Event Archive 2010 - 2011
2010 - 2011
Mt. Washington Cup 2011
March 26, 2011
NWVE continued its tradition of putting a stamp on the ski season today at the Mt. Washington Cup. Leaving Richmond this morning, things were looking like they may be a repeat of last year’s extreme conditions, but as we closed in on Bretton Woods, soft snow was falling and there was relatively little wind. In all 22 NWVE affiliated skiers raced the well attended Citizens Series Finale.
It has been a good snow season for Bretton Woods, and that was apparent today. Despite the multiple feet of base on the golf course and even more in the woods, the rain earlier in the week had flooded a portion of the course and so it was shortened to a 10K race. As per usual, the course here is never the same, and never the length advertised. This year we skied 13K in a counterclockwise-ish loop. Variable terrain was plentiful with enough climbs to reach an elevation where the snow consistency changed, slowing skiers for a couple of kilometers. The trails were groomed well, but were a little narrow for the 150 racers skiing at the advertised 10K effort.
NWVE racers had good and bad days. Most seemed to be having fun with the race. Weaving through skiers was invigorating, but wore on the patience of some. With so many NWVE athletes in attendance we were fairly well dispersed throughout the field. Scott, Eric, Stephen, Nirmegh, Tyler and Leigh got off to good starts. As they found their pace, they found plenty of good company. Nirmegh and Stephen would remain within sight of each other all the way to the finish. Tyler dropped off the pace, as he became frustrated with racing in such close quarters. Leigh would pull a long line of skiers that included Damian and Sarah well into the second half of the race. As this line neared the top of the climbs, Michael Hakim reeled in the group pulling a train of his own. Tim had a little bad luck in the start, the middle and the finish. The cramped and flat start cost many racers a pole or two, and Tim was one of them. Not long after overcoming that, Tim had to stop for a crash on one of the tricky turns. Plus the soft conditions, and tip to tail racing favored smaller scrappier skiers, which Tim is not. Perry joined Tim and Tyler in having disappointing days. With the spread of abilities, tricky conditions, length of the race and size of the field, athletes were at the mercy of those around them. This left little to be desired by those who prefer or need to have some open space and room to ski their own race. The other factor is that these three tend to be polite racers and reluctant to put an opponent in their place, when maybe that is what needs to be done to get the result they deserve. For what it was, today was not the day to race aggressively or a little dirty. Not to say that was not happening. Jessica Bolduc witnessed Tim’s misfortunes, but worked her way up through the field light on her feet with a really fast pair of skis. Andre’ was happy with his effort. He was able to ski evenly through the whole race, and was pleased with pacing himself over all the hills and having plenty in the tank to finish strong. Cipperly was quite happy as well and continues to have resolve for the rest of this season and is already plotting for next year. With the end of the high school and collegiate season, we were joined by a nice contingent of our younger ranks and they aided in boosting our numbers significantly. Grady Monroe, now hooked on the sport, came from Madison, WI to finish out the season at the Cup. Zach Shuttle also stuck with tradition, adding one more race to the calendar at Mt. Washington. Other BFA alumni joined in as well. Evan Martell skied the course for a warm-up. The unexpected extra 3K cost him arriving at the start on time, and so he had to start late and skied his way through most of the field. He looked great coming through the 10K mark and continued picking off racers all the way to the finish line. He reeled in almost all of the club members; not a very easy thing to do, as he had to pass the entire field. No doubt had he been on time at the starting line, he would have been one of the top contenders.
The race was action packed all the way to the finish with many place changes throughout culminating with a 1K drag race to the line. Scott would hang onto the highest placing overall for the club. He was happy to be within sight of the usual pack he skis with while battling a stubborn cold. He also out sprinted the top female Sabra Davisdson who was hot off a victory at Rangeley last weekend. Stephen held off Nirmegh who was coming on strong at the end. Sarah and Damian came in side by side after a failed attempt to strategically put a gap on the top Masters female skier. Blazing in close behind was Michael and Leigh who had dropped most of the large pack they were in with 2K to go. The rest of the club looked strong as they and the rest of the field finishing overwhelmed the officials at the line.
When all was said and done with the 13K, Camille took to the 1.3K Bill Koch Race. Camille finished the season all smiles with lots of cheers despite having difficulty making her way through the slushy snow trashed by the grown-ups in their race. Skiing in the mashed potatoes was challenging for the 50 pounder so she took Freestyle old school and mixed things up with lots of classic and double pole technique with her V1 on scaly skis.
Through there may have been some personal disappointment, there was plenty to celebrate capping off this season with such a strong and enthusiastic showing. The club spirit was well represented by all as we closed out another superb season. There is more excitement coming up, including the Craftsbury Spring Series, the Rendevous at Trapp Family Lodge, the Sugarbush Triathlon and of course the Club End of Season Banquet. Great job to all this season!
Lake Placid Loppet
February 19, 2011
Many NWVE skiers prolonged the marathon season by participating in the Lake Placid Loppet on Saturday February 5th. After a few lean years, this event has been growing and attracted over 400 athletes to compete this year. The event offers something for everyone by offering full and half marathon distances in both Classic and Freestyle technique. The race is held on the 1980 Winter Olympic Marathon Course with the wide well groomed trails that only Lake Placid can offer. It also has one of the best post-race banquets and prize tables.
After a week of freezing forecasts, the race time temps were comfortable in the high teens and low twenties. The morning wind gusts had died down and clear blue skies allowed the sun to shine on the event. The race commenced with mass start waves in the following order: 50K Classic, 25K Classic, 50K Freestyle and 25K Freestyle.
Starting things out for the club in the 50K was a name we have not heard from in a while, Ferdinand Lauffer. The clubs commensurate adventure skier broke in the course for the rest of the fields that would soon follow. Undoubtedly the 50K tune-up was to prepare for the CSM or some other ultra endurance event that would test the participants’ ability to survive in extreme conditions. Next up was the 25K event. It was also in this race that the Founders trophy was awarded. This goes to the oldest person to complete the50K and this year’s recipient was none other than Leonard Robinson from Blueberry Lake. While he clenched his award, you could tell that he was honored by the designation and proud to have completed the race for yet another year.
Next up was the 25K Classic. NWVE had a few racers in this event that would go on to be age group champions. Watching the race head out, Stephen Wright was in the elite pack gapping the rest of the field before the 1K mark. Tyler Samler broke from the ranks and won the race decisively, but you could tell it was going to be on for the rest of the top ten. Stephen would finish fourth in the race and win his age group. Kyle Darling was prepared to ski again only four days after his resurgence in the sport at Craftsbury and confirmed his commitment by registering for the 25K Classic. Kyle won his age group against a few Canadians, and graciously accepted his award and posed on the podium giving the paparazzi a rare photo-op. Before departing he announced that he would be applying VR40 to his tires for the drive home. This field also saw a lot of success from many other Vermonters, including Peter Davis, Bill McKibben, and Sam Osborne winning their divisions and Mark White taking second in his.
NWVE did not field any official club members in the 50K Freestyle, but former member Jake Hollenbach, and potential member Jason Baer both had great performances. Jake took second in the race skiing most of the way alone. He felt good the first lap and then managed leg cramps for the last half of the second lap. Jason skied negative splits and may be the only person to ever achieve the feat on the difficult course. At the awards ceremony it was discussed how we could lure the vegetarian to the club as the traditional Ham and Cheese Sandwich is out of play. Perhaps a cold slice of Chef Boyardee cheese pizza will do the trick? Adding to the cyclist cross training theme of the 50K Skate wave was Cary Fridrich coming off cross season and preparing for the Birkie.
