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2021 Vermont 100 Cancellation Notice

2021 Vermont 100 Race Registration Process

2021 Vermont 100 Race Registration Process

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The 2021 edition of the VT100 Endurance Race is fast on it’s way (well, here’s hoping!). Here’s an update on registration for the upcoming event.

2020 Registered Runners (on the 2020 start list at the time of race cancellation):

As promised to 2020 registered runners, they have the option to roll their registration into the 2021 or the 2022 VT100.  They will have between January 4, 2021 and January 16, 2021 to sign up for the 2021 event.  All 2020 registered runners will receive an email with their password to register on or before January 4th.

Any 2020 registered runners who does not sign up for the 2021 VT100 will be emailed in December 2021 regarding registering for the 2022 VT100 during the early registration process.

2020 Wait Listed Runners (on the 2020 wait list at the time of race cancellation):
Runners who were on the 2020 waitlist will have the option to reclaim their spot on the 2021 VT100 waitlist.  They will have between January 18, 2021 and January 31, 2021 to sign up and claim their spot – they will be given the same position they were in at the time of cancellation.

Other 2021 VT100 Entries:

On January 18, 2021, registration will open for anyone who wishes to join the waitlist and was not signed up for the 2020 event.  They will be placed at the bottom of the waitlist (below 2020 wait listed runners) on a first-come first-serve basis.

Much is unknown, so it is possible that runners on the 2020 waitlists will be moved into the 2021 event, based on how many runners register.  We may also elect to hold a small lottery to allow a few ‘lucky’ runners who also join the start list.  We will announce more information when we know more.

2021 Team Run 2 Empower:

As always, Vermont 100 also welcomes runners who commit to fundraising for Vermont Adaptive, and have set aside several spots in the event for these runners.  There are limited spots on the Team, as most of the 2020 Team Run 2 Empower has rolled their registration into the 2021 VT100.  However, applications are being accepted until the spots are taken – more information is available here.

Reminder: Please See our Race Entry Page

All runners must meet the volunteer requirements, described here.

All 100 mile runners must meet the qualifier requirements, described here.

Race’s refund policy is listed here.

Good luck & we look forward to seeing you at the 2021 VT100 Endurance Race.

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My Journey to 100 Miles – What Vermont 100 Means to Me

My Journey to 100 Miles – What Vermont 100 Means to Me

Justin Hetherington didn’t grow up feeling athletic. In a lot of ways, he felt like an outsider. That was, until he found running and ultra running — and through both, confidence, passion, and profound gratitude.

The 2020 Vermont 100 will be Justin’s first 100 mile ultra race and in this post, he tells us what brought him to “our” sport, what he appreciates about this community, and what he hopes to learn (and earn!) in July.

Justin, thank you for sharing what the Vermont 100 means to you! We can’t wait to cheer you on.

My Journey to 100 Miles – What Vermont 100 Means to Me

“Hello! My name is Justin Hetherington. It was only a short number of years ago that I got into running. Back then, by any definition (nutrition, exercise, mindset, you name it), I was not only a non-athlete but very unhealthy. Loved the #1 / Big Mac combo and had a dangerous desire for buffalo chicken calzones. Fast forward to this July 2020, and I will be participating in my first 100 mile race, the Vermont1 100…. what?!

Wild to think about but truly believe anyone is capable of completing a 100 mile foot race.

Growing up I was Steve Urkel (link opens new window) from the show Family Matters. I loved ironing my clothes, tucking my pants in, wore huge eyeglasses, and was severely asthmatic. Remember when you had to run the 1 mile in school? That was me who didn’t have to run it and instead passed out the popsicle sticks to each student as they each completed a track lap (4 sticks = 1 mile). Needless to say, I never thought of myself as an athlete nor had a desire to be one.

Now, in 2020, after many years of self-doubt and overcoming being overly self-conscious about a variety of things, I came to understand the difference between being athletic and being an athlete. Certain individuals are undoubtedly born with traits that define them as athletic but being an athlete is all about mindset. In any physical activity, if you mindfully prepare, execute, and recover, then you are an athlete. You do not need to look a certain way or have this certain smooth slickness like the athletes I grew up seeing on Nike television commercials or the jocks in high school. My competitive nature loves the saying that hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.

 

Justin with his Dead Horse finisher medal
Justin, selfie, with his Dead Horse finisher medal.

I am admittedly not steeped in the ultra running community as I ran my first 50k less than two years ago in April of 2018 and I didn’t immediately fall in love afterwards. However I did enjoy the experience and fellow runners I met which made me want to pursue this crazy sport further. As I went down this path by running a few 50k and 50m races it was clear why I love this sport, why I am pursuing my first 100 miler, and why it will forever be a part of my life.

Here are just a few reasons!

  1. It is unconventional – I have always viewed my life trajectory as unconventional being raised by a single mom with three siblings and moving homes quite often. The endurance running community has many (maybe even a majority) of athletes coming from especially non-linear / unconventional backgrounds and that makes me feel at home. Not that I don’t like you elite runners with the cross country backgrounds… haha.
  2. Exposure to nature – I tell people trail running is like hiking on steroids. I have always loved nature and this sport is an opportunity to get outside in nature, explore new places, and wander like a child. What is better than that?!
  3. Forces focus – Unlike running on pavement for a marathon, trail running requires you to focus on your steps, especially on single track technical terrain. As an inherent scatterbrain, this is a weird form of therapy for me and my mind thanks me afterwards.
  4. It is stressful -Stress is without a doubt problematic in our world but is also a misnomer and in the right context necessary for growth. Ultra running stresses you physically, mentally, and emotionally and checks all the boxes for my personal growth and every other facet of my life.

So put me in a crowd of unconventional athletes, in nature, focused on the trail, while being self aware of the stress test my body, mind, and emotions are about to endure, and I’ll say how did I get so lucky to be in this rarified space and how can I spread more awareness of how amazing it is?!

I am beyond grateful that I have found this high vibe sport and I chose the Vermont 100 for my first 100 miler for it’s prestige and history in the United States. And although the cynical part of me thinks that is cliche and cheesy (like I should have chosen some fringe 100 mile race to be “cool”), I am genuinely excited for this race and have already spoken with and met wonderful people as a result!”

A bit more about Justin

An East Greenwich native, Justin Hetherington is a real estate investor and broker in the Greater Providence Rhode Island area. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BS in finance from The University of Rhode Island. Justin resides with his wife Nicole and their shetland sheepdog in their newly built West End Providence home that Nicole designed as an architect.

 

Justin and his wife Nicole, with their shetland sheepdog
Justin and his wife Nicole, with their shetland sheepdog.

Share your story

Do you have an experience related to racing, pacing, crewing or volunteering for the Vermont 100? Reach out and tell us. We’ll share as many as we can.

Prepare for the Vermont 100

Head over to the Vermont 100 FAQs. This page is chock full of additional info about weekend schedule, lodging, the course, aid stations, drop bags, crews and pacers rules, and much more.

Get strong for the Vermont 100

Check out Race Direct Amy Rusiecki’s post, The Importance of Strength Training.

Can’t run, crew, volunteer, or otherwise participate in the Vermont 100?

Consider a donation to our race beneficiary, Vermont Adaptive. Give now. Any gift of any amount helps. Every penny empowers people of all abilities through year-round inclusive sports and recreational programming, regardless of their ability to pay. To us, the Vermont 100 is more than a race. It’s an opportunity to give back. It’s a chance to make a difference.

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The Importance of Strength Training for Running

The Importance of Strength Training for Running

Written by Jack Pilla, Run Formula Coach

Ok, you’ve been working on getting in the miles and building your base for the VT 100. What else could you be doing? How about some strength work and strength training!

Just Running Isn’t Enough

Distance runners need to acquire a sizeable level of general strength in both the legs and the upper body to be successful. Just running doesn’t work all the muscles needed to get this strength and can cause an imbalance. With the proper strength program, workloads of greater intensity can be managed more easily. Greater muscular strength decreases the risk of joint injury or overuse injuries by minimizing connective tissue stress (bone, ligament, tendon, or cartilage) thus maintaining joint integrity. A progressive resistance exercise program helps strengthen these connective tissues, making the entire support system more durable.

Some recent studies have shown that as few as six weeks of proper strength training can significantly reduce or completely relieve many common injuries. It also reduces the recurrence of many other common injuries. By strengthening muscle, as well as bone and connective tissue, strength training not only helps to prevent injury but also helps to reduce the severity of injury when it does occur.

In addition to injury prevention, strength training improves performance. Studies show that with as little as ten weeks of strength training, 10K times decrease by an average of a little over one minute. The research has also shown that running economy defined as the steady-state oxygen consumption for a standardized running speed, will be improved due to strength training. By improving running economy, a runner should be able to run faster over the same distance due to a decrease in oxygen consumption.  Improved running economy would also increase a runner’s time to exhaustion.

Coming Up With a Strength Training Plan for The Vermont 100

Strength training for the runner can be divided into three time periods: Pre-season, in-season and post-season. During these blocks of time, the volume and number of sets performed changes to keep pace with the different seasonal demands that running presents.

The greatest benefits of strength training for runners should be gained during the pre-season. This is the time to maximize your strength for the upcoming race or higher-mileage season. Volume (sets times repetitions) should be the highest during this time of year, which complements the lower running mileage. When trying to increase strength maximally, doing three sets per exercise (with about a two-minute rest between sets), and five to six repetitions per set has been shown to be most effective for athletes. Determining the amount of weight or resistance to use is somewhat a trial and error process. The last repetition should feel as if you couldn’t do another. If your last repetition seems easy, add five to ten percent more weight or resistance. Total body training two to three times a week during the pre-season will suffice, giving adequate time for full recovery after a workout.

The in-season for most runners comprises the greatest portion of the year. It could last from mid-April to mid-October. The goal of the in-season strength program is to maintain as much strength as possible. In-season training mainly requires one to two strength training sessions per week with only one to two sets of eight to ten repetitions per exercise.

The final third of the training calendar is referred to as the post-season. For most runners the post-season is from mid-October to mid-January. For competitive runners, post-season starts when your racing season is over. The first four weeks of the post-season are a time to recover. During this time, strength training can be performed two times a week consisting of only one set of eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise with adequate rest periods between sets. After four weeks of recovery, increase your strength training volume to two to three sets of each exercise with 60 to 90-second rest intervals.

So, how do you go about designing the most effective progressive-resistance exercise program to improve running performance? What type of equipment should be used: Free weights, machines or resistance bands? Any of the above, just do it. No single method has been shown to be superior. But the key to success is to train regularly. Give each body part attention about two to three times a week, maybe 20-30 minutes per session total. Train the muscle groups most in need of conditioning that will be of greatest benefit to running.  Place greater than normal demands on the exercising musculature for desired increases in strength to occur. Work the muscles throughout their full range of movement so that strength gains occur in the full range of motion.

Typical Strength Training Program for a Runner


Muscle Group &
Exercise

Quadriceps, hamstrings, hips
Squats, Dead Lifts and Lunges
Calves
Heel Raises
Shoulders
Shoulder Shrugs
Upper Back
Dumbbell Rows
Chest
Elevated Feet, Push-ups
Biceps
Curls
Triceps
Triceps Kickbacks
Lower Back
Superman Exercise (lie stomach down, lift feet and arms like superman flies)
Gluteal and hamstrings
Good Morning Lift (basically a deadlift with bent legs) 

Some Is Better Than None; How To Get It Done

Make it fun! Make a list of exercises to check off, challenge a partner to do it with you or have your running group do crunches/push-ups with you after your run. The triple-dog-dare usually works! Still don’t think you have time for this or that it’s too complicated? Then take the simple approach, 100 sit-ups and pushups daily. It doesn’t have to be consecutive either, just 100 of each per day!  Up for the challenge?!? 

Coach Jack at an aid station in the Vermont 100

(Coach Jack at the VT 100 with runner Nate and Joe)

About Coach Jack

Jack coaches marathon and ultra trail runners with The Run Formula. His first ultra was the VT50 in 2004. “The next year I ran my first 100-miler at the VT100,” where he finished in 6th. He continued to run the VT 100 for the next four years coming in 3rd three times and then in 2009 was the overall winner (at age 51!). Since then he has traveled all over the country and in Europe running some of the most difficult and most scenic ultra-distance races. Run coach bio here.

