or at:

jrolfe@pressherald.com

 

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