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PUBLISHER Angelo Lynn C EDITOR Lisa Lynn C STAFF WRITER Evan Johnson C EDITORIAL INTERN Brianna McKinley, St. Michael's College ART DIRECTION & PRODUCTION Shawn Braley C ADVERTISING MANAGER Christy Lynn C ADVERTISING SALES Greg Meulemans C | (802) 366-0689 Dave Honeywell | (802) 583-4653 C GEAR & BEER EDITORS Sue Halpern & Bill McKibben C

Evan Johnson follows Rodrick Pingree into the Ice Cave, one of the 28 caves Pingree has explored and helped map. Photo by Angelo Lynn

MEDICAL ADVISORY BOARD Dr. Nathan Endres, Dr. David Lisle, Dr. James Slauterbeck —University of Vermont College of Medicine; Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation


CONTRIBUTOR PHOTOGRAPHERS Blotto, Brian Mohr, Oliver Parini


EDITORIAL AND PRODUCTION OFFICE Vermont Sports | 58 Maple Street Middlebury, Vt. 05753 | 802-388-4944 We welcome unsolicited material but cannot guarantee its safe return. Materials submitted will become property of Vermont Sports. Vermont Sports is independently owned and operated by Addison Press Inc., 58 Maple Street, Middlebury, Vt. 05753. It is published 9 times per year. Established in 1990. Vermont Sports subscriptions in the U.S.: one year $25. Canada: US funds, please add $5 per year postage. Other subscriptions, please call 802-3884944. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Vermont Sports, 58 Maple Street, Middlebury, Vt. 05753

9 AMAZING TRAIL RUNS Tired of the same old routes? Discover the most beautiful fall trail runs around the state, from 2 to 21 miles. P. 7

TRAINING RIGHT Are you ready to ski? These 6 exercises from Killington's iSports trainers will pump you up like a pro. P. 12


5 THE START What Scares You? 9 GREAT OUTDOORS New ski glades approved, Killington's

World Cup, BTV's new skatepark, The Fittest Bride, Ask Mr. Woodchuck.

15 HEALTH & NUTRITION The Pain of the Sprain, Vitamin D


GEAR & BEER Light Up the Night, Hill Farmstead


Raw Skate Talent: Kyle Burroughs

Vermont Sports is a proud member of

GHOST HUNTING Abandoned quarries, gargoyles and epic singletrack are some of the reasons not to miss mountain biking the Millstone Trails. P. 16

30 CALENDAR Running, cycling, ski movies,

ski swaps and more.

34 ENDGAME Running Against Your Age

INTO THE DARKNESS Inside Vermont's Ice Cave with explorer Rodrick Pingree, and the sometimes frightening fundamentals of caving. P. 18 ON THE COVER: Emily Johnson runs trails in Cambridge, Vt. with Mt. Mansfield showing the first signs of snow. Photo by Brian Mohr

HERE FOR THE HASH Part running, part trail-finding and mostly drinking, hashing may be the most fun you can have on a weeknight. P. 20


by Jay Heinrichs

VOTE FOR VERMONT'S ATHLETE OF THE YEAR! Visit to nominate or vote for the

people you think should be Vermont's Athletes of the Year. Winners will be announced in our upcoming issue.





WHAT SCARES YOU? © PatitucciPhoto

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” — Eleanor Roosevelt


f you are an athlete, you have faced fear: fear of losing, fear of getting hurt, fear of not being able to accomplish what you set out to do. But wait, isn’t fear what you also love: that tingle of hesitation, the surge of adrenaline and, when you conquer it, the sense of accomplishment? Truth is, we like to scare ourselves. We can do so in big ways: doing a risky move while free-climbing, or in small ones, by simply spooking ourselves. It being stick season, Halloween, and a time when darkness descends early, much of this issue is dedicated to the fun, spooky things you can do at this time of year. For this issue, Evan Johnson, the mainstay reporter of this magazine, took on a number of hair-raising assignments, including, with Angelo Lynn, descending into the pitch black of one of Vermont’s hidden caves. He also assigned himself to ride alone through the gargoyles and granite rubble of Barre’s mines. And perhaps the spookiest of all, he joined a bunch of fun-loving, beer-guzzling, off-the-wall runners/drinkers in a series of hashes around Burlington. We are happy to report that he survived—even after hashing’s infamous “on after” parties. On a more sober note, the scariest thing I encountered recently began as a traffic jam on a brilliant Saturday morning in Brandon. A line of cars were backed up. Ahead, lying on the tarmac, was a cyclist. He was clutching his leg and his bike was off to one side.

A Dutchman, he was two days away from completing a cross-country ride from Oregon to Maine with Trek Travel when he collided with a car. The driver, a young woman who had just gotten her license, had pulled out from a stop sign as the cyclist approached. The officer at the scene said it was unclear who was at fault. The cyclist had surgery on his leg and will recover. With all the bike accidents that have happened in Vermont this past year, it's a good idea to wear reflective clothing and carry a flasher. Sue Halpern and Bill McKibben reviewed a number of products that can help make runners and bikers more visible on page 24 and we hope you consider them. We're also encouraged by the more than $4 million in grants the Agency of Transportation announced in September that are going to 28 towns around the state to help improve bike and pedestrian traffic. Already, Manchester is looking at a $580,000 project to build both pedestrian and bike lanes into its downtown streets. Another option for die hard cyclists is to spend less time on the roads and take up cyclocross. This November marks the 25th anniversary of one of the oldest and most legendary races in the state, the West Hill Shop’s Cyclocross Race and Vermont State Championships in Putney on Nov. 1. Get out there, get muddy and scare yourself. But do so safely.


—Lisa Lynn, Editor

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all is perhaps the best season for trail running. The air is cool and crisp, the foliage makes regular routes downright gorgeous, and there are plenty of cider donuts for a postrun snack. It’s also a great time to get out and explore other trails around the state. However, with hunting season in full swing, you need to make sure you are picking a safe area. Here are nine of our favorite fall trail runs, from south to north. By Brianna McKinley

1. Bennington: Woodford State Park, Woodford Trail Trail network: 2.7 miles Terrain: Wide hiking trail. What makes it great: A short drive from Bennington, the Woodford trail encircles the Adams Reservoir. It’s an amazing loop for viewing wildlife: Because of the variety in the 398-acre state park’s landscape, you have the potential to come across otter, deer, beaver, black bear, and even moose. In addition, at 2,400 feet, Woodford has the highest elevation of any park in Vermont. What you need to know: Hiking trails are marked with blue blazes and they have a carry-in, carry-out policy. www.

2. Brattleboro/Dummerston: Southernmost Segment of the West River Trail Trail network: 18 miles Terrain: Dirt road and light gravel. What makes it great: In 2011, the southernmost section of a railway bed that once linked Brattleboro and Londonderry was completed as a rail trail and covered with a soft dirt surface that’s easy on the knees. As you run along this 5.7mile out-and-back segment, you can see rolling Vermont hills on your right and the West River on your left. As the trail continues, it is possible to see hints of where the trail bed was cut out of the rock for the railroad in 1879, making it one of Vermont’s oldest rail routes. This sheltered area is the perfect alternative to busy Route 30, providing a link between Brattleboro and Dummerston, and it offers great views of the foliage. If

Fall foliage, quiet trails, gorgeous views—just some of the good reasons to get off the roads and run trails now.


you’re training for a marathon, try the 16-mile northern section through Londonderry, Jamaica and Townshend, too. What you need to know: The West River Trails are free.

3. Rutland; Pine Hill Park, Carriage Trail and Shimmer Trail Trail network: 16 miles. Terrain: Hardpacked single-track and double-track with lots of rocks, many banked turns, a few berms. What makes it great: Pine Hill was revitalized from a dilapidated alpine ski area into a beautiful 16-mile system of public trails that were designed for mountain biking, but have good options for runners as well. The Carriage Trail is a 10K route that crests at an open meadow with views east to Pico. It’s the site of the October 17 Leaf Chase 10K. Don’t miss Shimmer, a one-mile trail that passes within a stone’s throw of a pond. What you need to know: Pine Hill Park is free for dayuse. Maps and routes at

4. Middlebury: Trail Around Middlebury/Jackson Trail Trail network: 16 miles. Terrain: Footpath, mostly dirt. What makes it great: If you’re a Vermonter, you know that running alongside cows never gets old. The Jackson Trail is a four-mile segment (out and back) of the 16-mile Trail Around Middlebury (TAM). It starts adjacent to a field usually full of bovine companions and then follows a stream bank with views of a small

Continued ...



Rutland's Pine Hill Trails were tailor-made for bikes and runners. And dogs! Photos by Rutland Recreation Department

9 AMAZING TRAIL RUNS - continued from previous page gorge before opening up to a meadow. It is very accessible from downtown Middlebury and is a great opportunity for an out-and-back. If you’re feeling strong, try other segments of the TAM which run through Middlebury College and around the town. What you need to know: It is free to run on these trails with the permission of private landowners, so be respectful. Maps and routes with marked mileage at

5. Huntington: Sleepy Hollow Ski & Bike Center, Butternut Trail Trail network: 13 miles. Terrain: Singletrack dirt with a few rocks and a good amount of roots. What makes it great: Home to the 2015 Queen City Marathon champion Kasie Enman, Sleepy Hollow comprises more than 13 miles of trails carved into a hill. This means you are almost always going up or down, but it keeps the route challenging. Running along Butternut, which is about three miles, is beautiful; the sun filters through the dense trees making strips of light fall in lines along the trail ahead of you. From the parking area it is about one mile to the hand-crafted Butternut Cabin, where there is a stunning view of Camel’s Hump. The cabin, which sleeps eight, costs $180 a night in the winter and $90 in the summer for those without

season passes. What you need to know: Daily trail passes are $3. www.skisleepy

6. Williston: Catamount Outdoor Family Center, Blue Trail Trail network: 20 miles Terrain: Mostly dirt, a grassy field in the beginning. What makes it great: Flatter than some of the other trails at Catamount, the Blue trail starts in a grassy, open field but remains cool as the rest of the 5K is in the woods. Catamount offers tons of fun races such as the Tuesday Night Trail Running Series, Sunday Morning Sixers, and the Mammut Thursday Night Group Trail Runs. Looking for a treat after a long run? Stop at Adams Apple Orchard on Old Stage Road in Williston for a delicious apple cider slushy on the way home. What you need to know: Day passes are $8 with season passes going for about $100. www.catamountoutdoor

7. Stowe: Trapp Family Lodge, Sugar Road to the Slayton Pasture Cabin, Trail network: 35 miles Terrain: Soft pinecovered trails and forest roads, singletrack. What makes it great: You might think of Trapp Family Lodge as a place to ski or mountain bike but trails there

are perfect for running too. For a great 10K, head from Sugar Road out to the Slayton Pasture Cabin and back. You can get a good two-kilometer warm-up on Sugar Road before snaking your way up Owl’s Howl. From there, it’s two and a half kilometers to the cabin, which is open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Refuel with snacks and water and continue your run or check out the views south and east to the Worcester range. What you need to know: Trail passes are a must and can be purchased at the Outdoor Center for $10.

tearing through the cedar swamps south of the Center before dropping down to the Black River and climbing right back up. With a mix of singletrack and ski trail climbs and primarily singletrack descents, this technical course will test your mettle and provide loads of fun.” What you need to know: A $25 membership gives you access to the trails year round. You can also rent a cabin at the Center starting at $99, off-season.

8. Craftsbury: Craftsbury Outdoor Center, Black River Beatdown course

Trail length: 26.1 miles Terrain: Crushed limestone and flat to rolling terrain. What makes it great: The perfect one-way marathon route, this rail trail starts in St. Albans and winds north and east through woods and marshes. After 10 miles, it follows the Missisquoi River through gorgeous rolling farmland with views east to the Green Mountains. You can also start at Enosburg Falls, at the vintage red caboose near the railway station, and run through more dairy country to the terminus in Richford. What you need to know: Much of the trail, which is free, parallels Route 105 and other roads so you can run shorter sections. Watch out for cyclists, who also use this route.

Trail network: 13 miles of running trails. Terrain: Hills, swamps, meadows and forest with a variety of singletrack and doubletrack. What makes it great: With events such as Foliage Runs and the October Trails2Ales running camps, Craftsbury can be a place where the elite runners, skiers and scullers who come here to train on the trails and lake may blow by you. But come stick season, the campers go home and you can have the 400 acres pretty much to yourself. If you want to test your mettle, try the tough new course used for the 2015 Black River Beatdown. In Craftsbury’s words: “You’ll start by


9. St. Albans to Richford: Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail



Race For Your Wedding!

Many brides run stairs to get in shape for their wedding. On Oct. 18, 100 women raced head to head up the stairs at Spartan Race founder Joe De Sena’s Pittsfield course for the chance to win a free wedding at De Sena’s beautiful Riverside Farm, a $40,000 value. Visit for a report on the made-for-TV event from competitor Polly Lynn (editor of our sister publication The Mountain Times).

