With this stage being late in the week, littered with crushing hills, technical trails, and less-them optimal traction, major standings shake-ups tend to happen on Chicopee! This year did not disappoint! IronLuke put up an epic fight, but Aidan of the Millennials was able to hold their position in first (but just barely). Vicki built slightly on her lead in gold. Nick posted the second fastest time of the day to strongly hold his 2nd OA on the podium. H+P still holds the top-4 teams, and now has 3 athletes in the top 5 OA (Nick, Vicki and Thaddeus).
What a showdown this was! Going in, there was a measly 4 minutes separating H+P’s top 3 teams. With Luke pushing a relay best 2:14, he was able to make up 3:02 on Aidan (who ran a great 2:17) to now set 1:41 back with 2 stages to go. More importantly, Luke was able to gap Adam of the once 2nd place In-Betweeners by 32 minutes to give them an outstanding chance of finishing 2nd OA. Adam did battle hard through a relatively epic blow-up to hold the In-Betweeners in 3rd OA with a 2:46.
Emily of the women’s A-team put the ladies back on track with an outstanding 2:35. This beat last year’s result by 8 mins to put the ladies within 55s of record pace and comfortable held their strong 4th OA position.
The Mixed 1 vs. Mixed 2 battle is heating up as Reza (2:32) and Trevor (2:52- massive PB) both posted outstanding results. Mixed-1 has a 29 minute lead, but an extremely strong marathoner in Thaddeus to anchor their week. The masters women’s team continues to impress, this time with Tracey Kuchma running a very strong 3:07 to keep the ladies well within the Top 1 and within striking distance of Mixed-2. Will our masters all-stars (Robyn and Val) be able to close that gap?
The Funactics battle is also living up to the hype. Coffee achieved complete and utter revenge on the course from last year, closing the 1:13:39 gap by 51 minutes today! Howie fought hard as a last-minute stand in to finish in 3:31. Will Will be able hold off the charging Andrew on the final stage to keep Fun-1 in the lead?
Nick crushed the race, coming in with the second fastest time of the day (2:13), further solidifying his 2nd place standing and building upon his lead on 2012 Dave!
On the women’s podium, Vicki once again built on her lead in Gold with a PB of 2:27! Val was able to claw 3 minutes back on the 2nd OA female and build on her position in 3rd with an outstanding PB of 2:28:05. She also has increased lead vs. her 2015 self with the gap now sitting at 10:20!
Thaddeus had a great performance, pushing the limits expand the gap to his 2015 self up to 35 mins! His 2:27 was also good enough to bring him into 5th place OA.
Andrew had an awesome performance, running 3:39 and now sits in 24th OA. Will showed that the word quit is absolutely not in his vocabulary as he absolutely crushed the once seemingly invincible 2013 Will by 27 minutes. He now has a 7:59 lead going into the final 2 stages!