31 Years and Running: Woods Trail 2022 (with photos!)
October 06, 2022
On Saturday, Thetford Academy hosted the 31st Woods Trail Run, a truly unique TA event that for many participants, is the most-anticipated cross country event of the season. This year’s meet, led by meet director David McGinn, saw 87 teams and 1700 runners from seven states around New England and was attended by thousands more.
The event, founded by TA parent and former board member Dan Grossman, is well known for many things: great music, great food (shout out to the Thetford Academy Alumni Association), great energy, and great people. Of course, the Woods Trail Run is also known for its difficult 5K course, the Dan Grossman Woods Trail, designed by former Olympic biathlete John Morton. It winds through TA’s forested campus–beautiful, and with hills like “Morty’s Monster” that challenge even the most accomplished runners.
For the Thetford community, the event is an annual gathering of neighbors and a reunion of friends. The volunteer roster is long and includes veterans that have served the event for decades. This year, TA saw the retirement of its parking guru Bob Wells, whose engineering skills helped solve the once-a-year traffic problem in Thetford. On Saturday, husband and wife team Tom and Patricia Norton served their last shift in the announcer’s booth, where for many years, Patricia was the voice of the event and Tom provided the energizing and often eclectic soundtrack.
As for the race, Thetford Academy’s Panthers had some well-earned successes. On the boys side, Brady Sloop earned a 6th place ribbon in the 2nd seed. Max Leibon was 7th in the 4th seed, Hardy Payson was 10th in the 5th seed, and Harley Ransom was 8th in the 4th seed. The girls earned 13th out of 37th, a strong placement v. some heavy-hitting teams. Senior Madelyn Durkee led the girls, placing 53rd overall. (For full results, visit Lancer Timing Services.)
Congratulations and thank you to all of the runners, volunteers, and spectators that helped make the 31st Woods Trail event run smoothly another year. And a special thank you to race founder and longtime volunteer photographer Dan Grossman, who documents the event beautifully every year. For free, downloadable event photos, visit Dan’s website on SmugMug.