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T H E U LT I M AT E I N F I T A N D C O M F O R T
GROWING OUR OUTDOOR ECONOMY
4 VTSPORTS.COM | MAY 2017
ecently, there’s been a lot of talk in Montpelier about how we can bring more of the outdoor industry to Vermont. Wouldn’t it be great if the next Patagonia or Black Diamond moved here? Wouldn’t that help our economy grow? Yes, but realistically how easy will that be? Nationally, the outdoor industry is in flux. Ski resorts are in consolidation mode. ICYMI: Vail bought Stowe, Aspen and Squaw Valley’s owners formed a venture to acquire Stratton as well as a host of other resorts. In hard goods, it’s a different story. Mothership brand Newell Brands (which owns RubberMaid) announced last fall it was trying to sell off its winter sports stalwarts, K2, Volkl, Marker, Line and Full Tilt. Outdoor retail chains like Eastern Mountain Sports are facing a brave new Amazon-ruled shopping world and shuttering many stores. Meanwhile, here in little ol’ Vermont family-owned, Vermont-knit Darn Tough socks announced in April its revenues were up 28 percent. Stowe-based Inntopia was just tapped to handle digital booking for all 14 of Vail Resorts’ ski areas. Outdoor Gear Exchange is growing with digital outreach and s brands such as Ibex, Skida and Renoun are carving out niches for themselves. Before we put too much energy into recruiting new businesses, would we be better served helping our current businesses expand? Instead of spending money to market the state to newcomers, would we do better to support the nonprofits that are already attracting people here? In the past few months, Tom Stuessy of the Vermont Mountain Biking Association has gathered a group of successful businesses together to form Vermont Outdoor Innovation Coalition, or VOICe. The goal of VOICe is 1. To grow a business culture that is meaningfully connected to the economic impact of outdoor recreation in Vermont. 2. Develop robust support for the volunteer force that builds and maintains our outdoor recreation infrastructure. 3. Create space to incubate united perspectives on the value of outdoor recreation and its impact on Vermont’s evolving economy.
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4. Play a role in strengthening businesses already here and to augment Vermont’s appeal to new businesses. Vermont Sports is proud to support VOICe, along with Cabot Creamery, Outdoor Gear Exchange, FUSE Marketing, Ibex, Long Trail Brewery, Lintilhac Foundation, Hergenrother Construction, Trapp Family Lodge, Vermont Housing & Conservation Board and Vermont Peanut Butter Company. We believe in the power of our local brands. We’ve seen how local non-profits such as Kingdom Trails, the Catamount Trail Association, Green Mountain Club, the Vermont Mountain Biking Association and many more can literally change our landscape for the better. We recognize the power they have to bring new people into our state and make the rest of us never, ever want to leave. And after all, it’s people who move here, not corporations. In the 1950s, Tom Watson came here to ski. He later happened to open an IBM plant here. The more we can protect and enhance outdoor recreation in Vermont the more chances we have to attract not only the next Patagonia but perhaps the next IBM or Apple too. What can you do to help? Volunteer, become a member of your local trail coalition, buy local. Most of all, get out there and ride, hike, run and love Vermont. (Full disclosure: The author served as Commissioner of the Department of Economic Development under Governor Shumlin).
THE PATIO IS NOW OPEN! Meat here for a hooch, grub or swag!
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MAY 2017 | VTSPORTS.COM 5
PEAK ULTRA, PITTSFIELD, MAY 5-6
VERMONT HAS A HISTORY OF HOSTING SOME OF THE TOUGHEST TRAIL RACES IN THE COUNTRY. THIS YEAR, THERE ARE EVEN MORE WAYS TO HAVE ULTRA FUN.
wenty-nine years ago, Laura Farrell and a few other runners started the Vermont 100. One of the four oldest ultra-trail races in the country, it helped launch the distance trail running cult. Farrell went on to start the Vermont 50 (celebrating its 25th year this September) and its non-profit beneficiary, Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports. Since then, Vermont has turned out top trail runners such as Kasie Enman, Aliza LaPierre and Josh Ferenc. Now, a number of new mountain marathons and ultra trail races are sprouting up, including this year's Under Armour Mountain Marathon in Killington. If you’re ready to run ridgelines, lace up your shoes and head for the hills. One of the best things about finishing the Catamount 50K at Trapp Family Lodge? The beer after.
From the same folks who started the Spartan Races, the Peak Ultra provides plenty of ways to punish yourself on the trails around Pittsfield. Friday kicks off the 100-mile start which takes runners high into the Green Mountain National Forest. On Saturday the 10-, 30- and 50-milers take off. And then there is the 500-mile challenge. As three-time 500-mile entrant (who boasts three DNFs) Michelle Roy writes: “It is not for a medal or your name listed as a finisher... it is really about finding your inner reserve, tapping into it, and pushing yourself farther than you ever thought possible.” www.peak.com
INFINITUS, GOSHEN, MAY 18-27 The longest trail race in the state, the third Infinitus 888K (551-mile) starts on May 17 and gives runners 10 days to complete laps through the wilds of the Moosalamoo National Recreation Area. Based out of Blueberry Hill Inn, the week-long event gives lesser mortals a chance to run the trails of the Moosalamoo Wilderness with an 8k, 80k, marathon, 100-mile or 250-mile options. In 2015 and 2016, only one person finished the 888K. Plenty more tried. www. endurancesociety.org.
CATAMOUNT ULTRA 25/50K TRAIL RACE, STOWE, JUNE 24 Held on many of the same Nordic trails that form Trapp Family Lodge’s extensive crosscountry network, the Catamount Ultra features 25K and 50K courses where you may not see a road sign for miles. The course circumnavigates the Trapp Family Lodge
on wide, hard-packed dirt trails. You’ll traverse highland pastures where cattle and sheep graze and hardwood forest with sugar tap lines still in place. catamountultra.com
VERMONT 100 RIDE AND RUN, WEST WINDSOR JULY 15-16 In its 29th year, the Vermont 100 is one of the original ultra running races in the U.S. and, thanks to its 17,000-foot vertical elevation gain, an apt qualifier race for
the Ultra du Mont Blanc in Switzerland. The race sends runners and riders (and yes, there’s a horseback division) on a 100 miles of dirt roads and trails with a goal of finishing before the 30 hour cut-off. The race is limited to 350 runners you have to prequalify (finish a 50-miler in 12 hours or less) and do 8 hours of service. It sells out fast but there’s a waiting list and an option for a 100-kilometer run too. vermont100endurancehome.blogspot.com
MANSFIELD DOUBLE UP, STOWE, JULY 30 At just 11 miles, the Mansfield Double Up might sound like a cakewalk —until you realize that there’s 5,500 feet of climbing, on trails that take you up ladders, on nofall traverses (meaning falling could result in serious injury or death) and across alpine tundra. “The course is as painful as it is beautiful,” notes race director RJ Thompson, who limits the entries to just 70. www.nativeendurance.com
UNDER ARMOUR MOUNTAIN MARATHON, KILLINGTON, AUG. 18 The second in the three-part mountain running series. The Under Armour Marathon is going to challenge racers to run between Killington and Pico peaks, with sections on both the Long Trail and Appalachian Trail. Modeled after the Sky Racing series, the race features a marathon, half marathon, relay and a variety of distances on down to a 5K. There’s also a Vertical K challenge. www.killington.com
VERMONT 50, ASCUTNEY, SEPT. 24 On May 25, the Vermont 50 registration opens and, with some 1,300 entrants, there’s a good chance it will fill up. The Vermont 50 sends runners and mountain bikers on a course that’s mainly dirt or singletrack with an elevation gain of 8,900 feet. The course itself isn’t on any map. Why? Because many of the trails cross some of the most beautiful terrain on private land in the state. The event also features options to race it as a relay or as a 50K course. www. vermont50.org
Ridge runner Emily Johnson traverses the spine of the Green Mountains near Mt. Mansfield. Photo by Brian Mohr/EmberPhoto
6 VTSPORTS.COM | MAY 2017
MAY 2017 | VTSPORTS.COM 7
Prouty The 36th Annual
10th Annual Prouty Ultimate
EAT WILD FOREST FORAGING TIPS
20, 35, 50, 64, 77, 100 or 200* miles
MAY IS THE MONTH WHEN YOU CAN FIND AN ENTIRE MEAL IN THE FOREST. AN EXPERT FORAGER SHARES HIS TIPS. STORY by ARI ROCKLAND MILLER PHOTOS by JENNA ANTONINO DIMARE
3/6/9/12k or 5/10k
July 7* & 8, 2017
Register today! TheProuty.org Clockwise from top: True fiddleheads feature a papery chafe. Nettles make a nutritious spinach substitute. Yellow morels are an unmistakeable delicacy. The ramp’s potent oniony leaves form a vibrant ground cover.
pring is the season for the first flush of wild edibles, from pungent and vitamin-rich greens to bitter, medicinal polypore mushrooms. Everything is as fresh as it is
5, 10, 15, or 20 miles
18 holes All donations raised through the activities of the Friends of NCCC will be used by the Director of NCCC to advance cancer research, improve cancer treatment protocols, develop strategies for cancer prevention, provide supportive services for patients with cancer and their families, and facilitate otherwise unfunded endeavors in cancer research, education, and translation of research from science to patients.
fleeting. Bringing home the bounty requires impeccable timing, knowledge of place, and ecological intuition. I arrive at my early fiddlehead spot in mid-April for a quick scout, but it’s still too soon. There is no sign yet of the towering ostrich ferns that soar from the soil with the urgency of springtime. I know I’m in the right spot, though—a forager does not forget, and the skeletons of last year’s fertile fronds serve as flags. I kneel down low and carefully inspect the base of the plants, checking the pulse of the forest. Sure enough, the brilliant green of a tight, unfurled fiddlehead is just barely poking up from the soil. It’s too soon to harvest, but I know the season is upon us.
8 VTSPORTS.COM | MAY 2017
FOREST BOUNTY Fiddleheads, the spiraling new fronds of the ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris), are a whimsical late-April to early May showstopper and an invitation to the spring feast. The ostrich fern is a stately and widely distributed native plant with a timeless beauty and refined, earthy flavor that hints of asparagus. If you’ve lived in Vermont for long, you’ve surely tasted fiddleheads, and perhaps you’ve even found them along forested riverbanks or in a shaded corner of your backyard. The ostrich fern is not exceptionally rare, but to catch its fiddleheads at the fleeting harvest stage— with tight, unfurled fronds—takes practice. The best time to find a patch of ostrich ferns is in summer, when their towering stature makes them hard to miss. By the time the fronds have opened up enough to make the ostrich fern easily visible, it is too late
to harvest, but you can return with precise timing the following spring to enjoy the first fiddleheads. Don’t let the fiddlehead’s charisma fool you—there are some poisonous ferns
soaking up sunlight before the canopy fills in. I have seen acres of ramps that make the spring forest pulse electric with brilliant greens, but even such established patches can be very slow to regenerate if over-
in Vermont. These include the potentially carcinogenic bracken fern with superficially similar, spiral-shaped fiddleheads. Ostrich fern fiddleheads have a pronounced U-shaped fissure on the inside of the smooth, green stem. The unfurling fiddleheads have flecks of brown, papery chafe that easily fall off when soaked in water. The fiddleheads are the new growth of the vegetative, sterile frond; when harvesting, last year’s fertile fronds appear intermittently as distinctive brown tufts on a stem that also features the signature u-shaped groove. Ramps, or wild leeks (Allium tricoccum) are an enchanting spring ephemeral that make a strong showing in
picked. Selective harvest of greens, leaving the plump white bulbs in the ground, is considered the more sustainable practice. If you have a well-functioning nose, ramps are easy to identify–a ripped leaf or bruised bulb releases an overpowering smell layered with garlic and wild funk. Just take care to avoid the deadly ornamental, lily of the valley, known for its fragrant white flowers. Lily of the valley does not smell like a wild leek, but it does have similar foliage and growth habit.
deciduous woodlands around early May,
MORELS AND MORE The mycelium, too is eager to join the festivities, celebrating spring rains with the year’s first flush of fleshy mushrooms.
MAY 2017 | VTSPORTS.COM 9
Don’t let the
fiddlehead’s charisma fool you—there are some poisonous ferns in Vermont, with superficially similar, spiral-shaped fiddleheads.