The First National Forest Glades

The only U.S. woman to win the Olympic downhill and the only U.S. woman with four World Cup overall titles, Lindsay Vonn may be in the gates at Killington in 2016. Photos by USSA/Mithcell Gunn

Women's World Cup Comes to Killington This time next year ski racers Lindsay Vonn, Mikaela Shiffrin, Julia Mancuso and others will likely be skiing Killington. In early October, the FIS, the World Cup governing body, named Killington a U.S. stop on the 2016 women’s World Cup tour. The last eastern mountain to host World Cup racing was New Hampshire’s Waterville Valley in 1991, where American Julie Parisien took first in the women’s giant slalom. The only time Vermont has hosted a World Cup was in Stratton in 1978 where Phil Mahre won the men’s GS and Steve Mahre won the slalom. “We’ve been looking to get back to the eastern part of the United States where we really have a greater concentration of fans,” said U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association spokesperson Tom Kelly. USSA organizers saw an opportunity for the East Coast location when an extra weekend of FIS racing in the United States became available. Kelly said Killington’s snowmaking power made the resort an appealing choice for an early season race. Kelly also credited the close relationship between USSA and Killington’s parent company, Powdr Corp., which has organized national and international level races in the past. USSA has recently partnered with Powdr Corp. on a downhill training center at Copper Mountain in Colorado and Powdr Corp.’s CEO, John Cumming, serves on USSA’s board of directors. “We know exactly who we’re dealing with, we know the resources they have,” he said. “We know we have support from the highest levels of the company.” The races, scheduled for Nov. 26 – 27, will attract some 75 racers from 20 countries. The event will be broadcast in more than 60 countries and could bring between $15 and $20 million to the region.


This may be a national first: in October, U.S. Forest Service officials approved a plan to glade backcountry skiing trails in the Green Mountain National Forest. The project is a unique collaboration between the U.S. Forest Service and the Vermont Backcountry Alliance, the Catamount Trail Association and their pilot chapter, the Rochester Area Sports Trail Alliance. The proposed area is to the south of Brandon Gap on National Forest land that would be accessed from two parking areas on Route 73 and accessed via the Long Trail. The four glades will run from the top of Goshen Mountain eastward to the Bear Brook drainage, through spruce and fir, beech, yellow birch and maple. The four zones include beginner to advanced backcountry skier terrain, with drops of 700 vertical feet on some of the easier areas and 1,200 feet on the more advanced terrain. Lines would be established where conditions are naturally open and glades would retain full canopy coverage. Where vegetation would be removed, emphasis would be placed on trees that are poorly formed or show signs of insect infestation or disease. The plan calls for the selective cutting of trees larger than three inches in diameter and biologists must determine how the project could affect threatened bat populations. Implementation can’t begin until final approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “We’re reminding people to leave their loppers at home until we’re ready,” said Holly Knox, National Forest District Recreation Program manager.

New BTV Skatepark Nears Completion If you saw the hot new skateboard movie, “We Are Blood,” (which aired in October in Burlington) you’ll know that Vermont has turned out world-class skate talent, including featured street skater Chris Colbourn. Soon, street skaters such as Colbourn and Kyle Burroughs (see p. 16) are going to have a state-of-the-art park to ride. Construction on Burlington’s redeveloped skate park is scheduled to be completed in mid-December and opening officially next spring. The million-dollar park has been an eight-year dream of Maven shop owner Brendan Foster and his wife Trina Zide, who worked with the city and designers Grindline Skateparks to make it happen. The 21,000-square-foot park features a giant 150-foot bowl with 8- to 10-foot drops. The bowl also flows nicely into smaller elements like the “bird bath.” The park is part of the greater Waterfront Access North development plan, which includes rehabbing the Moran Plant and a new building for the Community Sailing Center.



THE ART OF WOODSTACKING Dear Mr. Woodchuck, My wife and I just had a mountain of wood delivered to our house and no matter how we stack it, keeps falling over. Any pointers? — R.P. Terrebasse


was downstreet at the general store on Tuesday when Doc Olsen tells me about all the young folks coming up from Long Island dressed like centerfolds from the Orvis catalog. As much as they love the scenery, he says they’re about as handy as a hog winding a watch when it comes to getting wood in. Here’s what I tell 'em: When the snow piles taller than a tall Swede, you’ll want a few cords stacked and ready. Wood heats you twice: once when you stack it, and once when you burn it—that’s three times if you split it yourself. Up here, wood is delivered in what we call cords: that’s 4 feet by 4 feet by 8 feet. Make sure you buy a tight cord or you’ll be paying for a lot of air space. Buy one or two cords at a time, that way you’ll know what you got room for. When that wood’s out in the dooryard, you need to let it be for a good long while to season and dry. There’s no point in bringing in wood while its green unless you want more smoke, so don’t be afraid to stack it and let it sit. Some friends of mine let it sit for six months to a year! Some folks get into a real chewing match about what kind of pile to make and how it should look. The main thing is, ya don’t want the wood to get wet but you do want air to circulate through so it stays dry and doesn’t rot. Keeping it where the sun shines a bit is best and with the cut ends facing the prevailing wind, or uphill and

downhill so it gets natural downdrafts. If you can, get the wood off the ground and stack it on a pallet or something else that will allow air to get ‘round the bottom layer. The tried-and-true method of stacking is to make towers at the ends: stacking three logs one way, then the next three the other direction. That’s what my father did and probably generations before him. Making your corners is straightforward, but don’t take it lightly—find the very best pieces for the base and line them up three or four in a row, then pick out another to place cross-wise to the first, then build your way up. Finding flat ground up here in northern New England is scarcer than hen’s teeth, so your site selection is going to take a little time. Stop when you’re about four feet high—any higher and you’ll be asking for disaster, and then cover it with a black plastic tarp that will keep it dry and help evaporate the moisture. If the pile isn’t standing against the side of the house or the back wall in your basement, use poles or beams of wood to prop up or support it. And if that pile comes crashing down, swallow your pride and start over. Also, consider shimming slivers of wood into the tower’s cracks to stabilize it as the ground around the woods settles and eventually freezes. So now, you’ve got that first cord built up and your back’s stiffer than a wedding drink, but you’re not done yet. Sweep up any bark shavings—especially birch—and any loose paper, including this here magazine, in an old


OniOn RiveR SpORtS

Illustration by Alaina Salgado

basket to keep close by: that’ll help get the stove going when it’s colder than the south side of a light pole. It’s not harder than Chinese algebra, it just takes some careful thought and practice. Plus, while I’m out setting the corners and building up the rows, Mrs. Woodchuck isn’t screaming at me and I can ponder the finer points of life—ike how the leaves are pret-near finished turning and soon I’ll be settling in for my long winter nap. ‘Til next time,

Elwood A. Woodchuck Eds. Note: Our resident outdoorsman Mr. Woodchuck is on call to answer your questions. Send your questions to

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weeks after the injury and involves improving balance and proprioception. Proprioception is how our brains sense the position of a joint without actually looking directly at it. Ankle sprains often hinder our proprioception and physical therapy can help retrain this protective mechanism. Typically sprains can take three to six weeks to heal. High ankle sprains, which are different than inversion injuries, typically represent a more severe injury and can take three months or more to recover. Perhaps the best prevention is to strengthen your ankles ahead of time. Try standing on one leg, or jumping rope. And when you do go for a hike, wear good shoes and watch your footing!


he leaves are dropping and the nights are getting cooler. For many of us, this means taking that mountain hike or going for a trail run. For whatever reason, this time of year often has us treading on uneven ground, which, unfortunately, can lead to ankle injuries. The most common injury is an inversion ankle sprain. This occurs when the ankle rolls and the ligaments on the outside (lateral part) of the ankle are stretched. Typically, this injury leads to sprains of two important ligaments that under most circumstances will heal on their own. However, often folks who sprain their ankles don’t seek adequate care—which leads to repeated sprains. The two small strap muscles on the outside of the lower leg (the peroneus longus and brevis) form a protective muscle group that prevents strains. When an ankle begins to invert or roll, these muscles fire to prevent inversion. After an ankle sprain, these muscles need to be retrained to do their jobs. Also, when ankle ligaments are stretched, the feedback mechanism that tells our brains we are in danger of a sprain gets short-circuited. We no longer get that warning signal that the ankle is about to roll and we can have repeat sprains. What should we do to prevent and treat ankle sprains? One University of Wisconsin study looked at 1,460 high school basketball players and found that players who used lace-up ankle braces had significantly fewer initial sprains or repeat injuries compared with those who didn’t. This finding has been supported by other studies and is a reason why braces are often recommended after an initial sprain. If a sprain is severe, you may spend a short time on crutches. But the number one treatment for ankle sprains begins with something called protected weight bearing. Protected weight bearing means using a walking boot, a stirrup splint or a lace-up brace to help protect the ankle during the first phase of healing. Of course, RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) is critical during this initial healing phase. The level of protection for the ankle all depends on how severe the sprain is. Sprains are graded into three levels. A Grade 1 sprain is a very small tweak or minimal stretch to the ligaments. Typically, these are minimally painful and heal very fast. A person with a Grade 1 sprain may be able to use a lace-up brace right away. Grade 2 sprains are the most common and involve more stretching of the ligaments with swelling, bruising and difficulty bearing weight. These often will need either a walking boot for a week or two or an ankle stirrup depending on how painful it is to put weight on your foot. Grade 3 sprains are complete tears of the ligament. These usually do not need surgery, but will likely need some period of time in a walking boot with a slow transition to a stirrup. During the recovery phase, some form of physical


therapy is usually recommended. This is extremely helpful to help return mobility, to reduce swelling and pain and to strengthen the ankle joint. The more advanced management of ankle sprains starts about two to three

Dr. David Lisle is a sports medicine physician in Burlington, Vermont. He holds dual appointments as assistant professor in the Department of Orthopaedics and the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. He is the director for the sports medicine curriculum in the University of Vermont Family Medicine residency program. Dr. Lisle serves as the team physician for St. Michael’s College, the Vermont Lake Monsters Single A baseball affiliate and several Burlington-area high schools. He is also an assistant team physician for University of Vermont athletics.



s we enter the long, dark days of winter, our natural sources of vitamin D start to wane. That’s because much of our vitamin D comes from exposure to sunshine or from eating foods such as canned sardines, pink salmon, or fortified milk. A lack of vitamin D has been blamed for seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and associated with a variety of diseases, including arthritis, diabetes and colon cancer. And vitamin D has been shown to help in protein synthesis, bone metabolism and muscle function. Increasingly, scientists are finding there’s also a correlation between levels of vitamin D and athletic performance. One study looked at 24 ballet dancers and measured their isometric vertical strength and vertical jump height over four months. Those who took vitamin D supplements reported sig-

nificantly greater strength and jump height and fewer injuries. Another study, done in the United Kingdom in the winter with professional athletes, showed increased sprint times and vertical jumps among those who took supplements. After reviewing these and other studies, Stella Lucia Volpe, Ph.D., R.D., L.D.N., a nutrition researcher at Drexel University, concluded that vitamin D supplements could improve performance in athletes who were diagnosed with deficiency but had no effect on those who were not. (Her study was published in American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal, in 2014). The bottom line, get your vitamin D levels checked and if they are low, take a supplemental dose recommended by your doctor. —L.L.


Training Right There’s a reason why World Cup skiers, Olympic athletes and NFL stars head to Killington’s iSport to train each year. It’s not just to get in shape, it’s to learn to train right. Story and photos by Peggy Shinn


ifteen stomach crunches. That seemed easy enough. Except, I had just spent an hour doing medicine ball rollups, sideways pulls, and a half dozen other challenge stations on a circuit designed to whip the middle-aged into shape. Intermixed were weighted lunges and squats named after former Eastern Bloc countries, fast-footed drills through an agility ladder, lateral jumps over mini-hurdles, and one-footed balance drills on a BOSU ball (short for “both sides utilized”). It wasn’t just the intensity that was hard, it was the way we performed each drill. Better to do one perfect lunge—shin forward, heel down, knee stable, thigh parallel to the floor—than 10 wobbly, off-kilter ones. Pain aside, I was happy to be here in Killington at iSport, the sports medicine branch of Vermont Orthopaedic Clinic, for part of a five-week, pre-season advanced ski training class. None of us in the class had been injured—at least not recently. My goal was to not only get stronger so I could perform better on the slopes but also to prevent future injury. The movements we were doing—and don’t call them exercises—are the same ones that iSport’s founder Bill Knowles and his protégé Tyler White have developed for a who’s who of Olympic gold medalists, NFL, NBA, and NHL stars. They include Vermonters Hannah Teter (Olympic gold and silver in snowboarding), Hannah Kearney (Olympic gold and bronze in moguls), and Lea Davison (World Championship silver in mountain biking). Signed posters of these athletes and others dot the hallway at iSport. As for the stars from more mainstream sports, White won’t divulge names. But he did chuckle as he remembered the NBA player who arrived in

Killington in the dark and feared he would be eaten by a bear. Bill Knowles, the former head trainer and performance director at Burke Mountain Academy, founded iSport 10 years ago. He had become so effective at helping academy skiers recondition after knee injuries that skiers around the world flocked to him. At iSport, he aimed to offer the same reconditioning and performance training to athletes across the board—and not only those on their way to the Super Bowl or Olympic Games. Knowles recent-

ly moved to the Philadelphia area to work with Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford and others. But he handed the reigns to his protégé, White, to carry on. As White says, “You don’t have to be a big name to train here. I just like seeing people get better.” ISport’s movements are designed to make people stronger and fitter by focusing on quality over quantity. In other words, it’s not what you do, how fast you move or how much weight you lift. It’s how you do it. As an example, White describes what happened when he first met Knowles in 2008. The elder trainer gave a talk at Castleton State College (now University), where White was a senior. Knowles asked for a volunteer to demonstrate how to properly step up on a box. Simple enough, thought White. So he raised his hand. Except instead of just stepping up on the box as if climbing the stairs, Knowles showed White, in infinitesimal movement by infinitesimal movement, how to properly strengthen the glutes, quads, and hamstrings by the simple motion of stepping up. “It was: ‘Drive your heel into the ground! Get your quad, hamstring, and glutes firing together. Don’t step up yet, keep pressuring down, then slowly shift your weight over into the step. Drive down into the step, control yourself up, control yourself down, step off,’” explained White. No knee caving inward, no body leaning forward, no cheating by using the calf muscle. “If you let bad technique go, it’s going to become worse technique,” he added.

