Sports New England’s Outdoor Magazine
EDITOR/Publisher Angelo Lynn C firstname.lastname@example.org staff writer Evan Johnson C email@example.com Art Direction & Production Shawn Braley C firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Manager Christy Lynn C email@example.com Advertising Sales Greg Meulemans C firstname.lastname@example.org | (802) 366-0689 Dave Honeywell | (802) 583-4653 C email@example.com Reader Athlete Editor Phyl Newbeck C firstname.lastname@example.org gear and beer editor Hilary DelRoss C email@example.com This month’s contributing writers Peggy Shinn, Annie Pokorny This month’s contributing PHOTOGRAPHERs Herb Swanson,, Peggy Shinn
It feels so good! This photo was one of our favorites as Gus, a sable shepard owned by John Joy of Montpelier, gives a good shake after a summer swim in Curtis Pond in Calais. For more photos and contest winners , see pages 16-20.
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Pages 6-9 Spring Running: How to get in shape & avoid injury We talk to three-time Olympian and running coach Lynn Jennings for tips on getting in shape this spring faster & smarter.
Page 10 Mountain Biking Bucket List Here are the trails and rides you won’t want to miss this spring and summer, plus cool bike events to attend.
Pages 12-13 International Swimmers brave icy waters!
Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility
DEPARTMENTS 5 publisher Commentary 33 news briefs 23 Medical: Chronic lower leg pain is a common injury due to early-season running 25 gear and beer 26-29 Calendar of Events 20 Reader athlete
About 40 swimmers from around the world tested their mettle in the icy waters of Lake Memphremagog in late February.
Pages 16-20 Ski Vermont
The Green Mountain Club
Winners of the Adventure Dog Contest
We sorted through 200 photos to pick the best-of-the-best in three categories: face shot, in action and best looking. Judge for yourself!
Pages 30-31 Gear for Mom! Mom’s Day is sooner than you think! Here’s a guide to cool outdoor gear just for her. On the cover: Jules, a Staffordshire terrier, romps in the surf in this great shot of a dog in action. Jules wins our cover shot award for his owner, Jessica Wetherby of St. Albans.
Page 32 Paddlers get ready for Spring dam releases We checked with area states and have a preliminary list of the dam release dates throughout New England.
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by Angelo Lynn
Let’s talk world class. Running, for instance. Vermont has world-class terrain to go with world-class events such as the Vermont 50, Vermont City Marathon (it’s flat, gorgeous and fun), great half marathons and marathons across the state, and then there’s the unthinkable — the Peak Ultras in Pittsfield that feature races of 15, 30, 50, 100, 200 and 500 miles, most covered on a 10-mile loop that has 2,400 feet of elevation change. A little quick math will tell you that’s 120,000 feet of elevation change for the 500-miler, but, hey, you have 10 days to finish. The race starts on May 7 and has a May 17 cutoff — no exceptions. Then there’s Lynn Jennings, a world-class runner who calls Vermont home, and now coaches running camps at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center. A threetime Olympian, Jennings won the bronze medal in the 10,000 meters at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, has been a four-time member of the U.S. World Outdoor Championship teams and won 10 U.S. Outdoor Champion titles. She competes in sculling now, but lends her knowledge, coaching skills and encouragement to runners at all levels through her coaching. That’s world class. She shares training tips in this issue, with ideas of how to break out of training ruts on Pages 6-8. That’s just cool. Vermont may not have world-class mountain biking statewide, but we have exceptional pockets of riding and the mountain biking scene here is taking the region by storm. On Page 10, we cite a bucket list of trails and events you won’t want to miss. Road biking in Vermont and the region has been world-class for years, and now a newer type of road bike tours is coming east. Writer Peggy Shinn previews an upcoming six-day ride through the Adirondack State Park on Aug. 23-29 that acts as a fully supported benefit ride. It’s a cool idea (see Pages 12-13) and, as always, the ride serves a good cause. Vermont is not usually known for world-class swims. But Phil White of Kingdom Games hopes to change that with the debut of his winter swim event in Lake Memphremagog. Held this year in late February, 41 international swimmers braved the icy waters on a frigid day to compete in 25, 50 and 100 meter races. Competitors came from all over this country, Europe, Latvia and Russia. We cover the spectacle on Pages 12-13. World-class indeed. Vermont’s dogs, of course, are nothing but world-class. We sorted through 200 photos to pick some of the best for our annual Adventure Dog Contest. While we could only print a few of the photos in issue, dozens more are posted online at vtsports.com. Check it out: from ‘so-darn-cute’ to amazing feats of athleticism, the photos provide world-class entertainment right at your fingertips.
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Running doesn’t have to be drugery and painful. Rather, easy runs in the spring to build stamina and muscle tone, plus mixing up your workouts will often yield better results than punishing runs that can lead to injury. Former Olympic runner Lynn Jennings, inset, provides training tips in this story and coaches at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center.
Photo by Lynn Jennings
spring running: Mix it up, be patient to avoid injury BY EVAN JOHNSON CRAFTSBURY — Running takes hard work and dedication. If anyone can attest to this, it’s Lynn Jennings, a competitive runner with more U.S. women's cross-country titles than anyone in history. Over her 18-year career, Jennings won nine track and field crowns from 1985 to 1996. She won three consecutive women's world cross-country championship titles from 1990 to 1992. A three-time Olympian, Jennings won the bronze medal in the 10,000 meters at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. A four-time member of U.S. World Outdoor Championship teams, Jennings medaled at two World Indoor Championships, winning 5,000-meter bronze in 1993 and silver in 1995. Jennings also won 10 U.S. Outdoor Champion titles and set the women's world indoor 5,000meter record of 15:22.64 in 1990. Her U.S. 10,000-meter record of 31:19.89, which she set in
1992, lasted for a decade. So when Jennings’ sympathizes with runners who have taken the winter off from running and are starting to get back into the swing of things, you know she speaks from experience. “Running is the hardest sport to come back to when you’ve taken time off,” she says. “Whether it’s elective or due to an injury, there’s something lubricating about running every day that you lose when you have to stop. It can be gruesomely hard to start again.” But picking up running again and taking your abilities to the next level don’t have to be that hard with a little persistence and patience, she says. As the director of running programs at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center in Craftsbury, Vt., Jennings shares her experience and knowledge every year in a number of camps where she and a staff of coaches show athletes how to train progressively and intelligently to maximize their potential. Though retired from competitive racing,
Jennings, 54, is still an avid daily runner and logs between 40 and 60 miles every week. When not running, she is a competitive sculler at the Craftsbury Center and enjoys forest hikes with her dog Towhee. Jennings took some time out of her day to offer advice on how to ease back into running routine this spring, and then how to break out of any ruts in your training to make this season a winning one. Hitting your stride – again When you stop training, de-training happens within days, Jennings says. Even if you’re coming back from a short break, your blood gets thicker and your lungs lose some of their elasticity. Things feel rusty and it can be difficult to regain what you’ve lost. But Jennings has a few pointers on how to hit your stride – again and then stay tuned through the summer and fall. Start with new shoes (Continued on next page) April 2015
If you wore your running shoes all fall and then put them up for the winter, before you start again, it’s likely time for a new pair. Shoe construction breaks down over time and for your first day back, you won’t want a pair on which you’ve logged five months worth of miles. Go with a style and fit of running shoes that you know, she says, adding that “the best pair of shoes are still cheaper than one visit to the doctor.” Easy does it If you’re someone who’s used to being active and in good physical shape but had to take time off from running, Jennings suggests a slow start with an easy two or three miles run. Take the next day off and then try it again. After you’ve followed this pattern for one or two weeks, you can begin to ease into running more often while keeping the distances low. Once you’ve reestablished that basic regiment, feel free to increase the volume before adding one longer distance run to your usual routine. If you’re someone who runs four times a week, one of those runs should be longer, but no more than 10 percent of your normal distance. By staying conservative, you can always leave room to grow instead of over-extending yourself or pushing too hard too soon. Know your mileage limit In her top days as a professional runner, Jennings could log 80 to 90 miles in a week – a normal distance for a medium distance runner – and still recover and be ready for the next week’s workouts. But as soon as she pushed to 100 miles, something didn’t feel right. “Everyone has a mileage limit and some people want to push and find out what that is, but it’s always better to under-train slightly than to over train,” she says. Initially, you can focus on the distance of your runs and their frequency, but the intensity with which you attack your workouts can wait. Ramp it back a week Jennings says a popular practice among coaches is to have athletes complete a block of work and then turn down the intensity for a “down week.”
Not overdoing long distances in the early weeks of training is one key to avoiding injury, as is running moderate distances on dirt roads, rather than pavement, as this runner is doing near Craftsbury.
As you begin to structure your workouts, Jennings advises you do the same. During your down week, you won’t stop running entirely, but will incorporate other activities or even take an extra rest day. Whether you swim, bike or strength train, letting yourself recover won’t just make things easier; you’ll also be ready to come roaring back and ready to rumble. stay accountable Let’s say you’ve started your training again – but are you monitoring your workouts? You can use software programs or a simple notepad and pen, but a basic training log should include the date, weather conditions, how many minutes or miles you ran and how you felt. A running partner can help keep you from weaseling out, but if you don’t have a buddy willing to meet at 6 a.m. for a run,
you can even check in with someone later to say what you did and how you felt. Everyday, Jennings and a friend in Boston email each other with the details on their respective workouts. Jennings says the correspondence has helped keep them accountable and push a little further. “Now she’s regularly running in the 40- to 60-minute range, way more than she ever would have done mostly because she knows she’s going to email me at the end of the day and tell me what she did,” she says. Ultimately, the best training plan should be flexible and allow you to work around the rest of your busy life, including work, appointments and foul spring weather. When you look back at the work you’ve done, it will also boost your confidence.
To get out of your rut, change it up with intervals BY EVAN JOHNSON So you’ve been training all season and no matter how hard you try, you’re just not getting faster. Your 5K times won’t break 20 minutes or your marathon is never under three hours. There’s a solution to this problem and it has to do with the way that you approach your training. In most of the accounts Jennings sees, runners are either over-training or under-training. If you’re having trouble with a plateau, Jennings says there’s a good chance you’re falling into either of these two categories. “There are people who under-train obsessively and people who over-train obsessively,” she says. “You have the people who hammer every run and then wonder why they don’t have anywhere to go, physically or emotionally when it’s time for a race. Then you have the person who goes out and runs the same three miles easily and then wonders why they’re not getting faster.” April 2015
“It isn’t a speed workout, but you’re injecting some intensity to what otherwise would have been an easy-flowing five-mile run. By doing that, you’re asking your heart and lungs to work a little harder and getting used to the idea of pushing the gas pedal down to sustain a pace.” — Lynn Jennings
Speed-play Runners going the same distance at the same intensity day after day find their body is conditioned to perform for a certain distance at a never-varying rate. To break through that barrier, Jennings advises adding some spice to your workout routines. This can be done through fartlek, a Swedish word for
“speed-play,” that adds a variety of speeds to your existing workouts. Doing this is as easy as inserting short bursts of speed along your normal route. This can be done for a minute or the distance of five telephone poles while running along the road. There are endless ways to vary it, but by adding these shorter bursts, Jennings says you experience harder running and recovery. “It isn’t a speed workout, but you’re injecting some intensity to what otherwise would have been an easy-flowing five-mile run,” she says. “By doing that, you’re asking your heart and lungs to work a little harder and getting used to the idea of pushing the gas pedal down to sustain a pace.” The more of this you do, the quicker you’ll be able to keep pushing on the “gas pedal” without wanting to relent. Jennings also suggests finishing your runs with strides, or faster runs of 50 to 100 meters long. (See Intervals, Page 9)
10 runs to enter this spring BY EVAN JOHNSON Most of us are still hopping over frozen puddles and snow banks, but for runners spring is the start of the running season and many have been out there getting in shape for some early season runs. While wearing extra layers in April and May before it warms up, it helps to have goals worth training for. Here are 10 great spring runs to get you motivated.
