Patch Sprint veterans Tim Singer and Mike Taptick scored the first successful winter sprint completion of the 2015 season. They covered the course in a time of four hours, 19 minutes.
"Conditions were excellent," said Singer, who has recorded four winter sprints. This was Taptick's first WS. "Actually," he said, "I've never even hiked a mountain in winter!"
Aside from some shallow unbroken snow "up, down and behind Sugarloaf," along with the usual ice on Pok-O-Moonshine, "we were fairly unimpeded. Also, we thought the swamp (near Route 9) would be frozen. We learned - the hard way - that it was not!"
This is the earliest recorded successful winter attempt (January 12). Prospective winter sprinters have until March 21 to better the duo's time.
At the 2014 Patch Sprint's 8:00am start time, 33 racers and trekkers toed the starting line. When the starter yelled "Uh, Go!", 32 of them sped off in various stages of a running pace, while just one walked away.
"I was a bit surprised to see everyone run off, exclaimed New York State Assemblyman, and Patch Sprint rookie Dan Stec, who none the less finished the course and "had a great time out there!"
All the same, with so many eight o'clock runners, coupled with the fact that over 15 true trekkers began their day earlier than 8am (some as early as six), the event directors have instituted a new, trekker only start time. "This has been a growing trend, so we believe that folks who would like to really trek should have their own start time, which we have set at seven o'clock," exclaimed event co-director Tim Singer.