|PATCH SPRINT THREE-PEAT
KOBAK WINS FOURTH OVERALL TITLE
TWO COURSE RECORDS SET
DISNEYS, SINGER, MAHER CAPTURE DIVISIONS
RECORD TURNOUT OF RACERS, TREKKERS, VOLUNTEERS
|Left- Jim Kobak holds up "Janny"; Right- Division Champions; Above- 9:00am race start|
| Willsboro, NY-- Just when you thought he couldn’t go any faster, he did!
Jim Kobak of Peru won his third consecutive Patch Sprint, bettering his own world record by three minutes and coasting to the overall title at the annual 12.5 mile adventure race held May 29 on the mountains and roads surrounding Long Pond.
Kobak, and the winners of the other three competitive divisions won their races rather easily, but with a record number of entrants, a 91% return rate from the year before, perfect weather, a diversity in the field, and no shortage of guts and perseverance on the part of the participants, the Patch Sprint served up many dramatic stories….
| MEN’S OPEN DIVISION
Kobak was heavily favored to repeat, but a course record in a time of two hours, nine minutes, 34 seconds was a surprise to even the champion himself. “Based on both my expectations and my spring training, I didn’t expect to better last year’s time (2:12:25).” Since debuting at the Sprint in 2000, Kobak has won four out of five times, the lone exception being 2001, when late cramps dropped him back to fourth place.
Finishing in second was Ben Stanley, whose time of 2:26:04 was good enough for a personal record, not to mention the fifth-fastest time in the history of the race. “It was tough being out there all alone, with Kobak way ahead and the others behind, but I trained well and felt good,” said Stanley, who now has two runner-up finishes to go along with a third place, over the past three years.
|Jim Kobak has set course records in each of his four wins.|
| Also showing consistency was race veteran Jason Metakis. The 2001 runner-up finished fourth last year, but moved up one spot this time around with a personal best time of 2:34:09. Jonathan Mullholland took fourth place. Mullholland, whose wife was due with their first child at any moment, arrived just minutes before the elite start, cruised through the course, and made a mad dash back down Pok-O-Moonshine. Ethan Gregory Mullholland, 8 lbs., 14 oz., was born May 31..
Rounding out the men’s open top five was two-time Patch Sprint champion Greg Henderson, 5th, who recorded his best finish since 2000. Marc Metakis was 6th, while 1997 co-champion Mark Corell, survived a deep gash on his hand, sustained on the back-side of Sugarloaf, and went on to finish 7th. He received five stitches for his wound.
| TOP TEN OVERALL
Jim Kobak 2:09:34 Greg Henderson 2:44:39
Ben Stanley 2:26:04 Marc Metakis 2:45:39
Jason Metakis 2:34:09 Tim Singer 2:45:39
Jon Mulholland 2:36:31 Mark Corell 2:48:55
Phil Maher 2:42:45 Chris Durlacher 2:49:05
| WOMEN’S OPEN DIVISION
In 2003, at the ripe age of 15, twins Alexandra and Elizabeth Disney impressed many with their spirited second-place performance in their debut at the Patch Sprint. This year, they did one better. Naturally covering the entire course together, the Disney’s set a women’s course mark in a time of 3:09:53. They kept it in the family throughout, running the first half of the race with their father George, while joining up with their uncle Tom Lynch for the final two mountains.
In the day’s best dual, first time Patch Sprinter Kelly Sanders edged out 2003 Champion Sami Daley for the bronze medal. Another first-timer, Stephanie Lylis, completed the top five.
| THE MASTERS
Vermonter Tim Singer (right) took the division in a time of 2:45:39, good for 7th overall. Singer finally captured a title after finishing 5th and 4th (Open), and 3rd and 2nd (Masters) over the past five years. He has now completed the race a record nine times.
Both improving his time and moving up one spot from the year before, George Disney took second, at 2:57:20. Jim Sullivan was third while Chris Bell and “Doc” Browning, traveling to the race from Texas and England respectively, rounded out the top five.
The new division designed for racers over 200 pounds yielded the day’s most improved performance. Phil Maher (204 lbs.), who failed to finish the 2003 event, cruised to victory with a time of 2:42:45, fifth overall. Maher, who this spring “got serious” with his training, improved his previous best time by over 42 minutes.
44-year old Ken Herz (204 lbs.) benefited by making the jump from Master’s to Clydesdale with a silver medal, while Josh Bornt (237 lbs.), recovering from a recent bout with pneumonia, gritted his way to third place.
|Maher leading the pack|
| THE TREKKING MASSES
It’s long been acknowledged that not everyone wants to run. 2004 proved that most would rather walk the entire course. The trekking division, where finish times and placements take a back seat to camaraderie, had 22 entrants this year. Notable among them were Bob Heins, 64, and Ben Resnick, 11, who set marks as the oldest, and youngest to ever complete the race. Ed Bunk impressed many with his race walking style, and a time of 3:15:40, faster than nine others who ran part, or all of the course.
And the picture of the day was provided by 3-year old Sierra Moscato (right), who covered the entire course on the shoulders of father Matt.
| A FAMILY AFFAIR
Another new division, the “Pok-O Sprint” was designed to generate more interest from families, kids and those not interested or confident in covering the entire course.
The plan worked out perfectly. Four-year olds Chad Canning, Colden Mitchell and Joseph Zimmerman, along with Jenna Zimmerman, 7, were joined by moms and chaperones Carrie Howard-Canning, Amy Kobak, Kelli King and Catherine Mitchell to make up the maiden class of Pok-O Sprinters.
|LEFT: Jenna and Joseph Zimmerman with Aunt Amy|
| WITH MANY THANKS
The record turnout was not just limited to the athletes. The list of volunteers was substantial as well. Race Director Sandy Solomon would like to thank everyone who lent a hand, in particular: Tricia, Marianne, Shai and Pete for the pictures and show; Katie for the timing (right); Marylin and Mike G. for the cooking; Sarah for the aid stations; Jody for the starts; Cecilia and Isa for the ‘Snake; Mikey D. for the Expo; Erin and Megan for the signs; Geoff for the massages; The Daleys for the party; Matty and Jen for the assistance; Blue Boar Hell Hockey for the brew; and mostly, Pok-O-MacCready camps for the hosting.
| LOOKING AHEAD
The performance by racers, trekkers and volunteers may have been exceeded only by the generosity of all the participants. The numbers are still being tabulated, but by all indications, the donations to the Adirondack Scholarship Foundation will reach into the “high hundreds”. A final tally will be posted in the near future. A special recognition goes out to Ryan Strowger, whose ten hour drive, and 120 dollar check were extraordinary.
The 2005 Patch Sprint is slated for Saturday, May 28. 2004 will be a tough act to follow. Maybe all the event still needs is some competition for Kobak. Two-time champion and 2003 runner-up Jason Fiegl, a trekker this year, says he looks forward to a return to racing, and that he’ll “be rarin’ to go in ’05!”
|SEE FULL RESULTS FOR THE
2004 PATCH SPRINT