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2015 Halloween Biathlon Gallery

Halloween Biathlon Racers

Halloween Biathlon Racers

Last Thursday saw the initial running of the Halloween biathlon race at the Biathlon range at Elinor’s field. 16 competitors contested an interval start race with two shooting stages and three running laps of approximately 600 meters. Penalties required a loop of 25 meters per miss. The primary requirement for participation? A costume!

Check out the results and the photogallery below.

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The kitchen staff made the whole meal special, even our reserved table

When two obvious interests collide, why not make a weekend out of it? That cracking idea was not mine. A multi-year running camp athlete and a handful of big-thinking running coaches came up with the concept: an autumn weekend of trail running and local craft beer drinking. Less of a camp, more of a weekend blast of goodness. Trails2Ales was our first go at it and golly, it was fun. It was made all the better by holding it in conjunction with our social event of the year: Oktoberfest. Why not?

Coach Jo Jo and I stayed at the Center after the second Foliage and Running weekend. We gallivanted around the Northeast Kingdom in the rain sleuthing trail options, figuring out drive times and dropping in at Hill Farmstead Brewery ( and Lost Nation Brewing ( to investigate the offerings. It was a taxing assignment but we managed to put together the weekend schedule and get plenty of miles in during the week — over 100 for Jo Jo and 71 for me. We were ready!

Jo Jo and I ran in the rain figuring out where to run at Kingdom Trails. This was our starting point at Mountain View Farm.

Jo Jo likes the River Run trail overlooking the Passumpsic River

Nine inveterate trail runner/craft beer devotees plus four coaches showed up for the fun and the NEK had its best glorious autumn garb on full display with warm sunshine, blue bird skies and blazing leaves. We ran our full and fun collection of single track here at the Center on Friday afternoon followed by a raucous social Friday night before dinner. There were too many Hill Farmstead growlers to keep track of as we enjoyed the kitchen’s patented cheese board plus spiced nuts and grapes.

Before we set off to explore Burke’s trails, every runner had a map and a two hour window to run free. Most of us ran 10 miles with a few others logging more.

Those Craftsbury vans come in handy after a scintillating trail run!

Mike’s Tiki Bar was loaded with mountain bikers kicking back so we joined in with our picnic lunches. With 30 beers on tap and miles under our belts we were grooving.

Over lunch, Ashley and Spence compare notes on where they ran

Running buddies at home, Mac and Mike were happy all weekend

Frank returned to Craftsbury for a second time and brought along his sweetie pie wife, Stephanie

A plethora of memorable Mikes

Last pack lunches of the season — the kitchen always gives us the best grub

Dave and Caleb wait for manager Becky to assist — Jo Jo and I met her when we were trail sleuthing and she told us to bring the gang

Caleb and Ashley get extra mileage credit for toting the lunches back and forth while Dave keeps them company

Burke’s Kingdom Trails (kingdom drew us on Saturday with the big reward of Mike’s Tiki Bar ( post-run. The Oktoberfest social and dinner in the autumn-y bedecked Main Lodge of the AC was a treat on Saturday night. Our post-dinner Cedar social went into the night and the Cedar kitchen counter was getting overloaded with rinsed and drying growlers.

The AC was bustling, cheery and rife with superb food and company during the Oktoberfest feast

Sunday morning found us rousting out early to head over to Mount Elmore for the challenging uphill run/scramble up the Ridge Trail to the fire tower for the big pay-off view. 10k later we were swimming in Lake Elmore and finishing off another Lost Nation growler as well as enjoying yesterday’s picnic lunch snack leftovers.

Triumphant at the top of Mt. Elmore

Good beer at 10:00am — why not?

The weekend was far too short and far too fun. What about another try at it in 2016 but for four days instead? Give me a shout if you are interested at See you next summer and keep an eye out for the full 2016 schedule on our website

Trails2Ales was a fabulous end to the running camp season — let’s do it again in 2016!




