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Alumni and Egg Nog races

On a cool, crisp morning on the last day of November, Avery Traffie of Mascenic led the 27-person field in the Friends of Mascenic Cross-Country alumni race from the gun. On an ice-covered course, Traffie’s time of 18:30 nearly equaled the time put down last year by Chris Blais, who was second to Traffie this year. Third-place finisher and women’s champion Elizabeth McGurk ran 19:58, bettering her time from last year by nine seconds.

In the under-12 age group, Connor Traffie outpaced the rest of the strong youth field at 23:14 and Sophie Callahan finished in 28:02 for top female under 12.

Seven alumni and 18 friends made up the majority of the field, with half of the friends composed of local youth. Local coaches Erin Kelly of Conant and Mike Smith and Caitlin Aho of Mascenic were also on hand and participated in the race.

“It’s encouraging to see the kids come out to run. It bodes well for the future of the sport and the future of our program here at Mascenic,” said Aho after the race.

Chris Blais wasn’t sure he was going to defend his title in the alumni race this year, as he was still feeling the effects of his effort the day before in the Egg Nog 400 challenge.

“This morning I wasn’t sure I was going to run, but I guess I’m here,” said Blais. On Saturday, Blais took down four-time reigning champion coach Mike Smith in an epic effort, recording 104 ounces of eggnog and 4,883 meters of running, setting a record in the process. The old record was 96 ounces and 4,527 meters, set by Smith.

“I picked up a cold this week, but I’m not making any excuses. I have no problem losing to Chris, he’s always a tough competitor,” Smith said. While Smith and Blais are the only winners of the Eggnog 400 challenge, a new competitor has stepped to the plate. Jimmy Thompson, a junior on the Mascenic cross-country team, stepped in to take second as the only other person to beat Smith other than Blais.

Both events return next year, the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving.

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