Bad technique, or simply doing whatever it takes to accomplish an exercise, means weaknesses get weaker, strengths get stronger, and the imbalance can lead to injury down the road. With the focus on balanced movements, the iSport facility above the Killington Medical Clinic is not filled with weight machines, treadmills, or lab equipment. Instead, it’s one big room that looks, at first glance, like an indoor playground. The walls are lined with racks of brightly colored balls—fit balls, weighted medicine balls, and blue BOSU balls—as well as boxes of colorful stretchy bands, tall orange “slalom” poles, blue and green balancing poles, racks with webbing and jump ropes draped over them, and the Pacer, a blue cube that’s made of foam for jumping (but with no rebound). Fun, right? Then there’s the big blue rope, thick enough and long enough to hold a large boat at anchor. To keep it moving continually along its entire length takes muscles that you didn’t even know you had—and lung-fulls of air. “The NFL guys like it,” said White with a smile. But women with feeble arms? Not so much. Everyone works out with the same equipment though, doing the same movements, whether you are a high school soccer player recovering from shin splints, a World Cup alpine skier trying to step on the podium again after a torn Achilles tendon, an NHL Stanley Cup player with a trick shoulder, or a middle-aged mom hoping to keep up with her ski-racing daughter on the slopes. As for those 15 crunches, I did five easily. Until White reminded me to keep my chin pointed toward the ceiling and elbows out. My abs were soon marinating in lactic acid. And don’t ask me to haul on that heavy rope.

Olympic freestyle champ Hannah Kearney trained at iSport to build strenght after a knee injury. Photo courtesy USSA




The beauty of the iSports training program is that once you learn to do the movements correctly, you can do many of them in a home gym since they don’t require specialized weights or fitness machines. Here are five movements that will strengthen the muscles you use skiing or riding. Doing these for five weeks pre-season will not only make your skiing better (and help eliminate that early-season burn) but will also help prevent injuries.








1) Bent Knee Side Step with a Mini Band Skiers and other athletes use this movement to strengthen their hips (gluteals) and quadriceps. To do this correctly, you should push down through your feet with each step. This will fire the quads, glutes, and hamstrings and increase stability. Keep your toes pointed forward. Use arm action, as if you are walking sideways, to coordinate the move. Do two side steps to the right, then two to the left and repeat three times. Do 1 or 2 sets.

2) Single Leg, Multi-Touch We often have one leg or side that’s weaker and when you ski or ride, you can favor that side. A much better approach is to strengthen each of your legs individually. This movement will help you develop balance and strengthen each of your legs. The key is to stand on one leg, with your other stretched back behind you, and then simultaneously flex at the ankle, knee, and hip as you lower your body and touch the floor with your hand. Use your quads, hamstrings, and glutes throughout the movement. One rep in-


volves dipping three times and touching the floor in three places: on the left side, in front and then on the right side. Do 4 reps for each leg and try for 2 to 4 sets.

3) Bulgarian Split Squat This movement can also help overcome any favored side and can be used to strengthen the quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteals. Squat on one leg, with the other leg resting on a bench. Performing the exercise on a single leg increases stability by firing your quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Do 6 to 12 reps for each leg and then 2 to 4 sets.

4) Side Lunge This movement is used to strengthen the gluteals, the hamstrings, and the quadriceps. It also trains your body to handle lateral movements, like the quick turns you might make through the trees. Step directly to the side, step on your mid-foot, then quickly transfer weight to your heel as you lunge. 8-12 reps each leg, 2-4 sets.

5) Resistance Cord Side Rotations This movement uses a ski specific position to develop strength in the legs, abdomen, back, and shoulders while connecting the lower and upper halves of the body. Stand sideways to the cord. Take a “ski stance.” Push into the ground with your feet, anchoring your legs as you pull the cord across your body. Return to the start position with control. Do 5 to 12 reps per side and 2 to 4 sets.

6) Side Plank This movement strengthens your abdominals and gluteals, while also strengthening the muscles in your shoulders. Rest your body weight on your elbow and the side of your foot. Keep your side up and your body in a straight line. Hold for 20-90 seconds each side. Do 2 to 4 sets. A training session costs $125 with discounts for multiple sessions. For more information, contact Tyler White at



ON THE MILLSTONE TRAILS Gargoyles, abandoned quarries, deep dark pools and spiny singletrack are just some of the reasons Millstone’s trails may scare the daylights out of you. And make you want to return. By Evan Johnson




Gargoyles (left) and blocks of granite make trails like Roller Coaster (above) a trip through Barre's mining past. Photos courtesy Millstone Trails Association


am somewhere in the woods of Barre at a trail intersection and it’s quiet. It’s way too quiet—even for a Tuesday. I’ve been barreling along single and doubletrack trails for the past three hours and the fact that I haven’t encountered a single other person out here is starting to wear on me. There are plenty of signs of people: the refuse from last summer’s swimming parties and ruts in the dirt worn by riders before me. Just two minutes ago, I discovered what had been a three-story tree fort constructed of salvaged lumber, now collapsed and covered in moss and pine needles. All this space and quiet has me feeling uneasy. Alone in the woods, my mind fills the idle time with thoughts that start to turn nonsensical and menacing. My hiking friends call this trail mentality “the monkey mind.” A crisp September breeze stirs the trees and behind me I hear branches snap. My head swivels, eyes wide. Contemplating my choice of trails, the sensation is less Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” and a little more like the horror movie “The Blair Witch Project.” The breeze rises again and I realize the hair on the back of my neck is standing up. I stand on the pedals and bear right, my tires spitting dirt and pine needles behind me. I fly down a wide, grassy trail that meanders between massive grout piles and small mountains of discarded granite blocks the size of microwaves or sub-


compacts. All around me, clues from the area’s mining past are still visible; the towers, concrete footings, derricks and bullwheels lie derelict and wrecked, like some giant had run amok. What had been a bustling industrial quarry operation sprawls in rusted disarray. The air smells like wet leaves and dirt. As I climb Grand Lookout Trail, I notice carvings in the side of a high wall of stacked stone. There are gargoyles, Roman columns and the outline of a hand—all cut with precision in the solid rock, sandpaper-rough under my fingertips. I ride to an outcropping of stone that overlooks one of the dozens of flooded mining pits that dot the landscape. I step out onto the ledge and look down. Something in my stomach curls into a hard, acidic fist. My breath catches in my throat. My feet take an involuntary step back from the gaping maw of the pit some 50 feet below me. Close to the wall below, where the sheer rock face drops through the water’s surface, rays of sunlight glance off a shallow ledge with glints of turquoise. But farther out, the bottom falls away and the impenetrable water’s ominous shades of green and black—shades normally reserved for the bottomless ocean—indicate unfathomable depths. The cliff’s edge is just inches from my shoes. I pull away and hop back on the bike. Not half a mile later, I reach Grand Lookout. To the south I can see Lincoln

Peak and Mount Ellen, and to the west Camel’s Hump and at the farthest extent of my visibility, Jay Peak. The views offer the briefest moment’s introspection before I pull the already-wrinkled map out of my pocket and orient it to a compass. Then I set off for an area marked “Gnome Man’s Land.” In Gnome Man’s Land, the Roller Coaster trail starts with a narrow catwalk of bridges that carry me over a pile of jagged rocks. I clench my teeth and grip the seat with my knees, trying not to notice the 40-foot drop just a few yards to my left. When I’m more securely on solid ground, the trail branches off into forest and the descent begins. Turns and trees pass in a blur of dirt and thin saplings. Despite the fact that my heart’s pounding somewhere in my throat, I’ve got a smile plastered wide on my face. It’s one of those days where I fully understand my attraction to the sport. In descents and climbs and the moments in between, I derive a sense of control in the midst of an environment that indicates otherwise. When the going gets steep and rooty, and the trail throws you high up banked turns or over gaps, the only thing to do is keep a twofinger grip on the brake levers, drop your weight over the back tire and hope your handlebars don’t clip a tree. It works like a charm—nearly every time. Where other trails around the state are carved into topsoil and loam, the advanced trails in Gnome Man’s Land

climb and descend by way of the rocky spines that erupt through the thin soil. The Vortex Trail is a blender of sharp turns and narrow gaps that whip and toss me tumbling onto rocks and into trees. At the top of the loop, someone has placed a small sign: “Spin again?” You bet, I think and head for another. This time, the bridges, drops and curves don’t faze me and I lap Vortex twice before I decide I’d better be getting home. The descent is on narrow rock spines that run through tightly spaced spruces. There’s no other line to take. It is a situation where I can brake and probably go over the handlebars or take the drop and hope for the best. I choose door number three and opt for the dismount. The solitude means there’s no one to call for backup in case I take a heavy digger and so I err on the side of caution. I pedal back to the Town Forest where I slowly meander on double track, pausing to marvel at immense pools of water far below. With a long drive back to the Champlain Valley ahead of me, I reluctantly turn toward the parking lot. Millstone had flatly chewed me up and then spit me back out and yet I’m feeling surprisingly good about that. Chewing my sandwich, it occurs to me that if I didn’t emerge from the woods without sore legs and a few scrapes and bruises, the day might not have been so memorable. That’s the attraction, and that’s why I’ll be returning soon.




In 2005, much of Barre’s former quarry lands opened to the public and 32 miles of recreational trails were created, giving access to non-motorized vehicles. The trails are currently maintained by the Millstone Trails Association (www. and made possible through agreements with local landowners and a crew of volunteers. For bikers, day passes ($10) or memberships (available through the Vermont Mountain Biking Association) are required. Buy passes at Onion River Sports and Slopestyle Ski & Ride, both in Montpelier, and Morgan’s East Barre Market and Lawson’s Store in Websterville (Lawson’s is cash only). To access the Barre Town Forest, park at 44 Brook St. near Lawson’s Store in Websterville or at the Barclay Quarry lot at 111 Barclay Quarry Rd.

Where to ride The Millstone Trails are divided into three areas: the Barre Town Forest, Gnome Man’s Land and Canyonlands. The Barre Town Forest is the largest of these areas at 400 acres and includes multiple large loops with trails appealing to novice mountain bikers. While technically not in the Town Forest, the nearby Whetmore and Whetmore Heights trails have one of Millstone’s most sustained climbs as well as quarry relics. Gnome Man’s Land has more advanced terrain. In addition to Roller Coaster, try the Angry Gnome trail, which crosses wooden bridges over rocky gaps. Harrington Heights, Harrington Ridge and Vortex feature steep climbs, stretches of exposed granite, bridgework, loose rocks, and slippery roots. To the south of Gnome Man’s Land is the Canyonlands, which includes advanced and intermediate trails including the Fellowship Ring, a long and twisting singletrack trail (take the first left onto it when you arrive). It’s named in honor of Chittenden County’s VMBA chapter Fellowship of the Wheel, which helped design and build it. This area is also home to some working quarry roads, so it’s best to stick to the trails.

Hike to quarry views For a day hike or a break from riding, the Town Forest and Gnome Man’s Land offer a number of hiking trails accessed

by way of the VAST trail or other doubletrack bike paths. In the Barre Town Forest, head to the Rock Tower, the Empire Lookout, Pierre’s Point and Lovers’


Lookout. The outcroppings feature mellow ascents about a mile apart, making it possible to link them together in a day. In Gnome Man’s Land, park your bike


Some quarries are over 300 feet deep and many of the abandoned ones fill with water. It's tempting (but unauthorized) to swim or dive here in the warmer months. Photo by Evan Johnson

at the side of Roller Coaster and hike less than half a mile to the east-facing Sunrise Lookout, which overlooks a deep abandoned quarry with sheer rock faces.

Outfitting and gear The Magic Wheel Bike Shop in nearby Graniteville has closed as the owners transition to a new location in Barre, with plans to reopen in 2016. If you’re headed to or from the trails and need any repairs, rentals or just an energy bar, be sure to check out Onion River Sports in Montpelier. Slopestyle Ski & Ride on River Street is another great resource in Montpelier and also offers day passes for riders to the trails. The Millstone Hill Touring and Recreation Center is located close to the trails in Websterville. In addition to passes and information on the trails, the Touring Center features Vermont food products, crafts, art and antiques, as well as a small bike shop with a fleet of Jamis bikes available for rental. On your way out of town, stop at one of the last remaining Army-Navy stores in the state, located a short drive out of Barre on Route 302.

Sleep in a (restored) barn Staying within biking distance of the trails is easy with a selection of local inns


A true test of balance, Millstone's many bridges are not for the faint of heart but once you master them, they are as much fun going up as going down. Photo courtesy Millstone Trails Association.

and campsites. Millstone Hill (www., located just north of the Barre Town Forest, has restored barns, lofts, studios and cottages available for rental, starting at $95 a night. For a classic bed and breakfast experience, check into the Maplecroft Bed & Breakfast (www.maplecroftvermont. com) located a short distance from downtown. Owners Dan Jones and Yasunari Ishii have three guestrooms and two suites with private baths. The pair have gone to great lengths to preserve

the Victorian building, first constructed in 1887, and rooms start at $100.