Learn more about preparing for the Vermont 100

Head over to the Vermont 100 FAQs. This page is chock full of additional info about weekend schedule, lodging, the course, aid stations, drop bags, crews and pacers rules, and much more.

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Guiding for a Day — Reflections from the USABA Ski Festival with Vermont Adaptive!

Guiding for a Day — Reflections from the USABA Ski Festival with Vermont Adaptive!

Kevin Draper is a member of Team Run 2 Empower who recently he donated his time to help guide blind and visually impaired athletes at the 13th Annual Winter Ski Festival hosted by the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA). This event, in partnership with our race beneficiary Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, offers skiers and snowboarders who are blind or visually impaired the opportunity to come together to participate in alpine skiing, nordic skiing, and snowshoeing. Kevin was kind enough to share his reflections on the experience, and we hope you’ll enjoy his words as much we did.

Thank you, Kevin! What a wonderful way to give back and find deeper meaning in why you’re committed to fundraising for Vermont Adaptive.

Guiding for a Day — Reflections from the USABA Ski Festival with Vermont Adaptive!

 

A visually impaired snowboarder works with two Vermont Adaptive guides at the 13th Annual USABA / Vermont Adaptive Ski Festival Weekend
A visually impaired snowboarder works with two Vermont Adaptive guides at the 13th Annual USABA / Vermont Adaptive Ski Festival Weekend

“The conditions were perfect that crisp Sunday morning at Pico Mountain, in Killington, Vermont. Vermont Adaptive Athletes and crew were taking part in various winter activities at the USABA Ski Festival. What they didn’t realize was that this was a special day, where some of the volunteers helping out, were also part of a group of VT100 fundraisers from Team Run 2 Empower.

This was my second year helping out Vermont Adaptive and it’s such a joy for me to witness the enthusiasm and confidence the athletes gain from getting outside and doing what they love. I’ve been a skier my entire life, so guiding blind athletes who enjoy skiing as much as I do is right up my alley!

 

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Vin Framularo – Snowboarding Guide and Fellow Team Run 2 Empower Member

My role this year was similar to do what I did last year, be a guide in front or behind the VASS athlete. This may look like an easy task, but I assure you, it’s pretty complex.  You are there to help the athletes on and off the chair lift so timing and communication is critical. While on the chairlift, you discuss the different trail options, i.e., green circles to blue squares to black diamonds. You also review different ski styles, like quick sharp carving turns or more pronounced longer turns.

A visually impaired skiers works with two Vermont Adaptive guides at the 13th Annual USABA / Vermont Adaptive Ski Festival Weekend
A visually impaired skiers works with two Vermont Adaptive guides at the 13th Annual USABA / Vermont Adaptive Ski Festival Weekend

What has been terrific for me to experience is the self-assurance built within the athletes as the day progressed. Athletes gain trust in you as a guide and they may decide to push the envelope a bit and go to the top of Pico or take a run on a trail they once considered over their head. Funny enough, last year the woman I was guiding told me that my skiing improved as the lead guide, which made me laugh. I guess I became more confident in my guiding abilities too!

A blind skier faces down slope while carving a turn at the USABA / Vermont Adaptive 13th Annual Ski Festival Weekend in Vermont
A blind skier faces down slope while carving a turn at the USABA / Vermont Adaptive 13th Annual Ski Festival Weekend in Vermont

To realize I had a small part in people’s lives brings it way beyond the fundraising for me. I would help out at Vermont Adaptive every single day if I could but I’ve got to (gulp) begin training for the Vermont 100!”

A bit more about Kevin Draper

Kevin lives in Massachusetts with his wife, two daughters, and their dog, Murphy, who loves trail running as much as Kevin does. Kevin and his family enjoy skiing and being outside as much as possible, and this will be Kevin’s third year on Team Run 2 Empower. Be sure to say hi to him at the VT100 this summer.

 

Learn more about Team Run 2 Empower & Vermont Adaptive

Visit our fundraising page to get the full scoop on the cause, the impact, and how to get involved in fundraising for Vermont Adaptive through the Vermont 100 — or simply donate today.

 

And who doesn’t love pups?!

Your treat for reading right to the end of the post 🙂

 

guide-puppies-asaba-vermont-adative-ski-weekend-vermont-100
A couple “guide” puppies amidst the boot room chaos.
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Riding Along – What Vermont 100 Means to Me

Riding Along – What Vermont 100 Means to Me

Nancy Zukewich and her daughter rode the 2019 Vermont 100 on horseback, and we’re thrilled she decided to share what this experience, and all those that preceded it, meant to her. What a fantastic story, and we can’t wait to have these folks back to the 2020 Vermont 100 Endurance Ride!

Riding Along – What the Vermont 100 Means to Me

I fell in love with Vermont from the minute I met her. As my rig slowly made its way up Silver Hill Road, I marveled at her beauty. We were driving in a fairy forest, through a tunnel of trees, green leaves speckled with sunlight. Wow, we get to ride in this magical place!

This was in 2011 and coming from flat land in Ontario, Canada, we entered the Moonlight 50. Though we didn’t start until 2:30 in the afternoon, we soaked up the magic of all the runners and horses leaving in the dark, wee hours of the morning.

It was hard to keep our horses under wraps early in the ride. Lucky for me, Dr. Art King introduced me to a Canadian turned Vermonter – Cathy Turcotte. Our paths crossed mid-ride on a big climb. My mare wanted to power trot up the long hill, but Cathy cautioned us to conserve energy, because there were more hills to come. More than I could have possibly imagined!

Finishing the ride in the dark, along with other 50, 75 and 100-mile horses and ultrarunners was a big thrill. Vermont had me under her spell.

From Humble Roots to the Hundred Mile Finish

The first 100-mile completion for me and my mare, Luba, came in Vermont in 2014. We knew what we were getting into and paced well all day. And at the first vet check, a lady handed me my ride card with a Canadian flag drawn on it. It was Cathy! It felt like coming home. I will never forget how wonderful it was to arrive at the finish, the trail lined on either side by crowds of cheering people.  This was our third attempt at a 100-mile ride. Third time’s a charm!

Cheering people are one of the best things about the Vermont ride. There is such an amazing atmosphere with so many horse and human athletes in top form and ready to toe the line for the ultimate adventure – miles and miles on the green roads and trails of beautiful Vermont. You almost always have company on trail, be it horse or human. Luba loved the company of runners as much as more as that of other horses. This is a great event to try longer distances – 75 or 100 miles – as you and your horse are buoyed by the energy of all the other runners, riders, aide stations, and cheering people lining the roads.

And not only do people in Vermont cheer for you, they are of gracious and generous of spirit. Krista and Guy Alderdice let us stay at their farm before and after the ride. And when my truck with the slide-in camper died at the last vet check, Liz and Bernadette Brown offered to crew me through the rest of the ride. One of the emergency trailer volunteers left her horse trailer at my campsite so we had somewhere to sleep. And Cathy let us borrow her truck and actually figured out what was wrong with mine! I felt like I was at home with kindred spirits.

A Very Special 2019 – Riding with My Daughter

Fast forward a few years, and Luba and I are back in Vermont in 2019, this time with my teenaged daughter, Charlotte and her gelding, Sabr. Charlotte also experienced Vermont love at first sight at the GMHA Spring Endurance ride. And she got to ride with Melody Blittersdorf and Laura Farrell!

2020-vermont-100-endurance-riders-nancy-and-charlotte-zukewich-dirt-raod-with-runners.jpeg

We came back in July to ride the VT100. It is every endurance-riding mother’s dream to share trail with your daughter, especially on a 100-mile ride. It was hot and humid and we chased cut-offs all day long. Although Sabr was pulled at mile 88 for lameness, Vermont taught Charlotte perspective. When they saw the treatment vet back at camp in the middle of the night, the vet said how sorry she was that they did not complete. Charlotte replied that this was a personal best for both her and Sabr. They had never gone 88 miles before!

Luba and I went on to finish the 100 and earned a heritage buckle donated by Steve Rojeck. One of my friends commented that the buckle artwork looked like a mother and daughter riding together.

Vermont Feels Like Family

Charlotte and I will be back this summer to share trail with so many amazing and inspiring humans and horses, hoping for another personal best!

2020-vermont-100-endurance-riders-nancy-and-charlotte-zukewich-grass-fields

A bit more about Nancy Zukewich

Nancy lives in Ottawa, Ontario. She and Luba earned their AERC Decade Team Award in 2018. She also practices and teaches yoga. You can follow her journey at Gray Horse Yoga.

Want to learn more about riding the Vermont 100?

Visit the Vermont 100 Endurance Ride website.

Want to learn more about the Vermont 100 ride’s history?

Visit our Vermont 100 History page, complete with timeline and information about our race leadership.

Feature Image Credit: Ben Kimball Race Photography
In-Post Image Credits: Deanna Ramsay

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Building the Ideal Race Calendar – Preparing for Vermont 100

Building the Ideal Race Calendar – Preparing for Vermont 100

Written by our own Race Director, Amy Rusiecki for RunFormula.

Once the credit card gets processed your entry fee (gulp) – it’s real.  You’re running this year’s VT100.  It’s time to think about finalizing your 2020 race calendar. You’re already signed up for this summer’s Vermont 100 (yay!), so now you need to focus on the smaller details of how you get from where you are now to ready to rock by July 18th . What should you be doing to gear-up for that? What tune-up races should you do, and what distances should you consider? With so many options, sometimes it’s hard to decide!

Amy during a race, running along the gravel and dirt roads of Vermont

I will admit that there’s no perfect answer to this. Even in my household, my husband and I sometimes have differing race calendars because we approach our build-up to a goal race differently. (Then again, it could be because we sometimes have different race goals also.) Either way, below are some suggestions on what the ideal race schedule would be, to get you from now until Vermont 100.

Whether training up for your first 100k or 100 miler at Vermont, you’re a seasoned runner who eats hundos for breakfast, or you’re running the Grand Slam, ideally you want to do 2-3 spring/early summer races as tune-ups before the big goal race.

These will allow you to test the legs out, remember how to run those long miles, and determine your fitness level (so you can pace the VT100 appropriate for your fitness). Doing too many races can have you reaching the starting line in mid-July feeling tired and burnt-out – and that’s no way to enjoy the beauty of Vermont! However, not doing enough pre-race can have you unsure of your ideal race pacing, and your under-trained quads will certainly be barking early on with all the ups and downs that VT100 provides. The key is to balance it all, and reach the starting line fired up and ready to crush this year’s race!

The best way to dip your toe into the 2020 ultra season is to kick things off with a 50k. Since this is an early-season ‘dusting off the cob-webs’ effort, you’ll want to do this between 12 to 20 weeks out from race day. Ultimately, that means choosing a March or April 50k race. As with most training, specificity is always a bonus – so it’s great to find a 50k race that mimics the terrain and sharp rolling hills of the Vermont 100 course. However, it’s equally important to have fun at the 50k race, so if there’s one that you’re super stoked on, don’t worry if it’s ‘VT100-like’ or not!

Between your kick-off 50k and Vermont 100 race day, you’ll want to do a 50 mile race (or potentially a 100km, for the 100 mile runners). This is one of the most important runs of your build-up, so treat it as such. Test out as many aspects of your VT100 race strategy as you can – follow your planned fueling and hydration, wear the shoes and hydration pack you’ll be using, and test out different ‘cooling down’ methods. This is your dry-run for the Vermont 100, and you want to learn from it! This race should be scheduled between 5 and 10 weeks out from race day, so that means early-May to mid-June. Again, you’ll benefit from finding a course that is similar to the Vermont 100, but I also believe it’s important to do races that inspire you!

Pro-VT100 tip: if you run a 50 miler similar to the Vermont 100 course, you can reasonably expect that your VT100 finish will be 2.5 times longer than your 50 mile time. Use that info to properly pace in the early (downhill) miles of the VT100 course.

For those who want another race to add to their calendar, you can throw in a 3rd build-up ultra between these other two races. Since this is sandwiched between the 50k and 50 mile/100k efforts, you can opt for either distance. I’d also advise that if you do this, that you consider doing your first 50k in mid-March and do your last 50 mile/100k effort in early June. When making the decision of whether to do a 3rd tune-up race, it pays to know your body. Consider if you’re someone who thrives on having a bit more practice and mileage in their legs to prepare, or if you’re better suited to approach Vermont feeling refreshed and almost antsy to go.