The 25K Freestyle was the field the bulk of NWVE racers chose to compete in. This was the largest field of the day. Racing got underway with half the field trampling Jim Fredericks at the start. Jim rebounded and set a good pace for several members of the club. Eric Darling, Tristan Leggett, Sara Pribram and Dhyan Nirmegh all had clean starts and were well on their way. Tristan broke away early at a pace he knew he could not maintain, but was free of the congestion of the large field as he made his way through the fast first 5K. Eric skied more evenly working his way through the first pack and eventually would overtake all but the top 2 in the race, winning his division. While Tristan dropped a few spots after taking off like a rocket, he too, would win his division. Nirmegh was embattled with Paul Junique from Verdun QC. This is not the first time the two have faced off at Placid. They traded places repeatedly over the 25K course with Nirmegh climbing a little better and Paul having faster skis on the down hills and chewed up corners on the course. Nirmegh patiently waited saving his final burst of energy for the very end. Once coming out of the tunnel he conserved energy by staying on the tails of Paul’s skis and with 150m to go he sprinted in with a powerful V2 and dusted him at the line adding another age group W to the club. Sara Pribram got into a train of skiers that included Kevin Bessett, Alan Cote, and Jim Fredericks. This group worked well together and was just out of reach of the next two groups. It was fun to see Sarah hanging in on the climbs and demonically skiing by on the descents wearing #666. While Jim was able to command the pack, the other men’s fitness exceeded their finesse on skis making things a little more challenging for Sarah. Jen Miller and Joann Hanowski, and Lise Meloche filed in with a group of Canadian skiers that had their sights set on #666, but just could not bridge up to the group. Damian Bolduc broke through a group and pulled a couple of skiers that would make contact with this pack. He had a difficult time in the double pole zone and was forced to work his way through most of the field in the first 10K of the race. He followed in the steps of Helen Smith last year and competed using only one pole for the second annual Placid Sole Pole challenge. While grappling with traffic on the rollers at the beginning of the race, Damian was frustrated as he wondered why so many people had Fischer Hole skis and were single sticking all the hills. His spirits lightened when he thought to himself, “well I guess that’s all I am doing too.” Seeking vengeance on Wednesday nights thrashing, David Connery skied much of the race with Damian being respectful of his post operative situation and did not pass until Damian yielded due to succumbing to shockwaves of cramps coming from his quads with 2K to go. Jen would also go by, but not without some inspiring words of encouragement. At the finish skiers were cheered in by many club members, spouses and volunteers. A special thanks to Helen Smith, Elizabeth Bouchard-Hall and Ray Webster for being out there all morning supporting the team.
Good stories were exchanged at the awards banquet while the food was devoured. The festivities did not end there. For the drive home the organizers commissioned a blizzard complete with zero visibility and a thunder and lightning show. It was intriguing to see the bright flashes nearby without being able to make out the actual bolts. Truly a spectacular way to end a great day. This race is sure to continue to grow based on the experiences of the 400+ racers this year. I hope that all made the journey home safely and are looking forward to the next half of the season.
Sounds like the club had a great Eastern Cup weekend. Looking forward to hearing how that went.
Flying Moose Classic 2011
February 12, 2011
Click HERE for Flying Moose Results
NWVE was busy this weekend traveling across New England to race the Flying Moose Classic as well as racing close to home. With so many choices, it was easy for anyone to get a little race fix this weekend. Most club members concentrated on two large citizen races, with a couple doing both. Those doing the double of the Flying Moose and Ichabod’s Revenge were Eric Darling and Camille Bolduc.
Saturday was a long, enjoyable and productive day. NWVE loaded three cars and traveled to Bethel to meet Stephen Wright and Tim Cowan who had arrived a day earlier. Traveling was good and a car load of Mansfield Nordic skiers as well as one filled with the Hosmer posse joined in the caravan across Vermont and New Hampshire.
The temperature dropped steadily as we went east, starting around 25 in Burlington, and dropping at least ten degrees by the time we arrived in Bethel to race. The sky was partially cloudy, though the sun seemed to prevail during the race. The race course followed last year’s format. It was a technical loop utilizing the trails of Gould Academy. The loop was extended slightly, but not made any easier. The course lived up to its “Tough Citizens Race” reputation.
Skiing was underway with wave starts beginning with the 20K racers. The 10K and youth race waves followed at one minute intervals. It was good to see all the Vermonters getting on the line and taking command of the race. Tyler Magnan broke away with a youthful lead pack and the rest of the field filed in. The 10K started next, stacked with some of the region’s best high school athletes, among them NWVE’s Evan Martell. Camille raced and won the 1K youth race unopposed. She faltered a little at the start, but with some quick double poles she was gaining places by the first little rise on the course 100m out.
As the adult racers made their way through the stadium, it was clear that some exciting matchups were unfolding. Tyler was sitting in with the leaders as Nat Lucy was hard charging a closing quickly. Eric Darling was positioned well with a very competitive pack including none other than CSU’S Andy Milne and Bethel Outing’s (BOC) Wade Kavanaugh. Scott struggled this week, but kept pace with Mt. Washington’s Stephen Piotrow and a couple of Colby skiers. Stephen Wright filled a gap between Scott’s group and a pack of legends. Ford Sayre’s Bob Treadwell, Mt. Washington’s Doug Armstrong, Mansfield’s Jim Fredericks, and BOC’s Brad Clarke all joined NWVE’s Dhyan Nirmegh for an epic ski. Just off the back of those five, Perry Bland was holding his own. Tim Cowan found some good company with John Brodhead and Jessica Bolduc’s former coach Mark Danyla. Jessica Bolduc and Hannah Barden represented the women and would find their niche among some of the local favorites.
To say watching the races within races was exciting today would be an understatement. It was inspirational. When Tyler caught a glimpse of Nat in his rearview mirror he knew it was time to go. Without hesitation or ever looking back he took command of the race in his calm and quiet manner and simply skied away - out pacing his closest competitor by a minute at the finish. Though starting a minute back, Evan Martell skied his way through almost all of the 20K field with BMA teammate Samuel Cowan. Evan would end up second, four minutes ahead of third. Eric and BOC’s Kavanaugh knew they had a race with Andy Milne. Both spent the entire 20K trying to shake him hoping that each surge would be the one he could not respond to. It would not be until the final K’s that Eric would make a break, opening a small gap, and a misstep by Milne at the line would give Kavanaugh the tie break. It was with high anxiety that spectators rooting for Eric witnessed this race unfold. They knew Milne’s tenacity and ability to drop competitors in the final K’s of the race is unmatched by any other, but through working together as a team against Milne, they were able to pull it off. This will not likely set well and we will see a re-energized Andy soon. Scott, though feeling flat for most of the race, would turn it up in the final K’s and finish with one of the best sprints of the day, reeling in and picking off skiers all the way to the line. Stephen Wright would almost make contact with the group Scott was in. Unfortunately after working so hard to close in, when the pack sensed the finish and picked up the pace Stephen had already used everything in the tank. He finished well with a strong result and held off a very organized group. The most anticipated finish was that of the pack of legends. Each time this group came through the stadium they seemed silent, completely enthralled in a perfect perpetual pace line. The experience, skill, egos, competitiveness, and devotion to the sport among these five left no room for error. Cheers rang as Nirmegh, in the NWVE green, emerged from the woods first and won the final sprint. Despite being fueled by a breakfast foot long from Subway, Nirmegh commented that the race was completely draining. Perry skied the whole way being able to catch glimpses of what was happening in the group in front of him. Though he had the disadvantage of skiing alone, the open space allowed for him to fully open up with his style of skiing. Nobody can match Perry’s unrestricted striding, and this is one of the few courses that suit Perry so well. He even put a minute thirty on Freeman. Tim was feeling a little flat and did not have the greatest kick. It seems that the snow was much more abrasive than most were anticipating. While conditions in Vermont remain several feet of pure powder, Maine must have gotten a lot of rain with the thunder and snow blizzard we drove home from Lake Placid in last weekend. Tim said it was team spirit that motivated him to finish. Flying Moose is not a place where you want to lose all your kick in the first half, but Tim handled it well and finished second in his division.
Jessica was still feeling the pain of a couple of hard falls in Craftsbury. Taking on the technical hills of Flying Moose is challenging enough, not to mention she still has the bad memory of breaking a ski here last year. She was very timid on the down hills but looked strong elsewhere. Hannah found herself going back and forth with local favorite Murray Barton. There is something about those Murray B’s. Hannah hung in there and was not going to let Murray finish ahead of her. In the last 5K, she used the rest of her reserves and opened a comfortable lead. Jess and Hannah would take first and second in the FM1 division.
Those who got to see the Flying Moose this year got a special treat. The 20K distance combined with the technical difficulty of the course really tests the athletes. To see the races within races was amazing. The organizers and volunteers did a great job pulling this race together. It was clear all the athletes kept each other in check delivering some exciting honest racing.