Après-ride eats Located about four miles (downhill) from the trails, downtown Barre is a good spot for your post-ride celebrations or recovery. The Cornerstone Pub and Kitchen in downtown Barre is a local go-to choice for for pub fare with eight signature burgers and plenty of beers on tap. For those who crave sushi or sashimi after a ride, head to Asian

Gourmet for all your favorites. Split a pie at Positive Pie, a Vermont pizza chain with locations in Montpelier, Plainfield and Barre. Try their hand-tossed thin crust pizzas like the Moonshadow (red sauce, walnuts, artichoke hearts, spinach, roasted red peppers and feta), or the Smokehouse (barbecue sauce, bacon, chicken, red onion and bleu cheese crumbles). Wash that down with Queen City Brewery’s Oktoberfest, a traditional German Märzen-style lager with toasty malt profile. If you’ve spent the night in the area and are in need of breakfast, make a visit to the L&M Diner. It has informal and fast diner fare with pancakes, eggs and bottomless cups of coffee—all served by an efficient and friendly waitstaff.

Play a round of disc golf If you still have time and energy, take a few throws around the 18-hole Quarries Disc Golf Course located around the Barre Town Forest. With beginner and advanced tee boxes, the course uses the natural features including piles of grout (discarded granite pilings). Eight different configurations allow groups to circle back to the parking lot from various baskets. The fifth hole plays 130 feet over a quarry. If the disc goes for a swim, consider it a goner.


Into the Darkness


The Ice Cave got its name since it is unusually cold and can have ice in it as late as July. Here, Evan Johnson prepares to descend into the main chamber of the cave.


ropping into the darkness of the cave, I had misgivings. The rock was damp and cold, the air a chilly 45 degrees (20 degrees colder than the shady gulch outside), and the first moves across a log pole and down a crude wood ladder led us deep into a dark pit. The obvious route led over a steep ledge, but ropes would be required. Instead, we were told to angle right, where we climbed down another 10-foot chimney into a cavernous room. Just 10 minutes into the cave, we were in blackness. At the suggestion of our guide, Rodrick Pingree, we turned off our headlamps and let our eyes adjust. All was black for that first minute, then above us 40 feet and off to our right a faint tinge of light reflected off the cave wall.

“It’s why we always carry three sources of light,” Pingree said of the number one rule of caving. He told us of a rescue a few years ago in which two spelunkers had been exploring Nickwackett Cave in Chittenden for several hours and lost all sources of light while crawling in a narrow passage. The two cavers continued until they hit a wall then froze, afraid to move one way or the other with no clue which way was out. They stayed there for two days until a rescue team arrived. My colleague Evan Johnson and I double-checked our three headlamps as Pingree pursued another smaller hole, this one leading back 100 more feet. Then we wormed our way through the talus-strewn tunnels into another, darker chamber.

We turned off our headlamps again and proved a caver’s saying: you’ll never see anything darker than the pitch black of a cave. Moving in such darkness is almost impossible with uneven footing, slick rock, chunks of talus and the occasional pools of water. It’s useless to grope in the darkness for openings that may lead to nowhere, or perhaps into an uncharted tunnel. It’s one of the real dangers of caving: being caught hundreds of feet underground and not being able to retrace your path before exhausting your resources. But what surprised us more than the darkness was how easy it was to get lost in the tunnels even with your headlamps on, even in a beginner’s cave that is fairly safe as caves go. We continued climbing up a nar-


row, twisty chimney. The sides were talus jumbled loosely together with mega-tons of weight holding rocks precariously in place. Then, we maneuvered along a narrow horizontal slit by bridging our backs against one wall and our feet against the other. It was only by contorting our bodies that we made it through a tight, 36-inch opening into a narrow crawl space that led to another upper chamber about 10 feet by 8 feet. Pingree, who is one of the founding members of the Vermont Cavers Association, explained that the cave we were exploring had one unique feature uncommon to most other caves: it’s icy from winter though mid-summer. Wind blows through the cave passages keeping it cold, and in summer it lies in a narrow talus gulch that gets little sun-


shine. That allows the cave to be colder than most, which usually stay in the 4547 degree range year-around. We had been in the cave about an hour and a half and gone a horizontal distance of about 100 feet, when Pingree suggested we find our way out. We started back, but soon it was difficult to remember if we had gone up or down, left or right through passages that started to look the same. And just how had we slithered and squirmed our way through that one contorted passage, questions that led us to embrace the second most important rule of caving: never go into a cave you don’t know or without someone who does, always go with at least four people (if possible) and always tell someone at home where you’re going. An original founder of the Vermont Cave Rescue Network, Pingree also told us of another rescue a couple years ago in the Horse Farm Road Cave in Weybridge. A few inexperienced guys had found the cave entrance. Without ropes or proper gear, they attempted to downclimb the first 40 feet and one of the men slipped, falling a good distance to the floor of the pit and injured his leg. When the rescue team reached the man, they realized they would have to put him in a stretcher to haul him out, but the slit in the cave wasn’t large enough to get the stretcher out with him in it, so they spent hours chiseling off a flake of the cavern wall to create a big enough space to get him out — 16 hours later. “It’s not like climbing outside on a rock face,” Pingree said, “where you can usually reach someone who’s in trouble. That’s why we stress safety, and that begins with knowing the cave before you set foot inside, and if you don’t then go with someone who does.” Pingree has been the president of the group in its early years after its establishment in 1992, vice president twice, and has helped co-discover 13 caves and explore and map 28 others. Access to the caves and precise location are not publicized to ensure those who enter the caves go with someone who has been there before. Most VCA members have access to hand-drawn maps that have been carefully plotted throughout the years by cavers. For two years in 1998-99, he explored and charted the PerSeverance Cave, where he found three pits with drops of 44, 77 and 89 feet. The cave has pools (requiring a wetsuit) and long stretches of crawls with several pinches—tight places that can get less than 24-inches high and just over shoulder width wide, what most of us would consider too tight for comfort. Pingree also helped explore and map the Skinner Hollow Cave near Manchester in 2000. A cave with a nar-


“Soon it was difficult to remember if we had gone up or down, left or right through passages that started to look the same. And just how had we slithered and squirmed our way through that one contorted passage?” row slit of an entrance, it opens up to several larger rooms inside and cavers can descend 150 feet under the surface through numerous chutes, chimneys and and passages, spying bats throughout. Though it is currently closed during hibernation because of White Nosed Bat Syndrome, Pingree recalled taking a state biologist into the cave not long after its discovery and counting an estimated 30,000 bats inside some of the bigger rooms. Years later, after the disease hit the region in 2007, he and the state biologist returned to find almost all of the bats wiped out. “The stench in the cave was overwhelming,” Pingree said, recalling crawling through passages on his hands and knees, dead and dying bats crunching under him. “Some of the bats were

Few know Vermont caves as well as Rodrick Pingree, who has co-discovered 13 of Vermont's caves and mapped and explored more than 28 others.

still moving their wings, and at times the passageways were just thick with them.” Cavers also have to be wary of spreading the disease from cave to cave from their clothing. Washing garments

Getting Into Caving The Vermont Caving Association meets the third Sunday of the month from April to October at the Rutland Regional Ambulance offices, and sends out an e-newsletter every other month announcing upcoming activities, including cave explorations. In addition to always going with an experienced caver and a group of three or more, Pingree notes a few other do’s and don’ts of caving: • don’t deface cave walls with markings; • don’t have a fire in caverns (it can use precious oxygen in a tight spot, and leaves a mess); • pack out what you pack in; • never pee in a cave (the stink doesn’t easily dissipate, so pee in a plastic bottle and haul it out); • be respectful of property owners and never trespass without first gaining permission. The VCA has spent years developing relations with property owners, something that can be undone with a single bad experience with cavers who don’t know the protocol.

after caving, and not going into caves in which bats hibernate during winter months, are precautions that should be strictly followed to avoid further harm to bat populations. Many caves have been closed to protect bats, including the Brandon Silver Mines, six caves within the Purgatory Karst region, Nickwackett and Chaffee Mountain caves in Chittenden, and Plymouth Caves, next to where Pingree grew up and began first caving when he was four. With all the rules and regulations, cave closures to bat disease and the discomfort of the sport itself, why do it? Good question. Not many do. There are about 50 members of the Vermont Caving Association, of whom about a dozen are active members, Pingree says. But the sport does offer some other-worldly sights. We saw just enough to know that it can be magical underground, and if you don’t mind the bats and spiders, aren’t claustrophobic and are flexible enough (and willing) to squeeze through 19-inch spaces, there are underground waterfalls to see, pools to swim in, beautiful marbled stone walls to witness and the wonders of the underworld to explore. It’s cool, exciting and adventurous, but just creepy enough to keep most of us on the lighter side of darkness.


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can hear the chants from Church Street in downtown Burlington, getting louder as I hurry toward the source: To-Ga! To-Ga! To-Ga! To-Ga! In City Hall Park, near the bustle of Burlington’s pedestrian shopping district, a small crowd of about 20 men and women has gathered, wrapped in sheets or towels in the style you might recognize from the movie “Animal House.” Someone is wearing a kilt and another guy has a t-shirt that reads: I run because I really like beer. It's toga night and I didn't get the memo. Then, all of a sudden, the togaclad pack starts to run. We swarm through intersections, yelling and blowing on whistles. We scream down College Street, up Pine Street, in and out of bank drivethroughs and down parking garage ramps. We duck through an alley past Hotel Vermont, crossing Battery Street and dropping to the waterfront, startling the dinner crowd at The Skinny Pancake and snarling traffic. “What the hell is going on?” whines one woman. Nobody takes the time to explain where we’re running to, because, in fact, we’re not sure either. All we know is there’s beer waiting for us and we have to find it.

Welcome to the Burlington Hash House Harriers, a group that combines two wonderful things—running and beer—every week for “hashing,” an activity nearly 80 years old that’s now popular around the world among runners and drinkers. You don’t have to be a world-class runner to join; just be of legal drinking age, have a pair of sneakers and a sense of humor. It may be the most fun you can have in Burlington on a Wednesday night.

House Harriers. Their trails ran in circuitous routes through sugar plantations and bustling street markets, always ending with a cache of beer. After the Second World War, kennels (the name that is still used for hashing groups) began popping up in Europe, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Australia. In 1950, when the government of Kuala Lumpur decreed that all clubs be registered and have a set of rules, the “Mother Hash,” as the group came to be known, penned the first charter with just four objectives::

Hashing dates back to 1938 in Kuala Lumpur, when British militia members and expatriates began meeting on Monday evenings to run a variation of the traditional British paper chase, a game also called “Hare and Hounds” during which a runner, called the “hare,” leaves a trail of paper for the trailing group of runners, the “hounds,” to chase down. Along the way, the hare intentionally lays a meandering trail with concealed marks and false trails with dead ends through a variety of rugged terrain. The group met every week at the Selangor Club, which they titled the “hash house” for its uninventive fare and named their group the Hash

1. Promote physical fitness among our members. 2. Get rid of weekend hangovers. 3. Acquire a good thirst and to satisfy it in beer. 4. Persuade the older runners that they are not as old as they feel.

A drinking club with a running problem

It’s a basic list that continues to guide today’s hashes. Nearly 80 years later, it is possible to travel around the world and participate in a hash in nearly every major city on the way. There have even been hashes in Antarctica. As the activity has increased in popularity, groups maintain a degree of secrecy; the online hashing resource HashSpace requires an invite


from another hasher to join, keeping out lurkers. (Most hashers have fulltime jobs and employers who might not appreciate the antics that occur when employees run around after dark drinking beer in public). But that’s not to say hashers are an unwelcoming crowd. Meeting locations and times for hashes are always posted on kennels’ websites and attract a group ofpeople who, under different circumstances, might never run or drink beer together. As one hasher named Suzy Homewrecker told me, “If you like beer and debauchery and can trot along, then you’re one of us.” It was an invitation I couldn’t resist: I joined a kennel.

Beer near My experiment with hashing began on a Wednesday night in August in Hinesburg at the house of one hasher named Brokeback Lumberjack. Clouds were moving in and threatening rain as I watched a line of vehicles crawl up the gravel road and park on the lawn next to me. As my companions finished lacing up their running shoes, I waved hello and finished the can of Coors Light Brokeback had offered. After a group of about ten gathered, sporting “cranium lamps” (hash-


On on! The toga hash runs through Burlington's neighborhoods.

ing pro-tip: nobody says “head”) and knee-length socks labeled with the hashing cry of “on-on” (this saying, borrowed from a British Air Force squadron, is yelled when the hash has located the trail), our two hares joined us. Wearing only dirty orange chainsaw chaps over their underwear, they packed bags of flour into a backpack and disappeared into the woods. Hares often scout their trails ahead of time, using Google Maps or MapMyRun to analyze terrain, plot routes and arrange locations for beer checks. We gave them ten minutes to create some space while we gathered for the opening circle, one of hashing’s traditions where hashers introduce themselves, identify any first-timers (referred to as “virgins”), review the marks the hares will use on the trail and sing a song. Many of the popular songs in kennels are taken from rugby songs and feature hilarious, X-rated lyrics. Here’s an abridged version of a popular one, sung to the tune of “Camptown Races:” There’s a bear in the deep dark woods Yogi, Yogi There’s a bear in the deep dark woods


Yogi, Yogi Bear Yogi has a girlfriend Cindy, Cindy Yogi has a girlfriend Cindy, Cindy Bear Cindy is a frigid bitch Polar, Polar… You can see where this is going. As it started to rain, we ran for the cover of the trees, looking for the first spot of flour indicating the start of the trail. Many hashes run through towns in Chittenden County. Hares lay trails on streets, sidewalks, alleyways, playgrounds, parking garages, waterfronts and shopping malls in Burlington, Winooski, Williston, Colchester and other urban areas. But the trail through Hinesburg had us on narrow singletrack trails, dirt roads, rugged four-wheeler trails and occasionally bushwhacking around the town forest. Darkness fell quickly. While hunting for piles of flour the size of anthills with my “cranium lamp” I struck up a conversation with Jersey Lunchbox, an electrical engineer at Global Foundries in Essex Junction. I asked where the name came from.