Regardless of what you decide, there are no right or wrong answers to how your racing schedule should look – it’s as individual as you are! Luckily, there are plenty of amazing races to choose from – so find some that inspire you, suit your style, or fit your busy schedule and have fun! Respect that racing is only one aspect of your preparation to achieve your goals at the Vermont 100, but it’s an important one! I hope you all come to Silver Hill ready to enjoy 100k or 100 miles of adventure through the rolling hills of Vermont!

-Amy

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“It isn’t about running” – What the Vermont 100 Means to Me

“It isn’t about running” – What the Vermont 100 Means to Me

Erika Stillson is a constant light at the Vermont 100, volunteering endless hours to make sure that all of our aid stations are fully stocked day and night. She also happens to live at “Bills,” the family farm our runners pass through at ~ mile 51 and 89 of our 100k and 100m events. Erika, along with her dad, Bill, and countless others, are what make the Vermont 100 pure magic, and we thank her for sharing her story below. We hope you love it as much as we do!

Family. Community. Volunteering. Summer.

“The other day I received a note asking me if I’d write a little post about what the Vermont 100 means to me, so I sat down and thought about it. After working with this event in one form or another for the past 31 years, it occurred to me that I really know relatively few athletes in the event. Interesting, because without a doubt, when someone says ‘What is the Vermont 100?’ the first thought is of an amazing feat by elite athletes to support opportunities for other equally amazing athletes.

But what is the Vermont 100 to me? Well, it isn’t about running.

Please don’t misunderstand me, I do not mean to diminish in any way the journey or successes of these awe-inspiring runners, horses and riders, it’s just that my Vermont 100 isn’t about a race at all. It’s about a group of like-minded individuals getting together, stringing 980 chemlights, then finding other people to hang said chemlights throughout the last 45 miles of the course on a Saturday evening in mid July, rain or shine, road or trail. It’s about a small town (my small town) opening its arms to hundreds of people, showing them just what a little community can do. It’s everyone I can think of crazy enough to turn on their ovens to bake a couple hundred pounds of potatoes or 72 dozen chocolate chip cookies in the summer heat. Or, going way back, mac and cheese and brownies for the pre-race dinner on Friday night. It’s getting up at 4am on Saturday and not going to sleep again until Sunday night.

My Vermont 100 is driving around the back roads with my dad towing us on the bed of an old horse trailer, picking up aid stations and unmarking the course. It’s driving almost all 100 miles in ‘Old Blue,’ our almost-famous pickup truck that worked the first 15 or so races with us, and that old horse trailer, just ‘checking on things.’ And I know that my summer would be missing something without this event.

My Vermont 100 is hours and hours of things that no one likes to think about, that maybe no one really wants to do, but for some reason, at some point in my life seemed like a great adventure.

I worked an unmanned aid station for the first race because I realllllly wanted to do something. So, my parents let their 15-year-old daughter drive down to the aid station and hang out there by myself with a flashlight until midnight, pouring Coke into paper cups. I’ll never forget how happy those runners were to see my flashlight that night.

I moved on to the med station the next year and learned how to lance a blister, perhaps not my thing, but thanks for the knowledge. I worked volunteer parking for a handler station, I babysat Laura Farrell’s boys so she could be out working. I purchased, packed, and delivered the aid station food, took a break from that, then went back and did it again.

I’ve worked registration, the race start, and the finish line. I’ve worked aid stations, I’ve set them up and torn them down. I’ve cleaned up after the race, I’ve marked and unmarked sections of the course. I’ve learned that it’s easier to hang chemlights before it gets dark, but it’s more fun (for me, at least) to do it after.

My Vermont 100 was once heading out to find our puppy who left from our aid station with a runner before little Tuck got too tired to keep running and was lost in the woods. And now I just do a little behind the scenes organizing, and, as I like to call it ‘the fun stuff.’ And, of course, I get to help clean out our barn to make room for the aid station.

I started working on this event to be with my family.

My dad has been involved with the Vermont 100 from the very first year and I have been following his lead and have used the event for some great father-daughter time over the years (you all know Bill of Bill’s barn, am I right? I call him Dad. Great guy, am I right? I know I’m right).

And since I have started working on this event my family has grown. I am happy to count the amazing committee (past and present) that puts this all together as my family. We’ve been through thick and thin, through losses and joys and we’ve stood side by side through them all. Just like a family does.

I’ve seen members of my community stand up in meetings and speak for this race, even though they have no ties to it beyond the fact that it happens in their town. Their voices have ensured that our race keeps its home in the hills of Brownsville.

Our community supports us.

I have called on people who have no ties to running, no ties to Vermont Adaptive and they have come. They have come in droves, and they have stayed. They are the stars of my Vermont 100. You don’t know them and you don’t see them, but without them, we’d be lost.

Oh, the heat. The humidity. The thunderstorms. The microbursts.

To quote Farmer’s, ‘We know a thing or two, because we’ve seen a thing or two.’ Ain’t it the truth? The Vermont 100 will always test you, and not just you the athlete. You, the volunteer at an aid station in the blazing sun, in the pouring rain and thunderstorms, or in the dark of night. You, the restock volunteer trying to keep up with requests for ice or blankets, ramen or watermelon. You, the overnight restock crews looking out for horses in the foggy night as you drive from one station to the next with ice, blankets, and, of course, gummy bears.

My Vermont 100, I’m sure, is different from everyone else’s Vermont 100, but that’s just one more thing that makes it fun. That makes it special. That makes it mine.”

A Bit More about Erika

Erika Stillson is an avid skier, trail runner and yoga instructor.  She is thrilled to be back living on her family farm in Windsor, Vermont, where Spring finds her in the sugarhouse and Summer in the gardens.  She has a small studio at the farm, which gives her the ability to share two of her favorite things: Yoga and the peace she finds on the farm. Follow her adventures at Oxbow Farm.

Want to help?

Learn more about Volunteering at the Vermont 100.

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2020 Vermont 100 Lottery – What Are the Odds?

2020 Vermont 100 Lottery – What Are the Odds?

Anyone who’s run the VT100 in the past is well aware that I am an engineer, and love data and spreadsheets.  (Those who haven’t run the VT100 yet…well, if you ever do, you’ll experience this!)  Anyway, to answer some questions about the data behind the VT100 registration…I’ve got the info below to share.

Lottery Odds:

First thing to keep in mind is that the 2019 VT100 was the first year of the lottery – so we don’t have years’ worth of data on the lottery odds.  But, happy to share the info that I have.

In 2019, the lottery odds were 78% chance for the 100 miler and 62% chance in the 100k.

Waitlist Odds:

In my 5 years of RDing, I’ve ALWAYS seen the entire waitlist clear by race day.  That means that if you’re not selected in the lottery but patient on the waitlist, odds are extremely high that you’ll get moved off the waitlist and get to toe the line in July.  So, please be patient but know that there’s no guarantee.

Early Registration/Lottery Bypass Numbers:

Folks are often worried that all of the spots for the race will be taken by those allowed to bypass the lottery.  We work to keep a healthy balance of those who have earned the right to guarantee an entry into the race, while still keeping plenty of spots available to anyone else that wants to race.  We started the early registration in 2015, and have had between 54 and 85 runners annually enter for the 100 miler through this program.  In the 100k, 2019 was the first time that we honored early entry for this distance, and 7 spots were taken by lottery bypass runners.

Why the lottery?

We understand that the decision to go to a lottery can be controversial.  However, with registration filling in mere minutes for several years prior to 2019, it was essentially a lottery of luck anyway.  If your computer refreshed 30-seconds after someone else’s, or you entered your credit card info incorrectly the first time, you would likely have found yourself on the waitlist having been beaten out by someone who simply had better luck or faster typing skills.  We feel that going to a lottery simply makes official the digital ‘luck of the draw’ that decided who got in and who ended on the waitlist in the past.

A further benefit to the VT100 lottery system is that when folks aren’t rushed to quickly enter their info during registration, they are more likely to enter information correctly.  It has greatly reduced our workload to not have to correct numerous registration errors that were made during hasty registrations.

No decision regarding any race is perfect, however we do the best we can to ensure that all athletes have an equal opportunity to participate.

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2020 Vermont 100 Race Registration Process

2020 Vermont 100 Race Registration Process

Vermont 100 Banner

The 2020 edition of the VT100 Endurance Race is fast on it’s way. Here’s an update on registration for the upcoming event.

Early Registration/Lottery Bypass returns this year:

As has become tradition at the VT100, we’ll once again offer early registration from December 15, 2019 to December 24, 2019 to a limited number of runners who fall within the following categories:

  • Long timers – 4+ Vermont 100 mile finishes in the past 8 years for 100 mile only, OR 4+ Vermont 100 km finishes in the past 8 years for 100 km only.  
  • Overall podium (top 3 male/female) for the last 2 Vermont 100s, for the distance of podium
  • Athletes qualifying for (and competing in) the Athletes with Disabilities Divisions
  • Aid station captains or their designee (i.e. each aid station can designate 1 runner for early entry), may choose either distance
  • “Local Supporters” (race committee members, landowners who let us use their land for the race, etc.), may choose either distance

We will send out emails by December 10, 2019 for everyone who qualifies.  If you are an AWD, or believe you qualify as a local supporter, email the RD prior to December 1st to inquire about being added to the list.  Otherwise, please wait until after the December 10th emails go out and only reach out if you believe you qualify but don’t receive the bypass info.

General Registration continues as Lottery System:
Last year was the first year that the Vermont 100 held a lottery for registration.  Obviously, some love this change and some hate it – but it achieved the goals of the race committee to allow fair entry process for all.  Further info is below.

2020 Lottery Details:

The lottery and resulting registration will be hosted through RunReg. Those participating in the lottery will be randomly selected, in accordance with the registration limits for the two distances. There is no fee to enter the lottery.

Runners will be allowed to either register individually or in groups of two.  For the groups of two, either both runners will get in or not, but they’ll be paired together throughout the process.  If not selected for the race and placed on the waitlist, we’ll pull the names together and order the two names based on who of the two registered first.

2020 Lottery / Registration Process:
The lottery registration / application period for the 2020 event will open on Thursday, January 2, 2020 at 8:00 AM EST and will close on Friday, January 10, 2020 at 8:00 PM EST.  

The lottery drawing will be held on January 11 or 12, 2020, with accepted registrations processed and the start list published in real time (location and time of public lottery TBD). Accepted applicants selected during the lottery will have their credit card automatically charged and will be officially entered into the event as a registered runner at that time.  

We will continue to pull every applicant during the lottery process, with applicants beyond the race limits being added to the waitlist in the order they were drawn. As with past years, runners will be taken off the waitlist as spots are available in the coming months, and their credit card will be automatically charged.  If you are on the waitlist and are no longer interested in running the race, email the RD to be removed from the waitlist.

2020 Team Run 2 Empower:

As always, Vermont 100 also welcomes runners who commit to fundraising for Vermont Adaptive, and have set aside several spots in the event for these runners.  Registration for the Team is currently open, email the RD if you are interested in learning more and potentially joining the Team.

Reminder: Please See our Race Entry Page

All runners must meet the volunteer requirements, described here.

All 100 mile runners must meet the qualifier requirements, described here.

Race’s refund policy is listed here.

Good luck & we look forward to seeing you at the 2020 VT100 Endurance Race.

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Drop Bag Instructions for Your VT100

Drop Bag Instructions for Your VT100

You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers! So let’s jump into some VT100 drop bag instructions.

Here’s What You NEED to Know About Drop Bags at the VT100 

We cover basic drop bag instructions, which aid stations drop bags can be sent to, an FAQ you may be wondering about when it comes to Camp Ten Bear, and a courtesy reminder for how you can help our volunteers have a great day too. Further details are also located in: The Runner’s Handbook.


The Basics

  • How many drop bags: Runners and their pacers are permitted to have one (1) drop bag per aid station that allows crews. See the aid stations lists below for 100-milers and 100-km runners.  
  • Who: While we do allow any runner to have a drop bag, we request that runners with crews not use drop bags (unless your crew won’t be at an aid station).  We have a ton of solo runners, and don’t want the volunteers to get bogged down with bags that your crew will ultimately pull and use for you!
  • Size: Drop bags should be soft sided, waterproof and durable. A small backpack or gear bag about 9” by 9” by 16” (or smaller) should be sufficient. See below for an example of what NOT to do.
  • Timing: Drop bags must be in place on Silver Hill by 4:15pm on Friday. Unfortunately we can not accommodate runners who are postponed (even by emergencies or travel delays). If you arrive late, you will have to do without your drop bags. We will do our best to return all drop bags to Silver Hill by 12 noon on Sunday. Please don’t forget to pick them up, because the RD stinks at mailing them back!  If you are unable to pick them up yourself, arrange for a friend or fellow runner to grab them for you.