Dryad’s saddle, or pheasant-back (Polyporus squamosus) is the easiest to find, as well as the safest to identify. It’s not a standout edible, but at its best it can be a refreshing invitation back into wild mushroom season and a satisfying basket-filler. Dryad’s saddle has white to yellowish pores, rather than gills, below the tanbrown patterned or scaly cap. It grows in a shelf-like habit out of downed logs or older standing hardwoods—often silver maple, boxwood, elm or cottonwood. Perhaps the most distinctive feature is the smell of the fresh pores; highly reminiscent of watermelon rind with a hint of cucumber. Pored mushrooms like Dryad’s saddle, with spongy underside composed of spore-bearing tubes, are not guaranteed to be edible but tend to be safer than gilled mushrooms. Dyad’s saddle is in a group of pored fungi called the polypores, decomposers that grow shelf-like off wood rather than out of the soil. Polypores are good species for newer hunters, but it goes without saying that you should have an expert confirm any wild mushroom species you find for the first time, and should never eat any wild mushroom unless you are 100 percent confident (one mistake, however mundane or minor, can be fatal). Keep in mind that, as a general rule, all wild mushrooms should be cooked for safety and nutrition reasons. Even the divine morel (Morchella sp.) can be toxic consumed raw. Morels, fruiting alone or gregariously throughout Vermont for a two to three week window in early to mid-May, are the be-all and end-all of spring mushrooms. Varities include yellow, black, or half-free morels. Any are divine wild edibles that speak strongly of terroir and season, evoking singular passion and competition. Morels fruit broadly throughout the Northeast, but nowhere near in the quantities seen in the
Midwest or the burns out West. Morels are not just unbelievably delicious–they can be devastatingly difficult to find. I have spent hundreds of hours in fruitless pursuit of them before honing in on a technique and finding proper counsel. They can be found in nearly every corner of the state, but it takes epic patience to find the most productive hotspots. Morel hunting in Vermont, it turns out, ranges from mediocre (typical throughout the region) to absurdly good, both in terms of quantity and quality. Vermont has some well kept secrets when it comes to morels—it is possible to find several thousand pristine morels in a short season in parts of the state with optimal conditions. Spend enough time observing patterns and watching aspect, soil, topography, and trees, and the morels begin to make (a bit) more sense. Look in
Caring for you... when the spring in your step loses its bounciness.
the vicinity of old ash trees, dead elm trees, dead apple trees, and transitions and changes in the landscape. You’ll do better off avoiding clay soils, though morels do occasionally fruit in clay. Morels remain thoroughly wild and impossible to quite pin down, so each spring is a new adventure. Morels have a signature honey-comb appearance, but still have poisonous lookalikes in the genera Gyromitra and Verpa. The “beefsteak,” Gyromitra esculenta, is a particularly common and dangerous false morel, containing a potentially deadly chemical present in rocket fuel! Make sure your morels, when sliced in half vertically, have one contiguous hollow cavity from tip to tail with a crisp appearance and no wrinkles, convolutions, blobs, or cotton-like substance. Again, never eat any wild mushroom unless you have checked with an expert and are 100 percent positive of the identification. Since morels like disturbance in the landscape, be mindful of potential soil contaminants such as lead, arsenic, or chemical herbicides or pesticides. Likewise, be aware of potential contamination when harvesting any of the weedier greens above, which may thrive along sidewalks or roadways, but should be picked from an unsprayed field or from a forest’s edge.
savory version of rhubarb, and the leaves of the weedy sheep sorrel (Rumex) have a refreshing and tangy flavor. Stinging nettles (Ursa diotica) are versatile enough to be used in baked goods, savory dishes, and they make an abundant and mineral-rich spinach substitute and cleansing tea. Nettles can even help alleviate symptoms of seasonal allergies. Just be sure to wear long pants and gloves when harvesting, and cook them well to denature their nasty sting. Stinging nettles colonize fields and sun-splashed forest edges, while their native cousin, the woodnettle (Laportea canadensis), favors stream floodplains and riparian forests in spring. Both come equipped with a stem-full of hairy stingers. In Vermont we are lucky to have the soils, forests, and ecological diversity to harbor some of the finest wild plants and mushrooms. Spring is an exciting time to pay attention to wild edibles, even if one is not eating them. The successful hunter must approach the harvest with humility, prudence, and respect for the ecosystem. The forager must know his or her own limits as well as the limits of the Earth. Brattleboro’s
Rockland-Miller is a writer, instructor
Some spring foraged flavors are so accessible they are likely right in your backyard, including the common violet (Viola sororia), dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) and wood sorrel (Oxalis sp.), which can be consumed raw, and make for colorful salad editions. The plantain (Plantago major), if harvested young before its leaves become large and tough, is an excellent leafy green. A few good edibles are so aggressive that eating them could be a form of invasive species control. The sour shoots of infamous Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) are often likened to more
wild and cultivated
edible plants and hosts guided walks. He is co-founder of the popular blog The Mushroom Forager, and is author of a forthcoming book on how to safely and fruitfully forage for the most coveted wild mushrooms in North America. For more on foraging or to sign up for guided forays or workshops visit ww.themushroomforager.com.
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SUMMER’S THE TIME FOR FESTIVALS AND VERMONT HAS PLENTY OF THEM. WHAT SETS THESE APART? THERE’S SOME CALORIE-BURNING INVOLVED. BY ALYSSA KIBBEE 4TH ANNUAL CRAFT BREW RACES, STOWE, MAY 20
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Get back on track by hitting the trails. Welcome to the 21st century community hospital. Welcome to Copley. don’t let chronic knee, hip, or shoulder pain keep you from hitting the trails you love. the experts at Mansfield Orthopaedics can help with state-of-the-art treatments designed specifically for you. Match that with the warm, personalized care copley is known for. top medical care to help you get back to the activities you love. Our physicians: Nicholas Antell, MD; Brian Aros, MD; Bryan Huber, MD; John Macy, MD; Joseph McLaughlin, MD and Saul Trevino, MD.
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12 VTSPORTS.COM | MAY 2017
VERMONT BIKE & BREW, KILLINGTON, JUNE 9-11
The Party: We can’t imagine a better place for this national six-city tour to land than the heart of Vermont’s beer country: Stowe. The 5K run or walk starts within a few hundred feet of The Alchemist and
The Party: New this year, Killington plays host to the first Vermont Bike & Brew festival, put on by Mountain Bike Vermont (MTBVT). “Our goal is to throw the largest downhill oriented bike festival the East
Idletyme breweries and ends at a beer tent. Last year the event drew more than 1,400. As a reward for completing the 5K, you receive a pint glass and free entry into the beer festival where you can sample from 40 breweries, including 26 Vermont brands such as von Trapp, Frost and Citizen Cider.
Coast has ever seen,” says organizer Ryan Thibault. Start off Saturday at the Kegs n’ Eggs Breakfast followed by the critical mass ride from the top of K-1 Gondola. Compete in the Pond Cross Skinny Bridge Challenge, or enter the Whip-Off Competition. Wrap up your weekend at the “Recovery Ride” on Sunday morning and the Fox ProFame Demo Tour. It’s a great chance to explore Killington’s expanding trail offerings.
The Calorie Burn: The 5K starts at the Stoweflake Mountain Resort and continues on the Stowe Bike Path which crosses a river on multiple foot bridges, finishing by the entrance to the beer festival. craftbrewraces.com
THE STROLLING OF THE HEIFERS, BRATTLEBORO, JUNE 2-4 The Party: In 2001, Vermont farmer Dwight Miller and his neighbor, Orly Munzing,dreamed up Strolling of the Heifers as a way to honor local farms. The Strolling of the Heifers still features farm tours and a parade of calves through downtown Brattleboro—but also a lot more. At the Slow Living Expo you can dance to “MOO-sic,” check out the crafts village, watch the goat Olympics, or compete in a pie baking competition. Grab five friends and join the Human Foosball Tournament (teams of six). But save your energy for Sunday with the Tour de Heifer bike ride. The Calorie Burn: The Tour de Heifer is a 60- or 30-mile ride that follows dirt roads with minimal pavement and plenty of hills. A less challenging (but still hilly!) 15-mile country ride follows a scenic riverside route.strollingoftheheifers.com
The Calorie Burn: The locals’ night ride will take you through some of the best cross country trail riding in Central Vermont. Bring your lights and explore the Sherburne and Green Mountain Trails valley. Help make history by participating in Vermont’s first ever downhill critical mass ride. The ride will go from the top of K-1 Gondola, at 4,160 feet down to Snowshed base, at 1,165 feet. killington.com
NEMBAFEST AT KINGDOM TRAILS,
Run for a beer! The Craft Brew Races drew 1400 to Stowe last year (top) while Wanderlust, a moveable feast of yoga of all types (test your balance on an SUP) returns to Stratton Mountain Resort (above). and intermediate levels. Keep the kids entertained in the kids ride zone with plenty of games and activities, put on by Highland Mountain Bike Park. The Calorie Burn: Take part in Clif Bar’s Ride Zone Group Rides or Shimano night rides, a fat bike social ride on Friday night and the NEMBA Race Team Ride on Saturday. Are you an advanced rider? The Skida Tour will take place on Sunday at noon, for advanced riders only. Looking to do something other than mountain bike? There will be morning yoga both Saturday and Sunday morning and an XIP Wishing Wellness Yoga session on Saturday. nembafest.com
EAST BURKE, JUNE 16-18 The Party: The New England Mountain Biking Festival (NEMBAFest) has become the Woodstock of mountain biking. Camp out and ride the 100 miles of Kingdom Trails. Demo the latest high-tech mountain bikes on the Outdoor Gear Exchange Demo Loop. Catch Mike Stedley, 12-time National Trials Champion and highest ranked U.S rider at the Red Bull Bike Battle, perform his stunt show with elements of trials, street/park, and North-Shore style riding. Pedro’s will be holding clinics on bike cleaning and maintenance, and there will be women’s skills clinics for both beginner
WANDERLUST, STRATTON, JUNE 22-15 The Party: Wanderlust, the groovy yoga festival that travels to sites around the world comes back to Stratton. “Find your true north” is the theme for this weekend of yoga, meditation, music, speakers, artists and chefs. Featured music acts include St. Paul and the Broken Bones, The Suffers, DJ Pre, and more. Attend one of the talks given by speakers such as Jillian Turecki, senior teacher at NYC’s Kula Yoga Project and Lauren Imparato, author of RETOX. Or, stop in at one of more than 20 different yoga classes.
The Calorie Burn: If the yoga classes don't do it, head up the mountain for a brisk run. Becca Pizzi, the first American female to run 7 marathons in 7 continents in 7 days, will be leading several 7-mile runs throughout the weekend. All paces are welcome. wanderlust.com
VERMONT MOUNTAIN BIKE FESTIVAL, SUGARBUSH, JULY 21-22 The Party: This year marks 20 years of the Vermont Mountain Biking Festival and with a return to Sugarbush’s Mt. Ellen and with free on-site camping, it promises to be a rager. The Mountain Bike Olympics will provide some entertainment for those who enjoy watching “big people doing stupid tricks, and little people doing cool tricks.” The weekend will rock with live music, BBQ’s, and access to all the downhill and cross-country trails that Sugarbush and the Mad River Valley have to offer. The Calorie Burn: Ride Sugarbush’s downhill trails or take a clinic to improve your skills. On Sunday morning, there are limited spots open in a liftassisted Enduro ride from the top of Lincoln Peak to the Valley floor. The Mad River Valley has a 45+-mile network of trails for you to explore. www.vmba.org
MAY 2017 | VTSPORTS.COM 13
Your Summer Fitness Goal...
You can do it!
SPRINT DISTANCE EVENTS JUNE 24, JULY 16, AUGUST 13 SWIM 600 YARDS
BIKE 14 MILES
RUN 3.1 MILES
LAKE MEMPHREMAGOG — NEWPORT, VERMONT WWW.KINGDOMSWIM.ORG
our Check out le Challenge! ol One Mi o P . s v l o o P
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LAKE DUNMORE TRIATHLON 1600 yd. swim, 28 mi. bike, 6.2 mi. run... June 24 & August 13
VERMONT SUN HALF MARATHON 10k, 5k run... September 24
Registration open to individuals & teams • 388-6888 • vermontsun.com
FUELING FOR THE DISTANCE THERE’S NEW THINKING IN THE NUTRITION WORLD ON HOW YOU
SHOULD PREPARE FOR DISTANCE EVENTS. JAMIE SHEAHAN, A REGISTERED DIETITIAN WITH 20 MARATHONS UNDER HER BELT, EXPLAINS.
NO LANES • NO LINES • NO LIMITS JULY 29 , 2017 TH
Lake Mephremagog, Newport, VT 25KM BORDER BUSTER 10 MILE WOWSA CHAMPIONSHIP 10KM • 5KM • 1 MILE - Special Youth Only Swims 1/4 MILE & 100 YARD Underwritten by
R U N & T R I AT H L O N S E R I E S
NEKOWSKA 2017 SWIMS July 1 - Son of a Swim July 15 - Georgeville or Bist July 29 - 9th Annual Kingdom Swim August 12 - Crystal Lake August 13 - Island Pond August 14 - Echo Lake August 15 - Lake Seymour August 16 - Massawippi August 20 - Caspian Lake Sept. 11 - In Search of Memphre VII Oct. 28 - Vampire Swim, Newport
ALL ABOUT THE BASE When you think about sports nutrition, break it down into four pieces; base diet, pre-workout, fueling and recovery. The most critical is the base diet or what we eat on a daily basis. You can do absolutely everything right on race day when it comes to fueling, but without a strong base it will all be for naught. The first thing you should think about is meeting your energy needs. Energy, supplied in the form of calories, is often a difficult subject. Many runners view training as an ideal way to lose weight without having to limit their food choices.
