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2007 - 08 Event Reports

2007 - 2008

 

Sugarbush Triathlon and Lake Placid Spring Fling

April 5, 2008

Sugarbush Triathlon and Lake Placid Spring Fling:
With the Sugarbush Triathlon over it is time to write the last report of the season.  Things are looking like spring.  The birds are coming back, the sugar makers are hoping for one more great run, the cyclists are surveying the long winters impact on the roads, and the snow in the valleys is receding with the warmer temperatures.  It was a great season that will continue into the summer with all the great fitness NWVT members built during the winter.  For starts Tim shared his perspective on the Lake Placid Spring Fling 15K
 
Lary and Evan Martell and I skied the incredibly hilly 15km at van Hoevenberg Sunday.  Notice I didn't say we "raced".  It seemed wherever there was a choice, the course-setter sent us up the biggest hill. Lary and I skied together quite a bit during the first 8 km.  Then Lary went ahead and  skied with his son through the last 7km.  I could often spot them ahead of me, but never was able to make the gap.  With the bitter cold overnight temps warming quickly in the bright morning sun, the Martells waxed perhaps a bit too warm (1:1 yellow-red), and I waxed a bit too cold (2:1 blue/red). But mostly I just lacked initiative and got psyched out by the never-ending series of hill climbs. (No question what I need to work on for next season!)  At any rate - for probably my first time ever, I came in the dead-last man in the race about a minute behind Lary and Evan.  Never-the-less, it was a beautiful day for a ski at the end of March on mid-winter conditions.
-Tim
 
There is nothing wrong with dead last on that course, especially if you finish with optimism for next season.  On that note the Annual NWVT Banquet was another success.  Lots of smiles and beers were had.  Not too much business was discussed, but a lot of experiences of all sorts were shared.  It was suggested that part of the website should be a blog, which will be easy to do.  There was also some thoughts on soliciting some more sponsors to help defray the costs of the season or to help put on a race we hope to host with the Bolton Nordic Center next year.  Sleeker uniforms were also recommended...we will see how the sponsorship drive goes and go from there.  But for the occasion all were happy to have such great season to celebrate with good friends.
 
 NWVT does not sit idle for too long.  Two members had bike raced in the morning and made it back for the Banquet.  So they like many others are already onto their next season.  This could not be more clear than at the Sugarbush Triathlon where at least ten members competed in the Mad River Valley's annual right of spring.  Things started out fast with Brendan Barden averaging 6 minute pace in the run, also in the run on were Maria Cimonetti, and Hannah Barden.  3 NWVT teams so far.  While Maria tagged off to Dhyan Nirmegh, Hannah suited up for the paddle with Allaire Diamond.  The river was in good shape with a good water level that went over most rocks, but such that it was not raging.  Paddlers looked like they were able to maneuver the rapids without too much difficulty.  At the bike exchange Kevin Bessett was the first NWVT biker out bringing the NWVT member influenced team count to 4.  Riding for the Vermont Waterways/Skirack team Kevin chugged up the final climb in  2nd place overall with good form.  Brendan/Scott's biker was Andre' Bolduc in his competitive cycling debut.  He made his way gaining positions making it look as easy as pie, and had a respectable climb time relying of quads bulked from the ski season. Lary Martell was also on a team bringing the count to 5.  He made his way up the hill handicapped by bike shoes that would not clip in.  I have been there.  At some point you figure you are better off just picking up the bike and running, and that is just what he did.  Nirmegh handed off to Maria who also biked with a handicap.  She is still sporting a cast from a thumb break.  It did not seem to slow her down. Seth Maciejowski also biked for Hannah and Allaire, grinding it out with little time to spare for Allaire to get to the ski exchange by car.  Of course NWVT looked the most impressive slope side.  Scott hit the course with authority showing everyone how it is done.  Lary took a little while to get his skiing legs after the treacherous bike ride, but looked impressive however you called it.  Nirmegh got things going in a pack of collegiate skiers, at first being polite, but realizing being the better skier he needed to assert himself and put the guys behind him as well as a few pairs of Craftsbury tights.  Allaire got on course and looked great dodging skiers who had wiped out in the thick corn snow that was rapidly running off the mountain in liquid form.  In all it was very inspiring to see so many NWVTer's continuing the season in good spirits and mixing it up with three other sports.

Mt. Washington Cup

March 22, 2008

Mount Washington Cup Report:

Thirteen NWVT racers and two NWVT photograpers attenended the 34th Mount Washington Cup.  It was great to have so many members come out and finish the season on such a positive note.  In the lead-up for this race we all knew the stakes were high with the New England Club Series Championship on the line.  NWVT came into the race in third place, twelve points out of first.  So we had a small deficit to overcome as well as needing our strongest showing of the season against Craftsbury and Ford Sayre to be the club series Champs.  The call went out again, and again and again… we got the response we were looking for, fielding a very strong team.


Carpooling worked out nicely as four carloads of people made the journey from various points in Vermont .  The drive over presented us with icy roads, and snow, but the conversation was lively.  Once on site, we began preparing, keeping a close eye on the competition.  First we noticed the parking lot full of MA plates… telltale signs of CSU.  Then slowly racers from Ford Sayre started trickling in.  Finally the Craftsbury contingent arrived.  We put the intimidation factor in action by donning the NWVT jersey in full strength. 


We began glide testing skis.  As has been the case in recent races the conditions were variable.  Ice, slush, frozen and loose granular, packed and fresh powder were all on the seen.  For the most part the course was firm granular with a little over an inch of fresh powder on top.  Just enough snow to make things a little more difficult to deal with.   It actually was fast for the most part with some skis being a little more draggy than others on the down hills.  Racers eventually got over to the start, ready to get underway.  NWVT dominated the line.  With the blast of a horn the racers were off. 