The Details

  • Every drop bag must be marked clearly and largely with: Bib Number, Last Name, and Aid Station Name.
  • Bib Number: Your bib number will be posted on the entrants list page. If you don’t write your bib number clearly, your bag will be harder to find during the race.
  • Aid Station Name: If you don’t write the Aid Station Name clearly, your bag will be harder to find during the race.

100 Mile runners can send drop bags to the following Aid Stations:

  • Pretty House – mile 21
  • Stage Road – mile 30
  • Camp Ten Bear #1 – mile 47
  • Margaritaville – mile 58
  • Camp Ten Bear #2 – mile 69
  • Spirit of 76  – mile 76
  • Bill’s – mile 88
  • Polly’s – mile 96

100-km runners can send drop bags to the following Aid Stations:

  • Camp Ten Bear #1 – mile 9
  • Margaritaville – mile 20
  • Camp Ten Bear #2 – mile 31
  • Spirit of 76 – mile 38
  • Bill’s – mile 50
  • Polly’s – mile 58

An FAQ to Consider

Q. How should I mark my drop bags for Camp Ten Bear?

Since runners pass through twice, Camp Ten Bear is aid station #11 and aid station #17. There will be 2 drop bag areas; one area for #11, and one area for #17. If you want to use one drop bag for both areas, clearly mark the drop bag “Camp Ten Bear #11.” After you use the drop bag on your first time through Camp Ten Bear, drop the bag in the #17 pile before you leave and the bag will be there when you return.


Please Remember

Drop Bag - How NOT to PackAt the end of the day, The Vermont 100 is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged bags or belongings.

Volunteers move upwards of 150 bags to each station and we do our best to do this carefully and with your best race in mind.

Pack appropriately! We can not accept unreasonably large or unwieldy drop bags. The more stuff you cram into your drop bag, the more valuable time you’ll lose rummaging through it to find what you need. The image to the right is in fact a real thing that happened. One time we got luggage… don’t do this to our volunteers!

Keep in mind that we won’t ship aid station bags that are left behind.  If you are leaving prior to it’s return, arrange with a fellow runner or friend to grab it for you.


Thank so much and looking forward to helping you do your best on race day!

-The VT100 Volunteers

PS – Want to know more about prepping for your VT100? Check out our quick post for Your VT100 Weekend Checklist.

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Volunteers Work Tirelessly to Keep Trails in Great Shape

Volunteers Work Tirelessly to Keep Trails in Great Shape

Melody Blittersdorf, Eric Grald and Jeff Blittersdorf.

Not sure what the weather has been like this Spring where you live but around the Vermont 100 trails, it’s been pretty bad. Heavy rains, high winds, saturated soil.

There has been more trail damage this year than folks have seen in 20 plus years.

Luckily there is a core group of dedicated trail volunteers who give their weekends to trail maintenance.

You met some a few weeks ago

We’d now like to introduce to more trail volunteers.

Rick Fallon clearing in the early spring.
Steve Grover

Thanks to GHMA volunteers for clearing Cady Brook and Heartbreak Hill.
Eric & Chelle Grald
Michelle & Steven Grover
Dana & Paula Waters
Connie & Scott Walker
Lyn Brown
Bruce Hickey
Jenny Kimberly
Ray Johnson
Laurie Hall
Elizabeth Farley
Barbara Gerstner
Hannah Bright
Walter Bradeen
Rick Fallon
Jim Barr
Toby Bartlett
Shirley Oulette
Debbie Culbertson
Sue Meyer
Debbie Klene
Melody & Jeff Blittersdorf
Bob Anderson
Roy Snell
Stacy Gallowhur

It not’s just people who “chipped” in to help out. The town of Reading, Vermont worked on Kittridge Pasture.

Before
After

And it’s not just adults helping clear trail.

Power of We! Richmond Middle School 7th graders helped clear mile 99.
Thanks to Alex, Sayan, Angus, Ian, Madeleine, Rhea, Beth, Missie, Amanda, Henry, Reeve and Jim.

Rumor has it that another crew will be out there again this weekend, giving of their time to make the trails usable by our race and by the communities in our area.

The Vermont 100 Race Committee would like to thank all the trail volunteers. We couldn’t host a trail run without you.

If you’d like to help out, please contact Sue Greenall at greenall@vermontel.net

Photos provided courtesy of Sue Greenall, GMHA and Krista Alderdice.

 

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Gas. Food. Ice – Where to Buy It Along the VT100 Race Route

Gas. Food. Ice – Where to Buy It Along the VT100 Race Route

Crews listen up especially: You’re gonna need gas. You’re gonna get hungry. You’re gonna want to cool some things off. So we’re here to help you!

Find the best spots along the VT100 race route to locate fuel, food, and ice.


About Each Location

PLEASE NOTE*
The following 8 outlets are directly on the Handler routes, and the basic information has been included in their written directions.

South Woodstock Country Store

  • Address: 10673 South Rd. Woodstock
  • Owner: Simarin
  • Good for: Excellent short order breakfast items, and great lunch offerings. Ice, drinks, snacks.
  • Hours:
    Fri. 6:30 am to 6:00 pm.
    Sat. 6:30 am to 6:00 p.m.
    Sun. 7:00 am.- 4:00 p.m.
  • Phone: 802-457-3050

Mac’s Market

  • Address: 37 Pleasant St. (Rte. 4) Woodstock
  • Manager: Jeff
  • Good for: Deli and full line of groceries. Are geared up for the event, with extra ice, etc..
  • Hours:
    Opens 7 am every day.
    Closing Mon. – Sat. 9:00 p.m.; Sun 8:00 p.m.
  • Phone: 802-457-9320

Maplefields

  • Address: 66 Pleasant St. (Rte. 4) Woodstock
  • Manager: Raphael
  • Good for: Stocking up for the event weekend.
  • Hours: Daily 5:00am to midnight
  • Phone: 802-457-1549

Cumberland Farms

  • Address: 433 Woodstock Road, Woodstock
  • Good for: getting gas and other race weekend supplies.
  • Hours: Daily 4:00am to midnight

Teago General Store

  • Address: At split between Pomfret Rd. and Stage Rd., Pomfret
  • Owner: Kathleen
  • Good for: Has Ice – Will have breakfast sandwiches, muffins, zucchini & banana breads – Midday Sandwiches. Geared up for the event.
  • Hours: Opens at 6:30am on Saturday (just for us!)
  • Phone: 802-457-1626

Watroba’s General Store

  • Address: 821 Rte. 106 Reading
  • Owners: Robert and Zonia
  • Good for: Ice, deli, produce, fruit, drinks.
  • Hours:
    Fri. & Sat. 7 am to 8 pm (Deli 9 am to at least 6:30 pm)
    Sun. 8 am to 6 pm. (Deli 9 am to 5:00 pm)
    Sandwich board out front: “VT-100 Supporters”
  • Phone: 802-484-7700

Downer’s Corner Store (Jiffy Mart)

  • Address: Junction of Rte’s 106 & 131, Weathersfield
  • Manager:  Steve and Missy
  • Good for: Gas (has diesel), Ice, Convenience items. 802-263-9327
  • Hours: 6 am to 9 pm (pumps close then). Deli – 6 am to 4:30 pm.

Villagers

  • Address: 4261 Rte. 106, Perkinsville (across from Downers)
  • Good for: Burgers, Fries, etc.
  • Hours:
    Tues. to Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
    Fri, & Sat. to 9:00 p.m.
    *Grill closes ½ hour before closing.
  • Phone: 802-263-5677

Windsor Establishments

Brownsville Butcher & Pantry (formerly Brownsville General Store)

  • Address: 871 VT-44, West Windsor
  • Good for: breakfast food, burgers and sandwiches, veggie options, wine by the glass, beer & ale on tap (and all your other weekend needs)
  • Hours: Monday – Friday – 6:30am to 8:00pm, Saturday 5:00pm to 10:00pm (just for us!), Sunday 7:00am to 6:00pm

Price Chopper

  • Address: Rte 5 (Main St.) Windsor
  • Good for: Groceries & Ice
  • Hours: 7 am to 11 pm

Windsor Diner

  • Address: Rte 5 (Main St.) Windsor
  • Owner: Theresa
  • Good for:
    Serving full breakfast including muffins
    Great fried chicken dinner
    Will make sandwiches for pick-up; may deliver if large enough order.
  • Hours: Every day – 7 am to 3:30pm
  • Phone: 802-674-5555

Cumberland Farms

  • Address: Main St.
  • Manager: Nina
  • Good for: Convenience Store fare, gas, ice
  • Hours: Open 24 hours

Pizza Chef

  • Address: 88 Main St.
  • Owners: Gus & Nickos
  • Good for: Pizza, plus will deliver if large enough order. Also have sandwiches.
  • Phone: 802-674-6861
  • Hours: Officially open daily at 11:00 am, but usually someone there by 9:00 to take orders. Close at 9pm.

Boston Dreams

  • Address: Corner of Main & State St’s
  • Owner: Karen
  • Good for: Specialty Coffees, sandwiches (Panini’s), ice cream, pastries, muffins. Have Wi-Fi. Full espresso bar. Both sit-down & take-out.
  • Hours: Opens every day at 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Phone: 802-230-4107

Others Off of I-91 on Route 5 South:, before Center of Windsor

Harpoon Brewery Riverbend Taps & Beer Garden

  • Address: 336 Ruth Carney Drive, Windsor.  (2.8 miles north of Windsor town center on Rte. 5 North; 1.2 mi. south of I-91 Exit 9 on Rte. 5 South.)
  • Good for:
    Serving really good Pub fare food until 1 hour before closing time.  Wings, Fries, Salads, Wraps, Sandwiches & Burgers, etc.
  • Go to: www.HarpoonBrewery.com for complete menu and other info.
  • Hours:
    Open Thur.-Sun. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
    Mon. to Weds. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Frazer’s Place (small drive-in restaurant)

  • Address: 2066 Rte 5., Windsor (halfway between Harpoon and center of town)
  • Owner: Mike
  • Hours:
    Mon. – Fri. 6:00 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.
    Sat & Sun. 7:00 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.

The following are along routes for arriving at Silver Hill

If coming from the south on I-91, taking exit 8, and then Rte. 5 North, To:

Sunoco Station

  • Address: 258 Vt. Rte. 131, Ascutney, VT
  • Hours
    5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., but their pumps, including DIESEL, are open 24 hours.

Ascutney Market

  • Address: Rte. 5, Ascutney
  • Hours: daily 7:00am to 7:00pm

If coming from the north on I-89, taking exit 1 to Rte. 4 West

Mobil Gas Station

  • Address: 3479 Woodstock Rd. (Rte. 4) Quechee, VT
  • Hours: daily 5:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. (has diesel)

Quechee Jiffy Mart

  • Address: 6800 Woodstock Rd. Quechee, VT
  • Hours:
    Gas: 6:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m./11:00 p.m. Sat.
    Subway Shop 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
    Gas pumps off at closing

Taftsville Country Store

  • Address: 2706 E. Woodstock Rd. Taftsville, VT, near Taftsville Covered Bridge
  • Phone: 802-457-1135.
  • Hours:
    Mon – Thu. 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
    Fri. & Sat. 8:00 a.m. – 6::00 p.m.
    Sun. 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

If coming from the north on I-91, taking Exit 9 onto Rte. 5 North

Mike’s Store

  • Address: 148 Rte. 5, Hartland
  • Good for: Gas (HAVE DIESEL), Ice, Groceries, sandwiches.
  • Hours: 6 am to 9 pm – 7 days
  • Phone: 802-436-3244

Hartland Diner

  • Address: Hartland 3 Corners
  • Owner: Nicole
  • Good for: Great food.
  • Hours: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday – Friday, open 6:00am on Sunday.
    Opening special for us on Saturday at 4:00 am (awesome breakfast menu)
  • Phone: 802-436-3663

BG’s Market

  • Address: (Next door to Diner)
  • Owner: Bill
  • Good for: Deli, Snacks, Groceries.
  • Hours:
    Fri. & Sat. 6 am to 8 pm.
    Sun. 6 am to 7 pm.
    Phone: 802-436-2360
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Fueling for VT100 Success

Fueling for VT100 Success

Last year we wrote about hydrating your way through an ultramarathon, the importance of knowing how much fluid you need, how to figure that amount out, and what types of fluid to use. You can read that HERE!