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“Team Craftsbury” at the Burlington Invitational

Cross country running and autumn go together hand in thin knit glove: colorfully dressed thinclads dashing up winding hills amidst a blaze of changing leaves, splattered and muddy racing spikes, cold hands and pink cheeks, cheering teammates, friends and parents. Yet every harrier knows the real truth: cross country is a summer sport. It’s on the hot and sunny June, July and August days when the runner’s work gets done. To train consistently in the summer means success is there for the taking in the autumn months. Steamy summer miles = crisp autumn speed, strength and endurance.

Our summer high school cross country camps have attracted fast, ambitious, talented and dedicated teens from all over the country. Each of these last few summers, a cadre of strong, tough, gritty and speedy Vermont girls has shown me how willing they are to work in the summer for autumn results. Recently I perused the 2015 Burlington Invitational results from 12 September. Lots of familiar names leapt out at me, particularly in the Varsity Girls results:  Rena Swartz, Avery Ellis, Anneka Williams, Annemarie Martell, Charlotte Boyden, Myla Jacobs and Marika Massey-Bierman. Seven Craftsbury campers in the top twenty, plus many more throughout the pack! Each of these girls has bent to the tasks my staff and I have asked of them at running camp, several of them attending many times over. They have shown me again and again their grit, resilience and drive and here they were dominating at the Burlington Invite.

As it happens, seven runners comprise a cross country team with five of them scoring. If the top seven Craftsbury attendees in the varsity girls race had scored as their own team (Rena, Avery, Anneka, Annemarie, Charlotte, Myla and Marika), the first five would have accumulated 34 points, enough for the team win. If we took away Annemarie and Charlotte as the 4th and 5th scorers and had relied on Myla and Marika, the team’s score would have been 43 points. Again, enough for the team win. The winning team at this meet scored 61 points with the second place team scoring 65. Pretty cool, and a testament both to the girls attending this camp and how they pushed themselves this summer. Strong work runners, and best of luck the rest of the fall season!

(Do you or a runner you know want to get faster? Keep watching for our 2016 High School Camps, and come up to join the fun!)

Craftsbury’s Fast Seven:

Rena was flying on the Common in July and she won the Burlington Invitational in September

Avery and Annemarie fully focused during a tempo run on the Common

Myla is on point during the fartlek portion of the Common session

Marika came to running camp for the first time this summer and her work has paid off in a strong autumn season

Anneka chases Charlotte at mile 7 of the Ridge Run 10 miler

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Here’s to Autumn Running: Foliage Weekend 2

Elena brings the zest to running camp along with her wee companion, Little Pinky.

That familiar snap in the air, glowing sunshine against vibrant leaves, rustling tall corn stalks, shrouded mists on Big Hosmer and hoar frost abounding, autumn at Craftsbury resonates. Fifteen spirited runners showed up for the last foliage weekend running camp for superb running and camaraderie.

Long-time Craftsbury runner Elena brought her robust posse of five from Boston and we hardly needed the tough core and body workout by Coach Jo Jo since the non-stop laughing served as its own abs strengthener. We ran hills in the mists, climbed Mt. Elmore in brilliant sunshine, were rewarded with superb views from the fire tower and ran a spectacular Ridge Run too beautiful to waste time stopping to photograph it. Coach Mike talked about training principles, Coach Sue gave us the ins and outs of injury prevention and Coach Jo Jo put the athletes through their paces in the AC gym. It was a highlight listening to Coach Kasie share her international mountain and sky running exploits. What a weekend!

With only Trails2Ales left on the running camp calendar, the 2015 running season is drawing to a close. Lots of exciting camps on tap for 2016 including a beginning runners weekend and a four-day foliage camp — thanks for coming to Craftsbury, see you next year!

I was setting out cones for the hill session in the dark by flashlight and soon after that we were out in full force zipping up and down the hills.

The sun started to pierce the fog as we headed for the Matterhorn

Jen and Beth get their breath back after ascending the Matterhorn in the magical mist

A challenging hill workout completed by 7:30am!

Our favorite red barn, the Murphy’s landmark glows

Runners in residence at Craftsbury

Dahlia came to camp to reinvigorate her running after having Baby Savannah

Lake Elmore view from the fire tower

The other view from the fire tower — runners and shadows

Coaches Lynn and Kasie show off their Run Vermont swag from long time Craftsbury coach Jess. Coach Mike wishes he had the goods, too!

