Sunday, September 29th marked the seventh annual Squam Ridge Race, a single track competition traversing the Squam Range crossing three summits, gaining over 3,000 feet of elevation, and open to runners and hikers of all ages. Hosted by the Squam Lakes Association (SLA), 134 racers tied up their laces and set out on the 12.2-mile and 4-mile courses.
All proceeds of this event support the trails owned and maintained by the Squam Lakes Association, a non-profit organization in the Lakes Region responsible for the protection of the Squam Lakes Watershed.
“Proceeds from the race include maintaining water bars to prevent erosion problems, trail reconstruction, clearing brush and downed trees, signage creation and upkeep in the parking areas for over 55 miles of public trails,” said Katri Gurney, SLA Facilities Manager and Race Director.
This race invited family and friends to relax and cheer racers on as they sprinted or walked the final distance.
The first runner to arrive back at Burleigh Farm was Pier Pennoyer with a time of 1:37:27. Pennoyer set a new course record beating last years’ time by six seconds. Pennoyer was followed by Hunter Cote with a time of 1:44:27, and Brandon Baker with a time of 1:47:27. The ladies were close on their heels along the rugged course. Haley Heinrich finished at 1:59:34, followed by Elizabeth Beeson with a time of 2:14:19, and Emily Johansson completing the race at 2:14:47.
Preparations for the event were just as rigorous as the race itself. SLA was grateful for the assistance they received from the volunteers who helped with various tasks throughout the race day such as time keeping, aid station support along the trail, grilling, photography, and even set up for the event days prior.
“We thank all who were a part of this event and helped make the day such a success,” said Community Engagement Coordinator, Melissa Leszek. “I am so impressed with the amount of enthusiasm and community support for this race and our conservation efforts.”
Other help was received from NH Amateur Radio volunteers who monitored the trails during the race, helped keep everyone on course at trail junctions, handed out water and were available for assistance in the event anyone was injured along the way.
Over 50 sponsors pitched in to help make the day a success, supplying cash sponsorships, raffle prizes, food, drinks, decorations and other items for the participants to enjoy before, during, and after the race. The SLA would like to thank all of the generous sponsors who make this event possible.
Ridge Race sponsors, raffle prize, and food donors include Burleigh Land L.P., O'Neill Orthopaedics, Rockywold Deephaven Camps, Meredith Village Savings, Riveredge Marina, Sippican Partners, New Hampshire Mobile Marine, Peabody & Smith Realty, Squam Boat Livery, Sheehan Phinney, HPM Insurance, Rumney Animal Hospital, E&S Insurance Services, Holderness Harbor Marina, Six Burner Bistro, Annalee Abelson, E.M. Heath Supermarket and Golden Pond Country Store, Carolyn Tolles, KTM Auto, The Inn on Golden Pond, The Cottage Place on Squam Lake, The Vintage Market on Squam Lake, Stoneyfield Organic, Pemi Treeworks, Biederman’s Deli & Pub, Lakes Region Tent & Event, Belletetes, Ashland Lumber, Minus 33, New England Printwear Company, Waterville Valley Resort, Longview Farm, Rhino Bike Works, The Common Man, Hart's Turkey Farm, Peppercorn Natural Foods, Grotto Italiano Pizzeria Taverna, Thai Smile, Panther Pub & Grille, Phat Fish, MnM Scoops, 1766 Brewing Co., Plymouth Ski & Sport, Simply Sunflowers, Kil'n Time, Dunkin' Donuts, Cafe Monte Alto, Hannaford, Golden Pond Country Store, and Moat Mountain Brewery.
The SLA would also like to thank the Webster Family (Webster Land Corp and Burleigh Land Limited Partnership) for the event location and trail access providing hiking enjoyment for everyone for the Ridge Race and all year long.