And now, we shall discuss our other favorite topic: EATING! Getting your fluid intake right to avoid dehydration or over-hydration is of utmost importance.  Also of huge significance is knowing how many calories per hour you should take in and what those calories should look like.

Man does not run 100 miles (or 100K) on fluid alone!

Below, some tips on how to fuel the fire for ultradistance racing!

1) First, figuring out how many calories per hour that you will aim to take, is a good starting place. There are multiple factors that affect calorie goals: body weight, lean muscle mass and how “fat adapted” of an athlete you are, to name a few. This could range from 200 calories/hour to 500 calories/hour (and up!). In general, the leaner, lighter and more fat adapted you are, the lower your needs will be, and vice versa.

2) If hydrating with sports drink, as my previous hydration article suggests, your sports drink will give you a decent start on your calorie needs. For example, if you are taking in 24 oz/hour of full strength sports drink (such as Base Hydro, which will be offered along the VT100 course), that is roughly 45 grams of carbohydrate and 180 calories (also true for Gatorade Endurance, GuBrew, etc.). This is a solid base from which to build! Now you must add in some “food” to make up the difference.

3) What should that “food” be? Good question. In general, the longer the distance, the more you will need mixed foods, meaning not JUST simple carbohydrates, but also some protein and fat. On the other hand, if you are a speedy 100K runner that plans on finishing in 10-11 hours, you can get away with simple sugars alone. Sports drink, gels and chews are all good examples of simple sugars with no protein or fat. If going longer and wanting to add in the protein and fat, you could consider solids like Clif or Balance bars, chicken noodle soup, peanut butter and jelly squares or Poptarts. I know one ultra runner in particular that SWEARS by Ritz Bits peanut butter crackers. Point is, you need to find something you like and that agrees with you and something that travels well/is easy to carry.

4) Another important piece of advice is to eat at regular intervals and set up a schedule that requires very little thinking. Deep into a 24 hour race, you don’t want to have to be calculating grams of carbohydrate/hour! I recommend setting up a cycle that you repeat over and over. For example, if you think you will be racing for 20 hours, consider doing five 4 hour cycles. In those four hours you drink 4 bottles of sports drink (1 per hour) then you may eat: 1 gel at 1:00, 1 oz pretzels at 2:00, 3 chews at 3:00, ½ Clif Bar at 4:00. Next, you repeat the cycle 4 more times. Keep it as simple as possible so you don’t have to waste precious energy on thinking about nutrition!

5) Probably THE most important piece of this puzzle is to PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE and then practice some more. You will have plenty of long training days to practice drinking to your fluid needs, and eating the same foods, at the same intervals, that you will in the race. Practice so much so, that the nutrition part of the race is second nature and one less concern you have! Your body will know what to expect.

6) And finally, SHOULD the stomach go sour, you will need to do some problem solving. Don’t continue to force nutrition in if it’s making you sick and it will only come back up! Take some time to let the body and stomach settle. And think what could be causing the issue. Is it really hot and your HR is high? Slow a bit, get your core body temperature down (think water over the head!) and then your other systems (GI system included) will start to work better. Are you simply sick of the sweet, sugary taste and can’t choke down another gel? Take a gel off and instead eat something salty and non-sweet like 1 oz of pretzels. The carbohydrate content is roughly the same! Are you really just craving watermelon above all things? Well this one is easy – EAT WATERMELON at the next aid station!

Hopefully this gets you thinking about how you will fuel your ultra marathon training and racing – and specifically what you can do to be successful at this year’s Vermont 100. Making it a priority and paying close attention to it will put you in a great place to let your true run fitness shine through!

If you are interested in having a registered dietitian figure out your needs and help guide you in a race fueling stragey, check out the fueling plans offered by The Core Diet. As a VT100 athlete, you can get a 15% discount on a fueling plan with the code ‘VT100’!

Beth Shutt is a registered dietitian and the Operations Director at The Run Formula. She’s been an endurance athlete for over 25 years, including racing professional triathlon for 6 years. She has made every nutrition mistake in the book and loves to help people NOT make the same mistakes. She can be reached at beth@therunformula.com.

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Race Day Game Plan – Last Minute Preparations

Race Day Game Plan – Last Minute Preparations

Written by Jack Pilla, Run Formula Coach

Pre-Race Preparation, the night before:

  • Get your drop bags in order and placed in the designated areas.
  • Coordinate with your pacer if you have one.
  • Go over any specifics with your crew.
  • Eat – Pasta is always a good choice or some other favorite non-spicy dish but don’t pig out. (Thursday night would be better for the big meal). White pasta is more easily digestible than wheat.
  • Have all your race gear ready to go before bed.
  • Get to sleep. (You might bring earplugs too if you are camping).

Morning of the Race:

  • Most races start in the pre-dawn hours so have a small snack an hour before such as a bagel or banana but whatever you do don’t try something new at this hour.
  • Drink 10 – 12 ounces of fluid before your race.  Stay hydrated but don’t overdo it.
  • Hit the port-o-let early enough so you don’t miss the start.  (Bring your own tp as sometimes the portolets run out).
  • Don’t forget to check in before the start.

Ultra List of Goodies to have on hand

(Just a quick reminder from last week’s blog)

  • Electrolyte Replacement
  • Fuel Belt, Camel Back or other hydration gizmo
  • Body glide or similar
  • Headlamp with new batteries
  • Good socks and extra socks
  • Good trail running shoes and spares
  • Band aids/first aid kit/blister repair
  • Duct Tape
  • Extra clothing and night clothing for colder temps
  • Hat

TOP TEN WAYS TO DNF AT AN ULTRA

(As reproduced from the Wasatch Front 100 and modified for the VT100)

  • (10) Wear new shoes.
  • 9) Wear old socks.
  • 8) Waste energy getting mad at little things.
  • 7) Try for that terrific 30 hour “SUNTAN”. Would you stick your head in a microwave?
  • 6) Forget to plan for difficult weather: wind, rain, cold, heat.
  • 5) VT has no big hills, so no need to do hill training, right?
  • 4) Forget to consume calories
  • 3) Think you are staying hydrated by drinking at aid stations only.
  • 2) Rely totally on ribbons to guide your way. Does the word “lost” have meaning to you?

DRUM ROLL…..

  • 1) Not making friends with Mr. SALT and Mz. ELECTROLYTE.

HAVE FUN AND SEE YOU AT THE FINISH!!

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Packing for Vermont 100: What do you really need?

Packing for Vermont 100: What do you really need?

Lindsay Simpson, Trail and Ultrarunning Coach The Run Formula

As the big date creeps closer, now is the time to start that race execution plan, do any last-minute gear shopping, and pack. With aid stations located not much than 5 miles apart, you can be relatively conservative about what to carry, and what to leave in your drop bags. Whether you’re running solo or getting help from crew and pacers, pre-race organizing is essential. This process is prime mental preparation and helps focus some of that squirrely taper energy.

As a reminder, as per the runner handbook; “drop bags must be rugged, securely closed soft containers, clearly marked with the runner’s bib # and the aid station number where the runner wants them delivered”. It’s a good idea to waterproof your bag, with a simple plastic bag lining, to protect again rain. Here is a list of essentials broken into a few categories to help get organized:

 

Wear at the start:

Headlamp (fully charged or with fresh batteries)

Lightweight hat or visor

Digital sport watch

Race vest or handheld bottle(s)

Arm sleeves for warmth and cooling

Bandana for ice

Sunscreen and insect repellant

 

Carry in your race vest, pack or pockets:

Fluid and fuel for first 21 miles (Pretty House aid station)

BASE salt (This is provided at athlete check in)

Toilet paper

Batteries for headlamp

 

Leave in a waterproofed drop bag, best option is Camp Ten Bear (miles 47 & 69):

Change of socks and/or shoes if you plan to switch

Jacket and/or long sleeve shirt for cooler night

Lubricant to treat chafing or blisters

Sunscreen & insect repellant

Back up headlamp

 

Post-race good feels:

Slides, flip flops or crocs

Damp towel to clean up (there are no showers at the race venue)

Change of dry clothes

VT100 - Crew Rules

If you’re being supported by crew or pacers, we recommend holding a pre-race meeting with those awesome folks to discuss each of the below points. Be sure to print the runner handbook and crew directions before traveling to the race. Cell and GPS service is very poor in this area. No really… it’s BAD.

a) Review the pace and aid station times you anticipate hitting. It’s helpful to download this aid station list and add columns for 2-3 projected finish times and key aid stations arrival times.

b) Name the items you anticipate wanting from your crew, e.g. foods, clothes, blister care, etc…

c) Make back up plans for when challenges arise; because they will happen. Consider how you’ll manage weather impacts such as heat or rain, plus back-up plans for fueling and hydration.

d) Discuss how you want to be supported psychologically. Are you someone who wants positive encouragement or tough talk? Does it help to be reminded of your “why”? Do you like jokes, stories, songs, or games to focus your mind when the physical effort gets tough?

There are always going to be unanticipated challenges when you run an ultramarathon. Your best success strategy is a positive, flexible, problem-solving mind-set. When you pack this attitude you’re sure to have a great experience!

Example of how to pack aid station supplies for crew to give the runner.

Example of drop bags. PC https://www.tahoerunco.com/2016/08/ultramarathon-drop-bags/

Brought to you by

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Our Volunteers are Rockstars!

Our Volunteers are Rockstars!

Check out our Volunteer Recognition Awards winners:

The Stoney Stone Award: for the Ultimate Volunteer
We give The Stoney Stone, Volunteer of the Year award is given in memory of Stoney who was a dedicated volunteer during the early years of Vermont Adaptive. He was always there, no matter the conditions, what needed doing or who needed help, he couldn’t imagine a life without the program and they couldn’t have done it without him.

2008-Original VHSA Volunteers
2009-20 Year Vermont 100 Volunteers
2010-Deb Shearer
2011 Richard Hutchinson
2012-Zeke Zucker
2013-Matt Smith
2014-Bill Stillson
2015-Sharon Quackenbush
2016-Mike Silverman
2017-Joe Holland
2018-Jeff Katchen
2019-TBA… it could be you, sign-up today!

The Pinky Farrell and Jim Hutchinson Award: In memory of their belief and dedication to this event
We give the Pinky Farrell and Jim Hutchinson award to the people who most represent the heart of this race. Picky Farrell was the mother in law of Laura, our original race director and the founder of Vermont Adaptive. Jim Hutchinson was the Race Director here for 8 years. They both truly believed in the event and the cause. They went over and above every expectation to make the event safe, fun and successful.

1998-Joe Lugiano, Bruce Boyd
1998-Bill and Laura Stillson
2000-Laura Farrell, Dot Helling
2001-Steve and Dinah Rojek
2002-Stew Stryker
2003-Danna Broemel
2004-All Participating Landowners
2005-In Memory of John Kenul
2006-Jim Hutchinson
2007-All HAM Radio Operators
2008-All Medical Staff
2009-Lou Schmertz
2010-Erika Stillson
2011-Art and Pat Rosson
2012-Paul Davis
2013-Bobby and Brad Farrell
2014-Sue and John Greenall
2015-Nancy Nutile-McMenemy
2016-Julia Hutchinson O’Brien
2017-Karen and Rob Mather (NetControl)
2018-Heather Hoynes
2019-TBA… it could be you, sign-up today!

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Volunteering at the VT100 – What To Know

Volunteering at the VT100 – What To Know

Welcome to the VT100 blog post that covers most everything you’d need to know about volunteering at the VT100 – from the duties and perks available, to what to download to be prepared, and even a little bit on our volunteer recognition awards

Oh, and we don’t want to wait till the end to say it, so before we dive in, please know how much we appreciate all of our amazing VT100 volunteers! Without your help, our event would never be the success it is year after year. Not only is volunteering is a great way to give back to the running community, but it’s also an excellent way to learn about a race before running it.


New Volunteers

Not sure what to help with? We also have a general volunteer sign up form here, where you can share a bit more about yourself and we’ll help find a duty, day, and time that will work for both of us.


Tell Me About the Perks!

