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Ultramarathoner Urges Faculty and Staff to Join Run for Make-A-Wish

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
October 15, 2008

John LaCroix (Courtesy Photo: Aaron Schwartzbard)
Courtesy Photo: Aaron Schwartzbard

John Lacroix only started running four years ago but he has been quick to make up for lost time. An ultramarathoner and full-time student at UNH, Lacroix is getting ready to run across the state to help raise money for New Hampshire’s Make-A-Wish Foundation and he’s urging UNH faculty and staff to come with him.

UNH employees can opt to start out with Lacroix and his friend, Nathan Sanel, when they leave Chesterfield at 6 a.m. Oct. 19 or join up in Durham many hours later and run with the pair to the finish line at Odiorne State Park in Rye sometime the next morning.

Lacroix, of Newmarket, wanted to see the beauty of the Granite State “up close and personal.” Sanel, who owns National PowerSports Distributors in Pembrook, is also an ultramarathoner. In the past he has done several charity runs. When the two agreed to trek across the state, they decided to make it a fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The pair will run around the clock, beginning at the Route 9 bridge in Chesterfield, through Keene, Sullivan, Hillsborough, Henniker, Hopkinton, and Concord where they will pick up Route 4 to Durham. From there they will run through Newington, Portsmouth, and New Castle before ending up at the Seacoast Science Center in Rye.

Lacroix expects it will take between 30 and 36 hours. He’s hoping members of the university community will jump in somewhere along the route.

“We want to get everyone from UNH to join us,” says Lacroix, an outdoor education major. “If we can run around the clock, hopefully they’ll think nothing of running the last few miles with us.”

Previously, Lacroix collected more than $20,000 for the American Diabetes Association Research Fund through a documentary on hiking New Hampshire’s 4,000-foot peaks. To raise money for Make-A-Wish, Sanel is raffling off a 2007 Honda VT600VLX.

“We’re also asking anyone who wants to run with us to donate $1 per mile,” Lacroix says. “UNH students are free.”

The farthest Lacroix has ever run is 104 miles.

“This will be like doing an ultramarathon (for him, 100 miles) and then adding a marathon at the end,” he says.

To get an idea of the distance of LaCroix's 124-mile trek, click here to view a Google Map.

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