In memory of Dave Blumenthal, a talented endurance athlete, designer and dedicated Green Mountain Club volunteer
Conservation Collaboratives, Kingdom Trails Association and Burke Mountain Resort organized the CicrumBurke Challenge & Chowderfest.
Special thanks to Catamount Glass (Glassware made in Vermont!), Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation, East Burke Sports, and StoneCrest Properties.
69 cyclists and 19 runners rolled off under sunny skies for the 2nd annual CircumBurke on October 23, 2011. With a dedicated contingent of Kingdom Trails staff on hand to manage race marshalling, EMT support and food stations, the challenge participants were in good hands. Despite the daunting challenge ahead, enthusiasm was high on the start line and continued throughout the event. It was a beautiful day and the spirit of camaraderie and good fun reigned throughout morning and afternoon The riders departed 10:08 am and the runners at 10:20 am.
The demanding 18-ish mile circuit climbs up onto Kingdom Trail’s Lodge, Camptown and CCC Trails before diving over the shoulder of Burke Mt into wilds of Victory. In Victory, riders and runners enjoyed 2 extra miles of new singletrack. This start/finish at Burke Mountain Resort’s Sherburne Lodge was an ideal venue for the event, with modern facilities, a BBQ, and delicious Chowder Cook-Off to greet the tired cyclists after their ordeal.
20+ students and coaches from Burke Mountain Academy rode the Challenge after generously volunteering their time on several afternoons during the previous week to sweep leaves off the singletrack sections in Victory. Also making their debut at this year’s Circumburke were the 19 distance runners – a promising sign for the future editions.
After climb from Burke Riders were rewarded with a high speed descent into Victory and followed a little later by freshly prepared single track- which was very popular. The EMT/AID stations were located every five miles allowed for eating, drinking, socializing and enjoying the pristine views of Victory with the Presidential range in the background. Due to the previous week’s rains, returning to Burke via the straight section of the “Golden Trail” and “North Pasture” was a muddy and slippery affair and particularly difficult for cyclists to negotiate –runners appeared less daunted by these conditions.
Upon entering “Magill Fields” in the Kingdom Trails system, the exhausted riders were treated to a wonderful view of Burke Mountain before descending the final mile from the Dashney Farm XC ski center on town roads back to the Sherburne Lodge. Waiting for them back at the lodge was a cheerful crowd and hot meals including samples from Burke’ Mountain’s local “Chowderfest”.
Former World Cup Skier, Kraig Sourbeer of East Burke was the first male rider to arrive back at Sherburne Lodge, and Moriah Wilson was the first female finisher. Andrew Tripp from Montpelier, cruised through more than half of the MTB field to become the first runner home, as did Bridget Ferrin-Smith the first female runner.