The first 100m was a double pole zone that quickly funneled skiers onto a wooded trail.  Though all the commotion most racers made a clean start.  There were no major pile-ups, just a few scuffles. NWVT made its way out impressively.  Jessica observed one fall, on the inside of the first corner.  A women went down sideways, and had some difficulty quickly getting up with the mess of poles everywhere.  Jessica, Sherm and Hannah were able to skirt around easily. Eric Tremble led the team up the first hill.  Tyler Magnan, Damian Bolduc, Scott Magnan Ben Pearce and Ilke Van Gentchten fought for positions in the top ten while the Dhyan Nirmegh, Tim Cowan, Andre Bolduc, Perry Bland, Jessica Bolduc, Sherm Wilson and Hannah Barden kept them in sight, peppering the field with a sea of NWVT snowflakes on navy blue.  It must have been something to contend with as one competitor exclaimed, “I remember that jersey and red hat from Rangeley”, as two more of the same jersey glided by and blocked for him.  The start was intense and the first hill stepped up for over 2k.  NWVT was strong, but the hill started to sort things out.  In the midst of all the excitement of the start, Scott lost a pole tip and his pole shaft was beginning to weigh him down.  Each time he poled off a little more snow filled the hollow tube.  Eventually he got another pole and after a brief acquaintance period things worked out fine.


As the race spread out NWVT was able to mark familiar teammates as well as other competitors.  Eric hung on to third, Tyler moved up to fifth, Damian dropped back a few spots, as Scott pulled ahead after getting his new pole.  The next group of Ben, Ilke, Tim, Perry, Nirmegh and Andre switched back and fourth keeping things going, but slowly spreading out.  It was exciting to know who was on your side in the midst of a large group, and to know the NWVT train was dominating the field.  Jessica, Sherm and Hannah were gapped a little by the main group, but still had plenty of action to contend with as the steady stream of NWVT never seemed to end. Hannah maneuvered around fallen skiers on the downhill, pressing on to the next part of the course.  The first loop was basically a long uphill followed by a long downhill.  The next loop was more of a rolling series of hills preceded by a relatively long flat section.  The accordion affect of these hills continued to spread the field, but NWVT remained strong to the finish, and what a finish it was.


The race winner, Tim Donahue owned the race winning by almost 3 minutes, but then NWVT racers started coming in.  It seemed like one after another beginning with Eric and ending with Hannah, NWVT racers sprinted in.  Many athletes had their best club performances of the season all captured on film by Jen Norton and Mrs. Wilson.  We knew we had everything to gain by leaving it all out on the course.  Over the season, NWVT has known one thing, you cannot just want to be the best to win the series, you have to be the best.  With this in mind NWVT could not have had a more perfect race.  7 racers took the podium today, with 4 first places by Eric, Ben, Andre, and Ilke who also won the Women’s overall.


The awards ceremony was adorned with a wine and cheese sampler.  While NWVT basked with celebratory toasts, other clubs mingled in to learn more about us and congratulate us on a very long, successful and exciting season.  They were interested to see the new and old faces we have brought together, and were impressed with how well we use strategy and teamwork to get results in all the NENSA series. I will not dare say who won the series without the official tally from NENSA, but I think it is safe to say that a lot of other clubs are going to have a lot to think about over the summer, and will be looking back and ahead to the season as a whole figuring out how to capture the Crown!  Great job to everyone!  It has been an incredible season!


NWVT Results:


3. Eric Tremble

5. Tyler Magnan

11. Scott Magnan

13. Damian Bolduc

15. Ilke Van Genechten

17. Dhyan Nirmegh (DID NOT BONK)

19. Ben Pearce

22. Tim Cowan

26. Andre’ Bolduc 

29. Perry Bland

41. Jessica Bolduc 

58. Sherm Wilson

61. Hannah Barden

Bolton BC Challenge and Race to the Clouds

March 13, 2008

Bolton BC Challenge and Ski to the Clouds 


While the majority of the club was at Craftsbury, two NWVT skiers (plus
Chris Rogers who aught to be a member) decided to try out the Trapps to
Bolton back country race. The course starts out on nice groomed trails at
Trapps, but after about 2k of rolling terrain, it takes a left on the
Catamount trail. Once on the Catamount trail, it's ungroomed all the way to
Bolton, and there are many obstacles along the way: first stream, driveway,
and road crossings, then 2400 feet of climbing and a treacherous 1800 foot
decent to the Bolton Nordic center. The talk of the day was equipment, and
everyone had decisions to make. Go heavy and have control on the decent at
the expense of climbing speed, or go light and take your chances on the
decent. The two NWVTers, Leigh Mallory and myself, went with light
equipment. I had fish scaled touring skis without edges and light touring
boots. Leigh had similar skis, but I think his had at least a partial metal
edge. Some other people went with tele gear and climbing skins, but the
most original setup was GMVS assistant coach Justin Beckwith. He had an old
pair of skinny tele skis, but he mounted race NNN bindings on them so he
could use race pursuit boots. He didn't want to fuss with skins, so he used
universal klister for kick. The weather appeared calm at the start
(elevation 1350 ft) with mid 30's and fog but no precipitation. We knew
things could change once we got to the high elevations. At the start
Catamount Trail Executive Director, Jim Fredericks, offered us an
optimistic prediction: the low cloud level meant that we should get above
the clouds and find sunny skies!! Yeah, right...
There were only 12 people in the race, and the start was pretty tame, but
it was funny watching people try to skate on heavy telemark/back country
equipment. Even funnier was when I realized that striding was faster than
skating on the uphills even when the trail was groomed. Needless to say, I
haven't practiced my V2 to stride transition enough. By the time we got
onto the Catamount trail Justin Beckwith had the lead, but I was on his
tails. I took the lead when he choose a long way around a stream, and I was
able to put enough time on him on the climb to hold the lead all the way to
the finish. But about those sunny skies we were supposed to find at the
high elevations? Yeah, well that turned out to be freezing drizzle,
followed by freezing rain, followed by freezing downpour. At the same time,
the snow went from soft with great fish scale kick, to a breakable crust
and moderate kick, to a 1/4 inch crust and absolutely no kick (or control).
Luckily just as I got to the high point I met a group of skiers coming in
the other direction, and the crust was broken up a little for my decent, so
I only fell 4 times, and I think the scrapes from my faceplant through the
crust should clear up in a few days. Leigh decided to take his time and
enjoy the experience rather than race all out (possibly saving himself for
the Mt. Washington Cup next weekend). He took the time to chat with fellow
racers as well as some former students who happened to be out on the
course. Unfortunately this just meant more time for the freezing rain to
build up, and I would guess the crust was at 1/2 inch by the time Leigh got
off the trail. After the finish, we were all treated to drinks, shirts, and
hats provided by Pepsi, then a huge meal, and an ample prize table. This
was a great race, and I can't wait to do it next year.

