Sean Davis is now officially a dual Patch Sprint Champion. The 2017, defending race champ has also put in the fastest time for the 2018 Winter Patch Sprint.
"It's an honor to be the Winter Champion, got one of each now. I had a blast out there!," said Davis of taking the informal winter title, thanks to an incredible effort in snowy conditions, completing the course in a time of 3:19:46 (details here). "I went very light on the gear – did the whole thing in just my trail running shoes, no snowshoes or microspikes. It wasn’t too much of an issue, definitely had to fight my way through some deep snow at times but I didn’t have any issues with traction until I hit Pok-O, where the slick trail made for a very slow ascent.
"By the time I hit the summit I was really feeling the cold, I had planned on taking a selfie at the top but my hands were so cold I couldn’t work the phone! The wind was wicked at the summit, once I reached the tower I immediately turned around and booked it back down. Totally worth it though!"
Davis winter title wasn't without a challenge, as his Ragnar Relay teammates Jason Fiegl and Cole Starkey - both former Patch champions (left) - made a course attempt on the final day of winter, with Fiegl finishing in a time of 3:29:03. Using a reverse course routing, they started on Pok-O and finished on Rattlesnake. "On the way up the rocks the 3:19 goal passed by on my watch but that didn't bother me," said Fiegl, who continues to hold a share of the winter record. "I was really proud of the run and soon met Cole near the summit and post holed with him to the boulder at summit. Great day being out with Cole and playing in the woods. Not everyone is willing to do a winter sprint. It takes a determined slightly off-kilter bunch."
Earlier in the winter, Brian DeGroat and Tim Singer also successfully covered the course, while several other past winter finishers - Stephanie Lylis, Jacob Gittler, Matt Moscato, and Katie Moffett - either did portions of the route, or lended support to the others.
1- Race number to be worn by Sean Davis, defending champion
2- Hours. Time barrier that has yet to be broken!
3- Countries represented (USA, Canada, Great Britain)
4- Miles. Length of the new Half-Sprint course
5- Dogs that have completed the Patch Sprint
5- Separate divisions in which Amy Kobak has participated
6- Seconds. Record closest margin of victory (2006)
6- Miles. Longest leg in the Patch Sprint relay
6- Winter Forty-Sixers registered for this year’s Patch Sprint
7- Youngest person to complete the entire course (Nora Canning)
7- Number of people named Davis who took part in 2017 race
11- Oldest age for the Kindersprint division
On Sunday, March 11, two Patch Sprint veterans completed the first recorded Winter Sprint of the 2017-2018 season.
Brian DeGroat and Tim Singer covered the course in seven hours, 38 minutes on a dry day with temperatures in the 30's. "It was a beautiful day but the conditions were slow going," said DeGroat, who needed to use snowshoes and micro-spikes at various points along the course. The pair were joined along the way by past successful winter sprinters Katie Moffett, who climbed three of the four peaks, and Stephanie Lylis, who topped out on two.
In it's 22nd year as a race, and 19th time as a fundraising event, the Patch Sprint has officially passed the $100,000 mark in total donations to the Adirondack Scholarship Foundation.
"When we went public, in 2000," said event co-founder Greg Henderson, "we wanted to add a charitable aspect to both help out, and give our little event a bit of legitimacy. We could have never imagined we would reach these heights!"
"This is such a tribute to the generous people who come to the Patch Sprint every year," added Tim Singer, event co-founder and ADK foundation director. "So many people have benefited from this; although it's impossible to calculate exactly, I can estimate that - over the years - more than 33 children have received scholarships, solely thanks to donations to the Patch Sprint!"
While donations are not mandated, and not part of the event fee, according to Singer, "at least 85% of our participants make a contribution of some sort."
In addition to the Adirondack Scholarship Foundation, Patch Sprint participants have made donations in the past to "The Friends of Pok-O-Moonshine", The 1812 Homestead Foundation, and Pok-O-MacCready Outdoor Education Center.
Starting today, March 1, registration for the 2018 Patch Sprint has opened to everyone. In addition, the fee for racers and trekkers has risen by $15.
Prior to March 1, registration at a lower price was open to Pok-O-MacCready family.
"Past participants had ample time to get in at the lower price," said registration coordinator Spencer Aronstein. "There's still room available for racers and trekkers- about 25 sports remain. Furthermore, there are plenty of spots remaining for Kindersprinters, Half Sprint, Relay and volunteers.
The event is scheduled for May 25-27. (REGISTER HERE)