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Home & Current News   Old News (pre 2008)

Wanderers Klean up on Kabbit Trail Relay

Event name:

Cabot Trail Relay


May 2002


Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia


187 miles

View the Wanderers photo gallery here.

Visit the Cabot Trail Relay website here.

View Renee Lutwicks Cabot Trail photo gallery here.

At the 2002 Cabot Trail Relay, the Wissahickon Wanderers produced their own version of "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly." When all these ingredients were added up at the 187-mile relay, the result was a quintessential Wanderers performance - 49th out of 65 teams. But the good moments were glorious to behold, and actually the bad and ugly moments were pretty beautiful as well.

Wayne is really suffering now on the upper reaches of Mt. Smokey.

Certainly the most notable performance was Wayne Hamilton's gallant run up, and down, Mt. Smokey. Wayne's selection as Most Valuable Wanderer based on his effort to reach Cape Breton from Tulsa, Oklahoma, via Bangor, Maine, was controversial especially considering that he had been given this award before the race had even started. However, Wayne silenced the critics by powering his way up Mt. Smokey and then simply flying down its slopes to the finish line.

However, Wayne will have to share his MVP award with Michele Tulino who produced two stunning runs. Michele ran the 18-k second leg at a 7:26 pace to come in 23rd. As if that was not enough, she then finished a giddy 13th in the 15th leg running the 15.5 kilometer course in one hour and twelve minutes.

Others receiving MVW votes were 12-year-old Shannon Hamilton and Tony Armson. The Wanderers' athletic ability is widely recognized as being extremely questionable. However, when it comes to the caliber of Wanderers' support, there can be little doubt. It's deplorable! That is, until Shannon Hamilton came along.

Pieman, Wayne Hamilton and Wet Hen were all smiles about the early results in the race. Faces grew grimmer later as the Wanderers went into the tank.

The Cabot Trail Relay started out as the same old story. While Tad "Space Ghost" Sperry was laboring…alone…in stormy conditions on the first leg of the race, the support technicians were in the support RV swapping jokes and recounting running stories over a few cups of Timmy Horton's coffee and loading up on some of the store's delicious doughnuts. The Wanderers support team looked like it was headed for a repeat of the 2000 Philadelphia Marathon debacle when Wanderer runners suffered through raw field conditions while the support staff sipped lattes and talked politics at the local Starbucks.

"Well, we were familiarizing ourselves with the new megaphone purchased for the race," explained Pieman Tom Humphrey, who directed the early "support" effort. "And it was raining."

Shannon Hamilton changed all this, staffing numerous water stops and support stations during the afternoon legs of the first day, remarkably without any complaint!
Tony Armson picked up his MVW votes for fighting through cruel winds on Leg 6 and then returning the next morning to run Leg 16 when Pieman went down with a stomach ache, er…strained knee ligaments. Tony finished 32nd on his first leg running at a 7:38 pace despite the vicious headwinds, and then came back to finish 23rd on the 16th leg at a 7:13 pace.

Other highlights from the Cabot Trail were:

  • Renee of the Capes producing two thermoses of coffee from Timmy Hortons doughnut shop at 5 am to get the Wanderers going on Day 2 of the relay. The Wanderers very well might have pulled a no-show on the second day without her effort. Renee was not bad on the road either steaming through the 17-k fifth leg at a 9:04 pace.

  • Space Ghost running both the first and last legs of the race at an average pace of 8:30 a mile. Just think what his time would have been if he did not stop to admire some of the native art on the 17th leg.

  • Patti MacKinnon and Phil Roach bailing out the Wanderers…again…during the night time legs out on the trail.

  • Sam Campbell turning back the hands of time on Leg 7 flashing traces of the form which produced so many three-hour marathons.

  • Pat Poteat salvaging a truly desperate situation when it looked like the Wanderers had zero chance of making their flight out of Halifax. With the Wanderers so lost on the road in the RV that it looked like they were never going to get out of Nova Scotia alive, Pat grabbed the wheel and took control. Through Pat's intervention, the Wanderers were able to make the flight out of Halifax by one nanosecond.

  • Wet Hen outlegging a moose on the oxygen-sucking ascent of North Mountain on Leg Nine.

  • Brian Maurer deciding that Cape Breton was not remote enough, and taking a ferry to Newfoundland after the race, and then finishing his trip in Labrador.

  • Duncan MacGuigan mentoring Sam Campbell back into competition, and turning in a time of one hour and eleven minutes over his 12.5 kilometer leg. as well.

  • David Moltke Hansen suffering two asthma attacks, yet still getting the job done on the 16-k Leg 13.

The much anticipated match race between the Purple Piper and Rock Steady up Mt. MacKenzie on Leg 10 was called off after the two contestants decided to smoke the peace pipe before the race.

"Piper is really not such a bad guy," allowed Rock. "The dispute over the Technovan, it was all a misunderstanding."

For a while, the Wanderers were leading hated rivals the Georgetown Runners. Rock Steady receives some premature congratulations from Irish Joe of the Georgetown team.

The Wanderers did absorb another drubbing at the hands of hated rivals, the Georgetown Runners. After the first four legs, the Wanderers were clinging to a two-minute advantage over their Canadian counterparts. But then the Wanderers started to fall off the back of the peleton. The Wanderers completed the race in 24 hours and 24 minutes, 33 minutes behind the Georgetown Runners.

However, the Wanderers came up big winners with some of the new Canadian friends on the team. Phil Roach, Patti MacKinnon, Tony Armson, and Renee of the Cape performed fabulously for the Wanderers, and helped to make the trip a great weekend.


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