Today's race was the Ski To the Clouds, billed as the toughest 10k in the
nation. It has a 4k flat loop followed by 6k of climbing and ~2500 feet up
the Mt. Washington Auto Road. I believe I was the only NWVT member to make
the trip, so this report will be short. The weather was perfect for a skate
race, ~20 degrees, and an icy fast track. Unfortunately (maybe
fortunately), it was quite windy and they had to cut 2k off the climb, so
the race was only 8k. I got off to a good start and was in about 4th
position, but no one wanted to lead (I think everyone was afraid to expend
too much energy before the big climb). I was annoyed by the slow pace, so I
took the lead and stayed there until just before we got to the climb when
Justin Freeman came by. He attacked the climb hard and easily skied away to
the win. I was left to battle it out with a group of college kids. I
dropped back to 6th in the first half of the climb, but I got a bit of a
second wind and moved up to 3rd by the finish.

Eric Tremble

Craftsbury Spring Fling

March 2008

Many NWVT members turned out at the Craftsbury Spring Fling this morning.  Twelve racers competed today tuning up for what is shaping up to be the New England Club Championships next weekend at the Mt Washington Cup 15K.  Today’s race went very well for most skiers at least half of the time.  The weather played a big role in how things panned out.  Overall conditions were better than expected and Craftsbury did an excellent job getting the course ready.

The temperature stayed in the mid thirties for the race, but a steady wind with a little mist kept things feeling cold.  The race course was the customary 15K figure 8 that brings skiers out of the stadium to Murphy’s field, then around duck pond back onto race loop and out Ruthie’s Run and back on Sam’s Run crossing back onto the core trails and finishing on the last 2k of Race Loop.  The terrain rolled and turned though fields and woods.

For the first 15k things stayed relatively dry, and firm.  About 50 minutes into the race it began raining.  This affected people in two ways.  They either got faster or slower relative to how they were on the first lap.  One would have to call it even at the end of 30K.  Wax, ski flex and structure affected performance differently on each lap so everyone was hot, and everyone was not at some point. Jake and Ilke’s skis noticeably improved while Damian and Tyler’s did not.  Tim Cowan and Dhyan Nirmegh battled over the race course until Nirmegh bonked with 7K to go, but Tim took a wrong turn adding 2K to the race giving Nirmegh an advantage Tim just could not make up. 

Scott Magnan, Andre Bolduc, Ben Pearce, Sam Martell and Rachael Sheperdson-Rudden opted for the 15K.  Scott paced Damian for the first 7K of the race.  At which point he stopped to make a face-down snow angel.  The snow was a little tricky as soft and tacky spots would grab your skis.  Potential team member Dan Cassidy and Damian also demonstrated grand face-plants somewhere on the course as well.  Dan also experienced the fate of Tim with a wrong turn with 2k to go in the 30K (See http://nwvtnordic.com/zhaz.aspx for an NWVT wrong turn epic) All the 15Ker’s seemed to be happy with their races and it was good to see them cheering on the 30Ker’s during a group cool down. 

The Spring Fling certainly gave us a dose of spring skiing today. I hope those that did the Trapps to Bolton race will share their stories as well as those who are doing the Race to the Clouds Tomorrow. I hope everybody made it home safely the weather certainly took a turn for the worse on the way home for me.

One more week to go.  Only 12 points separate us from the first place team going into the final point’s race of the season.  This is the closest final race for NENSA in memory, and definitely the closest NWVT has ever been.  The series is based on participation so anyone with a NENSA membership counts.  Remember last year we took 3rd by only 3 points!  The top three teams have been gearing up for the last one.  I have seen Ford Sayre doing some pretty intense intervals followed by a 10K time trial. (I matched them from a distance to experience what they were up to).  We have gotten all our scoring corrected and all our cards are showing. Let’s finish strong by playing them all!

Birkie, Derby, EC Final

February 23, 2008

Birkebeiner, Stowe Derby and Eastern Cup Finale




NWVT has been hot all season and kept the heat on high this weekend. With conditions that just keep getting better members enjoyed an amazing weekend of skiing. Skiers participated in all levels of the sport from international events to a leisurely recovery ski. It is tough to know where to begin. So we will talk about those who traveled the furthest and bring it in to home.

We will go to northern Wisconsin where two NWVT members participated in the American Birkebeiner. This event has evolved into the biggest ski festival in North America . It has many events for all participants and enthusiasts who make the pilgrimage to the closest thing to the legendary Norwegian Birkebeiner. 15,000 skiers participated in the celebration and the events surrounding the weekend. Ilke Van Genechten trained specifically for this race and peaked perfectly. Ilke cranked through the Elite Sprint Competition and made it all the way to the Quarter Finals among one of the deepest and most talented race fields in North America . She continued her success by finishing 32nd in the women’s field in the 50K freestyle marathon. Dan Sandberg competed in the men’s 50K freestyle as well. He finished well ahead of the majority of the field in 3:06. This race has to be an amazing experience. I hope to hear more about it soon.

The next furthest race was at Holderness for the Cheri Walsh Memorial Classic. Scott Magnan, Lary Martell and Perry Bland competed in the 15K mass start classic race. Opting for the master’s wave made for more exciting racing as everyone kept each other in check on the arduous course. The rolling hills brought out the different strengths in skiers, but the race came down to exciting finishes with all three skiers each in their own pack gunning for the line. Perry’s heroic finish was the talk of the day! Evan and Samantha Martell finished the Eastern Cup series placing well among the best of the best in New England .

On Saturday NWVT sent a very respectable contingent to the Silver Fox Trot in Hanover . Jake Hollenbach, Damian Bolduc, Tim Cowan, and Perry Bland competed in the interval start 10K. Having plenty of time to preview the course, the team planned out a strategy with each member providing a little insight to critical points on the course. Jake was our top finisher, placing 12th in the Eastern Cup race. Damian was 63rd overall and 3rd for masters, tying one of his marked competitors for this season. Tim Cowan was the next NWVT finisher, placing 3rd in his (the most competivite masters division) category. Perry was close behind and just edged his closest competitor for the win in his division. The day was great for skiing, and as has been the case this season, everyone had a great time and could not wait for the next event.

