2010 Patch Sprint Final Report


180 attend Patch Sprint... Course record is shattered



Willsboro, NY, May 31-- With conditions that were perfect for runners and spectators alike, the Patch Sprint, held Saturday for the 16thColeGrimace time, featured a record turnout, and a new record for the 12.5 mile, four mountain course.

     Cole Starkey (Wyncote, PA) was destined to win the 2010 race.  The former college racer had taken leads in each of the past two Patch Sprints, only to get lost and squander his advantage.  This year, Starkey (right) had the benefit of greater course familiarity, having spent most of the past year in the Willsboro area.  In addition, he was incredibly fit, coming off the heels of a 2500-mile solo bicycle ride for charity.  Add to that a course that has never been in better shape and the result was a Patch Sprint finish time of two hours, two minutes and 33 seconds.  While not the sub-two hour mark that some had projected, and Starkey himself had set as a goal, the finishing time broke the previous record by over seven minutes.
     “I’m pleased with how things went,” voiced the always understated Starkey on Sunday, reportedly prior to heading out for another attempt of the course.

     The course record was just one memorable moment in a day that featured a record field of racers, trekkers, volunteers and spectators...


Women’s Open:  Three for Three

     Deborah Nordyke (Hadley, NY) sat on top of Pok-O-Moonshine following her win in 2009 and proclaimed “I know I can do better than that!”
     Indeed, in 2010 the two-time winter Olympian (left) bettered her time by seven minutes and ran away with the division in a time of of 2:30:19.  The time fell well short of her own women’s course record, but was still good enough for Nordyke, the oldest racer in the division by nine years, to take the title by over 30 minutes.  Impressive, especially when you consider that Nordyke left her shoes at the base of Pok-O and climbed the final peak in socks!

     Second time racer Marcie Kobak nearly broke the three hour mark in finishing second; race rookies Lora Golann and Julie Warren, along with veteran Jessica Anderson also cracked the top five.







M. Duprey


M. Kobak

J. Kobak












B. Resnick




for full results

Men’s Open:  Epic Battle... for Second Place

     While Starkey was running away with the race, setting records for all four mountain splits, a great battle was brewing behind.
     Calling the new winner “a worthy champion,” six-time Patch Sprint champion Jason Fiegl took second in the division, completing a remarkable comeback from a foot injury that had left him doubtful for the event up until last month.  Fiegl (2:22:50) was a distant 20 minutes behind the winner, but led a group of seven racers who finished within seven minutes of one another.
     First-time racer Grant Haynes (right), unsure right up until race day whether he was going to race or trek, put in a huge finishing effort on the climb up Pok-O to take third.  “I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I felt pretty good all day!”
     Rounding out the top five, as they so often have in recent Patch Sprints, were Ben Stanley, Alec Bohn and John Richardson.



The Masters:  Elite Performances by the Senior Set

     While 48-year old Nordyke had the day’s fastest time for women, a racer even older put in the second fastest finish.  Mary Duprey, 50 (Mooers, NY), finished in 2:45:19, making her the second fastest women ever to complete the course.  Kathleen Wiley, Ellie Bouffard, Judy Bisaillon and defending champion Pam Gonzalez followed.

     Five-time Patch champion Jim Kobak (Peru) seemed more interested in taking pictures than racing, yet he still cruised to an easy win, his second straight in the division.  John Regentin, as well as two-time division champs Jerry Ross, Tom Lynch and Tim Singer completed the top five racers.



     Second year racer Rebecca Blum of New York City (jumping for joy at the finish) was equipped on race day with a GPS system, which not only measured her course times, but her distance, elevation and mile splits.
     Blum proved to be the ideal candidate for the race telemetry; her finish time of 4:11:44 turned out to be the median Patch Sprint time:  The winner was 2:09 ahead of her, while the final finishers were 2:07 behind!

CLICK HERE to view rebecca’s full course stats, and take an interactive tour of the course



     Ken Ryba (Quennsbury, NY) grabbed the division for the third time.  His finishing time of 3:09:34 was a personal best, and his 48 pound weight handicap insured an easy division victory.
     Byron Haynes put in the division’s fastest time, under three hours, to finish second.  In a very tight duel decided by a matter of seconds, or pounds, however you want to look at it, Josh Bornt edged out Ken Herz for the bronze.  Mike Taptick and rookie racer Matt Bresler followed.


     The 2010 Patch Sprint’s closest contest was in the ten-and-under division, with 2009 runner up Eric Schreiner finishing alongside rookie Myles Mitchell for a division tie.  The boys linked up midway up the mountain(right), well after they had dropped their chaperones, and went on together to the top.
     Catherine Zimmerman took third place while a pair of race newcomers- Eliza Konowitz and Jack Regentin- rounded out the top five.


     A record 44 trekkers began the course, with all but five finishing.  That’s if you want to be literal about it.  In truth, all 44 trekkers made it to the party on top of Pok-O, but some skipped a peak or two along the way.  “Don’t put me down for a ‘DNF’” said Marilyn Ryba at the summit, “it’s more like a ‘DNM’- did not middle!”
     Once again, Drew Canning, co-founder of the trekking division in 2002, led a group of determined young hikers (right), incluEssexARCding daughter Nora, the youngest of the day (8) to complete the course.  On the other end of the spectrum, Pete Henderson, 67, became the second oldest Patch finisher ever, finishing in a very respectable time of 5:33:39.
      “It’s not about the time,” voiced “Doc” Browning, perhaps speaking for all trekkers.  “It’s about being in these mountains, with these people.  That’s why I flew all the way here from Texas to take part!”


     The record numbers didn’t pertain to just racers and trekkers.  26 Volunteers registered for the 2010 Patch Sprint and their service was greatly appreciated by everyone throughout the weekend.  Special mention goes out to Erin, who took on the race director duties... Sheila, Mary, Pam, Brian, Augusta and Benn for the summit timing... Julia, Shai and Mauricio for the photos and slide show... Andrea, Kristin, Michelle, Terry, Scotty and Elizabeth for aid stations... Liz for the shuttle service... Andy for the Kinder coordination... Mitten of Might and all the chaperones... Mike, Sharp and Chris for the cooking... Bill and the Essex County ARC (above, left)  for the race support... Katie, Dave, Tricia, Meghan and Greg for all around everything.


     Patch Sprint founders and directors Greg Henderson and Tim Singer are constantly mentioning that “this event is a fund raiser first, and a race and trek second.”
     In 2010, the records didn’t end with the finishing times, and the number of participants.  The most important record set over the weekend was the dollar amount:  Over $8,500 was raised for the Adirondack Scholarship Foundation.  That’s enough to send two campers to Pok-O-MacCready Camps. More precisely, many children will now be going to summer camp on at least partial scholarship.  Since 2000, the Patch Sprint has raised over 32-thousand dollars for the cause.

     With so many records set in just one year of the Patch Sprint, how can 2011 top this?  “That’s not our priority,” says Henderson and Singer.  “The times may get slower some years, and the donations could even fall off, but as long as everyone continues to view the Patch Sprint as a fun and giving way to spend their holiday weekend, than the event is a guaranteed success.”

2010 Patch Sprint Scrapbook