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JULY 2017

LAKES WE LOVE The best places to

SUP, Catch a Giant, Camp on an Island, Learn to Kiteboard, Swim Across a Border, Slalom Waterski, Dine on the Water and Skinny Dip.



A first-person cautionary tale.

Be first down the mountain again.

BE YOU AGAIN. THE RIGHT SPORTS MEDICINE PHYSICIAN CAN HELP. Our physicians provide comprehensive sports medicine care, no matter how complex the injury. Patients receive a course of treatment that’s ideally suited for them, built around the most advanced options available—whether operative, non-operative or a combination of both. So, if you live in the Burlington area, make an appointment with The University of Vermont Health Network’s sports medicine specialists at The UVM Medical Center. To make an appointment, call (802) 448-5445.

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INSERTION DATE May 2017 through March/April 2018


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QUESTIONS STAFF WRITER CALL Courtney Haupt Emma Cotton 251.476.2507



Dr. Nathan Endres, Dr. David Lisle, Dr. James Slauterbeck —University of Vermont Robert Larner College of Medicine; Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation; Jamie Sheahan, M.S., R.D.


Sarah Tuff Dunn, Brian Mohr, Phyl Newbeck


Christy Lynn | (802) 388-4944


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High school racers duke it out in 420 dinghies off the Community Sailing Center, in Burlington. Photo courtesy Community Sailing Center

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Vermont Sports is independently owned and operated by Addison Press Inc., 58 Maple Street, Middlebury, Vt. 05753. It is published 9 times per year. Established in 1990. Vermont Sports subscriptions in the U.S.: one year $25. Canada: (US funds), please add $5 per year postage. Email

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5 The Start

14 Health


Featured Athlete

The Water World

Shouldering The Load

The Infinitus Champ

6 Great Outdoors


27 Gear

Three of the fastest growing sports all involve water.

Pump It Up

Are pump tracks Vermont's newest playground?

10 News Briefs

Hiking the Long Trail in knickers, a new hut on the NF Canoe Trail, 400 acres protected and more.



How Important Is Running Technique?

Expert advice on the most commonly dislocated joint.


Attacked By A Rabid Raccoon

How did Lance Parker train to win an 888k race? Here's how.

Summer Stock

This might be the last thing you expect to happen on a trail run.

An inflatable SUP, the ultimate mtb hydration pack, climbing shoes and more.




The Lakes We Love

Want to learn to kiteboard, dive on a wreck, slalom waterski, swim across the border or camp on an island? Here's how and where to do it.

According to a new study, it's everything.


Race & Event Guide

34 Endgame My Turn

When returning to the lake means the beginning of everything that comes next.

ADVERTISERS! The deadline for the August issue of Vermont Sports is July 15. Contact today to reserve your space!



September 29 - October 1 Located at Cochran’s Ski Area in Richmond, Vermont • Group runs • Stretching clinics • Core classes • Classroom sessions • Ultrarunning tips + techniques • Signed book + Julbo sunglasses For more information + event schedule please visit:



OUR WATER WORLD "Stay close to the serenity of a lake to meet your own peace of mind." —Munia Khan, To Evince the Blue


was running along a beach road in Connecticut recently when a car slowed and a woman rolled down her window, “Where can you swim around here?” she asked. The question seemed a little odd, I looked at Long Island Sound, then at her. She pointed to the sign nearby: “Beach permit required.” There was no place for her to park. The nearest public beach was 15 miles away and entry fees there, for nonresidents, $22. I take it for granted that you can find a lake, pond or river, or some place to swim, pretty much everywhere in Vermont. We have more than 33 ‘official’ ones and hundreds more if you count ponds and reservoirs. Many are on public lands and have campsites (to see a few of our favorite island campsites turn to p. 20.) And, thanks to the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation, access is often free or a small day fee away. Even our biggest city, Burlington, has largely clean, swimmable waters. Thanks to the Community Sailing Center and its soonto-open new building, almost anyone can get out on the lake. In fact, the Center’s goal (as the founder, architect Marcel Beaudin describes in "Set Sail," p. 21), is to get everyone—no matter their age, background or circumstances—out on the lake, be it on a keelboat or an SUP. If we want to continue to swim in Lake Champlain and other lakes, we need to do more than just protect lake access, we need to take care of the waters around us. Already, invasive milfoil is choking lakes and blue green algae blooms, closing beaches. It's so bad in places that the Lake Dunmore/Fern Lake Associatoin has raised more than $2 million to combat milfoil and has had teams of up to 17 harvesting it 240 hours a week. Little actions such as checking and washing your boat before launching it can help. Just as important though, is how you treat your lawn, picking up after your pet, and planting a rain garden. These things can all help reduce the phosphorus and other contaminants that flow downstream. In June, Governor Scott created the Vermont Outdoor Recreation Economic

IT’S TIME FOR SUMMER ADVENTURES! Stop by for hooch before you go.

Brewery opens every day at 11:30AM for LUNCH + SUPPER Collaborative to “promote prudent stewardship of State recreation assets and market the outdoor recreation values and attributes of Vermont to promote economic growth.” It’s a promising initiative led by the Commissioner of the Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation and includes leaders from the Vermont Mountain Biking Association, the Catamount Trail Association, Green Mountain Club and other organizations around the state. But let’s not forget that a big part of outdoor recreation relies on water. According to the 2016 Outdoor Participation Topline Report, for every hunter, there are 2.5 fishermen. The number one aspirational sport for adults, ages 25-34? Swimming for fitness (yes, it beats running). The fastest growing sport? Stand up paddleboarding, with a 26 percent increase over the last three years, followed by traditional triathlons (run, bike, swim.) Among the other sports that are seeing significant growth: Kayaking (whitewater saw a 10 percent increase over three years), boardsailing/windsurfing (a 13 percent increase in one year), and scuba diving. While these may not be the signature sports that come to mind when you think of the Green Mountain state, they are very much present here, as you will see in this issue, and growing. If we want to continue to build outdoor recreation in Vermont we need to invest in protecting both the health of and access to one of the most important and vulnerable outdoor resources Vermont has: our waterways and lakes. —Lisa Lynn, Editor



Sasha Yakovleff sends it big at East Burke off jumps trail builder Knight Ide put in his backyard. Photo by Ben Haulenbeek





t was May 26, 2011, and riders were gathered at the Johnson pump track for the Jump Jam, an event organized by Stowe’s IRIDE Bike Shop. Dylan Conte, then 17, had been anticipating the event all summer. “It was the chance to ride with the guys I only saw in videos,” recalls Conte. “I remember being completely wowed at the back flips and other cool stuff they were doing, and the fact that they were trying to make a living doing it.” Although Conte was a regular at his local pump track (defined as a small, looping trail system of dirt berms and smooth mounds), it was the first time he had ridden at the iconic Johnson pump track, which was originally built in 2007 and rebuilt since then. “It was one of those moments where I realized that mountain biking was one of my favorite things to do, and that I could do this professionally.”

That experience set in motion a racing trajectory that has led Conte to the most rugged downhill courses in the country. This summer he’s set his sights on competing in the Crankworx Ultimate Pump Track Challenge in Whistler, B.C. Despite his taste for world-class trails, Conte still prefers the pump tracks here in Vermont, and he is not alone. Pump tracks are springing up from St. Albans to Bennington, from East Burke to Putney, at trailheads, schools and recreation parks. Tracks (loops) and jump features are also growing in backyards. This past spring, the Rochester Area Sport Trails Alliance (RASTA) completed work on a track in

Randolph, and this summer a track and a new flow trail are being built in the Moosalamoo National Recreation Area, near Middlebury. Conte believes the popularity of these tracks is largely due to their accessibility for all ages and abilities. And you only need to see the growing number of kids on strider bikes and groups gathered on landings, poised on every bike type—from dirt jumpers to full suspension bikes—to agree. “Pump tracks are the number one skill builder,” Conte says. “They lay the groundwork for all the riding you can do in the woods. If you can ride a pump track, you can ride a rock garden.” Continued




Pump tracks also offer a true peer-topeer learning experience, Conte believes. “When mountain biking in the woods, you can only see the line choices of the rider in front of you. At a pump track, you can sit and watch how other riders interpret the trail differently and get better at it with each round. It’s an expression of how one likes to ride a bike.” Zac Freeman of RASTA has observed another appeal of pump tracks: they are social and fun. “On any given evening at the new Randolph pump track, there are ten kids excited to ride, some of whom might not otherwise have been exposed to mountain biking,” he says. “And when summer camp



is in session, 50-60 riders are swarming the features.” The Randolph project was a collaboration between RASTA and the Randolph Town Recreation Department and involved donations from businesses and volunteer work days. Locating the pump track in the recreation hub of town— adjacent to the playground, little league ball field, pool, and river—has added to its family-friendly vibe. “Doing projects together has strengthened relationships between the town and club,” acknowledged Freeman. “Our success bodes well for more projects together in the future.”

You don't have to be a kid to get a kick out of a pump track or launch some jump features. Pump tracks are growing in towns around Vermont. Check with your Vermont Mountain Biking Association (VMBA) chapter or for links and updates, and if we missed one, let us know.


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Elet (left) and Galen McCusker rip up the Waterbury pump track. Photo by Angus McCusker

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Bennington – Willow Park, East Burke – Kingdom Trails (three tracks) Craftsbury – Craftsbury Outdoor Center, Essex Junction – Essex Junction Recreation and Parks, Goshen – Moosalamoo campground (2017), Hyde Park – Cricket Hill Road, Johnson – Wescom Road, Killington – Snowshed Lodge, Lyndonville – Powers Park, Norwich – Beaver Meadow Road, Putney – Putney Central School, Randolph – Randolph Recreation Field, Route 12A, Rochester – Rochester School, under contruction, Smuggler’s Notch – Smuggler’s Notch Resort, St. Albans – Hard’Ack Recreation Area, Waterbury – Perry Hill, Westminster – Westminster Central School, Williston – Catamount Outdoor Ctr., Woodstock – Aqueduct Trails,




n June 23, clad in a red wool shirt and knickers, Mike DeBonis, executive director of the Green Mountain

Club, paddled a canoe across the Winooski River. To get from the Camel’s Hump section to the Bolton section of the Long Trail, DeBonis could have walked across the footbridge that was finished in 2015—but doing so would have violated the spirit of his mission. For 14 days in June, DeBonis hiked north on the original length of Vermont’s Long Trail as if it were 100

Wool shirt, a handmade basket and a canoe are how Mike DeBonis rolled on his "like it was 1917" Long Trail hike Photo by Emma Cotton

fish), he hiked more than 200 miles. “One thing I’ve learned is that modern gear is amazing. It makes the trail so much more accessible,” he said. “I think the biggest challenge has been carrying the weight on my shoulders and then camping at night. I have just a tarp that I made–I water-proofed a cotton sheet and used that– and a wool blanket as a ground cloth. So it’s been tough to get a good night’s sleep.” DeBonis carried both 1917 and 2017 editions of the guidebook. The 2017 edition is available at the Green

years ago to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Long

Mountain Club’s visitor center in Waterbury, and for order

Trail guide book. He ended his journey in Johnson, where

on The book, which DeBonis calls

the Long Trail stopped a century ago. Wearing only woolen

“a modern, top-notch guidebook,” features updated maps

clothes and carrying a hand-woven pack basket made from

and information, along with historical photos that give

ash splints, along with the trail food recommended by the

hikers a glimpse into the past 100 years on Vermont’s oldest

1917 guide book (mostly cheese, bread, bacon and canned

trail. —Emma Cotton

BREWER POURS RESOURCES INTO NORTHERN FOREST CANOE TRAIL A new hut for paddlers goes up on the Nulhegan (left) and paddling a rapid on the Missisquoi (right). Photos courtesy NFCT and Chris Gill


he nation’s largest inland water trail has joined up with an unlikely partner to support its work on the waterways: a brewery This summer, Labatt Blue is partnering with the Northern Forest Canoe Trail to help preserve and improve various waterways throughout New England as part of its Great State of Mine program. Completed in

