"You could not ask for a better day. This is what cross country skiing is all about." - Kris Freeman, U.S. Ski Team, Olympian.
That kind of sums it all up. The 2009 Marathon will be remembered for all the superlatives: great snow, solid tracks, easy waxing, nice temperature, lots of fun, and even abundant sunshine. Over 600 skiers enjoyed the best of what the Kingdom has to offer Nordic skiers.
Against the quintessential New England background of the Common, the racers got things underway at 9AM. It didn't take very long before Kris Freeman pulled a select group free from the front. While his brother Justin held on the longest, eventually Kris was solo and crossed the line after 50k of classic skiing in a scorching 2:30:32. Justin Freeman followed in second just under three minutes later, while Eli Enman of Huntington's Sleepy Hollow ski area claimed third.
On the women's side, Jessica Snyder took the win in 3:20:45 over a pair of Hanover, NH skiers: Courtney Robinson in second three minutes behind, and young Alice Bradley a couple of minutes after that.
For the 25k racers, Junior David Sinclair of GMVS in Waitsfield, VT took a convincing win in 1:18:29. Tom Thurston of Waterbury, VT crossed the line second with a minute and a half in hand over third-placed Sacha Desfosses of Ste. Adele, QC.
The 25k women competitors were led across the line by JoAnn Hanowski from Underhill Center in 1:35:07. JoAnn won the closest race of the day by only 26 seconds over Dorcas Wonsavage of Alpina from Hanover, NH. Saxton's River's J2 competitor Heather Mooney grabbed the last podium spot in 1:40:09.
Not everyone chose to contest the event as a race however. About 200 skiers participated as tourers, enjoying the weather, relaxed pace and more gracious food offerings of the 25k tour option. Four local inns and restaurants served tourers a variety of soups and savory pastry options.
But however they decided to involve themselves, it seemed most skiers echoed Freeman's comments - you could not ask for a better day on skis.
The Outdoor Center must take the opportunity to say a huge thanks to all our volunteers for working so hard, to the racers and tourists who joined us for the day, and all of our generous sponsors. You all make the event what it is - thank you very much. We hope everyone continues to join us this winter. The conditions are great - as you saw yesterday.
Lastly, mark your calendars: Jan. 30, 2010 - the 29th Annual TD Banknorth Craftsbury Marathon.
NENSA Post-Race Report and Photos
Hundreds turned out to race and tour at today's TD Banknorth Craftsbury Marathon. One of the racers was Andover, New Hampshire's Kris Freeman, the top-ranked distance skier in the United States. Kris earned victory today over brother Justin Freeman, followed by Eli Enman, Brayton Osgood, and Chris Yarsevich.
Jess Snyder won the women's 50K with Courtney Robinson, Alice Bradley, Julie Carson, and Trina Hosmer rounding on the top-5.
JoAnn Hanowski and David Sinclair were the 25K winners.
All Photos by Kris Dobie: krisdobie.smugmug.com
Plenty of snow and Stunning Scenery
Does it Get Any Better than This?
Skiers Mid-Pack Stretched Across the Rolling Fields
Through the Trees
Kris Freeman Leads Brother Justin
The Freemans Again