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HARPOON 1/4 Registered dietitian Jamie Sheahan has raced a marathon every month for the last 12 months. This April's Boston Marathon was her 13th. Photo courtesy Jamie Sheahan.
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ou might assume I nailed my fueling strategy from day one—after all, I'm a registered dietitian who specializes in sports nutrition. Sadly, that couldn’t be further from the truth. I signed up for my first half marathon on a whim, long before I had begun to study the science of sports nutrition. With less-than-adequate time to train, I was so worried about whether I could complete the distance that I never even considered whether I should eat or drink something during the race. Finishing with legs that felt like concrete blocks was enough to convince me that my training and fueling strategy, or lack thereof, needed serious tweaking. I also swore to myself upon completing that half that I would never run a full marathon because it would be crazy to double such an exhausting feat. Oh, how times have changed! This past year, I made it a goal to run a marathon every month. And armed with a degree in nutrition science, I’m a lot better prepared. Here’s what I’ve learned that can help you train better.
However, consuming too few calories during training increases your risk of getting stress fractures and soft tissue injuries. It can be all too easy to write these setbacks off to overtraining, when in fact they are really due to underfueling. What’s at play here? Losing more than one pound a week for men and two pounds a week for women not only reduces in body fat. For athletes, this loss also reflects a loss of water weight, muscle glycogen and muscle tissue. Running dehydrated, with low energy stores and less muscle is a recipe for poor performance and injury. On the flip side, it is just as easy for runners to overestimate how much energy they are burning and overcompensate by eating too much to “refuel.” We have all probably fallen prey to a post-workout “reward” an indulgent meal that piles on far more calories than we expended even on a grueling 20-miler. Seriously, why do there have to be so many calories in a single pint of ice cream? Monitoring your weight during training is the easiest way to ensure you are not ending up too far on either end
MAY 2017 | VTSPORTS.COM 15
well-timed meal or snack. The nutritional content of these meals depends largely on timing as the further out from the start of your run, the more you want to consume. While this may be common practice amongst marathoners and ultramarathoners, I’ve found that those running half-marathons tend to skimp on their morning meal and forego mid-race fueling altogether. Learn from my “newbie” mistake and don’t succumb to the dreaded “lead legs” near the end of race where maintaining your desired pace becomes all but impossible. Topping off glycogen stores before running (and during a run) can prevent this and allow for a strong finish.
of the spectrum. For best results, meet with a dietitian to have your energy needs evaluated based on your height, age, weight, gender and training volume.
THE CARBS/PROTEIN/FAT EQUATION
KINGDOM TRAILS 1/2
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TIMING IS EVERYTHING
Max out your glycogen stores the night before a race with a high-carb meal such as pasta but make sure you can digest all the toppings that might come with it. including animal proteins like red meat and poultry, eggs, dairy, soy, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains. One caveat before you assume your next 14 ounce steak dinner will cover your protein needs: our bodies can only use about 30 grams of protein at one time. For most, this means eating at least five times per day with adequate protein at all meals and snacks. For every meal and snack you should be asking yourself, “Am I including a source of protein?” Fats are also an essential part of a runner’s diet and can play a major role in helping fight inflammation. Once carbohydrate and protein needs are met, athletes are usually able to consume approximately 20 to 35 percent of their calories from fat. Athletes should focus on the quality of these fats, with an emphasis on mono- and poly-unsaturated fats, such as those inavocados or olive oils, instead of the saturated fats from dairy or meats. As training runs become longer, fueling
up before and during becomes increasingly important. A good base diet can allow a runner to store about 1400-1800 calories of muscle glycogen on a given day. When these reserves are depleted, we end up hitting the proverbial wall as our muscles no longer have the fuel needed to contract and thus our pace slows or we come to a stop. Fortunately our bodies are capable of burning fat for fuel. Even the leanest athletes have over 100,000 calories of fat stored, so why bother with all of those carbs? As our run duration increases, our body relies more and more on fat, but the breakdown of fatty acids is contingent upon the availability of carbohydrates. Think of carbohydrates as kindling in a fire that allows the bigger logs (fat) to burn. That means if we completely deplete our glycogen reserves, our body can no longer use the plethora of fat our body has for energy. To avoid hitting the wall or compromising performance, we must top off glycogen stores before long runs with a
One caveat before you assume your next 14-ounce steak dinner will cover your protein needs; our bodies can only use about 30 grams of protein at one time. For most, this means eating at least five times per day with adequate protein at all meals and snacks.
SKI RACK 1/4
Probably the most hotly debated issue when it comes to the ideal base diet for runners is where our calories should come from. Should you eliminate all carbs from your diet or all-out carb-load prior to a race? And what diet should you follow? The 40-30-30 approach, also known as The Zone Diet, encourages followers to consume 40 percent of their calories from carbohydrates, 30 percent from protein and 30 percent from fat. Sounds promising, just like the Paleo Diet or Whole30, right? In fact, these diets fall short on many of their “scientific” claims and, more importantly from a performance standpoint, are not designed for endurance athletes. Remember, endurance runners are a unique breed, and they have unique nutritional needs. Simplifying recommendations into mere percentages doesn’t account for differences in training volume and goals. For instance, elite athletes running marathons at a higher intensity (based on percent of VO2 max) require a greater percentage of carbohydrates than do those running at moderate intensity. A prime example: researchers found that elite Kenyan marathoners can consume an average of 76 percent of their calories from carbohydrates during training. Of course, most of us aren’t likely to run at the high intensities these athletes do, and therefore our base diet needs not be quite so carb-centric. Instead, runners should adjust their carbohydrate intake according to their training volume and intensity, with higher volume (training three hours per day) getting 10 to 11 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight and those training one hour per day only 6 to 7 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight. Despite so much emphasis on carbohydrates, protein should not be neglected. During every training run and strength session (yes, you should be strength training too) your body breaks down muscle and requires amino acids, the building blocks of protein, to repair muscle. This constant breaking down and rebuilding is what allows us to get stronger, but that’s only possible when we give our body adequate protein to do so. Once again, needs vary depending on training volume and intensity, but most long-distance runners require 1.2 to 1.4 g/kg of body weight. To put that in perspective, a 130-pound female would need to consume 71 to 83 grams of protein per day and a 180-pound male would need to consume 98 to 115 grams of protein per day. Fortunately, we can get protein from a variety of sources
Regardless of whether you are going 13.1, 26.2 or longer, your pre-race dinner and breakfast are critical. The night before a long run your goal should be to max out your glycogen stores with a high-carb meal. Opt for foods that are low in fiber to avoid potential stomach distress the next day. If you have chosen a destination race then practice with dinner options that you will be able to find at a restaurant near the event. A pre-race dinner is not the time to be adventurous and experience the local cuisine. There are so many unknown variables that can affect your performance on race day, and your dinner shouldn’t have to be one of them. I’ve been accused of being borderline neurotic when it comes to my pre-race meal. Ever since my first marathon I have the exact same thing: pasta in a red sauce with shrimp. It’s the perfect balance of carbs, protein and fat, but more importantly it’s familiar and I know it works well for me. When I travel for a race I research menus of local restaurants to be sure I can have my tried and true meal. As for breakfast, about 3 to 4 hours before a run, aim for a well-balanced meal that includes a source of carbohydrates as well as a little protein and fat. Think a bowl of oatmeal with chopped walnuts or a bagel with peanut butter. If eating within an hour of your run, stick with just carbohydrates and choose items that are easy on the stomach, like a banana or diluted sports drink. If you ever see me waiting for the start of a race, I can guarantee you will spot me nibbling on a banana as this is one of the few solid foods I have found that gives me a good source of steady energy without upsetting my stomach. Attend any race expo and it's clear there is no shortage of fuels to consume during a race. So how do you know what or how much you need? For starters, you only need to fuel during a run if you are going to be running 75 minutes or more. For shorter races or training events, athletes can benefit from swishing a sports drink in their mouth then spitting it out. In a study published in the
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Out of the box And into the wild.
If you are training an hour a day, you should look to get 6 to 7 grams of carbs per kilogram of body weight and include adequate protein in meals and snacks.
SAMPLE DIET BREAKDOWN Grams protein/day Grams carbohydrates/day
SAMPLE DIET BREAKDOWN
Grams protein/day Grams carbohydrates/day
1.1-1.4g/kg of body weight 6 - 7 g/kg of body weight
1 to 3 hours 1 to 3 hours
Women 130 lb/58 Kg 71-83 g 348-406 g
Men 180 lb./81.46 kg 98-115 g 488-570 g
Journal of Physiology in 2009, researchers SIMPLE WAYS TO MEET THE BASIC RECOMMENDATIONS A 6"Food turkey sub (from Subway) supplies 46 grams of carbs andCarbs 18 g of protein. found that endurance cyclists who swished Protein Calories and then spat out a sports drink performed BREAKFAST better on time trials than those who hadn’t. 1 cup oatmeal 10 54 300 Studies have shown although this method Bagel with peanut butter 18 68 400 does not actually supply the body1 with banana 1 23 110 any carbohydrates (since the drink LUNCH is not ingested), the sweetness imparted by the 6" Subway turkey sandwich 18 46 280 drink essentially activates the reward 1 cup no-fat Greek yogurt 23 10 130 center in our brain and fools it by reducing DINNER our perceived exertion level. Poached chicken breast, 8 oz 29 0 240 If you are going longer than that 75 2 cups green beans 4 16 80 minutes mark, swishing and spitting 2 cups whole wheat pasta 14 82 420 a sports drink won’t cut it. Depending 1 cup spaghetti sauce (meatless) 2 22 120 on a number of factors including pace SNACKS/DESSERT and body weight, athletes should aim to 1 oz of peanuts (about 53) 7 5 160 consume anywhere from 30-60 grams of 1 orange (large) 2 22 87 carbohydrates per hour. 2 cups strawberries 2 24 96 These carbohydrates should simply be 1 cup chocolate milk 8 25 150 and therefore so will you. Experiment THE GLUCOSE/FRUCTOSE BALANCE just that; simple. As we run, blood flow is with different products to find what works TRAININGThe FUELS ideal fuel for a run should contain a shunted away from our digestive tract to best for you. Gels, beans, blocks—the 12 oz bottle Gatorade Flow 0 35 14 mixture of glucose and fructose. Both are our working muscles. This is great for our possibilities are seemingly endless and it 1 packet GU energy gel (Vanilla) 0 the 22 100 simple sugars. Your body processes tired legs that require additional oxygen can take time to find what gives you TOTALS carbohydrates in foods such as grains 138 into 454 2687 plenty and nutrients, but it can make digesting of energy without upsetting your stomach. glucose. Sucrose occurs naturally in fruits food a bit dicey. Consider products that include and vegetables. Glucose and fructose are Anyone who has made a mid-race trip caffeine, as studies have repeatedly shown absorbed via different pathways in the to a porta-pottie knows all too well how that caffeine works as an ergogenic aid, digestive tract, so restricting yourself to just devastating it can be to watch your goal improving performance for short and one means limiting how fast fuel can get to time slip away as you attend to “business.” long-distance athletes. Many races provide your working muscles. To avoid stomach distress practice with specific fuels along the course and for those Recommended Intake Training Time Women Including a small amountMen of fructose various options, but be selective as not all averse to carrying items, training with 130 lb/58 Kg 180 lb./81.46 kg in a fuel is like opening up an extra lane of products are created equal. 1.1-1.4g/kg of body weight 1 to 3 hours traffic at rush 71-83hour: g 98-115 g the product provided by the course can be things move quicker 6 - 7 g/kg of body weight 1 to 3 hours 348-406 g 488-570 g an ideal solution, but be sure to take into account everything from how often a race SIMPLE WAYS TO MEET THE BASIC RECOMMENDATIONS will hand items out to what flavors are Food Protein Carbs Calories provided. BREAKFAST I will never forget one race in which 1 cup oatmeal 10 54 300 I failed to pack enough gels, and out of Bagel with peanut butter 18 68 400 desperation as I neared the final miles I 1 banana 1 23 110 grabbed a gel from an aid station. Expecting LUNCH a typical chocolate or vanilla-flavored gel, 6" Subway turkey sandwich 18 46 280 instead I ended up with what tasted like 1 cup no-fat Greek yogurt 23 10 130 DINNER a melted orange creamsicle—and not in Poached chicken breast, 8 oz 29 0 240 a good way. I’ll take this opportunity to 2 cups green beans 4 16 80 apologize to the runners who were near 2 cups whole wheat pasta 14 82 420 me at the time as they had to see that gel 1 cup spaghetti sauce (meatless) 2 22 120 reappear on the pavement around me. SNACKS/DESSERT The most important thing to 1 oz of peanuts (about 53) 7 5 160 remember is that every runner has 1 orange (large) 2 22 87 unique needs so there is no one-size-fits2 cups strawberries 2 24 96 all approach. However, keeping in mind 1 cup chocolate milk 8 25 150 these general rules will help you to go the TRAINING FUELS distance. 12 oz bottle Gatorade Flow 0 35 14 1 packet GU energy gel (Vanilla) 0 22 100 TOTALS 138 454 2687
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2017 EVENTS NEW ENGLAND
NEW ENGLAND – JUNE 24-25 LONG ISLAND – JULY 22-23 WESTERN NY – AUGUST 5-6 NORTHEAST – AUGUST 19-20
Your nutrition and calorie needs will vary greatly depending on how hard and how long you train and what you weigh. Here's an example of some healthy sources of protein and carbs and how they add up.