2006, the massive waterway trail connects 22 rivers and streams, 58 lakes and ponds and 45 communities as it goes from Old Forge, New York, in the Adirondacks, across northern Vermont, through New Hampshire and ends in Maine. The company will invest up to $20,000 from the sale of specially-marked cases of



t’s official: On June 19, The Nature Conservancy announced that 400 acres of land–parcels in Pittsford and Westmore– have been protected. Both areas provide wildlife with crucial habitat for safer migration and protected areas for mating. For the first time in nearly a century, Vermont forests are declining. The Nature Conservancy is working with partners to maintain connected forest blocks for wildlife movement, water quality and working forest land. Modern development, in the form of new roads and scattered construction, is fragmenting forests and preventing wildlife from moving freely from habitat to habitat. The 273-acre Pittsford parcel is located strategically between Vermont’s Green Mountains and New York’s Adirondacks—an identified wildlife linkage area for bear, moose and bobcat. The land is adjacent to Pomainville Wildlife


18-packs to help support access upgrades, portage route improvements and improved waterway safety for kayakers and canoeists. Karrie Thomas, executive director of the NFCS is excited about the project. “The money won’t reach us until next year but knowing it’s coming is going to help us move forward with projects this year.” Among

Management Area, which conserves land on both sides of Route 7 as an important wildlife crossing. The Nature Conservancy purchased this land outright and will now protect it with conservation easements, allowing the land to be worked for sustainable forestry activities while preventing development. “These recent projects embody these goals and help protect all the things that we love about Vermont while keeping the land open for sustainable forestry and/or public access,” said Jon Binhammer, The Nature Conservancy’s director of land protection. The 100.8-acre Westmore parcel is located in the Worcester Range to Northeast Kingdom wildlife linkage area. The Nature Conservancy will turn over this land donation to the Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife as an expansion of their Bald Hill Wildlife Management Area, keeping it open for recreational purposes such as hiking, hunting, and fishing.

those she’s most excited about: removing a dam at Highgate (on the Missisquoi River) and working with the Vermont River Conservancy to build a new hut (where paddlers will be able to stay) on the Nulhegan in the Northeast Kingdom, and creating signage and a trail in Swanton that will lead from the town to the river. —E.C.

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O U T- O F-T H E - B O X C O M F O R T F O R L I G H T H I K E S





A new study by Loughborough University analyzed the movements of 97 runners to determine which physical movements lead to the most efficient technique. Photo courtesy of Loughborough University.


or years, there has been some debate about how much a runner’s technique really matters. A 2013 Runner’s World article about maintaining good form acknowledged the lack of research, stating: “How do you determine whether your form needs fixing? As long as you’re running comfortably and injury-free, there’s no reason to believe it does.” This past spring, Dr. Jonathan Folland, professor of human performance and neuromuscular physiology at the Loughborough University’s School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences in England, came to a different conclusion after conducting extensive research. According to Folland, there are correct and incorrect ways to run. Certain techniques, according to his study, will improve your running economy (the energy cost of running at a given speed) and distance performance. “It is well known that runners move with diverse running styles and techniques. However, the consequences of these techniques for running economy, the efficiency of running, and distance running performance has not been clear,” Folland said in announcing the study, which was published this March in the British journal, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. “This study demonstrates that running technique is an important component of running performance and highlights the role of several novel aspects of technique.” The study recruited 97 endurance runners with varying levels of fitness to run on a treadmill in the same series of speeds. Then, the researchers used 3D analysis to examine the runners’ bodies, focusing on 24 different components of technique.

From the research, Folland found that technique accounts for 39 percent of the differences in running economy and 31 percent of the difference in performance amongst runners. Simply put: better technique gives you better running economy, which improves performance. No previous study has documented how dramatically this process works. Matt Belfield, University of Vermont’s head coach for cross country, track and field doesn’t doubt the results. “I’m not going to say there is an absolute ideal, correct way to run for everyone, but there are certainly biomechanical principles that will improve efficiency, and therefore, performance,” he said. “Each human being has a unique mechanical and physiological structure that will impact their ability to achieve the ‘ideal’

COACH MATT BELFIELD’S 4 STEPS TO BETTER TECHNIQUE: Every runner is different, but these guidelines will help any runner be more efficient. Keep your center of mass steady. Minimize the vertical deviation of the center of mass (CoM) as you run. Too much vertical change in CoM (for most people, that’s near the pelvis) causes you to lose energy into the ground and decelerate while airborne. Keep your steps in line with your center of mass. The foot strike location, relative to the CoM, is critical to keeping you steady. If the foot strikes in front of CoM, there will be braking, deceleration, and subsequent

that biomechanists might suggest.”   So in that case, what’s the correct technique? Of the 24 components Folland studied, he found that one adjustment might make a big difference: running with a minimum horizontal velocity of the pelvis, meaning keeping your pelvis (often the center of mass) steady. The body can push itself forward most efficiently with horizontal motion. When runners bounce, it tilts the pelvis and detracts from that forward motion, causing the runner to become less efficient. “Essentially, the runner wants to use as little excess movement as possible while moving forward,” Belfield said.  “Since running is an energy-based activity, with all other things being equal, the most efficient athlete will win.” If humans had wheels instead of legs, it would be possible to move forward without moving vertically at all, but since that’s not in the cards, runners should try to minimize vertical movement to see improved running economy and performance. But that’s just one example. Folland studied many techniques, such as vertical bounding of the pelvis, knee bend during ground contact, minimum forward velocity of the pelvis, shin angle at touchdown, duty factor and trunk forward lean. The takeaway? Runners who haven’t studied technique have much to gain. Small adjustments in gait and body movement could take runners farther, and help them cross the finish line sooner. And while you’re focusing on the techniques you learned on the high school track team–keep your knees in line, keep your elbows bent, push off the ground– you can add one more: mind your pelvis.

rise in CoM for the body to move past the front foot. The foot should strike in a dorsiflexed position under the CoM.  (We want this action to “push” the runner forward with as little loss of energy as possible.) Swing arms in line with your forward motion. Avoid excess trunk rotation, caused by inefficient arm-carriage. Keep shoulders relaxed in order for your arms to swing with your hands moving mostly forward and back. Most importantly, don’t cross your hands and arms over your body. Keep your gait as smooth as possible. When your back foot recovers to the front, your body relies on the strength and flexibility of the pelvic area to keep the gait smooth.











ou’re mountain biking and sideslam a tree. You toss a football with friends and one decides to tackle you. You take a short fall while bouldering. Something pops. You can’t move your arm much. Yup, you just dislocated your shoulder. Shoulder dislocations commonly occur as the result of an injury where the arm is forced away from the body and backwards. It’s usually pretty obvious and yes, this injury is very painful. You may feel like something snapped out of place. You might notice a bulge at the front of your shoulder. You won’t be able to move your arm very much. What do you do? First, understand what’s happened. A dislocation is when there is complete loss of contact between two joint surfaces. A subluxation is when there is partial loss of contact. In the case of the shoulder, the two surfaces are the humeral head (the ball) and the glenoid (the socket). The vast majority (more than 90 percent ) of dislocations are anterior (the ball comes out the front). Posterior dislocations definitely happen, but are much less common. A shoulder separation is a different injury that has nothing to do with the ball and socket. It is an injury to the end of the clavicle (collar bone) where it meets the shoulder blade. Here are the answers to some of the questions my patients commonly ask:

WHY DO SHOULDERS POP OUT? The socket of the shoulder is not very deep, so there is not a lot of bony constraint. The ligaments around the shoulder are important stabilizers. The labrum is a ringlike structure around the edge of the socket that’s also very important for stability. It acts a little bit like a wedge under an airplane tire to keep the tire, or in this case, the ball of the shoulder, from moving too far. Muscles around the shoulder, particularly the rotator cuff muscles and muscles around the shoulder blade (rhomboids, trapezius, latissimus) are also important for providing dynamic stability to the shoulder. If a sufficient force is applied to the shoulder, the static stabilizers of the shoulder (bone, ligaments, labrum) can tear and the shoulder dislocates. Sometimes, this doesn’t require much force, especially if you are loose-jointed to begin with.


WHAT CAN BE DONE TO PREVENT THIS? Some of it is just luck and avoiding collision sports, like rugby. Otherwise, maintaining really good strength of your dynamic stabilizing muscles may help reduce the likelihood of a dislocation. The keys here are the rotator cuff muscles and the muscles around the shoulder blade. The “beach” muscles like the biceps, triceps and deltoid are less important for shoulder stability.

WHAT DO I DO IF I DISLOCATE A SHOULDER? The first step is getting it back in place. Sometimes this occurs spontaneously and if it does, you will feel better almost immediately. If this doesn’t happen, the best thing to do is immobilize your arm and get to an emergency room as quickly as possible. Nerve damage can occur when the shoulder is dislocated for a long time. Often, in the emergency department, X-rays will be taken first to confirm the injury. Then the shoulder is put back in place using gentle traction maneuvers, along with sedation and pain medicine.

WHAT GETS DAMAGED WHEN THE SHOULDER DISLOCATES? Typically, the labrum and ligaments are torn after a shoulder dislocation from an injury. Sometimes, fractures of the ball or socket can occur. In people over 45, it is more common for the rotator cuff to tear after a dislocation. In younger patients, this is not likely. If a rotator cuff tear is suspected, an MRI may be ordered. If a tear is found, surgery is often recommended, as the rotator cuff will not heal on its own and the tear may lead to ongoing pain and weakness.

If your arm or shoulder is hit with enough force, it can cause the shoulder to pop out of its socket (the blue ring near the torso) and pop either forward or back. This can be painful, but is usually easily treated. highest risk for recurrent dislocations are young males who play collision sports. So an 18-year-old high school football player may be treated very differently than a 50-year-old who fell skiing.

WILL I NEED SURGERY? Probably not, but that depends on the factors we just listed. Many people who dislocate their shoulder one time will not have ongoing issues. As you get older, the likelihood of the shoulder dislocating again goes down. Why? For one, your tissues stiffen as you age. Older people are also less likely to participate in collision sports.


Follow up with a primary care doctor, orthopaedic surgeon, physical therapist or another sports medicine specialist. It’s probably best to be seen within a week of injury to get a plan together and see if any other testing, like an MRI, is going to be helpful.

If you do dislocate, your doctor will most likely prescribe a period of immobilization, ice, and anti-inflammatory medication. When the shoulder starts to feel okay, you can get it moving again and then work on strengthening those dynamic stabilizers (rotator cuff and shoulder blade muscles) to decrease the chances of another dislocation. The recovery process may take weeks.







Treatment depends on many factors. Age, sex, level of activity and type of sport are all important considerations, as well as whether this was a first-time dislocation, if it happened before, and if there’s a fracture or rotator cuff tear that needs to be addressed. People at the

Sometimes there are associated injuries (fractures, rotator cuff tears) that need to be addressed. The most common reason is that the shoulder keeps dislocating again and again, often with less and less force involved. If we think someone is at very high risk for this happening, like our 18-year-

old football player, we may recommend surgery after just one dislocation.

WHAT IS THE SURGICAL TREATMENT? That gets complicated. The most common surgery is called a “Bankart repair.” Bankart was a surgeon who described the labral tear, often seen with a shoulder dislocation. This was in the 1930s. A Bankart repair involves reattaching the torn labrum back to the socket with anchors. This can be done in an open fashion or through minimally invasive arthroscopic techniques. When somebody has had multiple dislocations, there is often bone loss that occurs on the ball and/or socket. If this is the case, a Bankart repair is less successful and other procedures that address the bone loss may be a better option.

ARE THERE ANY LONG-TERM ISSUES? One concern is that the shoulder is going to dislocate again. The likelihood of that depends on evaluating the risk factors we talked about earlier. The other longterm concern is arthritis which has been associated with repeated dislocations. Dr. Nathan Endres is an orthopaedic surgeon at the University of Vermont Medical Center. He specializes in sports medicine and fracture treatment. He is a team physician for the University of Vermont, St. Michael’s College and the U.S. Ski Team.

