by Jim Flint
Owens Clinches Tuesday Trails Title
CRAFTSBURY ̶ Adrian Owens beat the heat and humidity this summer. The Craftsbury Masters runner and orienteering champion has competed for several years in the Tuesday Night Trail races held at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center. On August 17, Owens clinched the title of 2021 King of the Trails.
Scoring for the 13-week series is based on an athlete’s top ten races. With just the August 24 race left to run, Owens, 53, amassed an insurmountable lead with 892 points. Robert Linck, from Craftsbury, occupied the runner-up position for the men with 835 points. Like Owens, Linck competed in ten of twelve races.
The Queen of the Trails title will likely go down to the last race on August 24. As of August 17, Cydney Terrone of Craftsbury and Caroline Lawlor of West Glover occupied first place and second place in the series standings. Both competed in ten 5k races. Their respective point totals were 773 and 724.
Anna Schulz of Craftsbury was in third place on August 17, having scored 702 points in eight races. Schulz could overtake Lawlor and Terrone with a strong performance in the August 24 finale.
The August 17 Tuesday Trails Race was a sizzling affair. Sam Brunnette of Newport Center ran the fastest 5k trail race of the year to notch his fourth Tuesday Trails victory. His time of 21:02 outdistanced Adrian Owens, who finished second in 24:53.
Brunnette is a 2019 Plymouth State College graduate. He won NCAA Division III All-American honors in cross country and indoor track and field.
Kaitlynn Miller of Craftsbury won the women’s division in 25:49. She placed third overall. Emma Podolin of Stannard finished second in the women’s division and fourth overall. Podolin held off Eric Remick of Hardwick in a sprint to the finish line. Their respective times were 26:06.0 and 26:06.4.
Matt Moody of Craftsbury (27:16) placed fourth for the men. Cydney Terrone (29:50) and Jessica Bolduc (30:22) were the third and fourth women to finish. Both runners are from Craftsbury.
Bolduc and Brunette Win on August 10
CRAFTSBURY ̶ Athletes spanning a 70-year age range turned out in temperatures near 80 degrees Fahrenheit for the August 10 edition of the Tuesday Night Trail Races. The 5k trail race attracted 20 runners, while six young runners completed a 3k trail race. Three mountain bikers raced a 10k loop.
2021 Craftsbury Academy graduate Camille Bolduc competed in her first 5k trail race of the season. After starting conservatively, Bolduc pulled away from Emma Podolin of Stannard. Bolduc crossed the finish line in 26:57 to win the women’s division. Podolin was the second woman finisher, in 27:49. Despite the heat, Podolin ran four seconds faster than her previous finish time on the same course.
Podolin has been a regular Tuesday Night Trail racer together with her partner, Josh Gould, and their daughters Scarlett Podolin (age 7) and Ruthie Podolin (age 5). The girls run in the 3k trail race accompanied by one of their parents. At the August 10 race, Podolin’s dad ran the 3k race with Scarlett and Ruthie so that Podolin and Gould could run the 5k race together.
“Scarlett is old enough to navigate the trails and signs herself, but Ruthie is not quite there yet,” said Emma Podolin. “Scarlett says her favorite part of the races is noticing that each week gets easier for her; she likes the possibility for improvement and can feel the change for herself. Ruthie hasn’t commented but I think her favorite part is full-out letting it loose on the downhills and the post-race swim session in Hosmer. I imagine they both also love the camaraderie, cheering, and attention they get for running.”
Emma Kennedy and Gibson Kennedy were the top girl and boy finishers at the 3k trail race on August 10. Their respective times were 17:20 and 20:45. Ada Allen of Craftsbury and Scarlett Podolin finished a close third and fourth, with respective times of 22:53 and 22:54. Ruthie Podolin placed fifth in 26:51. The youngest runner in the race, Willa Nunnery of Craftsbury, finished sixth in 30:05.
Sam Brunnette, from Newport Center, topped the men’s 5k field for the third time this summer. His finish time of 22:41 outpaced the men’s runner-up, Alec Jacobson, who finished in 24:10. Jacobson competed in cross country for Amherst College. He resides in Greensboro.
Adrian Owens of Craftsbury was the top male Masters (age 40+) finisher, in 26:14. Cydney Terrone of Craftsbury was the top female Masters finisher, in 30:52. Aemilia Terrone (36:10) and James Reynolds (36:10), both from Craftsbury, were the fastest female and male finishers under age 16.
With a kilometer left in the 5k race, Owens caught Ethan Dreissigacker as the runners climbed the Bentley Ski Trail. Dreissigacker, from Craftsbury, held on to finish in 26:06.
“I shadowed Ethan on the flats and made a comment about a bridge repair,” said Owens. “I think he realized then I was close and picked up his pace to make sure he was ahead at the finish.”
Gina Campoli (F60-69 age group) and John Broadhead (M70-79) were the oldest 5k trail runners. The Craftsbury couple finished in 48:16 and 52:22. Dunbar Oehlig (M60-69) won the 10k mountain bike race. His time of 35:23 outpaced runner-up Chris Jolly (M40-49), who finished in 37:26.
Helling Sets Age-Group Course Record at Berlin Pond
BERLIN ̶ Forty-eight runners faced the challenge of high heat and humidity levels at the Berlin Pond Five Miler on August 12. A few clouds, a light breeze, and shady dirt roads provided a measure of welcome relief during the early evening race around Berlin Pond. Twenty-one runners were age 50 or above. Six runners hailed from towns covered by the Hardwick Gazette.
Adamant Ace Dot Helling shattered the women’s 70-79 age group record. Helling, 71, finished 35th overall. Her time of 46:54 broke the old F70-79 course record of 49:45 set by Celine Blais in 2017. To her credit, Blais 74, also ran in this year’s race. She finished in 56:25.
“I started too fast, after too late a too big lunch, and had to crank it back to hold my stomach together,” said Helling. “After that, I caught up to some folks who had blasted by me on those first two hills. I love the heat and humidity. Lubes my joints.”
Ricky McLain, 35, of Cabot, placed tenth overall and fourth in the M30-39 age group. His finish time was 34:20. Mack Gardner-Morse, 60, from Calais, was third in the M60-69 age group and 17th overall. He paced at 7:28 per mile and crossed the finish line in 37:19.
“I started a little slower than usual, but I still tried to push myself up the hills on the backside of Berlin Pond,” said Gardner-Morse.
Ella Bradley, 17, ran the course with her dad, Kari Bradley, 53. The Bradleys, from Calais, finished the course in 41:32. Ella placed second in her age group; Kari placed third in his age group.
Chris Andresen, 65, of Adamant, rounded out the finishers from towns covered by the Gazette. Andresen returned to racing after an injury sidelined him in 2020. He completed the race in 40:57 to place fourth in the M60-69 age group.
Vermont Senior Games 5k State Championship
NORTHFIELD ̶ Registration is open for the 42nd Annual Northfield Savings Bank 5k Flying Pig Race. The event on Saturday, September 4 is also the Vermont Senior Games 5K State Championship Road Race. The 5K begins at 9:30 a.m. in downtown Northfield. A one-mile children’s run follows at 10:30 a.m.The race has an uphill start. The rest of the course is flat and fast, with paved streets and a dirt road out-and-back section. The $25 entry fee includes an NSB commemorative race t-shirt. A link to the registration form is available at cvrunners.org.