|2009: The Year of the Kid
* Fiegl Wins Record Sixth Title *
* Several Repeat Division Champs *
* Close to $7,000 Goes to Scholarship*
|Year of the Kid
In 2004, 11-year old Ben Resnick’s successful trek of the 12.5 mile, four mountain Patch Sprint course was justifiably hailed as a great accomplishment. In 2009, his youthful record was bettered… by seven people!
Throw in a pair of 13-year olds, and the total of nine racers and trekkers, aged 13 and younger, effectively moved the Patch Sprint into a new era of youthful participation.
Standing out amongst the crowd of young sprinters were two girls Sierra Moscato (8), and Nora Canning (7), the latter now becoming the youngest official finisher.
Then there was Joseph Zimmerman (right). The nine-year old participated as a trekker, only because one must be eleven in order to be eligible to enter a racing division. But Jo Jo certainly looked like a racer, covering the course in a time of 3:24:30, good for 23rd place overall.
|Not to be left out of the Year of the Kid, the Kindersprint division had its closest ever finish. 13 runners raced out at the start, many of them leaving their chaperones behind within the first few yards. 1.2 miles later and one thousand feet higher, Jackson Konowitz, left, (Shelburne, VT) beat brothers Jon and Eric Schreiner to the finish by a mere two seconds. In a display of sportsmanship, the winner actually waited at a junction near the summit, to make sure that his pursuers took the right trail. All 13 kids made it to the finish.|
| UNDER THREE HOURS
1. J. Fiegl 8. D. Nordyke
2. J. Richardson 9. R. Proud
3. E. Reid 10. T. Moffett
4. J. Kobak 11. J. Ross
5. C. Starkey 12. J. Regentin
6. F. Reid 13. T. Lynch
7. J. Metakis 14. M. Hummell
|Year of the Record
Jason Fiegl (Reber, NY) was the heavy favorite to capture a record sixth “Janny” as overall champion, and the 35-year old lived up to the billing, setting a personal best mark of 2:13:19. Fiegl also set a mark for fastest time up Bare Mountain. “I had a good training season,” Fiegl said, “and I knew going in that I had an outside chance of setting the course record (2:09:34), but it was a long shot. The weather was great, but there was just a touch of humidity, and I also began to cramp up a bit at the end.”
Following Fiegl in the Men’s Open division were second year racer John Richardson, and rookie Euan Reid of Scotland. Cole Starkey, first on Rattlesnake after establishing a split record for Bare-Rattlesnake, found himself lost for the second time in three years, but recovered to take fourth in the division. Reid’s brother Fraser rounded out the top five.
|"You take the high road and I'll take the low road!"
Scottish siblings Fraser and Euan Reid
|Year of the Comeback
Following a two-year break, Deborah Nordyke (Hadley, NY) returned to the Patch Sprint to win the Women’s Open Division. Her time of 2:37:32 was good for eighth overall, and is the second best time ever posted by a woman. “I felt good, but I really didn’t train enough,” Nordyke uttered at the finish. “Next year, I’m going to train harder!”
Division regular Stephanie Lylis had her best placing ever, second, while Marcie Kobak emerged on top of a very close race for third place.
Also coming back to the top of the podium was veteran Ken Ryba (Queensbury, NY) in the Clydesdale division.
|Ryba posted the third fastest time, but used his 249-pound weight handicap to jump ahead of John Regentin (202 lbs.) and Matt Elliott (210). “I don’t know,” reflected Ryba, “It’s nice to win, but I really should lose a few more pounds and give myself a shot at getting under three hours.”|
|Rookie of the Year
Having trekked the course just once, and never having raced this or any other event, Pam Gonzalez (Melville, NY) impressed many with her effortless pace in capturing the Women’s Masters Division. Gonzalez surged past Augusta Wilson one-third of the way into the race and remained in front the rest of the way. Wilson was runner-up for the second time in three years. As for the champion, she attributed her sudden success to “the Patch Sprint training schedule that was posted online. I followed it to the letter!”
Five-time overall champion Jim Kobak (Peru) made the switch to Men’s Masters, capturing the division easily over Ron Proud, while finishing fourth overall. Proud, like Wilson, has twice finished second. Jerry Ross and Tom Lynch, who have combined for five of the past seven division titles, finished 3rd and 4th respectively.
|"SECRET OF MY SUCCESS"
Gonzalez used the Patch Sprint Training Schedule
|Year of the Beaver
While the division and overall champions captured the ribbons and trophies, the beavers had the last laugh. The signature swamp at the base of Mt. Pok-O-Moonshine, challenging in a good year, was rendered nearly impassable in 2009, as the animals had constructed an impressive dam. “I veered about 300 yards off of the normal route,” said one racer, “and still couldn’t find a dry spot to cross!” And one spectator, viewing Joe Zimmerman and Stephanie Konowitz wading on all fours through the muck, likened the scene to “The Killing Fields!”
|Year of the Cheaters?
The Trekker division had 42 hikers entered and, for the most part, they enjoyed their social journey, earning every breathtaking view along the way. Division co-founder Drew Canning was back following a five year layoff, quipping, “I felt like I was in good enough shape, but you still don’t serve cheeseburgers and mozzarella sticks at the aid stations!" Two entrants were disqualified from the division for riding bicycles. They tried to disguise themselves, but reliable sources say that one of them was the other division co-creator, Phil Corell. 2009 marks the third time that Corell has been DQ’d for enlisting assistance on the course.
|Year of the Giving
At latest count, nearly $6,900 was donated by Patch Sprint participants to the Adirondack Scholarship Foundation. “We still expect a bit more to come in,” said event manager Tim Singer, “so we could hit seven grand! We are so appreciative of everyone’s generosity. We had a record 166 people taking part this year, and virtually everyone donated something.”
On top of that, scores of people donated their time. “We had over 20 registered volunteers,” claims race director Greg Henderson, “and several dozen other racers, trekkers and friends who pitched in over the weekend.
“Without volunteers, we couldn’t run this race, and without successful fund raising, we wouldn’t run it!”
Since 2000, Patch Sprint participants have donated over $23,000 dollars.
|Not to worry, though. As it look towards 2010, the Patch Sprint is stronger than ever and, as 2009- The Year of the Kid- proved, it’s future is unlimited.|
|TWO THUMBS UP & A TIP OF THE CAP TO THE 2009 PATCH SPRINT|
|SEE RESULTS FROM THE 2009 PATCH SPRINT
Other Breaking News
|SEE YOU NEXT YEAR: May 29, 2010|