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Borch stretches in a clearing on the running trail near her home in Hope, Maine, where she encountered a rabid raccoon. Photo courtesy of Christopher Borch


’ve been running along an old logging trail near my house in Maine every summer for the past few years. The trail runs from the edge of my road to Alford Lake, where it becomes significantly narrower as it hugs the winding shoreline. The trail is frequented by a variety of native wildlife, judging from the evidence: deer pellets, beaver-whittled logs, duck feathers, porcupine quills, and the odd whiff of skunk, as well as a myriad of footprints: squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, coyotes, foxes, rabbits, possums. One night, when my family was camping in a clearing on the trail, my mom unzipped our tent and spotted a moose standing outside. Still, for over a decade, a moose incident was the only direct encounter I had with a wild animal along that trail. That all changed suddenly, at around five o’clock in the afternoon on June 3, when I was attacked by a rabid raccoon a quarter of a mile away from my home. Yes, you read that right. I saw the raccoon bounding towards me out of the brambles, teeth bared. It took


me a moment to process what I was seeing. It looked cartoonish at first, and seemed so odd, so unlikely, I thought I must be hallucinating. But there it was, right in front of me, and I became immediately aware of two things. One: without question, the animal was rabid. Raccoons are generally not aggressive–they tend to shy away from humans, and I had done nothing to provoke this one. Two: judging by the speed and angle from which it came charging at me, snarling, teeth fully exposed, I knew that it was absolutely determined to bite me–and that there was little I could do to prevent that from happening. In that moment, I knew I couldn’t run away if I wanted to; perhaps the only thing worse than being faced with a surprise attack by a charging raccoon would be to be attacked from behind. Furthermore, being small and able to sprint through dense brush and under logs that I would inevitably trip over at the same speed, the raccoon had a clear and definite advantage. At short

Borch's thumb, two weeks post-attack, is healing. Photo courtesy of Rachel Borch

distances, raccoons, like many small forest creatures, can run remarkably fast (up to 15 miles per hour). By the time I had registered what was happening, and determined that running was not an option, the raccoon was already at my feet. I screamed; I ripped my headphones out and threw my phone to the

ground, so as to have both hands free. I tried to kick it away, but the raccoon was so small and fast, and the brush so dense, that even if I had punted it with all my strength, the critter probably wouldn’t have gone very far. (Later, I saw security camera footage of another Mainer being attacked by a mostlikely-rabid fox; the clip shows him hurtling the fox across the road, where it skids a few feet, only to come running right back at him, undeterred. I’m telling you, rabid animals are, quite literally, insane. I’m not sure if pain is something they are even aware of.) Whatever I did, screaming, kicking, throwing my phone down, only seemed to aggravate the animal more, and I was out of ideas. If I tried to run, it most surely would have caught me; if I held my ground, it would probably attack my legs. So I did what made the most sense in the split-second of decision-making time I had: acting on impulse, I put my hands out in front of me – to defend myself, to contain the animal, to gain some semblance of control over a situation where I had almost

no control whatsoever. I hadn’t yet figured out what I was going to do beyond that. That’s when the raccoon attacked, sinking its razor-sharp teeth into my left thumb. I cried out in pain. With my other hand, I tried to pry its jaws apart, but it opened its jaw only long enough to clamp down again, catching the tip of my right ring finger, which its fang pierced, straight through my nail bed. Crying with pain, I managed to free my ring finger, but my other thumb remained in the raccoon’s grasp. (Rabid animals are strong. You can’t fathom just how strong until you run into one. But that’s not an advisable course of action, so it’s better to just take my word for it.) By now, I was in a state of total hysteria. The raccoon was lying belly-up on the ground, its teeth fully embedded in my thumb, clutching my hand in its paws the way otters sometimes float belly-up while clutching a piece of seafood. My other hand was restraining it, holding its mangy body against the ground, lest it spring up and try to bite me again elsewhere. I frantically looked around me, searching for something I could use, some idea – any idea – what to do next. My eyes landed on my phone, half-submerged in a nearby puddle. Oh, great, I remember thinking at first, as if this situation could get any worse, now my phone will be ruined. Just then, a solution hit me: The spot where I was kneeling, after a couple days’ worth of rain, was more swamp than trail. There may have only been a few inches of water on the ground, but if it was enough to “drown” my phone, it had to be enough to drown the raccoon – it had to, as I was desperate. Out of nowhere, unprovoked, the creature had attacked me. I was absolutely sure it had rabies. It wouldn’t let go of my thumb. I needed to get somewhere safe, and the animal needed to die. So, veins pumping full of more adrenaline than I had yet experienced in my life, I took my right hand – my free hand – and forcefully plunged the creature’s head as far as I could into the muddy water. The raccoon began to struggle wildly, thrashing and clawing at my arm, but I wasn’t letting go. Though the whole encounter happened in the blink of an eye, the minute or so I spent holding the poor beast underwater with my thumb in its mouth – shaking, crying, my own pulse throbbing as the raccoon’s pulse slowed – felt like an eternity. Then it was over. The raccoon continued to struggle until the very last moment, desperately trying to free itself, biting down harder on my thumb before its arms finally went limp and slowly fell to the side. I finally felt its tiny jaw release. Its chest was still heaving slowly when I pulled my bloody hands away from its body, but it was clearly done fighting. I stared at it for another second, processing what had just happened, before

Borch on the shore of Alford Lake, where the trail she runs narrows and the vegetation becomes dense. Photo courtesy of Rachel Borch.

I started the frantic run back the way I came. Once a few feet away, I remember turning around to look back at it. I had to make absolutely sure it was dead, and would not spring out of its puddle and start chasing after me. You know in shows like The Walking Dead, when the hero temporarily stuns or blocks a zombie from attacking them, but knows they have only a few moments to get away before the zombie comes back to life and starts chasing them again? That’s what the run back home felt like – complete and utter terror, and paranoia. By the time I was most of the way back up the main part of the trail near my house, I was hyperventilating, so I had to stop and rest my hands on my knees for a few moments. Realizing my shoes were soaked through with mud, I kicked them off so I could run faster. When I caught my breath, I scrambled across the stone bridge connecting the trail to my house, crying, bleeding and barefoot, and burst inside. In the emergency room, I was given a total of six shots: four of the rabies vaccine, one of rabies immunoglobulin, and a tetanus shot – as precautions, since we didn’t know for sure yet if the animal was rabid. (Two days later, we received a call from the game warden who found the animal confirming that it had, in fact, tested positive for rabies.) The rabies vaccine is nearly 100 percent effective when administered before the onset of symptoms, at which point the disease becomes untreatable, and almost always fatal. The symptoms typically take weeks or months to develop, but I’m nonetheless thankful that I was able to get vaccinated right away, just for my own peace of mind. Tragically, not everyone in the world, especially those in the developing world, get to be so fortunate. It is estimated that more than 55,000 people around the world die annually from rabies, but not because the treatment isn’t effective: it’s usually

because they simply cannot afford the lifesaving vaccine. In the United States, where widespread measures have been taken to prevent the spread of rabies, including mandatory vaccinations for household pets, the prevalence of rabies is much, much lower. In Vermont, for example, a total of 48 animals tested positive for rabies in 2016, according to Vermont Department of Health statistics. Raccoons, red and gray foxes, skunks, and bats, known as “rabies vector species,” are the primary carriers of rabies in the U.S. While incidences of rabies in New England are generally low, several cautionary tales warn those existing near wooded and wild areas to be on guard. In 2012, a Massachusetts man died after contracting rabies from a bat bite. It was the state’s first reported rabies death since 1935. This May, a rabid fox bit two residents in southern Vermont–including a 5-year-old boy. First, the fox bit Londonderry resident Bonnie Cobb. “I was texting my daughter, and the next thing I knew I had a fox attached to my leg,” she told the Bennington Banner. “It came out of nowhere. I never saw it until it was on me.” About an hour later, the fox entered the backyard of Benjamin Priggen, who was playing wiffle ball with his 5-year-old son. The fox ran at the young boy, biting his belly. Priggen kicked it away, and after the kids were inside, hit the animal with a shovel, killing it. Both Cobb and Priggen’s son received treatment for rabies and were unaffected by the virus. In Vermont, 21 animals (66 percent of which are raccoons) have tested positive for rabies in 2017, but none of these animals caused severe consequence for humans. Dogs and cats are much more likely to be attacked by these species than humans are. As a safeguard, the Centers for Disease Control recommend always keeping a distance from wild animals in general, especially those that appear to be sick or

rabid; however, they don’t offer much advice beyond that. Maybe it was foolish of me to put my hands out, instinctively, to shield myself. Some might say that I was “asking for a bite.” But if I hadn’t, who knows where else the animal might have bitten me? Because rabies affects the central nervous system, the farther distance the virus must travel from the site of transmission (the bite) to reach the victim’s brain and spinal cord, the longer it will take to actually cause an infection. Therefore, one is much more likely to be infected if they are bitten on or near the head or neck, rather than the body’s extremities. Some have criticized me for taking the life of an “innocent” animal without first receiving confirmation that the animal was afflicted with rabies, but I was almost certain that the animal was rabid from the moment I saw it, at which point it was already too late for me to flee or seek other forms of defense. As I would soon learn, if I hadn’t taken its life right then and there, the animal would have succumbed to the virus and died within a few days anyway, but not before potentially attacking and infecting any number of other animals or humans in the area. Prior to this ordeal I could never in a million years have imagined taking another being’s life, let alone with my bare hands; I couldn’t even fathom myself in that situation. I’m an animal lover and vegetarian. I keep several pets, and have always considered them nothing less than members of the family in their own right. I don’t believe in animal testing, and I believe there is a special place in Hell for those who abuse animals. But I do believe in selfdefense. I believe in a person’s right to do what they must to protect themselves and others when their safety is threatened, even if that entails harming – or even killing – the source of the threat. If this experience has taught me anything, it’s not to underestimate my own strength and capability when dealing with a difficult situation. To quote the ever-inspirational Leslie Knope (played by Amy Poehler) from the CBS sitcom Parks and Recreation, “The only way to defeat the beast is to find the beast within.” Having taken these words to heart, once confronted by the sudden threat of a literal beast in the woods, I was able to summon “the beast within,” just in time to do what needed to be done in order to defend myself. I guess I just never could have imagined a rabid raccoon as the beast I’d be up against.

Hailing from Maine, Rachel Borch, 21, loves trail running, hiking, biking, swimming, and camping. She writes for the school newspaper at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, and will graduate this coming winter.


