Thick clouds, temps in the low 60s, and a few drops of rain gave way to a sunny summit for participants in this year’s North Face Race to the Top of Vermont. Nearly 700 competitors challenged themselves to hike, bike, or run 4.3 miles and 2564 feet to the top of the Mt. Mansfield Toll Road. Presented by The North Face Store at KL Mountainshop, this year’s event was the 9th annual Race to the Top to benefit the Catamount Trail Association.
The Jim Fredericks Award (named in honor of the race’s founder) is presented each year to the fastest man and woman, regardless of discipline. Amanda Marino from Bradley Beach, NJ took top honors with ease in 41.38.9, finishing the run over four minutes ahead of her competition. For the men, two familiar Race to the Top faces did battle for the fastest time, with runner Josh Ferenc of Athens, VT taking the prize in 35:47, just 10 seconds faster than Montpelier resident Kip Roberts (35:57) who competed this year on a single speed gravel grinder.
On the run side, 2nd in the women’s category went to local Stowe resident Sara Graves (46.00) with Carmen Bango (46.04) of Woodstock, VT just 4 seconds behind. South Hero resident Turner Zamore (36.05) took 2nd place in the men’s run, followed by 17 year-old Atticus Stonestrom (38:12) of Exeter, NH.
Vermonters dominated the cycling field with long time Race To the Top competitors Heather Voisin (45.47), Marilyn Ruseckas (48.16), and Rachel Cohen (49.40) taking 1st, 2nd, and 3rd respectively for the women. Ethan Self (36.20) placed second, less than 30 seconds behind first place finisher Kip Robert, and Robert Allaway took 3rd place for the men in 39.18.
Having decided running or biking to the top of the Mt Mansfield Toll Road wasn’t a sufficient workout, a few brave souls decided they’d do both, and complete “The Double”. After his winning run, Josh Ferenc made the return trip down the toll road to the start line to compete as a cyclist. He completed his 8.6 mile run, 4.3 mile bike, and 5128 feet of climbing in a blistering time of 1:45:28.
This event would not be possible without the support of our generous sponsors, our adventure ready participants, and our willing, capable, happy, and tirelessly helpful volunteers. Thank you all for making the 9th Annual Race to the Top of Vermont a great success!