Forty Vermont Senior Games athletes were among the runners shivering at the starting line on Saturday morning, October 5, 2019 in anticipation of the GMAA Art Tudhope 10K. Yet the chilly start heralded ideal running conditions, and the VSG contingent took full advantage, posting outstanding times on the rolling hills of Shelburne along Lake Champlain.
Remarkably, FIVE Senior Games runners broke the 40-minute mark, meaning that they maintained a pace of under 6:25 per mile for the six-plus mile race. How fast was the course? The winner, 32-year old Charlie Schaefer of Burlington, posted a fantastic time of 33:17, which breaks down to a truly fleet 5:21 per-mile pace.
Burlington’s Binney Mitchell led the VSG pack on day, finishing in a mere 36:52. Allen Mead of Hinesburg was right behind in 37:58, and Don Kjelleren from Williamstown, Massachusetts was not far back with a 39:17 result. Those three claimed the VSG medals in an ultra-competitive men’s 50-54-year-old age bracket. Milton resident Jeffrey Jodoin’s fine 40:39 time was only good enough for 4th place as a result.
Jim Shedd of Burlington claimed the gold in the 55-59-year-old group with another sub-40 effort, crossing the line in 39:42.
Shedd just barely nipped Montpelier’s Nick Persampieri, who won the 60-64-year-old title with his time of 39:49. In fact, Persampieri earned special recognition from the GMAA for “exceeding USATF time standard for national ranking” with his phenomenal outcome.
Peter Davis of Underhill, victor in the 70-74 age grouping, shared that distinction with Persampieri thanks to his 47:34 clocking.
On the women’s side, Sandra Dickin from Colchester took top honors for the VSG athletes. Sandra’s strong 49:15 showing made her gold medalist among the 50-54-year-olds. Carrie Fenn of Charlotte, second VSG woman to finish, earned the gold in the 55-59-year-old category with her 50:40 time.
Although they did not win gold medals, two female VSG runners also exceeded the USTAF national standards along with Shedd and Persampieri. Sue Kolk of Williston and Elizabeth McCarthy from Hardwick, as athletes over age 65, ran fast enough on the day to merit such citation. Ironically, Charlotte’s Carlie Krolick, who won the women’s 65-69 division, did NOT receive such recognition – with a birthday in December, Carlie is still considered to be 64 years old by the USATF, whereas Senior Games rules set age groups based upon one’s age on December 31 of that year. Next year!
All in all, it was a fine morning on the shores of Lake Champlain. Thanks to VSG sports coordinator Marti Powers and GMAA race director Ian McCallum-Cook and his crew of volunteers for making the race a big success!
A complete list of VSG results are attached, and a wonderful array of race photos can be found on this link off the GMAA website: https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipMOioX1qUT9V8FoL_Z7FJiIAZZRKqVMT8u8Rlcjm_rienzaj1aZlEWNLRLxtcN-Hw?key=Q2ZBOTJrbUItdFJnd1R6alE0OVdXVTNYbjFmbTd3 The 10K event concludes the Vermont Senior Games slate of events for 2019. Thanks to everyone who participated, and our team is already deep into preparations for a great 2020 national qualifying year program!