Ichabod's Revenge & Breadloaf Citizen's Race 2011
February 13, 2011
Click HERE for Ichabod's Results
Click HERE for Ichabod's PHOTOS
Saturday’s race in Bethel set the stage for the Ultimate Classic Race, Ichabod’s Revenge at Sleepy Hollow. This local favorite features a course where race directors take delight in incorporating the steepest hills, the sharpest turns and high speed wrong way corners. It is also not uncommon to encounter variable grooming. This year that played a factor in wax selection for the race.
Camille got things started for the club in the youth 2.5K. She started slow again and was in last place as the field left the stadium. By the 1K mark she had made up one position and was closing on other racers staying low in a nice tuck. With half a K to go Camille had picked up another spot. The race leader had missed a turn and skied to Hinesburg before realizing he was off course. He did make a comeback, but could not regain the overall lead. Camille would hold off her closest competitor, Pete, with some quick double poling and take the overall win for girls, racing up a class in the 3rd and 4th graders
Following the trend of the season, the 10K race was held on a consolidated loop that used Potato Farmer, Ridge Road, the elusive Sandys slide, Zig-Zag, Bishop Trail, Ichabod’s Revenge and Upper Saddle. Skiers raced the entire circuit once and then doubled back through Potato Farmer until finishing on Zig-Zag. The course was well prepared with half the course having a fast glaze on it and the other having a fresh inch of slow powder on top. Temperatures were in the high teens, and brisk wind developed as racers took to the line. Perfect conditions for bitter revenge.
The race field was top heavy with elite contenders from VTXC, Middlebury College, UVM, CVU and of course NWVE. There was also a good contingent of citizens, dare racers and first timers. Wagers were made and the race was off. Lary Martell and Eric Darling had good position on the line and started with the leaders. The difficulty of the course quickly separated the field and by the 1K mark it was rather spread out. Course owner Eli Enman (VTXC) would get an early gap on 2009 National Champ. Jurgen Uhl(VTXC) due to Jurgen breaking a pole. Eric Darling carried his success from Flying Moose and placed himself well within the chase group that included Jake Hollenbach(VTXC) , Ed Hamilton, and Middlebury Coach Andrew Gardner. Working his way to the front of the main field was Lary Martell, followed by Binney Mitchell (Mansfield) and James Donegan. Kyle Darling, Sarah Pribram, Andrea Vogl, and Will Gochberg filed into the field. Bill Dysart found himself in the clutches of our favorite opponent Bill Farrell (Ford Sayre).
By the halfway mark things looked like they were settling out, but that would be a premature thought. At Ichabod’s, the course relentlessly tests all of the athletes’ abilities from start to finish. Coming through the next spectator viewpoint the order had changed a bit. This was at the nearly impossible turn from Ichabod’s Revenge onto Upper Saddle Trail and a crowd had developed to see the show.
The top two spots remained uncontested with Eli and Jurgen making the turn clean. Some spectacular efforts were to follow. Tom Thurston (VTXC) made the best turn, he tucked to the last second, took two steps around the corner and was gone. Middlebury athletes lined this turn anticipating a big crash and while many delivered with powdery wipeouts it was even better to see people barely make the turn. Among the best was former Middlebury standout Sabra Davison, going wide into 3 feet of powder then getting some air as she burst back onto the course. How she carried all her speed was mystifying, but must have had something to do with her world class downhill abilities. One of the best comments of the race was a former teammate explaining that they were course marking flags not gates as Sabra tore off down the trail. No NWVE racers fell at this point, but in all fairness Kyle’s approach was hindered by a downed Bryce Wing (Ford Sayre) and UVM skier. James was thoroughly coated in snow at this point so we missed something good. Eric Darling had moved up and was closing on Eric Eley(VTXC) and Tom Thurston (VTXC), Ed Hamilton had also broken out of the main field and was dropping skiers as his skill and fitness suited the course well. Another surprise was Kyle Darling and Will Gochberg advancing considerably from their position at the 3K mark. Sarah and Andrea held their own among the top collegiate women. Those with great downhill skills seemed to prevail at this point, this was evident with Lary picking up a lot of positions with his downhill background and a wary Bill Dysart falling victim to Bill Farrell’s world cup abilities.
Racing was exciting right up to the finish. Eli and Jurgen were side by side with Eli sliding into victory by a toe. Eric Darling would put some distance on Gardner but Hollenbach (fresh) edged him out by a second. Ed Hamilton picked up a couple more spots in the final K’s. Lary Martell and James Donegan sprinted it in all the way to the line, both knowing the outcome was to come down to the best race face. The rest of the field finished exhausted, cold but happy. It was great to see everybody out there representing at a local race. It was also great to see Bill Farrell make a return to racing as we have greatly missed his competitive presence this season.
Bread Loaf Citizen's Race 2/13/11
Very nice skiing, but a fairly light turn-out at Middlebury College's Rickert Center on Sunday for their annual citizens race - where classic and free-stylers - some in costume - race together in one mass-start.
Tim was the only "green-leg" there, and finished in 3rd place overall and 2nd in the unofficial "Addison County Masters Championships of the World" a few meters behind Dr Fred Kniffin (M4) of Middlebury.
January 29, 2011
As I write this, many NWVE athletes are recovering from one of the best Craftsbury Marathons in recent memory. Everything came together for the race as far as conditions this year. The team was as fit and healthy as ever. Judging from the performance and enthusiasm of the team, individual goals were met and exceeded.
You could not have asked for a better day. Stable temperatures in the low twenties, an abundance of fresh snow, a mix of sun, clouds and a snow squall maintained a perfect blue wax range. Nothing quite like having the bite of blue wax without the often freezing temps often associated with it, made many-a-on-lookers jealous of those that got to experience ski nirvana for 50K.
Northwest Vermont racers made their starts mostly in the first three of six waves of racers. It was intense watching the first half of the waves head on course. Then things really got interesting. The most calamitous group was that of a bunch of grandmaster skiers trying to be polite in one of the late waves. While respecting one another’s space and being vocally forgiving seemed like the right thing to do; it created chaos and havoc as the field accordion-ed and clattered as they crossed into each other’s lines. Most note worthy NWVE starters were Eric Tremble blasting off the line in wave one, and Andrea and Perry off the front in wave two. It was good to see everyone make clean starts after the hectic prerace wax session at the edge of the parking lot.
The race’s cloverleaf format combined with wave starts made spectating a fun challenge. Standing in the center of the action on the first lap NWVE had skiers coming and going in all directions. Everyone looked good, having sufficient kick. It was great to see Eric Tremble up front having a great race, and then Scott Magnan and Dan Sandberg working together in a group with Rob Bradlee. As the groups came through, it was clear that NWVE was making things happen. Ed Hamilton looked as solid as ever, methodically working his way through the field in his first outing as a club member. James Donegan had a break out performance working his way from the third wave, through the second and well into the first. James probably skied with the most club members over the course of the race, but only briefly to spread the love. Eric Darling, and Stephen Wright both had performances that continued their trend upward on the results pages. Allen Mead had an epic battle with CSU’s Victor Golovkin. After noticing the matchup last weekend, this was probably the most suspense those in the know saw all day. While we were confident Allen would get the W again after coming through the feed zone for the last time in the lead, results show it was a nail-biter to the line. Then came our core group of masters lead by “one lap Leigh” Mallory. Dhyan Nirmegh, Lary Martell and Perry Bland went the distance in the 50K and all seemed very happy with their decision at the finish. Perry opted for the second wave. This move worked to his advantage avoiding the congestion of the first wave, getting support from James as he came by early in the second lap, and then setting his sights on his competition that started in the first wave. Though he knew he had five minutes on them to start with Perry was more energized with each pass made. Andrea Vogl rebounded from last weekend in a big way by taking third for women in the Dash for Cash yesterday, and then going top 5 for women in the 25K today. Sarah Pribram found good company skiing with Dave Boucher for a lap before going on to take the M3 division in the 50K. She closed on Amy Gunn (who was having an outstanding race of her own) by skiing with and overtaking Spider Burbank of Seattle. Seattle seemed like a long way to travel to get to Craftsbury until Jake Hollenbach mentioned that he was skiing with Federico Cichero from Ushuaia, Argentina. Ushuaia is the Southern most city in the world on the Beagle Channel. That is South of the Falkland Islands and closer to Antarctica than anything; or roughly ten days from the center of the universe, (the Richmond Park and Ride) making good time with no sleep and no lines at the Mexican border (Google Maps). Perhaps if fundraising picks up we can plan a team trip to the Andino’s Club Nordic Center Franciso Jerman and ski the trails that connect the Wolfgang Wallner and Glacier Martial Alpine areas. Or make the mid August Marcha Blanca 20K a point’s race and get a jump on the season. Jessica Bolduc had the added difficulty of a mid race thumb injury. Not to be outdone by Damian’s broken wrist, Jessica completed the 50K race respectably. Will Gochberg set a new endurance PR by choosing Craftsbury to be his longest ski ever by about 25K. Will met his main objective of finishing intact and can now add the accomplishment to his growing resume as he returns to racing this season. Kyle Darling made Craftsbury his return to competition. Accounts vary on the occasion. Some say he did not start back with a 50K, but a more conservative approach of three 15K’s in a row followed by a 5K. It was also rumored that he was merely maximizing his euphoria in the perfect conditions. Still others thought he was trying to compress all his skiing for the whole year into one day. Whatever the real story is, Kyle had a good race despite being ill, and indicated that next year, with his fancy new race wax via the prize table, was going to do it again 30-40 seconds faster! Maria Cimonetti was NWVE’s only racer that had mechanical difficulties. She had excellent kick, but felt her glide was compromised. She seemed happy anyway striding along the whole way. Also representing the spirit of the day was Sara Donegan. Sara surprised the spectators as she skied through smiling on her way to the finish. Sara picked the perfect day to start something new with skiing and hopefully the experience encourages her to check out some of the other great events that are out there or just to do one race a year like Maria is fine too.
