LARGEST FIELD OF PARTICIPANTS..... CHAMPIONS REPEAT IN RECORD TIMES... LOST AND STRANDED RACERS AND TREKKERS... GENEROUS DONATION TO CHARITY... MEMORABLE 2003 PATCH SPRINT!
Willsboro, NY-- A record number of racers, trekkers and volunteers took part in the 2003 edition of the Patch Sprint, and there was seemingly a fascinating story surrounding every last participant. Jim Kobak captured his third overall title in a two-man duel that saw a shattering of the course record. Sami Daley set a new course record en route to her victory in the women's division, while Tom Lynch repeated as Master's champion in the most closely contested battle of the day. While the competition was tight at the front of the pack, there was equal drama and excitement surrounding virtually all of the racers and trekkers. Some were slightly off course, others were hopelessly lost; all had to dig deep simply to finish. "This is not a race you win," said two-time competitor Eric Bauer, the final person to the finish line, "this is something you survive!". Added first-time Trekker Augusta Wilson: "Time will tell whether this course yielded respect, or just plain annoyance!" In addition, the 75+ participants, volunteers, officials and spectators braved cool, breezy, rainy conditions along the course and at the finish atop Pok-O-Moonshine mountain. They were treated to a remarkable race....
THEY CAME, THEY SAW, THEY TREKKED
The trekker division was once again popular for those who wanted the Patch Sprint experience, without all the hustle and bustle involved. Although trekking veteren Phil Corell pulled out mid-race, suffering from blisters, six others- Kelly Zimmerman, Michael Ryba, Ken Ryba, John Rayburn, LesleyJohnson and Augusta Wilson completed the course. Mike Ryba's effort was significant in that, at age 14, he became the youngest-ever Patch Sprinter. Johnson and Wilson had an adventurous morning-turned-afternoon, first getting misplaced near the summit of Rattlesnake. Later, they failed to find the entrance to Fiegally, and were forced to bushwack several miles before arriving at the Interstate underpass and the designated route.
ASSISTANCE and PERSISTANCE
For a fortunate few, the 2003 Patch Sprint was a peaceful experience. They stayed clear of the chaos at the front of the pack, as well as the confusion at the back. Rookie Jonathan Mulholland and veterens Matt Elliott and Greg Henderson all bettered the three hour barrier. Mike Daley cruised in at 3:12 and Drew Canning, again with zero training, gutted out another top-25 showing. Other runners had to get out of mild to severe jams. The Mysterious Q, running his second Patch Sprint, arrived on Pok-O in under three hours, but not before getting lost on Bare, Rattlesnake and Sugarloaf. Jon Strazza embodied the camaraderie of the race, constantly altering his pace to insure that he would run a good portion of the course, as well as finish with his good friend and former race winner Mark Corell. Eric Bauer, who was forced to drop out in 2002, was resolved to finish this time around. Despite taking a wrong turn- leading to a three mile detour- he pressed on to get to the top of Pok-O, arriving after everyone else had vacated. Mark Metakis also got lost and upon reaching civilization, bypassed finishing the course for the next best thing: he got a ride to the base of Pok-O so that he could at least say he climbed all four mountains. And then there was Phil Maher. The second-time racer climbed Bare, but then made a wrong turn. A very wrong turn. Many miles and many hours later, Maher found himself in the small hamlet of Reber. The sight of a lone, muddy figure, wearing a race number was enough for two local residents to give Maher a ride back to camp. He drove to Pok-O and climbed the peak in time to welcome racers to the finish.
As much as the stories of athletic achievement, the tales of friendship, assistance and perseverance, are what make the Patch Sprint the amazing event it has become.
A WEEKEND OF MEMORIES, SHARING AND GIVING
The Patch Sprint chairmen would like to thank the many volunteers who helped make this year's race a success. Especially: Sandy Solomon and Mike Daley for the race direction; Sami Daley for the registration and raffle; Jody Edwards for the announcements; The Daley family for the party, Marianne Perreault for the slide show; and the Disney's for the cooking.
Mostly, a huge thank you to Pok-O-MacCready Camps for hosting.
We are pleased to announce that, thanks to all the participants, the 2003 fund raising efforts were the largest over. Over $800 was raised for the Adirondack Scholarship Foundation and the money will go toward helping children enjoy a summer camp and outdoor educational experience at the very place where we enjoyed our Patch Sprint experience. The children who benefit from the ADK scholarship and camp experience gain memories that will last a lifetime.
And that's just what all the participants in the 2003 Patch Sprint have gained as well!