Santa’s Revenge 5K Skate Race | Race Recap Feb-Mar 13

From left to right, Kameron Clayton, Thomas Clayton, Katherine Kjelleren, and Spike Clayton.

Dec. 28, 2012
Sleepy Hollow Inn, Ski, and Bike Center
Huntington, Vermont

Thanks to a midweek snowstorm and their new snowmaking equipment, Sleepy Hollow was able to run its first ever Santa’s Revenge on Dec. 28. The 5K skating-style cross-country ski race replaces Ichebod’s Revenge, a long-standing event that used to take place in February. Katherine Kjelleran finished second in the women’s division with a time of 23:14, just 6 seconds behind the first place female.

VS: Was this your first time racing at Sleepy Hollow?
KK: No, I’ve done a few other races there, including Ichebod’s Revenge. We’re big fans of Sleepy Hollow; it’s where we have our season pass. We were familiar with the course because our son is a member of the Champlain Valley Union Nordic team and they train there.

VS: Was the course challenging?
KK: It was a two-lap course for adults, and it started on a downhill, which made for a really fast start, followed by a climb back up. It was a really great course, and it was groomed superbly. It was strenuous and exhilarating. It was also really fun because there were so many different age groups. The middle school and younger kids did one lap and the adults did two. Since Sleepy Hollow is where we ski, I almost felt like it was a training run, except I had to go faster. I’d only been out skiing twice before the race so I had to push myself a bit.

VS: The race was postponed by a day to take advantage of the snow fall. How were the conditions?
KK: Sleepy Hollow just added snowmaking equipment, and they worked on the course earlier in the week, bringing snow over to the barn to make a base. I think it enhanced what nature provided. The timing of the race was perfect given the midweek storm.

VS: How did the race compare to Ichebod’s Revenge?
KK: I like the fact that this race was freestyle. Ichebod’s was a classic race. Freestyle can draw in a lot more people because newer skiers typically learn freestyle, while those with more experience generally prefer classical. I learned to ski in my 20s so I learned freestyle. I’m still trying to learn classical so I think it’s great to have the opportunity to have a skate race.

VS: If you were in charge of the race, would you do anything differently?
KK: No. Given that it was the first time running the race, it was the best you could hope for with the new snow. What was really nice was that everybody got a prize. Skirack provided a box with an assortment of things and everyone got to pick out what they wanted when they turned in their race bib. It was very homey and family friendly. Everything was low-key and really inclusive and encouraging. There was good participation for the first running of the race. A good time was had by all.

Phyl Newbeck

Phyl Newbeck lives in Jericho with two spoiled orange cats. She is a skier, skater, cyclist, kayaker, and lover of virtually any sport which does not involve motors. She is the author of “Virginia Hasn’t Always Been for Lovers: Interracial Marriage Bans and the Case of Richard and Mildred Loving.”