Logistics: Vermont came the weekend following Hardrock with Burning River coming the week following Vermont. Our plan was to drive from Silverton to Denver parking the RV at the airport, fly to Ohio, drive to Vermont and run the race, drive back to Ohio, run that race and then fly back. Liz would return directly to CO to acclimate for Leadville and I would return to GA for some work, returning to CO on Wednesday before Leadville. I was a bit worried about Vermont because we would be traveling almost the entire week. The travel went okay but didn't leave much of that full on downtime that would have been preferred.
I had had Vermont on my "to-do" list for many years. I'd been told many times how pretty the course was and how well run the event was. It more than fulfilled my expectations with the added bonus of having much cooler temps than in most years and much cooler than it had been in the previous weeks and months. This has happened again and again this year where we get cooler than average temps for race weekend. And I like cool.....
There is very nice camping at the Vermont site and everything was organized to a 'T'. There were two huge tents at the start finish, a bunch of space for the corrals for the horses that would be racing with us during the 100 mile as well some shorter races. There was also a huge field for tents where we set up our tent. Here's a couple pics:
The course was georgeous and it was very cool running for short times with the horses. My race was relatively uneventful though I did have some more of that terrible neuropathy in my toes and got very sleepy early on Sunday morning. Oh, and it was really hard for the last 15 miles! That's one thing I'm beginning to notice ... it's always hard at the end....
During the afternoon I ran for several hours with a lovely young lady from Portland, I believe who was on her second attempt at 100 miles. I don't believe she finished as I didn't see her post race. She is a neurologist who specializes in Parkinson's and I really enjoyed running and chatting away several hours with her. I tried to give her some advice on finishing 100 mile races and after a while I asked her professional advice about the toe pain that I had been having. She agreed with my thought that it was a neuropathy and that it was likely from the tremendous pounding that my feet had taken this year. She recommended a drug that I give often as an RN for neuropathy called Neurontin, or gabapentin.
I was having trouble again at this race but it was coming and going better than it had a Hardrock and I was able to endure it fairly well. I take Celebrex for pain during these races which is a 12 hour NSAID which works very well but it does absolutely nothing for this neuropathy. My neurologist friend said that she even carried some with her on her runs for hip pain. She said that I could use it as needed for races rather than having to be on it everyday. I made mental plans right then to talk to my doctor when I got home to get a prescription.
The night was long and not too cold. I ended up running a fair bit with Liz though we did our typical back and forth thing. I needed to sleep at one point and crashed out for a good 15 minutes which revitalized me as usual. I finished fairly strong though sub 24 hours was not in the cards so I didn't push but just ran steady. I finished in 25:50 and Liz in 25:55. It was fun to cheer in runners, get a primitive lake fed shower and drink a beer (thank you Patrick and friend!). Our friend Caroline Williams was attempting this 100 for something like the 7th or 8th time and was still not in as the clock ticked down. We saw Leonard Martin finish just before the cutoff but still no Caroline. Finally someone yelled that she was coming but she crossed the line 3 minutes! after the cutoff. A gutsy try and in my book a finish for sure.
The awards ceremony and bbq feed were awesome. The marinade on that wood cooked chicken was the best I had ever had. And I need to also mention the pre-race meal. Oh my goodness, I have never seen such a spread. It was hands down the best pre-race meal I've ever seen. They definitely have this thing down to a science and someone like their food! : ) Another great thing about this race is that it is run as a fund raiser for Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sport which provides technology and support to help kids and adults with missing limbs or other challenges to enjoy outdoor adventure, a great charity for sure.
Next up is Burning River after a few days R&R in Old Saybrook, CT at Liz's longtime, childhood friend.
Race count: Liz (20) Scott (14)