37TH ANNUAL SAP RUN, APRIL 26 A sap run has two meanings. In the spring, it’s when the sap in the maple trees begins to flow. But it’s also a great run in northern Vermont. As part of the Saint Albans Maple Festival, runners race 8.5 miles from the Swanton Teen Center in downtown Swanton to the heart of the downtown on Main Street in St. Albans. Winners of the Sap Run receive prizes of pure Vermont maple syrup donated by the Vermont Maple Festival. All proceeds of the Sap Run benefit the St. Albans Recreation Commission. Participants can register until the day of the race and will be transported by bus to the starting line at 8:30 a.m. www.stalbansrec.com
MIDDLEBURY MAPLE RUN, MAY 3 Rightfully referred to as “the sweetest half,” the Middlebury Maple Run and Relay is a scenic half marathon in the heart of the Champlain Valley, surrounded by views of the Adirondacks and the Green Mountains. This half marathon has earned a reputation as friendly and well organized, starting and finishing on the edge of Middlebury College and coursing through its beautiful campus, there are many aid stations and hundreds of volunteers (as well as crowds) cheering on the 800-plus runners. The 13.1-mile course is on a mix of paved and hard-packed dirt roads on a rolling course through farm country and back into town. There’s live music, good food, maple syrup trophies for the winners, a generous prize purse, fin-
ishers’ medals and a category for two-person relay teams in case you’re still not quite in shape to run the full half. The starting gun goes off at 9 a.m. www.middleburymaplerun.com
37TH ANNUAL STEVE ZEMIANEK BENNINGTON ROAD RACE, MAY 3 The “Zem-Benn” has become a long-standing tradition in southern Vermont, with 3.8-mile and 10K races open to all ages and abilities. Races get underway at 9:30 a.m. with the start of the kids’ halfmile race. The 3.8-mile and 10K both start at 10 and follow a paved course in the Bennington area. In 2000, the Bennington Road Race was renamed in honor of longtime Mt. Anthony Union High School track and field coach Steve Zemianek. Coach “Zem” was a fixture at the race for many years and a number of his former athletes continue to compete each year. Proceeds of the race are donated to the Coach Zem Scholarship, presented to a graduating Mount Anthony Union senior who competed in track and field or cross-country. www.runreg.com
folks at Kingdom Games, “The Dandy” is a hilly and leg-burning challenge through the famous dandelion fields of Derby, Holland and Morgan during high spring in the Northeast Kingdom. It’s a tough race, but one not to be missed. The half-mile distance and 10K course start at the Derby Beach House in Derby, Vt. and finish at the same location. Registration and sign in start at 7:30 a.m. before a 9:00 start. www.dandelionrun.org
VERMONT CITY MARATHON, MAY 24 If you’re looking for your first marathon or hoping to set a personal record, the Vermont City Marathon welcomes you. Long recognized as a great race on a great course, the marathon starts in the heart of Burlington, climbs up to the University of Vermont campus before descending to several long
out and back sections that extend north toward Colchester and south along the lake’s shoreline and through Red Rocks Parks and many city neighborhoods. The final four miles are on the Burlington bike path, finishing by Lake Champlain in Battery Park. Along the way you’ll enjoy all kinds of live music and one of the best crowds you could hope to have cheering you on. www.vermontcitymarathon.org
2015 PEAK ULTRAS, MAY 7 - 17 If you’re looking for distance and trails, chances are you’ll be able to find a race at the 2015 Peak Ultra in Pittsfield, Vt., along Route 100. Home to the legendary Death Races, organizers have created 15-, 30-, 50-, 100-, 200- and 500-mile races – none of which are for the faint of heart. Depending on your distance, your race will have a different starting date and time at the
THE CHAMPLAIN CLASSIC, MAY 3 The Champlain Classic is a scenic trail run along Lake Champlain and Shelburne Bay. The 5K and 15K courses are split between roads and the Ticonderoga Haul-out Trail — a packed gravel trail that retraces the route the Ticoderoga took as it traveled from the lake to a final resting spot at the Shelburne Museum. Neither distance is very hilly and both races start at the Shelburne Town Hall at 9 a.m. and finish at the same location. www.champlainclassic.com
DANDELION RUN, MAY 23 For a beautiful springtime half marathon in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, look no further than the Dandelion Run. Organized by the
8 vtsports.com April 2015
Aimee Farm. The 500-miler starts at 5 a.m. on May 7, the 200-miler starts at 5 a.m. on May 14, the 100-miler starts at 5 a.m. on May 15, the 50and 30-mile races both start at 7 a.m. and the 15-mile race starts at 8:30 a.m. The longer races will complete a 10-mile loop 10, 20 or 50 times. Each loop has 2,400 vertical feet of elevation change, therefore the 30-miler will feature 7,200 elevation change, the 50-miler will feature 12,000 elevation change, 100 miler will feature 24,000 elevation change, 200-miler will feature 48,000 elevation change, and 500-miler will feature 120,000 elevation change. With all that distance to go, remember the clock is ticking. All races have a cut off time at 4 p.m. on May 17 without exception. www.peak.com
FIFTH ANNUAL SHIRES OF VERMONT MARATHON AND RELAY, MAY 17 The Shires of Vermont Marathon and Relay is a picturesque point-to-point run through five towns in southwestern Vermont. The race begins at 8 a.m. at Bennington College’s VAPA Building and runs through the small town of North Bennington before entering the back roads of Shaftsbury. The halfway point is at the Federated Church in East Arlington and crosses the Chiselville Covered Bridge with spectacular views of area mountains. The race enters Manchester on back roads and finishes at Hunter Park in Manchester Center. www.bkvr.net
(Continued from Page 7) Again, Jennings says these aren’t to be treated as sprints. “You’re just picking up the pace,” she says. “By doing them, you’re experiencing the biomechanics of faster running – running on the balls of your feet, picking up your knees and driving your arms with more intention.” Smarter training On race day, you’ll want to perform at your best, a place that running coach Jack Daniels referred to as “going into the beyond.” When a runner trains excessively, they won’t have that extra effort to give since your body hasn’t recovered fully or strengthened. The problem with runners who overtrain, Jennings says, isn’t about intensity; it’s about smarter training. “I love ambitious, dedicated runners – who doesn’t?” she says. “But you’ve got to have the million-dollar head to go with the million-dollar body. I want runners who are savvy trainers and understand the intention behind a particular workout.” All runners have to learn to train judiciously and trust the value of the rest day. It can take some re-education, Jennings says, but in the end the effort will be worth it.
MOUNT TOM ROAD TO THE POGUE, MAY 16 Trail runners looking for a scenic trail race with historic overtones should lace up their shoes for a run through the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park. Starting at 8:30 a.m. at the Forestry Center in Woodstock, the 6.1-mile race runs through red spruce forests on old carriage trails before looping around a pond. The race includes an ascent of Mount Tom, overlooking the historic Woodstock Village before a blistering 1.8mile descent to the finish line. www.roadtothepogue.com
COYOTE SCRAMBLE ULTRAS, MAY 29–31 Another great springtime series of runs for distance lovers is the Coyote Scramble Ultras, scheduled for late May at Kingdom Trails in East Burke. The weekend starts on Friday evening, May 29, with a few light runs and then picks up on Saturday and Sunday with runs of varying distances – 20-, 30- or 40- miles on the expansive network of trails. The runs are fully supported by volunteers and feature food, music and bowling in the evenings following the races. Go for one day or go for the whole weekend, but enjoy the full network of trails on this running and mountain biking Mecca. www.coyotemoonultras.com
Break from the pack: High School XC Camps
Who better to learn the muddy art of cross-country from than 3-Time XC World Champion Lynn Jennings? You’ll leave camp armed with information, workouts, drills and techniques to be a better harrier come fall. Jump start your XC season at any of our week long camps in the perfect location for an XC camp. Find more information & sign up online!
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Mountain Biking Bucket list
BY EVAN JOHNSON
The trails in the Moosalamoo National Recreation Area offer intermediate to expert terrain on loop trails that include river valleys along the Leicester Hollow Trail, above, or ridge rides with spectacular views of Lake Dunmore and the farm country of the Lake Champlain Valley. The MNRA is located 12 miles south of Middlebury off Route 7.
Photo by Brian Mohr/Ember Photography
Here’s a must-do list of trails to ride, events not to miss! Spring is here and the mountain biking in the valley is heating up with new trail systems to check out, races to enter and opportunities to meet other riders at a host of exciting events. We checked with the people who know the trails the best – the chapters of the Vermont Mountain Biking Association that manage and maintain the trails — and came up with a bucket list of trails to ride and events to enter that shouldn’t be missed this spring and summer. Ride somewhere new Your local network of trails may be fun, but there’s more riding to be had around the state – and a lot of it. Need some suggestions? Look no further: • Waterbury’s Perry Hill attracts riders from all over the East Coast and beyond with technical, Enduro-style riding with a big and steep initial climb followed by more downhill-oriented trails awaiting the intermediate to advanced rider. • Stowe also has a vast trail network, from the moderate, well-mapped
system accessed from the Cady Hill parking area on the Mountain Access Road, to the famed Kimmers, Hardy Hall and Pipeline trails further up near the Trapp Family Lodge. The area also holds a network of old school trails, which you may be able to find with some help from local shops. Connect all of them together and you can ride the area for weeks. • The Montpelier area is home to outstanding trails on Irish Hill (opening May 15), North Branch Park (opening Memorial Day) and in East Montpelier. • This spring, Green Mountain Trails in Pittsfield invites riders to jump down the Rabbit Hole. Finished late last year, their newest trail is a fast and curvy ride on stone and ledge surfaces that whips through a spruce forest on tight turns with a few pleasant surprises for the more advanced rider. • In the Mad River Valley, the Revolution trail behind American Flatbread is a local favorite and allows for easy access into the Camels Hump State Forest trails, where the famed old school trails Cyclone and the Clinic
meets the newly revised GS and classic Enchanted Forest. Across Route 17, Chain Gang is not to be missed. • In the southern Champlain Valley in Addison County, look up the Moosalamoo National Recreation Area, a 16,000-acre pocket of Vermont’s Green Mountain National Forest with more than 37 miles of designated point-topoint mountain biking trails. It’s wild and remote, but still just a 15-mile drive from Middlebury or 25-miles from Rutland. The challenging Chandler Ridge trail was completed just a couple years back and is for the intermediate to advanced rider offering a 13-mile loop of scenic riding in the Breadloaf Wilderness, that has some wonderful moderate to beginner sections along the Leicester Hollow trail. • For beginners, intermediates and families, check out Pine Hill Park in Rutland, as well as the updated trails around Blueberry Lake in Warren. Trails in Northfield, especially around Norwich University, are well worth the drive, easily accessible and great for all ability lev-
els. • Ascutney has more than 50 miles of trails managed by the Sports Trails of the Ascutney Basin for the cross-country rider looking to rack up a lot of miles. It’s also the home of the famed Vermont 50-mile bike or run that’s held in the fall and scheduled this year for Sep. 27. • Then there are the Millstone Trails near Barre, a system of 60 miles of track with 10 lookout points with views of quarry ponds and surrounding mountains. The network features everything from family-friendly routes to tight and technical singletrack. You can learn more at www.millstonetrails.com. • As always, if you haven’t made the trip to Kingdom Trails in East Burke, be sure to set aside a weekend this year. Over 100 miles of pristine trails has consistently made this the top of our Black Diamond Awards and this year was no different. It gets kudos from locals, and draws bikers from around the nation. Head to a bike swap If you’re looking to trade or buy (See Bucket List, Page 33) April 2015
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International swimmers brave Memprhe swim Photos by Herb Swanson BY EVAN JOHNSON NEWPORT — On a frigid, blustery day in late February, an unusual group of athletes gathered to compete in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. But the athletes from Montana, New York, California, Vermont, Latvia, England and Russia weren’t in Newport to skate, ski or snowshoe. They were there to swim. Bethany Bosch, from Wallingford, Vt., has competed in several impressive long distance swims in the Kingdom and swam 18 hours to cross the English Channel a year ago, but even with many impressive swims behind her, the 25-meter trench cut in the ice on Lake Memphremagog was a daunting sight to behold. “There’s a voice in your head that’s screaming, ‘What are you doing? This isn’t right,’” she recalls. “But you body knows you can do it. Once you get in the water it really isn’t that bad.” Newport’s first winter swim for an international competition pitted 41 swimmers against each other as well as the elements. The waters of Lake Memphremagog were 30 degrees Fahrenheit with air temperatures at a bone-chilling 16 degrees Fahrenheit, accompanied by a brisk wind driving the wind chill to near zero. Another seasoned swimmer, Kellie Joyce of Norwood, Mass. swam in high school and college, but said winter swimming is completely different. “You lose all sense, and you don’t feel anything,” she told The Barton Chronicle. “You just have to go on autopilot and go, go, go. That’s the biggest difference. You can’t feel your body, and then once you get out, you still can’t feel your body. It’s mental.” COMPLICATED LOGISTICS While the race was a new experience for some of the swimmers, for Kingdom Games, the company that organized the event, the winter swim was a new endeavor as well. “We didn’t know how to put in the bumpers or the platforms for getting in and out of the water,” said Phil White, director for Kingdom Games. “Now we know and the word is out.” Work on the 25-meter-long by 14-foot-wide trench in the ice was done in the days leading up to the athletes’ arrival. Workers from the Newport City Parks and Recreation Department attempted to use a conventional gas-powered ice saw to cut the ice, but found the blade too small to penetrate the 2½ feet of ice. Instead, they used chainsaws with three-foot bars to cut blocks of ice and then hauled them out with a tractor. The result was (Continued on next page)
The logistics of creating the 25-meter swim lanes, top and opposite page, was almost as challenging as the race itself, which featured a lot of gasping — for air, or anything racers needed to brace against the cold.
