TA News

Thetford Academy’s Woods Trail Run Turns 30

Thetford Academy is gearing up to celebrate the return of the Woods Trail Run on Oct. 2, 2021. Once again, more than 100 New England middle and high schools will send their best runners to TA to compete on the iconic Dan Grossman Woods Trail. This year’s event will mark the 30th anniversary of the cross country meet, a milestone delayed by the race’s cancellation due to Covid last fall. 

The Woods Trail Run has long been a destination event for cross country runners in the region and the challenging 5K course considered the best in Vermont. The trail was the vision of then-TA parent and volunteer Dan Grossman, who is also the father of TA’s cross country stand-out Emily Grossman Reilly ‘94. With the help of Thetford’s Olympic biathlete and trail designer John Morton, and a team of dedicated community volunteers, Dan’s vision became reality. In 1991, the Thetford Academy Woods Trail Run was born. 

Thirty years later, the Thetford Academy community is buzzing with excitement and ready to welcome nearly 2000 runners to campus once again. TA’s former athletic director and dean of students Dave McGinn is back in the saddle as race director after his retirement from St. Johnsbury Academy. He and TA’s current athletic director, Blendon Salls, are busy lining up volunteers–many who have been with the race since the beginning–and preparing to welcome the throngs of runners, coaches, and spectators to campus next weekend.

The opening ceremony begins at 10:15 a.m., followed by the middle school races. High school races start at 11:15 a.m. and last through the afternoon. The event will close with the awards ceremony at 4:00 p.m. Admission is free. Be sure to bring along some cash to purchase the 2021 design of the popular event t-shirt and to enjoy tasty treats all day long at the concession stands run by the TA Alumni Association.

At 30, the Woods Trail Run is not quite old–but it’s definitely earned its spot as a revered TA tradition.

Questions about the event can be directed to TA Athletic Director Blendon Salls.



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