VT100 volunteers all get sweet VT100 t-shirts (as long as you volunteer at least 5 hours), tons of high fives, a boat load of thank yous, and more self-satisfaction for giving back than you could shake a stick at.

In order to guarantee your volunteer t-shirt size: You need to sign up by May 14th. We will do our best to get enough shirts and the correct sizes for everyone who signs up after May 14th.

We need over 500 volunteers to pull this off. Don’t hesitate: sign-up today!


Volunteer Opportunities Include

  • Packing food boxes days before the race
  • Setting up aid stations (Friday night)
  • Setting up the start/finish (Thursday, Friday)
  • Serving food and good cheer at aid stations (Saturday – Sunday)
  • Checking the runners in at the finish (Saturday – Sunday)
  • Cleaning up after the awards ceremony (Sunday night)
  • Amateur HAM radio operators (Saturday – Sunday)

KEEP READING, THERE’S MORE BELOW!

VT100 - Volunteering

Pro-tips from the Volunteer Coordinators

Download and read the following documents prior to arrival. Cell service on Silver Hill Meadow is spotty at best and there will NOT be copies available at check-in.

Remember to pack:

  • Reusable water bottle or cup (VT100 is a cupless race)
  • Flashlight and/or headlamp
  • Bug Spray
  • Rain gear
  • Sunblock and Hat

If you have received a volunteer assignment but would like to do more, please contact us with your available days.

Camping spots are still available at the Start/Finish on Silver Hill Meadow.


Got Questions? We’ve Got Answers!

Send us an email and we’ll do our best to answer as soon as possible.

Thank you!

Carolyn Stocker
Vermont 100 Volunteer Coordinator
vt100volunteers@gmail.com

 

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Friday July 20 at the Vermont 100-So many Things to Do!

Friday July 20 at the Vermont 100-So many Things to Do!

Friday Fun at the VT100

You’ve arrived at Silver Hill, you’re all checked in, through Medical, got your bib! Now what?!?

We’ve got you covered here at the VT100!  Friday is FULL of activities and shopping galore for you and your family, and crew, and pacer, and whoever else joins in.  We hope that everyone will take part in some of the fun activities!

 

Yoga and Meditation Sessions:

Are you looking for some relaxation, stretching, and mindfulness before your big day in the woods? Or does your crew, family and friends want some downtime before their important duties unfold?  Join Amanda, from Forest Trail Yoga to relax your mind, body and soul.  Yoga sessions will be held under the trees to the left of the white house on Silver Hill.  Forest Trail Yoga will provide mats and blocks.

Forest Trail Retreats Yoga Sessions:

11:00-11:15AM: Family Yoga– Poses to stretch, test our strength and balance for the whole  family

11:30-11:59AM: Lunchtime Flow– Gentle movements to breathing to movement and open up our bodies, transitioning to moving into a flow to work on strength and flexibility

1:00-1:30PM:  Flow– Gentle movements to breathing to movement and open up our bodies, transitioning to moving into a flow to work on strength and flexibility

3:00-3:30PM: Guided Meditation /Yoga Nidra– Yogic Sleep, a meditation and conscious relaxation practice.  Perfect to relax and center runners, pacers and crew

3:45-4:00PM: Family Yoga– Poses to stretch, test our strength and balance for the whole  family.

 

Fun Run and Kid’s Race

Now that you’re all relaxed, come join us for our first annual VT100 Ultra-Lite Race (5k) and Kids Kilo Race (1k) race to be held at the VT100 finish line, in woods behind main tent.

Registration for this fun run will be throughout the day at the registration tent.  Registration is free for all, however we encourage folks to make a donation to Vermont Adaptive!

2:00PM: VT100 Ultra-Lite Race (5k) – Here’s your chance to run some of the gorgeous VT trails and finish under the VT100 finish line.  Crew, volunteers, pacers, community members, this is for you!  Open to all ages, all abilities, and all manner of connection to the VT100.

2:05PM: Kid’s Kilo (1k)– the future of ultra running is happening here folks!  Open to kids of all ages, this race will be un-timed and all participants will receive a lollypop when they finish.

 

Runner’s Expo:

We’ve have some pretty amazing sponsors lined up for the race.  Come check their booths out Friday as you wander about – there will be demo of products, free give-aways, and super knowledgeable folks to give you some great last minute advice for the next day’s race.

 

Inov-8 shoes are known for their superior traction, which is key for running in New England.  Visit their booth to see, touch, and try on many of their products including the newly released TerraUltra shoe!

The Run Formula will once again have a few NormaTec recovery boots for folks to test out, and will also be staffed by Run Formula coach John Spinney who can give you some great advice for the VT100!

 

HOKA One One

Hoka One One offers the cushiest ride in the running world.  Visit their booth to touch, try on and test out, and chat with Hoka Rep Chase who will also be running this year’s VT100k.

 

Darn Tough Vermont

Darn Tough Socks are known to be the most rugged socks in the business – which makes sense since they are made in Vermont!  Check them out to view will their full sock collection.

Cabot Cheese will have samples of their super yummy locally made cheese.  Come learn why happy Vermont cows make better cheese.

RaidLight

Raidlight makes some of the lightest running packs and clothing in the business.  Check out a sampling of their products to understand why many top international runners swear by them!

 

Dion Snowshoes are locally made by Vermont ultrarunner Bob Dion.  They are some of the lightest racing snowshoes in the industry, so talk snowshoeing with Bob and dream of colder days!

Forest Trail Retreats will be offering several amazing meditation and yoga sessions throughout the day, but you can also stop by their booth to talk with them about visualization or meditation before the race!

 

The Lazy Cow Vermont will once again have their ice cream truck full of super yummy offerings for sale.  A portion of their sales goes directly to Vermont Adaptive.

 

VT100 Merchandise: Shop til You Drop!

Don’t forget to shop VT100 merchandise.  Lots of new shirts and hats to bring home to family or to give to crew as a giant thank you.  Check out the new Camp 10 Bear and Margaritaville shirts! Net Proceeds benefit Vermont Adaptive.

As you can see, there is plenty to do before the sun goes down Friday.  We hope you enjoy the activities we have planned for you and that you have the best race come Saturday morning.

See you at Silver Hill!

Amy R and The Race Committee

 

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HEAT AND HUMIDITY – NOW’S THE TIME TO PREPARE

HEAT AND HUMIDITY – NOW’S THE TIME TO PREPARE

Written by Jack Pilla, Run Formula Coach

HEAT AND HUMIDITY

In running the VT100 five times I can’t remember it not being hot and humid so runners should count on it being that way this year too.

Like any other element you would prepare for in your training such as hills, altitude and night running, you should spend time training for the heat, allowing your body to slowly adapt.

I find it takes 5-10 days for the body to physically adapt to the heat.  In doing so the body learns to reduce thermal and cardiovascular strain by increasing plasma volume and increasing sweat rate.  Choose not to heat train, this could be you:

 

OK, so you want to train for the heat.  With 3 weeks until the VT100, you have plenty of time.  Instead of planning every run to avoid hot sticky days by running in the early am or end of the day, take some time to train in the heat of the day.

But do it gradually.

For the first day, don’t pick a 90 degree day to get in a 5 hour run.  Maybe start with 30 minutes in the heat.  Then gradually increase your time out there each day.  Later, as you get more comfortable, add some hill work or speed work.

Also understand that running in the heat will increase your heart rate and effort so slow down as much as needed to adjust.  Your heart rate may increase 5-10 bpm, so you make need to take it down a notch to avoid blowing up.  But with heat training your heart rate should stay lower.

Here in the northeast we are experiencing a heat wave so it’s an opportune time to heat train.

What if you are in a colder climate or can’t run in the heat of the day?  Maybe it’s an early spring race and there has been no heat to train in?  You can spend time in the sauna, gradually increasing the time and even do some core work if there is room.

Another way which I’ve done many times for spring races is to over dress.  I’ve worn winter running clothes in May, long sleeve shirts, winter hat, etc.  You might look like a fool when everyone else is running in shorts and a t-shirt but it does work.

And then there’s the humidity on top of the heat that will increase your sweat rate and your body’s need to replace fluids and electrolytes.  Make sure to work on your hydration during this heat training and figure out your body’s needs.  Last month Beth wrote on article on hydration, make sure you are up to date on that.

RACE DAY BODY TEMP MANAGEMENT

In running the VT 100, I always had a goal to run the race and have fun, no matter the finish time. Feeling good for the most part and avoiding the death march to me was a successful day.

Yes, there will be high and low periods throughout the race but hopefully more positive moments.

Keeping the core body temperature low will help you have a good race day as it improves appetite and digestion because as core temperature regulates, blood can be shunted to the gastrointestinal (GI) system for absorption of nutrients and fluids.

Conversely, as core and skin temperature rises, the body sends blood to superficial capillaries to promote both sweating and heat loss via convection and conduction; thus drawing blood away from GI system and therefore digestion slows.  So keeping the core cool should be a priority.  Here are numerous ways to manage the core temp to hopefully make it a successful day.

Start with heat and core body temperature management as early as possible.

Don’t overdress.  If you feel warm waiting at the start line, you’ve already overdressed.  You will warm up almost immediately.  If you are wearing a hydration vest, that may adds another 5-10 degrees of body heat.

Arm coolers can be worn, wet and/or stuffed with ice to promote cooling.

Mr. Hanky.  That cotton bandana that you made fun of, it has a purpose.  Soak it in water at the aid stations or from a stream and wrap it around your neck.  You can even add ice to it when available.

Wear a light weight, breathable running cap.  It will protect you from the sun.  And just like Mr. Hanky, you can add ice to it and also dip it in water.  Speaking of ice, you can add to your sports bra.

Along the VT100 course you will notice large water tubs and/or hoses for the horses.  It’s a great source to wash the sweat off your face and cool the core.  I’ve even know a few runners who have completely immersed themselves in these tubs to stay cool.

Streams, also along the VT100 course there will be some streams.  This is another great source to do a quick water bath to cool down the core.

Sponge baths, not sure what will be on course but occasionally you will see a bucket with sponges.  Use them, it will feel great.  Have a crew?  Have them bring around a bucket and sponges.

Body Glide:  With heat and humidity for most athletes comes sweat.  With sweat chaffing can occur.  Body Glide or other types of body lubricants can help avoid most of the chaffing.  And make sure to reapply when needed and put everywhere and anywhere.  I’ve seen runners taken down by serious chaffing.  I usually carry around a small stick or have ready in a drop bag so I can reapply throughout the race.

ADDED BONUS:  HORSE AND DEER FLIES

With the heat and humidity we also get nasty flies, big blood sucking horse and deer flies.  Bug spray?  They laugh at it.  Wearing a running cap helps keep them off your head and if you wear it backwards, it protects the back of your neck which is a favorite spot for them to bite.  You can also use the hat to swat them where your arm can’t reach.

Heat and humidity are just everyday challenges we face in running long distance races.  Be prepared for the worst and make heat your friend.

Proper heat training can lead to big performance improvements and a successful race day.  Have fun!!

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To Finish Is To Win, A Vermont 100 Runner Turns Rider

To Finish Is To Win, A Vermont 100 Runner Turns Rider

By Bill Rice  All Posts

Running is one of those passions that had been part of my life for a long time and so like many I wondered if there was life beyond the marathon distance.  Naturally I soon found ultra running and the unique group of individuals that comprised the sport.

2002 was the year I ran and completed the 100 and I was amazed by the experience of running with the horses.  Now horses were not unknown to me as my wife has owned them forever but I had never really paid much attention to them as riding in circles or hanging out at a barn was not my idea of fun.  At any rate there I was camping at Smoke Rise Farm and I saw all the horses and their riders also preparing for the 100.

VT100 - horse

Early the next morning to the sounds and lights of fireworks and the pianist playing we were off. It wasn’t long before we heard the call “horses coming” and all parted to the side of the road so the horses could pass.  It just seemed natural to us runners to get out of the way as no runner wanted their feet stepped on, I was surprised to learn from the riders how they thought it was wonderful we runners moved over for them.  They had no idea we were worried about being trampled.

The run was long and wonderful as 100 mile events tend to be and while not the fastest person out there by a long shot I along with three of my friends finally crossed the finish line.  Anyone who has done that can tell you it is about as close to total fulfillment as one can achieve or so I thought.  Throughout the run I kept being overtaken by the horses and wondered why they were behind me (turns out they have mandatory veterinarian checks and rest breaks) and was amazed at how easily the horses and riders seemed to have it.  Let me assure you they do not have it easy quite the opposite in fact.  Granted the physical toll on the riders is less than that of runners but the work required to get a horse ready and able to go 100 miles is difficult.