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OUT-OF-THE-BOX COMFORT FOR LONG DAYS ON YOUR FEET
Jamie Sheahan graduated summa cum laude from the University of Vermont in 2011 and went on to complete her Master of Science in Dietetics in 2013. Working as the Director of Nutrition at The Edge in Burlington, Jamie works closely with athletes to develop customized fueling plans to optimize their health and performance. Jamie will also be taking on the role of adjunct professor of sports nutrition at UVM in the fall of 2017. An avid runner, Jamie has completed 20 marathons. For the past 12 months, she has run at least one marathon each month and she qualified for Boston along the way. Jamie serves as lululemon’s run ambassador, a role in which she aims to help others discover or foster a love of running with group training runs and informational talks.
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MAKING A SPLASH
SINCE IT WAS BUILT IN 2009 THE UPPER VALLEY AQUATIC CENTER HAS MADE RIPPLES IN THE SWIMMING WORLD AS COACH DORSI RAYNOLDS CONTINUES TO TURN OUT OLYMPIC HOPEFULS. BY EMMA COTTON
The Upper Valley Aquatic Center's 37,500-squarefoot facility hosts some of Vermont's largest youth swimming events. Photo courtesy of UVAC
n the evening of June 27, 2016, at the Olympic Trials in Omaha, Neb., eight swimmers readied themselves on the CenturyLink Center pool deck for the 400-meter freestyle final–the race that would determine who would compete in Rio de Janeiro. Katie Ledecky, the world-record holder for the 400 freestyle, loosened her arms and secured her cap in lane four. Flanking her in lanes three and five were Allison Schmitt and Lea Smith respectively, all of whom were expected to qualify. Lane one held an unlikely contender: 18-year-old Hannah Cox, from Hartland, Vt. Sporting a black legskin suit, her dark curls tucked under a matching black cap, Cox curled tightly into herself on the dive block, ready to spring at the sound of the buzzer. The buzzer sounded and the women soared from their blocks, crossing the
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Members of the UVAC team dive off the blocks at a home meet. 50-meter pool in less than thirty seconds. Ledecky pulled ahead, maintaining her world-record pace for six out of the race’s eight laps. Cox, just two lanes over, stayed on her tail for the first 100 meters, an arm’s
Photo courtesy of Connor Koehler
length away from Ledecky’s feet. Then Ledecky shot ahead, leaving Cox squarely in the middle of the pack. Cox pulled hard, her steady strokes pounding the water with rigor. The last to touch the wall, Cox missed
a spot in the Olympics. Four of those women went on to compete in Rio. With her list of accolades, it’s hard to believe that Hannah Cox, who grew up in tiny Hartland, didn’t have a coach or regular year-round swim practices until she was a freshman in high school. “She swam summers at the Woodstock Rec,” says Hannah’s mom, Karen Cox. “The seven o’clock (evening) practice time was not ideal, but I knew that UVAC would be built, so we made a promise to her that when it was finished, she could start swimming in the winters.” In 2004, a group of parents in the Upper Valley rallied together to raise funds to build an indoor pool. In 2009, the Upper Valley Athletic Center opened its doors. A 37,500-square foot facility, it featured a 10-lane, 25-meter by 25-yard competition pool, a separate warm water instructional
pool, a splash park with water features and waterslide, a state-of-the-art fitness center and a group fitness studio. Best yet, it was a ten-minute drive down the road from the Cox’s home. There, Hannah’s competitive swimming career began. But by then, she was already freshman in high school—getting a much later start than most Olympic-hopefuls. “We didn’t even know what year-round swimming really meant at the time,” Karen Cox said. Hannah acknowledges that the Upper Valley Aquatic Center was a big player in her swimming success, and moreover, that her life would have been much different without one person: her coach, Dorsi Raynolds. “I’m so grateful, for one, that UVAC opened in a perfect place,” the college freshman said over the phone this spring. “It’s really cool how it all worked out. But then, to have not only a pool in a perfect
UVAC continues to produce the state's top swimmers, like Hannah Cox, who went to the 2016 Olympic Trials, and Kristian Hansen, who has already been recruited to University of Minnesota. Photo courtesy UVAC. place, but to also to have a coach who knew what she was doing—I’m really thankful for that, because without the proper training, my swimming career could have been
INTENTIONAL THINKING Earlier this winter, as one of the UVAC’s
six weekly practices was nearing its end, Raynolds shepherded the forty-odd team members, exhausted after an hour and a half of continuous swimming, to the deep end of the pool. Raynolds’ t-shirt bore evidence of the afternoon’s activities: wet splotches from standing too close to the splash zone and a wet attack-hug from a young, giggling swimmer. Counting off, she divided them into groups of six. Swimmers mounted the dive block as Raynolds belted instructions into the 85-degree humidity. A sprint: 50 yards of butterfly, but with “freestyle sprint” breathing. The sea of high-schoolers groaned. Raynolds laughed, shaking her head. “Just try it guys,” she said. “Failure is always okay.” The assistant coach bellowed a “ready... go!” and six swimmers simultaneously pierced the water, rippling down the pool
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Before she became a coach, Dorsi Raynolds was an basketaball player, softball player and a swimmer. She recorded 16 All-American titles at Ithica College. Photo courtesy of UVAC.
about what it’s going to take. You have to get out of bed in the morning. While we’re all here and uncomfortable at 5:30 a.m., you’re cozy in your bed. That’s the sacrifice.” Because of UVAC’s flexible attendance policy, Raynolds and her assistant coaches manage non-competitive swimmers alongside swimmers who compete at national levels. With Hannah Cox off to college, Raynolds has zoomed in on 18-yearold distance swimmer Kristian Hansen. Hansen, who was recently recruited by the University of Minnesota, has been swimming since he was eight years old, and joined UVAC at age eleven. Over the past seven years, he’s emerged as one of the team’s fastest, second only to Cox, whom he occasionally challenged. In December, he won the overall Distance Swimmer of New England Senior Championships by placing higher than his competitors in the 500-meter freestyle, 1,000-meter freestyle, 1,650-meter freestyle and 400-meter individual medley. Last summer, he qualified for the Summer Junior Nationals meet, one of the most challenging junior meets in the country. Watching her swimmers compete at national levels—that’s what gets Raynolds up in the morning. In August of 2015, Cox qualified for the FINA World Junior Championships in Singapore. Raynolds went with her, serving as the assistant to U.S. Nationals coach Chuck Batchlor. “We had to train for three and a half weeks at an incredible rate,” Raynolds said, “and she did everything I asked of her. She committed herself.” Cox came home with a bronze medal in the 200-meter freestyle, and Raynolds was riding the wave of an alltime career high. “The actual experience—it was beyond an honor,” she said. “To represent the United States as a coach was something I dreamed of doing. I dreamed of that, and to actually have it come to fruition in my home town, in the little state of Vermont, three years before I put a thumb tack right where it’s located—the whole thing was just surreal. It was surreal.”
Back home, she treated the breast cancer with radiation. But it soon spread to her ovaries and she needed chemotherapy. She spent the summer of 2016 split between chemo and practice, taking a week from the team, then going back for another two. At her weakest, the kids kept her spirits high. “I honestly felt like the luckiest cancer patient alive,” she said. “I would look around the hallways and the waiting rooms and the infusion rooms, and realize that I have this community that cares about me. I just felt beyond lucky, like I wanted to share my team with the other patients. When you have a group of 40 kids help you shave your head, and be willing to watch my hair fall to the ground…” her voice trailed off. “They walked through the valley of it with me, and I’m grateful.” For most coaches, showing weakness is never easy. When she felt her worst, Raynolds spent a few extra days away, feeling incapable of leading the team. But the kids were there for her. A video, compiled by a teammate and sent to Raynolds as a surprise, showed each swimmer saying one word they felt described their coach. The kids jumped and danced and shouted words like “determined,” “vivacious,” “inspiring” and “zesty” into the camera—hardly words of pity. Cox’s training for the Olympic trials fell in the middle of Raynolds’ chemotherapy treatments. The two adjusted the swimming schedule and moved forward. “She totally persevered and was really strong throughout it all,” Cox said, “even when it was really hard to be strong because of the emotional and physical demands that it takes. I was aware of that and I know she really wanted to put on a strong front. But I knew that she was strong, no matter how she handled it.” Raynolds was declared cancer-free this past September. Now, she feels changed;
CIRCLE OF STONES
At the 2016 Olympic Trials in Omaha, Hannah Cox swam a 4:09 in the 400-meter freestyle. Photo coutesy of UVAC
aged kids calls for mind-molding as much as physical training. At UVAC, Raynolds
three morning practices. “We do a goal meeting at the
teaches her youngest team members, thirteen-year-olds, to take “responsibility for choice.” Practices at UVAC are not mandatory—swimmers can come once a week, or they can attend all six evening and
beginning of the year,” she says. “They fill out forms that not only state what their weekly attendance is going to be, but also ask, ‘why do you swim?’ If I notice a kid is wanting to take it seriously, I talk to them
While Raynolds and Cox were at the Junior Worlds in Singapore, Raynolds would jog in the early morning with other coaches. But the exercise routine suddenly felt exhausting. “I couldn’t understand why I was so tired,” she said. “I figured it was from the jet lag. I just remember we used to run by this horrific line of streets—with garbage that had been out from the night before—and that air, that’s where I really had to suck it up to stay up with the guys.” She was still in Singapore when she felt the lump in her breast. Raynolds knew immediately what it meant: her mother and sister carried the BRCA2 gene mutation, and were the same age, 51 years old, when they were diagnosed with cancer.
The UVAC opened its doors in 2009, after an anonymous donation of $15 million made construction possible. Photo courtesy of Connor Koehler.
After the college season, there are national competitions and international competitions, so I’m still working toward those, working on my times, and seeing where that takes me,” she said. “I think postOlympic year, it’s about figuring out what the national and international competition looks like.
and back in nearly-perfect form. Raynolds may have landed at UVAC by chance, but her story seems far from accidental. Eleven years ago, right about the time the group of Upper Connecticut Valley parents began fundraising to build an aquatic center, Raynolds was living in Madison, N.J. She had just left a 13year tenure at the University of Buffalo, where she had been the college’s all-time winningest women’s swim coach, and was coaching the women’s and men’s teams at Drew University. She had left Buffalo reluctantly in an effort to get closer to her hometown: Woodstock, Vermont. Her parents were aging and she missed the Green Mountain state. On a wall in her home office in New Jersey, she pinned up a map of Vermont and pushed a thumb tack into the intersection of I-89 and I-91. Drawing a 50-mile radius around the pin, she promised herself she’d find a coaching job within the circle. “I did that three years before they built UVAC—it turns out they built this place on the thumb tack,” she said. “So I’m kind of a believer of intentional thinking.” Raynolds, a tall, athletically-built woman with short, copper-colored hair, was an All-American basketball player, softball player and swimmer in high school. When she left for college in 1981, she knew she wanted to coach. “I almost went to Indiana because I got recruited by my favorite swim coach, but I was too freaked out that swimming would become my life,” she said with a laugh. Instead, she enrolled at Ithaca, where she tried out for both basketball and swim teams. Finally, she chose swimming, understanding to some extent the role the sport would play far into her future. “It’s an extraordinary mental sport to me. I think that’s why I ended up coaching it, because the mind is the thing that fascinates me most about human beings, and human potential is the thing that fascinates me most about living. That’s how I knew I wanted to be a coach—this thing called human potential.” Before graduating, she recorded 16 All-American titles, four state champion titles and the New York State record for the 50-meter butterfly. With a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and a master’s in Sports Psychology from Boston University, Raynolds is qualified to coach at the collegiate level—something she did for over two decades. But now she enjoys working on the other side, where she can watch her swimmers get recruited and prepare them for the demands of college swimming. “I got to see the other end of it,” she said. “I saw my calling in club swimming because there’s a lot more to influence at these ages, in terms of dedication and commitment and patience.” As opposed to college swimming, coaching middle school and high school-
cancer has made her more compassionate, more able to accept and appreciate kindness. Her life, as she says, has become more colorful. “I feel that the color I’m adding is this thing called true compassion for self and others,” she said. “True compassion is an understanding that things are happening exactly the way they’re supposed to. Not the way we deserve, none of that, just that things in life are happening the way they’re supposed to. Anything is possible if you just really want to do it. I lose myself in what’s possible now.” And her relationships with individual team members has grown more valuable. When Hansen qualified for the Summer Junior Nationals, Raynolds was in chemo and couldn’t join him. He texted her: “I wish you were here.” “He doesn’t know that that’s so special to me,” she said. “He means the world
to me, this kid.” In an interview with Vermont Public Radio, Cox called Raynolds her “backbone.” The tiny gesture of gratitude, Raynolds said, meant more than any accolade. Her coaching style, which has always been based in energetic selflessness, has carried new meaning. When Raynolds approaches a pool deck, she strives to leave her personal life behind. “It’s like stepping into a circle,” she said. “I’ve always imagined—it’s an ancient Native American thing called the ‘circle of stones’—that’s when I become nothing but for them. Nothing else but for them. How do you put that into words? It feels like something goes up my backbone. I become a posture, so to speak. Nothing—I am a void. I am here for them, my vessel is completely for them, and that’s it. Nothing else.”