The closest event was the Stowe Derby. NWVT had 4 members participate in one of the longest running ski events in New England . Conditions must have been good as times were fast even with the few K added to this year’s race. Eric Tremble and Jake Hollenbach took 3rd and 4th overall in the Freestyle event just as they did a couple weeks earlier at the Lake Placid Loppet. Jake and Eric were also the only two non-former-Olympian 's in the top four. To be within 90 seconds of Pat Weaver and less than half a minute off Mark Gilbertson; the two strongest skiers in the region is something to be very proud of. Sherm Wilson and his daughter Hannah Barden also competed in the freestyle event exceeding their goals, and overcoming a barrier many do not dare challenge. The Derby is arguably the hardest race there is as it tests skiers technical abilities, mental toughness and endurance in an adrenaline filled 19K race from the top of Mt. Mansfield to Stowe Village .

NWVT truly had many amazing results this weekend. This report exemplifies the vision of what extraordinary skiing is. We saw one member after another achieve astonishing goals on all levels. It is inspiring to see limits this collective of skiers pushed and how much every member has improved over the years, this season, and even since last weekend. And there is no sign of this desire for improvement waning. Thank you to everyone for sharing their experience. If anyone has more to add pass it along. Who knew the last weekend of February would end up being this incredible!

Flying Moose Classic

February 15, 2008

Seven NWVT skiers made the journey to Bethel, Maine to participate in the Flying Moose Classic 20K. As they journeyed further east the snow got deeper and deeper. Another few inches and it will be up to the bottom of the road signs. In some spots it seemed even deeper as the pavement gave way to canyon sized pot holes. Okay maybe not that big, but deep enough to cause one carload to experience a front tire burst and a severely bent rim. It was exciting to see the deep snow, but it hid a thick layer of ice that would play a role in the race.

Sunday morning greeted skiers with brisk temperatures rapidly warming thanks to a strong southwesterly wind. The sun was heating things up too. With an hour to go, registration was running out of numbers, but oddly they did not seem overwhelmed the least, easily handling the onslaught of unexpected racers. No worries, the bulk of NWVT arrived 20 minutes before the first race official. It has been said that “if Perry is not wearing a top ten number; he missed registration.” Skiers tested, and waited and made their final decisions within twenty minutes of the start.

By the start of the race the temperature had risen to 22 degrees. The course was a hilly, winding, point to point that utilized two large loops. Much of it was protected by woods, with a few K exposed on a golf course. The race could really be divided into two 10K’s with there own characteristics raced back to back. On the course map they actually looked like two moose antlers. After a very crowded start skiers found themselves on smooth trails with the layer of ice tilled with the powder below to make a nice packed fine granular. This was exceptional to race on. Fortunately the steep hills were located on this half of the course. The second half of the race was heavily glazed, seemingly to be more of a heavy loose granular or crushed ice with powder blown in here and there. It was rolling with a mix of climbs and descents as well as a lot of graduals that could be double-poled. It brought skiers on and off the golf course eventually brining them to the finish via a long fast and flat stretch.

The start was rather exciting. Eric Tremble got out with a clean start as did Tyler Magnan. Lary Martell was caught in traffic, with Scott Magnan just behind. Just as Damian Bolduc thought he was in the clear his ski tips got stepped on and he did a face plant getting up just as Perry Bland and Jessica Bolduc went by. Eric was off again in familiar territory with the lead pack. He held his position in the top 5 until he got tangled up with another skier on a fast down hill. After losing contact with the pack the course turned onto the glazed half beginning with a long up hill. This made it very difficult to catch back on, but Eric finished strong within the top ten. Tyler , Scott, Lary, Damian and Perry raced through the main pack, maintaining a fairly tight group at the front. Lead changes were made over the first 10K and the whole group was working relatively well. Eventually things spread out, Scott attacked a hill and broke away, Damian and then Lary got into a battle with Peter Harris, and Tyler fell back while Perry maintained. Jessica found herself taking advantage of pack racing as well using cues from those around her to her benefit. Everyone’s Craftsbury experience made them much stronger and able to handle today’s conditions and it really showed as NWVT crossed the line. Eric leading the club, followed by Scott, then Lary and Damian, Tyler held off Perry, and Jessica finished with a smile and got a big hug from #1 NWVT cheerer, Camille. The post race meal at the pub and brewery was filling, satisfying and just the thing before the long journey home. 

Only one club race to go! Not many clubs had the presence of NWVT today. We certainly closed the gap on first place. NENSA Executive Director Pat Cote got a good look at us too, taking time to thank us for our patience while they figure out the points. We need to have a strong effort in the final race this season at the Mt. Washington Cup. This is certainly the most exciting season we have ever had, and the closest we have ever been to winning the club series. We set the lofty goal in November, and have had a great response. This is our chance to put a stamp on the season and give all the other clubs

something to think about over the summer. Everyone’s efforts count. Let’s keep it going!

Maple Onion 10km

February 9, 2008

The Maple Onion 10K was held today at Morse Farm. Many NWVT members competed with friends from all the local clubs. In only its 4th year of existence, this race has become a fun tradition with traditions being built within itself. Those who came were welcomed with perfect conditions, in a warm, rustic, true Vermont atmosphere.

The course was a 5k loop skied twice. It had a little of everything from steep hills to technical descents. Nothing too difficult, but enough to keep everyone in check. The snow conditions were spectacular with a firm packed powder. Even slow skis condemned to next years ski swap felt fast. After a mass start skiers looped around the arena up a short climb and headed into the woods. Hidden just beyond the tree line was a long steep hill followed by a flat section to recover which led into a short twisty down hill which finally gave way to the easy rolling meadow skiing that reveals what happened in the woods to racers and spectators. The race field had all types of skiers from former Olympians, to first timers. 