Team Scoring should be very interesting. NWVE should hang onto the lead, but CSU is still closing fast. Mansfield and Ford Sayre picked up a lot playing the 25K strategy. This will be good for the series as we turn our focus to the Flying Moose.
Craftsbury delivered again this year. Conditions volunteers and the course were superb as always. It was good to see Mike Mashtare, Tyler Magnan, Rick Kelly, Jen Magnan, Damian Bolduc, Camille Bolduc, and so many others out to support and cheer the team. Great job to all who participated. This was one of those days we dream about.
White Mountain Classic 2011
January 22, 2011
By: Damian Bolduc
Photos by: Jamie Doucett
Eleven Northwest Vermonters made the journey to Jackson to compete in The White Mountain Classic. This year the race was held on a shorter loop due to the persistent snow drought in Jackson. Most of New England has good snow coverage now but Jackson has fallen right on the cusp of every major snow fall this season and still lacks the required base to be fully operational. The major headline was the arctic blast that was scheduled to bring sub-zero weather to the region just in time for the start. The good news was that the temps did not drop as quite as low as expected but still left the consolidated course in great shape with firm tracks.
This year’s course included Jackson's new FIS Homologated Course, Wentworth Golf Course, and Eagle Mt. Fields. The general consensus was that it was a little hillier than in the previous years that utilized the Ellis River trails. Race time temps were in the high single to low double digits with sunny skies. An overnight dusting of snow blown into the tracks aided kick at the expense of glide. Softer skis prevailed offering better kick, and managing the windblown snow better than stiff skis.
NWVE had another weekend of outstanding performances. Dan Sandberg most notably filled the boots of Damian Bolduc and Tyler Magnan in giving Scott Magnan a run for his money. Scott and Dan were back and forth as a battle of better kick vs. better glide played out over the course of the race. Eventually Scott would out “kick” Dan with better glide in the fast finish. Scott’s sprint finishes at Jackson are legendary and have gotten the best of most of us over the years. He always seems to rise to the occasion when he senses the line at White Mountain. Whatever transpired it seems it was devastating to the next finisher, CSU’s Rob Bradlee, who was gapped by over a minute. Stephen Wright was the next NWVE finisher. Stephen found a lot of company with three of CSU’s big guns and Onion River’s Daniel Voisin. Eric Darling was a little under the weather this week, and was a little behind schedule due to a late morning country inn breakfast. He raced in good spirits. We hope that Eric is fully prepared and recovered for Craftsbury next weekend. He has more than usual at stake next weekend as the Marathon will mark the long awaited return of his brother Kyle to racing. Nothing like a little sibling rivalry to make things interesting; just ask the Magnans, Bolducs and Goods! Allen Mead was in next on the heels of two CSU skiers. Did I mention that CSU showed up in force with at least 21 athletes? Allen was chased up the initial hill by CSU’s Victor Golovkin. Victor is a great guy after the race, but encountering the big man in red on course can be very intimidating. Allen would put quite a distance on him throughout the race, and no doubt caught a nice ride drafting on the flats at the start. Perry was the clubs top scorer winning the M7 division. This placing was instrumental in putting the men in second for the team scoring for the day. Second is the highest we have ever placed in the one day team championship. CSU still reigned with a perfect score as usual. Not easily satisfied Perry noted that there was an M8 ahead of him in the results. Something that will probably be corrected next weekend. Leigh Mallory was next in for the club. Leigh struggled with fatigue from an over distance ski the day prior and with a lack of a wax binder. Let this be a reminder not to skip the binder. Not too far back from Leigh was NWVE’s top female of the day Sarah Pribram. Fighting her way to what would be third in the stacked fM3 division, could have won almost every other category. Keeping Sarah in view was fM1 winner Jessica Bolduc. This was Jessica’s first time classic skiing this season, and the first time she used her new skis. Waxed a day in advance with the clubs recommendation they were flawless. Jessica’s form finishing excited a local M8 as he sprinted to the line, drawing compliments from the admirer later in the day. Cipperly Good completed the NWVE 1-2 sweep in the fM1 division. Cipperly held off close challenges from SNOC and CSU racers in hot pursuitkeeping things cool by being the only hatless racer of the day. Andrea Vogl was off to a promising start, but the cold temperatures caused lung inflammation that forced her out of the race. She stuck around and supported the team at the post race luncheon and awards banquet. We hope that Saturdays extreme conditions do not discourage her from toeing the line again soon.
This year’s NWVE White Mountain contingent was the most successful ever. The club continues its command of the point’s series as well as many top spots in the Zak Cup. CSU’s depth continues to control the races format, but we have steadily chipped away at their dominance and will soon have the formula right for the men to be in the contest. The women contested the win missing by only one point and ended up in a three-way tie for second. Regardless of the results of the one day team championship, the White Mountain Classic remains a club favorite and the top tune up for Craftsbury.
January 18, 2011
Five NWVE skiers celebrated Martin Luther King Day by racing the 38th Annual Geschmossel Cassic at Bretton Woods on a very cold but beautiful Monday.
Without their usual team captains of Damian or Scott the racers seemed only slightly disoriented before their many years of experience kicked in and they all made it to the start. Lary did, however, forget to bring skis and boots, but resourcefully managed to borrow some recreational rental boots and a pair of very nice Fisher RCS – or they would have been very nice if he was a 127 lb. girl !
Due to the single-digit temperatures, thinly-clad racers were starting to get antsy when the start was delayed a few minutes to accommodate a number of adaptive (sit-ski) racers, but soon we were underway en masse on perfectly-set tracks under blue skies and the beautiful snow-covered Presidential Range. After about 1500 meters of the usual bumper-to-bumper, the field of 69 quickly sorted itself out into a colorful line of competitors wearing an exceptionally wide assortment of head and face coverings to ward off the biting cold. In the end the race was won by Portland ’s young Tim Whiton who was followed by Masters phenom and local hero Phil Lawson from nearby Bethlehem . A J2 from Conway NH was a surprise 3rd overall.