The international flavor of the event was captured by these flags, while the expressions on the swimmers below tell the cold truth of the sport.
two lanes for the competition. With the pool constructed, all they needed were participants. White said with a month before the race, the number of swimmers was only at ten. But with heavy recruiting by some of the swimmers and certification from the U.S. Winter Swimming Association and the International Winter Swimming Association, the number of swimmers swelled. “Once they saw that we had the pool a lot more people signed up,” White said. “I think they wanted to see that and had doubted that we could bring it together the way we did.” While water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, swimmers found themselves plunging into water that was actually colder. White said swimmers described the water as feeling “silky” against their skin as they competed in distances of 25, 50 and 100 meters. “It was like swimming through a very light slush,” he said. Conditions in Newport were colder than winter swimming races held this winter in Siberia or Finland, participants said, which prompted the Newport Fire Department, emergency first responders and even one rescue person in a drysuit to stand by ready to jump in and assist if needed. No one required medical attention and only one person backed out after a few strokes. The swim even garnered national media coverage from the Boston Globe, National Public Radio and the Daily News of Open Water Swimming. EMBRACING THE COLD White said he views the event’s success as proof of a growing sector of swimming. “What we discovered is a group of swimmers who are really looking for this kind of option here in the United States,” White said. “They’ve heard about swims around the world and some have been to Russia, China or England for cold water swims, but they’re looking for an option in the
Northeast.” Diana Bouquin explained her reasons for participating in what many people think is a truly outrageous, or courageous, sport. “It’s invigorating. Every time you get in feels like an accomplishment. It’s also just the people. Everyone’s so laid back, it’s like one big, weird ice family,” she told The Chronicle. Next year’s swim has already been scheduled for Feb. 27-28. The event is capped at 80 people and White expects participation next year to be higher. “Who knows where this will go in the U.S., but it’s good to be on the frontier,” White said. “Our winter was brutal and cold and perfect for this kind of event. If it’s going to be this cold, you might as well embrace it."
A six-day ride through the ADK this August will feature miles of superb riding, spectacular scenery, camping and a fully supported trip. Photos by Peggy Shinn
New Bike Tour Debuts This Summer Cycle Adirondacks is as much about the cycling as it is about the ADK BY PEGGY SHINN It wasn’t really a boat. More like a floating porch — the kind of vessel Tom Sawyer would have built, except with a four-stroke engine and a railing to keep tipsy passengers from listing overboard. As we putt-putted around Star Lake eating pizza and drinking summer ale, ducks swam around us, loons called, and other motorized rafts cruised by, their passengers waving. At the helm was Dave Birchenough, who built the motorized raft about 25 years ago to keep up with his neighbors along Star Lake — the name of both the body of water and a hamlet in
Adirondack State Park. Now about 80 of these square vessels ply the lake during the warm months. Some have built-in bars, others diving towers, most have nailed-down patio tables on board, and one is even a double decker (and looks as if the slightest breeze could capsize it). So what do motorized rafts have to do with a cycling tour? Nothing and everything. This August, when up to 600 cyclists descend on Adirondack Park to partake in the inaugural Cycle Adirondacks, a 470-mile, seven-day fully supported nonprofit tour around America’s largest park (in the Lower 48), they will stop every
night in hamlets like Star Lake, where they will be welcomed by locals who wish to share their communities — and their favorite activities — with the riders. Most people tend to think of benefit rides as one- to two-day events (such as the Long Trail Century or Prouty or the Kelly Brush Ride) that raise money for causes, such as cancer, diabetes research, or adaptive programs. But in the past decade, weeklong tours based on the granddaddy of them all, RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, as in The Des Moines Register), which debuted in 1973, have prolifer
Putt-putting on Star Lake with David Birchenough on his raft-like boat, author Peggy Shinn enjoyed a trip on one of about 80 rafts that ply the lake's waters throughout the summer. Part transportation, part entertainment, some of the rafts feature built-in bars while others have diving platforms. Below, riders pull a hill along the way.
ated. Cycle the tours pay for Oregon initiatthe cost of the ed a ride-for-atour, with the cause regional remainder fundEvent Dates: August 23-29, 2015 tour in the late ing projects in Start/Finish: Saranac Lake, NY Mileage: 60-75 miles per day; 1980s. And in the towns 2013, Cycle 435-470 miles total through which Registration Cost: $1,495 for ridG r e a t e r the tours travel. ers, $995 for non-riding travel comYe l l o w s t o n e Now this panions and anyone under age 18. debuted as a model has Number of Riders: Limited to 600 weeklong tour moved east, with For more information: www. in t h e cycleadirondacks.com the Wildlife Ye l l o w s t o n e Conservation ecosystem. Society’s Cycle These rides become rolling festi- Adirondacks debuting in August. vals of hundreds, even thousands, (The Wildlife Conservation Society of bicyclists who gain awareness of runs the Bronx Zoo, among many the regions through which they other parks and global conservapedal. Daily distances typically tion projects.) The tour through the range from 40-100 miles, with 6.1-million-acre park was conevent staffers running feed stations, ceived by Zoe Smith, the WCS’s driving SAG vehicles, and ferrying Adirondack Program Director. A riders’ luggage from town to town. long-time resident of Saranac Lake, Each evening, riders congregate at Smith wanted to show people that communal camping locations and there is more to the Adirondacks celebrate with nightly dinners, con- than Lake Placid, host to two certs, and other entertainment that Winter Olympic Games. is open to townspeople. Riders can Mark Hall, Star Lake’s town either set up their own tents, or pay supervisor (technically, it’s the town event staffers to do it. The fees for (See ADK Ride, Page 22)
Vermont Sports’ 2015 Adventure Dog Photo Contest
Here are a few of our favorite photos of the more than 200 we received. For more photos, go to vtsports.com. Clockwise from top right: Oakley, a golden retriever, enjoys the sunshine as captured by Julie Charnock of Rutland; Willow, displays his powder face shot, courtesy of Sophie Clymer of Stowe; Wilder, a golden retriever from Rutland poses for owner Jeff Leonard after a swim in Lake Bomoseen; Molly, lower left, enjoys the snow with owner Jody Chudzik in Killington; Tucker shakes off some water, captured by Talia Brooks of Stowe; Ellie basks in the sun with owner Amy Berger; and Ruckus surveys the ice flows with owner Steve and Brenda Hiller.
FROM THE VERMONT SPORTS STAFF At Vermont Sports, we love our dogs. Our canine companions spend almost as much time at the office as we do and join us on our adventures in every season, no matter the weather. A few of our office regulars include a collie, poodle, dachshund and a gang of shih tzus. A handful of labs have also been spotted on occasion. As dog lovers, the April issue of Vermont Sports is one of our favorites not just because it means a return to the warmer days of spring, but also because it means the return of the Adventure Dog Photo Contest. The contest has been a tradition 12 years in the making and this was one for the record books. Thanks to you, our inbox was blasted with well over 200 shots of every imaginable breed and then some more indiscernible varieties. Every last one was welcome and we set about the difficult task of picking out the best. Entries were placed into three categories; “Best Looking,” “Face shot” and “In Action.” In the following pages, you’ll see dogs at their best at rest, play and generally loving life. The full gallery is available on our website, www.vtsports.com. Also, a special thank you to this year’s contest sponsor, Dublin Dog, who will be providing our winners with some great dog gear, as seen at right. 16 vtsports.com
This year’s deluge of entries had some of the finest looking dogs around. From lakeside sunsets to picturesque snowfalls, these top three shots demanded our attention. First place goes to Raice, top, a Boxer from South Burlington. According to his owner, Rio Demers, Raice loves to swim, play and hike - an all around great companion for the Vermont outdoors. Coming in second place is Stew, below, named after the “stew” of dog breeds. He’s a rescue dog from Portland, Ore. who now lives in Richmond, Vt. Owner Christopher Drumm says this stately looking guy “has the patience of a saint,” and it shows right here And in third is Heidi, a Bernese Mountain Dog who clearly loves split boarding and really any activity in the snow. “She’d live out in the snow if we’d let her,” says owner Nick LaCour.
In addition to showing some incredible character and emotion in their faces, the amount of snow or mud featured on these winning canines was also an important factor. If we had a separate category for best hair, this Sheltie would have easily cleared the field. Our first place winner, Levi, loves the Vermont outdoors and accompanies his owner David Bryan as they snowshoe, canoe and hike around Lake Eden and Northfield. Second place goes to Busta, a Pitbull and Shephard mix, who is happiest when sailing with his owner Jessica Wetherby from Saint Albans. That smile says it all! Third place goes to Fargo, a Golden Retriever from Charlotte, who loves squirrels and finding powder stashes while snowshoeing with his owner David Hurwitt. Heâ€™s still got some on his nose.
Dogs are creatures of action and the winning shots here captured some of their finest moments on and off the water. In first place, Chief, top left, returns from his latest adventure with a suspicious souvenir, much to the surprise of his owners, Peter and Nicole Dernier from Weston. Meanwhile, Wilbur takes flight off of a duck boat on Lake Iroquois. The shot, lower left, was captured by Thomas Venezia of Broomfield, Conn. Mainer, our third place finisher seen below, flies down B Slope at Pico Ski Area with tongue dangling and spirits soaring. Owner Jeffrey Leonard of Rutland says this guy loves to ski.