It was no surprise to see former Olympian Mark Gilbertson cruise to the finish first. Mark seemingly floated by while his closest competitor; Tom Thurston (SNOC), was able to challenge for one lap, gasping loudly completely maxed out. Perhaps it was the acoustics, but the skiers coming around for the second lap followed the trend. Of course the layout of the course pushes skiers to catch those within sight giving them a little extra drive which translates to an all out effort. Next up was Eric Eley(SNOC). Scott Magnan was the first NWVT representative following in a loose pack of 4. It seemed that the finish order was set early on except in a couple of instances such at the next NWVT finishers. Kevin Bessett came out for his first race of the season, and looked great. He skied away from Perry Bland at the start and kept moving up through the field, pulling Scott into sight. Perry was having a good race as well, commenting on how easy a 10k felt after a 50k. A 10k in great conditions verses a 50k in not so perfect conditions at that. These two skiers are looking forward to the best part of their season ahead. Things are looking very promising for them too. Jessica Bolduc was the other racer who gained places during the race. After a slow start, she took a minute out of the female leader Whitney Kaulbach (a.k.a. Mark’s wife) to come with in 4 second of the win. She was on the same skis used by Damian yesterday so perhaps they are on to something. The next racers in were friends of the club John McGill and Al Lasage. Hannah Barden heated things up during a heavy squall that rolled in during the second half of the race. With sleeves rolled up she dueled Lori McGill comfortably prevailing in the end. She was also first called during the prize raffle and scored a sweet pair of Karhu Kabooms. All the skiers made their way in with exhausted smiles as NWVT #1 fan Camille cheered everyone enthusiastically by name. After a nice cool down racers were treated to a home cooked chili, Morse Farm signature maple products and awards.

It was great to see a good turnout for this race. More fun and exciting skiing is on the way. The Flying Moose Classic, Hazen’s Notch, Stowe Derby and much more!

Ichabod's Revenge

February 3, 2008

Several NWVT members competed in the Ichabod's Revenge 10km Classic at Sleepy Hollow last weekend. The conditions were variable much like at the Craftsbury Marathon. The course was at an elevation such that it transitioned from ice to snow. Something very familiar to those who raced the day before. The temp was in the mid twenties, and the snow was ice with powder on top. The course brought skiers to the summit of Sleepy Hollows terrain utilizing the race’s namesake trail, Ichabod's Revenge. This is a very tough way to start a race but it is effective in thinning out the racers. Another effect it had was having many racers pulling off the course at the top of the hill to scrape the ice off their skis. Others chose to run down the hills as well, and some had no kick, and no ice. The race was won on wax-less skis that provided the best solution to the days wax dilemma. Eric Tremble was NWVT’s top finisher, doing the weekend double of the Craftsbury Marathon followed by Ichabod’s Revenge. Brendan Barden finished next for the club with mixed feelings. He was happy that he did not have to weight his ski much to get kick, but would have like a little more glide. Spike Clayton competed again after quite a long hiatus from racing. It is good to see him back out for his one race a year, and hanging in with the seasoned racers. Andre Bolduc followed closely behind, frustrated with a lack of kick, but happy to be done the race. Hannah Barden was the only NWVT woman to race. She had a good race; continuing her great season, and streak of only doing the most difficult races. The consensus after the race was that although Sleepy Hollow deviated from its traditionally long courses to one that was short of a 10k, “it was long enough.” Great job to all those who raced, this is one of the most technically challenging and difficult races of the season!

Prospect Mt. Eastern Cup

February 9, 2008

A few racers made the journey to Prospect Mountain for the Eastern Cup races this morning. The races were held under cloudy skies with temperatures reaching the low thirties. There were separate juniors and senior/masters fields full of New England ’s best skiers. 

The course was a rolling 5k loop with a 200m wall with about 1k to go. False flats were at a maximum while technical turns were at a minimum. Perfect for one NWVT racer. The snow conditions had a light layer of fluff on top of packed powder over an ice base. The course held up well against the several hundred racers.

Junior racer Evan Martell was the first to conquer the course. He had a fast start, and ended up taking 10th among the top skiers competing to make the junior national team. Shortly after the men’s race started. Damian Bolduc and Lary Martell competed for the club in the Masters wave. Having the separate masters start sure makes the Eastern Cup Races a lot more interesting for these athletes. 3 minutes after the carnage of the men’s field left the stadium a smaller contingent of masters men got underway in a more civilized manner. Damian Bolduc wanting nothing to do with the geriatric jokes the field was subjected to during the 3 minute interlude took the field out fast. After leading for 1k he settled into a pack of 3 separated just a few seconds from Lary and the main pack. They skied the first lap calmly picking off stragglers from the previous field. At bottom of the wall at 4k, Damian attacked, and pulled away from the leaders opening a sizable lead and maintaining it to the finish. Lary continued to battle in the main pack which slowly spread out over the second lap finishing in a tight sprint against John Brodhead of Craftsbury. It was great for these racers to have a close competition against their rivals instead of being caught up in the traffic of the combined race. All were pleased with the well run race, and winning the Eastern Cup* was a pretty good feeling too!

Can’t wait to here how things went in Lake Placid and elsewhere. Please send along a report.

Craftsbury Marathon 2008

January 26, 2008

The 2008 Craftsbruy Marathon is now one for the history books. This year’s race was especially challenging from picking wax to the finish. Sixteen NWVT members participated in many different ways. It was great to see so many familiar faces at the race. It was a pleasant surprise to have someone cheering for you at an odd place on the mostly deserted course. 

The weather on Friday played a big role in this year’s race. Snow, followed by sleet, then rain, then sleet, then snow, and finally wind, made for some interesting conditions Saturday morning. The start was delayed 2 hours so that grooming could be completed after the rain had switched back to snow. When skiers exited the bus at Highland Lodge they were greeted by NWVT members and race volunteers Seth Macijowski and Allaire Diamond. They also saw that grooming was still taking place as the tracks for the start area were being set. 

The temperature was in the low twenties with strong winds from the northwest. The snow was a mix of everything, and the surface was as well. They traditional point to point course was used, sending skiers up hilly terrain first, then down technical hills, to a relatively flat section leading into the rolling touring center trails before the final ascent to the finish on Craftsbury Common. This year’s marathon challenged the racers with the most elements I have ever encountered in a single race. There was ice, packed powder, wind blown snow, water, dirty snow, deep snow, thin snow, icy low hanging branches, falling snow, drizzle, trail swag, broken pole and ski artifacts, yellow snow, pirates… you name it, it was there, probably in the first 100m and on.