At any rate at the end of the run I told my lovely wife I wanted to learn to ride, buy a horse and do the 100 on horseback.  I suspect she and many others knew at that point I really was insane as if the ultra running wasn’t crazy enough.  The old saying “any idiot can run a marathon but it takes a special kind of idiot to run ultras” was playing in my mind and once I discovered how much work a horse was I wondered what I had gotten myself into.

I had heard that a couple of ladies had run and ridden the Vermont 100 and knew the people that had done Tevis and Western States at that time, but there didn’t appear to be any other guys who had done both at Vermont.  So I learned to ride, bought a horse then another horse (they are like running shoes you need more than one pair) and began my journey.  I had great mentors, Steve, Kathy and others who helped me learn the horse side of the equation.  The knowledge of ultra running directly correlated to endurance riding so that made it easy, it was just doing the miles on horse that took time to learn.

2004 saw us at Silver Hill the first year it was held there I think.  My horse Tashi Smar aka Summer was an experienced 100 mile equine and since I knew the course I was ready.  It was wonderful to thunder off with the other horses and to begin the chase after the runners.  I too got to watch the runners part as we rode by and since many were my friends met during previous runs the goodnatured bantering was fun.  “Get off that horse they would yell” and I would reply “no way”.

It was amazing to ride up the back of Suicide Hill or the long climbs later in the course and while I worried a lot if Summer was happy (he was) it was fun to be able to actually watch the world go by.  We cleared vet check after vet check thanks to my amazing crew and although we were in last place horse wise we were making good progress.  At mile 72 however things took a turn and my riding partner Liz dropped out and the vets were having a discussion about whether or not a newbie like me should continue. Fortunately Art, a vet, I had come to know saw me lacing up my running gear and he told the rest of the vets the horse might not get there but I would.  All was well in the world and off we went, Summer, me and all the runners.

We finally hooked up with a 64 year old trying to break 24 hours and began our dash to the finish.  That year we had to climb Blood Hill and then descend down a long shoot to the finish line in the meadow.  Summer was lit up with glow sticks as the runner (damn I wish I could remember his name) and I ran (yes I was off the horse) across the finish line.

VT's iconic neon finish - put your 100 in the books!

Once again it was a feeling that one can only experience that enveloped us.  Of course I had to vet the horse out one more time to get a completion but Summer being the pro he was took it all in stride.  We were last place but our motto “to finish is to win” sang in my ears.

There are some of you runners reading this and wondering if you can ride a 100 miles and some of you riders wondering if you can run 100 miles and I can only say is yes you can you just have to want to.

Please feel free to contact me if you have questions and join Krista, Kathy, and me (hope I didn’t forget anyone) as those who have ridden and run the magical Vermont 100.

Bill

You can reach Bill at: potacald@gmail.com

More information about the Vermont Endurance Rides please visit: http://vermontenduranceride.com/

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You asked, we answered – FAQs for the VT100

You asked, we answered – FAQs for the VT100

We get A LOT of questions from our participants every year. So, we’ve rounded up your FAQs and Zeke’s taken the time to answer each. There’s a ton of information here, but we promise it’s worth it. Enjoy!

  • This post is broken up into 11 sections.
  • Read start to finish, or click a topic to anchor to that specific section
  1. About Zeke
  2. The Course
  3. Your Gear
  4. Aid Stations
  5. Medical
  6. The Start and Finish
  7. The Schedule
  8. Running with Horses
  9. Weather
  10. Pacers, Crews, & Handlers
  11. Miscellaneous

We hope this will help you breathe a little easier going into the race!


About Zeke

If you have questions about the VT100, Zeke has answers. As a longtime member of the race committee for the VT50 and the VT100, Zeke Zucker is here to make sure you have the best experience possible.

Zeke is an experienced runner, having finished over 50 ultras in his career, including six Vermont 100 finishes, Western States 100, Leadville 100, Wasatch 100, Mountain Masochist, and Bull Run Run.

As a critical member of our race committee, Zeke ensures that the course is the correct length. As landowner permissions change, he coordinates substitutions and re-routes. He also checks the course to make sure that there aren’t any downed trees or other obstacles along the route.

And as if his rockstar status couldn’t be more solid, Zeke was the captain of the Spirit of ‘76 aid station for many years, before recently turning the reigns over to the 413 Trail Runners. He still volunteers there every year, so make sure you say hello when you pass through!

So, if you’ve got any questions – from how to prepare for your first 100 miler, your first Vermont, what the course is like, or what your crew should expect – Zeke has experienced it all and is super generous to share his wealth of knowledge.


The Course

WHERE CAN I FIND A MAP OF THE COURSE?
We do not publish course maps because most of the VT100 is on private land. We deeply respect our landowners privacy and are very thankful they generously grant us access to run on their land. Without these landowners, the VT100 would not be possible. Thank you, landowners!

WHAT IS THE COURSE LIKE?
Course Composition:

Gravel / Trail – Jeep road / Paved
100 Mile: 68.5% / 29% / 2.5%
100-km: 66.5% / 32% / 1.5%

Composition Details:

The 70 miles of smooth gravel roads, although hilly, are very runnable. The trails and jeep roads, for the most part, are also quite runnable, with a paucity of rocks or roots. Most trails are part of the local Horse Association trail network, and are well-maintained.

The Jeep Roads are hardly rutted, but occasionally a heavy rain will cause some erosion. One segment, just before the halfway point, is an old logging road with sizeable puddles that extend across the width of the road. Since your feet might get wet, you may want to include a pair of dry shoes and socks at the next drop bag aid station, which is Margaritaville at mile 58.5.

The total paved surface is about 2.5 miles. There are 6 sections of paved surfaces ranging between 1/16 and 1/2 mile. The longest paved surface is just shy of 1 mile and occurs after Lillian’s at mile 43.

VT100 Course

ARE THERE A LOT OF HILLS? 

There are hills throughout the course. The elevation again is approximately 17,000’ for the 100 Mile and 9,000’ for the 100 Km.  Of course, there is equal downhill (what goes up must come down!) – so train the quads for that!

Vermont 100-mile Elevation Profile

Here are the uphills that will get your attention:

  • Mile 4: Densmore Hill Road, moderate for 2 miles
  • Miles 10-16 & 19-21: Moderate rollers before Pretty House
  • Mile 26: moderate climb up to Sound of Music Hill
  • Mile 30: After Stage Rd. 3/4 mi. up thru meadow and woods. Steep then Mod.
  • Mile 39: Fletcher Hill Road, 1.5 miles of moderate to steep road

NOTE: 100K runners: you have one half mile moderate hill at 3.2 miles. Subtract 38 miles from the mileage points below to get the correct 100km mileage. You can access the 100-km elevation profile here.

  • Mile 49: Agony Hill, moderate to steep for 0.7 miles
  • Mile 56: Tracer Brook up to Margaritaville aid station, moderate to steep for 2 miles
  • Mile 59: Prospect Hill, steep for half mile
  • Mile 62: Brown Schoolhouse Road, moderate climbs for 3 miles
  • Mile 70: Heartbreak Hill, steep for 0.7 miles
  • Mile 74: Calendar Hill Road, moderate to steep climb for half mile
  • Mile 76: Driveway approach to ’76 aid station, 0.15 mi. and very steep
  • Mile 87: Coon Club Road before Bill’s, moderate to steep roller coaster
  • Mile 90: Hewett Road, moderate 1.5 miles, then Hunt Road 0.3 steep
  • Mile 92: Marton Road, first third is VERY STEEP, then eases to moderate half mile
  • Mile 98: Trails before Blood Hill are short, mostly moderate with one steep

ARE THE TRAIL SECTIONS ROCKY?
For the most part, no. There will be some roots, small rocks and ruts, so pay attention and pick up your feet. We have driven or run all of the trails and cut downed trees and tossed limbs and branches, but some can fall the evening before or the day of.

HOW WILL THE COURSE BE MARKED?
The 100 mile course will be marked with large yellow plastic dinner plates, with bold dark black arrows indicating direction (right, left or straight). Where the course turns, there will be one arrow plate BEFORE the turn, two plates at the turn, and another plate AFTER the turn. On some stretches you will see confidence plates which are smaller plates with a large C on it, to assure you that you are still on course. The 100K will be marked with LAVENDER plastic dinner plates only until it joins the 100 Mile course (at Lillian’s Aid Station), at which point everyone will follow yellow plates. At night, in addition to the plates, there will be green glow stick chem-lites marking the route.

VT100 - Yellow Course Markers

HOW MUCH DOES THE 100-KM COURSE OVERLAP THE 100-MILE?
The 100 K course starts at Silver Hill Meadow and proceeds 5.6 miles to Lillian’s Aid Station, which is the mile 43.3 for the 100 Milers. From Lillian’s to the finish, the two courses are identical.

WHERE DO THE COURSES GO?
The 100 Mile goes through parts of 9 towns in a three lobe cloverleaf pattern. The 100 K goes through parts of 6 towns on the latter two cloverleaf ‘lobes’.

HAVE THERE BEEN ANY COURSE CHANGES?
There will be a few minor changes to this year’s course, as follows:

  • Reroute before Spirit of 76 aid station (at approx. mile 75)
  • Back to previous route after Spirit of 76 aid station (at approx. mile 77)

We will note future course changes as we become aware.


Your Gear

CAN I USE DROP BAGS?
You can have a drop bag at any aid station that allows crews. Information about drop bags can be found here. Remember:

  • All drop bags bags must be in place on Silver Hill by 4:30pm on Friday, July 20th.
  • Mark each drop bag with your: Bib Number,  Last Name, and Aid Station Name.
  • Drop bags should be soft sided, waterproof and durable. A small backpack or gear bag about 9” by 9” by 16” (or smaller). We will not accept unreasonably large drop bags.

HOW SHOULD I MARK MY DROP BAGS FOR CAMP TEN BEAR?
Since runners pass through twice, Camp Ten Bear is aid station #11 and aid station #17. There will be 2 drop bag areas; one area for #11, and one area for #17. If you want to use one drop bag for both areas, clearly mark the drop bag “Camp Ten Bear #11.” After you use the drop bag on your first time through Camp Ten Bear, drop the bag in the #17 pile before you leave and the bag will be there when you return.

WHAT SHOULD I BRING?
The VT100 is a cupless race, so bring a water bottle. The race starts before sunrise, so bring a headlamp or flashlight. We suggest you wear trail shoes but you could get by with road shoes.

SHOULD I TAKE A FLASHLIGHT FOR THE START OF THE 100-MILE RACE?
Since the 100 mile starts before sunrise, you may want to bring a small inexpensive light that you can afford to leave behind at the first aid station. There will be a box at the first aid station (Densmore Hill, mile 7) where you can leave your light. The box will be returned to Silver Hill.

SHOULD I CARRY TWO WATER BOTTLES FOR THE RACE?
Yes, if the weather is above 85 degrees and you anticipate taking over 28 hours to complete the run. You won’t need two bottles if you have a hydration pack. The greatest distance between aid stations is 5 miles, which occurs 3 times in the 100 mile. Slower runners will take close to 1.5 hours to cover 5 miles.


Aid Stations

WHAT KIND OF HYDRATION AND FUEL WILL BE PROVIDED AT THE AID STATIONS?

Again this year, the energy drink that will be provided at aid stations is Base Performance Hydro.  All runners will also be given a tube of the Base Performance Electrolytes, to use in conjunction with the Hydro.  If you plan on using these products, it is strongly suggested that you order and try both in your training. Aid Stations will also have an assortment of the following: chips, fruit, M&M’s, cookies, candy, peanut butter and jelly, turkey sandwiches, and potato chunks. There will be soup, broth, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate at some stations after dark. Many aid stations will have special treats to share with you also (who doesn’t love a Cheeseburger in Paradise at Margaritaville?).

CAN I GET ENERGY GELS AT THE AID STATIONS?

Unfortunately, no. When using your own gels, please hold the wrappers and dispose of them at the next aid station. Do not discard on the roads or trails. Absolutely no littering will be tolerated. We pride ourselves on being Green. After all, Vermont is the Green Mountain State!


