Running for good

The seventh annual Erica’s Run, an effort to strike back against cancer, included a 5K run or walk and a1K fun run that was held at Merrimack High School on Saturday, Sept. 24.

The event fulfills a wish made by the late Erica Nicole Pombrio, a student in Merrimack schools who later fought liposarcoma, a cancer that took her life at age 23.

She won her "angel wings," her mom says, on Sept. 19, 2009.

It was Erica’s desire, as penned in her journal, to help others facing the disease. Erica’s mother, Lisa Spinney, and stepfather, Bill Spinney, established the Erica Pombrio Foundation the next year. It is a charity that through run registrations and donations has raised more than $100,000. The funds go to families contending with cancer.

The headquarters is the couple’s business, Strikeback Dynamic Defense Systems, 458 Daniel Webster Highway. The Spinneys are health-oriented, black belt instructors of martial arts and experts in cardio kickboxing. The window of their studio displays event T-shirts, run memorabilia and photos of Erica as a child, a teen and a beautiful young woman.

The Spinneys opened this year’s Erica’s Run with thanks to the 278 runners, sponsors and volunteers ensuring the day’s success. Dozens of raffle prizes went home with winners. Refreshments abounded and music from a disc jockey was nonstop.

"It is overwhelming to think Erica has touched so many people, many of whom she did not ever meet," Lisa Spinney said. "To know she has had such a positive influence on so many lives helps our hearts to heal."

Scores of participants from many towns stretched their hamstrings and practiced their takeoffs as the morning chill subsided. The event’s 5K race, a distance of 3.2 miles, and the 1K fun run, about two-thirds of a mile, were populated with people wearing event tees, superhero costumes or other gear meant to generate smiles or speedy performances.

Julie Mullaney, 46, of Derry, bested everyone and came in with a 20:53 and a first-place medal in the women’s category. Austin Bannister, 19, of Merrimack, won the male division in 21:34.

The first-, second- and third-place winners in the Kids Fun Run were A.J. Holmes, 9, of Merrimack; Cayden Dine, 8, of Merrimack; and Andrew Goulet, 8, of Nashua.

Janet Angus, a local cancer survivor and a retired director of the Merrimack Public Library, wore two small placards pinned to her T-shirt, and any runners sported similar signs. One card proclaimed "Survivor." The other bore the words, "In memory of," and the names of friends who did not survive their struggle against cancer.

"Today gives us a chance to celebrate survival and to have memories," Angus said. "I used to run and had to stop while I was sick. Now, I can run again."

For more information on Erica’s Run, visit www.ericasrun.com.

Merrimack will be the site of another memorial road race on Sunday, Oct. 16, when the Michael LoVerme Memorial Foundation will hold its fifth annual 5K Run/Walk at Merrimack High School. The cost is $20 in advance and $25 on race day.

Check-in for the USATF-certified 5K will begin at 11 a.m. The race will start at noon.

To register or for more information, visit mlmf.org.

The following weekend, The Telegraph’s Santa Fund Run 5K and 10K at the YMCA of Greater Nashua will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 22.

The race is part of the Toyota of Nashua Gate City Series, as is the Trot Off Your Turkey 5K and 1 Mile Run Run at Amherst Village Green at 9:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 25.

To register or either of the Gate City Series races for more information, visit gatecityseries.com.

Running for good

The seventh annual Erica’s Run, an effort to strike back against cancer, included a 5K run or walk and a1K fun run that was held at Merrimack High School on Saturday, Sept. 24.

The event fulfills a wish made by the late Erica Nicole Pombrio, a student in Merrimack schools who later fought liposarcoma, a cancer that took her life at age 23.

She won her "angel wings," her mom says, on Sept. 19, 2009.

It was Erica’s desire, as penned in her journal, to help others facing the disease. Erica’s mother, Lisa Spinney, and stepfather, Bill Spinney, established the Erica Pombrio Foundation the next year. It is a charity that through run registrations and donations has raised more than $100,000. The funds go to families contending with cancer.

The headquarters is the couple’s business, Strikeback Dynamic Defense Systems, 458 Daniel Webster Highway. The Spinneys are health-oriented, black belt instructors of martial arts and experts in cardio kickboxing. The window of their studio displays event T-shirts, run memorabilia and photos of Erica as a child, a teen and a beautiful young woman.

The Spinneys opened this year’s Erica’s Run with thanks to the 278 runners, sponsors and volunteers ensuring the day’s success. Dozens of raffle prizes went home with winners. Refreshments abounded and music from a disc jockey was nonstop.

"It is overwhelming to think Erica has touched so many people, many of whom she did not ever meet," Lisa Spinney said. "To know she has had such a positive influence on so many lives helps our hearts to heal."

Scores of participants from many towns stretched their hamstrings and practiced their takeoffs as the morning chill subsided. The event’s 5K race, a distance of 3.2 miles, and the 1K fun run, about two-thirds of a mile, were populated with people wearing event tees, superhero costumes or other gear meant to generate smiles or speedy performances.