The day’s first challenge: what to put on the ski? The NWVT site suggested VR45 on Tues. That is what worked for some. Actually the Toko rep said it best, “everything is working.” But as some found out that having everything on the ski did not work so well. Perry Bland made the call early, and said the thing that is going to work best is having a smart race. His experience told him that nothing was going to be the magic answer, but what ever you have is going to work some of the time so choose your best option. For some it meant kick, others glide. My strategy was to put enough on to get to the highest elevation at 12-13k and then sail/suffer through the downs and flats, not re-waxing until around 30k when long sustained climbs entered the picture again. Luck would have it that I did a good job initially and my wax lasted to the finish. Perry’s wisdom was reflected in many aspects of the race including the results. Jon Arne Enevoldsen, the undisputed local technical master won the race. Undoubtedly his experience, technique and love for the challenge of the sport, got him to the finish line first. 

As skiers got underway it was a familiar scene for NWVT. Allaire and Seth checked racers into the corral. Seth also had the prestigious honor of holding the Craftsbury Marathon Starting Line Banner and moving it aside as the bell went off. Eric Tremble was off the front, battling the leaders. For the first half of the race he struggled with keeping up, but for the second half he found his stride and reeled in several racers finding himself a spot in the top ten at the finish. Next out were Lary Martell, Damian Bolduc and Scott Magnan. Lary got a quick start and settled into a nice pack including Doug Armstrong, Ed Hamel and several other big names in masters skiing. Damian was just behind these individuals skiing with Keith Woodward and Rob Bradley, and Scott off to a slow start eventually joined up with the groups. Lary would hold the lead for the trio until the 45k mark when Damian eventually made his way by with a strong finish well within reach. After fighting his way up and not using a wax conservation plan, Scott had to pull off at 11k to make adjustments to his skis, and ended up chasing Lary, Damian and all the others for the rest of the race. Perry Bland and Dan Sandberg started out together; skiing a majority of the race within sight of each other. Until Perry did what Perry does best and just skied away. Dan hung on and finished, happy to be done and with his effort for the day.

In the women’s race the challenges were ever greater. They had to contest with the 1st wave men who were not having top days, while 3rd wavers who were faster came by, and the course had been scraped out by all those ahead of them leaving only blue ice conditions on the technical downs, and not much of anything to be happy about. Ilke Van Genechten was the first NWVT woman. After encountering a pile up, and not having a great day to begin with she resolved to turn the day into a good training ski and make the best of the long distance skiing opportunity. Jessica Bolduc was having a miserable go at it as well, faced with removing skis and walking a section of the course for the first time in her career, things were not going well at all. The 25k turn off was and even greater mental obstacle for the woman than it was for most of the 1st wave 50k men who pressed on. Both said that thoughts of the club and NENSA points convinced them to continue. In actuality, their strong attitudes and perseverance are some of the values that brought them to race in the first place. There was some personal initial disappointment with their results; both finished the 50k, making them better prepared and stronger for the next race. There was no lack of understanding from the men who knew the challenges they faced were compounded for the women. 

NWVT also had some 27k racers. Cipperly Good was back in action taking 3rd place for her age group on the more treacherous half of the course. BFA skier John Lavoie II and his father John Lavoie competed as well. The junior besting the senior by a respectable margin. Wallace Good (1st place: wool knickers division) and Natalie Good completed the tour. If you have ever skied Wally’s back yard you would understand why he may have thought the icy down hills were not so bad. And of course The Boss, our perennial bandit, Mike Cain was out cheering the marathoners on with his inspiring words and ovations. It looked as though he did not get the memo on the delayed start as he was further out then usual probably wondering where everyone was.

What a great accomplishment for all those who completed the race this year. Just finishing said a lot for those who did not have their best day. Completing a marathon is tough. Completing this one, this year, shows commitment and dedication in the face of steep obstacles. For those who had good days it shows experience, wisdom, and strategy, and in Damian’s case coming undone and yelling like a maniac enjoying the thrill of the down the hills to buttoning down good technique for the flats and ups. No matter who you were, yesterday’s difficulties made it a hard day to compete. NWVT showed their guts being one of the few if not the only club to have all its registrants start and finish the race. Great job everyone! This race will only make us better!

White Mountain Classic & Rumford EC

January 19, 2008

White Mountain Classic + Tour de Rumford Eastern Cup Reports

It was a big weekend for skiing in New England . NWVT participated in many events big and small from Rumford, to Warren. NWVT skiers were obviously fired up to compete and got excellent results to prove it. Skiers participated in the Tour de Rumford Eastern Cup Races, others in the Masters Team Championships at the White mountain Classic, and finally some skied in the longest continuously running nordic race in New England, the Valley Cup, held at Ole’s XC in Warren VT.

Things started off with the White Mountain Classic. Leading up to the race we were scrambling to find our 4th man for team scoring. Luck would have it, that in a last ditch effort we got an enthusiastic YES! from Eli Enman. The conditions for this years race were the best ever in its short history. Skiers found comfortable temps in the low 20’s under clear skies with a light breeze out of the north. The snow was packed powder on top of a thick frozen granular base. The course started on the east side of rte 16A and looped up on the Eagle Mountain Trails, then came back through the center, crossing road and proceeding along the Ellis River trails before making its way back to the finish at the Lodge. The start was quite exhilarating, with a 100m double pole leading into a sharp and narrow left turn. The race official stated that the race would not be won in the first 100m so take it easy, but as the 10 lanes converged to four, everyone knew a good start was imperative for a good finish. After the excitement of the start the course climbed and rolled for 10k, and then the last 20k was relatively flat. The consensus was that it was a back breaker, especially for those who did not do their 50k double pole workouts on roller skis over the summer. 