Leading the charge for NWVE’s contingent was Steve Wright (1:01:40), skiing in close proximity and eventually bracketed by such masters headliners as CSU’s Rob Bradlee and John Sakolowsky. Next came Lary Martell (1:06:15) on his ersatz set of equipment, about one minute behind the north country’s Peter Harris. (Everyone was also enthusiastically cheered on by spectator-for-the-day Evan Martell out on the course.) About 45 seconds after Lary came a smoking-hot Perry Bland (1:07:01), who said he was glad to have a good classic race to build his confidence for the up-coming two weekends of marathons. Perry spent some of the first half of the race following within sight of team-mate Tim Cowan (1:08:06), catching him somewhere near the mid-point of the course. The two skied together for about a kilometer or two until Tim cracked on one of the gentle but insidious uphill sections. At the finish line Cowan crossed the line about one minute behind Perry, but did save some face by winning a 200 meter sprint-to-the-death against Donovan Freeman, sire of the inimitable Justin and Kris. Cowan felt that he had a
“decent 15k” - unfortunately the course turned out to be about 20 kilometers long. About another minute back was the first female finisher – another J2 – this time from Maine . Bob Gray was just a few seconds behind her – and looked ready to go for another lap. Representing the women’s division for NWVE was Cipperly Good (1:30:35), after a long drive from way Down East. After the race Cipperly admitted that she was "cold and hungry" for most of the race – but she still finished only about 5 minutes behind former Olympian Alice Goodwin on the very long Bretton Woods course.
Another fun day at a beautiful venue!
Results here: http://www.nensa.net/results/index.php?io_view=events.show_results&event_id=1041
Photos here: http://jamiedoucett.smugmug.com/Ski-Photos/Geschmossel-Bretton-Woods/15489909_XPo6h#1159985461_J2aut
Maple Onion & Great North Woods 2011
Results: Great North Woods, Maple Onion 15K
The Maple Onion 15K was held Sunday in perfect ski conditions. The sun was high and bright, the temps were in the mid twenties, and the ground had a fresh coat of glistening powder. For the second week in a row, NWVE arrived in large numbers to participate in a great event. In all, 14 NWVE racers participated in one of the sweetest local events of the season.
The course used Dot’s Meadow and Little Loop along with Harry’s Heaven. These are the trails wedged between County Road, North Street and Cummings Road. They provide less technical terrain than the trails on the lodge side of the road, but that did not make the race easier. Long gradual climbs, narrow trails and softer snow slowly wore out the racers over the three laps.
This was the first of several races that I will be watching from the sidelines do to a significant wrist injury. It was interesting to see how things unfolded as the different racing styles found their rhythm. Whether you were in the lead, the pack, or towards the back, everything panned out in a sequence of events that looked as though it was meant to be. The race winner Sam Evans-Brown was in a league of his own using unparalleled power to win the race. Coming through for the final lap he simply pulled away with unmatched grace. In hot pursuit was a scrappier group, bent on effort over technique with the exception of Tyler Magnan. While he was surely working just as hard as the rest of the skiers he did not sacrifice form to fatigue. As group after group came through for their final laps the same story played out. The working in unison ended and it was on for the finish. NWVE racers fell into place as some relinquished leads to others taking them over. After pulling a large group for two laps Scott Magnan handed off to Eric Darling who pulled away, patiently executing a race as strategically perfect as they get. Dan Sandburg hung in with the chase pack as well, having one of his best finishes in recent years, looking like he might have had a little more in the tank. In the next pack it was James Donegan and Tristen Legget mixing it up with Craftsbury’s Adrian Owens, and Onion River’s Nick Petterson. This was the single most honest group in the race, as none of these guys has a surrender switch in them when in the zone. Whether working together as a pack, or just clinging to hang on, not one would give an inch. This group had all the ingredients for a hell of a race: guts, determination, some trash talk, and a little more physicality than you would normally find in such a refined sport. Michael Hakim was not fortunate to find himself in a pack to work with, but he certainly had some big names in his sights with Stowe Nordic’s Keith Woodward, and Mansfield’s ace Ken Remsen. Next was NWVE’s top female Sara Pribram taking second in the women’s overall and leading free agent Jason Baer, and the chairman of the board, Perry Bland. As stated earlier, different racing styles all fell into place and amongst the large pack these three raced in were the most distinguished. You can always pick five or six racers from a mile away, and today they were all together. Will Gochberg pulled away from racing stalwarts Bill Holland and Bill McKibben with Ford Sayre’s up-and-comer Greg Brown on the final lap. Brendan Barden and Bill Dysart finished out the NWVE men respectively. There was a scary rumor that Brendan had gone down in the start dislocating his shoulder again, but Brendan dispelled the myth saying it could have been a good excuse. Hannah Barden was second for the NWVE Women and closed over a minute to tie Tad Dippel at the line.
It was great to see so many in the race today. The conditions and amenities at Morse Farm were well worth taking advantage of. Where else can you go head to head with the local favorites in fun competition and finish the day with the sweet treat of a Maple Creemee!
Looks like there was a nice turnout for the Great North Woods adventure. Eric Tremble took top honors over a hot Andy Milne from CSU. (I am sure Andy is tuning up for next weekend’s team championship showdown. The Russians and Germans have signed up, but no sign of the Bermans. NWVE should have a good shot at taking the title with some new M2 and M3 racers and will be fielding a formidable women’s team!) Dhyan Nirmegh was in a tight race with Mansfield’s Murry Banks, Ford Sayre’s Bob Treadwell and a Mount Washingtoncontingent of Stephen Piotrow and Doug Armstrong. Also of note, check out Dave Matthews in 40th place and the double take of Marty Hall tied for 43rd with the senior M9 taking the W over the Junior M7. Those two are interesting people to talk with, both claiming they are only escorting the other around. Whatever their excuse, they better be watching their rearview for M10 Dave Boucher hot on their heels!
Looking Forward to hearing some accounts about the Geschmossel!
Bond Brook 2011
January 9, 2011
The Bond Brook Inaugural Race was held in Augusta, Maine on Sunday January 9, 2011. This was the first ski race held at the new facility. With this season's snow drought affecting much of New England; Bond Brook was one of the few venues having a base to pull off a race. NWVE made the journey to check out the new spot, race and of course, collect some club and Zak points.
The Bond Brook Recreational Center’s proximity to the rest of Augusta was not apparent while skiing. Natural boundaries helped to seclude it from the surrounding city yet incorporated the features of the adjacent municipal airport, and some large water storage tanks. Tim also noted that it was “convenient to the cemetery” in case any racers were to overdo it, or bury themselves during a race. It was unique to have to drive through the graveyard to get to the race parking and stadium. There are races on runways, around water towers and through cemeteries, but having one as the main point of entry to the ski area may be a first. Bond Brook definitely has a character all to its own and will no doubt continue to develop this as it gains certain popularity. Clearly the course was carefully planned with many man hours going into excavating trails. The dedication of the volunteers who operate Bond Brook was apparent, with the trails reinforced in vulnerable spots, lots of shoveling and expert grooming. The nearly 1:1 ratio of volunteers to racers made sure all things ran smoothly.
The race course was a 2.5Km loop. Bond Brook has many more kilometers available, but like most places this year it was best to pull together good conditions on a shorter loop than to have variable conditions on a long loop. The trails were Morton Designed, having the familiar flow with climbs, twists and turns, however they did not seem to double back on each other as much as they do at some of his other venues. The features of the location of Bond Brook allowed designers to segment the course into sections each having unique characteristics. (Morton’s genius or Bond Brooks individuality?)
The race took off out of the stadium and climbed a steady hill to the airport runway. Then it circled back making a hard left just before the stadium that brought skiers into a mostly coniferous forest for a second loop. After returning skiers to the far side of the stadium, it sent them on another loop that descended onto a trail that bordered new growth along the edge of the open area where spectators could watch the final kilometer of the race unfold. The full course which we did not ski features a World Cup Level climb as well as a corkscrew descent and the Nordic Half Pipe. Eric Tremble had many positive remarks on these features after checking them out on his cool down and encouraged everyone else to do so. Plus it gives a surprising panoramic view of the city of Augusta.
The weather conditions of the day were sunny with increasing winds. The temperature seemed to stay steady in the upper twenties.
Now for the race... NWVE had the largest contingent of athletes and were evenly dispersed throughout the start list. Much of the race was highly visible to spectators as well as skiers as they made their way around the loops through the stadium and in and out of turns. This was advantageous as it was clear as to what was happening to all. Camille Bolduc started the day racing up a category in the J5’s. After creating a catastrophic fall that toppled the entire field like a stack of dominoes at the end of the double pole zone, she slipped into third place. Not until midway through the 1K race did she gain back the places. She tucked the major downhill and skied clean up the other side. The rest of the field did not carry as much momentum and struggled over the top. Camille skated her way to victory and credits that she used that technique to her advantage.