Ask UVAC head coach Dorsi Raynolds to define swimming and she
before breathing again. When you breathe to both sides, you get
says: “You’re adding a resistance element to this thing called a
a more symmetrical workout through your neck and body. Try
‘human being’ with a skeleton that’s not built for water—no gills,
keeping one goggle in, one goggle out of the water with a nice
no fins.” Some say swimming is unlike any other sport: easy on
compact kick as you swim–this will give you velocity to form a
the joints, hard on the calories, (you can burn 200 in a half hour).
trough for the mouth to breath, almost under the water’s surface.
Swimming against the resistance of water gives you a full-body
This technique requires good swimming fitness.”
workout. Whether you’re new to the lanes, training for a triathlon or you’re on a first-name basis with the other pool regulars, there’s
DON’T SLAP THE WATER. “When your hand goes underwater, you
always room for improvement. From Dorsi Raynolds, here’s how to
want to pull, reach and then catch a platform of water to anchor
perfect your freestyle.
your hand. Move into an early vertical forearm position with your elbow high. Finish and roll, with your elbow high in the recovery.
4 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR FREESTYLE
KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE POOL FLOOR. “Freestyle, like back stroke,
Your arm will be out of the water in recovery, so let the forearm
is considered a ‘long axis’ stroke, meaning your core rotates around
relax, and rotate the core and shoulders while keeping your head
the length of the spine, leading with the head in an eyes-down
in line. Rotate into the next pull.”
position. The top of the head and spine should be in a neutral posture, in line with your body. If your head looks up, you lose your
KICK FROM THE HIPS, NOT THE KNEES. “Flutter kick should be from
in-line body posture and core strength, and your hips will sink.”
hip. To practice, flip onto your back in an in-line body position, flutter kicking for power. Rotate throughout the core, and you can
BREATHE TO THE SIDE. “Breathing in freestyle needs to be initiated
get a great core body work out. Hands can be leading over head or
by core rotation, not by picking your head up. Roll your head to
at your sides. We call it the head lead drill.”
breathe at the beginning of the pull, and try to wait three strokes
MAY 2017 | VTSPORTS.COM 23
GO SOUTH, YOUNG MEN (AND WOMEN)
IF YOU’RE AN ATHLETE, THE PLACE TO BE IN MAY IS BENNINGTON. WITH A POINTTO-POINT MARATHON, A HUGE GRAND FONDO AND THE LARGEST WILD LAKE IN THE STATE, THERE’S NO SHORTAGE OF FUN HERE. BY SILVIA CASSANO
MOUNTAIN BIKE WITH BATS On May 6, The Bennington Area Trail System (BATS), one of the newer chapters of the Vermont Mountain Bike Association, hosts its second Annual Trail Mix event. It kicks off at noon at the Everett Mansion at Southern Vermont College with group rides on about 10 miles of singletrack and other multiuse trails. Catch a talk by local Olympic Nordic ski racer Andy Newell, demo Salomon footwear and sample from food trucks and Spirits of Old Bennington. For trail beta and event updates, visit www. BATSvt.org or the BATSvt Facebook page.
open mics, and other events, and is a good place to stop and find out what else is going on in town that evening. Another great spot downtown is Madison’s Brewery, a fixture on Main Street that serves lunch and dinner as well as their own craft beer, now also available in cans. For dinner without the kids, try Pangea Lounge in North Bennington or Allegro in downtown Bennington. The Publyk House provides a deck with a view and tasteful menus. Ramuntos Brick Oven Pizza is an all-around favorite for good, quick eats and craft beers. The Taphouse at Catamount Glass has a small menu, good beer, and you can purchase their wares.
On September 9, race up the steps of the 306-foot tall Bennington Battle Monument. Photo by Meghan Morgan Puglisi
HIKE THE HIGHLANDS
The largest pro/am race and ride in the U.S. the Tour of the Battenkill brings 3,000 riders to the region in May. Photo by David Kraus
n May, some Vermonters head south, but you don’t have to go too far south to get away. Nestled in the southwestern corner of the state, Bennington is bustling this month with a point to point marathon between Bennington and Manchester on May 21. On May 27, it’s also the site of a block party-crafts fair and on May 20 serves as a base camp for the largest pro/ am bike race/tour in the country, the Tour of the Battenkill, just across the New York border. After a run or ride, grab a memberbrewed beer at the state’s first beer co-op, paddle Vermont’s wildest lake, stay at B&B that serves guests free martinis, visit one of the area’s many museums. Pack the bikes, running shoes, fly-rods and hiking boots. Sunscreen is optional.
RUN THROUGH HISTORY With its old stone buildings, country farmhouses and three historic districts (Old Bennington, Bennington Downtown, and North Bennington), Bennington lives up to its slogan “Vermont Begins Here.” Chartered in 1749, Bennington constantly reminds you of its history with its restored brick storefronts and classic colonials. The 306-foot tall Bennington Monument commemorates the Battle of Bennington and, on Sept. 9, plays host to the American Lung Association’s Fight for Air Climb, a race up the monument’s spiral steps. When you’ve taken in the view from the top, stroll down to the Bennington Museum to see the
24 VTSPORTS.COM | MAY 2017
head out, a mass start sends everyone else on a gran fondo tour, with aid stations along the way and an option for a 26-mile loop. The weekend also features a giant bike Expo at the Washington Valley Fairgrounds. On June 3, pros return for the UCI America’s Pro Invitational on a similar, 100K course. www.tourofthebattenkill.com
SPIN THROUGH COVERED BRIDGES In May, run from Bennington to Manchester in the Shires of Vermont point-to-point marathon. largest collection of paintings by Grandma Moses. Then stop by the First Church cemetery to pay homage to poet Robert Frost whose headstone there reads “I had a lover’s quarrel with the world.” If you care to pick up the pace, run through five of Bennington County’s villages in one shot. After a one-year hiatus, the Shires of Vermont marathon is back and slated for May 21. The USATF-sanctioned race starts at Bennington College and sends runners on back roads through the villages of North Bennington, Shaftsbury, Arlington, Sunderland to Manchester. There’s a net elevation gain of 1500 feet, so don’t expect a PRm but it is a Boston Marathon qualifier and the scenery can’t be beat. Buses shuttle from the finish in Manchester’s Hunter Park to the start. www.bkvr.net/ shires-of-vermont-marathon. For a shorter
race, sign up for the Annual Steve Zemianek Bennington Road Race – a 3.8 mile and 10K race on May 7. If you’re in town and want to join in a group run, the Batten Kill Valley Runners (www.bkvr.net) hosts weekly runs around the county.
RIDE (OR RACE) THE TOUR OF THE BATTENKILL On May 19-20, some 3,000 cyclists are expected to take part in what’s billed as the largest pro-am race/ride in America: the Tour of the Battenkill. The Tour starts May 20 in Greenwich, NY, 20 miles northwest of Bennington. It sends 250 pro racers (and seeded amateurs) out on a mass start on a 75-mile loop on back roads, through covered bridges and across hilly farmland. There are sections on dirt roads and 39/25 gearing is recommended. Once the pros
For a more leisurely ride on your own timeline or pace, there are plenty of great routes on Vermont side of the border. “We are in a corner so a lot of your rides end up being in three states and can be rolling, or challenging with hill climbs,” says Peter Hall of Highlander Bicycle, located in the historic Holden-Leonard Mill complex. From the shop, an easy 14-mile “Covered Bridge Ride” goes past the Old First Church and Cemetery, the Walloomsac Inn, the Catamount Tavern statue, and the Bennington Battle Monument. The ride crosses the Walloomsac on three covered bridges: the Silk Road Bridge, the Paper Mill Bridge, and the Burt Henry Bridge, all within two miles of each other. The Spirits of Old Bennington Distillery is visible from the Paper Mill Bridge, so stop in for a tasting. The shop also lists a number of challenging rides at www.Hbike.com/ local-rides/ Or, visit Battenkill Bicycles in Manchester for more local knowledge and group rides. www.battenkillbicycles.com
ACCOMODATIONS & APERITIFS
With the rolling Green Mountains to the east and the short, steep Taconic Peaks to the west there is no shortage of good hikes in the Bennington areas. There’s even one that let’s you access a National Forest from a sidewalk downtown. Bald Mountain’ North Branch Street trailhead will have a new parking lot and Forest Service kiosk marking the downtown trailhead by late spring. The Bald Mountain Trail, known by locals as “The White Rocks,” is 2.6 miles to the White Rocks, and another mile to the krummholz and scrub of the summit. There, you have views to the Taconics and the Hudson Valley. To the north is Glastenbury Wilderness—a gem in its own right. Not far from Bennington, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail and the Long Trail (AT/LT) coincide, letting you hike sections of both. The trailhead is on Route 9 which is exactly 5 miles east from the Four Corners in Bennington. The outand-back hike to Harmon Hill on the AT/ LT heads south, steeply ascending a series of rock steps before easing up for remainder of the hike. It later opens up in a grassy meadow—Harmon Hill—with a views of Bennington and the Taconics.
If you want a classic Vermont inn right off the BATS trails on Mt. Anthony, The Four Chimneys Inn with its guests-only bar, and extensive gardens will make you feel like you really deserved this vacation. The historic The Henry House Inn, located adjacent to the Henry Bridge is just off the beaten path, yet close to what Bennington area has to offer. In the village, the Paradise Inn is a convenient walk to downtown (VMBA discount available as is an anglers package with two days of meals, accommodations and trout fishing with guide Chris Bates). For breakfast, simply walk across the parking lot to the Brown Cow Café (vegetarian, vegan, and GF options). A unique twist on the “bed and breakfast” the Safford Mills Inn offers “Accommodations and Aperitifs”—which means included in the price of a stay are complimentary Martinis, wine and beer, accompanied by appetizers and dessert. A mere mile up 7A north is the Harwood Hill, is a classic 1930s motel that’s been renovated by two editors and a filmmaker and features local art, an artist in residence and an Arts Package (discounts at local museums and galleries), all at reasonable prices. The best part is you can take your best friend too—dogs are allowed for an additional $10 per day.
PADDLE OR CAMP BY A LAKE Vermont’s state parks open on Memorial Day and if you reserve ahead, you can rent a 3-bedroom cottage on the water at Lake Shaftsbury State Park for just $80 a night. The 84-acre park also has 15 lean-to sites, a nature trail, paddling and picnic areas. For a larger park, head to the hills: at an elevation of 2,400 ft., set on a mountain plateau on the shore of Adams Reservoir, Woodford State Park is the highest altitude state park in Vermont. The park has 107 sites for tents and RVs, four rental cabins ($48 a night), and a waterfront with kayak and rowboat rentals. Fish for trout in the reservoir and watch for loon and other wildlife. www.vtstateparks.com For a paddle you won’t forget, head east on Route 9 East and take Somerset Road, an easy-to-miss turn at the bottom of a steep grade, to Somerset Reservoir. The largest wild lake in the state is nestled into 200,000 acres of the Green Mountain National Forest. There are no camps or dwellings on its 16 miles of shoreline and
ARTS & CRAFTS
Vermont's largest wild lake, Somerset Resevoir is an untouched treasure. Photo by Silvia Cassano camping is prohibited. Loons call across the water and you can explore the lake’s dozen or so islands. Boats are not allowed to go faster than 10 mph. The drive to Somerset is about 25 miles from Bennington and much of Somerset Road (11 miles to Reservoir) is dirt, so plan for at least an hour in the car and get there early to avoid a windy paddle back to the parking put-in. More details, www.greenmountainconservancy.org
BREWS & MEALS Opened in 2016, Harvest Brewing is the first brewery co-op in Vermont and features a hand-picked selection of craft beer and limited edition member/owner brews. With a speak-easy atmosphere blended with local art, lava lamps and a constant rotation of vintage vinyl on the turntable—you should check it out (VMBA-member discount available). The brewery often hosts bands,
Bennington is an arts town, and one of the best ways to discover its crafts is to head to Mayfest, on May 27. More than 120 local artists and craftspeople set up shop downtown with ethnic food pop-ups on Spring Street. Another don’t-miss is Bennington Potters, in the historic Feed Mill off County Street, and if you arrange ahead you can get a tour showing the potters in action. The ever-popular Vermont Arts Exchange Basement Music Series hosts great talent, and Old Castle Theatre productions are go-to’s for a night out in Bennington. The Bennington Chamber website (bennington.com) has a calendar and events page to help you plan, and the Bennington Young Professionals Facebook page posts a list of events, weekly.
