DrylandRacingKeefe, Tory Roll to the Top of Greylock

Avatar October 19, 20102
Tom Keefe and Sarah Tory with their trophies at the Bascom Lodge atop Mt. Greylock (Photo: Aubrey Smith)

Tom Keefe and Sarah Tory captured the Mt. Greylock Rollerski Race on Sunday, outdistancing their closest competitors by several minutes each.  Tory, a senior and the women’s captain at Williams College, defended the title she picked up her junior year, while Keefe, a former UNH and Maine Winter Sports Center standout, took the men’s title in his first rollerski race in four years.

Beautifully paved and featuring a mix of steep switchbacks, steady climbs and, mid-race, even some flat and downhill sections, the eight mile road to the summit of Mt. Greylock gains 2,100 feet in elevation as it winds around the southern shoulder of the mountain.  Cool temperatures and sunny skies greeted the 29 competitors on Sunday, with the later stages of the race plagued by slick leaves stuck to the pavement after a day of rain on Saturday.

At the front of the pack, the race was strung out quickly with a hard start from Bret Bedard.   A crew of Williams skiers gave chase, with senior Mark Johnson (racing on classic skis), senior Keith Kantack, sophomore Ian Nesbitt and freshman Kalle Jahn, along with eventual champion Keefe, keeping pace with Bedard, leaving smaller pockets of racers to duke it out for mid-pack places.

Keefe used a burst of speed on a steep uphill section to break free of the lead pack and cruised to the win, leaving Johnson over a minute behind in second and Bedard another minute and a half back in third.

The 8 mile road climbs the southern shoulder of Mt. Greylock (3,491 ft) in the northwest corner of Massachusetts.

“It was my first roller ski race in four years,” said Keefe, “so I didn’t know what to expect.  [My] goal was just to try and hang on to Bret and the Williams skiers as long as I could before they dropped me, [but] once I got clear, I got excited and it brought back memories of training up in northern Maine – I was having fun out there again.”

Tory, who was quick to acknowledge her “speedy rollerskis” in the wake of her victory, led sophomore teammate Christina Knapp early on, but broke clear of the women’s field with less than two miles down and skied the bulk of the race on her own.

“I had no specific race strategy,” said Tory of her win, “other than to start out conservatively because I knew it was going to be at least an hour to the top.  I tried to ski relaxed and focus on my technique.”

Knapp finished a three and a half minutes back in second place with Williams senior Maddy Wendt rounding out the podium with a strong race in third place.

High school racers Josh Harrington (Mt. Greylock Reg. HS/Williamstown, MA) and Hannah Benson (Kennett High School/Jackson, NH) took a weekend off from their cross country running races and competed alongside a field dominated by college racers.  Harrington took 14th place overall and Benson placed 4th for women.

FasterSkier’s Nat Herz was tenth and, in case you missed it in his blog, was supported by his mom who captured the roving reporter on the other side of the camera in the following video:

Complete Results:

Overall Place Name Gender Age Time
1 Tom Keefe M 18 – 39 47:56:00
2 Mark Johnson M 18 – 39 49:05:00
3 Bret Bedard M 18 – 39 50:28:00
4 Keith Kantack M 18 – 39 50:56:00
5 Ian Nesbitt M 18 – 39 51:05:00
6 Kalle Jahn M 18 – 39 51:28:00
7 Caleb Lucy M 18 – 39 53:58:00
8 Joe Korzenecki M 40 and up 54:59:00
9 Pat Joslin M 18 – 39 56:02:00
10 Nat Herz M 18 – 39 56:45:00
11 Andrew Nesbitt M 18 – 39 58:53:00
12 Sarah Tory F 18 – 39 59:00:00
13 Bruce Townsend M 40 and up 59:25:00
14 Dave Birell M 40 and up 59:57:00
15 Christina Knapp F 18 – 39 1:02:36
16 Josh Harrington M 17 and under 1:03:46
17 Maddy Wendt F 18 – 39 1:04:58
18 Robert Quigley M 40 and up 1:05:27
19 Hannah Benson F 17 and under 1:09:40
20 Gary Miller M 40 and up 1:10:23
21 Kristen Halvorsen F 18 – 39 1:10:25
22 Terrence Fowler M 18 – 39 1:12:44
23 Kirsten Johnson F 18 – 39 1:13:25
24 Gunnar Knapp M 40 and up 1:15:45
25 Hilary Greene F 40 and up 1:16:27
26 Matt Voisin M 18 – 39 1:16:27
27 Hannah Hausman F 18 – 39 1:24:38
28 Robby Cuthbert M 18 – 39 1:24:40
29 Frank Netto M 40 and up 1:35:13

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