The Sanders: The Magic of Five Miles
Pat and Barry Sanders are often seen running along Quechee Main Street, in fact, they are known for it, at least by other Quechee residents.
Pat and Barry met running, so it’s only fitting that they are continuing the tradition. They were working at the same company where Pat was head of human resources. In fact, Pat was the first person Barry met at the company. She had organized a “lunch bunch” running group for employees and Barry joined. The rest, as they say, is history.
A love of sports
Barry says that running every day in the morning is a great way to find the time to connect as a couple, to just chat without interference and catch up on day-to-day business. Pat is the real runner among the two. She ran the Montreal Marathon and qualified for the Boston Marathon with an impressive time of 3:18. She ran two more Boston Marathons after that as well as one in Newport and two Maine Coast Marathons, eventually moving on to triathlons for a while.
Now, Barry says, five miles seems to be the magic number for them and he has a hint for the “running geeks” in the area. “From the Club to the Strong House Spa and back is just about five miles, and if you go the other way from the Club to almost all the way to Taftsville Bridge and back that is as well. So, you can do a five-mile loop either way and run along Quechee Main Street. A flat and scenic run.”
Running is not the only activity Pat and Barry enjoy together, they also ski. Barry grew up in Saratoga Springs, New York, and Pat in Groveland, Massachusetts, both skied throughout their lives and had even come to Vermont to ski. Because of their familiarity with the area and the middle ground between families, when Pat and Barry got married in 1995, they chose the Woodstock Inn as the perfect setting. “It is such a beautiful place, and I remember many of their employees are still at the Inn, and some have moved to the Club,” Barry says.
Settling in Quechee
When the Sanders’ decided they were ready to purchase a second home, Barry put a two-hour limit on the distance, and Quechee fit right in, plus they knew the area well. In 2004, they found the perfect house when a colleague Pat worked with years before had become a local insurance agent, and he said he knew of a home that was likely coming up for sale, as word-of-mouth is so often the case with those that find homes in Quechee. Barry says that he and Pat are on the 50/50 plan, wherein they spend about 50 percent of their time up here and the other half back at home in Massachusetts.
It’s been an incredible experience for them both and their dogs. Previously, Barry and Pat had an Australian Shepherd mix who was a gorgeous blue merle color named Bear. In fact, his coloring was the inspiration for the name of Barry’s management consulting company, Merle Management. Barry says that often, others know the dogs before they know the people, and that’s because it’s a wonderful area for dogs. So many people have dogs or love visits from neighboring dogs, and their new dog, Dewey (named after Dewey’s Mill, of course), is equally in love with Quechee as they are!
The Quechee area is full of places the two of them love to visit and activities they both enjoy. “We like Friday nights at Davidson’s Bar, friends, friends-to-be, staff; it’s the best place to relax and hear good stories. We enjoy Sundays too on Dewey’s Deck,” says Pat.
As a former competitive dance skater, Pat still looks for opportunities to skate and shared an excellent winter activity with me. When Lake Morey in Fairlee, Vermont, freezes over, they plow around the outside. It’s about a four-mile loop around the lake, but, of course, not everyone has to make that whole trip! You can rent Nordic-style skates that you strap on to your boots. Apparently, they are much easier to skate on for longer distances.
Pat and Barry are avid golfers, both in Quechee and Massachusetts. Barry explains that one of his favorite places in all of Quechee is the 18th tee of the Highland Golf Course. “In the fall with the foliage, with the balloons going up, it’s one of the prettiest golf spots in all the world. You’re about to tee off, and you see the hill into the Lake Pinneo valley, and every once in a while you see a balloon rising. If we have guests visiting, we always try to play that course.”
Barry had one more piece of advice to share with all of us, “If you’ve never seen fireworks at eye-level, it’s the most amazing thing. If you watch them from a hill, at eye-level, it’s a whole new dynamic.”