MAY 2017 | VTSPORTS.COM 25
a lot of core stability. So it’s a pretty good way to cross-train and stay in shape. Also, looking ahead is huge in ski racing. You’re going really fast down a hill, and you have gates coming at you, so you’ve gotta look pretty far ahead. Kayaking is similar. You have to plan out your moves ahead of time. They both just have a really good flow to them. In ski racing you go your fastest when you’re clean on the skis,and you’re linking up the turns. Same thing on the river. You don’t want to hit any rocks–you just want to go smoothly through. All summer, I spend every day on the river, and all winter, I spend every day on the mountain.
WHITEWATER COWBOY RYAN MOONEY Name: Ryan Mooney Age: 21 Lives in: Deerfield, Mass. Family: Mother: Jen, Father: Frank, Brother: Zach Occupation: Student at UVM Sports: Kayaking and skiing
You’ve traveled to Chile and Colorado for kayaking. Tell me about that– what did you learn there?
t April’s New Haven Ledges: a whitewater competition that gathers the Northeast’s best kayakers to the Bristol section of the New Haven River, Ryan Mooney was a standout. The UVM freshman ran the boulder gardens, slides and waterfalls with a time of 1:47, just one second behind the winner. Mooney, a ski racer who graduated from Green Mountain Valley School, grew up in Deerfield, Mass, where his parents run Crab Apple Whitewater. Vermont Sports met up with Mooney at the race.
Traveling has taught me a lot. I love to explore, and kayaking is a great way to do that and meet new people. You travel with a kayak and your camping gear, and it can take you pretty far. In Colorado, bigger mountains mean more of a gradient, so that can mean just waterfall after waterfall, or drops that can stack up and go forever. What other races participated in?
Tell us about the New Haven Ledges Race. How did it go for you this year?
(Above) Ryan Mooney soars off a drop at the Class V-rated Milton Falls, Vermont, where the Lamoille River drops 100 feet in one tenth of a mile. Above
It went pretty well, I ended up tied for second place. That was the fourth time competing. It was a little bit shorter this year–the week leading up to it, the water was super high all week, so they actually moved the course down halfway. The water level ended up dropping the night before, to the normal level, but at that point they couldn’t change the start. The course is usually about four minutes and twenty seconds, and this year it was just under two minutes. It was more of a sprint, rather than navigating a lot of rapids. Your family owns Crab Apple Whitewater in Massachusetts. Is that what introduced you to kayaking? My mom (Jen Mooney) is a really big whitewater kayaker. She was on the Olympic slalom team for a while [DATES] when she was younger, so that’s how I got into it. My dad and my brother are really into the whole river scene. They’re kind of claustrophobic, sitting in kayaks, so they like to go on rafts, and that kind of thing. I can’t think of a better way to grow up. We have raft trips that go out seven days a week during the summer, so once I was like 10 or 11 I had a kayak, and I would kayak out with the raft trips every day all summer with them on the Deerfield River. When did you start getting competitive?
26 VTSPORTS.COM | MAY 2017
photo courtesy of Nick Gottlieb, left courtesy of Paula Moltzan
but there have been colder days. I’ve gone out in the teens. At home, we have a calmer stretch of river, compared to this (gesturing to the New Haven). It’s more open. Paddling up the river and going against the current, that’s really good exercise. It’s mostly just getting out there and doing it as many times as you can until you get tired.
Maybe when I was around 14 or 15. We had a series of races down on the Deerfield River, where I’m from. It was called the Loser Cup, ironically, so those were probably my first races, down on my home stretch. It was just a bunch of guys out there, having fun. How do you train for a whitewater race? I’m an alpine ski racer, so that keeps me in shape all winter and I kayak a lot–probably like three or four days a week. Repetition is huge. I kayak as much as I can year-round. I try to get all 12 months, but some years that doesn’t happen. Definitely at least 10 months, I’ll get out. When the rivers are flowing, you can get out and paddle as long as you have dry suits. Today’s pretty chilly (around 30º),
Tell me about ski racing. How did you start, and where has it taken you? I learned to ski at a little hill called Berkshire East, which is in western Mass in the town of Charlemont, where I grew up. I was about a year and ten months old when I started. I went to the Green Mountain Valley School and, I started at UVM this fall. In between, I took a couple of years off, and I was primarily focused on ski racing. I’m on the starting team for UVM’s alpine team right now. I do slalom and giant slalom. It’s really fun. We have a good team. Have you made any connection between skiing and kayaking? Do they complement each other? Oh, for sure. Skiing and kayaking–one uses legs, one uses arms–but they both require
The North Fork Championship in Idaho is probably one of my favorites. I was out there a few years ago. I qualified for the elite division race. I’d say that’s one of my best accomplishments. Only four people qualified for that race. That was pretty big. Any future plans with kayaking?
UMIAK OUTFITTERS Stowe | (802) 253-2317 www.umiak.com In addition to sales and rentals ($35-$55 per day), Umiak provides instruction in standup paddleboarding, kayaking, whitewater and certification courses for the American Canoe Association. The outfitter also offers guided trips ($89) to an eight-mile, Class I and II section of the Winooski River, and they’ll tell you where to find the best Class II and III spots along the Mad River.
VERMONT ADVENTURE TOURS Rutland | (802) 773-3343 www.vermontadventuretours.com Vermont Adventure Tours rents paddleboats ($35 per day) and provides a shuttle service to put-in spots ($75-100). They also offer flatwater, whitewater kayaking and canoeing courses ($450) from beginner to advanced levels, plus summer camps. Trips vary between the Class I-II White River, Class I Otter Creek River, and the Connecticut River (by request).
WHERE TO PADDLE
Ryan Mooney’s top whitewater spots are among the state’s toughest whitewater. The New Haven River served as Mooney’s home run while he attended the Green Mountain Valley School. At normal water levels, the run’s 1.3 miles feature Class IV rapids. Paddlers negotiate boulder gardens, slides and waterfalls, and the entire stretch runs alongside Lincoln Road in Bristol, making for easy put-in and pull-out. Mooney also frequents the Middlebury Gorge, whose dramatically sculpted bedrock and series of waterfalls is home to Class V rapids. Also categorized as Class V, Big Branch River, located south of Rutland, features a 2.6-mile stretch filled with boulder gardens, slides ledges and drops. The West Branch of the Deerfield River, which runs through southwestern Vermont, is what Mooney grew up on. Similar to the New Haven in size and energy, the large creek features Class V rapids and runs for 3.5 miles. If you’re ready to paddle, but not sure about charging into Vermont’s most difficult terrain, there are plenty of outdoor retailers for rentals, guided tours and recommendations about spots that fit your interests and level of expertise.
ZOAR OUTDOOR Wilmington | (800) 532-7483 www.zoaroutdoor.com Zoar Outdoor’s main operation is based in Charlemont, Mass., but you can head to Wilmington by appointment for rentals, instruction and clinics on the western branch of the Deerfield River. The 1-5 day clinics offer everything from novice to expert instruction in Class I-IV waters ($135-$595).
1,102 “Tastes great! Keeps for a long time. Good for camping, preppers, boats, etc. Just add hot water, zip it closed for 7-8 minutes, then eat! My family loves the lasagna, chicken teryaki, and beef stew.” - CF
Yeah–I want to do it as long as I can. Ski racing–that career will be done in a handful of years. Kayaking’s forever. I’m definitely trying to do some longer river trips, or do some trips where you spend a couple of days on the water, just living out of your kayak. There’s some places where I really want to go, such as Stikine, in British Colombia. I’d love to do some more South America stuff, or go to Europe. Norway’s big on my list right now. And I definitely want to keep competing.
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What would you say to someone who’s considering getting into whitewater kayaking? It’s super fun, and it’s something you can do pretty much wherever you are. There’s always water, and there’s always rivers around. Once you make the initial investment there’s no other strings attached: There’s no lift ticket fees, there’s no hotel fees. You can just do a little camping trip with your kayak. It’s really captivating once you get into it. You sort of get over the fear, and you start enjoying it more. My only recommendation would be don’t try to push it too soon. I see a lot of people getting discouraged with the sport because they go from zero to a hundred in two minutes.
Waitsfield | (802) 496-2708 www.clearwatersports.com Clearwater offers rentals and a shuttle service (starting at $29 per person) for standup paddleboarding, canoeing and kayaking. They also offer tours and instruction along the classic Class I and II stretch starting at the Lareau swim hole (across the street from Lareau Farm), and following Route 100 through town. For more advanced paddlers, they’ll direct you to the Class III and Class IV rapids on the lower Mad River.
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MAY 2017 | VTSPORTS.COM 27
GEAR & BEER
THE RIGHTS OF SPRING
THERE'S BEEN A BIG LEAP FORWARD IN THE ESSENTIALS WE NEED EVERY SPRING: SUNGLASSES, RUNNING SHOES AND A BACKPACK. BY LISA LYNN
RACE & EVENT GUIDE
LISTING YOUR EVENT IN THIS CALENDAR
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Zeal Optics Incline
MAY 5-6 | 2017 Peak Ultra, Pittsfield Recreational to elite-level runners have a choice of running 10, 30, 50, 100 or 500 miles on trails. www.peak.com Hoke One Challenger ATR 3
ach spring, we rummage through our gear and do....well...spring cleaning. This year, there are more reasons then ever to throw out the old and replace your basics with something new. Here are three new essentials we love.
THE ATV OF SHOES There’s been a long debate in our house as to what’s a better choice as an all-around shoe, a trail shoe (heavier, sometimes a compromise on fit) or a road shoe? Because I like to run on gravel roads and trails, I lean toward a trail shoe. Ultra runner and mountaineer Susana Johnston (our cover story, last issue) swears by her Hoka Ones as her all-around footwear in the mountains. With the new Hoka One Challenger ATR 3 ($130), we agree. It’s a super cushy ride (sort of like a fat bike) but it’s far lighter (9.5 oz for a men’s and 7.9 oz for a women’s size 8) than the usual trail beast and feels right at home on the bit of pavement we start out on. The fit is a little looser than some might like but the 4 mm lugs grab on any surface. With the third iteration of the Challenger, the hope is that this one will address some early durability issues. We have yet to see any blow-outs and Susana Johnston, who hiked more than 3,200 miles this past year, would know. And no, she’s not sponsored.
THE AMPHIBIOUS BACKPACK If you have ever wished with all your might that your backpack was waterproof (that
28 VTSPORTS.COM | MAY 2017
5-7 | The Run Formula Vermont Trail Running Camp, Stowe, Vt. This 2.5-day training camp is for distance runners teaches how to prepare for anything from a half marathon through an ultra-distance race. Includes lodging, meals and sponsor giveaways. therunformula.com
DaKine Cyclone II Dry Pack
time you paddleboarded across the lake with your phone in a pack?), the DaKine Cyclone II Dry Pack ($130) is for you. Though we didn’t actually put a cell phone inside to test it, we did try dumping the pack overboard with a roll of toilet paper. It came out bone dry thanks to the rolltop dry bag seal and PU-coated, gasketed zipper closures. What we really love about it is that it is relatively light and the fabric, while heavy duty, doesn’t have the rubbery feel of a lot of waterproof bags. The most
genius feature is that it has a two-way purge valve so it could be blown up to float (in case it does go overboard) or purged for space saving. The 36 liter bag comes with a laptop sleeve, two exterior pockets and a nicely padded back panel and straps.
