This past Saturday in Fayston, VT, NENSA hosted the 10th annual App Gap Challenge, the first event in our newly named NENSA Bag Balm Rollerski Race Series. For those unfamiliar with App Gap, it’s short for Appalachian Gap, and is mountain pass in Vermont’s beautiful Green Mountains. Video highlight.
The highest point of Appalachian Gap rises 2,375 feet above the valley below. The ascent up Route 17 to the gap is long, steep, and unforgiving and has the reputation of being one seriously tough climb!
Racers started on skate skis at 9:30 from the base of the road and made their way to the Mad River Glen parking lot where they switched to classic skis for the final portion of the climb. The men’s race measured 7500 meters, and the women’s raced measured 5000 meters. The road got seriously steep after the transition zone and spectators and fans in the parking lot cheered on the skiers as they made their way up, up and out of sight to the top of the gap.
Strong efforts were made by everyone who showed up to race. Our field ranged from juniors to masters, to elite skiers and it was fun to see such a wide range of ages in the faces of the skiers as they double poled by on their way up the road.
The overall winner for the elite women’s division was Caitlin Patterson of Craftsbury Green Racing Project who set a new course record of 22:20. She was followed by Ida Sargent, also of Craftsbury in second, and Katherine Ogden from SMS T2 / Dartmouth College in third.
On the men’s elite side of things, the overall winner was Kyle Bratrud of SMS T2 with a time of 25:44, followed by Adam Martin of Craftsbury Green Racing Project in second and Lewis Nottonson of Middlebury College in third.
The race saw juniors putting in some impressive times as well, with the U-19 female winner Rena Schwartz of Green Mountain Valley School finishing in a time of 25:25. Rena was followed by Alexandra Lawson of Middlebury College / Craftsbury Nordic in second and Callie Young of Craftsbury Nordic in third.
Our men’s U-19 winner was Ellot Ketchel of Green Mountain Valley School with a time of of 29:18, followed by Joshua Valentine also of Green Mountain Valley School in second, and Finn Sweet of Craftsbury Nordic in third.
Masters races were won by Elissa Bradley of Ford Sayre in the women’s race and Joel Bradley of Ford Sayre in the men’s race. Full results are available on Bart Timing.
We could not have pulled off such a successful event without the help of all of our sponsors and partners: Bag Balm, LL Bean, Nokian Tires, Swix, Swenor Rollerskis, EnjoyWinter.com, VT Ski and Ride, Bart Timing, Green Mountain Flagging, and Green Mountain Valley School!