"Big 3" have won every "Janny" since 1999
For years, the battle for the “Janny”- The Patch Sprint Overall Champion- was a see-saw contest between Jason Fiegl and Jim Kobak. Fiegl holds the event record with six trophies; Kobak has captured five.
Eventually into the mix came the likes of Deborah Nordyke, and Cole Starkey, who broke, and continue to hold the course records. Nordyke, a former Olympic athlete, has won four titles, while Starkey has captured the past three “Janny’s”. Both have risen to, and stayed at, the top despite a field of racers that has become increasingly stacked with regionally and nationally class racers.
2013 promises the best pack of runners yet and, with that, probably the most exciting race to the finish.
ADK-46 in 3 1/2 days
Most of the spring season buzz has centered on local athlete Jan Wellford. The 31-year old from Keene, NY is arguably the best trail racer in the northeast. Among his credits are the speed records for climbing the Adirondack Forty-Sixers (both supported and non-assisted); A sub-five hour traverse of New Hampshire’s Presidential Range; and victory at the 2012 VIC Trail Marathon.
In that same event, Christopher Fey, of Keene Valley, finished in third place. Fey is also taking a crack at the Patch Sprint for the first time this year, along with some other standout trail runners- Ryan Forkey, Travis Gervais and Matt McKenna- all racing the Sprint for the first time.
However, with nine of the top-10 finishers from 2012 returning, the rookies are by no means a shoe-in for the title. Mark Corell, Kurt Schuler and Jon Strazza all looked solid in racing into the top five last year while, most impressively, teenager Austin Huneck was fourth, in his first ever go at the course.
In the end, this could come down to experience. “The course can throw some tricky things at you,” cautions Fiegl, while Kobak suggests that “These guys should come do a few of the spring training races if they really want to do as well as possible (at the Patch Sprint)!”
What will win out: Racing speed or course experience? Starkey, who possesses a ton of both, has no answer but says “Well I cannot wait; it will be cool to have a pack in the front this year. I think it’s going to be real fun to see what we can all push each other into out there.”
Coming Soon: A preview of the women’s field
See a list of All Racers and Trekkers HERE