Runners’ Roundup

by Jim Flint

Young and Old Race from Store to Store

photo by Lisa Robinson | In Craftsbury Village, Susan Dunklee (far left) sends runners off at the start of the Third Annual Genny Tenny Race on September 19. Dunklee is the new director of the Craftsbury Outdoor Center’s Running Program. Evan Haugh (#168), from Burlington, won the ten-mile race to Albany Village. Emma Podolin (far right, third back), from Stannard, was the fastest female finisher. Proceeds from the race support the Albany Community Trust, the nonprofit organization which reopened the Albany General Store earlier this year.

CRAFTSBURY-ALBANY – Clear skies and pleasantly cool temperatures greeted 42 runners Sunday morning for the Third Annual Genny Tenny Race. Lining up in front of the Craftsbury General Store, the enthusiastic field ranged in age from 14 to 71. 

The rolling ten-mile course hit its high point on a Class Four section of Pitkin Road, in Albany. A mile-long cruise downhill to Water Street followed the arduous climb. After reaching the low point at the Black River bridge, the runners ascended a hundred feet in the final half-mile to the finish line at the Albany General Store.

Evan Haugh, 24, from Burlington, won the race handily in one hour and 57 seconds. Haugh competed in indoor track and field while he was a student at Iowa State University. Alex Howe, 32, of Craftsbury was the male runner-up. He finished in 1:09:22.

Emma Podolin, 30, from Stannard was the fastest female finisher. She conquered the challenging course in 1:16:04. Lucy Hamel, 37, placed second in the women’s division. Her time was 1:18:01.

After competing in the Richford Invitational 5k race on Saturday, Craftsbury Academy’s cross-country team undertook the Genny Tenny as a training run. The Chargers’ head coach, Mike Levangie, 56, ran with the teens. The ten-mile distance was the longest distance that several members of the team had ever run.

Coach Levangie finished the race in 1:17:56. He was a few seconds behind Charger runners Cormac Leahy, Charlie Kehler, Alan Moody, and Charlie Krebs. The Charger girls, Anika Leahy, Rachel Bjerke, and Ruth Krebs, ran with a skier friend from Montpelier, Sara Saligman-McGill. The quadpod came across the line together in 1:36:55.

Dot Helling, 71, of Adamant, was the oldest female runner in the race. The veteran marathoner completed the course in 1:42:40. Helling finished 38 seconds behind Judy Geer, 68, from Morrisville, who was a three-time Olympian in rowing.

The Craftsbury Outdoor Center’s new running program director, Susan Dunklee, was pleased with the turnout. 

“I can’t imagine better conditions with cool temperature, sunshine, gorgeous hills, lovely views, and even some leaves starting to turn,” said Dunklee. “Seeing the Craftsbury Academy cross country team participating was special. Running ten miles is a rite of passage for a high school runner. I remember feeling such a sense of empowerment and accomplishment when I did that for the first time at their age.”    

Adventurers Flock to Groton Forest Races

photo by Jill Sudhoff-Guerin | At Boulder Beach State Park, a field of 54 runners raced on September 11 in the Groton Forest Trail Race 15-mile option. Tim Hogeboom of Walden (closest to the camera) won the M70-79 age group. Manny Sainz of Marshfield (behind Hogeboom) won the M60-69 age group. The event also included trail races of 26.5 miles and 6.2 miles.

MARSHFIELD – Fair weather prevailed for the Third Annual Groton State Forest Trail Marathon on September 11. The event included 26.5-mile, 15-mile, and 10k races. The adventurous entrants traversed technical trails and forest roads, with a few mountain peaks tossed in.

Twenty-three athletes finished the 26.5-mile marathon course. The winner was Joshua Ferenc from Athens, Vermont. He powered through the rugged course in four hours, five minutes, and 57 seconds.

East Hardwick’s Ira O’Meara-Costello was the runner-up in 4:11:06. Dylan Broderick, from Montpelier, was the first female finisher. She placed third overall, in 4:26:15. Bridget Ferrin, from Danville, placed second for the women and fourth overall, in 4:26:58. Cabot’s Ricky McClain finished fifth, in 4:29:27. McClain lowered his 2019 finish time by more than 20 minutes.

O’Meara-Costello moved from fifth to second place during the race. He ran with Ferrin for the first half of the race, including the challenging trail around Kettle Pond with its damp, round rocks. He moved ahead of Ferrin as they ran through the pleasant hardwood forest en route to Little Deer Mountain. At the 20-mile mark, he made his way through an uphill obstacle course of mossy roots and slippery rocks, then slogged on to the finish.

“I love the course; it’s technical and engaging,” said O’Meara Costello. “But there are also parts where you can relax and go onto autopilot and recharge. Finishing at such a beautiful beach with such nice clean water is incredible. The race is put on by a super solid, dedicated crew that makes it happen out of a love for trail running. Their efforts are enormous and they create a wonderful event.”

Broderick ran alone for much of the race. As she headed up Little Deer Mountain around mile 18, she saw Costello, Ferrin, and McClain coming down. She was alone again for the next four miles heading to and around Osmore Pond, but then saw McClain and Ferrin up ahead.

“I passed Ricky, but Bridget was keeping a consistent lead on me,” said Broderick. “When we got to the jeep road with about two miles to go, I felt like I could move a bit quicker, but it still took another half mile or so to catch her. She had a couple of tough falls during the race which slowed her down. Bridget absolutely would have won otherwise!”

“The race was a blast and showcases the different parts of Groton,” Broderick reflected. “It’s neat that you hit three summits and then get to look back at them from the beach when you finish.”

Fifty-four runners completed the 15-mile trail race option. Alex Gottlieb, from Norwich, and Jackie Jancaitis, from Barre, were the fastest male and female finishers. Their respective times were 2:04:51 and 2:38:51.

Jacob Shore, from East Hardwick, was the top finisher from towns covered by The Gazette. He placed fourth overall, in 2:32:04:23. Shore teaches social studies at Craftsbury Academy.

Marshfield’s Manny Sainz, 65, won the men’s 60-69 age group. He crossed the line in 3:07:45 to place 25th overall. Tim Hogeboom, 70, of Walden was the oldest runner in the race. He finished 29th in 3:13:00.

“After being out for six months this year, the run felt so good to me,” said Sainz. “I never pushed it and maintained my pace. After coming down Big Deer, I was on my own the rest of the race. I passed Tim Hogeboom at about 13 miles. That was gratifying because Tim passed me at about 13 miles two years ago!”

Tyler Conchieri, from Williston, and Tammy Russell, from Plainfield, were the first male and female finishers in the 10k race option. Their respective times were 59:13 and 1:06:40.

Elizabeth McCarthy, 68, won the women’s 60-69 age group. She placed 20th of 42 finishers. Her time was 1:26:22.

“I set a low bar for myself,” said McCarthy. “After falling a few years ago and breaking ribs, this race seemed like a good one to give it another try.”