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Skinny dipping in Lake Willoughby. Photo by Nathanael Asaro


epending on how you count them, Vermont has more than 33 lakes, ranging from the 271,000-acre Lake Champlain down to tiny 20-acre Spruce Lake in the Deerfield Valley. And then there are ponds, reservoirs and...well, who’s really counting? The number doesn’t matter. What does is that there are plenty of them and good reasons to visit nearly every one. Here are a few as well as all that’s new in watersports around the state. For links, visit UP YOUR SUP GAME The beauty of an SUP is you can launch it pretty much anywhere and, in fact, some folks have even hiked up to Sterling pond at the top of Stowe’s Spruce Peak to paddle around. However, it’s far easier to rent or bring your own and join in a group paddle. Umiak Outfitters hosts paddleboard

demos Thursday evenings on the Waterbury Reservoir as well as the Vermont Peanut Butter Challenge fun races (also on Sundays at Burlington’s North Beach.) Paddlenorth VT is based out of Lake Elmore but will deliver demos and Noah Labow (who also coaches the UVM Freeskiing Team) coaches at nearby lakes. Also in Burlington

If you want to try an SUP, Umiak has demos and fun races weekly at Waterbury Reservoir and on Lake Champlain, as do a number of other shops. Photo courtesy Umiak



carve it up



ike a lot of retirees, Bruce and Donna Epstein spend their winters in Florida. But not for the reasons you think. It’s so they can waterski four or five days a week, year-round, carving sweeping turns through slalom courses, crossing the wake at a velocity that would earn you a speeding ticket on most Vermont backroads. In the winter, the Epsteins ski the flatwater trenches of central Florida, often next to interstates and the buzz of traffic. In the summer, it’s on the glassy lakes of Vermont, surrounded by forests and the calls of loons. The couple, both 68, look more Patagonia catalog than AARP: tanned and toned, they could pass for 58. In 2016, Donna took second at Nationals in her age group (under 70) while Bruce has made it to the Worlds. Both won their age groups at the inaugural Vermont State waterski championships in 2016, which Bruce helped organize, an event they expect will draw more than 200 skiers to the Waterbury Reservoir on August 26. “I’m not sure why we never had a state championship before,” says Bruce, president of Green Mountain Waterskiers, as he rattles off the list of stars who have carved up the courses around Vermont. Top of that list is pro waterskier Chris Rossi, who has been ranked in the top three in the country. Rossi spends summers at the family camp on Lake Groton and winters either waterskiing in Florida or helping his wife’s family manage their ski resort, Alta, in Utah. Then there’s New Hampshire’s Jamie Beauchesne, who nearly set a world record, Bruce notes, and comes to Vermont to compete

Paddlesurf Lake Champlain has demos and tours out of Oakledge Park. Vermont Ski and Sport, based out of Jamaica where it has a giant warehouse of boards, focuses on race training. It will deliver boards and a coach anywhere in New England. Closer to home, CEO Jonathan Bischof often teaches at the Stratton snowmaking pond or Lowell Lake and, for advanced paddlers, the West and Connecticut rivers. “When you learn the technique of a paddle stroke it really changes how you enjoy the sport. We like to teach the stoke of stroke,” say Bischof, who also will do free online coaching (you send a video.) All that coaching will come in handy if you plan to compete for $3,500 in cash and prizes at Stand Up for the Lake, off the Burlington waterfront on August 5. The WPA-sanctioned SUP event is put on by WND&WVS, Vermont’s epicenter for board sports. The Burlington shop (which


Green Mountain Waterskiers president Bruce Epstein (top and above) and his wife Donna are among the top waterskiers in the country in their age brackets. Photo courtesy Bruce and Donna Epstein and to host coaching clinics. “It’s a sport that takes years to really learn to do well, and lots of discipline,” says Bruce, who started in the early 1980s while living on Lake Elmore. On their first date, he took Donna, a petite marathon runner and registered nurse, waterskiing. She was hooked. There’s something incredible about feeling the

g-forces as you cross the wake and slice through really calm glassy water,” says Bruce. Professional skiers often hit 70 mph while crossing the wake with g-forces four times the pull of gravity. “There are times that there’s a 700-lb pull on the tow line,” notes Bruce, who worked as an engineer for the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources before retiring. While there are, by Bruce’s estimate, courses on close to 17 lakes around Vermont, getting into the sport is not easy and ski boats can range from $10,000 for a used ski boat to $170,000, brand new. On Lake Dunmore, Kelly Churchill teaches and Bruce Epstein will coach those who are looking to improve their slalom skills. “The best way is to find a buddy who will take you out and just start trying to get around the six balls.” The good news, there’s a “fun class” at this year’s state championships. “Anyone can enter, you don’t need to have ever even skied a course before,” says Bruce.

LEARN TO WATERSKI Kelly Churchill offers half-hour classes for waterskiing and wakeboarding on Lake Dunmore for $40. For more on slalom racing or to reach the Epsteins visit

is affiliated with surf-inspired restaurants The Spot and Spot on the Dock) hosts intro to SUPs on Monday and Wednesday afternoons, as well as SUP polo on Thursday nights and SUP race clinics on Wednesdays. Count on WND&WVS owner Russ Scully, a veteran SUP racer who’s done the Maui to Molokai race, to be stiff competition.

WINDSURF, KITESURF OR FLYBOARD WND&WV’s is also the place to learn to windsurf, with regular classes Saturdays and Mondays and rentals whenever the wind kicks up. But if you want to learn to kiteboard head north to St. Albans to Northshore Kite ‘N Paddle. That’s where Jerri and Curt Benjamin, as well as their kids, Jordan and Erian, (all certified instructors), will teach anyone (beginners or better) how to kiteboard, right off their house, or at Delta Park. If flyboarding (think skiboots that are waterjet propelled) is something you want to try, you don’t need

Island life at Green River Resrervoir Photo by Brian Mohr/EmberPhoto

wind to do so. Flyboard of Vermont will strap you in and shoot you up in the air at the Snowshed pond at Killington this summer or at Smuggler’s Notch.

CAMP ON AN ISLAND Campsites are usually located near water, but how many are surrounded by water? In Vermont, more than you think. In addition

set sail


Some of the country's top sailors got their start racing dinghies on Lake Champlain (above) and founder Marcel Beaudin hopes the new Community Sailing Center building (below) will attract national regattas.


t’s a muggy June afternoon and Burlington’s waterfront is buzzing. Skateboarders rise, spin and slash through the banked features of the Andy A-Dog Williams Skate Park. Runners and cyclists vie for position on the bike path. SUVs carrying SUPs sashay in and out of the parking spaces. And just past the skate park, construction crews work on a striking new building. It’s another tribute to Vermont’s growing outdoor rec scene: what will become in August, the new Community Sailing Center. Or, as it is officially known, the Pomerleau Community Waterfront Campus for the Raymond P. Sullivan Sailing Education Center. After years of dreaming and fundraising, the nearly $6 million Center is slated to be finished this August, providing a home for classrooms year-round, showers and lockers, as well as storage for sails, lifejackets, paddles, kayaks and SUPs. It will be the new base for what US Sailing has named one of the most innovative community sailing programs in the country. The fact that the new building is located next to a skate park is an irony that’s not lost on its new executive director. “Typically, people think of sailing and polo in one breath,” says Owen Milne, who is quick to note he’s not a sailor but his 12-year-old daughter is. Milne, who took over from Mark Naud in early June, has a background as development director for Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility and has worked with and for a variety of community organizations. “I’d like to see this place reach out to all communities, and organizations ranging from the YMCA to AARP. Wouldn’t it be great if this was summer camp for adults?” says Milne. At CSC, kids can sign up for Boards & Booms (skateboarding in the morning, sailing in the afternoon), Wheels in the Wind (mountain biking, then sailing), Rock the Boat (climbing and sailing), Skippers

and get the idea. There’s yoga and sailing and even STEM & Sailing, for those who want a little marine biology (think: trips to ECHO down the street) mixed in. Adults can join programs such as Women in Wind, or come down any time to take out any one of the 100 or so boats, boards or kayaks in the fleet. On this afternoon, the programs are in full swing on the docks. Members of Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports are launching CSC’s adaptive Sonar. Guppies (kids 6 to 7 ) are splashing about in the water (everyone wears lifejackets) and older kids who are visiting with North End’s Sarah Hollbrook Center are learning to tie knots. Prekshya Mizar, age 11, is one of the kids learning the ropes, literally. “I first came down here with my school, C.P. Smith, in fourth grade,” she remembers. “We learned about north, south, east and west or ‘Never Eat Soggy Waffles, and some environmental stuff” she says with a shy smile. Neither of her parents sail, but tonight, she will show them how to tie an eight knot. By partnering with local schools, CSC has launched programs such Floating Classrooms. “It’s a win/win,” says program director Mary Dowd. “Teachers find a way to connect concepts like biology, environmental science and geography to the real world by bringing their kids out

on the lake and we get to expose them to watersports and sailing.” Another program, Leader Ship, brings people of all backgrounds together around boats and water to learn leadership and life skills. Then there are the classic sailboat racing programs, where kids and adults can learn to race 420s, Lasers or other types of boats. “We’re starting to see kids who have gone through our racing programs race in college, and that’s exciting,” says Dowd. And it’s not just kids. More than 5,000 people (mainly adults) use the Center each year, taking advantage of the fleet of 420s and Lasers, SUPs, Rhodes 19s and Sonar keelboats as well as the Hartely 10 and O’Pen Bic dinghies. As the afternoon draws to a close, boats get pulled out and stored. The after-work SUP’ers show up and things wind down. Elizabeth Madigan unloads a racing SUP from her car. “I’m not much of a racer but I’ll do Stand Up for the Lake,” she says, a

benefit for the CSC. “I did the first one and everyone was a bit green. Now, it’s amazing how much better people around here have gotten since then.” A few steps away, at the folding table that serve as a desks in the old garage that currenlty houses CSC, Milne is in deep conversation with Marcel Beaudin: sailor, architect and founder of the Community Sailing Center. Twenty years ago, at a time when member-only yacht clubs were the main centers for sailing on the lake, it was Beaudin’s vision to make a sailing center the heart of the Burlington waterfront and provide access to all. He modified a Sonar so it could be used by Vermont Adaptive and helped the Center launch in its current location. “I was a yachtie and grew up crewing on boats in Long Island Sound and realized how expensive and exclusive sailing could be,” says Beaudin. “It was my vision to make the lake and boats accessible to everyone and this has gone beyond my wildest dreams.” Today, he’s overseeing the construction of the second half of his dream: the building he designed to be the new center is coming to life, it’s second story observation deck jutting out toward the lake like the bridge on a ship that’s just waiting for its new captain to take the helm. “With a building like this, we can now host regattas. We can bring people from all over the world here to Lake Champlain,” he says. And from all over Vermont, too.

GO FOR A SAIL: If you want a taste of sailing and a taste the wares of one Burlington’s finest brewers, you can sign up for the First Sail program, Saturdays from 1 pm to 3pm. Learn to sail then head over for a beer across the street at Foam Brewers. $45 and reserve in advance. There are also regular First Sail programs offered on Tuesday evenings for $40 or you can rent a sailboat, SUP or kayak on your own. JULY 2017 | VTSPORTS.COM 21

LAKES WE LOVE to the popular spots such as the Vermont State Parks-managed sites on Burton, Knight and Woods islands (all located between St. Albans and South Hero), and New York’s Valcour and Schuyler islands, there are several less obvious and smaller islands you can camp on. Just off the Colchester Causeway, Law Island has several primitive campsites. Near Morrisville, quiet Green River Reservoir has several island campsites and Marshfield’s Molly’s Falls Pond (one of Vermont’s newer state parks) has Raven Island where you can camp. The Connecticut River Paddler’s Trail ( also lists a number of islands you can camp on mid-stream, including Fiddlehead, Howard and Stephan’s islands, the last of which even has a sandy beach. To reserve a campsite, see

CATCH A BIG ONE Vermont is home to more than 88 species of fish, ranging from tiny to the 6-foot 9-inch sturgeon that washed ashore last August. While you can’t fish for sturgeon (the species, which can live to be 150 years old, is protected) there are plenty of other lake monsters out there, many in unexpected places. The largest lake trout? A 35-pound lake trout pulled out of Lake Willoughby in 2003. The largest pike? A 30-pounder caught in Glen Lake, near Castleton. Biggest bass? Lake Dunmore’s 10-pound largemouth. How about the 35-pound channel catfish Robert Scott caught under his dock on Lake St. Catherine? If you want to improve your chances, Vermont Fish & Wildlife stocks sixteen ponds and lakes with trophy trout. And if you go just by the numbers, your best bet might be Wilmington’s Lake Raponda (800 stocked), Miller Pond in Strafford (600) or Bennington’s Lake Paran (500).

SKINNY DIP There’s nothing illegal about skinny dipping, or even lounging around in the buff in the Green Mountains. But if you are looking for some eau naturelle where you will be in company of others who are au naturel, Vermont has you covered. This spring, naturists and others who liked to frequent the beach at the south end of Lake Willoughby clashed with state officials over planned improvements to the area. The Vermont Department of Forests Parks & Recreation is proposing to put in public restrooms, better parking, improve trails and make the south end handicap accessible. While this may seem like good news to most, those who are looking for a true nude beach may have to head as far south as Wilmington, where The Ledges on Harriman State Reservoir is legendary among the no-tan-lines crowd.


