Thursday, September 5, 2019

2019 Vermont 100 Endurance Run

Registration for the VT100 (Vermont 100 Endurance Run) was a lottery this year.  The names were pulled live and streamed.  I was a little nervous as I didn't get pulled until near the end, but was extremely excited to get in.

We are out of PA so we headed up to Vermont the day before packet pickup.

Registration opened on 10 am Friday, and you had to pick up your packet before 3:30 pm.  If you were not there by then they would hand your bib off to the next person on the wait list.

They offered camping on site for free, but we went with a hotel.  This ended up working out pretty well, because the temps were fairly high.

They had large tents setup for the registration area and the meeting area.

In the registration tent they had a bib pickup area, then after getting you bib you go to another table and pick up your shirt and you got a pair of Darn Tough socks as they were a sponsor.

They also had a merchandise area that you could buy VT100 Gear.

Finally they had the pacer sign up area, so your pacer could sign the waver and get the pacer bib.

Outside of the registration tent, many of the vendors setup their tents and had amazing deals on products.

All around the tents you could see the horses that would be running with us the next day.

They also held 2 free races for Crew and Pacers.  The held a Kids race and a 5k race.

After both races finished we went up to the meeting area tent to wait for the mandatory race meeting.  We were a little early and I was determined to try to get a little rest in, seeing as the race was starting early the next morning.

The temp was empty when I first laid down, but it quickly filled up.

At the race meeting they went over all the rules, trail marking, and talked about the charity, Vermont Adaptive.  They also mentioned that this might be the last year the horses would be running the race with the runners.  After the meeting they provided dinner but we skipped it so we could get back to the hotel and get some rest.  It was still very warm out and it was going to be hot the next day, so we just wanted to get out of the heat and get some rest.

Race check in the next morning started at 3:00 am until 3:45 am.

It was already quite hot and humid.

They had very good directions for traveling between points and told us multiple times not to use GPS.  Mainly because GPS has trouble telling the difference between the Jeep trails in the area and the roads.

After race check in we all headed over to the start line.

The race started promptly at 4:00 am.

The trails were marked very well, using yellow plates in areas that you needed to turn.

On longer stretches they would also occasionally put a yellow plate with a C, as a confidence check that you were still headed the correct way.

The race started down hill on a dirt road, then eventually hit a jeep trail.

The first aid station I don't believe was originally planned but I believe they added a few water only aid stations due to the heat.  It was to get close to 100 degrees that day.

After going through a few unmanned aid stations, we finally came to the first crewed station (Pretty House).

There was a lot of crew at this station waiting for their first chance to see their runners who are a little over 20 miles into the race.

Up to this point much of the running was on dirt roads and some Jeep trails.

Along the way I even ran with the race director for a little who was pacing one of the Vermont Adaptive Athletes.

At this point we started  to see some of the horses on the trail.

Through out the race much of it was on dirt road and horse paths / jeep roads.  It was really cool seeing the horses out there with us.  They had separate aid stations, and they had vet checks also that took some time.  So you would often see the same horses and riders through out the day.

The next crewed station was Stage Rd.  

By this point it was getting pretty hot out.  The aid stations had lots of ice which was very good to have through out the day.

Around Mile 38 ish we crossed the River.  At this point it felt amazing.

The next crewed aid station was Camp 10 Bear.  We would be coming back to this aid station after around a 20 mile loop.  This would also be where we would be able to pick up our pacers on the second visit to Camp 10 Bear.

After leaving Camp 10 Bear the first time, the next aid station in the middle of the 20 mile loop was the Margaritavillle aid station.

From here it was back to Camp 10 Bear, where I was able to pick up my pacer.  It was nice to have someone along out on the trail.  The next two crewed stations were Spirit of 76 and Bills.  Through out the night the trail was marked very well with glow sticks.

On the way to the final crewed aid station Polly's, the sun started to come up.  The sun rise always gives a little boost of energy.

Polly's was the final crewed aid station.  Here I dropped off my friend Sheena who got me from Camp 10 Bear to Polly's.

This is where I picked up my 9 year old daughter who paced me for the final 3.5 miles to the finish line.  She was very excited and even was more excited when everyone was cheering for her.

The last 3.5 miles had around 600 feet of elevation and she did a great job.

The finish was amazing, especially with my daughter being there with me.

The town is extremely supportive of this race, you could see it all through the town.  With race day being extremely hot, many of the homes on the course put out water and pulled their hoses out so the roads so racers could use them to cool down.

This is an amazing race, and the views are even more amazing. The volunteers and staff are extremely helpful.  The race is very runable, because most of it is on roads and horse trails.  This is good and bad, you just need to not push too hard in the beginning.  It sounds like this happens to many on this course and the heat probably didn't help.  Just over 50% completed it.  It was great to see the horses out there on the trail, it made this race different from any other that I have ran.  It was a long trip to take, but totally worth it.

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