The men were the next to go. Results were tightly grouped aside from Eric Tremble skiingaway from everybody by about two minutes. All NWVE racers had excellent results but Scott Magnan’s really stood out. As it was for Eric, it was his type of course with lots of transitions that require power, efficiency and flawless technique. (Even if you had to make it up as you made your way around.) It was clear that Eric was setting the pace, but after that it could have been any combination of NWVE’s racers in the results. Others pushing us along were Will Sweetser, Doug Armstrong, Chris City, Todd Taska and Dave Holmander who toughed it out with a busted rib.
The women’s field was a bit smaller, but had just as exciting racing. Cipperly Good led the way on the first lap starting early in the field. Meanwhile Jessica was closing and in a tight battle with Tracey Cote(Colby Coach). After a valiant effort by Jessica to close on the third lap, Tracey reopened the gap and gained back all the time with an impressive final lap. A similar battle was unfolding between the eventual winner (Maeve McGovern, Colby) and second place (Cara Sprague, Harvard). It was fun to see how intense racing is in such a small field. There was no slouching and as with the men, although the order changed the racing was close, start to finish. Jessica would end up 4th and Cipperly 7th.
While NWVE dominated, the day was clearly Bond Brook’s. To pull together such a great race at a brand new venue is no easy feat. After Sunday’s Inaugural it is not a stretch to suspect all will return to enjoy the experience Bond Brook has to offer.
Mt. Hor Hop 2011
January 2, 2011
NWVE was well represented this year at the Mt. Hor Hop. We had eight members in attendance, five racing and a complete mixed bag of results.
Skiers were welcomed with surprisingly good snow cover, a fresh half inch of ice on the road, and very mild temperatures. This combination of things led to variable ski speeds and if you hit it right, you had rockets and if you missed the mark you had to muscle a lot more. The course was the same it has been for the last two years, a rolling figure eight with elements of everything. The center of the track was very firm and the edges were a little soft. Much debris was mixed in the snow, with an occasional rock but things were clearly marked and easily avoidable. Thirty seconds separated the skiers in the interval start.
No official results were posted, but skiers basically fell into two categories as stated above, those with slow skis and those with fast. It was a fine line that separated the two, the key was in the flex of the ski, softer skis were surfing the snow much better and stiff skis tended to plow along, making more of a challenge on most of the course.
Jessica Bolduc took second in the women’s field after a very tight battle with Gina Campoli. Gina led Jessica in the start order and the two were back forth the entire race. Jessica finally bridged on the false flats at the top of the course, but Gina’s skis were a little faster on the downhill. Three seconds in favor of Jessica separated the skiers in the results. Both looked great mixing it up with a few college, high school and masters athletes.
The men’s race was a tougher call. I know my skis were running particularly well so I took advantage from the start hammering out of the gate. I know from races past; this can change over the duration of the 10K, so I figured I would take advantage for as long as I could. Luck would have, it brought me right into the finish. Leigh Mallory picked up a few spots in his race and looked very strong sprinting against Craftsbury’s Adrian Owen at the finish. Perry fell victim to a blood thirsty Doug Armstrong after his decisive win in the EC mass start at Jericho two weeks ago. Doug pulled out all the stops to avenge the loss today. Perry was also under the plight of slow skis. At the finish, friendly polite jabs were exchanged but I am sure the plotting had already begun. Looks like they will have to wait until Bogburn to settle this one. Andre’ Bolduc skied with good form which was difficult to do considering the discipline required by the conditions. His smooth skiing was noted by several onlookers. He had a good race and his equipment held out until 25 seconds before the finish. Only a minor mishap of a grip detaching from the pole in the final sprint could slow Andre’ down today. Camille, Helen and Jake attended the race as well. Camille and Helen cheered athletes along with great enthusiasm. Jake raced for VTXC along with Tom Thurston and Erick Eley. Other well represented clubs were Mt. Washington with Doug and Nat Lucy, Craftsbury with John, Gina, Peter Harris and crew, and Ford Sayre featuring Nice, Wing, Carlson, Lindahl, Loney, Brown, Chaffee and company. Among all the teams NWVE was right in the mix.
As is tradition, the Mt. Hor Hop served as a place for those with an unusually competitive spirit to converge in the middle of nowhere and race their guts out. As usual, all were satisfied.
Unofficial Women’s Results
Hannah Wright OJ Bowdoin 40:33
Jessica Bolduc M1 NWVE 43:50
Gina Campoli M6 Craftsbury 43:53
Lindley Vander Linde M? Holderness 44:00
Emily Muller J1 Ford Sayre 44:06
Grce Wright J1 Mt. Top 44:13
Cheryl Carlson M5 Ford Sayre 44:45
Patricia Driscoll M5 EABC 45:51
Molly Hoopes J1 Holderness 46:02
Helen Tosteson J1 Ford Sayre 46:37
Stephanie Lynn OJ Bowdoin 49:21
Caitlin Haedrich J1 Ford Sayre 50:57
BFA Alumni Race
December 26, 2010
The BFA Alumni Citizens Race was held today at the Dickinson Farm in St. Albans. It had its usual flare and fanfare except that the outrageous ski suits seemed a little muted this year. Fun was had by all with many smiles of approval from fans and athletes.
The temperature was in the single digits with a light breeze. The sun was in full force helping the skiers think it was warm. The course was the same as usual with some changes due to new fencing in the large meadow and the finish was extended. This was done so that final sprints would not have to be on the off camber straight that was the previous finish. The biggest difference was the widening of the trails in a few key places in the woods. The trail improvements were noticeable, especially for racing and passing. Charles Farrington did an excellent job on grooming in the early morning to have the course setup nicely for the race. The course stayed firm for the whole race and worries about hitting anything but snow were unnecessary. A special thanks to Chuck for putting in the hours and extra passes on the improved courses!
Racing was excellent with a steady stream of skiers competing from first to last, start to finish. Someone was always in sight or knocking at your door throughout the event. NWVE had a strong showing taking a majority of the top ten. All skiers had exceptional races as can be seen in the results. A few of the highlights of the day were: alumni Mike Bessette racing with the leaders already on course to get to the start! Habitually late, Mike had run with a training group in South Burlington first thing in the morning before throwing on the hunting wool and orange to do the ski race. Allen Mead got acquainted with the varsity team working his way through the field due to a difficult starting position in the second row. The NWVE women swept the women’s race. In the 3k Camille Bolduc unleashed a newly learned V1 to out sprint John Bolduc in the stadium. While there were some flamboyant ski suits the day’s winner won on both fronts. Even Martell wearing hot pink zebra stripes skied away from the field at the 2K mark and never looked back. It reminded me of the time Liz Stephen caught and passed me from the second (women’s) wave at the Craftsbury Opener a few years ago wearing the same outfit.
After a brief awards ceremony, skiers cleared out. Not too much reminiscing this year due to the cold but lots of great races and results!
1. Evan Martell 19:25
2. Tyler Magnan 20:28
3. Damian Boduc 20:44
4. Scott Magnan 20:59
5. Ty Trombley 23:06
6. Vincent Lepeltier 23:27
7. Lary Martell 23:40
8. Alan Mead 24:08
9. Perry Bland 24:14
10. Robert Morrill 25:14
11. Cody Putnum 25:47
12. Jack Venuti 26:56
13. Zak Shuttle 27:12
14. Jacob Lumbra 27:27
15. Charlie Farrington 27:37
16. Andre Bolduc 29:10
17. Kyle Putnum 30:01
18. Grady Monroe 32:20
Mike Mashtare DNF, Binding fell off
Ross Bouthillette No Bib
Matt Kline ??
