To get you in the mood for this year’s race as we ready for registration to open (on January 15th!), we thought it would be fun to repost the Race Report from the May/June 2018 edition of New England Runner a fantastic local running magazine that you should all subscribe to if you don’t already.
Muddy Mayhem on The Dark Side
The first entry in this year’s USATF-NE Mtn. Running Series was a muddy slogfest courtesy of mud season still being underway in Huntington for the 7th annual Sleepy Hollow Mountain 6.4M “Dark Side” race on April 29. It also rained previous to the event to notch up difficulty and slow times. The Darth Vader inspired Dark Side (approximate) 6.4-miler originated in 2016 after the original (approximate) 6.2-mile course was utilized from 2012-2015.
Despite course conditions, over 200 trail zealots drove their vehicles onto the muddy parking lot of the Sleepy Hollow Ski & Bike Center, ready for off-road adventure. The Green Mtn. AA’s Kasie Enman and Liz Hollenbach head up the show. Kasie and husband Eli have a house on the Sleepy Hollow property, along with a sugarhouse where they’ve been making pure organic maple syrup since 2009.
There’s an award for the first male and female to summit the first climb at Adirondack View, and you’ve got to figure it wasn’t Enman’s Running Saps maple syrup as Eli Enman was dueling with GMAA teammate Peter Gurney for “King of the Mountain” honors. Behind the duo, three-time Mt. Washington winner Eric Blake of W. Hartford, CT and 2017 USATF Trail champion Brandon Newbould of Nottingham, NH bided their time.
Gurney would clinch the prime before placing 6th in 50:22 and passed by Enman, who would finish 4th in 47:56. After churning through deep and squishy mud (in spots) on the initial climb, Newbould and Blake took the lead. Midway through the race, Blake was right on Newbould’s heels, those heels encased in loaner shoes from Salomon as Newbould forgot to bring any form of running shoes. He didn’t however, forget how to run treacherous downhills at a rapid clip and that won it for him in 45:43 to Blake’s 46:37. Alstead, NH’s Kurt Hackler arrived third and as top M40 in 47:14 followed by Enman and top M50 Tim Van Orden of the Central Mass Striders in 49:30.
As an indication of the impediment to times ‘mud season’ presented, Newbould was over four minutes slower than his course record run a year earlier. Defending women’s champion and course record holder, Leslie O’Dell, would run almost five minutes slower in placing second at 57:34. While O’Dell was also hampered by an injury (and would be forced to dnf 10-miles into the Vermont City Marathon) 100% healthy wouldn’t have been enough to hold off Kassandra Marin. The Acidotic runner from Merrimack, NH handled the terrain like a Jeep Wrangler with spiked tires.
Marin would place 10th overall in 51:24 to topple O’Dell’s 52:40 CR from the previous year. Riding roughshod in the U-20 category and placing 3-4 in the Open category were the Reiders sisters—Hannah and Madeline of Wellesley, MA—both timed in 59:08. Endurance 603 runner Sarah Canney rounded out the top-5.
Following a change into dry clothes, the awards ceremony took place at the pavilion with cash to the top Open runners, Running Saps maple syrup, homemade jams and other delicacies to age-groupers, and perhaps the hit of post-race festivities—the burrito bar.
7th Annual Sleepy Hollow Mountain 6.4M/USATF-NE Mtn. Running Series Race No. 1, Huntington, April 29
213 Finishers (121 Men, 92 Women) – Timing by Tremblebach Timing – Original Course Records (approx. 6.2) Josh Ferenc, 38:17, 2013; Kasie Enman, 46:44, 2014. ‘Dark Side’ Records (approx. 6.4) Brandon Newbould, 41:39, 2017; Leslie O’Dell, 52:40, 2017
Men (Overall): 1. Brandon Newbould, NH, 45:43; 2. Eric Blake, CT, 46:37; 3. Kurt Hackler, NH, 47:14; 4. Eli Enman, 47:56; 5. Tim Van Orden, 49:30; 6. Peter Gurney, 50:22; 7. Steve Brightman, RI, 50:31; 8. Dave Dunham, MA, 50:54; 9. Eric Darling, 51:06; 10. Jim Boule, NH, 51:40; 11. Daniel Princic, MA, 52:59; 12. Clifford Watson, ME, 53:17. (20-under): 1. Issac Dana, 56:33. Masters: 1. Kurt Hackler, NH, 47:14; 2. Eli Enman, 47:56; 3. Steve Brightman, RI, 50:31. Seniors: 1. Tim Van Orden, 49:30; 2. Dave Dunham, MA, 50:54; 3. Jim Boule, NH, 51:40. Veterans: 1. Len Hall, NH, 1:05:38; 2. Don Slovenkai, NH, 1:07:11; 3. Mike Gillis, 1:07:44. (70+): 1. Gene Fahey, NH, 1:10:24; 2. Frank Holmes, NH, 1:20:34; 3. Paul Grant, MA, 1:26:53.
Women (Overall): 1. Kassandra Marin, NH, 51:24; 2. Leslie O’Dell, NH, 57:34; 3. Hannah Rieders, MA 59:08; 4. Madeline Rieders, MA, 59:08; 5. Sarah Canney, NH, 59:59; 6. Haley Heinrich, MA, 1:00:07; 7. Liz Chichester, 1:02:21; 8. Kristen Smith, MA, 1:02:49; 9. Emily Rose, ME, 1:04:07; 10. Heidi Davis, 1:04:53; 11. Cheryl Aley, 1:05:01; 12. Liz Lierman, MA, 1:06:04. (20-under): 1. Hannah Rieders, MA, 59:08, 2. Madeline Rieders, MA, 59:08. Masters: 1. Leslie O’Dell, NH, 57:34; 2. Heidi Davis, 1:04:53; 3. Freddi Triback, MA, 1:07:26. Seniors: 1. Cheryl Aley, 1:05:01; 2. Patty Higgins, ME, 1:14:06; 3. Lucinda Bliss, NH, 1:14:42. Veterans: 1. Karen Provencher, NY, 1:14:52; 2. Darby Shaw, 1:30:00; 3. Kathleen Murphy, MA, 1:44:22.