KEENE VALLEY - U.S. national team biathlete Annelies Cook took first place in the women's division of the Great Adirondack Trail Run Saturday, beating her teammate Corinne Malcolm by one second.
Cook finished the 11.5-mile race in 2 hours, 2 minutes and 22 seconds. Race director Jan Wellford said the time was a new course record for women.
"My stomach hurts. I'm tired," Cook said after the race. "It was fun."
Annelies Cook of Saranac Lake takes a ceremonial drink out of the shoe of Great Adirondack Trail Run trophy after winning Saturday’s women’s race.
(Enterprise photo — Mike Lynch)
This was Cook's second time competing in the Great Adirondack Trail Run, organized by The Mountaineer gear store in Keene Valley. She said she had a little extra motivation after coming in third place last year, finishing 27 seconds behind the winner.
"This year I went in with the mindset that alright, let's see if I can win it," Cook said. "But it's still a fun casual race, so we're still having fun and not taking things too seriously, but there definitely is a little pressure for me in the back of my mind because I really did want to win."
In the men's race, Juergen Uhl took first place in 1:44:10. He beat perennial contender George Adams, who finished just two seconds off Uhl's pace. Queensbury resident Aaron Newell took third.
Newell had been hoping to win the race coming into it, but found himself battling the flu.
"It's not exactly what I was looking for, but I'm happy," Newell said about his finish.
This was the seventh annual Great Adirondack Trail Run, a charity event that raises money for the AuSable and Boquet River associations.
The event consisted of two runs, a strenuous 11.5-mile course with 2,900 feet of vertical gain and a 3,100 descent. The course started on private land near the Baxter Mountain Tavern and headed into the Forest Preserve up the back side of Hopkins Mountain, then finished on private land in Keene Valley. The other race was a 3.5-mile fun run from Baxter Mountain Tavern to Keene Valley.
Wellford said one of the biggest challenges in these races is to keep your footing, especially on the descents.
"Being able to descend safely and quickly is very challenging," Wellford said. "Lots of rocks and roots. They tend to be pretty slippery, even on pretty dry days."
In the 3.5-mile race, 12-year-old Scott Mooney took first place with a time of 23:14. He beat 23-year-old Jacob Dillon (24:29) and 24-year-old Joe Merrihew (25:12).
Kirsten Devlin, 37, was the first female across the finish line. She completed the course in 33:03.
After the race, participants enjoyed a barbecue with live music and an awards ceremony. While the run was meant to be competitive, afterward was not.
"The event was originally organized as a celebration of spring and a good way to get some exercise, enjoy the mountains and get ready after a long winter season for the coming summer season," Mountaineer owner Vinny McClelland said.