1. Jessica Bolduc 25:45
2. Savanna Kittell-Mitchell 26:33
3. Sam Martell 28:26
4. Cipperly Goood 29:45
5. Amber Plante 30:32
1. Will Roberts 13:19
2. Alex Venuti 13:37
3. Cody Boissoneault 14:55
4. Conner Hobben 19:04
5. Wally Good 25:00
6. Charles Farringon 31:40
7. John Bolduc 36:40
Mike Bessette skied the course in an orange jacket
1. Michelle Brusso 17:22
2. Liz Yandow 17:29
3. Leslie Roberts 17:39
4. Alisson Bourgeois 18:29
5. Maddie Larrow 20:48
6. Alex Laggis 20:57
7. Meghan Farrrington 21:20
8. Izzy Larrow 21:42
9. Ceilidh Monroe 23:59
10. Nyamtaivan Odongerel 25:40
3k Under 8
1. Camille Bolduc 36:30
EC Opener 2010
December 16, 2010
2010 Eastern Cup Opener Jericho 12 KM
NENSA Results HERE
Many NWVE racers competed in today’s Eastern Cup Race hosted by Craftsbury at the Ethan Allen Firing Range in Jericho, VT. The Eastern Cup Series is geared towards elite skiers providing a ranking system and is a spring board for Junior Olympics, national races, college scholarships and more. The NENSA Elite and Development teams are selected based on results in this race series. Last year Jake Hollenbach, Perry Bland and Damian Bolduc were selected for these teams, and if today is any indication, we are well on our way to taking a few more spots this season.
Conditions were perfect for classic skiing. Temperatures in the upper 20’s, no wind, firm tracks and a rolling course. We skied the Middle Loop at the Range backwards to facilitate the mass start and hundreds of skiers. This seemed to be effective, eliminating the potential bottleneck in the dip after the stadium going the usual way. Snow coverage was good and only one section was scraped down to ice.
NWVE had two athletes compete in the women’s race. Sam Martell skiing for St. Michaels, and Andrea Vogl. Sam started at the back of the open start and quickly scrambled to gain position. Picking your way through 100 skiers is no easy feat in any race, let alone in an Eastern Cup. Once she found her stride, she skied out the race in good form. Andrea started with the Masters Women. She looked great off the line, quickly distancing herself from all but Cheryl Carlson from Ford Sayre. Andrea quickly started picking off racers from the first wave and continuously moved up through the field overtaking Cheryl and winning the Masters wave!
The men were very well represented especially in the Masters wave. Eric Tremble, Evan Martell (BMA) and James Donegan opted to race with the main field. Eric found himself nestled in with some SLU skiers for most of his race. James found himself in the same predicament as Sam and had to work his way through the field. At one point he snapped a pole but thankfully Leigh Mallory was right there to hand him a replacement. As a testament to his raw power, this pole had survived 5 years of skiing with Eli Enman, but could only take a few minutes with James. Leigh, Joanie and Dan Sandberg did an excellent job cheering and giving splits during the event. It is nice to have people out there on the course keeping racers psyched at every corner. Evan had a solid race placing only 4 seconds behind Topher Sabot in the overall. The Masters wave got underway tentatively. The horn sounded and the line was motionless. Then the starter calmly announced “uh… that meant go” and we were off. Prior to the race, Scott planned to sandbag the start only to sprint through the stadium just ahead of the main wave leaders starting their third lap. It was all talk and Scott hammered out of the stadium taking command of the wave. Tyler, Topher, Rob Bradlee and the rest of the field were following closely. Topher then made a move on the first hill and dropped the rest of us. Some were optimistic that Topher elected the Masters wave because he was in a body cast, but no such luck. Even if he was, it probably would not have changed things. Scott, Damian, and Allen Mead would battle with Bethel’s Brad Clark, while Perry took it to Doug Armstrong in what was one of the day’s most exciting matchups. Steve Hayes was also in there testing his engine against the best in the region. The race started to spread out after about a lap. And after two, the finish order was basically decided. Topher was gone half a kilometer into the race, Rob Bradlee would drop the field after a lap and Tyler and Nat Lucy raced together to the end. Damian would overtake Scott and Brad and hang on to the finish. It was a steady stream of NWVE finishers with Allen, Perry, and Steve continuing the pattern of taking every other place in the Masters wave. Perry would end up overtaking Armstrong for the final time on the last climb out kicking him at the finish much to the approval of the fans.
Congratulations to all who participated. This was the largest showing NWVE has ever had at an Eastern Cup and we all did very well. Eric would end up taking 3rd in the masters division in good company with Eli Enman and Justin Freeman. It would be interesting to see where we fall in a team break down.
Bolton Opener 2010
December 9, 2010
2010 Bolton Opener Results:
Bolton Nordic Wordpress (Click Tabs on Bottom of Spread Sheet to See Men’s + Women’s Results)
Another Nordic Ski Season is underway and another Bolton Opener is history. NWVE co-hosted a race with Bolton that all should be proud of! This race will not fall into the soon to be forgotten category, as it had all the usual elements of challenge, combined with epic high winds and driving snow. Despite the challenging weather conditions the race went off without a hitch. A special thanks to everyone who put in the long hours leading up to this morning and all of you who pitched in the day of to put forth a high quality experience for the athletes from far and wide. They got a huge blast of winter today at Bolton Valley. The wake-up call was nothing short of a slap in the face from old man winter. Positive remarks abounded the event and even the two people I use as metrics of satisfaction voted: one for pleased and the other was very impressed (wants us to host the EC next weekend). So without naming names these are HUGE complements.
The course was the same grueling 4km loop we used last year which took skiers around World Cup to Broadway, a quick loop around Tear Drop and heading up Pond Loop before tackling it all again. Temperatures fluctuated in the low 30’s for the day. It snowed continuously throughout all races keeping the well groomed surface fresh and clean all day long. It was not until after awards and most had begun their journey home that the precipitation changed to rain. The wind was a factor, but for the most part skiers were sheltered. A couple of spots on World Cup and Tear Drop reminded everyone that there were some strong gusts, but for the most part conditions were better than anyone could ask for.
This was the only race that was held in the last two weekends. All others were cancelled due to lack of snow. It was hard for all to imagine a place where it was not winter today, but those that drove from the lands with no snow were grateful that Bolton was ready to handle over 100 racers from the Northeast. Not only that but it was 100% natural snow. Those that made the trip really wanted to ski and were rewarded with mid-winter conditions. It was exciting to see the young high school and college athletes challenging the masters we all know and love in a completely heterogeneous field. It is not often this happens in a race like the Bolton Opener, but when it does it is a great spectacle all enjoy.
NWVE was well represented, but did not deliver quite the same devastating blow in the point's series as last year mainly due to fielding 10 less skiers. A few new faces arrived and got their first dose of racing for the club. Michael Hakim and Will Gochberg both debuted skiing for the club getting great results in the deep field.
Camille started the day by racing up a division and taking on the challenge of the 2km race with a great and positive attitude. She struggled as the wind knocked her down, but the new skis just like Mama’s were quick and took the soft snow in stride. Camille was also the only racer of the day that skied with traditional technique! She was one of nine who raced in the youth divisions. Watch out for those that raced the 4km. They all could have been in contention in the 8km and I am sure we will face them later this season. Nathanael Kusio of Mansfield Nordic Opened a big lead at the start of the race but Austin Tremblay and Lauren Gillot (Craftsbury) were closing on the difficult course. All who raced finished in good time and were awarded a bag of cookies at the line!
After some quick course remarking the women were started on time. 30 second intervals separated the 30 skiers at the start but that soon changed as the race was underway. The top ten was an interesting mix of UVM, Craftsbury Green, VTXC, BMA, Middlebury and of course NWVE. Sarah Pribram had a great race and took command of the Zak Cup taking top honors for the Masters Women. Cipperly Good also placed well in the points winning the M1 category. As stated earlier it was great to see such a mix of racers putting it all out there on the course. Amy Gunn, and Carol VanDyke mixing it up with Caitlin, Caitlin, Kaitlin and Katlyn really put on a show and must have set a record of some sort.
The Men were just as exciting to watch, especially with so many of our favorites having great races. Tom Thurston had an outstanding result, and Doug Armstrong gave our own Stephen Wright and Tim Cowan a good race. Stephen, Eric Darling, James Donegan, and Tristan Leggett had a nice grouping about midfield. You would not have known Eric Tremble was jet lagged from Austria during his race, but he was, and after a full day of volunteering, he was still at it with his superhuman abilities. I hope he drank at least one of the Coca-Cola’s at the awards. Tim Cowan, Leigh Mallory and Michael Hakim were the next grouping of NWVE skiers. The interesting thing about these guys was that they were all thrilled in the finish chute. Perhaps to be recognized, finished or just to be wearing a bib, they stood out among the finishers as genuinely delighted. Will Gochberg, Perry Bland and Andre’ Bolduc were the next grouping of skiers. Andre skied well finishing completely intact! Last year by this time he had burned through all his brand new equipment breaking skis and poles, so it was good to see what he could do reaching the finish line. Will was back on skis for the 3rd time this year after an 8 year racing hiatus. It was good to see him get a sense of racing again, and I think we will be seeing a lot more of him throughout the season. Perry stripped off his overalls after making sure the start area was run perfectly and was off to the races without strapping his poles on! When your priorities flow seamlessly like this, you know your heart is in the right place.
