What a Mudder!
WEST GLOVER, VERMONT - A Fall day full of drizzle did not deter the 41 runners, bikers, and walkers who stole the day out of the mouth of the wolf and showed up for this year’s annual Fly to Pie – Kingdom Marathon on Saturday, October 2, 2021. Doin’ the dirt, their mud-spattered faces were filled with smiles and gritty determination as they raced for pizza, maple syrup and jerky. It was a wonderful day, glorious in its own kind of way. Filled with The Nasty, it had some rough and real Kingdom personality. And the quiet beauty of our hills, valleys, and working farms, filled the misty damp of the day.
Out of the fees with some additional donations by participants, this year’s Fly to Pie raised an even $1,000 for the Halo Foundation, which provides support to local cancer patients and their families.
Winning the marathon among the men with a time of 3:43:01 was Tucker Margulies, 34, of New York, NY one of two New Yorkers racing for the No Name Running Club, a club newly forged out of the Covid pandemic. He narrowly beat back Daniel Green of Boston, MA who finished with a time of 3:57:07. Tucker’s prize was a full gallon of Couture’s Maple Syrup and a half a pound of Brault’s Beef Jerky.
Among the women, Hibby Regan, 32, of Waterville, VT took home the jerky and her gallon of maple syrup with a time of 3:46:22. She finished second overall, in the first marathon of her life, rooted on by her friends and family from Maine.
Some say, the hilly, “vista riddled” Marathon course at Fly to Pie is one of the hilliest and most challenging marathons in the East, with climbs totaling 2,894 feet.
Riding together and winning the marathon bike were Bonnie Ritchotte, 48, and Tom Ritchotte, 56, of Littleton, NH, posting a time of 2:09:36. They each grabbed a gallon of Couture’s Maple Syrup and a pound of Brault’s Beef Jerky. Just 10 minutes behind them was Jen Olsen, 50, of West Glover, who’s known as a speedy open water marathon swimmer, winning the 25 km Border Buster at Kingdom Swim in 2017.
Sometimes, showing up and completing is the win. And that’s exactly what happened in the 13.5-mile Family Challenge (bike), as Jonah Matte, 11, of West Burke led his family team to the win with a time of 2:44:23. Jonah has participated in the Family Challenge in 2017, 2018, and 2020. His gritty, muddy ride earned him and his family their share of syrup and jerky and big smiles as they chomped down some fine pizza in the dry and warmth of Parker Pie with Challenge Completed.
The Last One Back to the Barn Award was won by Caryl Geschwind, 56, of Rochester, MN, completing the Marathon in 5:29:14. She was cheered on by her daughters, Kate, 26, and Meg, 22 who won the 10 km run and happily greeted their mom as she crossed the finish. We award this prize to the person who shows the determination and fist in the face of the challenge, so typical of residents of the Northeast Kingdom.
Thanks to Dan Gauvin at Lakeview Aviation and Anne Eldridge of Parker Pie and the Town of Irasburg for joining Kingdom Games in hosting this high-spirited group. And to Chris McFarland at Clyde River Recreation for providing the shuttles back to the airport. To Patti Casey for filling the gloom with song. To the many Clubhous Gangstas who worked so hard to support this event, start to finish and out on the roads. And to the sponsors and partners of Kingdom Games: Community National Bank, Jay Peak Resort, Pick & Shovel, Barton Area Chamber of Commerce for their long-standing support over the years.
Celebrating the day as it is given. What a joy.