Around the State

Posted January 2nd, 2009

Craftsbury Common, VT—Russell and Janet Spring and family, founders and long-time owners of The Craftsbury Outdoor Center, sold the business, buildings, and associated 130 acres to Dick Dreissigacker and Judy Geer of Morrisville. The couple are co-owners of Concept 2 rowing machines and oars and will run the Craftsbury Outdoor Center under the umbrella of their nonprofit family foundation. They restructured the Craftsbury business as a nonprofit entity, and it is now eligible to receive grants and tax-deductible donations. Dreissigacker and Geer also bought an additional 100-acre parcel known as Elinor’s Hill, which has trails that are an important component of the entire trail network.

The new owners’ vision is to promote lifelong sports for all ages and ability levels. Being organized as a non-profit allows them to explore ways to draw more people into healthy, active lifestyles, as well as to support athletes striving to reach the top of their disciplines. Other goals include using and teaching sustainable practices throughout the organization, and protecting and managing the surrounding lake, land, and trails.

One immediate change for this ski season is the move of the Craftsbury Nordic Ski Club (CNSC) to under the umbrella of the Center’s programming. The Center has served as a training base for CNSC in the past, but has not formally sponsored the club. A more wide-reaching change is the slashing of trail fees. Rather than offering season passes, there is a new membership system to make trails and rental equipment more affordable. Day passes are just $10 for adults and $5 for children and seniors. Season memberships have been lowered to $50 for adults (formerly $150) and $25 for students and seniors. A family membership is $100. Other immediate improvements are more programs for juniors, and more competitive training for both Nordic skiers and scullers.

For more on the Craftsbury Outdoor Center sale, please see the article by John Morton on page 4 of this issue. For general information about the Center go to

Berlin, VT—Aspiring and accomplished triathletes will benefit from a new training program that meets three times a week, beginning January 26 and going through May 16 at First in Fitness in Berlin. Triathlete and coach John Spinney, director of Triathlon Unlimited, will team up with podiatrist and runner Kevin McNamara, director of Running Unlimited, to offer the 16-week triathlon training program. The group will meet on Mondays from 5-6:30 p.m. for lectures on sport-specific training, gait analysis, flexibility assessment, injury prevention, goal setting, periodization, nutrition, heart rate training, and lactate threshold testing. Guest speakers include Donna Smyers, physical therapist at Choice PT and multiple Ironman and Olympic distance age-group world champion; Brandon Vaughan, USA cycling certified mechanic and staff mechanic at Fitwerx; Ramsey Pualwan, Norwich University cross-country running coach; John Spinney, triathlete and coach who has competed in over 100 triathlons, including five Ironmans and 10 half Ironmans; and Kevin McNamara, runner of 31 years, who is board certified and fellowship trained in foot surgery and podiatric sports medicine.

Thursday evenings will focus on swimming and/or designated training/conditioning, and weekend group runs will have leaders and be scheduled according to individual abilities and goals. Cost for the 16-week program is $250 ($195 for members of Running Unlimited or Triathlon Unlimited). To register or for more information call First in Fitness, 802-223-6161, or email John at

Stowe, VT—Stowe Derby organizers are offering a new category to the long-standing downhill/cross-country ski race: the OR Team Challenge. Outdoor Research (OR) is sponsoring this new division and will provide great prizes for the winning teams. Here’s how it works. Each team enters in one of four categories: Skate (average team age 40 and under; Skate (average team age over 40); Classic (average team age 40 and under); Classic (average team age over 40). Each team must have at least one woman, all team members must ski in the same race, all must finish to receive a team result, and all must register by February 17th.

Teams do not need to ski together. If any team members have skied in the Derby in the past two years, he or she will be seeded according to past finish times. If a team wishes to race together in the same wave, the team will be seeded according to the weakest skier, or according to date of registration. Team prizes will be awarded in the following categories: fastest skate and classic teams; fastest family; fastest three-generation team; fastest club; fastest school; oldest team; youngest team; best dressed; and most spirited.

The 2009 Stowe Derby is Sunday, February 22. For general information about the Stowe Derby, the OR Team Challenge, or to register online, go to, or email