Written by Jon Lamkins

Saturday, July 29th dawned sunny and warm as 8 teams gathered at NHMS for Rally Against Leukemia 2023 (RAL). The threat of heavy rain in the afternoon did not dampen the spirits or enthusiasm of the teams and all finished the event before the heaviest of rain started.

The objective of RAL is to find the answers to 9 questions located around Lake Winnipesaukee in the fewest miles. Recent heavy storms had organizers Jon and Kell Lamkins worried that some question’s locations would not be accessible. Checking the locations and route of travel the week before the event, showed all question locations intact and accessible, however, Route 140 was closed between Alton and Gilmanton due to storm damage. How teams dealt with this road closure proved to be the key to victory.

Event: Rally Against Leukemia 2023

Date: Saturday, July 29, 2023

Location: New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon, NH

Rallymasters: Jon and Kelli Lamkins

The questions were arranged in a circle/loop leading to either clockwise or counterclockwise navigation. Going clockwise took teams to Belmont and Alton last, so the Route 140 closure would be the last challenge to navigate. Going counterclockwise took the team to Alton first so they would deal with the Route 140 closure first.

Most teams chose the clockwise direction. In that direction they visited:

  • Question 4 in Belmont to find the Village Spur Rail Trail behind the library.
  • Question 7 at that Ashland Railroad Station Museum to learn about the formation of the Concord & Montreal Railroad
  • Question 1 in Center Harbor to find the name of the fountain in the town center (Kona Fountain)
  • Question 9 in Center Sandwich to discover who the Keeper of Flags (Jennifer L Wright) was.
  • Question 2 as Durgin Bridge near North Sandwich to learn who built the original bridge (Jacob Berry) and what destroyed the first three bridges that spanned that part of the Swift River (Freshets).
  • Question 6 at Whittier Covered Bridge along Route 25 between Bennett Corners and West Ossipee to find out when the bridge was built (1870), restored (1983) and who the restoration was dedicated to (Nancy Shelton Pope)
  • Question 8 a Melvin Village Community to determine when the sheds were relocated (October 1977).
  • Question 5 at Wolfeboro NH Polic Fire Rescue to find out when the bell in front of the building was dedicated (Oct 16, 1994)
  • Question 3 near Alton Town Hallk to learn about where William P Watson was killed during the war of 1861 – 65 (Cold Harbor)

After all the teams had returned, total mileage recorded and answer sheets checked for correctness (all teams answered all the question correctly), the team of Mathew and Kathleen Henry (along with their children and family dog) scored a 0.579-mile victory over the team of Michelle Frattaroli and Sofia Chandler-Freed (128.060 miles vs. 128.600 miles). While that was very close, the first 4 teams were separated by only 2.979 miles.

Thanks to Jon and Kelli Lamkins for organizing a wonderful event and all the team for participating. If this sounds like fun, please join us at Hurdle 2023 in Southington, CT on September 9th for the next GTA Rally which will feature 17 questions located primarily in Litchfield County CT.