Every hasher receives a name after their fifth or so consecutive hash, derived from wild escapades, physical traits or sometimes just dreamed up by the rest of the kennel. Names are often full of sexual innuendo and the overall sense of humor is unabashedly that of a 14-yearold boy. Some hashers don’t even know the real names—also called “nerd names”—of their fellow hashers and when they run into each other outside of the hash, rather than greet each other as “Glo Balls or “Got Milk” they often just nod and say, “On-on!” That said, it’s all in good fun and since it was only my third hash, I didn’t have a name. Newer hashers are referred to by “just” followed by their first names. As of this writing, I’m still “Just Evan.” Lunchbox told me this is his first year hashing and got his nickname from his girlfriend, who joined him on his first hashes. That girlfriend is now an ex, but he’s still hashing. “It’s interesting how many people from science or engineering fields are into hashing,” he said while we crashed through underbrush. “It’s been a good way to meet people.” Lunchbox and I followed the winding singletrack up a steep hill, picking out splatters of flour and hollering down the hill to the hashers behind us until we found a pair of arrows that pointed in two directions: one labeled “E” and the other with a “T.” The “E” arrow pointed directly uphill, over a series of boulders and through some thick undergrowth. Lunchbox clarified: You can take the harder and shorter route, and be an

Eagle or you can opt for the longer and more gentle route, and claim the title of Turkey. There are marks that let hashers know they’re on the right trail; tell them to backtrack; order them to sing songs or—hopefully—indicate that there’s beer nearby. Thinking we were close to the beer, we took the left and charged uphill. On the next leg of the hash I found myself alongside Stubby Pink Torpedo and Suzy Homewrecker. Torpedo was tall and thin with a goatee and carried a stuffed rabbit on a stick he found on a previous hash. He’s been hashing for the past 15 years. After spending days at work, he described hashing as a release. “You come out and act like a kid—but with beer,” he says. “It’s like Halloween. Most people think it’s a run followed by a beer, but when they show up at opening circle, it’s culture shock. You can always pick out virgins by the look on their faces.” Suzy Homewrecker, a hasher from the Burlington area who works in childcare agreed: “Out here I’m Suzy Homewrecker,” she said with a note of pride. “I’m not responsible for anyone and I’m here for a good time.” Just in front of us, our cranium lamps illuminated the letters BN (Beer Near) pointing us further up the fourwheeler track, where the hares waited next to a cooler backpack filled with Labatt Blue. After four miles of sprints, running uphill bushwhacking and calling "On! On!" beer goes down surprisingly easy.

The On After We wrapped up the trail at a clearing not far from where we started. Surrounded by tiki torches, our hares Just Vargus and Brokeback Lumberjack stoked a bonfire that roared high into the trees. A picnic table nearby was piled high with coolers of water, marinating chicken and bratwurst, more Labatt Blue and homemade pickles. What followed was another hash ritual called the “On In” that highlights the high and low-points of the trail with a few rounds of beers. Beer is both a celebratory act and a punitive measure; in hashing it’s the entire point of the evening. Did the hares lay a terrible trail with not enough flour that had everyone wandering around in the rain and the dark? Make ’em drink. Is this your first hash? Drink, virgin. Did you miss three or more hashes? You guessed it: Cheers. Hashers also issue beers for wearing overly athletic apparel, not following directions, finishing first or “dead f’ing last.” When all the accusations have been made, the circle wrapped up with a bawdy revision of “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” and the attention turned to the fire and food at hand. Someone plugged a radio into a big 6-volt battery, tuned the dial to a top-40 station and the “On After” began. Most times the post-hash party is at a local bar, a neighboring hasher’s backyard or in the parking lot, but the woods of Hinesburg afforded the opportunity for a massive bonfire, grilled food and raucous games of cornhole. While Brokeback Lumberjack

grilled the chicken, another hasher from Burlington named Roscoe told me about his own hashing history. At 54, he’s been a longtime runner with plenty of marathons under his belt. He’s also run the 100 on 100—the 100-mile relay from the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe to Okemo Mountain Resort in Ludlow. Roscoe started hashing while he was living in the Montpelier area and came to his first hash with the Burlington kennel on July 31, 2008. In his early hashing experience, Roscoe discovered that the hashing community often shadows the mainstream running world. Over the weekend prior to the Boston Marathon, Roscoe ran a long Friday evening hash, a Saturday hash and a “hangover hash” on Sunday. He followed this weekend of running and beer with the legendary Boston Marathon on Monday morning —finishing in 3 hours, 40 minutes. He’s also traveled to hashes in Portland, Me., Boston, and Albany, N.Y., camping out, hashing for the weekend and then heading home. “I’ve had some of the best times on hashes and I’ve had some of the worst,” he said while snacking on pickles. “It’s a community that welcomes everyone regardless of experience or their enthusiasm.” Some people come for the running and the affable atmosphere, others come for more beer and get home with a designated driver; all are welcome. In August, a crowd of over 50 celebrated the 500th hash in Burlington’s Oakledge Park with more swimming, grilled food and beer than running. One of our hares for the evening,

No one ever gets dropped during a hash as the leaders often get held up trail finding.



36-year-old novelist "Just Vargus," spends most of his time living in Sweden. When Brokeback Lumberjack went to visit this past year, they managed to catch up with the Stockholm chapter of the Hash House Harriers on a hash through the Swedish capital. Their Scandinavian co-hashers were friendly, following many of the same hashing traditions they knew from across the pond—even performing many of the songs and directions in English. “It was everything we enjoyed, but in a foreign city,” he said. “The experience was very much the same.” There are international hashes spanning the globe from Hong Kong to Wales to Bali, where over 4,000 people have scheduled a hash in 2016. These massive hashes feature multiple trails of varying distances. Vargus was saying something else about hashing around Stockholm when an explosion as loud as a rifleshot left our ears ringing. Everyone swore and leapt backwards, resuming conversations away from the fire or behind the cover of trees. The explosion was revealed to be a can of creamed corn, tossed in the coals for a very loud prank by none other than the second of our hares, Brokeback Lumberjack. The smell of singed veggies lingered. “It’s the most fun you can have with 69 cents,” he laughed from the safety of behind the grill. “And watch out, there’s still another one.”

The toga and the trail After running through the woods of Hinesburg, the following week we completed a Beer Mile on the Burlington Bike Path, a daunting feat that requires a runner to drink a full 12-ounce can of beer before every quarter mile (The world record set this year is held by Canadian Lewis Kent who drank four Amsterdam Blondes and finished in 4:55.8, faster than most people run a mile without a stomach swelling with lager). Tonight on our Toga Hash through Burlington our hare for the evening has laid a “Cajun” trail, meaning that the typical checks for the trail can go in any direction, regardless of which way the arrow points. The city’s parks, neighborhoods, shopping malls and back alleys are all fair game and the trail is disorienting. Every mark has us spread out in a wide radius, looking for the direction to go. Eventually a whistle sounds or someone gives a holler and the rest of the pack takes off in the new direction.


"If you like beer and debauchery and can trot along, then you are one of us." —"Suzy Homewrecker"

In a Venn diagram, hashing exists in the overlapped area between “runners” and “drinkers” and a typical trail caters to the strengths of both groups. In the running camp, stronger runners can stretch out ahead, but backtrack if they lose the trail to rejoin the rest of the group. Meanwhile, slower runners alternate running with short breaks. In this way, the hash inadvertently accommodates runners of all strengths. For runners, it's a bit like doing fartleks, (the Swedish word for “speed play”) in that it blends continuous distance running with high intenstiy intervals. And for those who enjoy the

beer more than the run, the reward comes at the end. At our first beer check, we can see the mountains across Lake Champlain standing in silhouette against a deepening purple and orange sunset. Beers are distributed from a cooler in the back of a car and everyone leans or sits on the wall, enjoying another beautiful Vermont evening. It is the first day of fall. Hashes continue into October and are held on special occasions, including Halloween, Thanksgiving, New Years Day and Mardi Gras, but only resume their weekly schedule in April. HB (the abbreviation for his

hash name) is a retired middle school band teacher from northern Vermont. At 63, he’s been hashing for the past 12 years and that’s all he’s willing to disclose. “However bad, I do have a reputation to uphold,” he tells me. Hashing is now in his family and HB was in San Diego for his daughter’s naming with a kennel she hashes with regularly. Her name is derived from her occupation as a professional pilot. “It was a proud moment,” he says dryly. While we overlook the water sipping Pabst, HB goes on to tell me about a deeper connection he has with the Burlington group. When he lost his brother to cancer two years ago, the first people to send flowers and condolences were his fellow hashers. For him, it’s a community that takes care of its members. “You don’t forget that,” he says. “You never know where your friends will come from.” Just then, a Burlington police car trolls into the lot and backs into a parking space nearby. The crowd of people wearing togas tromping down to the lake must have piqued the officer’s curiosity and so he spends the next 15 minutes observing. The Burlington hashers are wary of police presence; sometimes officers inquire why they’re all running, but mostly, the two groups don’t clash. Nonetheless, while the cruiser sits nearby with the engine running, any open beer cans are slipped under togas or discretely positioned behind backs. HB acknowledges that hashing takes some getting used to; when it comes to starting hashing, he says most people officially start twice: “The first time you’re going to say, ‘these people are insane and I’m not sure I want to do it.’ But the second time you’ll say, ‘Yeah, these people are insane, but they’re really nice people.’” There next to the lake, I find myself agreeing with him. Despite the sore feet and having a full can of Bud Light dumped on my head at one point (my punishment for arriving sans toga), being lost on a deceptive trail in the dark and the long drive home, I’ve been looking forward to this all week. Later, following closing circle, we head off in the direction of a change of clothes and slices of pizza in downtown, satisfied, yet already looking forward to the next trail.




Black Diamond ReVolt

Luci Outdoor


Streak 310 Hot-Shot SL30


o one takes bike safety for granted—not this year, when at least four people have died in high-profile collisions with cars in Vermont. Yes, drivers need to be sober, not speed and pay attention. But as a cyclist or a runner, you also need to do everything you can to enhance your safety on the road. As the days get shorter and darker, the first step is to be visible. Bike lights are nothing new, but the advent of LEDs has made them brighter and lighter. Take, for instance, the Streak 310- HotShot SL30 combo set from CygoLite, ($29.95, As dusk falls, turn on the powerful 310 lumens headlight to see where you’re going. With a run time of about 90 minutes per USB charge, that should be enough to get you home. (Please note that we do not recommend cycling in the dark.) Just as crucial to riding safety is the flashing red rear “blinky” light, which alerts drivers that they should be sharing the road with you. This is critical in low-

The Fly6

light conditions, but even when the sun is shining, its “DayLightning” mode sends a flash that’s visible even on the bluest of blue sky days, letting approaching motorists know you are there. And if something bad happens? The Fly6 ($139, is one of those inventions, like an avalanche probe, that you never want to need. It is not just another powerful red blinky, it’s also a rear-facing HD video camera, good enough to capture license plate numbers if someone is buzzing you or record a collision if they come closer. The unit mounts and unmounts easily from the seat post, runs for six hours in any weather, and when you’re done with your ride, you can download the feed to your computer. It’s called evidence.             Of course, there are moments when you want light precisely because there is no one else around. Headlamps have been evolving quickly in recent years: the flood of light that a cheap headband can produce should make them ubiquitous

occupants of the top pocket of any daypack, just in case. The Black Diamond ReVolt ($59.95,, which casts a bright wide path more than 200 feet down the trail, could even be used for running in the woods at night. It is also our current favorite because it is one of the few that indicates how much battery power remains. Not only that, it can run on both standard triple-A batteries as well as a rechargeable NiMH pack that plugs into anything with a USB adapter. Which, at the moment, is just about everything.  Besides the ReVolt, we also recommend tossing a reflective Buff ($25, www. in your daypack or cycling jersey. It weighs next to nothing, rolls up smaller than a pair of socks, and comes in a variety of stylish patterns and colors. Call us unstylish, but we prefer the neon yellow or blaze orange Coolmax version that's stippled with reflective fabric paint. Use it as a neck warmer, a head band, or a face mask. It is ideal for hunting season, trail runs or brisk autumn rides. See and


be seen. (For half the price, you can get a matching reflective Buff for your dog.) Light in the outdoors tends to shut out the beauty of the world around us. But sometimes the light itself can be a beautiful thing. The Luci Lantern is a super-light, inflatable, solar-powered lamp that was originally created as a low-cost, solar-powered light for the developing world and to be used in regions hit hard by natural disasters. There are now five models, including the Luci Aura, solar mood lighting that cycles through eight different colors. We, however, are partial to the soothing white glow of the Luci Outdoor ($14.99,, which can light up a tent for 12 hours on an 8-hour charge, and packs down to the size of a hockey puck. All Luci lanterns manage to be utilitarian and cool at the same time— they’re the Jambox of solar lights. In fact, set them up next to each other on a tree stump for an instant backwoods party. —Sue Halpern




t is an utter myth that great craft beer is necessarily high in alcohol. Yes, an imperial IPA is going to knock you pretty hard. But the greatest brewer in the world is Shaun Hill of Greensboro Bend (www.hillfarmstead. com.) And one of the genius things about his Hill Farmstead beer is that much of it is relatively low in alcohol. Edward (named for Hill’s grandfather) is a straight-on pale ale, maybe what we’d call a session ale these days. And it is marked, above all, by the immaculate clarity of the flavors. That’s been Hill’s trademark from the beginning: the malt and the hops are like individual notes that then harmonize in your throat on the way down. The Walden—available less often—is even lighter in alcohol, far lower than the standard American brews. It’s a pale ale but not a pallid one; the hop aroma is enchanting, which even a few years ago no brewer knew how to do with a beer like this. For instance, the standby, Edward clocks in at 5.2 percent alcohol by volume, Flora has an abv of 5, and

