Left to right: TK Despres, Tanner Ketchel, Carl Kellogg, Andrew Postal and Colin Rodgers took part in the unique athletic challenge to honor GMVS’ 2020 graduates. Photo: Courtesy of GMVS

On Wednesday, May 20, over 220 Green Mountain Valley School (GMVS) students, staff and alumni honored their 32-student member Class of 2020 with a unique athletic challenge. The goal, as a collective virtual community, was to sweat through 2,020 miles and 53,000 vertical feet, in honor of the current year and a May 30, 2020, graduation date. Participants were encouraged to bike, run or hike as far and as high as possible.

GMVS, with students, staff and alumni spanning the globe for online learning, used Strava, an online fitness tracking app, to capture data for the one-day challenge. The GMVS community crushed their goal, logging over 3,000 miles, over 200,000 feet in elevation and 250 hours of physical effort.

“Spring is such a special time for the GMVS community, rich with so many positive traditions and emotions that we sadly are missing out on this year. The biking, hiking and running that our students, staff – and even a handful of alums – accomplished yesterday in tribute to the Class of 2020 speaks to the great competitive spirit and community-minded nature of our people,” notes Steve Utter, alpine program director

Top contributors logged over 50 miles each and included Colin Rodgers, Nordic program director, at 132 miles, and 12,351 feet.



 “I wanted to show my support for the Class of 2020 by leaving a bit of grit out there yesterday! I started the ride with some seniors and was thinking I was just going to ride the local four gaps – App, Lincoln, Middlebury, Brandon,” Rodgers said.

“Then as I was riding, I started to think about how cool it would be to make it extra meaningful and tack on the last two – Roxbury and Moretown. Needless to say, I finished in the dark. It was a ride I will never forget. Here’s to TK, Carl, Tanner, Charlie and Gavin and to all of the others in the GMVS Class of 2020 that I have been fortunate to spend time with. Words of advice – leave it all out there,” Rodgers said.

When the pandemic hit in mid-March, GMVS students and staff shifted in-person classes and athletic endeavors online. The senior class missed out on their final spring together and won’t have an opportunity to experience a traditional in-person commencement ceremony.

Top five individual contributions:

1. Colin Rodgers, Nordic program director: 132.61 miles, 12,351 feet, 8:46:30.

2. Sofija Novoselic, U16 girls’ coach: 77.93 miles, 2,547 feet, 4:51:39.

3. Cristian Riis, Class of 2020: 67.42 miles, 5,648 feet, 4:41:22.

4. Charlotte Brown, Class of 2020: 65.1 miles, 2,080 feet, 4:53:45.

5. Trey Jones, Class of 2023: 56.1 miles, 5,576 feet, 3:40:00.