I had the interesting job of working in the finish chute collecting bibs. It is a time of total fatigue and when you transition from operating on pure guts to reflecting on what just happened. I have had my share of this experience from the racers point of view but never from the perspective of a course worker. It was fun to here everyone's gut reaction, then seconds later, there appreciation for the event. I wondered if this was what it is like in the moments waking up from surgery? Everyone was challenged and will not soon forget the race they had at Bolton Valley today. The club did very well today, not only racing, but hosting. I cannot thank all of you enough; Bolton and all the volunteers especially Liz, Helen, Jessica, Joanie, Molly, Gretchen, Cipperly, Kate, Annie, Eric T., Eric D, Sarah, the biathlon crew, and the Barden’s for representing and delivering what we enjoy so much throughout the season. We pulled off a superb event today.
NWVE Tennis Ball Biathlon
November 27, 2010
The Tennis Ball Biathlon Race took place this Saturday, November 27. The racers were greeted with a gusty south wind, light snow cover, and temps in the low thirties. The estimated 1 mile race loop utilized Hard’ack’s improved cross country trail network featured a ten bucket shooting range (fully exposed to the wind), a 10-15sec penalty loop, and hilly terrain. Three hearty race volunteers officiated the event. The sole spectator, a cheery member of NWVE positioned himself perfectly to observe the whole race providing tremendous enthusiasm on the big climb into the range. The race got under way with Alex pulling away early, beating the lead a pack of four including Tyler, Scott, Lary and Liz into the range by 10 seconds or so. Meanwhile the Bolduc family paced Camille who competed in the first leg of the race. The first round of shooting provided dramatic changes as the racers entered the second loop. Scott benefited from only two misses and left the range with a small lead over Alex. Underhand shooting difficulties and left a big gap to third. Meanwhile, Damian used the strategy of keeping his heart rate low to come away with only two misses putting him in position to bridge gaps. The second round of overhand shooting would impact the standings less than the first. Scott and Alex shot even with three penalties each. Damian shot the best with only two penalties. On the final loop Scott and Alex felt each other out, each waiting for the other to make a move. This silent game of cat and mouse allowed Damian who was unknowingly closing to sneak up on the two on the last climb and make it a three way race. This all unfolded much to the prediction of the races lone spectator, who cheered loudly for the epic finish that was about to unfold. Damian’s presence caught the attention of Alex first who responded immediately, Scott pursued made a pass as he crested the hill and held on to the finish, with Alex placing second and Damian third. It was a small turnout for the race today, but it was a great time for those attending and a fun quality workout leading into the ski racing season, and it raised a little money for our younger members. We will likely do it again next year. As racers cooled down and volunteers packed up the course a strong snow squall blew in coating the ground and reminding everyone that winter is almost here.
Place Name Time Penalties1
Scott 21:52 5
2 Alex 21:57 6
3 Damian 22:00 4
4 Tyler 23:19 6
5 Liz 23:47 7
6 Jessica 24:58 8
7 Lary 25:02 9
Westford Turkey Trot
November 20, 2010
NWVE was well represented this year at the Westford Turkey Trot. Enthusiasm climbed as each member poured into the Westford Gym for the 25th Annual race. To commemorate the silver anniversary of this race, extra lime was used for the course marking. With a race that has evolved, such as the Westford Turkey Trot, there really is no need to mess with a good thing, or improve to perfection. It was great to see all the smiling faces and it really could not have been a better day for the race.
Temperatures were in the mid to upper thirties with a brisk and gusty cold wind. The road surface was smooth and had the slightest give, giving it a rubberized track feel. The element of precipitation is what really sugar-coated the day. As one would expect this time of year, there was a little of everything. Sun, clouds, and a squall that changed the highly anticipated tailwind finish to a strong head wind bombarding athletes with rain, snow and my favorite - BB sized freezing rain pellets!
With Camille Bolduc (the two-time female driveway dash champion) graduating to the 2 (~1.7) mile event, NWVE had no athletes in the first wave. None-the-less it was one of the more exciting races in memory with an intimidating stare down between the top two finishers, to a happy go lucky gallop, and the traditional terrified tears created by the phobia inducing tunnel of giant grownups clapping and cheering louder to encourage the emergent athlete in what creates an unfortunate terminal circle of fear and cheer. I was late to the start so no word on how any of the wagering went on in the kid’s race.
The main event came next with the road race. Much chatter and reminiscing took place while officials barked out race instructions. From where I was standing no one heard or cared and finally I think he said go and we all took off. We had several racers in the 2 mile event. Damian and Jessica lead out Camille Bolduc in the longest race she has ever participated in. After reviewing several game plans at breakfast Camille executed a great race with confidence. She was the second female in the 9 and under category and 5th overall for the division with 14:25. Grandparents John and Dorothy Bolduc were impressed with her late-race passing tactics, effortless form, and very competitive time among the historic results. The top finisher for NWVE with a 13:36 was the Mongolian standout Nyamtiavan Odongerel an exchange student coming off a great cross country season for BFA this year. Next in were her hosts and long time NWVE racers Wally and Natalie Good turning out a respectable 17:21. Wally must have anticipated the rain, sporting 100% wool slacks for the historic race. Again, why mess with perfection?
The 10K saw the traditional heated battles spread throughout the field. Dueling for the lead Binney Mithchell and Joe Gingras cruised away from the field of 100 racers. These guys were clinging to their guts trying to make the other crack on the small hill into the 2 mile mark. Gingras would end his 13 year Westford hiatus with a decisive victory much like the one he had at Leaf Peepers earlier this year. It was fun to see these two duke it out with their polar opposite styles. Josh Brown ran the course alone in no-man’s land while Norm Larson and James Donegan played cat and mouse a little further back. Will Gochberg, Chris Rodgers, Tyler Magnan and Damian Bolduc all converged around the two mile mark and then the gaps opened in slow motion as runners hit their stride and paces. This pack, marking James blaze hat and Norms blazing speed, would never close on those two. Will reversed the order of last week’s Fallen Leaves making a move Damian could not counter on the big downhill at 5 miles. Norm opened a gap on James on the flats back to the finish with a course experience advantage. Tyler would find himself finishing between two Westford Turkey Trot legends: The Westford Pony Tail Guy, and the Westford Sunglasses Guy. I know the feeling of racing these two and I can say they can really put the hurt on. The rest of the races for NWVE unfolded in the main pack Lary Martell cruised off the front of. Keeping Lary in his sights Scott Magnan had a 10 year PR this year beating the top overall woman Jessica Bolduc by 13 seconds. Scott knew he had his chance with the finish just over the hill. Going anaerobic for the last 1/3 of a mile he left it all out on the course. The next grouping came with the ladies and Perry trading places over 10k course. Liz Hollenbach, Elizabeth Bouchard-Hall, Perry Bland, Shari Bashaw, Cathy Martell and Maria Cimonetti all ran very close races. Liz and Elizabeth were able to slip by Perry weighted down by sweatpants late in the race. Tom Lane filled the gap of NWVE’rs between this group and Sara Donegan and Sam Martell who went 4th and 5th with 6 seconds between them in the 20-29 division won by Elizabeth Bouchard-Hall.
I would have to say this was a very impressive showing by the club and each individual. It is great to look forward to this race as we kick off the ski season. The Westford Turkey Trot serves as the crossroads of runners going into hibernation for the winter and skiers kicking off the snow season. And boy, did it deliver this year! It is great that this low key event serves as a celebration of all of the above while supporting a great cause. Great job everyone! The fun has just begun!
TENNIS BALL BIATHLON: Saturday November 27th at Hardack (St. Albans). The start time is 10:00am. It will be a 5k running race with a tennis ball shooting range. Racers will shoot in the range twice and have to do a short penalty lap for each missed shot. The race is to raise some money for Northwest Vermont Student Athletes who wish to continue ski racing or enter higher levels of competition. The fee is $8.00, student athletes can race for free. We will hold the race rain, snow or shine.