Our lake-side lunch was idyllic and relaxing. Patty, Christine and Maggie are discussing whether rocket science is more important than running

The Sunday sunshine was beguiling so we had our coach roundtable session on the deck, caught some rays and took our final camp photo

The weekend's full complement of coaches: Mike, Lynn, Jo Jo, Sue and Kasie

The weekend’s full complement of coaches: Mike, Lynn, Jo Jo, Sue and Kasie


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Foliage and Running – Sparkling Sun, Vibrant Runners

Coach Sue leads the post-hill session stretching. The AC deck is the place to be on crisp sunny mornings.

The first Foliage and Running camp came and went with glowing sunshine and a collection of runners that gave the weekend wings. With two wife/husband couples, a mother/daughter pair, two running pals and five sparky women from the Melrose Running Club near Boston the energy level was high, the enthusiasm contagious. Weekend camps are a blast of action from start to finish. This iteration with thirteen brand new to Craftsbury runners and two returners was a whole lot of fun. We ran, hiked, learned about injury prevention and training principles, ate, swam and ran some more. Oh, yes. There might have been a few growlers of terrific craft beer on hand, too. Thanks for a super weekend!

Caitlin was all about working the hills

Jessica came with her running partner Dara. Both ran with vigor, looking to get motivation and mojo from the weekend

Presant was focused heading toward his first Matterhorn ascent

Allison and Dorota hammer an uphill together

Sue was one of the Melrose 5 who all stayed in Cabin D for the weekend. I could hear their laugher from the Duck Blind!

A gorgeous day to wade and swim in Willoughby post-Pisgah hike. The little south end beach is perfect for our picnic lunch

The cider, wine and cheese social was held on the AC deck — all the scullers and runners together. Coach Sue and Athlete Sue are rocking smiles together

Synchronicity Craftsbury-style with Caitlin and Coach Mike sharing their admiration for craft beer

The weekend posse all in one place and standing still.

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Masters Dryland TT #2

Sunday morning dawned sunny and warm on Craftsbury, perfect weather (perhaps a bit on the warm side) for the second West Hill TT. Seven runners, poles in hand, took to the 1.1 and 0.6 mile courses. Everyone put in a good, hard effort and many set new PRs. Hats off in particular to Elinor Osborn for taking a whopping 1:35 off her previous 1.1 mi time!

Results and photos below:

Runner .6mi Time 1.1mi Time Improvement
Wyle Solomon 6:33 11:45 -24sec
Dick Dreissigacker 7:20 12:53 -29sec
Linda Ramsdell 8:46 15:11 +38sec
Barb Massucci 9:08 15:34 (first time)
Sung-Hee Chung 8:56 16:15 (first time doing 1.1mi) -19sec (off previous 0.6mi time)
Elinor Osborn 10:24 18:17 -95sec
George Hall 9:47 +9sec
The Craftsbury masters dryland group after a time trial.

Still smiling after a hard effort. L-R Sung-Hee, Linda, Barb, Elinor, Dick, Wyle, George

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Runner of the Summer: Fred

Every summer amidst the stream of runners who come to Craftsbury and  dive into all that encompasses running camp, there is always one who makes me ponder the most what it is to be a runner. There’s something about this person’s ferocious drive to give what they’ve got to the pursuit of being a true blue runner. It’s more than that, though. This runner embodies grit, resilience, pluck and effort coupled with a love that is pure.

Admittedly, I have a special place in my heart for the runner who lives and breathes the most primal running discipline: cross country.  2015’s Runner of the Summer is Fred. Another of Fred’s most appealing qualities is that the man knows how to laugh and have a good time even when contemplating the beast of all races, a 10k cross country outing. Fred gives it all when he’s working hard so much so that his classic “working hard” face yielded this memorable quote by one of our best coaches, Mike, “Fred, you look like hell but keep going anyway!” Here’s to you, Fred and to another year at Craftsbury!

A devotee of craft beer, Fred loves the social aspect of running camp

Coach Brett teases Fred about his lack of bendy-ness

Fred leading the pack during strides on a misty Common morning

Flat on the grass with Matt after a hot and sunny Endurathon Day biking, hiking, running and biking

Coach Jess demonstrates her core work mastery while Fred wonders if he can measure up

A woman magnet, Fred shows his best face. Thanks for the laughs, Fred!