Canine companion changes man's life BY PHYL NEWBECK Eric Caron of Pownal loves to go camping. He has plenty of friends who enjoy going with him, but one of his favorite companions is Ryan, a Labrador retriever. This wouldn’t be particularly noteworthy were it not for the fact that Caron is blind and Ryan is his Seeing Eye dog. “It doesn’t matter where the campground is or how complicated the layout is,” Caron said. “I show him the path to the office or the bathroom once and that’s all I need to do. After that, he nails it every time.” Caron relishes the independence this gives him. And it’s the little things that most people take for granted that sometimes mean the most. Without Ryan, he would have to wake up a human travelling companion if he needed to use the restroom, but Ryan will take him there without fail. Caron, the director of the guidance department at Mt. Anthony Union High School, has been legally blind his entire life, but his vision decreased to light perception by the age of 24. He relied on a white cane for travel until he got Scarlett, his first guide dog. “Poor Scarlet got stuck with me when I knew nothing about being a guide dog partner,” said Caron. Rather than go to the Guiding Eyes for the Blind training facility in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., Caron and Scarlett trained at his home. “She was amazing,” he recalled, “and we soon branched out from sidewalks to hiking trails.” Caron and Scarlett hiked all over the White Mountains and the Adirondacks. One day in New Hampshire they passed a crew from Animal Planet which was doing a segment on amazing animals. Caron thinks they missed the best story, which was Scarlett leading a blind man up the mountain. After Scarlett, Caron received a guide dog named Mae, who was also taught at home. Although Mae did her job, she occasionally deviated from the path she was supposed to take. “My friends said that if Scarlett was a human she would be wearing a cardigan and glasses, but Mae would be wearing a miniskirt with a devilish gleam in her eye,” Caron explains by way of distinguishes the two per-
Eric Caron with seeing-eye dog, Ryan.
sonalities. After Mae retired, he went to the Guiding Eyes training facility and was introduced to Ryan. At first the two-year-old was so quiet Caron wondered if there would ever be an emotional connection between them, but after two weeks he realized he needn’t have worried. “It was clear that he was really invested,” Caron said. “He figured out quickly that he had a purpose and he totally connected to his job. I think he believes I’m not that bright, so it’s his job to help me.” Caron described his canine companion as quiet and methodical, but not slow. The pair has a regular route that is roughly four miles,
which they complete in a little over an hour, often ending with a jog. “His main purpose is taking care of me,” said Caron. “He’ll go at any pace I want and he’s really happy to move along. I also think I do more with Ryan because having gone to the school, I’m better trained.” Ryan changes his pace depending on the circumstances. He always walks on Caron’s left so if they are on a trail with a drop-off on the right, Ryan will go slowly. On the way back, with the drop-of on his side, he’ll pick up the pace. Caron marvels at the fact that in addition to knowing basic commands like right, left, (Continued on next page)
forward and how to stop at a curb, guide dogs are trained to be disobedient when that is required. Caron gave the example of a walk he took through Mt. Anthony recently. At a particular hallway he asked Ryan to turn, but the dog refused. “I didn’t get upset because he’s a good dog,” remembers Caron, “so I tried again and he still refused.” Caron cautiously reached his hand out and discovered that one side of the hallway had a big dumpster and the other side had a ladder with things perched on it precariously. Although he might have been able to squeeze through the opening, he likely would have knocked something off the ladder. “That was amazing,” said Caron. “He does the same thing when we’re on the sidewalk and there’s construction tape. He can go under it, but he knows I can’t so he stops.” Since Ryan needs his exercise, too, the dog is an added incentive for Caron to get outside, allowing him to have a healthier lifestyle. Ryan also makes Caron’s job easier since he is able to leave his office to find students in their classrooms or catch up with them in the hallway rather than have them always come to his office and miss class time. Guide dogs are trained by a veritable army of almost 1,500 volunteers nationwide who raise puppies from eight weeks to two years before bringing them to Guiding Eyes for the Blind. The dogs generally work for their humans for seven to eight years before retiring. “These are incredible gifts of love and time,” said Caron. “It costs $50,000 to raise a guide dog. People have gifted me $150,000 so that I could have three dogs. That’s the cost of a house.” Caron considers himself lucky to have been able to keep all his dogs during their retirement years. Retired dogs are often returned to the homes where they were raised. “The reason I’m allowed to have a dog is safe travel,” said Caron, “but that is only a tiny piece of what this dog does.” Caron noted that if he were to walk into a store with a cane he’d likely be ignored by sales personnel, but that’s not the case with Ryan.
“Since a blind person can’t make eye contact and communicate in the way others take for granted, the dog’s eyes do that for us,” he said. And thanks to his walks around his neighborhood with Ryan, Caron now feels more fully integrated into the community. “This one Labrador retriever has changed my life,” he said. “Ryan brings me such joy and safety and comfort.”
Gravel road riding season is here.
Check out our new bikes, just perfect for the job. Exit 4, I-91, Putney Vermont
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of Fine — and Hall likes calling himself a “Fine town supervisor”), was one of the first to jump at the idea. The former iron-ore mining town saw a mass exodus after its open-pit magnetite mine (once the largest in the world) shut down in 1977. Now it’s a sleepy hamlet along New York Route 3 — labeled the Olympic Scenic Byway — with only one store in town, the Nice-n-Easy, offering everything from gas to pizza. Those who speed through town en route to Watertown or Syracuse hardly notice the star-shaped lake (or its hilarious motorized rafts). Hall, whose father worked in the mine for 38 years, and whose mom was one of the first registered nurses hired at the local hospital, thought that a cycling tour would bring people to town and allow them to see what’s so special about the place. Which is really what these weeklong bike tours are about — exploring a quiet part of America and getting to know it, topographically, geographically and socially. “People connect with people, not scenery,” says Cycle Adirondacks event director Jim Moore. “We want to show riders what makes Star Lake special and to be part of the community.” But these rides do offer great scenery, too, as well as many amenities to keep riders happy and comfortable, such as hot showers (mobile, so they move with the ride), massages, and free beer. Cycle Adirondacks will also provide maps and signage, free mechanics, medical personnel, rest stops stocked with food and drink, and SAG vans, should the massages and beer call more loudly than the pedals. Wildlife experts will be out with the cyclists, or in camp each night, to talk about the ADK and its native inhabitants (the ride is, after all, being run by the Wildlife Conservation Society). Then there are the native inhabitants such as Mark Hall and Dave Birchenough, who will gladly take cyclists out on Star Lake for a float/swim, or just to chat and watch the moon rise after their 68.3-mile ride on day 1 of
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Sports Medicine Fracture & Trauma Care Foot and Ankle Care Hand and Shoulder Care Arthroscopic Surgery Joint Replacement In-Office Diagnostic Arthroscopy Josesph McLaughlin, MD; Bryan Huber, MD; John Macy, MD; Brian Aros, MD, and Saul Trevino, MD
Two riders enjoy a momentary break while treking through the Adirondack State Park in New York.
Cycle Adirondacks. The next six days bring more of the same, yet a different flavor in every community. The tour wraps up in Saranac Lake. By then, tired legs will have become well aware that Adirondack Park is larger than Yellowstone, Yosemite, Glacier, Grand Canyon, and Great Smokies national parks combined. But the lasting memories from these tours won’t be the many rolling hills. Or even the beer gardens. The memories will likely include the people met along the way — both on the bike and in the towns. Mark Hall hopes that some folks might want to come back again to Star Lake, with or without a bike, and even buy property, making neighbors of their new friends. But no word yet on how to obtain a motorized raft.
ing! nt is com e v e e it r o ’s fav rs Ever yone r calenda Mark you
It’s Also Green-up Day Recycle Your Bicycle!
Bike Swap Saturday, May 2
9 am till 12 pm
(The line starts at 8 am or earlier!)
Selling a bike? We’ll be accepting equipment Monday, April 27 - Friday, May 1 Details about selling a bike are
A P R AC T I C E H O S P I TA L O F CO P L E Y H O S P I TA L
528 Washington Highway, Morrisville 6 North Main Street, Waterbury
at www.onionriver.com/bikeswap 20 Langdon Street, Montpelier, VT 802-229-9409 • www.onionriver.com
802-888-8405 www.mansfieldorthopaedics.com 22 vtsports.com
2/9/15 8:26:41 AM
By David K. Lisle, MD
It’s spring, runners! Beware of chronic low leg pain With the winter weather finally winding down after a brutally cold several months, many Vermonters are getting outdoors to begin their training for the upcoming running season. With the increase in running there is often an increase in what is generically called chronic lower leg pain. This pain is typically in the shin or the calf and the diagnosis can be difficult to make given that there are often ambiguous symptoms in multiple locations of the leg. The broad array of causes includes three broad areas: 1) involvement of the bone — medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS) also called shin splints, and stress fractures; 2) vascular system (popliteal artery entrapment syndrome), 3) muscles and tendons — chronic exertional compartment syndrome (CECS), calf strains and tendinitis, or referred pain from nerve entrapments. Referred pain into the lower leg can also be from the knee or even from the hip in young athletes. These above diagnoses fall into a larger generic diagnosis called exercise related lower leg pain or ERLP. Much has been written on ERLP and the literature differs on which one is more common. Some suggest that CECS and stress fractures occur more frequently and another suggests that MTSS is most common followed by CECS and stress fractures. In my experience, the prevalence largely favors shin splints, followed by stress fractures and then CECS. When seeing patients with ERLP, I consider most often “the big three”: shin splints, stress fractures (tibia or fibula) and CECS. Determining which of the three diagnoses is correct relies on a thorough history and physical examination. Key questions include the specifics of training regimen, surface conditions and shoe wear. Running volume is also important, including knowing how far, how fast and how many days a week the patient runs. Other important questions include: How quickly does the pain begin? Does the pain continue to get worse or does it plateau? Upon cessation of running, how quickly does the pain improve? Does the pain continue into the next day? Does pain seem to occur with less and less activity? Have there
been any changes in training intensity or a change in shoe type? All of these questions help clarify the diagnosis of the “big three” as discussed below. • Medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS) is most often seen in distance runners, but can also occur in those involved with court sports (tennis, basketball and volleyball). MTSS is tender to press on and often will begin very soon after starting activity. Although the pain can be a severe, dull ache, often athletes can push through the pain as it can plateau and sometimes even diminish with continued activity. With rest, the pain is alleviated and most often pain is not felt at night. In the later stages of MTSS, h o w e v e r, severe cases can cause pain at night and at rest. On examination, there is tenderness in the shins localizing most often to the lowest part of the inside of the leg. This is called the distal posteromedial aspect of the tibia. The use of Xrays is typically normal, and are often important to evaluate for presence of stress fractures or other rare pathologies. Once the diagnosis is made, the treatment involves a period of rest for two-three weeks with cross training in lower impact activities (biking, swimming or elliptical trainer). Biomechanical issues need to be addressed, such as foot pronation and running mechanics. Physical therapy can be very helpful for this. Gradual return to activity over a 3 – 6 week period is advised. • Stress fractures to the tibia or fibula occur due to repetitive micro-trauma to bone that outsteps the body’s ability to heal itself. The tibia is most frequently involved in runners, however I have seen several distal fibular stress fractures. Stress fractures most often occur in women and the highest risk for a stress fracture occurs in those with a history of a prior stress
occurs. CECS typically involves aching, cramping or tightness in the leg involving the calf or outer leg muscles, which occurs after a specific amount of exercise. It typically does not begin right away. Once the pain begins, it will increase to the point where it is often very difficult to continue exercise. This is called “crescendo pain.” When the athlete finally does stop exercise, their pain will soon resolve completely until exercise is attempted again. The athlete will report firm muscles and often will see small bumps around the muscle that are due to muscle hernias pushing through the fascia due to high pressure in the muscle compartment. In some CECS, athletes will experience numbness and tingling to the top of their foot and often heaviness to their feet with a “foot slap” that occurs while running. To treat CECS, a pre-exercise physical examination is normal. Sometimes the calves will feel tight even at rest. Xrays are normally done. The diagnostic test of choice is compartment pressure testing that involves a special digital pressure gauge. The pressures are measured in the compartments prior to exercise and then immediately after exercise when symptoms are present. A period of rest, activity modification and identifying any biomechanical issues is necessary, but often this does not fully resolve the symptoms. Often, operative fasciotomy is necessary to treat CECS. ********** When determining what course of treatment is needed to treat MTSS, stress fractures and CECS, it is important to understand what differentiates each of the three to determine accurate diagnosis. With an accurate diagnosis, however, the athlete will be able to return to the sport faster and hopefully with a lower risk of injury down the road.
