Records fall at 17th annual TAM Trek
MIDDLEBURY — On a cool, crisp Sunday morning, a record number of runners and walkers joined supporters of the Trail Around Middlebury to participate in the 17th running of the TAM Trek, celebrating the 31st anniversary of the 19-mile TAM.
Middlebury College graduate Morgan Perlman, 23, of Burlington, set a new men’s record in the 19-mile trail run with a time of 2 hours, five minutes and 36 seconds — a pace of 6:36 per mile. Chase Weaver, 26, also of Burlington, was second in 2:11:59, a 6:56 pace, and Josh Hummel, 31, of Middlebury, was third in 2:22:07, a pace of 7:28 per mile.
In the women’s division, Jessie Donavan, 44, Cornwall, took top honors with a time of 2:27:17, a 7:45 pace; Maddy Pfeifer of Andover, N.H. was second in 2:33:58, 8:06 pace; and Margaret Gish, 24, Middlebury, was third in 2:36:05, a 8:12 pace. Running just seconds behind Gish was Charlotte Tate, 60, of Middlebury, in 2:36:45, for a 8:15 pace, while Kelsey Eberly, 36, of Weybridge and Keely Henderson, 49, of Lincoln, and Jessica Racusin, 46, of Middlebury, finished the 19-mile run in sixth, seventh and eighth places, respectively.
The 211 participants raised just over $13,000, exceeding the $10,500 goal set by the Middlebury Area Land Trust, which oversees the TAM and other land conservation projects and trails in the area.
MALT Executive Director Jamie Montague was thrilled by the race’s turnout and success, noting that 16 local businesses donated “nearly $4,000 toward the TAM, a testament to our community’s love of the TAM in spite of unprecedented economic challenges for many local businesses.” Plus, over 100 community members contributed to the TAM, helping MALT exceed its goal, Montague added, noting that even though Middlebury College students were not permitted to race because of COVID-19 restrictions, many chose to donate their entry fees in support of the TAM.
“The importance of this year’s TAM Trek was different from the past,” Montague said while reflecting on the race. “A year ago I could not have anticipated we’d be running the TAM Trek with masks, socially distanced. In our local way, the TAM is a means by which the Addison County community comes together and finds common ground and this year, the community showed me just how vibrant we are when we connect with the lands we protect.
“The TAM has been a cornerstone of the greater Middlebury community for over 30 years and it has never been as great of an asset as now,” Montague continued. “MALT staff and volunteers have seen record use of trails since the COVID-19 pandemic began and TAM Trek 2020 was a beautiful celebration of our emerald necklace.”
Montague extended a special note of gratitude to the MALT trail maintenance team: John Derick, Caleb Basa, Derrick Burt, Katherine McCool, and many others.
TAM Trek participants also competed in two-mile and six-mile race divisions, which, generally, were less competitive and featured a lot of walkers.
Chani Krech, 23, of Monkton, won the two-mile women’s race in 25:14, with Middlebury sisters Kate Kozak, 11, and Ella Kozak, 13, taking second and third among the 38 contestants. In the men’s two-mile race, Jase Kozak, 11, took first in 20:46, followed by Charlie Germon, 13, of Lincoln, and Alex Gemme, 21, of Middlebury, out of 23 runners.
In the women’s six-mile trek, Lindsey Beal, 34, of Wolcott, Vt., took first in 47:02, a 7:35 pace, followed by Sarah Lawrence, 40, of New Haven, Vt., in 48:41, 7:51 pace; and Stacey Rainey, 47, of Weybridge, in 49:13, a pace of 7:56. Close behind Rainey were Lia Robinson, 15, Middlebury, 49:18 and Keele Kozak, 44, of Middlebury in 51:13. There were 27 women competing in the six-mile trek.
James Underwood, 14, of Woodstock won the men’s six-mile trek in 40:36, a 6:33 pace, followed by Haakon Olsen, 14, of Middlebury in 43:49, and Callan Boulanger, 13, in 49:09 in third out of the 14 contestants. (For complete results go to: https://www.underdogtiming.com/Tam%20Trek%20Results-1.pdf.)