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Runners Take to the Course for Pie Race 2023

Runners Take to the Course for Pie Race 2023

The 133rd annual Bemis-Forslund Pie Race is in the books! 

Turnout for this beloved NMH tradition was strong, with 226 participants registered across seven categories. Runners and walkers arrived in good spirits, in spite of gray skies and nippy weather. Alumni, families, and one international athlete joined students, staff, and faculty on the hilly 5K course that circumnavigates the campus and surrounding forest. 

Hundreds of pie race participants wait at the starting line under gray skies

NMH Dining Services and workjob students once again stepped up to bake homemade pies stuffed with local New York apples for qualifying competitors.

Boys from NMH cross-country teams brightened up the day with their matching banana suits. Teammates Greyson Casey ’25 and Botai Li ‘24 said the runners wanted to do something fun together. Their goal, however, was serious: “To win!” they all agreed.

Toni Santisteban of Catalonia, Spain, came to Pie Race as part of his quest to run races from around the world that have been consistently held for 100 years or more. “What madness!” he said after meeting the costumed cross-country team. “It’s a little cold, but this is really marvelous! This campus is so big and beautiful. It’s going to be really fun to participate.” 

A girl glances sideways, smiling running alongside scores of runners at the 2023 Pie Race

Santisteban (who finished first in his division) was offered a warm welcome over the bullhorn by Associate Head of School Charlie Tierney. Tierney also extended the school’s appreciation to participating alums, veterans, and community members before firing off the starting air horn. “Welcome to the longest, consecutively running road race in America!” Tierney shouted. “You are about to participate in history!” 

The first runner to cross the finish line this year was Nielsen Kasser, a member of the cross-country team. Kasser strode down the finishing stretch with outstretched arms and a big smile. Several batches of runners came in fast, with neck-in-neck competitive finishes. Others, like Richard Waddington ’81 and Hank Vandenberg, took a more relaxed pace. Both alums were running the race for the second time. 

“We both ran in 2019 and today. He was fast today!” Waddington said. “Why did you make the chapel hill steeper?” joked Vandenberg. Both men agreed that they were happy to see improvements to the running track. 

Toni Sanstebastian and Neilsen Kessler, two, division winners, enjoy their pie.

The race commenced with an early nightfall thanks to daylight savings. Science teacher and volleyball coach Darik Velez was among the final batch of runners pushing themselves to the finish line. Velez said he was happy to be a part of the festivities and to celebrate the end of the season with the community. “I'm feeling it today,” he said the following afternoon, “but it was well worth it!”

Congratulations to the division winners: 

Under-40 male: Nielsen Kasser ’25, 17:35

Under-40 female: Kali Taylor ’24, 21:49

Under-40 non-binary: Dylan Gay, 56:08

Over-40 male: Toni Santisteban, 22:03

Over-40 female: Melissa Nestel P’27, 20:44

Over-65 male: Ned Craun ’74, 27:56

Over-65 female: Jeanette Voas P’15, 19: 31:01

 

See more photos from Pie Race 2023.

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