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GRP Girls’ (Extra Blue?)Grass Speeds

Heather Mooney works her herringbone in Pepa's latest summer edit.

Heather Mooney works her herringbone in Pepa’s latest summer edit.

It’s that time of year to get out the rock/grass skis at Craftsbury. Pepa shares footage of the GRP girls’ speed workout over on Elinor’s hill, next to the farmyard. Check it out on Pepa’s YouTube Channel.

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All Comers Do It All

Matt exults in a perfect Ridge Run morning

In case I got confused, Suzanne labeled her banana for me

All comers week started four years ago as an overflow camp for those who didn’t register in time for masters week. The week no longer plays second fiddle to masters week. It has its own vibe and it’s loaded with folks who are passionate about their running and looking for a vibrant week. With sixteen returners and nine new faces, the week was a blast of fun, speed and laughs. With an age span from Phoebe at 19 to folks in their 60’s, all comers week is something special.

This week ends the summer camp season. See you next year when there will again be three high school cross country camps, a second all comers week and a beginning runners weekend on the schedule. Thank you runners for a successful and memorable 2015!

Lizann and Emily, mother and daughter, came to camp together. Lizann is a brand new runner

This was Phoebe’s third year at Craftsbury and she’s really nailing her running these days. She ran 82 miles during the week

Jane and Sarah were first timers this year and enjoyed the whole week

Inducted into the Wall of Fame this week, Claudia works her relay leg

Mike came to camp healthy and raring to go this year

All runners were asked to remove their technology for the negative splitting grassy interval workout. Mike guards the goods

First timers Emily, Heather and Jane were speedy and sparky

    A rower turned runner last year at camp, Jeff returned this year with a real spring in his step.

A rower turned runner last year at camp, Jeff returned this year with a real spring in his step.

Emily and Jane flew around the Common during the fartlek and tempo session

Fred puts down the hammer on his relay leg

We had 6 relay teams going and Caleb formed his own team running 5:07 for the mile. He had to use a pasta spoon since we didn’t have enough batons

The gang warms up before the Common workout

Local athlete Ani again made Matt a special birthday cake

Social on the veranda, what a super idea. Thanks scullers!

Coach Barry exemplifies the long standing joke of “full service running camp”

Saturday morning comes all too quickly – our last meal together


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Energy and Experience – Masters Running

Once again the masters romped and stomped their way through their week with 20 returners and 5 new runners. It was a week to remember with favorite coaches Greg and Eric returning to spark it up with their inimitable style. This camp is plenty full of running but it’s the connections forged over so many years that make it so special. To see Jules mixing it up with young coach Jo was to see the authenticity of Craftsbury. New and old, fast and slow, gregarious and quiet — this is masters week.

Drills make runners faster

Coach Jo and Jules: both ends of the age spectrum meet in the middle over cider, wine and cheese social

Elaine is sunny


Michael toughs out the grassy intervals

Michael dashes up the hill

Bette and Laura push and pull each other up the hill

Jill was a smart athlete all week testing her return from injury

Jerry works the intervals in anticipation of his induction into the Wall of Fame — 10 years at Craftsbury!

The masters did their intervals on the grass instead of the track this year — a big change but the relay was as fun as ever

Nobody pulls off the Craftsbury van slouch like Coach Greg while Eric stands in awe

It’s got to be a good week when french braids are happening  in Irasburg

The shady Mt. Hor hike continues to be a popular option on Endurathon Day

Coaches Jo and Anne in synch on sunny Endurathon Day

Lawton and Diane smile it up

Richard contemplates an incongruous ancient pyramid on Westmore Beach

Masters tear it up on the Common with strides

Laura and Nick share the work of fartlek running

Lisa gives it everything during the tempo run

Her first time at Craftsbury found Susan torching it all week long

Susan and Maureen, both new to camp,  had smiles all week long plus they were fast!

Richard and Coach Eric on our last night. Richard was inducted into the Wall of Fame — 10 years at Craftsbury

The entire posse in one place at one time. Unheard of!

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