MONTPELIER – Quinn LaCasse, 27, hasn’t forgotten his hometown. Lacasse grew up in Hardwick and graduated from Hazen Union in 2014. As a youngster, he participated in summer 5k trail races on the Hardwick Trails. During high school, he competed on the Hazen Union track and field teams that won Vermont D-IV state championships in 2012 and 2013.
LaCasse attended the University of Connecticut, earning his Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2020. He accepted a staff pharmacist position with Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin. Though he lives in Montpelier, his Hardwick running roots run deep. When he signed up for the Vermont Corporate Cup and State Agency 5k race on May 11, he listed Hardwick as his home address.
With 1,146 runners and 707 walkers, the Corporate Cup is Vermont’s largest running and walking event. The 5k course begins in front of the Vermont Statehouse. Competitors wind their way through some 20 turns on Capital City streets.
A year ago, LaCasse placed 17th in the Corporate Cup 5k, with a time of 19:08. This year, he moved up to 14th place, finishing in 18:56.
“Back in the day at Hazen, running up Slapp Hill and Glenside Avenue probably helped build some speed,” said LaCasse. “I ran non-competitively during college to stay in shape. I’ve maintained running as a daily hobby for the past seven years, which is all I can attribute any results to. I mostly run to enjoy the Vermont air, more than a focus on speed.”
Rose Modry, 43, of Greensboro, was the 99th finisher in the 757-runner field. Her time of 22:42 was fifth fastest for the F40-49 age group. Alden Launer, 70, also from Greensboro, placed third in the M70-plus age group. He covered the 5k distance in 32:01.
Montpelier High School senior Avery Smart, 18, won the race for the second consecutive year. His time was 16:10. Erin Fisher, 34, from Essex, topped the women’s field in 20:14.
The top 5k race walkers were Andrea Vogl, 47, from Morrisville, for the women, and Robert Abbott, 43, from Barre, for the men. Their respective times were 35:48 and 38:55.
The Vermont Corporate Cup and State Agency race is sponsored by the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Race proceeds benefit statewide programs serving diverse ages and abilities, including the Vermont Senior Games; Community Wellness Grants; Worksite Wellness Awards & Conference; Parks Rx; and Fit and Healthy Kids.
Farnham Finishes 100-mile race
TURNER, Maine – April Farnham, 56, is no stranger to testing the limits of her endurance. During the winter months, the Plainfield hair stylist and fitness maven trekked up Spruce Mountain dozens of times, in all kinds of weather. The daily climbs of the 3,037-foot Plainfield peak prepared her for a rigorous schedule of spring, summer, and fall ultramarathons.
The Riverlands 100-miler on May 6 to May 7 was Farnham’s spring goal. The 32-hour ultra took place at the Androscoggin Riverlands State Park in Maine. Farnham didn’t have much time for long distance training before the race, which involved four loops of a 25-mile out-and-back course.
As preparation, Farnham took on the Runamuck 50 km (31 miles) trail race on April 15, in Pomfret. Farnham used the Runamuck race as a training run, going the distance in 6:34:11. She still placed 52nd of 81 entries, ranging in age from 23 to 73.
“I was a little worried about Runamuck,” said Farnham. “It was only three weeks out from the 100 miles at Riverlands. I hadn’t done any really long runs (16 miles was the longest), but I did three back-to-back days of 8-10-12 miles on alternating weeks. With my Spruce Peak training, I knew I had the elevation gain down. “I executed Runamuck perfectly and enjoyed the hills.”
The Runamuck ultra gave Farnham the confidence she needed for Riverlands, the first 100 miler she had done where there was a cut off time. Any runner not completing the full 100-miles within 32 hours receives a DNF (did not finish) and does not have their distance counted in the results.
“Riverlands was brutal with nearly 13,000 ft of elevation gain,” said Farnham. “I ran the first 50 miles with my ultra partner Ira Wheeler. Mark Howard jumped in for the last 50 miles as a pacer. The last 12 miles were hard as my feet were killing me. They were bruised on the bottom with a few blisters. Mark did everything in his power to make me forget the pain and just focus on the buckle.”
In 2022, two women successfully completed the Riverlands 100 and received the coveted 100-mile buckle. Farnham had no idea where she was in the standings for the 2023 race. “It wasn’t until I received my buckle that I knew that I finished second overall woman and 14th out of 72 runners,” she said.
Daniel Grip, 43, from Belchertown, Mass., was the fastest finisher. He completed the 100-mile race in 20 hours, 39 minutes, and 22 seconds. Emily Kisicki, 37, from Montpelier, was the top female finisher. Her time of 26:55:59 placed seventh among the 31 runners who completed 100 miles. Farnham finished 14th overall, in 30:28:29, well under the 32-hour cutoff. Six women and 25 men went the 100-mile distance.
To reach the century mark, Farnham kept hydrated, well-fueled, and moving forward day and night. “That was my goal, one foot in front of the other,” she said. “The relentless mud pits and the black flies were also thrown in, but there was nothing that this Vermont girl couldn’t handle.”
After some recovery time spent fishing, Farnham is already thinking about her next race – the Notchview Ultra in Windsor, Mass. The 72-hour race starts on July 7. Farnham covered 100.7 miles during last year’s race and 121.6 miles the year prior.
Capital City Stampede 10k on June 10
MONTPELIER – Central Vermont Runners has opened registrations for the Capital City Stampede, in downtown Montpelier. The 44th annual race starts at 9 a.m. on Saturday, June 10. The flat out-and-back course is dubbed as Vermont’s fastest 10k. Race co-directors Shannon Salembier and Jim Flint expect a large field of runners with a wide age span.
Central Vermont Runners will award five-year age group prizes to the fastest female, male, and nonbinary finishers, starting with age group 10-14 and up through age 80-plus.
The Capital City Stampede is the Vermont Senior Games state championship 10k road race. Male and female senior athletes compete for VSGA gold, silver, and bronze medals within five-year age groups, starting at age 50-54 and going up to age 85-plus. Two 83-year-old runners have already registered for the 10k race.
Entry fee discounts are available for runners who pre-register by May 31, at midnight. Visit cvrunners.org for race information and to register online.