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Life and Work

Mount Snow replaces Dew Tour with Tough Mudder

Losing the Winter Dew Tour was a big blow to Mount Snow and its staff. To their credit, they wasted no time finding an event to replace it.

It won’t be snowboarding, and it won’t be a winter event.

Instead, the Tough Mudder, described as “the toughest one day endurance race on the planet,” will be stopping in West Dover on May 7 and 8, 2011.

Mount Snow officials say Tough Mudder is expected to draw 5,000 participants each day during one of the slowest times of the year for tourism in the Deerfield Valley.

The mountain was chosen by race officials mainly because of Mount Snow’s close proximity to Boston and New York City and because it had a rugged trail network with enough physical challenges to test competitors. It will be one of 11 events that Tough Mudder plans in 2011 at different sites around the country.

The Tough Mudder courses are designed by former British Special Forces officers and range between 7-12 miles long. Fire, barbed wire, mud pits and snow are part of the military-style obstacles on the course. The courses are designed to be tough enough that at least 10 percent of participants are not expected to finish.

Clearly, Tough Mudder isn’t like most so-called extreme sports. A visit to www.toughmudder.com will give you a taste of competitors go through.

When Tough Mudder held its first event in May at Bear Creek Mountain Resort near Allentown, Pa., it had 4,500 pre-paid participants from 37 states, each of whom paid $100 for the right to bruise and batter themselves on the course.

The best thing about this event is that it raises money for the Wounded Warrior Project, which provides programs and services to severely injured service members during the time between active duty and the transition back to civilian life.

Mount Snow said that any participant who pledges to raise $150 for the Wounded Warrior Project will receive a discount off their registration.

CRVBL playoffs begin

The opening round of the 2010 Connecticut River Valley Baseball League playoffs began Sunday with the Brattleboro River Rats beating Putney Fossils, 5-1, at Dummerston School Field.

In each of the previous four times these two teams faced each other during the regular season, every game was decided in the final inning. It looked like that would be the case again as the teams were tied 1-1 heading into the seventh inning.

But the Rats broke through against Fossils pitcher Travis Watson with two runs in the seventh — one of them coming on a perfect suicide squeeze bunt by Will Bissonette —  and then scored two more in the eighth. Brattleboro’s Abe Klein drove in two runs in going 2 for 4 at the plate. Kelvin Delarosa hit a towering solo home run over the center field fence. John Waitekus also drove in a run. Putney’s Joe LeBlanc had three hits.

After giving up Putney’s only run in the first inning, Brattleboro’s Marty Verlender shut down the Fossils the rest of the way to get the win. Verlender scattered seven hits, with two walks and six strikeouts. He also had a good day at the plate with two hits, a stolen base and a run scored.

Brattleboro advances to the CRVBL championship game against the Chester Pirates on Sunday, Aug. 22, at 11:30 a.m., at Green Mountain Union High School in Chester.

West River Wombats win tournament

The string of three straight Division III state baseball championships won by Leland & Gray Union High School is proof that there are some pretty good baseball players in the West River Valley.

The West River Wombats, a team of 13- to 15-year-old players, reinforced that fact by winning the Fall Mountain Independent League championship last Friday. It was the Wombats’ second appearance in the league’s championship game in the last three years, and their first-ever championship.

The 13-6 win over Bellows Falls in the championship game capped a 15-3 season for the Wombats. West River pitcher Robbie Litchfield went the distance against BF, with six strikeouts and just one walk. He also helped his cause with a pair of doubles and two RBI.

When Leland & Gray goes for its fourth straight state title next spring, there will likely be a few Wombats on the Rebels’ roster.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #63 (Wednesday, August 18, 2010).

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