Crossing to Canada, a swimmer and kayaker pierce the early morning fog on Lake Memphremagog. Photo by Phil White

bust across the border



ach year, after Vermont’s long, sunny days have melted the last ice crystals from Lake Memphremagog, hundreds of swimmers gather in the Northeast Kingdom for the Kingdom Swim, a festival-style celebration of open water swimming. This year, on Saturday, July 29, swimmers will dive into the chilly waters of the 25-mile-long lake, which straddles the US-Canada border. While most will opt to complete one of the Kingdom Swim’s shorter supported swims (including one-mile, three-mile, six-mile and 10-mile distances), this year more than 40 will swim 15 miles across the border to Canada. The Kingdom Swim is one of Vermont’s two storied open water border crossings. The second–the Lake Champlain Open Water Swim–crosses the NY–VT state line. (This year’s race takes place on August 19.) Starting on the Old Dock in Essex, N.Y., swimmers finish 3.76 miles later on the public beach of Charlotte, Vt. At record pace, the Kingdom Swim’s “Border Buster,” takes eight and a half hours to finish. This kind of distance swimming is no cake walk, says Phil White, director of Kingdom Games. “Conditions can vary, extremely impacting the challenge of the swim itself. Hypothermia, dehydration and under feeding can lead to sudden loss of function that can become really dangerous, really quickly.” This year’s border-busting roster includes a roundup of some of the country’s most accomplished open-water swimmers. At age 62, Paula Yankauskas is the oldest American woman to swim the length of Memphremagog and the oldest American woman to swim the English Channel. Kent Nicholas was among the first swimmers to attempt the SCAR, a 41-mile stage swim through four lakes in Arizona. Charlotte Brynn, a previous Border Buster winner, is executive director of The Swimming Hole in Stowe and the first to complete the twoway crossing of Lake Champlain, a 16.8-mile swim from South Burlington, Vt. to Willsboro Point, N.Y. These and 37 other Border Busters will depart from the Newport City Dock, swimming a loop that crosses from US into Canada, around Ile Province, and back into the US. They know they’ve crossed the border when they see the “slash,” a

gap in the trees that runs for 1,349 miles of forested land on the country line. Brynn has been swimming the border busters since White first started organizing them, in September of 2011 and swims it every year. After growing up swimming the pristine lakes of New Zealand, she moved to the US and became hooked on swimming the lakes of New England. She’s crossed the Canadian border 12 times. “It never gets old,” she said. “There is nothing as amazing as seeing that border buoy and the line in the trees. The border crossing is my favorite part. It can be a 25-mile swim or a swim half that distance. Normally someone on the boat will pull out a flag for me–I fly the New Zealand flag, but we’ve also flown the Vermont flag when we go across. We make a big deal about it. It’s so fun.” It all began on the ten-year anniversary of 9/11, when White planned a midnight swim with friends, including Brynn. The mission: to reopen the US-Canada border, which had been closed for ten years because of an incident with La Traverse du Lac Memphremagog, an international professional race that started in the 1980s. After 9/11, The Department of Homeland Security prohibited US visa-holding Egyptian Mohammad Hassan, a professional swimmer in the race, from swimming out of the United States and into Canada. Hassan eventually resolved the issue and completed La Traverse, but the following year, officials changed the race to an out-and-back that stayed within the border of Canada. So, in 2011 White and the five swimmers crossed into Canada with cooperation from Canadian and US officials. Like that, Lake Memphremagog was once again open to crossborder swimming.


Open Water Swim starts in Essex, N.Y. on Aug. 19, Kingdom Swim’s 15-mile Border Buster is July 29 and ‘In Search of Memphre,’ held at midnight on Sept. 11 off Newport, Vt.


The Underwater Historic Preserve System includes 10 shipwrecks: four near Burlington's waterfront, one near Colchester, one near Charlotte, and the newly-added U.S. La Vallee, in Shelburne Bay. (Below) A photo from Lake Champlain Maritime Museum's archives shows the tugboat before it sank. Photo courtesy of Lake Champlain Maritime Museum

dive deep I

n Lake Champlain, 100 feet down in the dark and chilly waters of Shelburne Bay, the U.S. La Vallee tugboat sits upright and in nearly perfect condition. Aside from the windows, blown out from air pressure upon the boat’s sinking, it is completely intact, with its original paint and a steel plaque that lists details about its unique steam-powered engine. Chris Sabick, archaeological director at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, dove on the shipwreck after it was found in 1996. “It’s this one moment in history, frozen in time and place at the bottom of the lake, and that’s thrilling,” he said. We like to say it’s like shaking hands with history. The fact that it’s dark and cold, that can add a certain mood to the diving that can make it even more exhilarating – some drama. Whether you’re easily spooked or not is a whole other question. To see this wreck looming up out of the darkness, it’s really cool.” Not to mention the history, he added. The U.S. Vallee is a small wooden steampowered tugboat – a rare specimen, especially in Lake Champlain. This July, the U.S. La Vallee will be added to the Underwater Historic Preserves


System, a network of nine ships throughout the lake that have been designated for recreational scuba diving. This wreck is the first to be added to the system in 15 years. Jonathan Eddy, owner of the Waterfront Dive Center in Burlington, will begin chartering tours to the wreck starting in mid-to-late July. “There’s a lot of interest in these shipwrecks,” he said. “For local divers who dive with us all the time, having a new wreck in the preserve is exciting because they may have done a dozen dives on any given vessel in the preserve system.” Because of the wreck’s depth, it’s classified as an advanced dive, but a dive made much easier by its addition to the state-run Underwater Historic Preserve System. The program establishes underwater parks, providing divers safe access to selected shipwrecks. Wrecks included in the system are marked with yellow, three-foot-wide “special purpose” buoys, to which divers can moor their boats. Then, the divers follow the buoy line all the way down to the wreck. “In the past, as a diver, you found a shipwreck to dive on by dragging your

anchor along the bottom until you snagged on something, and then you dove down and took a look at it. That’s obviously not good for the wrecks,” Sabick said. “This way, it’s much safer for the diver, and for the wreck itself. That’s the guiding principle here, that it’s better for everybody.” Research by museum historians has revealed snippets of the U.S. La Vallee’s history. The tugboat first launched from Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1880 under the name Henry Lloyd, when hundreds of coal-fired steamers served as towing and service boats in the shipping industry. Then, it moved to New Jersey for three years, and was finally sold to a firm in Georgetown, South Carolina, where it stayed for 37 years. In 1920, the boat’s license was surrendered in New York City and deemed “dismantled,

unfit for use.” But in 1923, John E. Matton bought Henry Lloyd, renaming it U.S La Vallee. When it was finally passed to Vermont, sold to James E. Cashman in Burlington in 1929, the boat was so old that crew members nicknamed it “The Useless Vallee.” In 1931, Cashman stopped mending the old tugboat’s leaks. He pulled it out to the middle of Shelburne Bay and scuttled it– sinking it one hundred feet down, and it has remained on the lake floor ever since. “Like many things that are utilitarian and every-day in their working life, they were deemed to be that exactly: utilitarian and every-day, and therefore not documented to any great extent,” Sabick said. “It had become a useless piece of junk to them, but for us, it’s a really neat little time capsule, particularly with that little steam engine, which is just not something we see on a boat that size – and certainly not on Lake Champlain.”


A WRECK Tours from the Waterfront Dive Shop ($50 per diver) will be announced on the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s website,


Vermont State ParkS You deserve a good paddling.



STOWE VT 05672 • 802.253.4411


Spend Your Days On The Water

P.S. We have moved from South Burlington to our NEW location in Richmond!






849 S.Main St Stowe, VT (802) 253 2317

4 W. M a i n S t Richmond, VT (802) 651 8760



every dog is an explorer

Then I would manage a marathon a day to hit 400 miles, come back next year and finish it. I was kind of scared of success. I didn’t feel like I deserved to be leading the race, or to be the only finisher. 



VS: What was the race like? LP: The weather was wild—the worst weather of the three years of the race. It was 94 degrees the first day, with very wet trails. It rained on four or maybe five of the days. The eighth day, a huge storm hit, with sustained 30 mph winds and 60 mph gusts. Trees were down all over the course, I ran in the middle of the night that night by myself with branches hitting everything. It was so loud I couldn’t hear myself think. The last day was beautiful but the course was the muddiest I’ve ever dealt with: mid-shin deep every step for miles!  

Name: Lance Parker Age: 22 Lives in: Montpelier Occupation: High school behavior interventionist/River guide “You will regret this,” warns the registration for entrants who choose the 888k option of the Infinitus, a series of rugged trail races staged by the Endurance Society in Goshen, Vermont. Lance Parker, however, has no regrets. On Friday, June 2, the 22-yearold from Montpelier won the 551-mile, 10-day event that’s designed to drive athletes to their limits. Powered partially by chocolate milk, Snickers and yogurt, Parker was the only participant out of 11 to finish the 888-kilomter (250-mile) course. He did it in a total time of 229 hours and 51 minutes. Parker is no novice: he’s run a number of ultra races, including Wyoming’s Bighorn 100 last year. He works as a behavior interventionist for the special education department at Spaulding High School in Barre, and is spending this summer guiding whitewater-rafting trips for Adirondack River Outfitters. Two feet, two wheels and in person are the ways that Parker rolls: he has no car and no phone. Born and raised mostly on the Maine coast, Parker was naturally peripatetic, thanks to a stepfather in the military; that side of the family never spent more than three years in the same place. We did manage to get Parker to spend more than a few minutes slowing down to share his story with Vermont Sports.

VS: How did you get into running? LP: My college (Sterling College) had no organized sports. But I got introduced to the concept of ultras, and thought it was amazing but ridiculous. The summer of 2013, Heather Anderson set the selfsupported speed record on the Pacific Crest Trail, hiking 45 miles a day. About this same time I learned about a 50k race at Jay Peak, and got into minimalist running shoes. These three things combined with a large amount of naivety led me to sign up for a 50k that was less than a month away. I had only ever run 11 miles going into that race. And my longest race was a 10k on roads. I took fourth, and that changed my perspective on

VS: What was the toughest part? LP: Definitely the morning of Day 7. It was a hard, lonely start to the day. I cried a lot. I was mentally and emotionally exhausted. I felt like I no longer had a choice to drop out. Too many people wanted to see it happen. I would have to get injured to get out of this. I felt an enormous amount of pressure. VS: And the most rewarding?

Lance Parker is one of only three people to ever complete the 250-mile Infinitus run. Photo by Mark McCaslin

running. Two months later I ran a 50-miler, then my first 100 six months after that. I’ve done the Race to the Top of Vermont three years in a row, but I’ve always done a double on it. VS: What is the appeal of ultrarunning for you? LP: It’s the great equalizer, time and distance. The women beat the men. The less fit beat the fitness freaks. Phenomenal nutrition and mental preparation are as important as strength or stamina. Anyone that knows me as a runner knows that I am not the most consistent with training. I’m not the strongest or fastest out there. But I might win, just because I want it more, and I’m willing to feel the worst. The further the race is, the more this matters.  VS: How did you train? We heard you slept outside all winter? LP: From December 21st until the race, I slept out every night (except for four nights, only once in a bed) on a covered porch in a house I was sharing in Calais. That was one way of getting rid of a few mental walls, such as “the missing your bed” feeling, “the getting out the door” feeling and the “getting

up for the day” feeling. I practiced lifestyle changes every day. It’s all about the six inches between your ears. Excluding race weeks, I never ran more than 40 miles in a week—something I would change. I did a lot of skiing, skinning, and indoor bike training, and a lot strength training after every run.  VS: Why no car and no phone? LP: I’m not one for social obligations or norms. I’ve had a flip phone but it broke a couple of months ago. Someone gave me a smartphone, but I just use it for Internet. I've ebbed and flowed between having a car and not. But it's a combination of idealism, getting out and exercising more, and never having the money for a decent car that doesn't break down all the time. VS: What did you do in the days leading up to Infinitus? LP: I worked the day before the race started. And actually ran a few short miles the night before. I was biking 17 miles each way to and from work for the few weeks before. VS: How did the race surprise you? LP: To be honest, I thought I would make it five days on pace and begin falling apart.

