Ripton Ridge Run draws crowd

RIPTON — Five minutes before the start of the 30th Annual Ripton Ridge Run on Sunday, Oct. 8, the clouds let loose, drenching everyone. More than 150 runners and walkers were soaked to the skin as they set off, but the sun came out well before the first racers crossed the finish line.
The afternoon’s festivities were filled with brilliant sunshine, peak fall foliage and high spirits.
The race results showed 71 competitors in the 5K run, 35 in the 10.4K run and 32 participants in the 5K fun walk.
Jack Christner, 15, of Ripton was the fastest man on the 5K course with a time of 18:36. He was followed by 17-year-old Lance Bergmans of Ferrisburgh in 19:00 and Evan Heath, 14, of Lee, Mass., in 21:03. Madie Stowe, 13, of Weybridge finished first for the women and was the 8th finisher overall. Her time of 22:22 was four minutes faster than the next female 5K runner, 11-year-old Beth McIntosh of Ripton, whose time was 26:29. Ripton’s Najat Croll, 29, was right behind her in 26:33. Full results are available online at riptonridgerun.org.
In the 10.4K race, Todd Smith, 42, of Bristol set a fast pace with his time of 38:54, which works out to 6:01 per mile on the challenging Ripton course. Tony Bates, 58, of Salisbury came in second at 42:47, followed by Peter Schneider, 42, of Middlebury with 43:35. The fastest woman in the 10.4K was Ursula Volz, 18, a 2017 Middlebury Union High School grad now hailing from Orono, Maine, in 50:28. The next women across the finish line was were Celina Fuller, 35, of Salisbury at 52:19, and Jessica Racusin, 42, from Middlebury at 52:33.
The day’s oldest runner, Ben Burd, 85, of Middlebury has been in most of the previous Ripton Ridge Runs as have Tony Bates and Lynne Peck. Like other participants, they saw the changeable weather as a suitable way to celebrate this 30th event. The first race was run in the snow on icy, slushy roads. Others have been held in all kinds of conditions, from strong wind to light rain, to typical cool, crisp October air, and even blazing heat.
However, never before has the race started in such a deluge.
The Ripton Ridge Run is a fundraiser for the Ripton Elementary School put on by Friends of the Ripton School. Ripton residents turned out in force to make sure the race, lunch and celebration were all a success. While some volunteers pitched in for the first time on Sunday, many have been part of all 30 previous events. Local business sponsors are equally loyal and equally generous and important to the effort.
The top five finishers in each race, including place, name, town, age and time, were:
Men’s 5K
1. Jack Christner, Ripton, 15, 18:36; 2. Lance Bergmans, Ferrisburgh, 17, 19:00; 3. Evan Heath, Lee, Mass., 14, 21:03; 4. Luke Bergmans, Ferrisburgh, 15, 21:09; and 5. Noah Engvall, Bristol, 13, 21:43.
Women’s 5K
1. Madelyn Stowe, Weybridge, 13, 22:22; 2. Beth McIntosh, Ripton, 10, 26:29; 3. Najat Croll, Ripton, 29, 26:33; 4. Mary Harrington, Ripton, 9, 26:59; and 5. Chelsea Stevenson, Essex Jct., 29, 27:50.
Men’s 10.4K
1. Todd Smith, Bristol, 42, 38:54; 2. Tony Bates, Salisbury, 58, 42:47; 3. Peter Schneider, Middlebury, 42, 43:35; 4. Joseph Frost, Swanton, 41, 45:05; and 5. Karl Volz, Orono, ME, 54, 45:42.
Women’s 10.4K
1. Ursula Volz, Orono, ME, 18, 50:28; 2. Celina Fuller, Salisbury, 35, 52:19; 3. Jessica Racusin, Middlebury, 42, 52:33; 4. Wendy Leeds, Ripton, 50, 54:31; and 5. Teresa Crippen, Conshohocken, Penn., 27, 55:15.

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