fracture. The most important question to ascertain is the volume of training that led to the pain. It’s also important to note that women with menstrual changes or eating disorders have a higher risk of stress fractures. Although beyond the scope of this article, there is an entity called ”the female athlete triad” that involves disordered eating that leads to lack of menstrual cycles that then leads to osteoporosis and stress injures to bone. Athletes with suspected stress fractures will often report pain occurring with less and less activity. Classically this is someone who has leg pain that started at mile 5 on one day, then the next day it is at mile 3, then mile 1 and then with walking around the house. S t r e s s fractures are often tender to touch and well localized to the area of injury. Initially, the pain will subside after exercise, but as a stress fracture progresses, the pain will continue after cessation. There is sometimes swelling to the area as most often the leg will appear normal. Xrays of the tibia and fibula will appear normal in the early stages, however, later the films may show the body’s attempt to heal the stress fracture. When the diagnosis is not clear, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the study of choice currently to differentiate stress fractures from MTSS. The hallmark for treatment of any stress injury involves maintaining a pain free level of activity. This can vary greatly in duration. When everyday activities are pain free, a gradual return to exercise can begin with special attention to any training errors that may have caused the injury. • Lastly, chronic exertional compartment syndrome involves pain in the lower leg from muscle tissue that does not have enough room in a rigid envelope that surrounds the muscle. Many theories exist as to why this
“This pain is typically in the shin or the calf and the diagnosis can be difficult to make given that there are often ambiguous symptoms in multiple locations of the leg.”
David K. Lisle, M.D., CAQSM Division of Sports Medicine Assistant Professor Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Department of Family Medicine University of Vermont College of Medicine Orthopaedic Specialty Center South Burlington, Vt. 05403
gear and beer Worth Skis The George Spring has sprung and after the sensational snowfall we’ve had this winter a long spring ski season is certainly upon us. With all the skiing still ahead, now is a great time to check out new gear tailored specifically for variable East Coast surfaces. By designing their skis for the terrain they shred, the guys behind Vermont-based Worth Skis have created a quiver suited to their playground. The three-man crew at Worth have dialed in the specs in the George skis to tackle everything from powder stashes in steep glades to fast and cruddy groomers while remaining nimble and balanced to turn sharply in tight spots. The secret behind the George’s dexterity is sustained engagement throughout the entire length of the ski - from tip to tail - by elongating the effective edge to create a stable and predictable ride. Rocker in the tip, taper at the tail, a setback stance along with a powerful cambered core and aggressive side cut maintain control through it all. Available in four lengths, including the longer, wider Mega George, and your choice of two cores. For a price tag comparable to that of factory sticks, you can build your own set from a menu of custom specs. Expect an exciting announcement this summer from Worth regarding a new production partnership in the works with even more competitive pricing to follow. For now, stock and customized skis range from $699 to $899. Updates will be posted at worthskis.com.
As roads and trails start drying out this time of year, rubber soles and tires will slowly replace metal edged boards underfoot. The color green will soon resurface in the Green Mountains and
so too will fitness and training regimens. Mio’s latest wearable fitness tracker monitors daily activity and workouts to help get you back on track after the long, cold winter. Out of the box, the Fuse is simple to set up. Charge the Fuse via the included USB charger then sync it with the Mio Go app on your smartphone or tablet to get started (free to download on Google Play and iTunes). The app prompts you through setting up a personal profile, linking the Fuse to your device via Bluetooth, setting activity goals and choosing training settings. The Fuse’s charge lasts up to seven days and can store up to two weeks of daily activity data and 30 hours of workout data, plus it tells time, so there’s no need to train with your phone in hand. It syncs with GPS watches or bike computers via Bluetooth or ANT+ wireless connectivity. Just select your activity, start workout mode, and get moving. The Fuse is worn on the wrist and is closefitting but comfortable. Except for the optical heart rate monitor, a soft silicone material covers every inch so it seems very durable. Even the display is protected. Three touch-sensitive buttons on the face of the dot matrix LED display allow you to scroll through menus and the central button controls turning workout mode on and off. Three or five heart rate zone alerts can be set as LED and/or vibration alerts, so you can monitor your heart rate during training without looking at a screen. Most third party fitness tracking apps can link with your Mio account, but the included Mio Go app provides some basic feedback on data the
by Hilary DelRoss
Fuse collects. A weekly workout summary and breakdown of each workout provides average and maximum heart rate, speed, pace, distance and time as well as calories burned and heart rate zones reached and duration in each zone. Daily activity statistics include distance, steps, active and total calories burned, and how successful you were at reaching your daily goal. Information I miss from this app includes access to route maps and a field to enter notes about my workout. Other drawbacks to the Fuse are the lack of a sleep-tracking feature and idle alert reminder to get moving. But for those of us who like to disconnect at the end of the day, this monitor does a great job. Available in two wrist sizes. $149 Queen City Brewery Yorkshire Porter By far the most popular variety flowing from Queen City Brewery, Yorkshire Porter is in high demand across Vermont. The Yorkshire is an English style dark ale - Queen City takes pride in sticking to traditional brewing styles and their hard work shines in this one. The Yorkshire is characteristically dark in color with aromas of toasted malt and just a hint of hops amongst coffee and chocolate overtones. The smooth balance follows through on the palate, too, making this an easy drinking porter. Its popularity is no surprise and with 5% ABV, it’s easy to enjoy a pint or two at a time. Find Yorkshire Porter on tap at establishments in Vermont or visit their tasting room. Queen City Brewery is located in Burlington’s South End at 703B Pine Street, where you can stop by to fill a growler or stick around to taste all eight varieties on tap. Be sure to visit the brewery on Fridays and Saturdays during April to enjoy full pints - guest chefs have even been sighted there serving their fares. Follow QCB on Facebook for updates so you can time your visit right.
Hilary grew up in southern New England where she developed her love of nature and outdoor recreation, including learning to ski at Rhode Island's only ski hill. After exploring the Rocky and Cascade Mountain ranges, she transplanted to the Green Mountain State where she snowboards, skis, hikes, bikes, kayaks and stokes campfires from her home base in Montpelier.
Event organizers! Listing your event in this calendar is free and easy. Visit vtsports.com/submit-event, and e-mail results to firstname.lastname@example.org.
calendar of events
featured events: Saratoga Springs Duathlon, MAy 24
Vermont Sun hosts a .9-Mile Swim, 28-mile Bike and 6.2-mile run in Branbury State Park. The lake region is a most spectacular and pristine place to swim, bike and run. The race is also held on August 9. www.vermontsuntriathlonseries.com
Adirondack Marathon distance festival, SEPT 26-27 Schroon Lake hosts a full weekend of distance racing in the Adirondack mountains. The race weekend features marathon, half-marathon, relays, 5k and 10k races, as well as fun runs for kids. www.adirondackmarathon.org
fields are open only to full time college
The Saratoga Springs Lions Club hosts a 5K run followed by a 30K bike and an additional 5K run. The Lions Duathlon Experience is designed to allow for many levels of participation, including family and business teams, where members do the running or biking with any combination of male or female. www.saratogaspringslions.com
Lake Dunmore Triathlon, June 20
race in Burlington and Charlotte. Collegiate
Sugar Slalom at Stowe. This classic race, organized by the Mount Mansfield Ski Club, combines top-level racing and a fun, springtime celebration. The Sugar Slalom is held in a Mardi Gras atmosphere with on-slope barbeque and costumes while licensed USSA racers ages 10 and up compete for points. Sugar on snow awaits the racers at the finish line. www.teammmsc.org. Bud Light Glade-iator. Mount Snow holds its annual spring mogul skiing challenge on the bumps of Ripcord. Competitors will be judged by a combination of time, form, line and aerial maneuvers. The event also includes a barbeque and Bud Light Cash Bar. www.mountsnow.com
11 – 12 Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge. The Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge is a spring rite of passage at Killington. The bump and jump venue rises from Outer Limits, one of Killington’s toughest runs, in plain view of the Bear Mountain Quad and the party at the lodge below. www.killington.com 18 The Kingdom Thaw Rail Jam. Jay Peak hosts the final freestyle event for the 2014-2015 season from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Stateside Carpet. Prizes go to the winners. www. jaypeakresort.com May 1 May Day Slalom. Killington hosts a final springtime slalom race on the Superstar trail. www.killington.com
Biking/cycling April 11-12 Green
Weekend. The UCM Cycling Team hosts
licenses and full time high school students with valid USAC Junior licenses. Pro fields in the men’s and women’s criterium and road races will include cash prizes for the top finishers. Registration is at the Charlotte Central School. The criterium will be held at the Patrick Gymnasium on UVM’s campus. https://www.bikereg.com 11
Rasputitsa. With a field limit of 500 riders, this 45-mile unsanctioned gravel road race covers some of the coldest and barren landscapes in and around Burke. The Rasputitsa Spring Classic unites riders of all abilities and disciplines from racers to riders and includes road, cyclocross, single speed, tandem and mountain bikes. The epic section known as Cyberia covers singletrack where riders may need to shoulder bikes at times. There is no prize purse, but bragging rights are bestowed. Proceeds benefit the Halo Foundation. www.bikereg.com 17
Dance for the Trails. Fellowship of the Wheel holds a dance party from 7 p.m. until midnight at the Main Street Landing in Burlington. Proceeds benefit the local Vermont Mountain Biking Association chapter. www.vmba.org 19
Gravel Grinder. Perry Hill trails kicks off the riding season by covering 25plus miles of hills and dirt roads in the Waterbury area. Event will be held rain or shine. Registration includes ride food and drink, and t-shirt and post-ride meal from Chef Josh Bard of Phoenix Bar and Grill in Stowe. All funds raised will go toward trail maintenance at the Perry Hill trails in Waterbury, Vt. www.vmba.org 26
3rd Annual Muddy Onion Spring Dirt Road Classic. Onion River Sports hosts its third annual Spring Dirt Road Classic, the Muddy Onion on April 26. Ride 34 miles of Vermont’s most beautiful and scenic dirt roads and celebrate spring with this fully supported gravel grind through the back roads of central Vermont. Post-ride festivities include hot chocolate, bacon, maple syrup shots and a barbecue. www.bikemamba.org
a criterium and road
26 vtsports.com April 2015
calendar of events 20
Flower Power Mountain Bike Race. Catamount Outdoor Family Center hosts a cross-country mountain bike race on rolling singletrack with a variety of distances for all family members. www.catamountoutdoorfamilycenter.com/ Waterbury Bike Swap. VMBA partners with the Waterbury Trail Alliance for a bike swap from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in downtown Waterbury. Sellers keep 100 percent of their haul and shops will also offer deals on used bikes and parts. www.vmba.org
Route 100-200 Miles, One Day. The 100/200 is a one-day bicycle ride that stretches from the Canadian border to the Massachusetts state line. Route 100 is widely recognized as one of Vermont’s most scenic highways and the 200-mile ride is routed to minimize automobile traffic. http://100-200.org/
Killington Stage Race. The town of Killington, Killington Ski Resort and the Green Mountain Bike Club host a series of races with distances of 11 to 160 miles over three days of racing in central Vermont. www.killingtonstagerace.com 31
Lund Center’s 7th Annual Ride for
Children. The Lund Family Center in Burlington hosts a day of distance rides to raise funds for the Center. Distances include 50, 33 and 16 miles and the ride is followed by family-friendly activities. www.lundvt.org June 7
course includes lectures and practical simulation. http://www.alohafoundation.org/hulbertoutdoor-center/ May 30-31 Wilderness First Aid / CPR training. This is a two-day, 16-hour introductory course for care of injuries in the wilderness. Designed for outdoor enthusiasts and trip leaders, this course includes lectures and practical simulation. http://www.alohafoundation.org/hulbertoutdoor-center/
Long Trail Century Ride. The annual Long Trail Century Ride to benefit Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports is a recreational century that starts and ends at Long Trail Brewery on Route 4 in Bridgewater Corners. Distances include 20, 60 and 100 miles. www.longtrailcenturyride.com
Central Vermont Cycling tour. A multi-distance ride winding along quiet country back roads in the towns north of Montpelier - from Morse Farm through the hamlets of Adamant, Maple Corners and Wrightsville. The route starts gently, and becomes more aggressive on the longer tours. Distances include 13.6, 33.75 and 59 miles. www.crossvermont.org
Reel Paddling Film Festival. The Outdoor Gear Exchange in Burlington hosts award-winning films from the Reel Paddling Festival. A raffle will take place during intermission. Ticket proceeds benefit Northern Forest Canoe Trail. Tickets: $12 adults/$10 students online; $15 at the door.
