Vermonters race Mount Mansfield - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vermonters race Mount Mansfield

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STOWE, Vt. -

It's a race to the highest point in Vermont.

"For the top athletes, it will take maybe 33, 34 minutes. But for many it will take well over an hour," said Race Director Jim Fredericks.

However, it is not about your time, but all about finishing.

"It's a 4.3 mile hill climb up the famous Mt. Mansfield toll road. People may run it. They may non-competitively hike it, or competitively bike it," said Fredericks.

"Grueling up hill," said returning runner Jasen Boyd. "But I took 5 minutes off last year's time so I'm totally pleased."

The Race to the Top is a fundraiser to help the Catamount Trail Association maintain the 300 miles of back country ski trails here in Vermont.

Olympic skiier Liz Stephen won. The East Montpelier native said the feat was all about teamwork.

"It doesn't matter whether you're in your hometown or at the Olympics...your teammates have been a part of it all, yea, it's a great feeling," said Stephen.

Children also participated with a Run for Fun 1k and 5k race.

"It's here to kind of promote healthy lifestyles and teaching kids how fun being healthy can be," said Catamount Trails' Outreach and Youth Program Coordinator Emily Licht.

Runner Andrea McLaughlin had advice for adults and kids thinking about competiting for next year. "The first part is the hardest, but once you get through that, kind of in your groove, away you go," she said.

"It's a lot of fun, it's worth it," McLaughlin continued. "It may seem a bit challenging but it's definitely good in the end. You might throw up, but it's worth it."

Making it to the top of the highest point in Vermont can be a challenging accomplishment but it's all for a great cause.

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