Running to Inspire

Running to Inspire Finalists

This September, you nominated local runners who inspire you and others in the community to run. We've selected 4 finalists from these submissions! Criteria for the selections was based upon a number of factors including: one who improved his or her health, overcame challenges, raised money for charity, or rallied communities and done so through the power of running!

Check out these amazing runners and their stories!

David Salvas – Amherst, NH

Our National Running to Inspire Nominee

There is no one more deserving of "The Power of Running to Inspire" award than David (Dave) Salvas.  While his running accolades from 37+years of running will take up this whole nomination form, I would like to focus on how he has raised over $35,000 for charities and touched the lives of countless runners in our state and beyond.   This man has run across NH TWICE (221 miles in 2011, and 116 miles in 2013) raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  He ran across MA ( 60 miles in 2014) raising money for cancer, and he is at it again planning a run across RI to raise money for Breast Cancer research this November. Dave has taught me that running is not just about the finish line, it's about the journey and helping people along the way. His compassion and kindness is evident in all that he does.  When Dave is not raising money for charity, he is coaching XC and indoor/outdoor track at Amherst HS and also coaching the marathon group for the Gate City Striders Running Club. He was also a Team in Training coach for many years, inspiring those that thought they would never be able to run a marathon. We are very lucky to have a coach with over 90 marathons under his belt including 20 Boston Marathons.  I was most inspired by his goal of completing a marathon a month for a year to celebrate his 60th birthday. I hope that I am still running strong like Dave when I get into my 60's.  His love of the sport is infectious and he knows how to make us laugh when the training gets tough.  Dave knows how to lead by example!  Dave doesn't stop at coaching. He also finds time to volunteer at our running club events and local charities.  He spent 13 years on the board for the High Hopes foundation raising money for seriously ill children in NH.  He was instrumental in helping with the Fitness University program which is a free running clinic for young children in Southern NH.   When he's not helping with an official race or event, he is organizing fun runs around town, like the New Year's Day Pajama Run or the Valentine's Day run. Getting people involved through running is his style.  Dave was not always a runner either.  He used to smoke and was overweight, but with training and determination he has become a running legend in our area. He not only makes me want to be a better runner, but more importantly a better person.        


Jess D’Amico – Hollis, NH

She encouraged me to do her first marathon with her. She is there to cheer me and everyone else on. Jess started in a couch to 5k group and is now doing her first marathon. She has also done some challenging relay races.


Laura Ray – Nashua, NH

Laura started running only less than 2 years ago. She completed a 1/2 marathon in Narragansett, RI and then was picked to represent the Ally Foundation in the 2015 Boston Marathon.  Her commitment not only to the training, but also to raising money and awareness for Team Ally was enormously inspiring.  She has shown her family and friends that true dedication and commitment to training can have a huge impact on your overall physical and mental health. Lauras desire and drive to get through the tough winter workouts pushed me to get back into running.  She inspired me to enter and complete my first 1/2 marathon.  Running has given Laura new goals to shoot for and achieve. It has revitalized her athletic drive.    Laura continues to raise money through running for another amazing cause,  The Joseph Middlemiss Big Heart Foundation.  Spreading his love, kindness, and compassion...throughout the Falmouth road race this summer. Our daughter has been inspired through Laura's genorisity in giving of her time, love, and money.  Maja decided to have her 5th birthday party be a no present party. If the kids or parents wanted to bring something they were asked to bring something to make baskets for parents/siblings of patients at Bostons Children's Hospital.  Maja spoke at her birthday party to explain what the foundation was and who it was started up in memory of.  Very proud moment for a parent. 


Anthony Bianchi – Henniker NH

He proved he could do it!!

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