Walden registers a 4. Each of them gets a rare 100 score from RateBeer, the planet’s crowd-sourced arbiter. (Pabst Blue Ribbon is 5% alcohol, too, and it scores a 2.) So save that barleywine for drinking by the fire; if you’re going to have a pint at a bar, read the small numbers on the label and make it something from Shaun Hill’s house of wonders. If you want bottles of Hill’s beers, or to fill your growler, then you need to drive (or bike) to the brewery at Greensboro Bend—a trip that combines easily with a day at Craftsbury Outdoor Center for running, biking, skiing or sculling. The trip is worth it just to see the beer nuts from across the continent lining up, glassware in hand. But if all you want is a glass, the best place to try Hill Farmstead locally is Parker Pie (, not far away in West Glover. The pizza is remarkable, the music is damned good, and at last count 7 of their 10 beer taps were tuned to Hill Farmstead. —Bill McKibben





We show you how to stay safe – in the SAFETY ACADEMY LAB on


1899 M O U NRTOAAI ND STOWE VT 05672 • 802.253.4411




RAW SKATE TALENT NAME Kyle Burroughs AGE: 32 LIVES IN: Burlington FAMILY: Mother and father, Ann Latulippe and John Burroughs; brothers, Andre and Rene Latulippe OCCUPATION: Owner of Wholey Cacao PRIMARY SPORTS: Skateboarding

Kyle Burroughs gets one with nature at the top of Stowe Mountain Resort. A natural talent, he doesn't eat cooked food and doesn't need much in the way of obstacles to pull some cool moves. Photo by Blotto


ou may know Kyle Burroughs as an advocate for Burlington’s new skate park. Or as the producer of the new movie, “Best Ever” that celebrates street skating. Or as the certified raw nutritionist,who launched the chocolate company, Wholey Cacao. But most of all, Burroughs is a proponent of street skating who is also hoping to steer skaters to a healthier lifestyle.

VS: When did you start skateboarding? KB: I started when I was 12 years old. When I grew up there were no skate parks around Burlington. There is something different about being out in the street with everyone else (including people who aren’t skateboarding) and being a part of the scene in town. I grew up just skating in the streets and finding spots and there’s something really magical about that. People aren’t exploring and going out with their buddies and being part of the street scene as much now and I’d like to get kids into that. Make the city your park and find places where it’s OK to skate. You can be respectful of others and not be confined to a box. In the street, skaters can express themselves a little more creatively.

VS: What moves are you most proud of? KB: Since I’m really into street skating, rather than parks with ramps and bowls, the types of moves I do are flip tricks, manuals which are like wheelies, and skating ledges. One of the most difficult things I’ve done is flip tricks on stairs. It’s also one of the scariest things. In California I tied for first in a competition with a switch kick flip down a flight of ten stairs at Oakland’s Town Hall.

VS: What are you still working on? KB: Everyone has a usual stance—either regular or goofy. When you do a switch move, you have the other foot in front. I try to do switch as much as I can. When I was younger I always pushed with one foot and over the years that has caused an imbalance in my feet and legs, so now whenever I push, I push switch. One piece of advice I give to kids is to push switch as much as possible.

VS: In spite of your love of street skating, haven’t you been involved with the new skate park in Burlington? KB: I do want the new skate park and I have been promoting it. I was part of the group that got it named the Andy Williams Memorial Skate Park for A-Dog

(the Burlington DJ and skateboarder who died in 2014 from leukemia at age 38). I want there to be a park but I don’t want kids to forget about street skating. So often parks get to be corporate places with sponsors like Mountain Dew and Gatorade. Getting little kids drinking that stuff is not what I’m about.

learned about permaculture. I saw him a few more times when he was on the East Coast and took his class online through the Body and Mind Institute so now I’m certified to teach raw nutrition and do one-on-one consultations.

VS: I’m guessing as a certified raw nutritionist you don’t drink that stuff. Tell us how you got involved with that field?

KB: I started it in January 2011. David Wolfe pioneered the idea of raw chocolate and that’s what I do. All my chocolate is cold-processed, which is a process that only came to America in 2006. After I took David’s class I came back to Vermont to look for raw chocolate and couldn’t find it so I started making it for family and friends. You get about 50% more of the health and anti-depressant benefits from raw chocolate. It’s one of the top ten healthy foods in the world. I got into the Burlington Farmers’ Market in 2011 and now I’m a permanent vendor in summer and winter. I also sell my chocolate to City Market, Healthy Living and some other health food stores.

KB: I was going to become a professional skateboarder and I grew up on the standard American diet. I was just about to turn pro with a skateboard company when I got sick with vertigo and the doctors didn’t know what it was. I did my research on-line and found a video of David Wolfe making a smoothie. He’s a guru of raw food and I loved his energy. I had never heard of the foods he was using, but I bought the ingredients and made a smoothie and all my symptoms went away. I wrote him a thank you letter and discovered that he was doing a permaculture class at his place in Hawaii. I didn’t know much about permaculture but there was an essay contest to take the class and after I sent the letter I was encouraged to apply and I did. I went to his house and met him personally and


VS: When did you start your business, Wholey Cacao?

VS: Is skateboarding growing? KB: Yes, definitely. It’s getting bigger and bigger every year. Two of my good buddies, Chris Colbourn from Williston and Jordan Maxham from Barre, just came


VS: The movie has also evolved into a product line, hasn’t it?

out in the biggest skateboarding movie ever, a $3 million project called “We are Blood,” which was number one on iTunes. They were flown out to Dubai, China and Brazil for that project.

KB: We decided to make a brand out of the movie. We have an Instagram account called “besteververmont” with pictures of our skateboarders. Stephan has a background in clothing so we decided to make some T-shirts. We wanted them to be hip and cool , but we were also conscious of where they were made and what material so all our apparel is made in America and we try to use organic cotton. We’ve got T’s, hoodies and tote bags which we sell from our website and in some local retail stores and skate parks.

VS: Why does Vermont turn out so many good skateboarders? KB: We’re becoming very well known around America as being one of the strangest places to produce amazing skateboarders. I just think the community of skateboarders here is very friendly which has a lot to do with Andy Williams (A-Dog) and some of the older guys. In other places you have to earn your stripes, but here there are so many new skateboarders with all the colleges that people are open and welcoming. A few skateboarders in my generation were the first to start getting real sponsors and the ones just below us are at the highest level in the industry.

VS: Tell us about your movie, "Best Ever," which uses all-local talent. KB: We premiered "Best Ever" last December at Arts Riot and about 300 people showed up. My friend Stephan Echo and I were making a video with A-Dog (Andy Williams) but he passed away before we could finish it. We decided to complete the movie in his honor and to celebrate

VS: People think of skateboarding as a young person’s sport. Is that accurate?

In his film "Best Ever," Burroughs captures the energy in Burlington's street scene. Photo by Blotto

the sport of street skating. Nowadays, skating has been taken over by the corporate world and we wanted to take it back to its original roots and make a real street skateboarding video. Some of these big skateboard companies aren’t even owned

and operated by skateboarders. We used one of A-Dog’s songs in the movie and have a tribute to him in the beginning. We used all local music including Kat Wright and Rough Francis. See for a link to the movie.

KB: Ever since I’ve been skating, I’ve seen people from five years old to 50. Older skaters are showing that you can skate into your 40’s and be the same level as the top skateboarders in the world. I used to think I’d be done when I was in my 30’s but I just placed first in the game of S.K.A.T.E and the High Ollie contest at the A-Dog Day event. When I was 25 people were telling me I had to give up the sport because I was too old. If you take care of yourself and eat right and exercise right you can skate well into your late 30s and 40s. --Phyl Newbeck

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CALENDAR OF EVENTS Event organizers! Listing your event in this calendar is free and easy. Visit, and email results to All area codes 802, and all locations Vermont, unless otherwise noted. Featured events, highlighted in yellow, pay a nominal fee.

Tuesday mountain bike rides, Montpelier, Vt. Onion River Sports leads evening mountain bike rides in the Montpelier area. Carpools depart Onion River Sports every Tuesday evening at 5:30 p.m.

Thursday mountain bike rides, Montpelier, Vt. Montpelier Area Mountain Bike Association holds Thursday evening rides in the Montpelier area. Details regarding meeting times and locations can be found at the MAMBA website.





10/22 Bike Montpelier to Waterbury with GMC

10/24 Glow Run, Saint Albans, Vt

A moderate 26-mile bike to Waterbury via Stevens Brook Road and return on Rte.2. Bring water and lunch or option to buy lunch at Snack Bar in Waterbury. Helmet required. Contact Mary Smith, 505-0603 or Mary Garcia, 622-0585 for meeting time and place.

10/24 Dam Wrightsville CX, Middlesex, Vt. Onion River Sports organizes a cross-country criterium at the Wrightsville Reservoir Beach open to every kind of bike. After-party at Three Penny Taproom.

10/25 CircumBurke MTB Challenge and Trail Run, East Burke, Vt. On the last weekend in October, Kingdom Trails, Conservation Collaborative and the Burke Area Chamber of Commerce present a mountain bike and cross country running race on a 25-mile loop.

10/25 Wicked Creepy Cyclocross Race, Bennington, Vt. The Vermont stop in the 2015 Cyclocross Series is hosted by the Bennington Cycle Club and Peak Racing Gear Works Cyclery. The course features plenty of grass and natural obstacles - including a vast sand pit - all set in a classic New England surrounding. The park is family friendly with two playgrounds, walking paths and a BMX course.

NOVEMBER 11/1 25th Annual West Hill Shop Cyclocross Race & 2015 Vermont State Championships, Putney, Vt. Putney’s West Hill Shop hosts their 25th annual cyclocross race on their classic course, just off exit 4 of I-91 in Putney, Vermont. The course is mostly flat (except for the wellknown run-up and the slippery downhill). It's made up of dirt and grass and cornfield and a small portion of pavement on the start loop.

The Saint Albans Rec Department hosts a glow-in-the-darkthemed 5K fun run with barbeque and music to follow.

10/24 Run for your Life 5K/10K, Williston, Vt. The Catamount Outdoor Center hosts a 5K and 10K trail race. Race includes pizza and beer for sale and a costume contest. Proceeds benefit Relay for Life Nordic Style.

10/24 Monster Mile, Milton, Vt. The Milton Independent Newspaper hosts family friendly mile run with a costume contest, food and entertainment.

10/25 CircumBurke MTB Challenge & Trail Run, East Burke, Vt. On the last weekend in October, Kingdom Trails, Conservation Collaboratives and the Burke Area Chamber of Commerce present a mountain bike and cross country running race on a 25-mile loop.

10/25 Dee Run, Saxtons River, Vt. High Meadow Farm hosts a 5K run on dirt roads and trails. Proceeds benefit the Dee Foundation’s work.

Walk or run a frightening 5 K through Warren Village to benefit the Warren School PTO! Costumes are encouraged.

10/31 Halloween Hustle, Derby, Vt.

A challenging point-to-point half marathon between Lyndonville and St. Johnsbury with typical Vermont terrain including four covered bridges.

Tuesday road rides, Montpelier, Vt.

10/31 Autumn Onion 5K Costume Race, Montpelier, Vt.


11/1 Randolph Ramble Trail Race, Randolph, N.H. The 10,000-acre Randolph Community Forest hosts a 10K trail race in the White Mountains, climbing Mount Randolph and Mount Crescent in a loop course.

11/7 Fallen Leaves 5K Series, Montpelier, Vt. Low-key, three-race series on a flat and fast 5K race course that begins and finishes on the Montpelier High School track, and incorporates the Montpelier bike path. Contact: Tim Noonan, 802 223-6216.

11/14 Fallen Leaves 5K Series, Montpelier, Vt. Low-key, three-race series on a flat and fast 5K race course that begins and finishes on the Montpelier High School track, and incorporates the Montpelier bike path. Contact: Tim Noonan, 802 223-6216.