New Haven Ledges Race. New England paddlers race down the New Haven River in Bristol. Athletes must be equipped with the appropriate boat, gear and safety equipment sufficient to sustain whitewater race conditions. Plastic boats only. More information is available on the New Haven Ledges Race Facebook page.
Tour De Heifer. Brattleboro’s Strolling of the Heifers weekend includes the annual Tour De Heifer bike rides. All of the Tour de Heifer routes include substantial stretches of dirt roads with distances of 15, 30 and 60 miles. www.strollingoftheheifers.com/ tour
10-14 Tour De Kingdom. Kingdom Games in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom hosts four days of long-distance rides through the NEK and northern New Hampshire totaling 440 miles and 25,000 feet of vertical climbing. www.tourdekingdom.org 13
Vermont Gran Fondo. The Vermont Gran Fondo is a non-competitive ride through Vermont’s Green Mountains. This ride will test your fitness with its challenging climbs over distances of 46, 69 and 104 miles, plus four mountain gaps — Lincoln, Appalachian, Middlebury and Brandon. Race starts at the Middlebury College Snow Bowl. www.vermontgranfondo.com
Farm to Fork Fondo. Wrenegade Sports hosts a three-distance, fondo ride to celebrate the symbiotic relationship between cyclists, farms and beautiful landscapes. The ride is open to the first 500 who register. Distances include 10, 40, 74 and 102 miles. www.farmforkfondo-vt.com 18-19 Bike It If You Can Weekend. The Westchester Cycle Club, Mad River Riders, White Plains Ski Club, North Jersey Whiz Skiers and the Ramapo Ski Club host a weekend of road biking based from Mad River Glen. Rides depart from the MRG parking lot at 9 a.m. with three levels of routes on Saturday and a short ride on Sunday too. Barbeque and brews follow in the afternoon at the MRG Basebox. www. madriverglen.com
Running April 4
April Fools 5K. Race Vermont hosts an April Fools Day themed 5K. Walkers are permitted at a 14-minute mile pace. www.racevermont.com
Rockingham 5K. The Bellows Falls Recreation Center hosts a family-friendly event to raise money for the Central School Parent-Teacher Organization. www.rockbf.org
11-12 Wilderness First Aid/CPR training. This is a two-day introductory course for care of injuries in the wilderness. Designed for outdoor enthusiasts and trip leaders, this
Half Marathon Unplugged. Switchback Brewery presents a no-frills and no hills half marathon. The course begins at Airport Park in Colchester and runs along the bike path to the south end of Burlington. The majority of the course is on the bike path
calendar of events and finishes on Flynn Ave near Oakledge Park. www.runvermont.org 25
Annual 5K. Vermont Sports Medicine Center holds its annual 5K race on April 25. Proceeds benefit Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports and the Kids on the Move Rehabilitation program. www.vermontsportsmedicinecenter.com/ 25
GMAA Rollin’ Irish Half Marathon. The Green Mountain Athletic Association hosts a certified half marathon on rural and scenic dirt roads. Start/finish is on Chapin Road near the intersection with Towers Road in Essex Center. Runners should expect to finish in less than 2:40. www.gmaa.net
Sap Run. The Sap Run is an 8.5-mile road race from Swanton to St. Albans. Race starts in downtown Swanton at the Teen Center and ends on Main St. in St. Albans. www.saintalbansrec.com TJM Run for Lung Cancer Research. The fourth annual TJM Run for Lung Cancer Research is an untimed 5K run/walk to raise funds for the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation. No dogs allowed. www.eventbrite.com
Middlebury Maple Run, the Sweetest
Half. The Middlebury Maple Run hosts its 8th annual half marathon through the beautiful town of Middlebury, through farm country in Weybridge that overlooks the Green Mountains to the east and Adirondacks to the West, and courses through the Middlebury College campus at the two-person relay point before finishing with a final five-mile and out-and-back on dirt roads closed to traffic for the race. Live music, post-race lunch, cash prize purse to the top runners, t-shirts, medals for all finishers and more. www.middleburymaplerun.com Champlain Classic Road Race. The Shelburne Parks and Rec Department hosts the Champlain Classic, a 5K and 15K road race on scenic roads in Shelburne. www.champlainclassic.com
Bennington Road Race. The 37th Annual Steve Zemianek Bennington Road Race includes a half-mile kids fun run, 3.8-mile and 10K races in North Bennington. www.runreg.com 2015 Peak Ultra. Peak Races of Pittsfield will host a series of races with 15, 30, 50, 100, 200, and 500-mile distances. The longer races will all do a rugged 10-mile loop in the Green Mountains of Vermont. Runners will repeat the loops 10, 20, or 50 times to finish the respective races. www.peak.com 9
JMMY Run. The JMMY Center in Georgia, Vt. holds its annual race fundraiser with 5K, 10K and half marathon distances. http://www.jmmy-run.org/ 9
Jared Jabaut Agency 5K/10K & Half Marathon. Race Vermont holds a 5K, 10K and half marathon through some of the area’s most picturesque scenery, including the historic Ti Trail, Shelburne Bay and Lake Champlain. The 5K/10K will either be an out and back or a loop, depending on the condition of the trail. www.racevermont. com
GMAA Pump It Up Five Miler. The Green Mountain Athletic Association holds a certified five-mile race on Old Pump Road. The race will follow an out-and-back format. www.gmaa.net Adamant 20-miler and Relay. Run this scenic out-and-back course on dirt roads with ponds and hills through Calais and Woodbury or share the run with a partner in the 13-mile/7-mile two-person relay. Contact: Eric Ryea, email@example.com or 802 223-2733
CVR Mutt Strutt. Central Vermont Runners hold a three-mile run for people with dogs on leashes to benefit the Central Vermont Humane Society. Contact: Brittany Lafirira, brittany.lafirira@ gmail.com. 16
Hearts for Hunger 5K. The United Church of Hinesburg is hosting a 5K & 1K Fun Run/Walk on May 16 to help fundraise for the Vermont Food Bank’s Backpack Program. https://heartsforhunger5k.webconnex. com/2015 16
5K. The Green Street School PTO holds their third annual tulip trot 5K on roads and wooded trails that winds through neighborhoods before entering the scenic Retreat Trails at the base of Brattleboro’s famous ski jump. www.tuliptrot5k.com
Picnic. Traversing the ruggedly beautiful countryside at the base of Burke Mountain in East Burke, Vermont, the course challenges and delights runners and walkers of all levels. The 5k and 10k races will be run simultaneously, primarily over dirt roads. www.umbrellanek.org
9th Annual Road to the Pogue. A challenging, but beautiful, 6.1-mile course on the grounds of the MarshBillings-Rockefeller National Historical Park. www.roadtothepogue.com 16
Barre Town Spring Run 5K. Central Vermont Runners and Onion River Sports in Montpelier host a 5K race on the Barre Town rec path out to the Rock of Ages Visitor’s Center. Part of the CVR/ORS race series. Contact: Andrea McLaughlin, ajvtskier@ msn.com or 802 476-4417. 17
Race Around the Lake. A 5K and 10K run around Silver Lake in Barnard, Vt. The race is a fundraiser for youth programming through BarnArts, a community arts organization. www.barnarts.org
Shires of Vermont Marathon. The fifth annual Shires of Vermont Marathon runs from Bennington College and heads through the small town of North Bennington before entering into the back roads of Shaftsbury
Vermont Respite House 5K Fun Run &
Jiggety Jog. The Visiting Nurse Association of Chittenden and Grand Isle counties holds its annual 5K race for the Vermont Respite House. www.vnacares.org
Girls on the run 5K. Every Girls on the Run Vermont 5K Run/Walk event is noncompetitive and family-friendly, wherein all GOTRVT girls are winners, with a number “1” on their event bib. Go to www. girlsontherunvermont.org for locations around the state.
calendar of events and finishes in downtown Manchester. www.bkvr.net
www.raceplanner.com 20 21
Dandelion Run. The Dandelion Run is a competitive and recreational half marathon with relay options on back roads deep in the heart of the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. The day also includes a 10K run and walk (adult solo and six person youth relays, included.) www.dandelionrun.org 29 – 31 Coyote Scramble Ultras. Kingdom Trails hosts a full weekend of ultra distance running around the Darling Hill trails with distances from seven to 40 miles. www.coyotemoonultras.com June Capital City Stampede 10K. Onion River Sports hosts Vermont’s fastest certified 10K course as part of the Central Vermont Runners and Onion Rivers Sports Race Series. www.onionriver.com
Paul Mailman Montpelier Ten-Miler. The longest continuously held road race in central Vermont starts/finishes near Montpelier High School, as part of the Central Vermont Runners and Onion River Sports Race Series. Flat to rolling out and back course; 27 percent paved, 73 percent gravel roads. www.onionriver.com
Triathlon/Dualthon May 17
Stowe Triathlon. This early season triathlon includes a 500-meter swim, 13.7K bike, and 5K run in the Stowe area. www.theswimmingholestowe.com
Vermont Sun Triathlon. Vermont Sun holds a 600-yard swim, 14-mile bike and 3.1-mile run in Branbury State park on the shores of Lake Dunmore. www.vermontsuntriathlonseries.com 28
Greater Burlington Sprint/Olympic Tri & Aquabike. Run Vermont hosts a series of four races in Shelburne. Those races include two dualthons and two triathlons comprised of: a 500-yard swim and 15.8mile bike; a 500-yard swim, 15.8-mile bike and 3.1-mile run; a .9-mile swim and 27mile bike; and a .9-mile swim, 27-mile bike, 6.2-mile run. www.racevermont.com
6 Colchester Causeway 5K/15K. Runners follow a gravel trail out onto the historic causeway, where runners will make their way to designated turn-around points on the causeway before returning to the finish at Airport Park. http://colchestervt.gov/Recreation/
Your Four Seasons Complete Bike Shop
Saratoga Springs Duathlon. The Saratoga Springs Lions Club hosts a 5K run followed by a 30K bike and an additional 5K run. The Lions Duathlon Experience is designed to allow for many levels of participation, including family and business teams where members do the running or biking or any combination of male or female. www.saratogaspringslions.com June 20
Smugglers’ Notch Trail Race Series. Smugglers’ Notch hosts 4K, 8K and kids races on dirt tracks around the Smugglers’ Notch area.
