On a clear day with moderate temperatures, the U.S. Ski Team’s Kris Freeman and Liz Stephen won the 2011 edition of the Climb to the Castle up Whiteface Mountain.
Freeman and teammate Noah Hoffman bracketed biathlete Tim Burke, who came second. Freeman’s winning time was 36:18, 11 seconds ahead of Burke at 36:29. Hoffman finished in 37:03.
Liz Stephen’s time was 44:50. Ida Sargent finished second, 1:24 back at 46:14. Tara Geraghty-Moats was third in 47:23.
Scheduling the race three weeks earlier than previous editions may have worked in NYSEF’s favor. Today’s weather was the best of the last three years. The weather was clear, with bright sunshine and a few wispy clouds. The wind that plagued athletes in 2010 was somewhere else today.
Tad Elliot “took it out hard,” according to Hoffman, “before Tim Burke took over. ”
Stephen said, “It was good. It was really fun. It was hard.”
On holding the race at the end of a two-week training camp, Hoffman said, “We all knew it was coming. Maintaining good energy [during the camp] is important.” He added, “It was brutal. It’s a good fitness test, but it’s painful.”
Race photos will be posted Monday.