Another year, another VT 50. This year was lucky number 7 for me and I’m happy to say it was fabulous as always (and painful, and challenging, and hot, and long, and…)
This event has become a yearly tradition in our life, and I can’t imagine missing it. We spend our summer preparing (some years definitely better than others). Sharing the experience with my husband (he bikes) and friends (some runners, some bikers) makes it so much fun! There is always a lot of debate back and forth about who is crazier… But having done the 50 mile course several times makes it very cool because I know exactly what they ride, and they know what I had to run. This is such a well run and family-friendly event, we will be back in one way or another for years to come.
But I digress…
This year has been tough. I had big plans for lots of racing; I also had an extremely snowy winter, a house being built, and some nagging little injuries that just needed to rest and heal. So I bagged all of those plans and decided that the VT 50k would be my first big run of the year.
I dropped down to “only” the 50k this year also. I know this is a distance I can handle well and that mental boost is exactly what I needed. So… On to the race.
It was very weird to start at the nice reasonable hour of 8 am. I did miss milling around the cold dark tent at the crack of dawn watching all of the bike waves go off…. But not THAT much. I
The 50k start is so low key. Pre race meeting (forecast: mid 80s and sunny. Gross. Oh by the way…. Race is actually 32.5 miles. Have fun!)
It was great to run into the Livingstons at the start, even more familiar friendly faces as we were milling around waiting for go time.
This year I was running with my trail partner in crime Kelly and my fellow adventure girl Nicole (peer pressure’s a bitch!). This was her very first ultra. Spoiler alert… She killed it! Read her recap here.
The day started out a little foggy and cool, perfect running weather. The temps rose as the hours went by, into the low to mid 80s by the time afternoon came. Nice day, but way too warm for my liking! The aid stations are all fairly closr together (only one over 5 miles apart) so it was easy to stay fueled and hydrated.
The 50k course is a nice mix of singletrack and dirt roads, with plenty of climbing!! The course is stunningly beautiful; farms, fields, foliage…. Just an amazing time to spend half a day running through Vermont with my buddies 🙂
The race itself went very smoothly. This was simply a comeback event. No time goals. No worry about pace. And no pain. After a couple of DNF’s and limping through last years VT 50 miler, I was ready to have fun! No GPS. Just running.
And it was……. GREAT. There were moments of fabulous running. Moments of fatigue. Everything a 50k should throw at you. The course is interesting and the volunteers just phenomenal. All are friendly and helpful, ready to fill your water, feed you, and keep you going. Nutrition was smooth, stuck to water, saltstick caps, vfuel gels (peach cobbler), and salted potatoes at the aid stations. Little watermelon late in the day. Finally, no gi upset! Yay!
I finished the day feeling great, tired, and with new motivation for the rest of 2014 and next year as well. It’s time to get out and have some fun!!
I do have to say, after years of running here now, there are definitely some suggestions for improvement. One is something I will echo from others, color coded bibs for the different running categories so you can tell the relays, 50 milers, and 50k runners apart. The second is the food…. This year they ran out very early, despite pretty strict portioning. So not only did the finishing runners and riders only get a certain amount of food (I can see for the meat, etc, but dole out the salad and pasta! We are hungry!), but many didn’t get much of anything at all. Not good in an area with very few food options nearby. I have no doubt that the extremely nice and hard working race directors will sort the food sitch out for next year.
Huge thank you to all who worked hard to put this event on, and congratulations to each and every finisher!! We will most certainly be back! See you next year Ascutney!