Under ideal racing conditions, 803 runners, mountain bikers, and hikers participated in the 2013 The North Face Race To The Top Of Vermont and the MVP Health Care Run For Fun at the Stowe Mountain Resort on Sunday, August 25th. The event is a fundraiser for the CTA, and we are grateful to all the sponsors, volunteers, participants, and weather dieties who contributed to the event’s success this year! RACE RESULTS
Elite racers came from twenty states and Canadian provinces to test their up hill running and mountain bike skills on one of the toughest hill climbs in the East. The 4.3-mile course rises 2,564 vertical feet up Mt Mansfield’s famous Toll Road. The runners were first to start and were followed by the non-competitive hikers. One hour later, mountain bikers started their ascent up the challenging packed gravel route to the summit finish.
Last year it was the mountain bikers who secured the fastest times up the mountain, but this year there was some sweet revenge for the runners. Runner Eric Blake from West Hartford, CT was crowned King of the Mountain after setting a blistering time of 32:51.3, eclipsing the previous run course record by 1 minute and 2 seconds. Second place went to Olympian Justin Freeman of New Hampton, NH in 34:42.3 followed by 2012 winner Josh Ferenc of Saxtons River, VT in 34.54.0.
It was evident from the start of the women’s run that US Ski Team member and Olympian Liz Stephen of Montpelier, VT had little problem outdistancing her competition to gain the prestigious title of Queen of the Mountain. With a record-breaking time of 37:22, Stephen broke the previous run course record by almost two minutes passing all but nine racers in the men’s field. In second place was Stephen’s US Ski Team teammate Ida Sargent of the Craftsbury Green Team in 42:42.5, followed by Kasie Enman of Huntington, VT in 43:28.7 for third place. Enman is a three-time winner of the race and held the previous run record.
Leading the mountain bike division throughout most of the race was Gered Dunne of White River Jct, VT who took first place in 32:58.2. Jake Hollenbach of Shelburne was second in 35:01.0 while former race winner Kip Roberts of Onion River Sports nailed down a respectable 35:32.0 to round out the top three places. Professional cyclocross and road racing cyclist Jamey Driscoll, a Jericho, VT native, holds the current men’s course record of 31:51.6, set in 2011.
Mountain biker Marilyn Ruseckas added another win to her two previous victories in The Race To The Top Of VT by narrowly out-sprinting second place rider Heather Voisin of Montpelier, VT. Ruseckas, from Warren, VT had a time of 44:11.7 followed by Voisin in 44:19.1. Aimee Motta from Huntington, VT was third with a 50:24.6.
Awards were given to the top three-person teams in three categories based on their combined times. Team On Track To Sleepy Hollow made up of runners Jaime Julia, Eli Enman, and Ray Webster won the Open Team Category. The Master Team Category went to mountain bikers Kip Roberts, Matt Moody, and Jon Conti from Onion Rivers Sports/Motors not Muscles. And a running team named Grumpy Old Men made up of Len Hall, Chuck Landry, and Richard Stockdale won the Senior Category. In the women’s team category, the Mountain Does comprised of Kasie Enman, Ross Modry, and Whitney Kaulbach took the Open Team Category. Central VT Runners made up of Donna Smyers, Sue Emmons, and Andrea McLaughlin won the Master Category while the UVRC Ladies GSP made up of Suzanna Smith-Horn, Nancy Dunbar, and Carla Chandler took the Senior Category.
The Xzeres Big Wind Team Award of $1200 was awarded to both the fastest Clydesdale (200+ lbs) and Athena (150+ lbs) 3-person mountain bike teams. The Goddesses, made up of Laura Larsen-Strecker, Paula Davidson, and Diana Hanks took the Athena category while Bob Arnot, Steve Burnett and Pavel Cenkl representing the Catamounters won for the Clydesdales.
The MVP Health Care Run For Fun youth event was well attended as over 70 youth ran the 1 or 3 km course laid out around Midway Lodge. Over 1,000 people attended the post race activities enjoying the delicious lunch from Black Diamond BBQ while listening to the spirited music of Red Hot Juba. Participants went home with over $23,000 in raffle prizes and awards.
Mark your calendar now for the 7th Annual Race to the Top of Vermont on Sunday August 24th, 2014.
All photos provided courtesy of:
Mike Hitelman of Hitelman Photography
Michelle LaCroix of all Occasion Photography