The Vermont Senior Games is pleased to announce that Elizabeth McCarthy and Thomas “Tim” Hogeboom of Walden will be leading the Vermont contingent in the Parade of Athletes at the National Senior Games in Albuquerque, New Mexico on June 19, 2019.
A married couple, McCarthy and Hogeboom also represented the Green Mountain state at the National Senior Games two years ago in Birmingham, Alabama, and expressed great excitement in accepting the responsibility. “We feel really honored we were picked,” Tim admitted. “Vermont has such a history of great athletes, and the Nationals is such a special event.”
The Vermont Senior Games selected the couple because they vividly represent what the organization is about, promoting athletic excellence and dedication while emphasizing participation and the fun in playing sports. They have chosen to make the VSG a central part in their active, healthy lifestyle.
Elizabeth McCarthy was working as the caretaker of an Appalachian Mt. Club cabin at Upper Goose Pond in the Berkshires in 1984 when a shaggy-bearded Tim Hogeboom ventured in to find a night’s lodging on his trek along the Appalachian Trail. They hit it off immediately, and in 1987 were married in a ceremony at the summit of Mt. Mansfield. (In fact, Tim is one of only 396 individuals who have been awarded the American “Triple Crown” of hiking the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, and the Continental Divide Trail!)
Trying to find affordable housing, they found what they were looking for in 1989, purchasing five acres and a farmhouse in remote Walden for a mere $26,000. McCarthy and Hogeboom have been fixing it up ever since, raising a family and commuting long distances to work.
Elizabeth stayed home with their son Forrest and daughter Ali for a while, then began working in the schools as a paraeducator. Eventually, she went back to school herself and worked as an Educational Technology / Digital Learning teacher for the Washington Central Supervisory Union before winding up her career as an online instructor for CCV.
Meanwhile, Tim spent many years as a television camera-man and a documentary filmmaker, then changed careers to become an environmental scientist for the state of Vermont. His final job was serving as a laboratory technician for the physics and chemistry programs at VTC in Randolph.
Both Hogeboom and McCarthy qualified for multiple events at Nationals, but competition rules limit how many events each individual can do. As a result, the couple decided to forego their track and field options in Albuquerque in favor of the 5K and 10K runs, and the golf tournament.
Elizabeth modestly states, “we try to do a lot of races,” and the couple has deservedly earned numerous honors. Tim won the 65-69 year old age group title at the prestigious Stowe Ten-Miler in 2017, and Elizabeth matched his feat in 2018. Furthermore, Elizabeth earned ribbons for finishing in the top 8 in three events at the 2017 Senior Nationals in Birmingham.
“At Nationals, in most events the top three athletes are amazing, and I’m not really competing with them,” Elizabeth commented. “But what’s so nice is that while they are competitive, they are also willing to help and encourage everyone. We try to do our best, but our expectations are realistic.”
Tim added, “if I can finish in the middle of the pack at Nationals, I’ll be happy.”
The couple has ramped up their training in preparation for Albuquerque despite the mud and challenging weather of the Vermont “spring.” Tim logged 156 miles of roadwork in April and intends to build off that in May. “My goal is to run 55 miles a week,” he claimed, “which is more than I’ve ever done.”
For her part, Elizabeth is up to 30 miles a week, and raced a ½ marathon in April, with another planned for May.
Golf, however, is more of a fun challenge for the couple. Tim admitted that “with golf, our goal is not to embarrass ourselves. We are trying not to finish last.”
The two did travel down to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in March of 2019 to get some professional coaching at the “Classic Swing Golf School.” Elizabeth explained “now we just have to implement what we learned. We’re mostly trying to just have fun and participate” when it comes to golf. They’ve been hitting balls into a net and around their property, but the weather has impeded them from really working on their games.
Nevertheless, McCarthy and Hogeboom are very much looking forward to their Albuquerque trip. “We made the decision to go early,” Elizabeth mentioned, “so we were able to get a nice Airbnb for the whole stay.” And although they are a bit concerned about the elevation, both are mostly hoping to avoid a repeat of the heat and humidity they faced in the competition in Birmingham two years ago.
Best of luck to this intrepid couple and all of the Vermont senior athletes at Nationals!
By George Moltz