Athletes Test Endurance
BOLTON VALLY Over 140 mountain bikers and runners matched their uphill climbing skills in the 1st Annual Catamount Trail Hill Climb Challenge held at Bolton Valley Resort on Sept. 23. The race was designed to challenge even the most seasoned competitors in both endurance and technique on this 8km uphill trail course with a vertical climb of 1,880 feet.
Under perfect blue skies and temperatures in the mid 60s, mountain bikers gathered for the mass start followed by the runners 10 minutes later. The challenge for the two different disciplines was to see who would become King of the Mountain in this fun but strenuous event. All racers started on the pavement of the Bolton Valley access road before turning off onto the Catamount Trail. It didnt take long before racers started to bunch up into groups of similar fitness levels. After the first 5km of gradual climbing, the true test of strength was just about to begin as the course entered the alpine area and made a 3km ascent to the Wilderness chairlift summit with spectacular views of the Green Mountain range, the Adirondacks, and the Champlain Valley.
First to the top of the mountain in a time of 30 minutes 11 seconds was national class rider James Driscoll of Jericho, Vermont. Driscoll outdistanced his closest mountain bike competitor Charles McCarthy of Waitsfield, VT by 2 minutes and 20 seconds. Third was Brooke Scatchart of Waterbury, VT with a time of 34:40. Regional mountain bike star Lea Davison of Jericho, VT made the move to pass Kasie Enman of Huntington, VT over the last two kilometers to take the womens title in a time 44:12 followed by Enman in 45:06. Third place went to Sarah Shreb of Williston, VT in 47:12.
The surprise of the day was the speed of former U.S. Mountain Running Team member Eric Morse of Berlin, VT. Even though the runners started 10 minutes behind the mountain bikers, it didnt take long before Morse passed most of the mountain bikers and logged in the second fastest time of the day in 32:12. Second in the running category with a time of 33:16 was Garrott Kuzzy of Hayward, WI. Right on Kuzzys heals with a near photo finish was local running star Mark Churchill of Morrisville, VT in 33:17. Both Kuzzy and Churchill were step to step with Morse on the first five kilometers. As the grade became steeper on the alpine work road, Morse decided it was time to put the hurt on his competitors and make his break away to take the win.