NWVT had six men and one woman compete this year. Special guest Eli Enman won the overall by 2 tenths of a second. Just enough time to think Farm Service in your head getting one last grunt out at the line. Coincidence? I think not. He knew the stakes were some of the highest he has ever faced skiing for the only Farm Service sponsored team in New England . (All joking aside we are grateful that Eli chose to share his talent with our club, and helping us out at the last minute shows that he is just as great a guy as he is a competitor.) Moments later Eric Tremble finished in 4th overall having skied with a Dartmouth skier for about half the race and then on his own to the finish. The next finishers came with a one two punch from Scott Magnan and Damian Bolduc in 21st and 22nd place. Scott was involved in crash at the start and spent the first 10k of the race overtaking lost positions to get into range of the group he wanted to be in. The effort took a lot out of him and he ended up skiing in no-man’s land with his mark just ahead of him. Meanwhile Damian had a clean start and ended up in a good pack of 3 skiers for the race; taking the W in a three way sprint at the finish, and closing the gap on Scott as he tired. Cranking it up for the finish Perry schooled a few skiers in patience and saving it for the end. Coming into the stadium Perry was fast and smooth as he dropped one racer after another. Approaching the line he almost caught one last skier who scrambled with all he had, just to edge him at the line. Dan Sandberg had his first race for the club and finished an impressive 3rd in the U23 category in his inaugural NWVT race. Jessica Bolduc held things down for the women. This was her longest classic race ever. After a slow start she was just getting things going when she had a bad fall. She battled back again, finishing well among masters women and her efforts won the M1 division. It was the perfect mix of disappointment and success to get things really going for the Craftsbury Marathon next weekend. You do not want to be an obstacle in the way of this skier on a mission. While all the skiers were very pleased with there individual results, the team scoring did not pan out as well as we hoped for. We ended up 4th behind clubs with more even distributions of skiers in the two scoring brackets. Next year will be scored by each division so that may change things in our favor. The race was close as usual, and everybody was happy with their effort.

While the marathoners were racing in Jackson , Anja Jokela and Ilke Van Genechten were sprinting in day one of the Tour de Rumford. Anja took 15th overall and Ilke took 37th overall in the very deep and talented field of 120 of New England best skiers. Junior racers Evan and Sam Martell also had outstanding results in their sprints. They all competed the second day and were joined by Damian Bolduc, Tim Cowan and Lary Martell. For day two the Women raced 10k and the men raced 15k on the challenging Black Mountain course. The conditions were similar to the day before with temperatures just a little warmer for the skate races. NWVT continued to have stellar performances from the juniors up. The course took a serious beating but held up well for the most part to the end of the day when the Masters got underway. Evan started the day out finishing 9th overall in the junior’s race. The women followed up with just as impressive results in the 10k race with Anja and Ilke taking 6th and 10th in the senior division, while Samantha Martell was not too far behind taking 37th in the J1 class. After a long interlude of men, the masters got underway at the end of the day. Tim was first to start for the club, followed by Damian and then Lary. Having all the masters start together in a solid block made for some very interesting racing. Damian, Lary and Tim place well in the masters and held their own among the whole field of close to 200 skiers. After discussing it with a few other racers it was determined that it was fair to subtract at least a minute from each lap of the Masters times due to all the speed being taken out of the course by the earlier racers.

The Valley Cup was held at Ole’s. I know some NWVTer’s were there, but I cannot find results and I was not there so if someone could help me out and send in a report that would be great! All and all we had a great weekend of racing. It was good to see some new faces out there. Things are looking g

John Sackett Memorial 

January 20, 2008

It was evident that everyone has raised the bar for mid-winter at yesterday’s race. Perhaps it was the format, the venue or the conditions, but anybody who competed seemed to feel great about their race. It is possible that everyones face instantly froze in smile position as they stepped out of their cars, exposed to deep powder and the frigid Northeast, but the enthusiasm expressed in the chatter told the story.

The 2008 Sackett Memorial was held at Mt. Hor. No argument about the change in location because the conditions there were phenomenal. It seems as if the December dumpings have remained untouched, and have just been added to. The area had a fresh coating of a few inches just the night before. The course was freshly groomed and tracked for competitors who made the trip and braved the cold. The course was two loops; starting on a flat 2k section, then a long winding climb with a short flat section before a slightly technical decent followed by a long straight decent that brought skiers back to the start. Skiers could really get moving along the last K of the loop. The temperature was in the high single digits for the race, perfect for a brisk winter 10K. The snow was deep and the course was completely wooded. In fact you cannot even see a road from the trails, just one vista that overlooks Lake Willoughby and the majestic ledges that plunge into it. 

The field was small as was the NWVT contingent, so we still maintained a good percentage of the racers. We had four men and one woman compete. The race format was waves of four skiers starting every 30 seconds. So everybody got on course and underway quickly. This made things exciting for everyone. It also made for some great match-ups. Just about everyone found someone to ski with in one wave after another of hearty skiers. 

Perry Bland was off early in the second wave, followed by Eric Tremble who started about mid-field and then Jessica and Damian Bolduc started just ahead of Scott Magnan who was in the last wave. Perry settled into his race and was skiing well, when another competitor came up along and passed him. Perry knew he was not going to be able to gain back the time to beat the other guy, but he decided to stick with him and match his pace for the rest of the race. A strategy that paid off, making a good race even better. Eric got underway and quickly began picking off racers in front of him. He thought he could catch a Burke Mountain Academy skier who started one wave up, but never saw him again after the start. Eric was second over all in the race, his 30 second BMA man won. Jessica, Damian and Scott were in well stacked waves too. Damian was in a back and forth struggle from start to finish with Doug Armstrong, a Jackson skier he has been closing the gap on for two years. While Scott was in a head to head battle of his own against a Craftsbury racer Peter Harris. It was an epic effort as the race between these four individuals unfolded with lead changes, comebacks and friendly words exchanged. It made for the better for all of them as they focused on top form keeping everyone in check. Jessica found herself quickly dropped as the boys charged off to battle each other, but then found motivation consistently picking off skiers over the 10K course.

The race was great despite the small turnout. As Scott said in his preview e-mail things were as perfect as perfect can be. Next weekend is the White Mountain Classic. This is a fun 30K Marathon with a hilly first half giving way to a flat second half. It is well organized and the conditions in Jackson are excellent. It is also the Masters Team Championship with masters team scoring. We have done well the past two years here, With this year looking very promising but are going to be short one racer for team scoring. Let me know if you know someone who could do it, or if you are looking for some encouragement this is it. There is also Eastern Cup Races in Rumford ME, as well as a fun local race at Ole’s on Sunday. So there is something for everyone from a tour to an elite race. No reason not to get out there, the season is only getting shorter. A few of us will be doing the White Mountain Classic and then heading up to Rumford for the 15k skate on Sunday. Send an e-mail if you are interested in carpooling to any of the events, I can pass it along.