LP: I left mementos on the course my first lap. Inspiring letters from years ago, from mentors and friends. Picking them up off of the course on the last lap was so rewarding, especially with my friend Liz. She ran the last 7 miles with me. At the top of Mount Romance was a tree I named Liz, and a letter she wrote me three years earlier at the start of my first 100-miler. VS: What did you do when you crossed the finish line? LP: I was wearing a mask. This was to pay tribute to a racer, who crossed the finish line with a mask on the year before. The race directors put masks on the trees in the woods on the course; I took one of them off on my last lap.  I hugged the two race directors, I took my shoes off and threw them very far.  I then immediately had a beer and slept!  VS: What will your next event be, and how are you training for that? LP: I’m currently signed up for Ghost Train 100 in New Hampshire again in October [Parker placed 5th there last year]. They allow you to run past 100 miles for “bonus miles.” I’m hoping to run 140 miles in the 30 hours. I’m planning on going to the Pineland Farms Last Man Standing race.  And I’m planning on returning to the 888 next year.  — Sarah Tuff Dunn Read Parker’s full race recap here: http:// how-long-have-i-been-running-infinitus. html.


Saturday, July 22, 2017 25th Anniversary Riley Rink at Hunter Park Manchester, VT 5K Run/Walk and 10K Run


Register, Donate, or Volunteer at #RacefortheCureVT


[ Mansfield

O r t h O pa e d i c s


Keeping you in the seat and on the trails. Welcome to the 21st century community hospital. Welcome to Copley. don’t let chronic knee, hip, shoulder, or wrist pain keep you from riding 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: Nick Antell, MD; Brian Aros, MD; Bryan Huber, MD; John Macy, MD; Joseph McLaughlin, MD and Saul Trevino, MD.

to make an appointment with a Mansfield Orthopaedic specialist at copley hospital, call 802.888.8405 OrthOpedics | cardiOlOGY | eMerGencY serVices General sUrGerY | OncOlOGY | rehaBilitatiOn serVices OBstetrics & GYnecOlOGY | diaGnOstic iMaGinG

528 Washington highway, Morrisville, Vt 6 north Main street, Waterbury, Vt eXceptiOnal care. cOMMUnitY fOcUsed.




Red Paddle Sport MSL

myCharge Adventure Ultra portable charging hub

Lowa's Rocket climbing shoe

Gregory's Drift hydration pack

THE PORTABLE SUP There are nearly as many types of SUPs now as there are SUPers: ones for yoga, ones for racing, ones for waves, ones for touring. But if you are looking for a board that you can take anywhere, one you could pack up and hike with to, say, one of Vermont’s more remote lakes, the Red Paddle Sport MSL ($1,520) may be your best bet. Unlike older inflatable boards, the Sport is stiff enough for touring, thanks to rocker-stiffening (RSS battens) and its monocoque structural laminate (MSL) construction, which RedPaddle estimates saves more than 2 pounds over similar boards. So how does it work? You simply unroll it out of its carrying case (a backpack), insert the battens, use the Titan pump to inflate it and you are ready to go.

MTB HYDRATION We’ve been waiting for a while to find the perfect hydration pack for mountain biking and Gregory’s Drift $99.95 (Amasa, for women) comes pretty darn close. Where do we start? For one, we love the fact that the new 3D hydro reservoir dries more like a waterbottle than a clammy pack. A magnetic sternum strap is easy to close with one hand and also connects to the magnet on the DryLock bit valve — no more fumbling blindly to find the bit, with one hand on the bars. We also love the quick stow packet for sunglasses that’s right on the shoulder harness. Inside, there’s a dedicated removable, zippered pouch for your trail

tools (so they don’t bounce around) and pockets for spare tubes, pumps, etc., and a crash pad protection lined with foam to protect your phone or other valuables. The packs come in 6, 10 and 14 sizes in green, red and black. The largest, the 14 has a volume of 20 liters and if you pack it up, you’ll really appreciate the fact that you can adjust the hip belt so it rides higher or lower on your back.

A BIG CHARGE If you need a charge, there are all sorts of tiny pucks and other battery supplements for iPhones and GoPros and such. But if you are headed out away from civilization and must (simply must) bring your laptop (or anything

else with a regular AC plug) what do you do? A USB cord just won’t cut it. We tried the myCharge Adventure Ultra ($129.99) portable charging hub and inverter and were pleasantly surprised. The charger has two USB ports as well as a standard plug. Once you charge the base station, you can get a full charge on a laptop, eight charges on an iPhone or 8 hours of power out of a lamp with an LED bulb, the company claims. With a 20V power supply and an AC 110 V 45 W output, it’s a powerful little thing for its size but, a 1.05 pounds, maybe not something you’d want to carry around all day.

ROCKET UP If you’re headed for the crags of Smugglers’



t’s summer and in honor of the fact that it finally stopped raining, we’re celebrating with sunshine of all kinds. While Lawson’s Sip of Sunshine remains a favorite (and we are looking forward to the new tasting room opening in Waitsfield next year), our shout out this month goes to RockArt in Morrisville. RockArt, the brewer that brought us Sunny and 75, a witbier ale brewed with cracked coriander and hints of orange, malt and spice, comes something even sunnier. On June 27, Rock Art became the first Vermont brewer to go 100 percent solar. Working with solar panel provider SunCommon, the 20-year-old, family owned brewery put in a 67kW, 200-panel array on its roof that will meet all its electricity needs. To celebrate, Rock Art created a special brew, Sun Rocked IPA that will be distributed in cans around the state in July. It has “nice tropical fruit, berries and citrus flavors - everything that summer sunshine represents,” said Matt Nadeau, co-owner of Rock ArtBrewery. Stop by the Morrisville tasting room after a ride on the new sections of the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail.

Notch this summer (or plan to climb anywhere else), check out Lowa’s Rocket ($145) climbing shoe. It’s not a shoe you’re going to want to pad around in but once you go vertical, it will give you an added boost and it’s thick, reinforced toe has plenty of protection. A single Velcro closure and three straps (one on the tongue, two on the heel) make it easy to slip on and off and the soft suede upper has just enough give for comfort. Still, this is relatively aggressive performance shoe has a sharp tapered toe, making it ideal for edging and toe hooking. The extra-stiff midsole offers protection for those jam cracks, and will ease the strain on your foot for multi-pitch climbs. The toedown style gives you a boost on steep climbs.


The limited edition Sun Rocked IPA is out for summer.


Kingdom Swim


our Check out le Challenge! ol One Mi Pool vs. Po

ck ntain 6pa Burke Mou . ners for the win



AUGUST 11-13

3 day stage race on the Kingdom’s hidden gems | © Chris Milliman

A Special Experience

- Special Youth Only Swims 1/4 MILE & 100 YARD Underwritten by

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

Thank you to the Sponsors and Partners of Kingdom Games: Eastside Restaurant, Kingdom Brewing, Brault's Slaughterhouse, Couture's B&B and Sugar Shop, Community National Bank, Burke Mountain, Jay Peak, Eden Ice Cider, Caledonia Spirits, Derby Village Store, Kinney Drugs, Newport City Inn & Suites, Vermont Sports Magazine, Passumpsic Savings Bank, Lakeview Aviation, Parker Pie, NEK Tasting Center, Newport Natural Café, Ciderhouse Bar & Grill, Mike's Tiki Bar, White Caps Campground


Boatbuilding Challenge Race: July 9 Classes Available Lake Adventure Camps: Registration Still Open

We all belong in the game. Play. Coach. Volunteer.

4472 Basin Harbor Rd., Vergennes, VT 05491 (802) 475-2022 28 VTSPORTS.COM | JULY 2017 (802) 862-5222








9 | Mad Marathon, Mad Half and Relays, Waitsfield The day includes a marathon, half marathon, walkathon and marathon relays on dirt roads with tough climbs and views of the Green Mountains.

30 | Barre Heritage Festival 5K, Websterville A scenic trail 5K takes you through the historic granite capital of the world. The trail explores the Barre Town Forest granite quarries, on mostly singletrack trails.

12 | Thoreau Cabin Hike, Rupert This is a moderately strenuous hike, approximately 4.5 miles round-trip, out to the Henry David Thoreau Bicentennial Cabin.


15 | 39th Annual Bear Swamp Run, Middlesex This 5.7-mile loop course climbs 450 feet before gradually descending to the finish.

RUNNING & HIKING JULY 2 | 2nd Annual Mt. Ascutney Rainbow Run, Brownsville This 5k fun run/hike is a great way to explore the trails at Mt. Ascutney while getting showered with multi-colored hues. 3 | Montpelier Mile, Montpelier This classic one-mile race runs through historic downtown Montpelier with hundreds of spectators, a post-race parade and fireworks. All ages welcome. 4 | Clarence DelMar 5K, South Hero Run this flat out (south) and back (north) 5K on South Street, with a free 1⁄4-mile race for kids. 4 | Harry Corrow Freedom Run, Newport Kingdom Games hosts a 10-mile, 10K, 5K and 1-mile run along the Newport-Derby bike path. 9 | Stowe 8-Miler/5K, Stowe This 8-mile road run and 5K starts at the Recreation Field and finishes at the Golden Eagle resort.

5 | Fairfax Egg Run, Fairfax Participants choose from a 5K run, a 5K walk, or a 10K run, plus a 1K Kids Run (13 and under). The registration fee includes a post-race omelet cooked to order, plus prizes.

15 | Goshen Gallop, Goshen 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.”

5 | Moosalamoo Ultra, Goshen Head to the Moosalamoo Ultra for 14- and 36-mile trail races, which run primarily through the Green Mountain National Forest. This race is dog-friendly.

15 | Round Church Annual Women’s 5K & 10K, Richmond These certified 5K and 10K races are out and back on Cochran Road, starting across from the historic Round Church. Roads are paved with a few rolling hills.

12 | Kingdom Run, Irasburg This run, which offers half marathon, 10K and 5K options, is a competitive out and back race on scenic dirt roads in the Northeast Kingdom. Blueberry sundaes served after the race.

15-16 | Vermont 100, West Windsor This 100-mile ultra-marathon starts at Silver Hill Meadow and is one of four 100-milers nationwide that make up the Grand Slam of ultra-running. vermont100endurancerun.

17 | Berlin Pond 5-Miler, Berlin This certified 5-mile loop course runs counter-clockwise around Berlin Pond on dirt roads with one water stop.

25 | Walk, Wag and Run, Rutland Join this dog-friendly cross-country running or walking event, with 5K and 2.5K options. The $5 entry fee is covered for those who bring a dog. 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.

18 | Under Armour Mountain Marathon, Killington Run between Killington’s and Pico’s peaks. The event features a 50K, marathon, half marathon, marathon relay, 10K and 5K. 25 | Best Dam Run & Walk In Vermont, Whitingham This out-and-back half-marathon follows the west side of Harriman Reservoir. Catch amazing views from the 215-foot-high, 1250-foot-long dam.



Providing comfort at the end of life.

Women’s MTB Skills Clinic

5K Run & Walk Events $25 minimum per participant

$50 per driver/$75 driver and passenger


Saturday, August 12th

at Grafton Trails in Grafton, VT

Come build your trail riding skills and grow confidence with our all-woman team. 49 Brickyard Lane, Putney Vermont





Enter to WIN a ‘17 Harley-Davidson 883 Sportster (approximately $8,500 retail value) from Wilkins Harley-Davidson in South Barre, Vt.

OR Trade toward the bike of your choice OR $5,000 cash Tickets: $100 each (only 100 tickets to be sold) Raffle winner is responsible for tax, title, registration and pick-up. Color and model dependent on availability.