11/21 Fallen Leaves 5K Series, Montpelier, Vt. Low-key, three-race series on a flat and fast 5K race course that begins and finishes on the Montpelier High School track, and incorporates the Montpelier bike path. Contact: Tim Noonan, 802 223-6216.

11/22 Middlebury Turkey Trot & Gobble Wobble 5K and 10K, Middlebury, Vt. These races start in downtown Middlebury and feature chip timing, t-shirts for all entrants, raffle prizes and 20-pound turkeys for the winners.

11/26 GMAA Turkey Trot, Burlington, Vt. A certified 5K on the UVM women’s cross-country course. Walkers are welcome in this race benefiting the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf. Race starts at 11 a.m. at the Gutterson Field House at UVM.

10/30 Mad River Valley Trick or Trot 5K, Warren, Vt.

Onion River Sports holds Monday evening gravel road rides in the Montpelier area. Rides depart Onion River Sports every Monday evening between 5:30 and 6 p.m. Rides are intermediate to advanced level.

Onion River Sports leads evening road rides around the Montpelier area. Rides depart Montpelier High school at 5:30 p.m. Rides are beginner to intermediate level and follow a no-drop policy.

RaceVermont hosts a half marathon, 10K and 5K races with a superhero costume theme. Donations from entrance fees will benefit the LeRoyer Employee Emergency Assistance Program at The University of Vermont Medical Center.

MMU’s travel club holds a 4-mile fun run starting at the Wheeler field on local roads. Proceeds benefit the club’s upcoming trip to Costa Rica.

10/31 The Kingdom Challenge, Lyndonville

Monday gravel rides, Montpelier, Vt.

11/1 Field House Half Marathon, Shelburne, Vt.

10/25 MMU Travel Club Fun Run, West Bolton, Vt.

Kingdom Games hosts a ghoulish costume run for all ages. Distances include 10K, 5K, and 1 mile.



Onion River Sports holds a Halloween costume race through downtown Montpelier. Categories are available for adults, kids and families.

NOVEMBER 22-23 21-22 Cambridge Elementary School, Jeffersonville ds Proceefit be n e g e d Cambrintary Eleme Winter s School’llness We s Day

DROP OFF Fri. Nov. 20 21 6-8 pm gear and apparel (no straight skis)



Sat. Nov. 21 22 Sun. Nov. 22 23 8 am-5 pm Noon-2 pm Sun. Nov. 22 23 10 am-Noon

More info:


CALENDAR OF EVENTS 11/26 Running of the Turkeys, Arlington, Vt. A scenic Thanksgiving 5K starts and ends in Arlington.

11/26 Gobble Gobble Wobble 5K, Stratton, Vt. Stratton Resort hosts a Thanksgiving 5K around the base area.

11/26 Jarred Williams Turkey Trot, Richmond, Vt. A 5K and 10K run starting at the Round Church in Richmond benefits the Jarred Williams Foundation.

11/26 Killington Turkey Trot, Killington, Vt. The town of Killington hosts a 5K run/walk benefitting local charities. www.killington

Sunday, November 1st


Registration and flyer:

49 Brickyard Lane, Putney Vermont




HIKING/CLIMBING/ BACKCOUNTRY 10/24 Stowe & Smuggler's Notch Work/ Hike Day with GMC The Green


all the time!

Chiropractics | Physical & Occupational Therapy | Podiatry | Sports Medicine

The Sharon Health Center is Gifford’s sports medicine headquarters. Home to two general sports medicine providers, two chiropractors, and two podiatrists, not to mention an athletic trainer and physical therapists, Sharon offers care from providers who understand your drive to get back to the sports you love. To schedule an appointment call us today!

Dr. Jonathan Bjork Podiatry

Dr. Paul Smith Podiatry

Dr. Steve Mustoe Chiropractics

Mountain Club hosts a day of work hikes of varying distances including Smugglers’ Notch, on the Long Trail, Elephant’s Head and Sterling Pond Trails. Bring lunch and wear sturdy boots, work clothes and gloves. Meet at Montpelier High School at 8:00 A.M. Contact Steve Bailey, 1-609-424-9238 or trails@

10/24 American Bouldering Series at Petra Cliffs, Burlington, Vt.

Dr. Nat Harlow Sports Medicine


Sharon Health Center

To schedule an appointment call (802) 763-8000 12 Shippee Lane, Sharon, VT |

Dr. Peter Loescher Sports Medicine

11/14 Catamount Trail Annual Meeting, Waterbury, Vt. The Catamount Trail holds their annual meeting at the Green Mountain Club’s headquarters in Waterbury. Sterling College professor Pavel Cenkl will speak about climate resilience and his summer run across Iceland. www.

SKI MOVIES Nothing gets us revved for winter like the deluge of ski porn that saturates the web and packs movie theaters this time of year. Here’s a lineup of what to see, when and where.

11/6-7 Paradise Waits, Smuggler’s Notch & Burlington, Vt. The folks at Jackson Hole-based Teton Gravity Research have been busy this year with their latest film, “Paradise Waits.” In the face of a curious winter for western skiers, many pros had to wait patiently or go the distance to find the goods. The result is “Paradise Waits,” which highlights their struggles and ultimately their successes. Nov. 6 at the Smugglers’ Notch Distillery, Cambridge, Vt. ; Nov. 7 at Higher Ground, Burlington, Vt.

11/11 Fade to Winter, Burlington, Vt.

A moderate three to four-mile round trip hike on the LT to Bamforth Ridge Shelter. Bring lunch. Wear sturdy boots, work clothes and gloves. Meet at Montpelier High School at 8:00 A.M. Leader: Steve Bailey, 1-609-4249238, or

Matchstick Productions presents “Fade to Winter,” a tribute to the expression, “a bad day of skiing is better than a good day at work.” Shot on site in Alaska, Iceland, British Columbia, Japan, Colorado, Italy, and New England, this film captures the spirit of nine skiers who go to great lengths for the sport that they love. Starring Markus Eder, Bobby Brown, Michelle Parker, Mark Abma, Tanner Rainville, Aaron Blunck, James Heim, Sean Jordan, PK Hunder, and more. Higher Ground, in Burlington, Vt. at 7 p.m.


11/21 Big Kicker at Lareau Farm, Waitsfield, Vt.

Petra Cliffs hosts a stop of the American Bouldering Series. Climbers compete to qualify for regional competitions.

10/31 Duxbury Work Hike with GMC. Dr. Michael Chamberland

an evening of discussion and presentations around backcountry skiing and riding in Vermont. The free event includes a potluck dinner, raffle and live music.

11/4 Hike Groton State Forest with GMC A moderate 5.5-mile hike from the Nature Center to Big Deer Mountain. Contact Steve Lightholder at 479-2304 for meeting time and place.

11/13 Reel Rock Film Tour, Burlington, Vt. Petra Cliffs hosts a screening of the tenth installment of the Reel Rock Film Tour, with climbing films featuring Tommy Caldwell, Kevin Jorgeson, Alex Honnold, Jimmy Webb, Daniel Woods and a tribute to the late Dean Potter.

10/24-25 Braintree Mountain Forest Glading Day, Braintree, Vt. The Rochester Area Sports Trail Alliance holds a weekend of glading activities in the Braintree Mountain Forest. Volunteers are asked to bring hand tools and a bagged lunch. Chainsaw users are required to use full protective equipment. A potluck will follow on Saturday afternoon.

NOVEMBER 11/5 Vermont Backcountry Forum, Rochester, Vt. The Vermont Backcountry Alliance and the Rochester Area Sports Trail Alliance hold


Sugarbush and Mad River Glen kick off the ski season with a ski movie and party at the Lareau Farm with rail jams and appearances by the High Fives Foundation and the Flyin’ Ryan Hawks Foundation. www.sugarbush. com,

11/28-12/27 Chasing Shadows, various locations. With free tickets, raffles and refreshments, it’s always a party when Warren Miller films comes to town. This year’s “Chasing Shadows” is another big-mountain feature with top athletes Caroline Gleich, Ingrid Backstrom, Jonny Moseley, JT Holmes and more. Killington: Nov. 28 at the Snowshed Conference Center,. at 7 p.m.. Burlington: Dec. 4 at the Flynn at 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. Stowe: Dec. 26 at the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center, Stowe, Vt. at 7 p.m. and Dec. 27 at the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum,. at 7 p.m. Okemo: Dec. 27 at the Cornerstone Room,. at 6 and 8:30 p.m.

Online: Meathead Films Vermont’s own, Meathead Films had a busy season, releasing eight installments in three different web video series. This winter, expect new web installments in “Spectral,” filmed at Stowe, Jay Peak and Mad River Glen with hardcore




east skiers Noah Ranallo and Dylan Dipentima. “Working for the Weekend’s” Ben Leoni chases backcountry lines in the Chic Chocs of Quebec and New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Park rats, look for plenty of urban hits in the “Neo” series. See the at

A perennial tradition, ski and skate swaps are a great way to get yourself or the family fully outfitted and help out your local ski club, PTA or academy. Ski and skate sales can be found all over the state and we’ve got a selection here. Mark you calendars and be sure to arrive early.

SKIING OCTOBER 10/25 NWVE One-Mile Roller Ski Time Trial, Burlington, Vt. A mile-long roller ski race uphill on the UVM Bike Path gaining 100 feet elevation. Categories include a double pole time trial, no-pole time trial and a Freestyle Time Trial.

DECEMBER 12/5 Rails 2 Riches, Killington Resort Killington Resort kicks off their annual competition series with pro and amateur skiers and riders from across the U.S. and Canada.

12/19 Mountain Dew Vertical Challenge, Okemo Okemo kicks off this popular eastern race series with a free, fun race on Okemo’s Bull Run open to all ages and abilities. Race registration starts at 8 a.m. with racing starting at 11 a.m.

12/28 Grommet Jam, Mount Snow, Skiers and riders ages 12 and under will be coached in the park in the morning and then compete in the afternoon, all at Grommet Park in Carinthia.

10/24 Montpelier Recreation Department Ski and Skate Sale

Equipment drop-off: Thursday, Oct. 22 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Montpelier High School Gymnasium and Friday, Oct. 23, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sale hours: Saturday, Oct. 24, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Montpelier High School Gymnasium. The sale will accept ski and snowboard equipment. No straight skis or used clothing will be accepted. This is a great sale for those looking to sell their winter items or looking for great gear at great prices!

11/7-8 Cochran’s Ski Sale, Richmond

Equipment drop-off: Friday, Nov. 6, from 6 – 8:30 p.m. at the Camel’s Hump Middle School. Sale hours: Saturday, Nov. 7, from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Camel’s Hump Middle School.

11/14-15 Waitsfield Ski & Skate Sale

Equipment drop-off: Friday, Nov. 13, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Waitsfield Elementary School. Sale hours: Saturday, Nov. 14, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Waitsfield Elementary School. 36 years of providing new and used gear and apparel to winter lovers of all ages!

11/20 Okemo Mountain School Ski and Snowboard Swap

Equipment drop-off: Nov. 14, 15 and 18, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Sitting Bull Bar. Sale hours: Nov. 20, 4 to 7 p.m.; Nov. 21, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Okemo Base Lodge. Twenty-five-percent of all sales benefit Okemo Mountain School.

11/21-22 Cambridge Rotary Club Ski Swap

Equipment drop-off: Friday, Nov. 20 at the Cambridge Elementary School, 6 to 8 p.m. Sale hours: Saturday, Nov. 21 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 22, 10 a.m. to noon at the Cambridge Elementary School. Downhill and cross country skis, snowboards, skates, boots, apparel and much more. Sale benefits the Cambridge Area Rotary Winter Wellness Days where we send the local 4th, 5th and 6th graders to Smuggler’s Notch for 5 days of skiing and lessons. More info at

11/27-28 Stratton Mountain School Ski and Snowboard Swap

Equipment drop off: Friday, Nov. 27. Sale hours: Friday, Nov. 27 & Saturday, Nov. 28, specific times TBD. Race stock skis, pro-stock snowboards, Nordic XC skis and gear. Retailers on site with great deals. Consignments accepted. Proceeds benefit the SMS scholarship program.

RUN THE KINGDOM Spectacular, scenic venues. Run one. Run them all.

October 31, 2015 Halloween Hustle: 10K, 5K & 1 Mile Costume Run Newport-Derby Bike Path December 5, 2015 Newport Santa Run: 5K and 1 Mile Run/Walk Newport Bike Path May 21, 2016 The Dandelion Run: 1/2 marathon, 10K run/walk Dirt roads through Derby, Morgan and Holland July 4, 2016 The Harry Corrow Freedom Run: 10 Mile, 5 K, and 1 Mile Newport – Derby Bike Path and the Memphremagog Ski Touring Foundation Trails October 2, 2016 Kingdom Marathon: 26.2 Mile, 13.1 mile and 17 mile courses Back-country dirt roads at the height of Fall Foliage, this is one of the most beautiful AND most challenging marathon courses east of the Mississippi.

“Best race ever.”

Spectacular!” “Most Scenic” “Fun” “Challenging” With support from:

and Jay Peak Resort, The Town of Derby, Passumpsic Savings Bank, Northeast Delta Dental, The City of Newport, Community Financial Services Group, Derby Village Store, The Front Desk, Mempremagog Press and Louis Garneau




ike Shops 3

around VT

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35 Portland Street Morrisville, VT 802-888-6557 Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-6pm Sat 8:30am-5pm, Sun 10am-4pm North Central Vermont's Trek and Giant Dealer. With over 200 new and used bikes, PPS has a bike for everyone. Service and rentals too!



