RESULTS: MVP Health Care GMARA Bitter Pill 2011

Recap submitted by Tim Curtin

This year’s MVP Health Care Bitter Pill couldn’t have gone better! (Do we say that every time? Maybe, but its always true. 🙂 Our amazing volunteers and staff raced around the woods setting checkpoints in the downpour just before 33 teams arrived to register on Friday night. Some racers took advantage of our famous navigation clinic, and then everyone tried to grab what sleep they could.

After a 4:30am captain’s meeting in the dark, teams got about 10 minutes to look at their maps before a 5am start on foot. 6 points in any order brought them to some beautiful vistas, a huge field of wild blueberries, and back to pick up their bikes for some fun logging roads and hike-a-bike out to a reservoir. There teams dropped their bikes, and trekked and swam to pick up four points. (Comments from the local fishermen seeing teams of three swimming the reservoir towing drybagged backpacks were priceless.)

More biking, and then a trek/bushwhack to a surprise climb, one truly incredible vista view of Lake Dunmore (easily in the top three locations we’ve ever included in a race), a hidden pond, and other points while fighting their way back to the transition area where lead teams received the present of… more biking! (Of course.)

Some great riding (what an epic downhill), and then another swim/trek leg saw racers finding their way around Silver Lake before hopping back on their bikes for the ride to the finish (remember that downhill? yeah… what goes down…)

At the end of the day, team Untamed New England was unstoppable, turning an early lead into a course-crushing 9 hours 56 minutes – an hour and a half faster than the next team Snot Rocket Science. The only other team to finish the full course, Sunrise Adventure Sports, crossed the finish at 12:03. Every team had a full day, stretched themselves to the physical and mental limits, and went home with a smile!

After a long day in the heat and sun, many racers jumped into the Blueberry Hill Inn’s stream-fed pond to cool off and clean up, picked a handful (or two) of fresh blueberries, then got a post-race massage, listened to the live band, swapped stories, ate and drank (great meal!), and cheered for the winners as they each walked away with their share of one of our largest prize vaults ever.

Folks that stuck around until it got a bit darker were treated to a slideshow of GMARA memories. What a great walk down memory lane – there was much laughing and reminiscing over all our years of racing. We’ll be posting this soon too – look for an update with the link to it.

This year’s course was a great mix of endurance, navigation, pain, fun, and beauty – something for everyone! Friday night’s deluge combined with high temps on race day and loads of distance made this a contender for our toughest course ever. Despite that, I was able to see racers at many points mid-race, and regardless of where they were or what they were doing, everyone was smiling. Racers, volunteers, spectators – everyone had a great day. How could we ask for more?

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Division: 3-person Coed

Rank Team Name State Checkpoints Adjusted Time Status


1 Untamed New England NH 33 09:56:00

(David Lamb, Molly Houseman, David Romilly)

2 Snot Rocket Science VT 33 11:30:00

(Adrian Owens, Jon Owens, Allison Van Akkeren)

3 Sgt. Poncherello VT 32 12:13:00

(Dan Smith, Courtney Kaup, Karin Ward)

4 Mercators ON 30 11:50:00

(Pascale Marceau, Scott Cocks, Alexis Dallaire)

5 Watchout here we come! NY 30 11:58:00

(Jeremy Colgan, Aidan Ehrenberg, Debbie Nicholl)

6 Wild Rumpus NY 26 11:46:00

(Michael LaRocco, Liam Doyle, Beth LaRocco)

7 Cookies for Breakfast VT 26 11:47:00

(Kit Vreeland, Jen Guimaraes, Kevin Karn)

8 The Donner Party CT 26 11:59:00

(Matthew Tullo, Steve Maher, Mary Tullo)

9 Goose Adventure Racing NY 26 12:06:00

(Laura Williams, Tim Ratowski, Ian Webber)

10 Dixie’s Chicks NH 24 12:54:00

(David Dix, Maryanne Connelly, Molly Dix)

11 Lakes, Mud, and Rocks VT 23 12:01:00

(Ross Lieb-Lappen, Martin Lee, Lydia Smith)

12 Nonlinear Search Party NY 23 12:30:00

(Allison Squires, Ryan Davies, Scott Elmegreen)

13 The Kookiez : semi-sweet and a little nutz MA 20 11:12:00

(Michael Hoffman, Brendan Dix, Meghan O’Donovan)

Division: 3 person Female

Rank Team Name State Checkpoints Adjusted Time Status


1 No Sense of (Cardinal) Direction MA 15 10:55:00

(Rachel Hudson, Meg Conan, Kaitlin Konkel)

Division: 3 person Male

Rank Team Name State Checkpoints Adjusted Time Status


1 Sunrise Adventure Sports VT 33 12:03:00

(Bert Severin, Alex Sargent, Pat Viljanen)

2 Team Quebec QC 30 11:50:00

(Yannick Maheux, Julien Fournier, Jude Martel)

3 D cubed MA 30 11:59:00

(Donald Hess, Denis Garriepy, David Young)

4 Fat, Dumb, Happy & Out of Control CT 29 11:44:00

(Greg Hester, Josh Brown, Mike Gannon)

5 Stinky Pirates MA 27 12:10:00

(Mark Smith, Eric Alm, James Burgess)

6 NH Trail Vets NH 26 10:21:00

(Mason Holland, Nick Cassotis, Rob Hillman)

7 It’s Not a Girl’s Bike MA 25 11:50:00

(Patrick Hayes, Jason Maranhao, Joseph Sullivan)

8 Snakes and Arrows CO 25 12:16:00

(Michael Fink, James Fink, Chris Rennie)

9 We like our cookies with chocolate milk!!! NY 24 12:02:00

(Chris Dobozy, Matt Mathurin, Kyle Smith)

10 JSJ NH 23 12:12:00

(Jason Milovanovic, John Pickles, Steve Pomerleau)

11 Even Taco Can Win the League MA 23 12:17:00

(Michael Copacino, Philip Cody, Steve Copacino)

12 Average Joe’s ME 22 10:32:00

(Aaron King, Christopher Bean, Robert Salvato)

13 small but slow NY 22 10:36:00

(Christopher Mulligan, Victor Diaz de leon, Thomas


14 Blame It on the Goose MA 22 11:07:00

(Eric Wyler, Rick Keilty, Sean Matlis)

15 3 Shy of a Six Pack MD 22 11:56:00

(Brian Talon, Tim Goulding, Mac Wilson)

16 Embrace Your Pain MA 22 12:18:00

(Greg Faxon, Adam Holland, Sam Wallis)

17 Ragamuffins VT 20 11:03:00

(Matthew Wyman, Patrick Griffin, David Van Mullen)

18 Passing D’s FL 16 07:27:00

(David Coutu, Dana Coutu, Darren Rauer)

19 The Cookie Monsters MA 14 11:01:00

(Andres Berrio, Kenny Moreno, Christopher


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