Kobak Back On Top
|MULHERIN, ROSS, MERCADO, LEONE, LOUNSBURY CAPTURE DIVISIONS.....
MORE PARTICIPANTS; HIGHER DONATIONS THAN EVER BEFORE
|LEFT: Over 130 racers, trekkers, volunteers and friends took part. Right (from Top): Kobak, Stanley, J. Metakis|
|Willsboro, NY-- The weather was perfect. The racing, as quality as ever. And when all was finished, the top three were the Big Three: Jim Kobak, Ben Stanley and Jason Metakis. Between them, there are 14 top-three finishes in the past six years, and five titles, all by Kobak, who becomes the first racer to claim five "Janny's", the award presnted to the overall winner.
The battle for the "Janny", although not as tight as the six second difference in 2006, was possibly as exciting. Kobak overtook Stanley one-third of the way up the final mountain, Pok-O-Moonshine. This was the same spot Kobak made his move en route to his first victory in 2000. When they met on the trail, all Stanley could mutter was, "You were just f%#&ing with me!"
By contrast, the 38-year old five-time champion said, "It just keeps getting harder every year."
| OPEN MEN’S DIVISION
The top three all put in sub- two and one half hour times and are responsible for ten of the top 13 times posted in the history of the event.
The surprise of the division, and one of the surprises of the entire day, was the performance of race rookie Dan Herbert. The winter Patch veteran claimed prior to the event, "I said I'd never run this. I don't even like to run." Yet, the 33 year-old newleywed from Arlington, MA, finished in a time of 2:40:44, good for fourth overall.
Four-time and defending champion Jason Fiegl rounded out the top five..
|BACK and FORTH: Fiegl (left) and Kobak have owned the Janny since 2000.|
| OPEN WOMEN’S DIVISION
Massachusetts native and Willsboro resident Sheila Mulherin took the division in the second fastest time in history (2:53:04). While the men's title has become a two-man ownership, Mulherin becomes the 8th different female title-holder since 2000.
Race rookie Maria Boncaldo finished second, while returning runners Cynthia Mercado, Stephanie Lylis and Jessica Anderson followed.
| TOP OVERALL FINISHERS
J. Kobak 2:21:17 S. Mulherin 2:53:04
B. Stanley 2:25:22 E. Leone 3:05:13
J. Metakis 2:28:22 M. Boncaldo 3:09:15
D. Herbert 2:40:44 C. Mercado 3:31:35
J.Fiegl 2:43:12 A. Wilson 3:47:42
|A record 73 Runners and Trekkers finished|
| THE MASTERS
"Who is Jerry Ross?" That was the question heading into the race regarding an entrant seemingly unkown to race veterans. Now we know. The 56-year old high school guidance counselor, looking as fit as a 30-year old, became the oldest division champion- by ten years- in the history of the event.
Ross's time of 2:55:19 edged out Canadian Ron Proud by less than two minutes. George Disney captured his third podium in four years, while Tim Singer was less than a minute behind.
For the second year in a row, Virginian Eileen Leone took the women's masters title, virtually unchallenged, while improving her time by 20 minutes from the previous year. "I was really surprised to do that much better; I honestly didn't know what to expect."
Vermonter Augusta Wilson, racing the event competitively for the first time, was runner-up.
|Fit, fast and 56|
| THE GRAND MASTER
While technically not a division, special "Grand Master" honors go to Isaias "Ike" Mercado (right). The previous record for oldest finisher was 65. Mercado bettered that... by ten years!
Looking as if this was nothing more than a stroll, Mercado arrived on the summit of Mt. Pok-O-Moonshine with a wide grin. He was met with a huge ovation, which was repeated with a loud "standing O" during the evening banquet.
On the subject of inspiring performances, Jen Mattimore (left), a trekker in 2006, climbed only Pok-O this year. Quite understandable considering she was 81/2 mounths pregnant!
For the first time since this division was instituted in 2004, the winner did not need the weight handicap. At 223 pounds, Rob Mercado netted a time of 3:08:07, yet his gross time of 3:31:07 would have won out over all other division competitors.
Mercado moved up one spot over 2006 for the victory, while Ken Herz (201 lbs.) and Josh Bornt (252) took second and third, each taking their second top-3 in the division.
| THE KINDER SPRINT
2007 yielded the largest field ever, along with the closest finish. With a very late surge, Andrew Lounsbury held off race rookie John Lynch by nine seconds. Lounsbury successfully defends his title from last year, setting a course record. Liam Leone, Joseph Zimmerman, Kylie Edwards (The fastest girl), Colden Mitchell and Chad Canning all had impressive times, under 45 minutes.
All told, 13 kids finished the course and each received a framed photograph at the evening awards ceremony (left).
|2006 Patch Sprint Total Participants: 138|
Only two hours and 43 minutes seperated the fastest trekker (Erik Anderson) from the final finisher and that fact mattered little to any of the record 38 hikers, walkers, joggers and runners who made up the division.
Racing solo, cruising in pairs or strolling in large groups, the trekkers are in it for the views, the excercise and the camaraderie. The course is the same, along with the route-finding challenges.
As one trekker pointed out: "We get a unique perspective of the race. We get to see the runners going by and we can report to the followers just how far back they are. They all look like they're hurting. We're having fun!"
The 2007 field included Emily Lounsbury who, celebrating her 13th birthday, becomes the second youngest ever Patch Sprinter.
|Phil Corell (middle left) created the trekker division in 2002. Eric Bauer (middle right) is a winter 46er.|
| AS ALWAYS, MANY THANKS....
To Greg and Tim for organizing what one participant called "the classiest race there is".... To Sandy for her weekend coordination of logistics and volunteers.... To Scott, Sheila, Shai, Matt, Alina, Erin and Alberto for the summit timing.... Tricia and Marianne for the photography, portraits and impressive slide show.... Cary, and the Essex County ARC for the aid stations; Aja, Sharp and Mike for the cooking; Phil for the overall assistance... "Blue Boar Hellhockey" for lugging up the summit beverages... The Hendersons for the party.... To Bell for traveling 3500 miles to race, breaking his foot, and still helping out.... and to Pok-O-MacCready for hosting.
| "WE'VE SENT A CHILD TO SUMMER CAMP!"
It was stated at the pre-race dinner that the Patch Sprint is, in order of importance, a fund-raiser, a reunion of friends and family, and a race and trek. Those qualities were all realized in 2007.
Especially the fund raising part.
Numbers are still being tabulated and will be announced in the coming weeks, but by all acounts, records have been smashed. Participants donated close to $2,000. Pok-O-MacCready Camps is looking into the possibility of matching that donation. An anonymous donor awarded two dollars per mile for each racer and trekker, for an additional $1,764.
The Adirondack Scholarship Foundation was created to raise funds in order to help families send their children to summer camp. However you add it up, the 2007 Patch Sprint will have raised at least $3,800, roughly the same amount it takes for a child to attend a session of camp!
It's all because of our wonderful and generous participants. We know how to challenge ourselves.... We know how to have fun... and we know how to provide joy to others.
See you all on May 25, 2008!
|WHAT DO YOU THINK of the Patch Sprint? We are always in search of ways to improve the event and thus, we will be sending out a survey in the near future Your input will be appreciated.|