CRAFTSBURY/ALBANY – Sunshine, warmth, and humidity greeted 32 runners Sunday morning for the Fourth Annual Genny Tenny Race. Starting at the Craftsbury General Store, the runners sauntered a short distance north on the paved main street before turning onto Creek Road for the rolling trek to Albany.
The ten-mile course hit its high point on a Class Four section of Pitkin Road, in Albany. A mile-long cruising 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.
Owen Deffner, 21, from Thetford Center, won the Genny Tenny in one hour, two minutes, and five seconds. A 2019 graduate of Thetford Academy, Deffner was the 2018 Vermont D-III state champion in cross country. Maxfield English, 46, of Wolcott, was the men’s Genny Tenny runner-up. He finished in 1:04:52. Peter Rentzepis, 26, from Jamaica Plain, Mass. placed third, in 1:07:48.
English has racked up a series of top race finishes this summer. The weekend before the Genny Tenny he competed in back-to-back races. He earned runner-up finishes in the Elmore 5k on September 3, and the Jay Peak 22-mile trail race on September 4. The Jay Peak race involved ascending and descending the summit two times.
“The Genny Tenny race was hot, but the course had some decent shade,” said English. “I liked the varying terrain, which kept it interesting. Owen took off right from the gun, and stayed distanced for the whole race. Peter and I paced for a kilometer or two, then I moved away. I realized he was right behind me at the first aid station, so tried to pick up the pace. I did not look back until the finish, and realized I had distanced him. The camaraderie and atmosphere at the finish was really supportive and friendly; nice way to end a race.”
Emma Podolin, 31, from Stannard, won the women’s division for the second year in a row. She conquered the course in 1:14:31, improving on last year’s finish time of 1:16:04.
“I went out maybe with a little too much confidence considering the heat and the elevation stacked at the end of the race,” said Podolin. “I paid for it in the bigger climbs at the end, which was the most challenging part. At the same time, I don’t think I would have beat my time without going for it from the get-go.”
Rose Modry, 43, placed second in the women’s division. Her time was 1:18:59.
“I hadn’t run this race since its first year in 2018,” said Modry. “It was great to participate again, on a new and still hilly course between the two thriving general stores. The camaraderie of friends and neighbors running and volunteering was the most rewarding part. The most challenging part was Pitkin Hill, which thankfully had good shade trees.”
Charlie Kehler of Greensboro and Alan Moody of Craftsbury undertook the Genny Tenny as a training run. The boys are members of Craftsbury Academy’s defending D-III state championship cross country team. They placed fifth and seventh, respectively, in the men’s division with finish times of 1:16:55 and 1:20:28.
Other local runners among the top 20 finishers were Stannard’s Josh Gould (1:23:24), and Craftsbury runners Erin Magoon (1:24:18), Colin Netzley (1:27:53), Jessica Bolduc (1:30:12), Ruth Krebs (1:32:59), and Autumn Dorr (1:34:49).
The race benefited the Albany Community Trust’s mission of promoting positive growth and increased vibrancy in the community. After completing the Albany General Store revitalization, the ACT has several new project ideas on the horizon which the race proceeds will support.