On Sunday, September 16, 180 runners participated in the 17th annual Mad Dash, a 5k and 10k race to raise money for the Mad River Path Association.

The weather was perfect—sunny and crisp—and the route was scenic, but as runners turned from Meadow Road onto North Road in Waitsfield at the start of the race, they found themselves racing not only against humans but also against farm animals.

The Mad Dash route passes right in front of Neill Farm and when the cows grazing in the roadside field decided they wanted in on the action, runners pointed and laughed as several members from the dairy herd started sprinting full speed alongside them.

Unfortunately, the cows’ race was cut short by a fence about 100 yards up the road and humans came away with the top finishes. Notable local performances included Ethan Riddell of Fayston, who finished third in the 5k with a time of 18:52, and Michael Rush of Waitsfield, who finished fourth in 19:19. Michael Riddell of Fayston, Noah Eckstein of Warren, and Parker Herlihy of Waitsfield rounded out the top 10 spots, finishing sixth, seventh and ninth, respectively.

For the 10k, top finishers from The Valley included Eric Eley of Duxbury, who finished first with a very impressive time of 35:29, as well as Liz Longwerth of Warren and Steve Robinson of Warren, who finished seventh and ninth, respectively.