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It was a perfect morning for Mad Dash #12, a fundraiser for the Mad River Path Association. The final registration count was 260 for the four- and eight-mile runs and the four-mile community fitness walk, and when the dust settled after the Kids' Fun Run, 81 participants had crossed the finish line on Elwin Neill's farm field in Waitsfield.

The top overall male runner for the eight-miler was Rick Roundtree (29) of Williston, who ran the race in a blazing time of 41:26. The fastest female was Megan Valentine (28) from Colchester who finished in 51:57.   This year's top corporate sponsor of the dash, Joe Grant (49) from Back to Action, was not too far behind, completing the 8-miler in 1:00:53. In the four-mile race, the top male was Eric Eley (28) from Stowe (22:05), and Warren's own Laurie Sigmund (39) finished first for the women at 26:55.

Many returning runners made an appearance at this year's Mad Dash. Especially impressive were Don and Betty Lacharite from Winooski. This year marked the 12th year that they have run in the Dash. Betty (72) came in first in her age category for the four-mile run and finished the race in 42:42. Don (76) also finished at the top of his age category and finished in 43:29. Waitsfield's own Jim Leyton, the race's "most senior" runner, also had a very respectable final time of 1:32:32 for the four-miler, winning the bronze medal in the 70 and over group. Jim has been a regular race participant over the past 12 years.

Another familiar face to the crowd was Kevin Russell of Fayston, who initially thought up the idea that led to the creation of the first Mad Dash in 1996. This year Kevin was a volunteer, a participant in the four-mile run and was also cheering on the sidelines of the Kids' Fun Run as his daughter, Abigail, raced past!

There were several teams who got together and made their mark on this year's event. Green Mountain Valley School sent 12 runners to the Dash, and six of the runners finished in the top 10 male overall: Doug Debold (finishing second at 22:58), David Sinclair (third at 22:37), Jon Arne Enevoldsen (fourth at 22:42), Noah Brautigam (fifth at 22:46), Preston Butler (sixth at 22:48), and Dan Kuzio (seventh at 23:02).

Twelve women from Massachusetts (calling themselves the "Boston Babes") arrived and won the top three spots in the 40-49 female age group: Maura Connolly (28:32), Janet Sweeny (31:26) and teammate Lara (31:48).   

A great showing of local talent happened at the female four-mile run, age 14 and under. Out of the 10 participants, nine of them were from Waitsfield and Warren and swept the field, finishing in the top nine positions. At the front was Lainey Curtis, age 12, at 32:41, and not too far behind in the number-two spot was Hayley Booher, age 12 (32:53) followed by nine-year-old Ellie Curtis (33:02). Race announcer Rocky Bleier has sent out a challenge to the female runners in the Mad River Valley to get together a "Valley Girls" team to challenge the "Boston Babes" next year!  With the strong showing of the 14 and under group and so many future runners (ages 3 to 11) taking place in the Kids' Fun Run, there is bound to be a solid core of up-and-coming racers that we will want to keep our eyes on.
Race results will be available at www.coolrunning.com .