The Magic of Woods Trail Volunteers
October 05, 2021
For one day each year, the Thetford Academy’s Woods Trail Run has doubled the size of Thetford, VT. In a matter of hours, a small city emerges on Thetford Hill: 2,000 runners from more than 50 schools and throughout New England, rows of buses in every paved parking lot, neatly parked cars in every nearby field. The Woods Trail Run is, of course, a cross country meet. But to Thetford Academy and its community, it is also a point of pride and a place of connection.
Like the trail itself, the Woods Trail event was born from the entrepreneurial spirit, goodwill, and hard work of many volunteers. The event is led by the meet director and the assistant meet director – and executed by more than 100 community and student volunteers. In many cases, the volunteers who showed up at the first Woods Trail Run in 1991 are the same who show up today. From the starting line to the finish line, the water station to the information booth, the parking lot to the t-shirt sales, there are familiar faces all around.
Bob Wells, alumni parent and Thetford resident, is the mastermind behind parking all those cars. Alumni parents and TA neighbors Patricia and Tom Norton are stalwarts in the announcers booth; Patricia as the event’s narrator and Tom as its soundtrack. Parents Amy Huyffer and Earl Ransom are at the finish line; event founder Dan Grossman the race photographer. The Thetford Academy Alumni Association runs concessions – and donates the profits to TA to support athletics, the arts, and more.
“We love watching people respond to the music, and seeing runners and coaches return year after year. The excitement, energy, and determination of the runners and the crowds is a highlight of the fall for us, and it is a point of pride that our small town can host such a large event smoothly.”Patricia Norton, Woods Trail volunteer since 2005
Each year, TA’s Woods Trail volunteers are there, reliably, amiably, and with a healthy sense of humor, to support the school’s cross country team and every runner, coach, parent, friend, and spectator attending the event. They are there to support TA and its community. And they are there because there is something about pulling this day off, seamlessly and together, that feels a little like magic.
Thank you to all of the Woods Trail volunteers, past and present, who have made this special event possible. We couldn’t do it without you!