As is often the case at the annual Northfield Savings Bank / Central Vermont Runners’ 5K over Labor Day weekend, Saturday August 31 dawned chilly in Northfield, with a hint of fall. Yet by race time it was exceptionally pleasant for tackling the gentle 3.1-mile course, and Vermont Senior Games runners were up to the task.
Shawn Gardner of Dallas, Texas scorched the course, leading the VSG athletes with a terrific time of 19:17 to take third place overall in the event. VSG webmaster Matt Guild, out of Bellows Falls, was close behind him in 19:43 to pace the in-state finishers. Brent Ehrlich from Montpelier recorded the third-fastest VSG time on the morning with a 20:31 clocking – rounding out a super-competitive men’s 55-59-year-old age group.
The other fastest time among the men belonged to Craftsbury running legend Jim Flint, who crossed the line in 20:33 to take the gold medal in the 60-64 age category.
Jean Bernaquez of Montreal earned recognition as the oldest VSG runner on the day, completing the course at the age of 87. He and his running buddy Hugh Wilson barely made to the starting line at all, having to race down to Northfield after a long traffic delay crossing the border.
Among the women, Montpelier’s Ann Bushy took top honors with her fine 26:13 finishing time. Dot Helling and Cindy Hampton joined Ann in maintaining a pace under 9 minutes a mile for the course, while Elizabeth McCarthy hit that pace right on the dot.
Celine Blais, also from Montpelier, won the women’s 70-74-year-old title in her very first VSG event.
See below for a link to VSG results from the race.
We look forward to seeing a lot of these athletes step in distance to compete in the VSG / GMAA 10K on October 5. Registration information for that event should be posted shortly.