Cool Running
August 8, 2009

This is a different kind of challenge--running, walking or biking to Vermonts highest pinnacle. Spice up your running or mountain biking with a test you cant refuse. Sign up by August 10 to receive a women's or men's tech shirt and take advantage of a reduced registration fee.

This is a race up the east flank of Mount Mansfield on the famous and historic Toll Road. It is a combination eventrunners, walkers, and mountain bikers. The Mount Mansfield Toll Road is 150 years old, and has changed little. There is a short paved stretch in the beginning, but most of it is hard packed gravel. The total elevation climb is 2,550 feet over 4.3 miles, so it is a terrific challenge for all. Its a steady climb with phenomenal natural beauty and spectacular views, running on Sunday, August 30th. Wow! The rewards include a tremendous sense of accomplishment and spectacular views of three states and the Province of Quebec as well as the jewel of the Green Mountain State, Lake Champlain.

Part of the uniqueness is that this race invites all three of these disciplines to race at the same time, going off in waves with non-competitive walkers first, then bikes, and runners last. It is interesting to note that the winning timesand record timesfor running and biking are very close for both women and men. Also interesting to note, the Toll Road does not allow bicycles at any other time, and never permits motorcycles to use the road.

The bad news is that there are only 800 participants allowed because of the nature of the road and space at the summit lot, so do not delay in registering for this one-of-kind racing experience. Here is the website for more information: Race Website

Tracy Rose--Women's running overall winner.

Registration (if available) and bib pickup will be at the Midway Lodge, near the Mount Mansfield Gondola, on Saturday, August 29th from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. and on race morning August 30th from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m.

Walkers will depart with a 9:00 a.m. start, with bikes taking to the challenge at 10:00. Runners will chase both with a 10:10 a.m. blast off. There will be a bag check for all so each participant will have warm, dry clothing at the summit.

This will be the second annual RTTT of Vermont. The incomparable Dave Dunham, three-time winner and former record holder at the Mount Washington Road Race, set the running standard in 2008 with a 37:50, passing many of the bicycles in route. Tracy Rose was the top woman runner with 48:41. Bike records are 45:37 by Susan Lynch, and 37:12 by Olympic biathlon hopeful Jesse Downs.

Dave Dunham--Men's running overall winner.

Prizes will be awarded to the top three overall in both disciplines (including cash awards), with additional prizes for the top three in each age group, each discipline. And unique to this event, there will be prizes for the fastest single discipline (three-persons, including at least one woman) team overall. Unusual for mountain races, there will be over $5,000 in awards and prizes. Please see the website for more information: Race Website

Participants will receive a high quality tech shirt, post race refreshments including a chicken BBQ post race party with live music at the Midway Lodge, Stowe Mountain Resort; and an excellent raffle. Additionally, there will be a race night concert at the famed Trapp Family Lodge. The music will be provided by Asleep at the Wheel, and presented at the outdoor amphitheater in the meadow below the lodge.

The Coursethe Auto Road

For 150 years this road has provided thousands and thousands of visitors spectacular views of Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, and Quebec; it is a true scenic wonder that includes views of the White Mountains, the Adirondacks, and many lakes large and small, including 110-mile long Lake Champlain, which sits on the border of Vermont and New York and stretches north into Quebec.

The road climbs at a steady incline from the Inn at the Mountains (5781 Mountain Road, Stowe, VT 05672) to the summit lot at 3,850 feet. The climb is 2,550 vertical feet with an 11.3% grade. The climb begins at about 1,300 feet and goes to the summit station just below the true summit of Mount Mansfield (4,395). The town of Stowe on the east flank is a delightful tourist destination and sits at 968 feet. Stowe offers a wide range of recreational activities along with excellent restaurants and a unique variety of shopping opportunities.

The title sponsor is Fleischer Jacobs Group (FJG) , one of New England's largest providers of Insurance, Employee Benefits, Investments and Financial Planning services for businesses and individuals.

The Catamount Trail Association and Race Beneficiaries

This unique event is presented by the Catamount Trail Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to maintaining and protecting the outstanding resource that is the Catamount Trail. The association fosters winter trail use and is especially dedicated to cross-country skiing throughout the state of Vermont.

The amazing Catamount Trail traverses the entire length of the state, passing through state and national forest and 36 separate towns. As with any such resource, the work of the CTA is never done, as development and changes require close cooperation with the many town governments, as well as the U.S. Forest Service, the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation, and over 200 individual land owners. The CTA is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, employs a full time Executive Director, Jim Fredericks, and two staff members. It includes, supports and involves hundreds of volunteers.

In addition to the Catamount Trail Association, race proceeds will benefit Mobius Mentoring Group, an organization dedicated to teaching and mentoring those in need.

Mount Mansfield

The highest peak in the Green Mountains and in Vermont at 4,395, Mount Mansfield is famous for its appearance, looking much like a human face in repose, and for its unobstructed, spectacular views. It is located within three different towns, most famously Stowe, but also Cambridge and Underhill (ironically Underhill encompasses the actual pinnacle. It includes alpine tundra leftover from the last Ice Age. The Long Trail traverses the main ridgeline, and of course Mount Mansfield is most famous for the outstanding winter resort and alpine as well as cross-country skiing.

The name Mansfield comes from a roundabout set of circumstances: The village of Mansfield was founded here (no longer in existence), and was named after the town of Mansfield in Connecticut. Settlers from New Hampshire, New York, and Connecticut often named towns after the one they left. Mansfield, Connecticut was named for Moses Mansfield, one of the primary landowners of that town in Connecticut.

The Native American name for the mountain is translated roughly as Mountain with a Head. It includes spectacular cliffs on the north and northeast sides, as well as a series of mountain side caves.

Take This Challenge

By August 30 many runners and cyclists are looking for a new and different challenge, and this is it! This is a race that includes all the same elements of other events: competitors, distance, and the clock. But this one adds something powerfulgravity. Overcoming it, answering the challenge, reaching the summit gives runners a real high in more than one way; and it is tremendously rewarding. It is not for everyone. It is likely for you, however. Sign up now for the second annual FJG Race to the Top of Vermont. I hope to see you there. Please visit: Race Website

Latest articles in USA: Vermont This is a different kind of challenge--running, walking or biking to Vermonts highest pinnacle. Spice up your running or mountain biking with a test you cant refuse. Sign up by August 10 to receive a women's or men's tech shirt and take advantage of a reduced registration fee.

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