Lake Dunmore Triathlon. Vermont Sun holds a .9-mile swim, 28-mile bike and 6.2-mile run in Branbury State park and along the shores of Lake Dunmore. www.vermontsuntriathlonseries.com
2015 Skills Certification Courses Hulbert Outdoor Center, Fairlee, VT
Wilderness EMT Module
Optional: American Heart Association CPR (Heartsaver) Cost: $45
April 11-12 • May 30-31 • November 21-22
Wilderness First Responder
Cost: $615 (meals, lodging, course materials) $500 commuter (lunch, course materials)
EMT WILD Day
Cost: $150 (lunch, course materials)
ACA Canoe Instructor Certifications
April 11-18 • May 18-25 • December 14-21
Level 1 and 2 (2 day training): Cost: $390 (meals, lodging) $310 commuter (lunch)
Cost: $290 (meals, lodging, course, materials) $240 commuter (lunch, course materials) $45 CPR Re-certification May 16-17 • November 21-22
Select Racks, bags, fenders, locks, bells, mirrors & lights, including NEW Monkey Lights! Select Fitness, hybrid & kids bikes reduced!
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HAWK ROCK CABINS Five fully furnished cabins in the heart of the Northeast Kingdom. Enjoy snowmobiling, mountain biking and hiking right from the front door. Just nine miles from Burke Mountain. Direct access to the VAST trail network. Email, call or visit our website to reserve a cabin
May be used as first half of a WEMT bridge course with SOLO. Cost: $925 (meals, lodging, course, materials) $740 commuter (lunch, course materials)
Wilderness First Responder Review (Recertification)
Commute around campus or to school!
www.hawkrockcabins.com • firstname.lastname@example.org • (802) 745 8944
Wilderness First Aid / CPR
Cost: $260 (meals, lodging, course materials) $200 commuter (lunch, course materials)
Back to school, K-College SALE!
Levels 1, 2, and 3 (3 day training): Cost: $475 (meals, lodging) $380 commuter (lunch)
May 30-June 1 • June 5-7 ** 10% Military Discount is available for all of our Skills Certification courses
For more information or to register, please contact Lynn Daly at 802-333-3405 or check our website http://tinyurl.com/HOC-2015-Skills
Gear for Mom! A Vermont Sports Mother’s Day Gift Guide BY EVAN JOHNSON We’re going to make this easy for you. First, Mother’s Day is May 10. Before we go further, go and mark your calendar now. Seriously, we’ll wait. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here are a few suggestions. If she’s looking to bike, run, climb, paddle or dig in the garden, we’ve pulled a selection of gift ideas to bring a smile to her face. These are gifts that perform as well as they look and will have her getting out the door to enjoy spring in style and comfort. If she’s looking to try something new, consider signing her up for a workshop or a guided experience around the state. The Green Mountain Club (www.greenmountainclub.org) has a number of workshops in the spring that will help her develop skills in orienteering, wildlife and nature photography, thru-hiking and much more. Vermont Outdoors Woman (www.outdoorswoman.org), a project of the Vermont Outdoor Guide Association, offers recreation opportunities for women around the state. Flowers and a card are good ideas too.
Black Diamond Women’s Onyx 55 Backpack Designed with a woman’s frame in mind, the Onyx 55 maximizes comfort and stability while hauling a weekend’s worth of gear. At 55 liters, the Onyx is top loading with front zippers for easy access to the interior, plus the shoulder and hip straps move with the wearer, eliminating hot spots and friction on the shoulders and hips while the pack remains balanced. $250
Detours Ballard Market Pannier
Outdoor Research Delta Hoody With plenty of chilly days left this spring, the Delta Hoody from Outdoor Research is a versatile piece that can be worn on its own or with other layers for increased warmth. Constructed with merino wool, the sweater offers stretchy lightweight warmth that’s quick drying and breathable. An odor-controlling coating promises zero stink, while blended fibers cut the cold without the weight or itch of wool. $99
If mom’s looking to ride her bike to any of farmer’s markets around the state, she’ll need a bag that’s up to the task. Two side clips attach this bag securely to your bike with ease and release just as smoothly. When not in use, the clips are stowed in a zippered stash pocket and the bag transforms into a regular tote. For a hands free option, padded tote handles transform again into adjustable backpack straps, a helpful option when carrying up to 920 cubic inches of fresh produce. 30 vtsports.com
AKU Ultra Light 30 GTX As AKU celebrates its 30th anniversary, the European footwear manufacturer has revamped some of its original styles. The GTX is a lightweight day trekking boot with AIR8000 for enhanced breathability, GoreTex liner and a flat Vibram Erica Everest outsole for maximum ground contact and traction, and a dual density EVA midsole. If she doesn’t like fuchsia or purple, it also comes in grey. $199 April 2015
For a small camera, the cube is quite a package. At just a hair longer than an inch wide, it can shoot at 1080p and record 90 minutes of video on Micro SD cards. Various mounts and accessories are already in the works, plus a built-in magnet lets you stick the camera on any metal surface. $100
North Face FuseForm Jacket Weighing just 10 ounces and completely waterproof, The North Face introduces a lightweight and durable layer for high altitude pursuits. The North Face’s FuseForm jacket is cut from a single piece of shell for increased abrasion resistance and has fully taped seams and is stitched with tough, cordura yarn. If weight and weather are concerns for Mom’s next summit attempt, here’s one piece of gear that will go the distance. $299
StrapShot EV1 Garmin Forerunner 15 GMS Monitor Bundle Whether she’s looking to step on the course for the first time or set a new personal record, here is a set of tools for the job. Garmin’s Forerunner Bundle includes a chest strap and watch to help her track her workout including heart rate, distance, pace and more. Plus, she can upload data to the free Garmin Connect online community to join fitness challenges and track progress. $170
The StrapShot is a handy device for carrying cameras without the bulk or frustration of extra straps or bags. The StrapShot attaches to your shoulder straps or belt and an attachment on your cameras tripod mount clips your camera to the strap. The EV1 has been redesigned to carry compact, mirrorless, four-thirds and full-sized DSLR cameras. It also includes a redesigned tether and wrist strap that acts as a safety leash against accidental drops. $79
Paddlers drop in on whitewater release dates BY EVAN JOHNSON With all the snow this winter and cold weather that has kept the snowpack from melting early, whitewater enthusiasts can look forward to running some challenging stretches in Vermont and in neighboring states this spring. In Vermont, the dam releases are not set far in advance, making it challenging for paddlers to know where to be and when. But Julia Khorana, volunteer dam release coordinator with the Appalachian Mountain Club for Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine says with a little scheduling, paddlers in New England won’t have to go too far to find great conditions as many of the rivers in the state will be running high. “During spring whitewater A kayaker drops in on a section of whitewater in the Green Mountains. when the snow is melting and File photo by Nick Gottlieb we’re seeing more rainfall, we’re looking for free-flowing rivers,” the 1500 cubic feet per second release. Keene, the Otter Brook flood control dam has she says. “Dam releases will releases scheduled for April 11-12 and May 2-3 offer opportunities in the summer as well, but MASSACHUSETTS starting at 9 a.m. until the water is depleted, flowing free-flowing rivers in spring are really what I look Deerfield River at 300 cubic feet per second. for.” The Fife Brook Dam in Florida, Mass. has 105 Blackwater River, N.H. Paddlers should be sure to visit American releases scheduled from spring to October. Releases The Blackwater Dam in Webster, N.H. has a Whitewater (www.americanwhitewater.org), the are from 9:30 a.m. and noon with a flow of at least release from April 17 – 19, starting at noon on Northeast Paddlers Messaging Board (www.npmb. com) and the Vermont Paddlers Club (www.vtpad- 700 cubic feet per second, for a three-hour dura- Friday and flowing at 650 cubic feet per second until water is depleted. dlers.net) for information on events, releases and tion. Releases are scheduled for April 12, 15-19, Ashuelot River, N.H. discussion around paddling in our region. You can The Surry Mountain Dam in Surry, N.H. will also go to www.vtsports.com where we’ll post the 22-26, 29-30; on May 1-3, 9-10, 16-17, 20-24, release 275 cubic feet per second as part of its spring latest updates on whitewater conditions in Vermont. 27-31 and June 13-14, 17-21 and 24-28. A hydroelectric dam in Monroe, Mass. has 32 drawdown starting at 5 a.m. on May 2. For paddlers willing to drive further, here are scheduled releases until October. Friday releases are some scheduled releases for whitewater paddling in for four hours beginning at 11 a.m.; Saturday MAINE Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York’s Dead River, Maine Adirondack region. Some are flood control dams releases last five hours and begin at 10 a.m.; Sunday Regulating the flows of the Dead River into the operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and releases are four hours beginning at 10 a.m. Flows others are working hydropower plants. The release alternate between 900, 1000, and 1100 cubic feet Kennebec River, the Long Falls Dam at Flagstaff Lake in the Dead River Township has releases on of excess water can create advanced levels of white- per second. Releases are scheduled on May 23-24 and June May 2 and 9 at 7,000 cubic feet per second, May water paddling, some as high as class four or five. 14, 19-21 and 26-28. 24 at 5,500 cubic feet per second, May 30 at 5,000 Millers River cubic feet per second and May 31 at 1,000 cubic VERMONT The Birch Hill Dam in Royalston, Mass. will feet per second. This spring, paddlers should keep an eye out for releases at popular spots in Vermont, including the drain at a rate of 1100 cubic feet per second starting ADIRONDACKS, NEW YORK Missisquoi River at Sheldon Springs and the Green 9 p.m. on April 10 and flow until the reservoir is In the Adirondack State Park in New York padRiver in Wolcott. Both have releases when water depleted. Westfield River dlers and guiding services look forward to paddling levels are sufficiently high. Operators at both dams The Knightville and Littleville dams in Huntington, on the Black, Moose and Hudson Rivers as well as have not yet confirmed any releases this spring, but as more snow melts, reservoirs will rapidly fill. Mass. have a release scheduled for April 18-19 and other smaller creeks in the High Peaks region. The Paddlers should check with dam operators or with will flow at 1200 cubic feet per second starting at 6 Moose is a free flowing river that sees swells of up a.m. The release coincides with the 62nd Annual to eight feet during springtime melts. The Hudson the Vermont Paddlers Club for updates. River dam at Lake Abanakee sees releases on West River’s Ball Mountain Dam at Jamaica State Westfield River Races. Quinnibaug River Mondays, Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. In Park In Jamaica, Vt. previously had a spring release, The Brimfield Lake in Fiskdale, Mass. will be May and June, the Black River has releases from but participation in a yearly spring salmon release program in recent years and construction of a hydro drained at a rate of 350 cubic feet per second start- Fridays through Sunday. In July, the reservoir syspower facility this April has caused the dam’s oper- ing at 5 a.m. on April 26 until water is depleted. tem will release water every day but Monday and ators to delay any releases until September, when The release also coincides with the Sturbridge Lions Tuesday. The Saranac River, which flows from Saranac the eight-mile run from the Ball Mountain Dam to Club East All American River Race. Lake to Lake Champlain, has a stretch of moderate the backwater of Townshend Lake has class two NEW HAMPSHIRE class 2 rapids known as “Permanent Rapids,” through four rapids with 1 to 2 foot drops. Private Otter Brook, N.H. which is a predictable and popular stretch of whiterafting companies along with paddling clubs from Located in southwestern New Hampshire near water. around New England and New York come to enjoy 32 vtsports.com
Upper Wells River project receives federal funding Pomfret, Vt. – In celebration of World Water Day, the Connecticut River Watershed Council (CRWC) announced a new river assessment project that will take place this summer on the upper Wells River. CRWC recently was awarded an Ecosystem Restoration Program (ERP) grant from the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources. The nearly $68,000 grant will pay for a Phase 2 Stream Geomorphic Assessment, writing a River Corridor Plan, and developing potential restoration projects in the Wells River watershed. CRWC is working with the Caledonia County Natural Resource Conservation District and Redstart Inc. to complete the work during the summer of 2015. “Staff will be walking the upper Wells River watershed in the towns of Newbury, Ryegate and Groton in order to assess stream bank erosion, streamside vegetation, culverts and more,” said Ron Rhodes, North Country River Steward for CRWC. “The end result will help us identify
problem areas where river restoration projects can be pursued in 2016 and beyond.” Notices about the staff doing fieldwork will be posted in town offices, shared via email and posted at numerous public locations in an effort to make local landowners aware of the project. Once the fieldwork is done, public information meetings will be held so landowners and others can see the assessment information and ask questions. “The upper Wells geomorphic assessment will assist the Agency of Natural Resources and our project partners in providing a better understanding of stream process, stream bank erosion, and flooding potential,” said Jim Ryan, Vermont ANR watershed coordinator. “The river corridor plan and project development will identify and prioritize water quality and aquatic habitat restoration and protection areas and recommend specific flood resiliency actions for watershed towns and residents alike.”
