The good news is, fall arrived last weekend just in time for the first race of the Cross Country Grand Prix series. The bad news is, it arrived with a violent weather event in the middle of the men’s masters race. To our knowledge, though, no masters men were harmed in the making of your favorite season, and the seasons-spanning GBTC XC Festival was a successful and, indeed, festive kickoff. Full results are here.


The day started with a humidity-choked race for the combined open and masters women. Victoria Barnaby took the win for GBTC in 19:07, followed by Kara Haas of GLRR as the first masters woman in 19:23. GBTC won the women’s team race in dominant fashion with 19 points to HFC Striders’ 88 points in 2nd. The women of WMDP won both the 40+ and 50+ team categories, with the women of GLRR and GDTC trading places in 2nd and 3rd.


Next off were the masters men, who survived gusting winds and torrential downpours midway through their race. Mike Galoob of the BAA won the race in 17:21, with Arthur Besse of CMS second in 17:36. HFC Striders gutted out two close team victories, over GBTC in the 40+ race and GLRR in the 50+.


Skies cleared for the open men (at least by the end of the race—it might have still been raining at the start). Mike Carlone of GBTC came home the winner in 16:07, with Ryan O’Connell of SISU Project 5 seconds behind. Their finishes paralleled the team race, where GBTC took first with 30 points to SISU’s 58.


In a bit of series foreshadowing, the famed winners’ pies handed out by GBTC were from Amherst, MA—just a few miles away from the site of this week’s race, which is being hosted by the women of WMDP at Smith College in Northampton on Sunday, Sept. 18. Team registration is open online through 5 pm this Friday; onsite registration is for non-team affiliated individuals only. See you in the 413!


(photo credits: Tom Derderian for race photos, Kristin Tetreault for pie)