Course Record Falls for Second Straight Year
With the perfect tour guide for the first 12 miles, and a surge of high caliber energy and speed over the last mile, 21-year old Aaron Newell (Queensbury, NY) captured the 2014 Patch Sprint in record time, Saturday afternoon in upstate New York..
Patty Hurlburt, Ben Stanley and Wyatt Trzaskos also took division titles on a welcome sunny day that featured fast racing, fun times, and fairy princesses.
In the Footsteps of a Champion
Having never raced the event, or even been on the course, Aaron Newell’s winning strategy was basic: “Stay with Jan if I can, and see what happens at the end.” Sure enough, Newell, and defending race champ and record holder Jan Wellford, cranked up Bare Mountain together, in a new split record time of nine minutes, 23 seconds.
The pair remained virtually together right up through Sugarloaf when, according to Wellford, “he found the right moment to blast ahead of me, and there was no catching him.” In fact, Newell also set a new mark for the Sugarloaf to Pok-O split.
Wellford’s only remaining hope was a shortcut near the end of the course. “I took the chimney but, to tell the truth, if I had seen Aaron just behind me, I would have waited and finished together. He had run that good a race!”`
21-year old race rookie Aaron Newell set a course record Saturday in winning the 2014 Patch Sprint in a time of 2:01:09. Newell finished over one minute ahead of defending champion Jan Wellford, who had established as course record in 2013.
While being threatened over the past few years, the sacred two hour barrier remains safe, for another year at least.
Patty Hurlburt, a former top-3 race finisher, captured first in the women's racing division. In the expected epic dual, Wyatt edged our Katrin in the Kindersprint race up Pok-O-Moonshine Mountain. Both beat the previous course record. Race veteran Ben Stanley captured the Clydesdale division.
In what was easily the most impressive field of racers yet, a total of 30 runners bettered the three hour mark.
"18 years after the three-hour mark was broken, the two hour barrier will be bettered!" For the 19th consecutive year, USA Today oddsmaker Danny Sheridan* makes his picks for the Patch Sprint. In 2013, Sheridan had his roughest year ever, picking the winner in only one of the four racing divisions, albeit in very unpredictable weather conditions. "With the field getting stronger every year, this has become a much more difficult race to call!"
For 2014, Sheridan says, "There will be a repeat overall champion, the record should fall and, weather permitting, the sacred two-hour mark will be go down. The women's racing division could be a classic, with runners ranging in age from teenagers, to 50-somethings, all in contention for the title. An unbelievable 24 racers will better three hours!"
SEE THE 2014 RACER & TREKKER TIMES AND COMMENTS HERE
* printed with the blessing of the real Danny Sheridan!
The sixth and final BEAST '14 training race - The Shrek Pok-O Time Trial and Graduation Party - was held Tuesday afternoon. Series host KONG called it "The best year yet for Patch Sprint training! We had huge numbers and awesome food!" While there were no official winners of this year's series, KONG gave a special nod to Katie Moffett and Jim Kobak, for perfect attendance. (See more BEAST pictures HERE)
For the first time in Patch Sprint history, the ten thousand dollar mark has been reached prior to race weekend!
With a raffle, as well as on-site donations, the Adirondack Scholarship Foundation is hoping to better the record amount of $11,824, set in 2013.
"We are so pleased with everyone's generosity," gushed Tim Singer, who serves as both event chairman, and director of the ADK Foundation. "People really understand that the Patch Sprint is a fund raising reunion first, and a race second!"
A grand total of $71,479 has been raised since the Patch Sprint went public in 2000; all of the money is used to help financially needy families send their child to summer camp. "It's an experience well worth every cent," said Singer.
Kids are, and have long been, an integral part of the Patch Sprint, and we are trying our best to insure the continued safety to them, and success for the event.
However, for the purpose of emphasizing our concerns, safeguarding your child, and clarifying that a minor’s participation is the full responsibility of the parent or guardian, we implore parents and guardians of racers and trekkers under the age of 18 to adhere to the following policies:
PLEASE READ MORE to see the Patch Sprint Policy for racing and trekking minors:
BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND: Originally posted in 2005, this New York Times feature on watching the world's greatest race and trek has been updated for the 2014 Patch Sprint.
With the rapid rise of the Patch Sprint - the annual adventure race held each Memorial Day weekend in Willsboro, NY - has come the influx of hordes of spectators jockeying to find the best spot in which to view the epic event.
The 2014 edition of the Patch Sprint is scheduled to take place Saturday, May 24, and fans are expected to travel from as far away as England and Texas to witness the well-trained athletes racing, trekking and kinder-sprinting their way along the course.
To assist the gallery in selecting the optimum place in which to watch the race unfold, we turn to long-time Patch Sprint spectator and Willsboro native Delbert Sayward Cross:
“Oh Jee Chri let me tell you bub, that there race is one sumbitch to watch,” says Cross. “You’d think dem der racers are runnin away from a bear or deer an shit. I say to grab a cooler of ice cold Genny and a couple a beef jerkeys and enjoy ta show!”
With suggestions from Cross, the Patch Sprint committee has issued the following guide to spectators (Note- Many spectators choose to watch parts of the race from several different location. Plan accordingly.). Click on the READ MORE link to view the guide:
While the field for the 2014 Patch Sprint filled up in March, several event defections - due to injury or schedule conflicts - have opened up a few additional spots.
If interested, please REGISTER immediately. Consideration will be given to both punctuality and donor generosity!. Those who miss out on this opportunity will be directed to the waiting list.
VOLUNTEERS STILL NEEDED
21 Volunteers have registered, but The Patch Sprint is still looking for help; especially in the following capacities:
You may register as a volunteer HERE. There is no charge (other than your optional generous donation!) and volunteers receive free meals and housing. However, as only the first 25 to sign up will get a free t-shirt, please act quickly!
To the parents or guardians of all under-18 racers & trekkers who plan to cover the entire Patch Sprint course on May 24:
All minors must have a chaperone! For those starting at 10:00am, the chaperone must be accompanying at all times.
8:00 and 9:00 starters must have a chaperone in the vicinity, who can assume responsibility. (*this applies to Racers only. We will assume that Trekkers will remain with an adult.)
Please CLICK HERE to read more details, and please contact us stating you understand the Patch Sprint policy, and stating whom your child's on-course guardian will be.
Many thanks- see you in a couple of weeks!
Greg Henderson & Tim Singer: Race Directors