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Patterson and Halstead win Forbush Corner 17k Freestyle

Sat, Feb  15, 2014 - By Mike Muha

It was almost balmy as we arrived at Forbush Corner for the Forbush 17k Freestyle: a nice 5F with sunny skies and almost no wind. Hey, 5F is warm when when compared to the brutal -7F at the North American Vasa last week, or the Noquemonan's cold and wind. This season's race-wax-of-choice (the coldest wax in your box, with a cold powder additive to make the bases even harder) was the wax of the day.

Lead women at the Forbush Corner 17k Freestyle cross country ski race

Lead women at coming through the stadium area after the start. (All photos by Barb Wade)

The start was very wide, but marred by some hard low berms and bumps. Most of the skiers started on the left, leaving two thirds of the start area sparsely populated, probably because a few hundred yard down the course made a hard left and up a hill. The men started first, the women 5 minutes later. The men's start was a bit of chaos, with a couple crashes before the turn and a couple more into the wide climb (easy skating two across) caused by agressive skiers trying to win in the first half kilometer. Things calmed down - for the most part - as skiers spread out.

Lead pack at the Forbush Corner 17K Freestyle cross country ski race

Climbing one of many, many hills....

A couple more problems popped up as certain skiers discovered that the tracks were significantly faster on the downhills than the skate lane. In fact, I tangled up with Steve Smigel Sr. as I caught and started passing him just the trail tipped back up. He'd tucked down the hill in the skate lane, and started skating just as I started to pass in the track. We tangled our tips and had to come to a complete stop to untangle (sorry Steve!). He got his revenge by beating me to the finish.

If you haven't been to Forbush Corner, then a short description of the course is warranted; You are either climbing or descending. There is very little that is flat on the race course. Not many hills are long, but they are steep! Downhills were screaming, especially if you jumped in the tracks. Heck, there were skiers doublepoling up the gentle hills and passing skaters - that's how fast the tracks were. I marathon skated in many spots on the race, hoping the tracks would give me extra fast glide.

The lead men finish the Fobush Corner 17K cross country ski race

Ryan Halstead, John O'Hearn, and Ryan Harris sprinting for the finish line

Climbing? Cold waxes don't seem to have low breakaway speed, and it was a struggle for everyone in the climb. Skis that felt fast on the flats and downs just seemed bog down on the ups.

Up front, a real race was happening. Ryan Halstead, John O'Hearn, and Ryan Harris skied in their own elite pack, minutes ahead of everyone else. At the end, only two seconds separated the three, as Halstead sprinted across the line first in 50:11, with O'Hearn and Harris in his wake.

Kaitlin Patterson wins the Forbush Corner 17K cross country ski race

Kaitlin Patterson takes the win

The women were moving fast as well. Kaitlin Patterson passed me first in the last 3k, having made up 5 minutes on my time. A minute or so later, Laura Web and Susan Vigland cruised by. Patterson held on to her lead, finishing exactly 10 minutes behind Ryan Halstead, in 60:10. Laura Webb and Susan Vigland sprinted together to the finish, with Webb taking it at the line in 60:50.

Laura Webb beats Susan Vigland for 2nd place at the finish of the Forbush Corner 17K cross country ski race

Laura Webb beats Susan Vigland for 2nd place at the finish

Women

Place Bib # Name (first last) Time Sex Age Class
1 133 Kaitlin Patterson 60:10 F 24 Seniors 20-29 (F)
2 147 Laura Webb 60:50 F 53 Masters 50-59 (F)
3 144 Susan Vigland 60:51 F 45 Masters 40-49 (F)
4 107 Rebecca Davis 62:02 F 24 Seniors 20-29 (F)
5 153 Mariah Frye 62:25 F 27 Seniors 20-29 (F)
6 109 Brenda Carlson 66:20 F 54 Masters 50-59 (F)
7 136 Amy Joss 66:21 F 48 Masters 40-49 (F)
8 161 Hilary Witbrodt 77:58 F 33 Seniors 30-39 (F)
9 112 Christine Seager 86:07 F 51 Masters 50-59 (F)
10 120 Sheila Marcus 97:37 F 56 Masters 50-59 (F)
11 132 Gwen Stevenson 105:25 F 47 Masters 40-49 (F)
12 156 Amelia Wilks 111:30 F 66 Super Masters 60-69 (F)
13 154 Savannah Port 128:23 F 20 Seniors 20-29 (F)
14 103 Linda Allen 131:32 F 61 Super Masters 60-69 (F)
15 158 Susan Joslin 138:45 F 48 Masters 40-49 (F)
16 130 Jean Murray 139:13 F 75 Super Masters 70-79 (F)