ECO-FRIENDLY EYEWEAR We look for sunglasses that are lightweight, bullet-proof and filter out the sun’s rays without making you feel like you just stepped into a dark movie theater. Oh
FOAM BREWER’S RITES OF SPRING If you want a real reward for running 26.1 miles around Burlington over Memorial Day (or even a 10K before then), you need only limp a few feet away from the waterfront to Foam Brewers, at 112 Lake Street. Settle in on the patio or at the bar in the cool industrial/artsy interior. Order a plate of charcuterie and take a long cool sip of the Rites of Spring. The slightly sour, citrus-y foeder beer was allowed to mature in a wooden vat. It’s a thirst-quencher—but at 6 percent abv, pace yourself. A lighter choice is the Avant Gardener, a 4.2 percent abv. The brews change with the whim of brewmaster/owner Todd Haire (a veteran of Magic Hat and Switchback) and many feature locally grown hops or other ingredients.Bring your own growler to fill up and take home your favorites or wait in line for one of the coveted “black dot” bottle releases (follow Foam Brewing on Facebook to learn more). No matter the brew, one thing doesn’t change the consistent quality. Since opening in 2016, Foam Brewing has been named one of the 10 best new breweries in America by RateBeer.com and its Saison do Foam made Men’s Journal’s list of 100 best beers in the world. Foambrewers.com
yeah, and they need to look good, too. A lot of brands fit those bills. But what sets Zeal Optics Incline ($149) and Magnolia models apart is the product is about as eco friendly as eyewear can get. Frames are made with biodegradable M49, a material made from cotton and wood fibers, with spring hinges. The polarized ellume lenses are plant-based as well. The frames come in four colors and the lenses, in three ellume models, designed for conditions ranging from low light to bright sun. www. zealoptics.com
BREWS & PUBS
7 | The Sweetest Half, Middlebury Maple Run Middlebury hosts its signature spring half marathon starting and finishing at Porter Medical Center and running through town and on scenic dirt roads. Finishers get maple syrup and a post-race party. New for 2017, a 3-mile fun run. www.middleburymaplerun.com 7 | 27th Annual Champlain Classic, Shelburne This classic road race starts at the Shelburne Town Hall and traverses a packed gravel trail with numerous lake views. champlainclassic.com 7 | Run/Walk For Jim The 5K race runs on a paved loop in picturesque St. Albans. Top finishers win apple pies. Proceeds aid residents with cancer and catastrophic illness. active.com 7 | 39th Steve Zemianek Bennington Road Race A long-standing tradition in southern Vermont, the “ZemBenn” starts with a half-mile fun run for kids, followed by 3.8-mile and 10-mile races. runreg.com 10 | Stowe Bike Club Time Trials Begin, Middlesex The Stowe Bike Club sponsors weekly time trials throughout central Vermont, with tailgating and cookouts. All abilities and ages are welcome. onionriver.com 13 | Spring Into Health 5K, Townshend A 5K-walk/run fund-raiser for Grace Cottage Hospital, starting and ending at the Townshend Common. www. gracecottage.org/events.
RItes of Spring (right) matures in a wood vat.
Photo courtesy Foam Brewing
13 | Lewis Covered Bridges 5K/10K and Half Marathon, Charlotte Race Vermont hosts an out-and-back half marathon through scenic Charlotte, along the Lewis Creek River and through covered bridges. www.racevermont.com
13 | Pump It Up 5-Miler, Jericho Join in for this certified rolling 5-miler, out and back on Old Pump Road. gmaa.net
run, 100 meter dash, long jump and softball throw are open to all kids from pre-school through 6th grade. Free admission. cvrunners.org
13 | The Road to the Pogue, Woodstock The Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park hosts a 6.1-mile run on carriage trails to the 14-acre pond known as “The Pogue” and back. roadtothepogue.com
3 | Girls on the Run, Essex Junction This non-competitive 5K follows the Girls on the Run/ Heart & Sole empowerment program. gotrvt.org
13 | Girls on the Run 5K, Rutland This non-competitive 5K follows the Girls on the Run/ Heart & Sole empowerment program. gotrvt.org 13 | JIMMY Run, Georgia The Jimmy Messier Memorial Youth Center holds its annual fundraiser race with mile, 5K, 10K and halfmarathon distances. www.jmmy-run.org 13 | 5th Green Street School Tulip Trot, Brattleboro The Green Street School hosts its annual 5K run on local trails and roads around Brattleboro. www.tuliptrot5k.com 14 | Persist 5K, Burlington Born from the energy of the Women’s Marches, the Persist 5K Run/Walk benefits the Vermont Women’s Fund. Pink hats encouraged. persist5k.com 18 | Equinox Trail Race, Charlotte Run this 5K and 10K course through singletrack, fields and old sugar-wood roads. gmaa.net 20 | Barre Town Spring Run, Barre The Central Vermont Runners host a 5K run on local roads to benefit the Barre Town Recreational Department. www. cvrunners.org
3 | West River Trail Run, Londonderry This 11-mile run on dirt roads from Londonderry Depot to Jamaica State Park benefits The Collaborative’s healthy educational programs for youth in Southern Vermont. www.thecollaborative.us/westrivertrailrun 3 | Colchester Causeway 5K/15K, Colchester Choose either a 5K or 15K and enjoy the scenic Colchester Causeway. The race will begin at Airport Park and follow a gravel trail out onto the historic Causeway and back. www.colchestervt.gov 4 | 26th Covered Bridges Half Marathon, Pomfret Though it’s sold out for this year, come watch one of the state’s most popular races: a beautiful point-to-point course around Woodstock. www.cbhalfmarathon.blogspot.com 10 | 40th Capital City Stampede 10K, Montpelier A flat and fast out-and-back course on half-paved, half dirt roads. Course is USATF-certified. Top three winners receive gift certificates. www.cvrunners.org 17 | NH–VT Covered Bridge Half Marathon A mostly flat, loop that starts and finishes in Colebrook, NH. Runners enter Vermont for 6.3 miles, then cross back on the historic Columbia Covered Bridge to cover the last 6.8 mi in NH. colebrook-kiwanis.org
20 | Dandelion Run, Derby Kingdom Games hosts an annual half marathon and 10K on dirt roads through the dandelion fields of Morgan, Holland and Derby. A 1-, 2- or 4-mile run is also offered. Runners enjoy live bluegrass and folk music along the route. www. kingdomgames.co/dandelion-run/ 20 | Girls on the Run, Brattleboro This non-competitive 5K follows the Girls on the Run/ Heart & Sole empowerment program. gotrvt.org 21 | Lincoln Mountain Magic 5K, 10K & Tot Trot Race through the hills of Lincoln with mountain views. Benefits Lincoln Cooperative Preschool. lincolnpreschool.org 27 | Infinitus, Goshen The Endurance Society hosts a series of cross-country races with 8K, 88K, 888K marathon, 48-hour, and 72-hour distances and times. www.endurancesociety.org 28 | Vermont City Marathon, Burlington RunVermont hosts its annual marathon through downtown Burlington, finishing in Waterfront Park. www. vermontcitymarathon.org
JUNE 2 | 21st Annual Kids’ Track Meet, Montpelier Fun events like the mile run, half mile run, quarter mile
Individual, 2- and 4-Person Relay Teams Student Discounts www.colebrook-kiwanis.org
Medals to all finishers Short Sleeve wicking T-shirts Finish line festivities Online registration & bib chip timing http://www.runreg.com/nh-vt-covered-bridgehalf-marathon0
MAY 2017 | VTSPORTS.COM 29
18 | Skip Matthews Memorial Run, Lebanon, NH This race’s four miles feature a loop that begins at Colburn Park and follows the Northern Rail Trail. skipsrun.org 18 | 7th Equinox Trail Race 5K & 10K, Charlotte Green Mountain Athletic Association hosts trail runs on singletrack and old sugar roads. www.gmaa.net 23 | Sine Nomine The Endurance Society hosts a secretive endurance race of unspecified length in rural Vermont at a location disclosed only to the entrants. www.endurancesociety.org 24 | Catamount Ultra 25/50k Trail Race, Stowe The 25K or 50K course circumnavigates the Trapp Family Lodge on wide, hard-packed dirt trails. through highland pastures and forests. catamountultra.com 25 | 43rd Paul Mailman 10-Miler, 5K, Montpelier Part of the Central Vermont Runners and Onion River Sports Race Series, this rolling out-and-back course is 27 percent paved and USATF certified. www.cvrunners.org
JULY 4 | Clarence DeMar 5K, South Hero Run this flat out (south) and back (north) 5K on South Street, with a free ¼ mile race for kids. gmaa.net 4 | Harry Corrow Freedom Run, Newport Kingdom Games hosts a 10-mile, 10K, 5K and 1-mile run on the Newport-Derby bike path and the Memphremagog Ski Touring Foundation Trails. www.dandelionrun.org 9 | Stowe 8-Miler/5K, Stowe Stowe hosts the classic 8-mile run along with a 5K on local roads. Race starts at the Recreation Field and finishes at the Golden Eagle resort. cvrunners.org 9 | Mad Marathon, Mad Half and Relays, Waitsfield A weekend of races on dirt roads with tough climbs, and views of the Green Mountains. madmarathon.com 15 | 39th Annual Bear Swamp Run, Middlesex This loop course, running over mostly dirt roads, climbs 450 before gradually descending to the finish. Part of the CVR/ORS Race Series. cvrunners.org
15 | Goshen Gallop, Goshen The Blueberry Hill Inn hosts a 5K and 10.2K trail race in the Moosalamoo National Recreation Area, billed as the “toughest 10K in the East.” blueberryhillinn.com 15-16 | Vermont 100 Endurance Race, West Windsor This 100-mile ultra-marathon starts at Silver Hill Meadow and is one of four 100-milers in the Grand Slam of ultrarunning. vermont100endurancerun.blogspot.com 29 | Round Church Women’s Run, Richmond Head to Richmond for a 5K and 10K, both out and back on Cochran Road, starting and finishing across from the historic Round Church. The courses are paved with a few rolling hills. gmaa.net 30 | Mansfield Double-Up, Stowe This 11-mile endurance race climbs 5,500 feet and might have you encountering ladders, no-fall traverses and alpine tundra. nativeendurance.com
AUGUST 18 | Under Armour Mountain Marathon, Killington Run between Killington’s and Pico’s peaks. The race, which is the second in a three-part running series, features a marathon, half marathon and relay, as well as shorter distances. killington.com
BIKING MAY 14 | Lund Center’s 8th Ride for Children, Burlington A day of distance rides includes rides of 55, 33, and 16 miles followed by family-friendly activities. bike.lundvt.org 20-21 | Victory Hill Enduro – VITTORIA Eastern States Cup, Victory East Burke Sports hosts the 2017 Victory Hill Enduro. mountain biker race at Kingdom Trails in amateur and pro categories. Part of the Eastern States Cup Enduro circuit. www.easternstatescup.com/victoryhill/ 20 | Richard’s Ride, Richmond Second annual ride hosted by the Richard Tom Foundation.
Ride options include a free 4.4 mile children’s ride free, challenging mountain bike trail rides, a 17-mile road ride for families, a 30-mile road loop, and a challenging 70mile road loop. All rides will be staged from the Cochran Ski Area. richardtomfoundation.com 27-29 | Killington Stage Race, Killington Road cyclists tackle 11-, 110-, 128-, 146-, 160- and 200-mile races in a USA Cycling-certified event. bikereg.com
JUNE 4 | 7th Annual Tour De Heifer, Brattleboro This challenging dirt road event features 30 and 60-mile routes and a 15-mile country ride. strollingoftheheifers. com/tour/ 4 | 16th Whiteface Mountain Uphill Bike Race This race includes 11 miles of uphill pedaling to the finish The course climbs 3,500 feet up the scenic Whiteface Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway, New York’s 5th highest peak. bikereg.com 7-11 | Tour De Kingdom: The June Tour, Newport Five days of long-distance road rides through the NEK and northern New Hampshire, totaling 440 miles and 25,000 feet of climbing. tourdekingdom.com
5K / 15K Race
Choose to run a 5K or 15K on the scenic, historic Causeway!