Bogburn 2008

January 12, 2008

Last weeks Mt Hor Hop was a battle of the small clubs, the Bogburn was the battle of the big clubs. CSU showed up this week and in big numbers. Sixteen of there members were pre-registered, and it seems like they brought a lot more. Ford Sayer also unveiled one of its new members. It is apparent that the large clubs have been watching what is going on, and they know that NWVT has been moving up, and they also know that we are a bigger threat than we seem.

Conditions at the Bogburn were challenging. There were glazed tracks surrounded by heavy sticky snow. The temps were approaching the 40’s for the first time since November. The course was the very challenging, twisting Bogburn course that never gives up. Waxing was difficult as hard wax was not working in the tracks while klister was grabbing anything loose. Rex Power Grip Purple was working out of the tracks, and may have been the best choice other than waxless skis, but NWVT chose to go with klister. 

We had eight skiers representing us this week. NWVT seemed to trickle in to the race together, and quickly went to work testing wax and eavesdropping on what was working for other people, but mostly we saw what was not working. We met up with fellow competitors from other clubs and borrowed a torch from a loaner on the Mansfield Nordic Team that we have befriended in hopes that one of these years he will defect to NWVT. As we warmed up one skier was feeling good, a few were recovering from nagging colds, and one was working a torch for the first time.

Scott Magnan was feeling good from the start and was the top finisher for the club today. It was tough to gauge where you were in the race as people’s skis varied greatly as well as their fitness. But Scott was hot, holding off CSU power house Andy Milne who started 15 seconds and one place back. Tyler Magnan followed close behind 3 seconds to be exact. Tyler fiddled the most with his skis, and was happy they worked out for him carrying him through the race. Lary Martell opted for waxless skis and was happy with the choice. He was frustrated with the course that provides only one stretch where you can get a good rhythm, but many where you can blow-up. None-the-less Lary had a great result. Damian Bolduc was just a few seconds back pleased with his performance considering the conditions. After a tiring first lap Damian concentrated on maintaining good technique and it paid off. Perry Bland did not have the race he tends to have at the Haydock Residence, but if you averaged it with last year’s race he would have topped all the NWVT racers. He still impressed as he glided by many of the competitors. Andre’ Bolduc could not bring himself to break 1 hour on his first attempt at the Bogburn. He missed it by one second. Not too bad for your first time on the course, especially without a preview and today’s conditions. I am sure he learned some valuable Bogburn lessons; much like his older brother did his first time in the race.

Two women represented NWVT this year. Jessica Bolduc and Hannah Barden. They both had great races in difficult conditions, having to ski the course after all the men trashed it. Jessica got to prove her Classic abilities to her master’s competition while drawing some of the young men in for a close encounter. A J2 rear-ended her half way through the race. Did anyone get that dudes number? Hannah improved greatly from last year showing it just by smiling after the race. It goes a lot better when you have an idea of what to expect.  She won her division too!

The Bogburn is one of the most difficult races of the season. Not because there are tons of fast skiers, but because it is a very challenging course that challenges you mentally and physically more than any other race out there. You need to be on your game to do well, and looking at who did, you know who to look for in races coming up. It was another great day for NWVT. Keep up the great work.

Mt. Hor Hop 2008

January 5, 2008

Eight NWVT members traveled to the Willoughby State Forest to compete in the Mt. Hor Hop. This venue lays claim to the best snow conditions due to its 16 year history of providing the white stuff and never canceling a scheduled event. You could not argue with that today. The snow was deep, plentiful, firm and fast. For being on the side of Route 5A in the middle of nowhere the host pulled off another great event. 

The conditions were near perfect for a skate race. The temperature was hovering around 30 with partially cloudy skies. The snow was packed powder with a hard base, just a touch un-even. There was little to no wind on the rolling course. For 2007, the race was back to the figure 8 double loop. This course has a flat start, then moves onto a gradually steepening 1K climb that ends with a 150m 20% grade to add insult to injury before leveling off and sending you down a fun twisting descent back to the start of the loop.

NWVT had another strong presence among the field of mostly club racers. It will be exciting to see the results as they will provide a true picture of our standing as no team was overly favored by this venue. Pending official results NWVT’s line up looked like the following. Eric Tremble took charge of the day placing 3rd overall, he was followed by the Magnan brothers Tyler and Scott who both had top 20 finishes. Lary Martell and Damian Bolduc followed in a heated battle with a pair of team Craftsbury racers. Andre’ Bolduc and Perry Bland were close behind posting their best results of the season so far. On the Women’s side Jessica Bolduc was off early in the order, chasing a National level racer while holding another off from behind. She ended up in the top 20 in a tight race. Things are looking good for the team as the winter takes shape. We have had good attendance at the races, racked up some great results heading into the difficult Marathon season. We even have a couple representing New England at the US Cross Country Championships in Houghton MI.

We will be having a couple of workouts this week. First will be an informal (wave to each other as we cross paths) easy distance ski at Bolton on Tuesday at 10 AM. The next will be on Wed. at 9 AM at Sleepy Hollow with an interval session to prepare for the Bogburn. The Wed. race series will start up as well with Sleepy Hollow’s going off at 6:30 PM 1/2/08 and Stowe’s starting up 1/9/08. By the way the Bogburn is next Sunday and is a club series race. We won this event last year in team scoring, it would be great to repeat this year but we need to get more skiers there to hold off Dartmouth Outing Club. It is a great race for all abilities, it will take tens of minutes off you marathon times and is a great measure of your fitness as the course design and race field demands a true and honest effort. Hope to see you all out there in ‘08!

Local Non-Profit Makes a Splash with Summer Fundraiser

June 9, 2019

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Local Non-Profit Makes a Splash with Summer Fundraiser

June 9, 2019

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1-on-1 with Northwest Vermont Endurance CEO

June 9, 2019

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