Whether your idea of a bike ride involves pedaling the rec path, conquering a stretch of single track, outsprinting the competition in a road race, or cruising through the country, we’ve got the perfect bicycle for all of your two-wheeled adventures – and the friendly, knowledgeable staff to help you find it. We are a full-service bike shop staffed by experts who are committed to helping you keep your bike rolling at top performance.


439 Route 114 East Burke, VT 802-626-3215 Hours: 7 days a week • 9am-6pm Located in the center of Kingdom Trails, we pride ourselves in expert knowledge and customer service. We sport an enormous rental fleet and a full service shop for on the spot repairs.




37 Church Street Burlington, VT 802-860-0190 Hours: Mon-Thurs 10am- 8pm Fri-Sat 10am- 9pm, Sun 10am-6pm New this year at Outdoor Gear Exchange is a fully equipped bike repair shop. Having brought in specialists in bike tech work, this service is quickly gaining momentum. OGE also carries an extensive collection of bikes, apparel and accessories.


BIKE CENTER 74 Main Street Middlebury, VT 802-388-6666

2500 Williston Road South Burlington, VT 802-864-9197

Earl’s has Vermont’s largest selection of mountain, road, hybrid, and kids’ bikes, clothing and accessories, helmets, shoes, and car racks. Plus an extensive women’s department, a full service department with a wide assortment of parts and tools on hand, ample parking, and a test ride trail!


7 Hours: Mon-Thurs 9am-6pm Fri 9am-8pm, Sat 9am-5pm Sun 11am-4pm Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-7pm Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 11am-5pm



20 Langdon Street Montpelier, VT 802-229-9409



91 125


Hours: Mon-Thurs 9:30am-5:30pm Fri 9:30am-8pm, Sat 9:30am-5:30pm Sun 1pm-4pm Take advantage of the most advanced and courteous service in our region, including a quick turn-around in our service shop downstairs. Upstairs in the sales room, we offer the best in new and used road, mountain, lifestyle, and children's bikes and new gear. We carry brands that offer superior products that balance innovation and performance with reliability and value.

SKIRACK 85 Main Street Burlington, VT 802-658-3313 Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-7pm Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 11am-5pm Locally owned since 1969, Skirack provides gear, clothing and accessories for all cyclists, with full service tuning and repairs...and beautiful casual and fitness clothing. Designated one of America’s Best Bike Shops, Skirack is just blocks from Lake Champlain. Open at 8am Mon-Sat for bike service pickup and drop-off, car racks and rentals. Road and mountain bike rentals can be booked at rentals. Visit today for a truly unique Vermont experience.




105 N. Main Street Rochester, VT 800-767-7882 Hours: 7 Days a week • 10am-6pm Located in the center of Vermont, the heart of the Green Mountains, we are surrounded by terrain that calls to mountain and road bikers alike. Whether you ride twisting trails or back-to-back gaps, we service, sell, and rent all styles of bicycles, featuring Kona, Lapierre, Xprezo, Jamis, Juliana, Raleigh, Santa Cruz, Transition, and Hinderyckx bikes hand crafted by our own Rochester boy Zak Hinderyckx. So STOP READING and RIDE YOUR BIKE!




1240 Depot Street Manchester, VT 802-362-2734

12 Hours: 9:30am-5:30pm everyday

Claremont Cycle Depot is a bike shop committed to making everyone who walks through our doors feel welcome and takes pride in our staff, products and services. Our service staff is professionally trained and certified to work on all bicycle makes and models, not just the ones we sell.

WEST HILL SHOP 49 Brickyard Lane Putney, VT 802-387-5718

OMER & BOB’S Hours: Mon-Sat, 10am - 6pm Since 1971, the West Hill Shop has been a lowkey, friendly source for bikes ‘n gear, service, and rare wisdoms. We are known regionally as the go-to place for problem-solving technicians. Our bike fitters specialize in comfort without sacrificing efficiency. More recently, we’ve been focusing on stocking gravel road bikes, with awesome dirt road riding right out our door. Our annual (and infamous) cyclocross race has been described as “the Providence race in Carhartts.” Come join us for us for one of our adventurous rides!


11 Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-6pm Sat 9am-5pm, Closed Sundays


1O RAILROAD ST, MORRISVILLE On the new rail trail aka VAST trail

802-253-3100 • fb 10 Railroad St.

Stop for a Great Meal as part of your Bike Adventure! Offering House-smoked BBQ & our famous Blue Donkey Burgers plus many more options for everyone. ENJOY OUR GREAT FOOD AT BOTH BEAUTIFUL VENUES!

The Upper Valley’s bike shop since 1964. We carry road bikes, mountain bikes and kids bikes from specialty brands, including Trek, Specialized and Colnago. Featuring a full service department offering bike fitting, bike rentals and a kids’ trade-in, trade-up program.

14 Hours: Mon-Sat 10:30am-6:30pm Closed Sundays Belgen Cycles offers custom and stock bicycles supported by 37 years of hands on experience. Focused on the right bike for you covering the spectrum from road to ‘cross and mountain to fat with selections from Salsa, Xprezo, Moots, Parlee, Litespeed, Lynskey and Soma. Full service maintenance and repair including wheel building, shock work, hydraulics, base tunes and overhauls as well as fitting solutions. In business as Village Bicycle in Richmond for 17 years.


20 Hanover Street Lebanon, NH 603-448-3522

, STOWE 1669 MOUNTAIN ROAD 3-3100 802-25 Just off the Rec Path •


24 Bridge Street Richmond, VT 802-434-4876


12 Plains Road Claremont, NH 603-542-2453 Hours: Mon-Thu 10am-5:30pm Fri 10am-7pm, Sat 9am-5pm Closed Sundays

Full selection of men's and women's clothing. Rentals available. Great back roads. Road rides Thursdays at 6:00 pm, Beginner Rides Fridays at 6:00 pm.


2 Stellar Locations 2 Terrific Menus


2733 Main Street Lake Placid, NY 518-523-3764 Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-6pm Sun 9am-5pm Lake Placid’s source for bicycling and outdoor gear since 1983! Aside from bicycling, we specialize in rock climbing, hiking, paddle sports, fly fishing and car racks. Road bike coaching rides and professional bike fitting completes the program. High Peaks Mt. Guides Service and Adventure Cycling can set you on the right route. We also offer road and gravel cycling tours, and other schools and camps for all ages and abilities and demos for Salsa, Surly, Giant and Scott bicycles.

Be a part of a premier organization The Vermont Army National Guard is host to the: • Army Mountain Warfare School • National Guard Biathlon Team and the only • Mountain Infantry Brigade in the ARMY. 1.800.4VTARNG



By Jay Heinrichs



t’s 6 a.m. on my birthday, and I’m standing at the base of a slickrock, weather-torn mountain in New Hampshire wearing nothing but running shorts and “minimalist” shoes. I turn 58 today, and my plan— more of a hope, really—is to turn that number into a blessing by running my age up Mount Moosilauke. That means reaching the summit in less than 58 minutes. Nine months of training have gone into this, though the simple act of running counts as an achievement; a year ago I struggled to walk without a limp. Doctors told me I’d never run again. Only a dozen people have ever run their age up this classic peak, and as far as I can tell none was over 50. On the other hand, few fellow geezers have been foolish enough to try. The 3.8-mile trail rises 2,800 feet from base to peak, and the winds above the tree line can blow hard enough to pick up a skinny guy like me and toss him like a leaf. Though I’ve been trail running since my days as a Middlebury College student in the 1970s, I’ve been more of an enthusiast than an athlete on mountains like this. Until, possibly, now. The problem began seven years ago when I got up from a meeting and fell flat on my face. Doctors diagnosed snapping hip syndrome. My iliotibial band, which runs from knee to hip, was catching against the hip bone on each side. Over the next several years, it cost me sleepless nights and embarrassing falls. I tried physical therapy, acupuncture and prescriptions. Nothing worked. Then one day I made the kind of discovery that seems to come when we need it most. I was poring over a classical tome—a habit I picked up while writing books on rhetoric, the art of persuasion. This time I was curious about the etymology of the word “hyperbole,” wondering if it meant more than mere exaggeration. Turns out it does. Hyperbole comes from ancient Greek, meaning “to throw beyond.”

Throw beyond. And the idea came to me: Recovery wouldn’t be my focus. Instead I would throw beyond—do whatever I could to set back the clock, to not just walk or hike but run, and not just run, but run up this scary mountain in quirkily record-breaking fashion. My doctor gave me the name of a sports medicine specialist in Vermont. “He runs and skis,” she said. “He’ll get you.” Dr. Peter Loescher, who works in the Gifford Medical Center in Sharon, was experimenting with a procedure invented in New Zealand called neural prolotherapy. It entailed multiple injections of dextrose into the nerves. He gave me 330 shots in the first session. It felt like lying in a nest of hornets. This isn’t therapy, I told myself. It’s training. I returned for more shots weekly, needing fewer injections each time as the pain diminished. I supplemented the shots with at least an hour a day of resistance workouts, using a foam roller, and stretching. After a few months my hips stopped snapping. I walked with a subtle limp. I began waking at 4 in the morning and training three hours a day. When my alarm went off, I said to myself: Make this a glorious day. I began the day with breathing exercises, repeating ridiculous expressions:


To “suffer” means to allow, even welcome. It moves beyond pain, because this welcoming of the overwhelming isn’t pain at all. It’s life with all the stops open.

The trail flattens out a bit from Last Water to First View, letting me pick up speed and run with what ease I can muster. The state of flow is fleeting, requiring a constant effort to achieve effortlessness. Torrential rains have washed out part of the trail and forced a reroute that lengthens my run. I don’t try to psych myself up for the change. Instead I give myself no choice, keeping my flow all the way to First View, where the vista opens up to the Presidential Range and angles up, way up.

Focus. Exercise-induced asthma kicks in as I navigate the mixture of scree and car-size boulders. I croak with every exhalation. Then the trail turns and the rising sun hits my back. I used to think of this place as “Where I get hot and fall to pieces.” Today I call it Bright Corner, and the final stretch approaches.


Running is my natural state. My legs love rocks. I flow up rocks. I’m strong and light and taking flight. I extended my use of mantras and divided the mountain into four sections: Relax, Flow, Focus and Dance. Once a week for several months I arrived before dawn in order to run in first light, pausing to rest between sections. But the snow lingered on the mountain well into May and then turned into mud so deep that more than once I had to crawl out of gooey sinkholes, more mud wrestler than trail runner. Consumed with my goal, I gave up drinking, cut out just about every enjoyable food and dropped to a ribs-baring 144 pounds. My wife must have felt like she was hugging a birch tree. And now here she is standing behind me at the Moosilauke start line on my birthday. The trail ahead rears up from the Baker River like a shying horse. It’s all ascent from here, or, as trail runners like to say, this run has only one hill. Forcing myself to smile even while gasping for air, I whisper a mantra for this first stretch: Relax.

Relax. Undeterred, I tell myself “relax” right up until the brook vanishes into the spring known as Last Water, where hikers can still reliably fill their water bottles before continuing their ascent.


I have systematically renamed everything meaningful. The hard parts of Moosilauke are now “fun parts,” the ledges “rocks,” and the pain “suffering.” To “suffer” means to allow, even welcome. It moves beyond pain, because this welcoming of the overwhelming isn’t pain at all. It’s life with all the stops open. The trail rises up in a series of steps before topping out to the first glimpse at the summit across a barren, lonesome ridge. The path dips into a col filled with sharp rocks that perverse geology has tilted on their sides like upended radial saws. I’ve convinced myself to think of this menacing stretch as pure dancing—not pretty dancing, but dancing nonetheless. I’m out of gas with nothing but desire to take me the rest of the way. Or maybe it’s not desire so much as a strange, compelling form of happiness. One last scramble up a small pinnacle, and I slap the sign at the top and punch my watch. I savor the moment, gazing out toward the neighboring White Mountains, before checking my watch for the first time since the start: it reads 54:53. I stare at this representation of my age in minutes, which means I have set back my personal clock more than three years. And for a brief moment I consider: If conditions had been ideal—if the trail had been dry, the day cooler, the air less humid—could I have run myself right back into my 40s? It’s possible. Yet the thought doesn’t give me any more joy. That would be impossible.

Jay Heinrichs is the author of the bestselling Thank You for Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion.





Detailed maps ● “Must know” information ● Built for trail lovers

AVAILABLE THIS SUMMER! 13 detailed map guides covering all 2,180 miles of the iconic Appalachian Trail.


[ Mansfield

O r t h O pa e d i c s


caring for sports enthusiasts for the past 20 years. Welcome to the 21st century community hospital. Welcome to Copley. at copley hospital, we believe in providing patients with access to the highest quality care, close to home. for us, that means top surgeons and other medical providers who are attuned to the latest research and techniques, and can perform state-of-the-art surgeries and procedures with a focus on minimally invasive approaches. Match that with the warm, personalized feel of a community hospital. top medical care close to home. that’s what we’re here for. Our physicians: Brian Aros, MD; Joseph McLaughlin, MD; Bryan Huber, MD; John Macy, MD; and Saul Trevino, MD.

2 15 Vermont SportS


to make an appointment with a Mansfield Orthopaedic specialist at copley hospital, call 802.888.8405

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Vermont Sports, October/November 2015  
Vermont Sports, October/November 2015