2008 Patch Sprint Final Report

Mulherin, Ross, Stanley Win Divisions for Second Time
Trzaskos and Zimmerman First Time Champions
$6000 Raised by Record Field of Participants
Willsboro, NY, May 24--   With a convincing victory in the 2008 Patch Sprint, Jason Fiegl has joined Jim Kobak as a five-time champion of the annual endurance race staged over 12 miles and four mountains.  The win comes eleven years after Fiegl captured his first overall title, and in all but one of his wins, Fiegl was not the pre-race favorite.
     In order to join Kobak amongst the racing elite, Fiegl needed to hold off Kobak throughout the event.  In the end, his winning time of two hours, 13 minutes and 41 seconds was third fastest ever, and just two minutes up on the defending champion.  “The difference was definitely the downhill,” said Kobak.  “I could keep up with him on the uphill and flats, but no one can run downhill like Jay!”
     Hoisting the “Janny” for a fifth time came as somewhat of a surprise to Fiegl.  “The experts had me at about 2:20 (hours, minutes) and third place, and I saw it just about the same.  But I had trained well, and I did like being in the position of maybe surprising some people.”
     The overall title was just one story in a weekend of competition, fun and fund raising for over 160 participants.
                             MEN’S OPEN
     One of the surprises of the day was the performance of 15 year old Alec Bohn (left), who finished third in the division behind Fiegl and Kobak.  Not only is Bohn one of the youngest to ever solo to course, his time of 2:20:54 is seventh fastest all-time.  1997 Patch Sprint co-champion Mark Corell ended up fourth and Cole Starkey was fifth.  With cool temperatures and a dry course, 2008 marked the first time that five racers came in under two and a half hours.

MEN                       WOMEN
Fiegl- 2:13:41          Mulherin- 3:03:59
Kobak- 2:16:03        Mercado- 3:07:11
Bohn- 2:20:54          Trzaskos- 3:17:53
Corell- 2:26:15         Konowitz- 3:29:36
Starkey- 2:28:15     
Falkenbach- 3:39:18
Stanley- 2:32:31       Mattimore- 3:41:33
Kelley- 2:33:40         Lylis- 3:48:30
Herbert- 2:40:09       Amderson- 3:48:30
                                                                    WOMEN’S OPEN
     When Cynthia Mercado, racing in the 9:00 start, reached the top of Pok-O-Moonshine, she was happy just to have improved on her time from 2007.  Yet as the minutes rolled along, it became clear that Mercado might actually win the division.  Defending champion Sheila Mulherin of Massachusetts started at 10:00 and when she topped out on Pok-O, she had won the division and also the overall women’s title for the second straight year.  However, her gap over Mercado was only three minutes.  Mulherin’s time of three hours, three minutes and 59 seconds was the slowest winning time in five years.  “I’m not worried about the time,” quipped Mulherin.  “I’m just glad to win the MacCready Fitness Trophy, with those cheerleaders on top!”
    Mercado was second, one place better than a year ago.  Former trekker and first-time racer Stephanie Konowitz came in third, followed by Diana Falkenbach and Jen Mattimore.
                                                      THE MASTERS
     At 57,
Jerry Ross (left) was the second oldest person in the entire field:  racers and trekkers.  Yet, that did not prevent the well conditioned master from taking the division for the second straight year, in a time of 2:47:36.  Three-time division champion Tom Lynch was three minutes back, while two-time champ Tim Singer came in third.  Erik Anderson and Ken Herz rounded out the top five.
     In the women’s bracket, event rookie and local racer
Susan Trzaskos (right) of Willsboro scored an easy win with a time of 3:17:53, third fastest amongst all women. Another race rookie, Marianne Perreault, took the silver medal
     The shouting, the insults and the lawsuits were all settled on the course in this hotly contested division.  In the end, three former division champs took the top three places. 
Ben Stanley’s finish time of 2:32:37, and his “net” time of 2:01:37 (finish time – 31 pounds) were both division records.  2006 champion Ken Ryba (right) had dropped close to 50 pounds since his title, but what he lost in weight handicap, he made up for in speed, to finish second.
     Defending champion
Roberto Mercado (right) and Matt Elliott both came in faster than Ryba, but didn’t have enough weight-handicap time in the bank to overtake him.  Clydesdale veteran Josh Bornt, running a personal best time, finished fifth.
                                                     KINDER SPRINT
     Running the event for the first time, 10-year old
Alec Gonzalez’s time of 28:05 bettered the previous course mark by over two minutes.  Unfortunately for Gonzalez, division mainstay Joseph Zimmerman, 8, was even faster as he smashed the record and won his first title in a time of 25:30.  “I was a little worried for a moment after I left my chaperone behind,” said Zimmerman, “but I felt like I could handle it.”
     In finishing third,
Nora Canning became not only the youngest (6), but just the third girl to take a Top-3 placing in the history of the division. Colden Mitchell and Chad Canning tied for fourth place.
                                      THE TREKKERS
     They are the biggest faction on the Patch Sprint course.  Some do it for speed, other for enjoyment…. beauty… companionship…. all of the above. 
     A record 40 trekkers began the race at 8:00am; 33 of them finished. 
Brandi Bornt and Chris Bell (right) were the fastest, both finishing in a time of 4:16:30.  “I’ve been in the racing divisions in the past,” said Bell, who traveled to the event from England, “but I think that being a trekker is even more fun.  You can take it easy, no pressure, and stop and hang out with other people along the way.”
                           TALES FROM THE TRAIL

