Jim Flint's Runners Roundup, Sports

Shamrock Shuffle

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photo by Barb Flint
Governor Phil Scott congratulates Tim Hogeboom on March 15 at the State House, which the governor designated as Senior Physical Fitness Day in Vermont.

LEBANON, N.H. – A huge field of 675 runners raced Saturday at the Shamrock Shuffle 5k. Conditions for the annual rite of spring were ideal for running, with sunshine and blue skies prevailing.

Joel Thornton-Sherman, 13, from Waterford, was the top Vermont runner. Thornton-Sherman paced at 5:42 per mile en route to a fifth-place finish. His time was 17:41.

Bob Murphy, 83, from Barre, was the oldest racer. He won the M80-plus age group and placed in the top half of all finishers. Murphy’s 5k time of 32:14 was good for 309th overall.

John Valentine, 73, from Roxbury finished close behind Murphy in a time of 32:48. The race was Valentine’s first competition since hip replacement surgery on November 16. He used a 3.5-minute run / 1.5-minute walk approach to complete the 5k course, finishing third in the M70-79 age group.

Donna Smyers, 65, from Adamant cruised the route at a 7:55 per mile pace. She placed first of 46 finishers in the F60-69 age group.

photo by Barb Flint
Tim Hogeboom, Elizabeth McCarthy, and Donna Smyers were among 44 Vermont senior athletes honored at the State House for earning medals and/or ribbons at the 2022 National Senior Games.

“Participation at Shamrock Shuffle is amazing, both in the younger and older age groups,” said Smyers. “I was very happy with my time. I’ve been training for Boston and many of my runs have been extremely sluggish, so having any speed was a pleasant surprise. The weather was great. Dry pavement is so much easier to run on than the mud and ice around Adamant. The Upper Valley is a great place to compete, with big numbers of participants from fast runners to walkers. Race sponsor Darn Tough provided award winners with a pair of socks. There were quite a few raffle prizes from local businesses and a free Bratwurst from Salt Hill Pub for all runners.”

Seniors Physical Fitness Day at the State House

MONTPELIER – Local seniors Tim Hogeboom, Elizabeth McCarthy, and Donna Smyers were honored on March 15, at the Vermont State House. Coordinated by the Vermont Senior Games Association, the event included a resolution on the House floor and a reception with Governor Phil Scott.

The trio was among 44 Vermont athletes, age 50 and up, who won medals and/or ribbons at the 2022 National Senior Games, held last May in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Competing in the M70-74 age group, Hogeboom earned a sixth-place ribbon in the 10k road race. This was his first time reaching the podium at the National Senior Games. He competed previously in road races at the 2017 Nationals in Birmingham and the 2019 Nationals in Albuquerque.

Competing in the F70-74 age group, McCarthy earned a fifth-place ribbon in the 5k road race and a fourth-place ribbon in the 10k race. She previously competed in road races at the 2015 Nationals in Minneapolis and in the 2017 and 2019 National Senior Games.

Donna Smyers entered the National Senior Games for the first time in 2022. The senior triathlete and cyclist medaled in the F65-69 age group, Smyers earned gold medals in triathlon and in the 5k and 10k cycling time trials. She won a bronze medal in the 40k cycling road race in Fort Lauderdale.

At the state level, the Vermont Senior Games Association coordinates 14 different sports events during the course of the year. The 2023 season kicks off with the senior swim meet in Springfield on May 21. The 10k state championship road race is on June 10, in Montpelier, in partnership with Central Vermont Runners. For more information on the 2023 calendar of events, visit vermontseniorgames.org.

photo by Jim Flint
Elizabeth McCarthy won the F60-69 age group at the Shiver Me Shamrocks race on March 11, in Rutland. McCarthy finished the 3.05-mile course in 29:13.

Shiver Me Shamrocks

RUTLAND – Tim Hogeboom, 71, and Elizabeth McCarthy, 70, entered the Shiver Me Shamrocks race on March 11. The Walden couple won the male and female divisions in the 70-79 age group.

Hogeboom placed 20th of 190 finishers, in 26:59. McCarthy placed 34th overall, with a time of 29:13. Hogeboom finished closely behind Jesse Dunklee of Rutland, a cousin of the Craftsbury Outdoor Center’s Running Program director Susan Dunklee.

The 3.05-mile course started and finished on Center Street in downtown Rutland. Emerald green was the prominent color, with many runners sporting St. Patrick’s Day attire. Race day weather was shiver-worthy with temperatures just above freezing and a brisk north wind.

photo by Granite State Race Services
Donna Smyers was the top local finisher at the Shamrock Shuffle in Lebanon, New Hampshire. The Adamant physical therapist placed 94th of 675 entries, and first in the F60-69 age group.

Sap Run on Tap

WESTFORD – The spring road racing season kicks off Saturday, April 1, at the 42nd Annual Kaynor’s Sap Run. The race starts and finishes on Brookside Road in front of Westford Elementary School. The 10K out-and-back course traverses hilly and sometimes muddy country roads.

Sponsored by the Green Mountain Athletic Association, the race is the second event in the Central Vermont Runners’ annual race series. Registration is from 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. at the school. The start time is 11 a.m. Visit gmaa.run for more information and to register online for the race.

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