Learn more and register at: OR CALL (802) 728-2726 LEAS IN G


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27 | Scholarship 5K Trail Race, South Burlington This 5K runs on dirt trails through the wooded Red Rocks Park. The GMAA scholarship fund is awarded to two graduating high school runners. 27 | Zoe’s Race, Burlington Howard Center’s “Zoe’s Race” is a 5K through Oakledge Park raising funds for Vermont families who need accessible homes for their children.

SEPTEMBER 3 | 49 GMAA Archie Post 5-Miler, Burlington The certified point-to-point course follows the South Burlington Bike Path with views of the Green Mountains. th

9 | Endurance Society’s Sky Run, Waitsfield An uphill race, the Sky Run features a series of climbs that lead to the summit of General Stark Mountain. Pick the 5K Sky Run, with more than 2,000 feet of vertical climbing, or a 10K with 3,700 feet of vertical. 9 | Covered Bridge Half Marathon, Charlotte Race along mostly dirt and gravel road, beginning and ending at Shelburne Beach on Lake Champlain. 15 | Shoefly Trail Running Festival, East Burke This festival of trail running welcomes runners and walkers

Ethan Allen Biathlon Club 2017 Summer Race Series

DATES July 6, 13, 20, August 3,10, 17 TIMES 5:00 pm - Registration 5:30 to 6:00 pm - Zeroing 6:15 pm - Race Start WHERE Ethan Allen Biathlon Club Ethan Allen Rd., Jericho, VT

NEW: See our website for NEW mandatory

Safety Clinic information Info:

to try 50K, 12-hour, 24-hour solo/team relay, 25K, 10K, 5K or 1-mile races. 16 | Common to Common 30K, Essex Junction This certified 30K (18.64 miles) goes through the scenic farm country between historic Essex Center and Westford Common. 20 | Sodom Pond 4-Miler, Adamant A rolling 4-mile dirt road course loops counter-clockwise around Adamant’s Sodom Pond. 23–24 | Adirondack Marathon, Schroon, N.Y. This two-day event includes both half marathon and marathon races, a 5K and 10K, a children’s fun run, dinners and award ceremonies. 24 | Vermont Sun Half Marathon, Lake Dunmore Run along the shores of Lake Dunmore in a 5K, 10K or half marathon.

OCTOBER 8 | Fly to Pie Kingdom Marathon, West Glover Kingdom Games’ 26.2-mile running (and bike) pointto-point race follows dirt roads through “the gut” of the Northeast Kingdom. 17-, 13.5-, and 6-mile, run, bike or hike options. 15 | Green Mountain Marathon, South Hero This certified marathon and half-marathon take you out and back on the west shore of South Hero and Grand Isle, with flat to rolling terrain that passes farms, apple orchards and summer cottages.

BIKING JULY 1 | Vermont Gran Fondo, Middlebury This non-competitive ride offers three options: the Gran Fondo, a 108-mile ride that climbs across the Appalachian Gap (twice), Lincoln Gap and Middlebury Gap; the Medio Fondo, a 68-mile ride that includes Lincoln and Appalachian Gaps; the Medio Facile, 78 miles, climbing the App and Middlebury Gaps; and the Piccolo Fondo, a 39-mile ride that includes over 2,900 feet of climbing.


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 countryside. Saturday, you can ride the Prouty Century through New Hampshire, or the new option: a 64-mile, metric century hybrid gravel route. 8 | Raid Lamoille, Stowe Cyclists ride approximately 100K (60+ miles) on mostly gravel roads through stunning countryside. A 50K option will also be available. 15-16 | Farm To Fork Fondo, Pittsfield Cyclists pick one of four fondo rides with stops at local farms and locally-catered snacks. Pick between a 93-mile gran fondo, a 50-mile medio fondo, a 36-mile piccolo fondo and a 12-mile ramble ride. 15-16 | Julbo Easter Grind XC & Marathon Mountain Bike Race, Williston North America’s best bike racers compete in cross-country and short track cross-country events on classic wooded singletrack and doubletrack trails. Olympic-caliber athletes compete for a prize purse of $10,000 to the overall male and female winners. 23 | Glacier Grinder, Killington This 40-mile ride features 4,500 feet of elevation gain on scenic gravel roads and unmaintained town roads, with four climbs. 21–23 | Vermont Mountain Bike Fest, Warren The Vermont Mountain Bike Association hosts its annual festival at Sugarbush’s Mount Ellen area with group rides, camping, clinics, demos, live music and games. 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. 29 | Millstone 8-Hour MTB Relay, Websterville Individuals and teams of two and three compete for the most laps in eight hours.

AUGUST 5 | Bike MS: Green Mountain Getaway, Burlington Starting at the University of Vermont, this event includes 30-, 60- and 100-mile rides around the Champlain Valley. 8 | Tour de Farms Bike Ride, Bristol This year’s route will follow 28 miles of rolling hills and backcountry roads through the Champlain Valley. Includes an after-party with dancing and refreshments. 8 | Women’s MTB Skills Clinic, Grafton Join this women-only mountain bike clinic to build your trail riding skills. 15 rider limit.


Your center for fun on the water!

SMALL BOAT EXCHANGE 2649 Shelburne Rd. Shelburne, VT



12 | Harpoon Point-To-Point, Windsor Tackle 100, 50 or 25 miles on the road or the 20-mile mountain bike ride at Ascutney. Head to the Harpoon Brewery for BBQ, live music and beer after the race. 12 | 9th Annual Bike N’ Brew Festival, East Burke Burke Mountain welcomes anyone who loves bikes and craft brews to an event with tastings, lift rides, mountain biking and awards for the best beer.

15 | Addison County Bike Club Women’s Clinic, Middlebury Learn the basics of mountain biking: climbing, ascending and maneuvering. The second installment on 8/22 moves women to the trails. 17-20 | The Vermont Challenge, Manchester Manchester and Stratton Resort serve as home base for four days of long-distance rides between 26.5 and 105 miles. The Challenge also includes a gran fondo option for Saturday. 27 | Vermont Overland Gran Prix, Pomfret A 51-mile dirt road bicycle race featuring 5,400 feet of climbing, seven sections of unmaintained ancient public roads, a village downtown start/finish and a street party afterwards. 29 | Walk or Pedal for PSC, Woodstock This 100K or 55K road bike ride or 15K walk covers beautiful routes in and around Woodstock. The ride benefits PSC Partners Seeking a Cure.

SEPTEMBER 9 | 12th Annual Kelly Brush Ride, Middlebury With 20-, 50-, 65-, 85- or 100-mile options, this scenic, fully-supported ride through the Champlain Valley draws over 700 cyclists and dozens of handcyclists. Followed by a festive BBQ. 23 | The Moose Redux, East Burke This 103-mile ride runs through Caledonia and Essex Counties on recently repaved roads that are smooth and wide. The Team Challenge pits teams of 3 to 10 riders based on the cumulative fastest three times of each team. 30 | Hungry Lion Bike Tour, Whitingham These 35-, 55- and 75-mile road bike rides are fully supported with rest stops, sag wagon, BBQ, music and beer.


Wrenchin’ Wednesdays, Montpelier Join the free Wrenchin’ Wednesdays bike repair clinics, from 5-6 p.m. at Onion River Sports. Clinics will be held on 6/21, 6/28, 7/12, 7/26.

WATERSPORTS & MULTISPORT JULY 8 | Dirty Girl Mud Run, Killington Run, walk, climb and crawl through 11 obstacles with names like H2OMG and PMS (Pretty Muddy Stuff) on a course designed by an ex-Army ranger. 8 | Basin Harbor Sprint Triathlon, Vergennes The Basin Harbor Resort offers a fast and fun sprint triathlon with a 500-yard swim, 12.2 miles of biking and 5K of running on a flat course. 9 | Annual Lake Champlain Challenge Race This 3-mile race is open to all non-motorized boats and those seeking competition and beautiful scenery. Registration includes admission to the museum, two extra tickets for guests and a free buffet lunch. 15 | Georgeville or Bust, Newport Swim the 15 miles to cross the border from Newport, Vt. to Georgeville, Quebec. 23 | Winooski Pedal and Paddle, Winooski Participants start at the Ethan Allen Homestead in Burlington for the 4-mile “pedal” portion of the event. In Winooski, folks will launch a canoe or kayak and paddle back to the Homestead on the Winooski River, as it winds through the beautiful Intervale. 23 | App Gap Challenge, Waitsfield Competitors rollerski up the Appalachian Gap. The pursuit format starts with skate and transitions to classic mid course at the parking lot of Mad River Glen. Try and break the course record for the $100 cash prize. 28-29 | Kids Adventure Games, Stowe In teams of two, kids ages 6-14 conquer kid-friendly outdoor obstacles and challenges that involve walking/hiking, mountain biking and water activities. 29 | Ninth Kingdom Swim, Newport Swim across the Canadian border on the 25-mile swim or join the sanctioned World 10 Mile Open Water Championship. Distances also include 6.2-, 3.1- and 1- mile swims.

30 | 33rd Colchester Triathlon, Colchester The Colchester Parks and Rec hosts a 500-meter swim (or a 1.5-mile kayak), 12-mile bike ride and 3-mile run.

AUGUST 19 | Lake Champlain Open Water Swim, Essex, Participants swim 3.76 miles from Essex, N.Y. to the public beach in Charlotte, Vt. in this fully supported swim. 5 | Stand Up for The Lake, Burlington This SUP event includes a $3,500 cash purse. Expect food, clinics, a 3-mile recreational race, a 6-mile elite race, and good times. Benefits the Community Sailing Center. 10-13 | Shale “Hell” Endurance Festival, Benson S festival with 72-, 48-, 24- and 8-hour races for a chance to qualify for the OCR World Championships. 12–20 | NEKOWSA Swim Week, Newport Swim 8 lakes over 9 days in the NEK and the Eastern Townships of Quebec: Caspian, Island Pond, Echo, Seymour, Massawippi, Memphremagog, Willoughby and Caspian. Distances range from 1.5-mile to 9-mile swims. Short options on each day.

SEPTEMBER 8-10 | 90-Miler Adirondack Canoe Classic, Old Forge, NY This three-day, 90-mile flatwater race follows the original highways of the Adirondacks from Old Forge to Saranac Lake, with a mix of lake and river paddling. Entry deadline July 20. 17 | 41st Annual Josh Billings Runaground Triathlon, Great Barrington, Ma. Run, bike and canoe/SUP/kayak through five towns in the Berkshires to the finish line at the Tanglewood Music Festival, Ethan Allen Summer Race Series, Jericho EABC holds a 6-race summer (running) biathlon race series on Thursday nights July 6, 13 and 20, and Aug. 3, 10 and 17, open to all. Categories include sprint, pursuit, individual and relays for 5K to 10K.








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Sunday, September 17 THROUGH 5 TOWNS IN THE BEAUTIFUL BERKSHIRES Bike • Canoe/Kayak/SUP • Run Triathlon Team & Iron Categories ND

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6 Burlington 1


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1184 Williston Rd. South Burlington, VT 802-862-2714






N Hours: Mon.–Sat. 10am–6pm; Sun. 10am–5pm (Hours change seasonally) Specializing in mountain, hybrid and commuter bikes from Norco and Felt, Alpine Shop is a full service Bike Shop conveniently located off Exit 14E with ample parking & riding space. Plus 15,000 square feet of stylish clothing for men and women with a full inventory of gear, shoes and apparel for tennis. Vermont’s favorite outdoor gear and apparel store since 1963.



99 Bonnet St. Manchester, VT 802-362-2734 Hours: 9:30am–5:30pm every day Full selection of men and women’s clothing. Rentals available. Great back roads. Road rides Thursdays at 6 pm, Beginner Rides Fridays at 6 pm.



