As the field of 99 runners gathered on Langdon Street in Montpelier for the start of the Capital City Stampede race on a beautiful Saturday June 12, 2021, more than half of those at the starting line were Vermont Senior Games athletes.
This race marked the first time that the VSG had partnered with the Central Vermont Runners for the 10K run, and it was a great success in every way. With an astonishing five senior runners covering the 6.2-mile course in well under 40 minutes, it was a terrific, competitive start to the year’s slate of events.
2021 is now a qualifying year for the 2022 National Senior Games in Fort Lauderdale, and recent changes to the standards will probably make the runners in particular super happy. To quote the NSGA: “all athletes who complete a 5K / 10K Road Race at a 2021 Qualifying State Games will qualify for the 2022 National Senior Games…Athletes qualified in either the 5K or the 10K road race may compete in both events.” So, all of the athletes who ran today are now qualified for both the 5K and 10K for Florida in 2022!
Francis Burdett of Worcester, Massachusetts set the pace for the senior athletes at the Capital City Stampede with a remarkable time of 36:41, a 5:55 per mile pacing. Allen Mead from Hinesburg had to settle for the silver in the men’s 55 – 59 age-category with his strong 37:45 clocking.
Essex Junction’s Jim Miller was right behind, winning the 60 – 64-year-old group with a fleet 38:07 effort, and Binney Mitchell of Burlington captured the gold medal among the 50 – 55-year-olds, crossing the line in 38:51.
Mendon native Paul Murphy rounded out the quintet of Vermont Senior Games runners eclipsing the 40-minute mark with room to spare, posting a 39:10 result.
Among the women runners, Burlington’s Anne Treadwell led the field, finishing in 44:36 to win the 50 – 54-year-old age group. Sandra Dickin of Colchester was close on her heels in 44:46. Anne felt somewhat badly at the finish for taking the gold medal away from Sandra, only to learn that Sandra had actually moved up into the next age group for Senior Games. Although she is still 54 years old, Sandra Dickin turns 55 in November, and for Senior Games your age for the year is your age on December 31. So, they were both pleased to go home with gold medals.
Perhaps the other notable story on the day was the realization that Jim Miller set a new course record for 60-year-olds, besting Norm Larson’s 2019 time by twelve seconds. At least Larson could console himself with the fact that he won the 65 – 69 age group with a fine 41:10 showing.
Thanks again to the Central Vermont Runners for hosting us, and all the athletes for participating. We hope to see many of you at the Northfield Savings Bank 5K run over Labor Day weekend.