Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Vermont 100 ultra marathon

Vermont 100 with the Texas and Vermont clan!  What a weekend, full of running and gatherings and chatting and eating and having a good time.

For my part, the (very) positive side was that my knee handled 100 miles without a peep.  Amazing.

The challenge was for my leg muscles.  100 miles without long run training is highly UNrecommended.  We (me and my legs) survived but it wasn't pretty.

Luckily Jason and I had matching running paces and styles so we stayed together the whole race.  It was a joy talking and laughing with him and sharing the trail hours.  We suffered together, just like our old adventure racing days.  Thank you for running with me, Jason!

John was the Smart One and decided to crew for everyone.  So he "ran" around the countryside in the car and was a huge help at all the handler aid stations.  Hugs to John!

He also took a bunch of pictures, so that's how I'll tell this story.  Because I don't have much time before our next adventure, and anyone playing along week-by-week is likely aware that I still have one story left unfinished (I have started that last UNE post, I swear)...

Pre-race grins or early morning loopiness:


Counting down...


And - go!


Dave and Kip look great coming into Woodstock:


Go Team V!


Running through town was an interesting treat (not the normal course, but the regular bridge wasn't available):


There he is again!


John had time to check out some solar panels.  We appreciated the cool foggy morning.  Not much solar energy here though.


Drop bags at the first handler aid station:


Ryan went through quickly (Kip and Dave were not much later):


Here we are!  My legs were already getting stiff.  Yikes, it's going to be a long day.  It was really early to be looking for a porta-potty to keep from having to squat.


Hi boys!  We met up with Michelle and the kids at Stage Road, a fun reception.  The gang was (easily) able to keep up with us.


I like this photo:


Coming into Camp 10 Bear the first time.  Ryan and Kip were about an hour ahead.  Sadly, Dave's knee gave out and he could not longer climb the hills so he had to drop here.  Bummer!


It got rather warm during the Camp 10 Bear loop.  Jason and I both put ice cubes in our bottles whenever we could, and stuck to the shade as much as possible.  The course was mostly tree-covered so that was nice.  The wide open sections (especially the big climb after Camp 10 Bear) were a bit rough.

We made it into Tracer Brook still doing OK:


Roads around to Margaritaville:


Jason did great with strong uphill walking and smooth downhill running.  He was well on his way to his first 100-miler finish.

Getting weighed at Camp 10 Bear the 2nd time through.  We met Jeff-Dan (the 2 guys in front of us, I can't remember which is Jeff and which is Dan) and had fun chatting with them for a while before they took off ahead of us.  Jason and I were mostly passing people starting around here, but these 2 were passing even more folks than we were.


It got dark on the way to the Spirit of 76 aid station.  The trail sections in here were new to me since the last time I ran the VT100 in 2003.  Fun and windy but they seemed to take a while.

At the aid station John helped Jason drain a couple toe blisters, while I slapped a blister block on my heel.  That took care of what little blister issues we had.  Nicely done.  Now back to thinking about those tired leg muscles...


Jason and I did some excellent running in the dark on the smooth roads, especially the long gentle downhills and whatever flat sections we could find (not many!).  The cooler air was great.  We were also motivated by looking at the pace chart.  We were starting to wonder if we might somehow manage to break 24 hours, hmm...

The barn at Bills:


John didn't have time to get photos of us at Bills because we came charging in all excited to make a quick turnaround and keep moving.  Our pace was looking great for a possible sub-24, and we didn't want to lose time here.  John ran around helping us get weighed, wrapping Jason's shin in an ace bandage, filling bottles, and trying to ask how we got there so fast, why we were in such a hurry, and was I trying to kill Jason?  No time to answer, but believe me, Jason was running just as strong as if not stronger than I was at that point.

We picked up Jason's friend Randol as a pacer and took off back into the night.  We enjoyed chatting with Randol for a while, then it was all business.  There were some long uphills in the last 10 miles, phew.  I also had to make a bathroom stop, and while that was going on Jason and Randol walked up on Ryan.  When Ryan figured out who it was, he took off like a rocket and we didn't see him again until the finish.  Too funny!

He even flew past Kip, who had been ahead since the Camp 10 Bear loop.  Meanwhile, not far behind, we made our way along trails and roads, past the last 3 aid stations (thank you one more time John!), and up toward the finish.  Right at the end Jason's shin really started hurting.  Thank goodness we were only a couple miles from the finish!  That could have been a huge problem otherwise.

Ryan broke 23 hours, well done!


Kip finished in 23:10!  He was in 99th place - so close to 100th place with bib #100 for a 100-miler!


Jason, Randol, and I crossed the line 10 minutes later (23:20), so thankful to be done and in shock that we broke 24 hours.  Jason was extremely grateful, while I just wanted to be sure he wasn't going to try to kiss me...  :)


Look what we did!


Super job, gang:



Kelly was 3rd female in the 100K race!


Shauna finished the 100K in the early morning hours, but wasn't feeling well enough afterward to make it to the awards ceremony.  Awesome race, ladies.

Cake and friends:


Badminton at the Harpoon Brewery on Sunday evening:


Also ice cream-eating:


We were lucky to have a chance to hang out with the Bogles for several hours:


C is for Confidence.  I have confidence in sunshine; I have confidence in rain...


Thank you to everyone who flew up to New England or drove down from Waterbury, it was so wonderful to spend the weekend with y'all!

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