24 Bridge St, Richmond VT 802-434-4876 Hours: Mon.–Sat. 10:30am–6:30pm Closed Sundays Belgen Cycles offers custom and stock bicycles supported by 39 years of hands on experience. Focused on the right bike for you covering the spectrum from road to ‘cross and mountain to fat with selections from Salsa, Xprezo, Moots, Parlee, Litespeed, Lynskey and Soma. Full service maintenance and repair as well as fitting solutions. In business as Village Bicycle in Richmond for 19 years.











We are a full service bike shop at the base of the Mt. Greylock State reservation. We also border a beautiful 12 mile, paved rail trail. We carry Jamis, Rocky Mtn. and GT. We offer sales, repairs, and hybrid bike rentals for the rail trail.




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45 Bridge St. Morrisville, VT 802-888-7642

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439 Route 114 East Burke VT 802-626-3215 Hours: 9am-6pm every day

4 Hours: Mon.–Fri. 9am–5:30pm Sat. 9am–3pm, closed Sundays Putting smiles on people’s faces for 35ish years. Bikes by Transition, Norco, KHS, Surly, Raleigh, Marin and Diamondback.




RR 8, 169 Grove St. Adams , MA           413-743- 5900





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2500 Williston Road, South Burlington, VT 802-864-9197 Hours: Mon.–Fri. 10am–7pm Sat. 10am–6pm, Sun. 11am–5pm Earl’s has Vermont’s largest selection of mountain, road, hybrid, and kids’ bikes, clothing and accessories, helmets, shoes, and car racks. Plus an extensive women’s department, a full service department with a wide assortment of parts and tools on hand, ample parking, and a test ride trail!

We are the original home to Kingdom Trails. Located in the heart of town, we pride ourselves in expert knowledge while providing friendly customer service. A full service shop awaits you and your repair needs. We have 100 rental bikes with an enormous selection of clothing, parts, and accessories.



74 Main Street Middlebury VT 802-388-6666 Hours: Fri. 9:30am–6:30pm, Sun. 11am–4pm Take advantage of the most advanced and courteous service in our region, including a quick turn-around in our service shop downstairs. Upstairs in the sales room, we offer the best in new and used road, mountain, lifestyle, and children’s bikes and new gear. We carry brands that offer superior products that balance innovation and performance with reliability and value.


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

10 HIGH PEAKS CYCLERY 2733 Main St. Lake Placid, NY 518-523-3764 Hours: Mon.–Fri. 9am–6pm, Sun. 9am–5pm Lake Placid’s source for bicycling and outdoor gear since 1983! Sales, Service, Rentals and Tours. Bikes by Yeti, Foundry, Salsa, Surly, Giant and Scott. Your information headquarters for Lake Placid and the Adirondacks for gravel road, mountain biking and road riding adventures. Free maps. ADK80 and Ironman race info and course conditions.




37 Church St. Burlington, VT 802-860-0190

9 RTE 17 Waitsfield VT 05673 802-496-4800

EXCHANGE Hours: Mon.–Thurs. 10am–8pm Fri.–Sat. 10am–9pm, Sun. 10am–6pm OGE offers Burlington riders a premier bike shop with a knowledgeable, friendly, and honest staff. We have commuters and gravel grinders from Marin and KHS, mountain bikes from Pivot, Transition, Rocky Mountain, and Yeti, and a wide consignment selection as well as demo fleet so you can try it before you buy it. Our service department is capable of everything from tuning your vintage road bike to servicing your new mountain bike and offers full Fox shock service. Come on down and see us on Church St!

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


20 Hanover St. Lebanon, NH 603-448-3522

85 Main St. Burlington, VT 802-658-3313 Hours: Mon.–Fri. 9am–6pm, Sat. 9am–5pm Closed Sundays Hours: Mon.–Sat. 10am–7pm, Sun. 11am–5pm

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


20 Langdon St. Montpelier, VT 802-229-9409 Hours: Mon.–Thurs. 9am–6pm, Fri. 9am–8pm, Sat. 9am–5pm, Sun. 11am–4pm

Locally owned since 1969, Skirack provides gear, clothing, expert fitting and accessories for all cyclists, with full service tuning and complete bike suspension service on most forks and rear shocks. Designated one of America’s Best Bike Shops, Skirack is blocks from Lake Champlain. Open 8am Mon-Sat for bike service, car racks and rentals. Road and mountain bike rentals at rentals.

The friendly, expert staff at Onion River Sports will help you find the perfect bike for every adventure, whether it’s a mountain, gravel, hybrid, road, kids, or fat bike — plus cycling accessories, apparel, car racks, and more outdoor gear. We also offer professional, comprehensive bike services, rentals, and bike shipping.


Find us on Facebook Hours: Tues.-Fri. 9am-6pm * Close at 5pm on Thursdays for Shop ride. Sat. 9am-4pm, Sun. 9am-1pm, closed on Mon. Located at the lowest spot in the Mad River Valley so you can coast in when you break your bike on a ride! 20 years of advise, directions and fixing anything that pedals. You know you want a Yeti. Come try one of ours!

17 WATERBURY SPORTS 46 South Main St. Waterbury, VT 802-882-8595 Hours: 7 days a week Mon.–Thurs. 10am–6pm, Fri.–Sat. 9am–7pm Sun. 10am–4pm WBS sells Trek and Giant bikes of every flavor from high end mountain bikes to kids, hybrids and cross bikes. Our service techs are among the best in northern VT. We also rent and Demo from our downtown location right near the Perry Hill Trails.

18 WEST HILL BIKE SHOP 49 Brickyard Ln. Putney, VT 802-387-5718 Hours: Mon.–Sat. 10am–6pm Since 1971, the West Hill Shop has been a low-key, friendly source for bikes ‘n gear, service and rare wisdoms. We are known regionally as the go-to place for problem-solving technicians. Our bike fitters specialize in comfort without sacrificing efficiency. Recently, we’ve focused on stocking gravel road bikes, with awesome dirt road riding right out our door. Join us for our Annual West Hill Grinder Sept. 24. It’s truly a rural adventure with loops on scenic gravel roads or wily trails.


Call Christy to get your bike shop listed.

802-388-4944 • JULY 2017 | VTSPORTS.COM 33


aybe it’s because I’ve been awake for three hours already, slowly moving on the mat, noticing what’s stiff, what’s open, trying to notice the change of light in the sky but not managing to catch it in the act, listening to another bird add her secrets to the rest of the sounds, thinking about my mom and how she wakes alone, and my dad, who never had to, at least not since their wedding day. Maybe that’s what lights my mind on fire, what pushes the adrenaline through my heart and out into my limbs before dawn. I brew coffee and hug my boys as they each descend the stairs, hair spoking out like unkempt feathers, their soft, beautiful eyes still opening and adjusting to light as I ask them what books they want me to pack for the weekend. Later, we will drive to a place by a lake where I’ve retreated since I was 17, where I would crawl stroke and side stroke between docks until breathless, stay in a suit all day, turn brown, sit alone on the peeling wood planks of the dock to watch the sun dip down behind the layered hills, wondering about the life that lay ahead of me – the life I’m in now that takes me back there to open everything up, let in the air, hook up the float, hang the hammocks, rake the beach. We will work first so we can rest later, so we can watch for herons and water snakes, for beavers at sunrise, their black noses splicing the glassy surface before the boat motors cough to life and whine across the bay—their sounds somehow a commentary on the people who own them. Our inboard makes a low, halting grumble these days, but I remember its assertive purr the day Dad first piloted it into the cove. He called it My Turn as a joke, but also as a hard-earned sign that he was ready to retire and enjoy his financial independence from three kids, three college tuitions. He never went to the trouble of having the name painted on the stern, but someone gave him a hat with “My Turn” embroidered in yellow, and he wore it proudly whenever he toured guests around the lake, his turns—wide and easy around the markers—very much his own. That hat still hangs on a peg at the end of the hall next to the extra sweatshirts, musty fleeces and rain gear, because the evenings get cool and storms have a way of blowing in. The lake arcs around our point to just shy of 180 degrees. You never forget you’re surrounded by water the way you can on the big islands. It’s the center of everything here – or rather, we’re the center of it. We stare at the water constantly, reading it like a weather map, a star chart, like a clock. When the wind’s up, we sail, canoe when it’s not, haul out the kayaks when the wavelets slide gently up the sand. Phones lay untouched on bedside tables as we dust off board games,




I need to assume this summer’s the last and soak it up more, hold it in longer. I decide I’m going to wake for every sunrise and putt out to the broad lake every evening at sunset.


string up the badminton net, deal out hand after hand in the shade of the screened porch, remarking on loon calls even though we’ve heard them a thousand times. This spring, the neighbors called with news that the docks are in rough shape, that Dad’s flagpole – the one he dragged from the center of the island, limbed and stripped by hand, then installed at the end of the mail dock — has toppled and is underwater now along with the spotlight timed to switch on at dusk right around cocktail hour. For years, we used that flagpole as a

guide when coming across the water. But this past winter, our first without Dad, the lake never froze solid the way it used to. It froze some, then thawed, then froze some more, and the prevailing winds pushing in from the north sent ice floes straight into our dock piers, leaving them lurching like funhouse ramps, half in, half out of the water. So there’s work to be done and money to be spent and neighborly advice about repairs mixed in with inquiries after Mom and how she’s doing in the wake of losing Dad. I will fend them off with She’s okay, thank you. What do you say? What can you say when so much has changed? But many things, when we get there, will be the same – like the view from the deck, which hasn’t changed in 25 years, and our crescent of sand where all eight grandkids learned to swim framed by the same worn rocks and overgrown blueberries and the tupelo that will turn red long before anyone is ready for fall. The hammock trees will still frame the mainland a mile away, and the birches will bend and rustle over the boat slip, casting just enough shade to see down into the shallows where the bluegills and the pumpkinseeds swim. But for all the same things, this year feels different. It’s the beginning of everything that comes next. It’s the year we’ll decide

whether to hang onto the place, though I’m not sure we can. With Dad gone, it feels like we’re already letting it go. While packing, I worry it’s already too late. I need to assume this summer’s the last and soak it up more, hold it in longer. I decide I’m going to wake for every sunrise and putt out to the broad lake every evening at sunset. I’m going to teach another niece or nephew to waterski, doing my best to drive like Dad drove. My mother instructed me to steadily slide my toe into the invisible boot behind me after dropping one, left leg burning, right toe searching and not finding the boot, eyes on Mom in the back of the boat, her arms straight, reminding me to do the same until I was up and out of the water. I’d ski like that, too, zombie-armed, pointed toe trailing wildly in the wake, thinking, shift weight slightly, slide foot in, lean back nice and easy. Letting the right leg finally take the weight, I’d do a lap (hardly ever two) then pat my head for home, Mom’s smile shooting back at me across the water, the smile of a wild girl who used to slalom onelegged, her free leg flying out behind her like a dancer. After the four-hour drive, we arrive. We load up My Turn, pile in, and pull away from the marina. As I push down the throttle, I notice my knuckles whitening around the wheel. When did this become less fun? When did I start worrying? There was a time when this place still felt like a dream, back when dreams were a regular thing for me, when I was 17, when the sensation of tumbling through the water with no sense of up or down frightened me less. It’s okay, Mom would say as she leaned over the stern. You’re down, the worst is over, just let the water move you, and I’d grit my teeth, refusing to cry as I struggled to get the ski back on. Relax, came her voice over the widening gap between us as Dad shifted into gear. The more you let go, the less you’ll get hurt. And there, in those strange and lonely floating moments before the rush of sensation, I would watch the tow rope give up its slack, feel the tug of the engine at the other end, my right leg free and probing the dark water, my mind losing itself in the depths, in the faint whiff of gas fumes, the idle almost like cicada song, and there…a loon at eye level not 30 strokes away. Arms straight, legs ready, I lift my chin and shout, “Go!” Jill Hindle Kiedaisch is a columnist and editor for and author of adventure fantasy novels for kids. Her work has appeared in nature anthologies and conservation magazines. She lives in Hinesburg with her husband, two sons, and two fish.







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Vermont Sports Magazine, July 2017  
Vermont Sports Magazine, July 2017