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“The Stick” Comes Home, “The Rocks” Head North

August 6, 2012

Members of the Sprint race emerge from the water after their 500 yard swim. Photo Mike Olmstead

Wrongway Joe Kurtz finds his way to being the top Aquaman, Laurie Hugg Threepeats, Daniel Soucy and Michelle Patrick claim the Ollie, Johnny Appleseed a/k/a Speedy Petee and Kristen Skulte take the Sprint. The Fresh Corn by Lee and Crew, The Crazy Good Music by Reckless Breakfast, and the wonderful good spirit everywhere were OUTSTANDING. Making it all happen: The battle hardened, IROC Staff and Hearty Volunteers (including another return by Julie Gunn), The Seymour Flotilla, and Lake Salem Association, ADA Flaggers, and the many, many wonderful sponsors of The Kingdom Summer Games 2012
Enough said? No way.
IROC’s Kingdom Summer Games of 2012 are beginning to wind down with the completion of the last of the “Four Majors” – Kingdom Triathlon. About 100 triathletes from 12 states, the province of Quebec, and the nation of South Africa, competed in three triathlon events, the Aquaman Even-Up, the Ollie Even-Up, and the Sprint.
Joe Kurtz, 37, of Charleston Mass and a member of The Boston Triathlon Team, claimed top Aquaman Honors setting the new course record of 4:37:12 for the 3.5 mile swim in Lake Seymour, the 34.3 Mile Bike (4 miles longer than last year), and the 13.1 Mile Run (run on the Dandelion Run course largely on dirt roads of Derby, Morgan, and Holland).
Joe won a 1st Place Cedarwood Medal (created by Papas’ Woodcrafts and Memphremagog Press), a Season Pass at Jay Peak Resort, Highland Cattle Beef Jerky, and some Maple Syrup from Couture’s Sugar Shop and B&B. Laurie Hugg, 45, of Ambler, PA, threepeated, claiming the top Female honors in the Aquqaman with a time of 5:38:45 and winning an EXTERRA Westsuit, Jerky and Syrup as well.
The Team Competition for the Stick played out between The Mid-Atlantics, The Massachusetts Maniacs, and The Rest of New England. The Maniacs dominated this year, placing three of the top four finishers, led by Wrongway Joe Kurtz. The prize: a six-foot driftwood log from Memphremagog that travelled to Boston in 2010, was snatched by the Quebec Nordiques in 2011, and now returns “home” to Boston, where it will be displayed prominently in a local YMCA for the coming year.
We will be watching for the Duck Boat parade through the streets of Boston celebrating the Return of The Stick to land of The Boston Bruins.
Daniel Soucy, 32 of Magog, QC and Club de Triathlon Memphremagog, won First Place in The Ollie Even-Up, a 1.75 mile swim, 13.25 mile bike, and 10 K run in a blistering time of 2:19:43, also a new course record, besting last year’s time by over 10 minutes.
Daniel picked up a new triathlon helmet from Louis Garneau along with his “woodal,” jerky, and Vermont maple syrup. Michelle Patrick, 23 of Jericho, VT, took Female honors in the Ollie with a time of 2:31:26 also setting a new female course record in her very first triathlon, ever. A four pack of lift tickets at Jay Peak for Michelle, along with your woodal, jerky, and syrup. Congratulations.
Team Canada, led by Daniel Soucy of Magog, Michel Gagnon of Quebec City, and Bertrand Montel of Montreal, took home “The Rocks,” in an all new Team Competition in the Ollie. Team Canada faced off against Team USA but dominated the event right from the start, placing 7 of the top ten finishers. The Rocks are five clay rocks taken from the shores of Lake Memphregog. They are inspired by the five Olympic Rings and the spirit of international good will of the Olympic Games as well as our own Kingdom Summer Games, which are now drawing participants from 36 different states, five Canadian provinces, Aruba, Mexico, Great Britain, Mumbai, India, and Johannesburg, South Africa. We loved the fact that athletes from Magog, Montreal, and Quebec City combined to lay claim to The Rocks, the very first year they were up for grabs.
The Frank Sinatra, I Did It My Way, Alternate Route Winners, are Kosondra Ladarola , 24, of Sutton, MA, in the Ollie and Gregory Schweitzer, 30 of Johannesburg, South Africa in The Sprint. Each took a wrong turn out on the run at a time when they were in the lead. Their prize, an alternate 1st place woodal, maple syrup, beef jerky, and free entry to next year’s event.
Also winning free pass to return is the relay team Yannessa & Sons, who’s cyclist missed the turn on Lakeshore Drive in Brighton along with another cyclist and only realized her mistake when she saw the New Hampshire border in Bloomfield. Her team also earned a free pass to next year’s event.
Several other Aquaman competitors missed that turn, including female winner Laurie Hugg who caught her mistake in time to back track and still reclaim her lead. The route was mapped, the mileage reported to all, and the turn was marked.
But the road was smooth and the bikes were flying on that stretch. That missed turn may have taken a couple of Aquaman athletes out of contention. Next year we will have it better marked. But, our caution to all contestants remains.
These are country roads, part of race preparation is to come up early and drive the route, in advance, One guy who did that this year was Wrongway Joe Kurtz.
Joe was in the lead at the inaugural Aquaman event in 2010 when he missed a turn on the run. Using his Garmin he made sure he completed a 13.1 mile run, just not on the Dandelion Run course. He was a very good sport about it all, earning his nick name of “Wrongway Joe” (His Triathlon Team gave him a compass at its annual dinner).
He was back this year, well prepared on the routes, and quietly determined to claim First Place. We were thrilled and inspired when we saw him sprinting into the homestretch down the 4-H Road IN THE LEAD.
Winners of this year’s Last One Back to the Barn Award – given to that participant who demonstrates the “fist in the face of reality” so common among the residents of the Northeast Kingdom – went to the couple, Mark and Corinne Snider of Massena, NY, who completed the Aquaman course in 8:27:33. As they crossed the finish line with their hands held and raised together, Mark told his bride, “See, I told you we could finish in under eight-and-a-half hours.”
The prize, a complete autographed set of the works by Howard Mosher provided by Woodknot Books and Turner’s Café. Mark also took home the honors of “The Most Mature Aquaman.” The prize: Perimeter Check II by Paul Lefebvre.
For the Love of the Tri award, this year, goes to Laurie Damianos. Laurie is a leader of the Boston Triathlon Team, is a strong triathlete, has been a strong supporter and advocate of our even up series since we started it in 2010, and serves on our Organizing Committee. The award: An hour in the air with a couple of buddies provided by Dan Gauvin of Lakeview Aviation.
And, finally, the prize for the largest team goes to those EIGHT rascally Quebec Nordiques of Quebec City, led by Michel Gagne and Francine Amyot. Their reward – a $15 gift certificate for each member of this year’s team at The EastSide Restaurant.
Special thanks to the Boston Triathlon Team, The Quebec Nordiques, and The Mid -Atlantics along with so many others who take on Kingdom Triathlon with such good spirit. Your athletic abilities leave us in awe. Your sense of good sportsmanship and good spirit makes this event a true pleasure to host.
Hope to see you all back next year, August 3, 2013.
Still want to play in The Kingdom? Next up
Willoughby Swim, August 18th,
Caspian Swim, August 19th,
Kingdom Thunder, August 25th
In Search of Memphre, September 8th,
Fall Foliage Tour, September29th and 30th,
Doin’ The Dirt, October 6th and 7th
Halloween Hustle, October 27th

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