Keeping Score: All systems go on the Green River

Published: 8/17/2018 11:11:42 PM

Good morning!

The local running community will be well represented in next Sunday’s inaugural Green River Marathon, which starts in Vermont at Marlboro College and ends near the East Building at Greenfield Community College.

Thirty-two runners from 15 towns in Franklin County are registered, including 10 from Greenfield, four from Montague and three each from Deerfield and Shelburne Falls.

Sponsored by the Sugarloaf Mountain Athletic Club (SMAC) and the Connecticut River Conservancy, the 26.2-mile jaunt was the brainchild of race directors Tom and Laure Van den Broeck Raffensperger of Greenfield.

The plan was to cap the field at 350, but a huge response made it difficult to apply the brakes. “We have 363 registered runners, but anticipate 350 starters considering likely attrition,” said Tom. “We have runners from Canada, Mexico, Brazil and 25 states. Our youngest is 18 years-old (Nina Norton of New York City) and our oldest is 73 (Laurence Macon of San Antonio).” 

Asked what the number might have been had the number been open-ended, he said, “That’s hard to say, but the registration page has had over 4,900 page views.The waiting list filled quickly and we turned away dozens of special requests.”

Marlboro has a population of barely 1,000 residents and is known for its small liberal arts college and a renown classical music festival it hosts every summer.

Now it will be hosting a jewel of a marathon.

The race begins at 7 a.m. on Moss Hollow Road in the center of campus. The course juts northwest and intersects with Green River Road, descends south on Hinesburg and Jacksonville Stage roads, crosses the river at the covered bridge in Guilford, Vt., follows the river across the border into Leyden and crosses Meadow Lane to Colrain Road up to the college.

Runners must be at GCC at 5:15 a.m. to board the buses. “At the moment, 275 runners will take the bus and 88 will be dropped off by car,” said Van den Broeck Raffensperger.

Marlboro is eight miles west off Exit 2 in Vermont and the college campus is two miles down a narrow road. “We’re discouraging spectators from driving on the course. It’s narrow, dusty and bumpy, and we want to be considerate of runners and local residents.” 

Indeed, this is a runner’s race. The best place to watch will be at GCC. Get your coffee, bring a chair and root them home.

Happy birthday to Princy Stotz who turned 80 this week. Undaunted by age or a soft serve, Stotz puts up a racket several times a week on the tennis courts at Highland Park and on the clay surface behind her house in Factory Hollow.

Her competitors include Shirley Mason, Jay Brooks, Bunny Healy, Joan McKelvey, Ann Echeverria and Newell Freeman, a one-time enforcer in the Greenfield Men’s Hockey League.

Longtime football coach Jimmye Laycock announced he’ll retire from William & Mary after this season. Last year, the 70-year-old Laycock told the Virginian-Pilot he had no intention of retiring, but that changed after a 2-9 season, which included eight straight losses. This year’s schedule includes Virginia Tech and James Madison, the FCS runner-up in 2017.

Laycock’s career record is 245-189-2, including 4-8 against UMass. In 1991, he pulled a Pat Kelsey by agreeing to coach at Boston College before backing out shortly before the press conference.

“It just didn’t feel right,” Laycock told the Virginian-Pilot at the time. That’s sorta what Kelsey said when he backed out of the UMass hoops gig last year. 

SQUIBBERS: Catching a tiger by the tail: On Thursday, the Red Sox began selling season tickets for the 2019 season. Fans who pay a 25 percent deposit are eligible to buy tickets for the upcoming playoffs. … Raiders coach Jon Gruden on Sirius-XM, talking of his unorthodox training tactics: “We got quarterbacks throwing balls with no laces on ’em.” …. The Yankees are 9-17 against the AL East in their last 26 games. Rookie second baseman Gleyber Torres has batted .215 since June 1, when he was batting .325. … The Mariners swept four games in Houston last week, leaving some doubt whether the defending world champs are capable of a repeat. … The Tribe comes to town for four games starting Monday, the last of the contenders the Red Sox haven’t already knocked off. … Correction: The annual Greg Belanger get together at Camp Apex is on August 25 (not Aug. 24). … John Sadler’s 5-year-old chestnut colt Accelerate is the 8-5 morning line favorite to best seven others in today’s Pacific Classic at Del Mar. Joel Rosario flies out from the Spa to get the mount. …It took four players to keep Yasiel Puig away from Giants catcher Nick Hundley on Tuesday. Deadspin reported that Hundley told Puig to stop complaining about missing a pitch and get back in the box. Puig shoved Hundley and the benches cleared. “I’m not going to let them act like that in our house,” said Puig. … The Redskins cut cornerback Orlando Scandrick five months after they signed him to a $1 million bonus. Skins coach Jay Gruden told it was due to “an emergence of rookies.” … Good Old Hockey Game won the 8th at Woodbine on Aug. 3. … In Florida, a northerner can get a ticket to a Panthers hockey game for $20, and up here a southerner can get a ticket to watch Clemson for $40 when the Tigers play BC on Nov. 10.  … Sports Illustrated hit a new low when it pasted a full page ad over the cover of its college football issue. The ad for a life insurance company was meant to look like an actual cover, but only served to confuse this reader. (Then again, I get easily confused). … Oh, for a dish of John and Linda Carey’s peach shortcake at the Shady Glen. … Shohei Ohtani’s been a bit of a dud, wouldn’t you agree? … Jackie Bradley Jr. doesn’t exactly come off as Mr. Warmth.… Tickets to the UMass-BC game in two weeks are selling for $10 on StubHub. … The Franklin County Fair is having a hot dog eating contest. Hurry, somebody call Joey Chestnut!

Chip Ainsworth is an award-winning columnist who has penned his observations about sports for four decades in the Pioneer Valley. He can be reached by email at

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