Julie Mullaney, 46, of Derry, bested everyone and came in with a 20:53 and a first-place medal in the women’s category. Austin Bannister, 19, of Merrimack, won the male division in 21:34.

The first-, second- and third-place winners in the Kids Fun Run were A.J. Holmes, 9, of Merrimack; Cayden Dine, 8, of Merrimack; and Andrew Goulet, 8, of Nashua.

Janet Angus, a local cancer survivor and a retired director of the Merrimack Public Library, wore two small placards pinned to her T-shirt, and any runners sported similar signs. One card proclaimed "Survivor." The other bore the words, "In memory of," and the names of friends who did not survive their struggle against cancer.

"Today gives us a chance to celebrate survival and to have memories," Angus said. "I used to run and had to stop while I was sick. Now, I can run again."

For more information on Erica’s Run, visit www.ericasrun.com.

Merrimack will be the site of another memorial road race on Sunday, Oct. 16, when the Michael LoVerme Memorial Foundation will hold its fifth annual 5K Run/Walk at Merrimack High School. The cost is $20 in advance and $25 on race day.

Check-in for the USATF-certified 5K will begin at 11 a.m. The race will start at noon.

To register or for more information, visit mlmf.org.

The following weekend, The Telegraph’s Santa Fund Run 5K and 10K at the YMCA of Greater Nashua will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 22.

The race is part of the Toyota of Nashua Gate City Series, as is the Trot Off Your Turkey 5K and 1 Mile Run Run at Amherst Village Green at 9:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 25.

To register or either of the Gate City Series races for more information, visit gatecityseries.com.

Running for good

The seventh annual Erica’s Run, an effort to strike back against cancer, included a 5K run or walk and a1K fun run that was held at Merrimack High School on Saturday, Sept. 24.

The event fulfills a wish made by the late Erica Nicole Pombrio, a student in Merrimack schools who later fought liposarcoma, a cancer that took her life at age 23.

She won her "angel wings," her mom says, on Sept. 19, 2009.

It was Erica’s desire, as penned in her journal, to help others facing the disease. Erica’s mother, Lisa Spinney, and stepfather, Bill Spinney, established the Erica Pombrio Foundation the next year. It is a charity that through run registrations and donations has raised more than $100,000. The funds go to families contending with cancer.

The headquarters is the couple’s business, Strikeback Dynamic Defense Systems, 458 Daniel Webster Highway. The Spinneys are health-oriented, black belt instructors of martial arts and experts in cardio kickboxing. The window of their studio displays event T-shirts, run memorabilia and photos of Erica as a child, a teen and a beautiful young woman.

The Spinneys opened this year’s Erica’s Run with thanks to the 278 runners, sponsors and volunteers ensuring the day’s success. Dozens of raffle prizes went home with winners. Refreshments abounded and music from a disc jockey was nonstop.

"It is overwhelming to think Erica has touched so many people, many of whom she did not ever meet," Lisa Spinney said. "To know she has had such a positive influence on so many lives helps our hearts to heal."

Scores of participants from many towns stretched their hamstrings and practiced their takeoffs as the morning chill subsided. The event’s 5K race, a distance of 3.2 miles, and the 1K fun run, about two-thirds of a mile, were populated with people wearing event tees, superhero costumes or other gear meant to generate smiles or speedy performances.

Julie Mullaney, 46, of Derry, bested everyone and came in with a 20:53 and a first-place medal in the women’s category. Austin Bannister, 19, of Merrimack, won the male division in 21:34.

The first-, second- and third-place winners in the Kids Fun Run were A.J. Holmes, 9, of Merrimack; Cayden Dine, 8, of Merrimack; and Andrew Goulet, 8, of Nashua.

Janet Angus, a local cancer survivor and a retired director of the Merrimack Public Library, wore two small placards pinned to her T-shirt, and any runners sported similar signs. One card proclaimed "Survivor." The other bore the words, "In memory of," and the names of friends who did not survive their struggle against cancer.

"Today gives us a chance to celebrate survival and to have memories," Angus said. "I used to run and had to stop while I was sick. Now, I can run again."

For more information on Erica’s Run, visit www.ericasrun.com.

Merrimack will be the site of another memorial road race on Sunday, Oct. 16, when the Michael LoVerme Memorial Foundation will hold its fifth annual 5K Run/Walk at Merrimack High School. The cost is $20 in advance and $25 on race day.

Check-in for the USATF-certified 5K will begin at 11 a.m. The race will start at noon.

To register or for more information, visit mlmf.org.

The following weekend, The Telegraph’s Santa Fund Run 5K and 10K at the YMCA of Greater Nashua will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 22.

The race is part of the Toyota of Nashua Gate City Series, as is the Trot Off Your Turkey 5K and 1 Mile Run Run at Amherst Village Green at 9:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 25.

To register or either of the Gate City Series races for more information, visit gatecityseries.com.