by Jim Flint
Craftsbury Runners Win Race to the Top
STOWE – Craftsbury athletes excelled at Sunday’s 13th Annual Race to the Top of Vermont. The rigorous event involved biking or running up the 4.3-mile Mount Mansfield Toll Road. A field of 215 runners and 73 mountain bikers conquered the 2,564 vertical feet climb.
Adam Martin and Caitlin Patterson climbed through the clouds en route to wins in the men’s and women’s divisions. The Craftsbury Green Racing Project (GRP) team members reprised their 2019 victories, the last time that the race was held in person.
This year’s race was run with a wave start and COVID-19 protocols. Rain showers eased as the first wave of runners toed the starting line. After the first mile, athletes experienced the surrealness of ascending through fog and mist to the summit.
“I’ve run the Race to the Top in many previous years when it was extremely hot,” said Patterson. “I was appreciative of the relatively cool weather, which was nice for running without overheating. The fog made the race feel isolated, as we couldn’t see very far ahead or behind us at any point. This made it a race against the clock — a time to dig in with mental toughness and keep moving forward.”
Patterson, 31, placed among the top five women for the sixth time since 2011. The 2018 Winter Olympian had her fastest finish ever for the event. She reached the summit in 41 minutes and 14 seconds, which averaged out to 9:36 per mile.
Patterson ran with GRP teammate Alex Lawson for the first three miles of the race. Lawson took home runner-up honors in the women’s division, with a time of 41:42. Craftsbury’s Margaret Freed (43:09) and Hallie Grossman (45:25) placed third and fourth in the women’s division.
“I had an idea that Alex would be fast today,” Patterson said. “I gradually pulled ahead in the last mile, but Alex was not far back at all. In an uphill race like this, I think we were just enjoying company in suffering, keeping moving, but not doing anything drastic. My race strategy was to run smooth and efficiently, to breathe well, and be ready to dig in and make it hurt especially towards the top.”
Martin, 26, won the men’s division by more than two minutes. His time of 34:12 averaged out to 7:58 per mile. GRP teammates Raleigh Goessling (37:10), Luke Brown (37:45), Akeo Maifield-Carucci (38:28), and Carsen Campbell (39:14) placed third, fourth, seventh, and eighth in the men’s division.
“Going up the first steep quarter-mile pavement section, a big group ran (and biked) at a controlled pace near the front,” said Martin. “After we crested the initial incline, I increased my effort and started grinding my way to the finish. From that point on, I ran by myself. A group of five or so runners (mostly my GRP teammates) formed behind me, eventually breaking up closer to the top.”
Philip Mason of Norwich was the fastest biker in the race. He reached the summit in 32:46, less than two minutes ahead of Martin. Among the women cyclists, Jane Vigneau of Williston placed first in 44:32. Vigneau finished a little more than three minutes after Patterson, the top female runner. Kelsey Dickinson of Craftsbury placed third among women bikers. Dickinson’s time was 47:35.
Tuesday Trails Series Winners Crowned
CRAFTSBURY ̶ The 2021 Tuesday Night Trail Series wrapped up on August 17 at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center. Thirty-one runners and nine mountain bikers turned out on the hot and humid summer evening. The race was the finale for the 13-week series which began on June 1.
Ollie Burruss blitzed the 5k course to win his sixth 5k trail race of the summer series. Burruss easily outdistanced runner-up Ethan Dreissigacker (26:20). Adrian Owens (26:47) and Eric Remick (27:19) were the top Masters men (age 40 and over). They placed third and fourth overall. Stig Linck placed fifth in 28:24. He was the fastest boy under age 16.
Ashley Nunnery was the top woman to finish. She crossed the line in 31:31 to place ninth overall. Masters runners Jessica Bolduc (31:43), Cydney Terrone (31:46) were the second and third female finishers. Caroline Lawlor (33:23) placed fourth for the women. Aemilia Terrone was the fastest girl under age 16. She placed fifth in the women’s division in 34:07.
Joe Krebs (20:27) and Scarlett Podolin (20:29) were the fastest finishers in the 3k running race. Gavin Jolly won the 5k mountain bike race in 22:45. Chris Burnham placed first in the 10k mountain race. His time was 34:14.
Adrian Owens edged out Robert Linck, 896 to 842 points, to win the men’s title in the 13-week series. Both runners competed in 11 races, with their top ten races counting in the scoring. Stig Linck placed third in the series with 711 points. He competed in nine races. Ethan Dreissigacker was fourth for the men, with 661 points in seven races. Ollie Burruss scored a perfect 600 points in six races to place fifth overall. The top five male runners are from Craftsbury.
Cydney Terrone of Craftsbury won her first women’s 5k series title with 774 points. Terrone competed in all 13 trail races, along with Paula Davidson of Craftsbury and Caroline Lawlor of West Glover. Lawlor was the series runner-up for the women with 728 points. Jessica Bolduc of Craftsbury moved into third place with 720 points. She competed in 11 races. Anna Schulz of Craftsbury scored 702 points in eight races to place fourth. Aemilia Terrone finished fifth with 653 points earned in ten races.
Flying Pig Race Kicks off Labor Day Weekend
NORTHFIELD ̶ Online registration is open for the 42nd Annual Northfield Savings Bank 5k Flying Pig Race. The 5k race begins at 9:30 a.m., on September 4, in downtown Northfield. A one-mile children’s run follows at 10:30 a.m. The event is also the Vermont Senior Games 5K State Championship Road Race.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 entry fee for adults is $25. The children’s race fee is $20. Registration includes an NSB commemorative race t-shirt. A link to the registration form is available at cvrunners.org.