Men

Place Bib # Name (first last) Time Sex Age Class
1 116 Ryan Halstead 50:10 M 27 Seniors 20-29 (M)
2 160 John Ohearn 50:11 M 33 Seniors 30-39 (M)
3 101 Ryan Harris 50:12 M 23 Seniors 20-29 (M)
4 143 Clifford Onthank 55:26 M 60 Super Masters 60-69 (M)
5 125 Jim Harrington 55:30 M 48 Masters 40-49 (M)
6 141 Randal Bladel 55:49 M 58 Masters 50-59 (M)
7 135 James Beebe 55:50 M 53 Masters 50-59 (M)
8 124 Don Camp 58:21 M 62 Super Masters 60-69 (M)
9 128 Bob Smith 58:22 M 41 Masters 40-49 (M)
10 110 Josh Sheldon 58:40 M 33 Seniors 30-39 (M)
11 137 Mo Harwood 58:41 M 35 Seniors 30-39 (M)
12 113 Steve Seager 59:56 M 55 Masters 50-59 (M)
13 115 Mike Seaman 60:26 M 50 Masters 50-59 (M)
14 145 Douglas Cornell 60:37 M 54 Masters 50-59 (M)
15 150 Blair Zordell 61:05 M 54 Masters 50-59 (M)
16 162 Mike Everts 61:57 M 52 Masters 50-59 (M)
17 108 Michael Davis 62:16 M 22 Seniors 20-29 (M)
18 118 Bill Kaltz 62:32 M 67 Super Masters 60-69 (M)
19 151 Robin Luce 62:40 M 62 Super Masters 60-69 (M)
20 114 Chris Maltby 64:43 M 41 Masters 40-49 (M)
21 149 Rene Harde 64:45 M 47 Masters 40-49 (M)
22 140 Steve Smigiel 65:11 M 68 Super Masters 60-69 (M)
23 111 Joseph Brown 66:12 M 65 Super Masters 60-69 (M)
24 134 Mike Muha 66:49 M 57 Masters 50-59 (M)
25 142 Randy Kessler 67:10 M 60 Super Masters 60-69 (M)
26 127 Todd Gyulvesvi 67:31 M 52 Masters 50-59 (M)
27 126 David Austin 68:48 M 45 Masters 40-49 (M)
28 155 Ryan Darnton 69:20 M 33 Seniors 30-39 (M)
2 146 Anthony Percha 69:50 M 54 Masters 50-59 (M)
30 129 Dan Nolan 72:22 M 63 Super Masters 60-69 (M)
31 121 Lewis Tripp 72:36 M 55 Masters 50-59 (M)
32 122 Rick Neient 72:51 M 56 Masters 50-59 (M)
33 104 Peter Shambaugh 73:20 M 14 Juniors 13-19 (M)
34 131 Tom Baron 73:33 M 60 Super Masters 60-69 (M)
35 106 Michael Bourassa 74:32 M 59 Masters 50-59 (M)
36 138 Theo Vonwallmenich 77:36 M 43 Masters 40-49 (M)
37 117 Walter Johnson 80:51 M 65 Super Masters 60-69 (M)
38 105 Frank Nizio 83:32 M 65 Super Masters 60-69 (M)
39 152 Doug Moggo 84:23 M 52 Masters 50-59 (M)
40 139 Ryan Flesher 92:12 M 39 Seniors 30-39 (M)
41 119 Timothy Mervak 94:14 M 57 Masters 50-59 (M)
42 159 Greg Worrel 96:43 M 59 Masters 50-59 (M)
43 148 Philip Huyghe 102:59 M 55 Masters 50-59 (M)
44 157 Ken Shannon 134:33 M 56 Masters 50-59 (M)
45 164 Robert Pettibone 134:40 M 58 Masters 50-59 (M)
46 163 Mark Barrera 134:42 M 50 Masters 50-59 (M)