stpry and photos by Jim Flint
Seniors Soar at Flying Pig Race
NORTHFIELD – After a pandemic pause, area runners relished the return of the Flying Pig Race on September 4. Sponsored by Northfield Savings Bank, the forty-second annual event kicked off Northfield’s traditional Labor Day weekend festivities. The 5k road race also served as the Vermont Senior Games Association (VSGA) state championship race.
Seniors (age 50 and above) competed for VSGA gold, silver, and bronze medals. Medals were awarded to the top three male and female finishers within five-year age groups. Several senior athletes hailed from towns covered by the Hardwick Gazette.
Elizabeth McCarthy, from Walden, earned the gold medal for the F65-69 age group. McCarthy’s 5k time of 28:25 translated to an average pace of 9:09 per mile. Her husband, Tim Hogeboom, won the silver medal for the M70-74 age group.
Hogeboom averaged 7:55 per mile. He finished the 5k in 24:34. The gold medal runner for the M70-74 age group was Burlington’s Gordon McFarland, one of the founding members of the Vermont City Marathon. McFarland paced at 7:15 per mile to finish in the remarkable time (for his age) of 22:30.
Calais senior Mack Gardner-Morse earned a silver medal in the M60-64 age group. One mile into the race, Gardner-Morse paced stride for stride with Joel Thornton-Sherman, a seventh-grader at St. Johnsbury School. Joel’s brother, Evan Thornton-Sherman, is among the top high school cross country runners in the state of Vermont.
Joel Thornton-Sherman finished the 5k in 20:46 and won the M0-19 age group. The F0-19 age group winner, McKenna Knapp, finished in 20:56. She is a sophomore cross country runner for Northfield High School. Gardner-Morse came across the finish line right behind the two youths. His time of 20:58 averaged to 6:45 per mile.
Donna Smyers (F60-65) and Dot Helling (F70-74) won silver medals. Their respective finish times were 24:35 and 29:08. On August 29, the rugged Adamant runners topped their age groups at the Mount Mansfield Race to the Top. They not only raced up the 4.3-mile Toll Road, but due to COVID-19 restrictions (no shuttle buses), they also ran back down the mountain.
Ava Whitcomb of Marshfield brought home a bronze medal in the F50-54 age group. Her time was 24:45, which averaged to 7:58 per mile. Manny Sainz of Marshfield placed fourth in the M65-69 age group. His time was 26:07.
Seth Jackson (17:08) and Meg Valentine (20:27) were the overall top male and female finishers in the 5k race. Brandon Godfrey (6:40) and Bailey Chamberlain (8:04) were the boys’ and girls’ champions in the NSB Kids Mile Race.
Elmore 5k Race Draws Big Field
ELMORE – The Second Annual Elmore 5k Run/Walk was also held on September 4. The mostly flat, out-and-back course started at the Elmore town garage and proceeded along Beach Road past the Elmore State Park and back to Vermont Route 12. Participants included 91 women and girls and 63 men and boys.
Etan Levavi, from Cold Spring, New York won the race in 16:52. A trio of Wolcott runners, Raymond Boutin, Christopher Trajkovski, and Mark Isselhardt, placed third, fourth, and sixth. Their respective times were 19:12, 19:23, and 20:49.
Linnae Horan, from Waterbury, was the fastest female runner. Her time was 20:46. Rose Modry, from Greensboro, placed fourth in 22:50. Wolcott’s top female finishers included Hannah McCarty (27:57), Roberta Pitkin (30:46), and Samantha Trajkovski (33:55).
Genny Tenny Returns Sept. 19
CRAFTSBURY – The Genny Tenny, a 10-mile mostly dirt road run, returns on Sunday, Sept. 19. Runners will toe the starting line at 10 a.m., in Craftsbury Village, in front of the Craftsbury General Store. The hilly course winds its way to Albany Village via Creek Road, Page Pond Road, Pitkin Road, Center Road, and Water Street. The finish line is at the Albany General Store, which opened in the spring. A picnic, celebration, and awards will follow the race.
The third annual Genny Tenny event is sponsored by the Craftsbury Outdoor Center and the Craftsbury General Store. Funds raised support the Albany Community Trust, the nonprofit organization which oversees the Albany General Store.
Online registration and race details are posted at craftsbury.com/running/races/genny-tenny. Registration closes at 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 17. Registration is online only. When registering, runners can sign up for a pre-race shuttle from Albany Village to Craftsbury Village.
Sodom Pond Run Around Sept. 22
ADAMANT – Central Vermont Runners hosts the annual race around Sodom Pond on Wednesday, Sept. 22, beginning at 6 p.m. The four-mile dirt-road course starts in front of the Adamant Co-op. Online registration closes on September 19. Day of race registration is available. Race information is available at cvrunners.org.