24 | RAS Ride & Trail Run, Peru Come support of RASopathies research. Both the ride and the run cover 10K of Class IV dirt roads. Post-ride party at the JJ Hapgood General Store. .support4shane.com
25 | Dirty Road-A-Coaster Challenge, Brownsville Expert and amateur cyclists ride the gravel roads of central Vermont on a 45-mile course; this year with a new starting point at Ascutney Mountain Resort. bikereg.com
10 | The Vermont Epic, Ludlow, Vt & Bedford, Mass. The 73-mile Vermont Monster is a gravel grinder with 9,000 feet of climbing. The Battlefield to Vermont ride is 134.3 miles long, with 8,101 feet of climbing as it travels from Bedford, Mass. to Okemo. Recreational rides are also available with a 40-mile distances. vtepic.com
25 | Central Vermont Cycling Tour, Montpelier The Cross Vermont Trail Association hosts its annual 15-, 30-, or 60-mile rides on scenic country roads to raise funds for Cross Vermont Trail. crossvermont.org
16-18 | NEMBAFest at Kingdom Trails, East Burke East Burke hosts the annual festival celebrating New England mountain biking. Weekend includes demos, live music, competitions and exhibitions. .nembafest.com
1 | Vermont Gran Fondo, Middlebury Starting at Woodchuck Cider, the Vermont Gran Fondo is a non-competitive ride with challenging climbs across Appalachian Gap, Moretown Mountain, Roxbury Gap and Lincoln Gap. Distances include the Gran Fondo: 108 miles, 10,000+ feet of climbing (all four gaps); Medio Difficile Fondo: 68 miles, 7,100 feet of climbing (Lincoln & App gaps); Medio Facile Fondo: 78 miles, 6,300 feet of climbing (Middlebury & App gaps) and Piccolo Fondo: 39 miles, 2,900 feet of climbing. vermontgranfondo.com
33rd Annual Colchester Triathlon
$25 5K | $30 15K Register on Active.com! 500 meter swim OR 1.5 mile kayak 12 mile bike | 3 mile run
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24 | Route 100 – 200 Miles, One Day, Derby The 100/200 is a one-day road ride that stretches from the Canadian border to Massachusetts. The 200-mile ride is routed to minimize automobile traffic. www.100-200.org
10 | The Moose, East Burke Ride or race 107 miles of wide open, newly paved road in the NEK for the chance to win Burke Mountain passes, beef jerky, maple syrup and more. kingdomgames.co
Registration Open at:
23-25 | Bikes, Bevs and Beats Festival, Stowe The Stowe Mountain Bike Club hosts a weekend-long bike festival with group rides, clinics, live music and beer. stowemountainbike.com
9 | Vermont Bike & Brew, Killington Ride the state's first critical mass downhill or just join in the weekend-long party. Open to all levels. killington.com
July 30, 2017 Bayside Park Colchester, VT
Saturday, June 3, 2017 Airport Park, Colchester, VT
20 Tour of the Battenkill, Greenwich, NY Join more than 3,000 riders in the largest pro-am race and tour around the Battenkill Valley. tourofthebattenkill.com
24 | 7th Annual Long Trail Century Ride, Bridgewater Corners This ride benefits Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports with 100, 60, 40, or 20 mile and Adaptive 5K routes. There's also a festival with BBQ, live music, kids activities and more. New for 2017, mountain bikers ride the trails at Killington. longtrailcenturyride.com
17 | Switchback Bike for the Lake, North Hero Cyclists ride loops of 100, 80, 60 and 30 miles on the shores of Lake Champlain, to support the Friends of Northern Lake Champlain. northernlakechamplain.org
Details at: www.colchestertri.com
7-8 | Prouty Ultimate, Hanover, N.H. Two days of 100-mile “century” road bike rides supporting patient services and cancer research at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center. Friday’s ride starts in Hanover and goes through quintessential Vermont. Saturday can ride the Prouty Century, or the new option: a 64-mile, metric century hybrid gravel route. www.theprouty.org 8 | Raid Lamoille, Stowe Cyclists ride approximately 100K (60+ miles) on mostly gravel roads through stunning countryside. A 50K option will also be available. www.raidlamoille.com 23 | Glacier Grinder, Killington The Endurance Society hosts a 40-mile ride, with up to 4,500 feet elevation gsain, that follows scenic gravel and unmaintained town roads. endurancesociety.org
15-16 | Farm To Fork Fondo, Pittsfield Cyclists pick one of four fondo rides with stops at local farms. Pick between a 93-mile gran fondo, a 50-mile medio fondo, a 36-mile piccolo fondo and a 12-mile ramble ride. www.farmforkfondo.com 21–23 | Vermont Mountain Bike Fest, Warren The Vermont Mountain Bike Association hosts its annual festival at Sugarbush’s Mount Ellen area. vmba.org 27-30 | Beast of the East Pro GRT, Killington Top mountain bikers from around the world duke it out on Killington's new Goat Skull Trail in USA Cycling's Pro Gravity Downhill. killington.com 29 | Millstone 8-Hour MTB Relay, Websterville Individuals and teams of two and three compete for the most laps in eight hours. millstonetrails.com
AUGUST 12 | Harpoon Point-To-Point, Windsor Choose to tackle 100, 50 or 25 miles on the road or the 20mile mountain bike ride at Ascutney. Head to the Harpoon Brewery for BBQ, live music and fresh beer after the race. harpoonpointtopoint.com
WATERSPORTS, OBSTACLES & MULTISPORT MAY 6-7 | Paddlefest, Saratoga Springs, NY Test the newest canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards at the largest on-water sale in the east. Attend water-sportrelated clinics, demos, lectures and classes, and enjoy food and fun for the whole family. mountainmanoutdoors.com 13 | 17th Annual Consignment and Sale Swap The Brattleboro Outing Club hosts a gear swap for paddle boats and equipment. Drop off canoes, kayaks, shells, rowboats, SUPs and small sailboats on Friday and Saturday morning, then shop. brattleborooutingclub.com 14 | Fiddlehead Slalom, Montpelier Race a slalom course on Class II rapids in the Winooski River. Practice runs will be held on Saturday, with finals on Sunday. nessrace.com/fiddlehead-slalom/ 19-21 | Adirondack Paddlefest, Old Forge, NY Test the newest canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards at the country’s largest on-water sale. Attend water-sportrelated clinics, demos, lectures and classes, and enjoy food and fun for the whole family. mountainmanoutdoors.com 21 | Stowe Triathlon, Stowe Athletes compete in a 500-meter pool swim, 14mile bike ride and a 5K run through the Stowe area. theswimmingholestowe.com
JUNE 4 | Onion River Race & Ramble, Bolton Paddle ten miles down the Winooski River in Vermont’s largest river race to for a post-paddle party and live music. Expert and casual paddlers invited. winooskiriver.org 10-11 | Vermont Paddlers Club Novice Whitewater Clinic, Waterbury A two-day clinic cover the basics of boat handling, river reading and techniques. northernforestcanoetrail.org 23-25 | Deerfield River Festival, Deerfield, Mass. American Whitewater and Zoar Outdoor join forces with a full weekend of outdoor activities showcasing whitewater paddlesports. americanwhitewater.org. 24 | Lake Dunmore Vermont Sun Triathlon, Salisbury Vermont Sun’s annual triathlon series at Branbury State Park feautres a 9-mile swim, a 28-mile bike ride and a 6.2-mile run on June 24 and Aug. 13. A shorter 600-yard swim/14-mile bike/3.1 mile run is held on June 24, July 16 and Aug. 13 vermontsuntriathlonseries.com 24-25| Tough Mudder, Mount Snow, Dover More than 8,000 test themselves on a 10 to 12-mile course with 20 or more obstacles. toughmudder.com
JULY 8 | Dirty Girl Mud Run, Killington Run, walk, climb and crawl thorugh 11 obstacles with names like H2OMG ad PMS (Pretty Muddy Stuff) on a course designed by an ex-Army ranger. killington.com 8 | Basin Harbor Spring Triathlon, Vergennes The Basin Harbor Resort and Boat Club offers a fast and fun sprint triathlon on a flat course. basinharbor.com 15 | Georgeville or Bust, Newport Swim the 15 miles to cross the border from Newport, Vt. to Georgeville, Quebec. kingdomgames.co 28-29 | Kids Adventure Games, Stowe Teams of kids, age 6-14, conquer a 3-mile course on bikes, by foot or on water. kidsadventuregames.com 29 | Ninth Kingdom Swim, Newport Head to the Canadian Border for 25-, 10-, 6.2-, 3.1-, 1mile swims at the sanctioned World 10 Mile Open Water Championship . kingdomgames.co 30 | 33rd Colchester Triathlon, Colchester The Colchester Parks and Rec Department hosts a 500-meter swim (or a 1.5-mile kayak), 12-mile bike ride and 3-mile run, starting and finishing at Bayside Park in Colchester. www.colchestertri.com
25 | Missisquoi Paddle & Pedal Race, Richford Combines 6.5 miles of flatwater paddling along the Missisquoi River with 4.5 mile of cycling back on an adjacent rail trail. Kayak and canoe racers are welcome. northernforestcanoetrail.org
5 | Basin Harbor Aqua Race & Duathlon, Vergennes Race across Lake Champlain. Swimmers take a boat to the New York side and swim a mile back to Basin Harbor. Paddlers race across and back. basinharbor.com
27 | Saratoga Springs Duathlon, N.Y. This annual race starting at the Saratoga Casino and Raceway is a 5K run/30K bike/5K run and can be done as an individual or a team. saratogalionsduathlon.com
10-13 | Shale "Hell" Endurance Festival, Benson The Shale Hill Obstacle Course hosts a four-day festival with 72-, 48-, 24- and 8-hour races for a chance to qualify for the OCR World Championships. The course features 70 obstacles on 140 acres. shalehilladventure.com
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BIKE ADS FULL
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BIKE ADS FULL
MAY 2017 | VTSPORTS.COM 33
rom just the angling standpoint, the week will stand as a qualified success. It was easy-going fishing. Yours truly and one or two of my eight- to twelve-year-old companions would spend the last of each day’s hours boat fishing for Caspian Lake’s gift to nature — it’s rainbow trout. Aside from a steady trickle of pan trout, we had counted five great fish on our lines. In our ill-conceived persistence with 4X fine tippet, three of these silver missiles broke off before we got to say hello. We brought one 18-incher to the net and released it. The other…Well, here is that story: In perfect accord with a cool week of intermittent thundershowers, my last morning broke cloudy. The thermometer read in the lower fifties. By nine o’clock, a low fog at the norther end of Capsian was being quickly dissipated by a freshening gale from the north. It was enough of a blow to put a modest chop on the open water. I cast off about 9:30 a.m. Warmly dressed and wearing a life vest, my torso felt like an over-battered corn dog. When there was a hundred feet between the dock and me, I dropped The Doctor off the stern. I gradually stripped out 60 feet of the sinking tip line and was in business. The waves measured well shy of a foot, but it was still constant hard work to keep my bearing in the wind. Ordinarily when trolling, I used to keep a foot on the rod butt and the edge of the reel, to prevent it from giving any line to the fish on the strike. If the rod is pointed up, it is nearly impossible for a fish to pull it out of the boat. Almost a mile into my journey, I was sweating and a little disappointed. The Doctor, following in my wake, 70 feet back and about 10 to 15 feet down, had been totally ignored. I though about changing flies. Maybe a Gray Ghost? I twisted around to get my bearings on two Adirondack lawn chairs on the shore. How about a Wooly Worm? The thought of changing flies instantly vaporized as the reel shrieked and whined like a banshee, sending a full charge of adrenaline through me. I whipped around just in time to see my rod and reel bound out of the back of the boat with a preternatural velocity. In turning to get my bearing I momentarily had lifted my foot off its perch on the reel and rod butt. The quirky timing of the trout’s strike beat a thousand-to-one odds. There were no expletives. Not even a groan or a grunt. There was, however, a grabbing gesture, and an ineffectual dive to the back of the boat, sufficient only to
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THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY
ON A COLD DAY ON CASPIAN LAKE, A FISHERMAN MEETS HIS MATCH. BY PETER SHEA
provide me a good vantage. There, I saw my rod, reel and line traveling at a 30-degree angle downward and away from the rear of boat. For a moment, my arms remained extended in the direction of my former outfit, and then I hit the oars hard, backing the boat toward the apparent direction of the fish’s flight. It was a hopeless gesture. After several rapid backstrokes, I saw the culprit. It was only for a moment. He was 200 feet away but I saw him leap high in the air and then sound, in the 100 feet of water that lay between us. For me, up until those moments, “the one that pulled the rod right out of the boat” was the stuff of legend. It was merely a mythical potential that one referred to with, perhaps, an uneasy laugh. I never even met anyone who claimed it to have happened to them. This lunker had done me in. Had I had a companion in the boat or if the water was calmer or warmer I might have dove at it and given chase. As it was, there was nothing left to do but continue my journey back to Highland Lodge’s beach with my sad story. This was the one that really got away. It’s pointless to try to detail its size. Big, that’s all I know. Once, my Ford did a 360 on black ice on I-89, narrowly missing a rock ledge. For weeks after, I kept reliving the accident in my mind. I’m now more than months away from that fateful morning on Caspian’s riled waters but I keep reliving that minute. With the unblinking gaze of my mind’s eye, again and again I see the 8 ½ foot Cortland as it perished. I can see my sea-green line ripping off the old Pflueger reel, spinning furiously, even as it sunk in the clear water. That fish. The rod. The reel. That fish. The Doctor. That fish. They were all woefully painful to give up.
Cutline here Photo by
I saw the culprit. It was only for a moment. He was 200 feet away but I saw him leap high in the air and then sound, in the 100 feet of water that lay between us.
Peter Shea is the co-author of Vermont’s classic trout fishing guides, Vermont Trout Streams and The Atlas of Vermont Trout Ponds. He is the author of In the Company of Trout, Vermont Trout Ponds, Long Trail Trout and Vermont’s Trophy Trout Waters. This passage is excerpted new book, Collateral Trout, published by Wind Knot Publishing this spring. www.windknotpublishing.com
Be first down the mountain again.
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Published on May 4, 2017