THE BAREFOOT BANDITS:  It may have been the slowest finish time in the history of the race (nearly eight hours), but it was a Patch Sprint first:  Daniel DeSloover, Jonathan Alvarez, Nancy Mercado and Sarah Shaddy-Farnsworth covered the entire route barefoot…. 

YOUTH IS SERVED:  Aside from the impressive performance of 15 year old Alec Bohn, third overall, there were other stories surrounding young participants.  Andrew Gonzalez (lower left), 12, became the second youngest to complete the entire Patch Sprint course, and he did most of it on his own.  “He’s a bright kid,” said mother Pam, whom Andrew left behind.  “He knows where he’s going, he’s climbed these mountains before and there were lots of friends around.”  Meantime, seven year old Sierra Moscato warmed up for the Kinder Sprint by climbing both Bare and Rattlesnake.  “That’s three of the four mountains and next year she wants to do the whole thing,” boasted father, Matt.

CONGRATULATIONS to long-time participants Chris Durlacher and Nora Elton.  Durlacher chose Patch Sprint day as the perfect time (and camp as the perfect place) to ask Elton to marry him.  She said “I will!”
                                        AS ALWAYS, MAY THANKS
To our race starter and time Matt… Sheila, Holly, Shai and Augusta for the timing…. Marylyn, Bill, Sarah, Scotty and others for the aid stations… Lou for the shuttle… Julia, Joe, Kelly Jo, Tricia, Marianne, etc. for the photos and slide show…. Mike, Aja, Sharp and all of their helpers for the meals… Doc for the cookies… Leah, Becca, Anna, and the Sherpas….Katie and Andy for the general assistance… All of the racers, trekkers and volunteers not mentioned who pitched in at some point during the weekend… Greg and Skip for putting on another stellar event…. And Pok-O-MacCready for hosting!
That’s what the Patch Sprint bills itself as and that’s exactly what it was in 2008.  A record 160 participants showed up for what has become Pok-O-MacCready’s largest fund raiser and get together.  “I can’t believe how big this has gotten,” gushed a clearly satisfied Sharp Swan, camp Director.  Camp alumnus John Richardson, returning for the first time in 14 years, wrote:  “My thanks to everyone who made the Patch Sprint a most excellent experience. Amazing people, amazing scenery, and an awesome course.  Looking forward to next year”
     Richardson was one of 87 individuals, trusts and families who donated to the Patch Sprint’s sole beneficiary—The Adirondack Scholarship Foundation.  The final total of $6,171 “so far exceeds our goals and expectations that I can’t even begin to thank everyone for their generosity,” stated event co-chair Tim Singer.

     As always, some changes will be in store for the 2009 event.  “We welcome your comments and ideas,” said co-chair Greg Henderson.  “Our mission is simple and straight forward.  Each year we want to make the Patch Sprint more fun, and more successful than it was the year before!”