Local Runners Deliver in Mailman Race

photo by Jackie Jancaitis
A field of 87 runners started on the Montpelier High School track at Saturday’s Paul Mailman Ten Miler and 5k races. Adamant’s Donna Smyers (left #527) went on to win the F60-69 age group. Tim Hogeboom (center with green gloves), from Walden, won the M70-79 age group. 

MONTPELIER — Neither rain, nor wind, nor cold could deter 87 athletes from completing their appointed rounds Saturday at the 47th Annual Paul Mailman Ten-Miler and 5k races. The two races started together at Montpelier High School with two laps on the dirt track. 

The runners ran out-and-back courses. The 5k race was mostly on the Montpelier Bike Path. Colin Pope, 31, of Topsham, finished in 17:57 to notch the win. Stowe’s Sara Graves, 39, topped the women’s 5k division. Her time was 20:15.

After an easy first mile on pavement, the going got tougher for the 10-milers. The hardy competitors navigated nearly eight miles of muddy, rutted dirt roads. Returning on the Bike Path, they pushed the last mile back to the school and finished triumphantly on the track. 

Montpelier High School’s Avery Smart, 17, was unfazed by the challenging conditions. He flew over the potholes to win the ten-mile race in 56:35. Runner-up honors went to Chris Chichester, 40, of Lyndonville, who finished in 57:51.

In the women’s division, Danielle Winslow, 28, from Richmond, outpaced Dylan Broderick, 31, from Montpelier, for top honors. Their times were 1:06:24 and 1:11:37.

Maxfield English, 46, from Wolcott, was the top finisher from towns covered by the Hardwick Gazette. His time of 1:04:21 placed second in the M40-49 age group and sixth overall.

Andrew Gilbert, 60, from Hardwick, won the M60-69 age group, in 1:19:23. Gilbert is a veteran ultramarathoner. He is training for the 50k Runamuck Ultramarathon on May 14, in South Pomfret. 

Adamant physical therapist Donna Smyers, 64, overcame a winter injury to capture first place in the F60-69 age group. She paced at 8:35 per mile to finish in 1:25:44.

“I was very surprised to hold that pace, but having the second half downhill for two miles followed by three miles of tailwind helped,” said Smyers. “Nina Aitkin was shadowing me (I could hear her feet!) for 6.5 miles. She passed me when I stopped for water to wash down my Clif Shot at mile 6.4. I picked it up in the next couple of miles and she fell back. I realized the age group win was on the line. Suddenly the competitor in me returned!”

Rose Modry, 42, of Greensboro finished second in the F40-49 age group. She crossed the finish line in 1:19:41, right behind Gilbert.

“It was fun to see faces I hadn’t seen in a couple of years,” said Modry. “Having a spring goal race inspired me through winter training. I’m excited to run the Corporate Cup in May with colleagues from Danville School.”

Dot Helling, 72, returned to racing after a winter bout with COVID-19. The Adamant marathoner finished in 1:39:31 to win the F70-79 age group. Tim Hogeboom, 70, from Walden, won the M70-79 age group. He completed the ten-miler in 1:27:59.

“There was a slight headwind, chilly temperatures, and light rain to deal with in the first third of the race, but nothing serious,” said Hogeboom. “The hills on Jones Brook Road seemed easy and small. After turning downhill, I gulped a piece of banana and a strawberry, chugged some water at an aid station, and headed down to the flats. In all my training this year, I’d only covered ten miles once, so I knew doing this distance at a race pace was going to be challenging. Instead of focusing on that, I concentrated on how good it felt to have the wind behind me.”

Manny Sainz, 66, from Marshfield; Dennis Shaffer, 68, from Plainfield; and Elizabeth McCarthy, 69, from Walden, rounded out the local finishers. Their respective times were 1:30:57, 1:35:15, and 1:44:37.

Sainz spring-boarded off a strong performance at the Unplugged Half Marathon, on April 9. He finished the 13.1-mile race from Colchester to Burlington in 1:57:59, placing 330th of 658 runners. McCarthy got a boost from some high elevation training in Colorado during late March and early April.

Boston Marathon Returns to Patriot Day

BOSTON — The 126th running of the Boston Marathon returned to Patriot’s Day for the first time since 2019. Held on Monday, April 18, the iconic 26.2-mile race from Hopkinton to Boston celebrated the 50th anniversary of women being officially allowed to compete.

The women’s division had one of the most exciting finishes in Boston Marathon history. Peres Jepchirchir, from Kenya, dueled with Ethiopia’s Arabel Yeshaneh. The lead changed eight times in the final mile, with each runner surging ahead briefly. With 400 yards to go, Jepchirchir passed Yeshaneh with a powerful sprint to the finish. Her winning time was 2:21:01.

Evans Chebet completed the Kenyan sweep by winning the men’s division. With four miles left in the race, Chebet pulled away from Gabriel Geay of Tanzania. Chebet crossed the line in 2:06:51. The comfortably cool and dry conditions delighted runners and spectators.

Two runners with local ties completed the Boston Marathon. Anne Treadwell, 54, of Burlington finished the race in 3:42:43. Treadwell is a graduate of Montpelier High School. Her family has ties to Greensboro. She placed 13,863rd overall at Boston and 4,080th among women. Her average pace was 8:30 per mile.

Tim Noonan, 65, from Montpelier, placed 16,534th of 24,918 finishers. His time of 3:55:11 translated to an average pace of 8:59 per mile.

Noonan is the former cross-country coach at Montpelier High School. He ran his first of many Boston Marathons in 1979. Noonan finished the 2013 Boston Marathon 25 minutes before the tragic bombing blasts.

Henry Richard, the older brother of bombing victim Martin Richard, completed his first Boston Marathon on Monday. He wore the singlet MR8 in memory of Martin, who was eight years old when he died. Crossing the finish line, Henry, now 20, received an emotional embrace from his parents and his sister Jane, who lost her left leg in the attack.  

Dogs Will Have Their Day

WATERBURY – Calling all local dogs. This event is for you! The 24th Annual Mutt Strutt starts at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, April 24. With your person on a leash, get ready to run a three-mile race over hill and dale. The wooded course loops up and down through Little River State Park.

The race entry fee is $10 for online registrations by April 22 and for mail-in registrations received by April 20. Day-of-race registration is $15. Human entrants sign a waiver. Dogs must be leashed at all times. Solo human runners can also participate. 

This unique dog-friendly opportunity is organized by the Central Vermont Runners Club (CVR). Registration information is available at www.cvrunners.org. 

Prizes are awarded by dog weight and owner age/gender classes. The race is a benefit for the VT-CAN! Spay and Neuter Clinic.