This past month on October 14th, the Saranac Lake 6er Relay took place, beginning and ending at the renowned 6er Bell in Berkeley Green. It was the third of its kind held, and drew in racers from as far as British Columbia. Nineteen teams, comprised of over one hundred people, competed on a wet, foggy, typical October day in the Adirondacks. Teams were composed of six racers each, and individual racers were assigned one mountain apiece. The first racer would climb the first mountain, descend, and hand a punch card to the next team member awaiting them at the trail head. That member would continue to the next trail head, ascend, descend, hand off the punch card to the next racer, and so on. We are proud, and not surprised, that our two competing Paul Smith’s teams took both 1st and 2nd place! We at the Apollos would like to give a huge kudos to them for competing in, and dominating this unique and special race! I have compiled some quotes and favorite memories from some of our racers here:
“My favorite part of the race was each time one of our teammates finished a mountain, we all sprinted to the car and peeled out as fast as possible. It is a great feeling when my teammates are as competitive as I am! Also, it felt really satisfying when I was able to run St. Regis alongside Patrick and make sure he kept up the pace right till the end.” –Audrey Emerson
“The race day was so memorable. Before we started we were ready to go all out and have a good time. Baker was our first mountain and the first person down was Matt, and since it was still dark we just assumed it was him and started to cheer. Before we knew it, it was Matt and that is when all of us really started to feel the excitement. Running up a mountain alone was relaxing but lonely, yet having the racing atmosphere kept pushing me up the steep parts even though everyone was at the trail head miles away. One of the best moments was waiting for Gavin at the McKenzie/Haystack trail head. Tyler had come back, and we were waiting for Gavin to go up Haystack. Shortly after, we heard others cheering, so naturally we all started to cheer. Then, Tyler shouted, “That’s Gavin! Let’s go!” So, we all quickly hopped into the car to get to the next mountain. Being in the race atmosphere all day and meeting new people was an experience we won’t forget.” –Jessica Setter
“I ran the Haystack leg of the relay for the 1st place team. It was a pleasure to be part of such a unique local race. Spending the day with other people who enjoy running up mountains was a great experience. The race was very well done, and I hope they hold it next year.” – Gavin Berdan
“The beginning of the race was really awesome, just that start, everyone starts gathering at 5:30 in the morning at Berkeley Green, and just the hype and seeing over one hundred people there. I love the start and the gun going off, and running to your car. Then every transition was awesome! Passing the card off to your next team member, and yelling for them to go, and your team just all coming to together. The ending was really awesome, there was a group behind us that went in five minutes after Andy went in on St. Regis, and I was just wondering the whole time how it was going on the trail for the two of them. Andy just blew them out of the water, really fast on Regis. So it was awesome.” – Bethany Garretson
“I’d say one of the coolest and most challenging parts was after the shotgun start, I was parked up the street a hundred yards or so, and everyone is in a dead sprint down the street in the dark in Saranac Lake, we got in the car and turned on Iron Maiden and we’re going to the trailhead. Then as soon as Bethany and Bronson stepped out to begin their mountains and I realized I wasn’t going to be hiking for like…seven hours. So I was all amped up and ready to go, and then I had to, you know… figure out what to do all day long, so that was fun. Then going into St. Regis and being the anchor, having no idea where we stood. We knew the other Paul Smith’s team was right in front of us, it was just a matter of where I’d see them on the trail. So if they were first, we might’ve been second. Then coming downhill and seeing someone who I hadn’t seen most of the day trucking up really fast, I was like “I cant stop running at this point”, so it was a really good time on St. Regis. Then getting back to Saranac Lake and realizing Paul Smiths went 1 and 2! Not a bad day for the college!” – Andy Johnstone
Here are pictures of our awesome teams!