Sustainable ag leader to speak at Sterling College CRAFTSBURY, VT. — Sterling College announced award-winning author, farmer and philosopher Fred Kirschenmann will present his talk “Practical Strategies for Anticipating Future Food and Agriculture Challenges” on Wednesday, April 22, at 6 p.m. in Simpson Hall, Classroom 3. This talk is free and open to the public as part of the Vermont’s Table Speaker Series. Kirschenmann has been recognized widely for his work. He was one of the first 10 recipients of the James F. Beard Foundation Leadership awards in 2011 and received the 2012 Sustainable Agriculture Achievement Award from Practical Farmers of Iowa. Other awards include Leader of the Year in Agriculture by Progressive Farmer, the Seventh Generation Research Award from the Center for Rural Affairs, and the first Medal for Distinguished Leadership in Sustainable Agriculture from the Glynwood Center in New York. Kirschenmann shares an appointment as Distinguished Fellow for the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University and April 2015
as President of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in New York. He also continues to manage his family’s certified organic farm in south central North Dakota. In April 2010, he published a book of essays, Cultivating an Ecological Conscience: Essays from a Farmer Philosopher, that traces the evolution of his ecological and farming philosophy over the past 30 years. “Fred Kirschenmann is one of the world’s leading voices for a resilient, sustainable agriculture and food system,” said Sterling College President Matthew Derr. “His advocacy for land ethics, soil health, and biodiversity in agriculture inspires the entire Sterling College community. We look forward to his presentation.” The Vermont’s Table Speaker Series was launched in 2013 to bring noted individuals in the fields of sustainable food systems and agriculture to the Sterling College campus and the greater community. Past speakers have included Sandor Katz, Marion Nestle, Gary Nabhan, and Alice Waters.
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components, frames or entire bikes, head to one of several bike swaps closest to you. You’ll be able to meet other riders, get rid of your old stuff and maybe score a deal on the parts you need. The Waterbury Area Trails Alliance and the Vermont Mountain Biking Association is holding a free bike swap open to the public on May 9 in Waterbury. Preregistration isn’t required, and you get to keep 100 percent of your sales. A number of shops around Vermont hold bike swaps, including Onion River Sports in Montpelier, Earl’s Cyclery & Fitness in South Burlington, and Ski Rack in Burlington — all held on the first weekend in May. Enter a group ride or a race Riding’s more fun with friends. This spring be sure to sign up for the Gravel Grinder on April 19, a 25-mile ride covering some of the finest hills and dirt roads in the Waterbury area. Funds raised will go toward the maintenance of the Perry Hill trails. Another classic ride, the Muddy Onion, returns on April 26. The fully supported ride, presented by Onion River Sports in Montpelier, covers 34 miles of scenic dirt roads and finishes with a barbeque, chocolate bacon and maple syrup shots. In the Northeast Kingdom, the Rasputitsa ride covers 45 miles of rugged gravel roads at the height of mud season. It’s not for the faint-of-heart and it’s scheduled for April 11. This year, Sugarbush and the Mad River Riders have created a schedule to offer women’s Wednesday rides starting mid-June through August. The rides will alternate between starting at American Flatbread for cross-country riding and at Sugarbush for downhill riding. Mountain Bike Vermont team member Alison Zimmer will be on hand, leading the rides and coaching. Volunteer We all love our trails, but they wouldn’t be there if it weren’t for a hardworking group of volunteers that go out and keep the trails in top shape. This spring, get your hands dirty at a workday. The Stowe Mountain Bike Club holds a workday on May 16, and will construct three to four new trail links in the Cady Hill Forest. The Montpelier Area Mountain Bike Association holds their workday on June 6. Check with your local chapter for more dates and locations near you. Try downhill Take a break from the climbs and experience the thrill of downhill riding at some of Vermont’s biggest mountains. Killington, Sugarbush and Mount Snow resorts all have downhill trails from beginner to advanced and base areas complete with rental gear and bikes, uphill lift capacity, private and group instruction and organized rides. This year Sugarbush is making a new practice zone, allowing beginners to ride the “magic carpet” with bikes for beginner/kid practice. The resort is also working on a new beginner trail from the top of the lift, as current riding off the top is intermediate to advanced. In Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, Q Burke and Kingdom Trails have teamed up again to operate the Q Burke Mountain Bike Park, a gravity-fed system of banked turns and technical downhill riding. The park also operates clinics for newer riders. Get to a festival There’s nothing more fun than when mountain bikers get together for a few days of riding, followed up by parties and rallies. The New England Mountain Biking festival, June 19-21 at Kingdom Trails, features a weekend of riding, demoing the latest mountain biking gear, camping, live music and more. That’ll get you psyched for the Vermont Mountain Biking Festival, scheduled for later in the summer on July 31-Aug. 2 in Brownsville, Vt. with riding on the Sports Trails of the Ascutney Basin.
The Nordic Life by Annie Pokorony I’m one of those lucky kids who moved around a lot as a kid. I don’t mean “lucky” sarcastically, because from Park City, to Steamboat Springs, to the Pacific Northwest, to Sun Valley, Idaho, I got the chance to experience some of the best ski towns and cultures that the West has to offer. What drew me to the East for college, however, was not my practiced desire to move, but the storied, historic Nordic ski culture of New England. At Junior Nationals I had seen them — the products of that culture — skiing around in their green and blue suits, recounting tales of their days in BKL (whatever that meant). I wasn’t envious, per say, but certainly intrigued. I wanted to know this eastern Nordic ski community. The first thing I noticed when I got to Middlebury College in Vermont was that every person within the ski community I met had at one time or another cross-country skied. Coming from a family with running and biking parents, I viewed the Eastern families as true specimens, where parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and grandparents all skied. Not every family was an Olympic family, but there were
East vs West in Nordic ski culture
more than one that had the rings hanging from every branch of their tree. Kids in the East all shared, at the very least it seemed, the experience of Bill Koch League, where they scooted as school children around their local ski trails, accompanied by candy carrying adults, and lifelong memories of their skinny skis. Many of these kids went on to ski in high school, either for club teams or for their school, and there were entire schools (the ski academies) dedicated to the pursuit of winter sport — a phenomenon that was just beginning to develop at home in Spokane, Wash., when I left. There are many Eastern communities in the mountains that build their winter cultures around Nordic (and alpine) skiing, with town events and shared family traditions, night racing and Christmas tours, to the extent that few kids leave home without spending some quality time on edgeless skis. Once we got to college, Nordic skiing espoused the kind of memories for Easterners that cross country running or soccer did in my western high school: togetherness, teamwork, fun.
The more I thought about it, the more the respective Nordic cultures in the East and West represented cross sections of their geographies and histories. Out West, where the rocky, craggy mountains rip you open and challenge you to love them, the history is equally as rugged. It’s a history where people crossed the country in wagons and horseback with dreams of striking gold but ended up testing the strength of their own individualism and based a culture around it. Today, the philosophical and physical qualities of the independent spirit are embedded in the West’s ski culture, Nordic and alpine. The Westerners who cross-country ski also backcountry ski, and endurance run, and climb. To get involved in the sport, you make the decision on your own, and you chase it and stand by it, because otherwise it’s quite easy to drift away into the more mainstream, resort ski activities. Nearly everyone begins downhill skiing before cross-country, out West, and although great numbers of kids belong to Nordic racing clubs, referring to cross-country as “skiing” may isolate you from your edged peers. But you can own it,
and when you do, skiing becomes yours. In the East, kids grow up surrounded by Olympians, professional skiers and founders of the sport. Every town has trails, it seems, equipped with technical and beginning terrain and at least one skiing guru who loves nothing more than to get to groom them all. You have single tracks in birch woods, or wide racecourses in and out of stadiums. It’s a culture that’s so deep, so old, that it can be intimidating. But it is also most certainly welcoming. The two Nordic cultures of the West and East are indubitably different, but one is not better than the other. For my part, I’m grateful to have experienced both, because without one, I certainly would not have found the other.
Annie Pokorny is a writer from Spokane, Wash., who skis professionally for SMS T2 at Stratton Mountain, Vt.
Book review: ‘Finding Abbey,’ searching for self in a desert grave BY EVAN JOHNSON The writer Edward Abbey is best known for his outspoken criticism of public land policies and advocacy for environmental issues. His books and essays have been a source of inspiration for environmentalists, explorers, anarchists and writers alike. After his death in 1989, four of his closest friends buried him in an unmarked grave in the Cabeza Prieta Desert in Pima County, Arizona. For years, the location of his final resting place has been the subject of speculation, with none of his companions willing to divulge the precise location. But that hasn’t kept devotees of Abbey from looking and one of the latest to take up the challenge is Vermont author Sean Prentiss, who writes about his search in his book, “Finding Abbey – The Search for Edward Abbey and His Hidden Desert Grave.” The book, due out later this spring from University of New Mexico Press, is equal parts adventure and
travel writing as well as narrative journalism that spans the country. Prentiss was introduced to Abbey while in college. Since then, Abbey’s work has formed the way Prentiss views his place in the world. From the book’s beginning, Prentiss attributes his wanderlust to the impression left by Abbey’s works, particularly in “Desert Solitaire” and “The Monkey Wrench Gang.” Abbey first traveled west in 1944, after graduating high school and spent significant periods in the four corners region of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah working as a ranger in state parks. Prentiss’s kinship with Abbey is their shared wanderlust and the yearning to break from the confines of a regimented daily existence. Indeed, before coming to Vermont, where he now works as a professor of English at Norwich University and a creative editor at Backcountry Magazine, Prentiss led a largely itinerant lifestyle, working as a ski bum and a trail builder in Montana, New
Mexico and Oregon. The two share a love for the outdoors and wild places, but Prentiss struggles to find his place in today’s world. While knowing he needs the modern world to make a living, he feels compelled to get away from it whenever he can, to escape to the open road or his cabin in a remote region of Colorado to reflect, write and seek out adventure. On this journey, the focus remains unflinchingly fixed on Prentiss and his firsthand reporting. We see him wandering cemeteries in rural Pennsylvania looking for Abbey family graves, driving to the frozen shores of Lake Michigan in winter and touring the American Southwest in a pickup to interview Abbey’s friends, editors and co-conspirators. Prentiss dwells on the underlying causes of events in his and Abbey’s lives and takes apparent satisfaction in the incidents where the two share similar situations or emotions. In doing so, he applies every discovery, every interview regarding Abbey’s
life and work to his own trajectory. These personal interjections can feel intrusive and threaten to eclipse the character of the very man he’s trying to find, but he always manages to circle back to the task at hand. As he nears the end of his quest, it becomes apparent that the ultimate search isn’t just for Abbey’s bones in the desert, but a path for himself. “All this searching might teach me things I need to learn about surviving in the city, about keeping it all or throwing it all away, about adventure, friendship, the lust for passion, the need for mystery in our lives,” he writes.By finding Abbey, he postulates, he just might find himself. While having all the makings of an expertly researched piece of narrative journalism, what is most commendable about “Finding Abbey” is the narrator’s willingness to go the distance and explore one of modern America’s most outspoken critics, and to inspire others to look for what he rightfully calls “a life worth living.” April 2015
Published on Apr 22, 2015
Published on Apr 22, 2015
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