Medical

WHAT IF I NEED FIRST AID OR MEDICAL ATTENTION?
The main medical center is inside the tent on Silver Hill. Minor aid can be obtained along the course at the handler stations if an EMT is present. All of manned aid stations will have basic first aid kits and electrolyte caplets. We have HAM Radio communication at all handler stations in order to connect injured runners with medical personnel.

ARE THERE MANDATORY MEDICAL CHECKS?
Yes, at Camp Ten Bear (miles 47 and 70) and at Bill’s (mile 88). At these checkpoints, every runner must check in with medical staff to undergo a brief evaluation that may include being weighed or otherwise evaluated. All decisions and evaluations are up to the medical staff.

FOR WHAT REASON(S) WOULD THE MEDICAL PERSONNEL STOP ME FROM RUNNING?
Medical staff will be monitoring for significant weight loss, weight gain, trench foot, Rhabdomyolysis, and Heat Stroke/Hyperthermia.


The Start and Finish

WHEN DO THE RACES START?

  • The 100 mile starts at 4:00 a.m. Saturday.
  • The 100 K starts at 9:00 a.m. Saturday.

WHAT ARE THE CUT-OFF TIMES? 

  • The 100 mile cut-off time is 10:00 a.m. on Sunday.
  • The 100 K cut-off time is 5:00 a.m. on Sunday.

WHEN WILL THE WINNERS FINISH? 

  • For the 100 mile, the first male will finish in about 15.5 hrs (around 7:30 p.m.) and the first female in about 17.5 hrs (9:30 p.m.).
  • For the 100 K, the first male will finish in about 9.5 hrs (6:30 p.m.) and the first female in about 11 hrs (8:00 p.m.).

The course record is faster than these times listed above…so you never know how speedy the top runner will be each year!

WHERE EXACTLY IS THE START?
The races start slightly downhill from the main tent on Silver Hill Meadow, under the starting line banner. The 100 mile starts down Silver Hill, while the 100km starts going up Silver Hill.

WHERE EXACTLY IS THE FINISH?
The finish line for both races is in the woods behind the main tent on Silver Hill Meadow.


The Schedule

WHEN AND WHERE WILL THE PRE-RACE BRIEFING BE HELD? 
4:15 p.m. Friday in the main tent on Silver Hill Meadow.

WHEN AND WHERE IS THE PASTA DINNER FRIDAY EVENING?
Immediately following the pre-race briefing. approx 5:00 p.m. Your Bib is YOUR MEAL TICKET! Family and friends and pacer meal tickets ARE NOT included in your entry fee. Extra meal tickets will be available at the Merchandise Table.

WHEN AND WHERE IS THE SUNDAY POST-RACE BBQ?
In the main tent at 10:30 a.m. Sunday. Your Bib is YOUR MEAL TICKET! Family and friends and pacer meal tickets ARE NOT included in your entry fee. Extra meal tickets will be available at the Merchandise Table.

WHEN ARE THE AWARDS?
Sunday at about 11 a.m., immediately following the post-race BBQ.


Running with Horses

WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT RUNNING WITH THE HORSES?
The horses will not run you over; they actually want to slow down to your pace. If a horse and rider want to pass you, they will ask you to step aside. If you want to pass a horse, speak with the rider and wait until they says it’s okay. At night, in particular, talk to the rider as soon as you’re within earshot; until the horse knows you are a human, the horse may be frightened.  And above all, don’t point your bright flashlight towards horses – they like that even less than us runners do!

VT100 - Running with the Horses


Weather

WHAT TIME DOES THE SUN RISE AND SET?

  • Sunrise is approximately 5:26 a.m. Saturday and 5:27 a.m. Sunday.
  • The sun will set Saturday evening at approximately 8:25 p.m.

WHAT ARE THE AVERAGE TEMPS?
At night, it is usually in the 50’s, but could be in the 40’s or 60’s. During the day, it is usually in the 70’s, but could be in the 60’s, 80’s or 90’s.

WILL IT RAIN DURING THE RACE?
It could and has, but on average does not. We’ll give you the latest weather forecast at the pre-race briefing. Bring a raincoat and an extra set of shoes/socks just in case.


Pacers, Crews & Handlers

WHERE CAN I FIND A PACER?
You can request one in advance via the Pacer section on our website. On Friday at registration, look for John Bassette in the yellow West Point baseball cap. All pacers must get and wear a bib number during the race.

VT100 - Pacers

WHERE CAN I PROVIDE ASSISTANCE TO MY RUNNER?
Crews are allowed at handler access aid stations only. Helping your runner at non-handler access aid stations is NOT allowed and can be grounds for runner disqualification. There are 8 handler access aid stations for the 100 mile and 6 for the 100 K. It will take roughly 35 minutes for crews to drive from Silver Hill Meadow to the first crew access aid station. Please see the Handler Instructions for answers to the following common questions and more:

  • Where are the handler aid stations?
  • How do I get to Camp Ten Bear from Silver Hill?
  • Where can I park at the Handler access aid stations?

WHERE CAN I GET GAS, ICE, FOOD AND OTHER SUPPLIES?
There are a number of great, local country stores in the towns of South Woodstock, Taftsville, Hartland, Brownsville, Reading and Woodstock. For more information, see our blog post on local establishments.

WHAT WILL THE RACE OFFICIALS BE WEARING?
They will be wearing green t-shirts that say ‘Race Official.’


Miscellaneous

ARE THERE SHOWERS AVAILABLE POST-RACE?
There is one very rustic shower available in woods near the camping area on Silver Hill. There is also a small pond for swimming.

WHAT IS VERMONT ADAPTIVE?
Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, a non-profit, volunteer based organization which provides competitive and recreational athletic opportunities, equipment and instruction for people with disabilities. Your entry fee and all money raised during the event goes directly toward provision of these services.

WILL THERE BE ROAD CLOSURES?
Our race depends on our neighbors and gracious landowners! The local landowners are extremely tolerant of us every year. We have been asked to reduce traffic and noise around the race course. We absolutely must keep the noise down at Silver Hill Meadow and keep event-related vehicles off of some specific roads. In an effort to maintain good relations with the local community, there will be some clearly marked road closures. Violation of these closures could easily result in the termination of our event. In 2015, we revised the driving directions to Silver Hill and between authorized Handler Access Aid Stations. Please be aware and respectful of all road closures and help spread the word.


Still have questions? Visit the VT100 blog for more helpful information, or of course don’t hesitate to ask me!

-Zeke

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Vermont 100-Planning and Mental Preparation

Vermont 100-Planning and Mental Preparation

By Lindsay Simpson, The Run Formula Coach

It’s now less than a month away from the big day. You’re training your body for the huge challenge ahead. You’re running the miles, doing the core and strength work, practicing technical trails, and getting in lots of hill climbing and descending. And of course you’re practicing your hydration and fueling to prepare your digestive system. As you move into the taper phase of training, this is a good time to sharpen your plans and mental state for completing VT 100.

Here are a few specifics:

Study the course profile and aid stations.

As you may know, the course is almost 70% rolling dirt road and about 30% trails, with a teensy bit of paved road thrown in. Overall, you’ll cover about 17,000 ft of elevation gain, and loss. If we do the math, that’s about 170 ft of climbing per mile. This is a good ratio of miles to elevation that you can match during training. So a 50 mile run week should also aim to cover about 8-9,000 ft of climbing and descending. A couple other notes about the course. Notice also that the first 25 miles are relatively easy compared with miles 60-85.

A good fact to realize now, so it isn’t a nasty surprise when you’re many hours in and very fatigued. Secondly, there are 25 aid stations for the 100 mile event. The longest runners will go between aid stations is only 5 miles. This is a massive help out there; and can be a big time suck.

Spending just 2.5 minutes at each aid station will add up to a full hour on course. You don’t necessarily have to stop at every aid station. If you have crew and/or pacers, be sure to review the aid station list with them and discuss when and what you might want for support.

Prepare your mental mantras and strategies.

Our visions of success keep us motivated and engaged through the long months of training and through the challenges of race day. Maybe you want to run faster than last year? Will you be chasing that large sub-24 hour finish belt buckle? Or perhaps you are excited to cross under that beautiful finish line in the woods? (For more on goal setting, check out Jack’s blog here.) Regardless of your finish goal, it’s inevitable that you’ll experience physical, mental and emotional highs and lows at different points throughout the event.

To handle these tough moments with grit and grace, you’ll need a prepared list of strategies that help you continuously tune your mind to the positivity channel. Prepare in advance by rehearsing a powerful, simple mantra such as “Strong mind, strong body” or “I’m tougher than this hill”. Think deeply about why you’re tackling this goal. Your “why” is a powerful tool to call on when you encounter a rough patch. Another useful strategy is simply counting – foot steps, cows, or other external stimuli that distract your brain from pain. For more on mental strategies, check out Deena Kastors’ new book “Let Your Mind Run”.

 

Be ready to solve problems.

You can plan and plan and plan, and the unexpected is still going to happen on race day – especially in an event this long. The best predictor of your success is going to be your mental flexibility and willingness to problem solve. This race has 30 years of history and countless helpful people on course; including aid station volunteers, veteran runners, medical professionals and your loved ones. When you find yourself in the thick of an unforeseen challenge, ask for help. Chances are someone else out there has experienced the same issue and can guide you to a solution.

We all want to see you at the finish line.

Thanks again to THE RUN FORMULA for providing us with these training tips!

The Run Formula

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Nutrition and Hydration for the Long Haul

Nutrition and Hydration for the Long Haul

By Beth Shutt

Who gets excited when talking about race nutrition and hydration?  No one?  As a registered dietitian (and coach!), I will say, nutrition and hydration actually “excite” me.  They are two variables that you have 100% control over.  You cannot say this about many things on race day!  You can’t control the weather, you can’t control the competition, you can’t even control (to some extent) how your body will feel.  But you CAN control what you put in your mouth to fuel you for 100 miles or 100km.  So, let me share a little of my excitement with you!

First, a little story.  A friend of mine made her first attempt at the 100 mile distance in Vermont several years back.  She was well trained and ready for the day.  But by mile 60 she was feeling pretty dizzy.  By mile 70, when she picked up her pacer, she added some confusion to the dizziness.  At one point, her pacer kindly asked “you know you are only talking to me in a whisper, right?”  I laughed when she was telling me this story, envisioning my friend suspiciously whispering so the trees couldn’t hear her…. But by mile 83 she was sitting at an aid station, and then laying down and then, she woke up in the hospital.  And just like that, her day was over and her goal not met.  Classic signs of hyponatremia (abnormally low sodium concentrations in your blood caused, in this case, by drinking too much water).  My friend had eaten well and drank fluid, but she only drank water and a “little electrolyte here and there.”  And that mistake cost her the day.

Below are some tips to helping you manage your hydration to avoid making these same mistakes, and successfully cross that VT100 finish line with a smile on your face and a loud WOO-HOO!  (although if you’d like to whisper, that’s okay too, it just won’t be because you are hyponatremic though :).

  • The first step in figuring out the hydration riddle, is a sweat test so that you can calculate your fluid needs. This simple test can be done at home as below:
  • Weigh yourself with no clothing on, before the test.
  • Run for 1 hour at roughly the same intensity and (if possible) the same conditions that you will race at/in.
  • Do NOT drink anything during the test run or urinate during the run.
  • Weigh yourself, again with no clothing on, after the test.

The difference in weight #1 and #2 is what we are looking for.  Each pound lost is equal to roughly 16 oz of fluid.  That then converts to your fluid needs per hour.  For example: weight #1 = 146.3 lbs, weight #2 = 144.8 lbs ——> the difference in weights = 1.5 lbs x 16 (number of ounces in fluid/lb) = 24 ounces/hour.

 (file photo-our race is now cup-less)

 

It is important to note that we do not need to replace 100% of our needs and SOME level of dehydration is acceptable in training and racing.  However, even being dehydrated by 2% affects performance and, in addition, the nature of ultra running (ie: running for 24 hours straight!) doesn’t leave much room for error.

  • Our next consideration is sodium concentration of your sweat. This varies widely among individuals and can be anywhere from 450 mg/16 oz of sweat, up to 700 mg/16 oz of sweat.  Clues as to whether you lose a lot of sodium in your sweat (a “salty sweater”, I like to call them) or not, include – is there a ton of salt on your singlet/hat/face/skin when you are done with a workout?; do you cramp often in training and racing?.  If you answer “yes” to these questions, you are likely towards the higher end of the range.  Multiplying your sweat test weight loss (from above example weight #1-weight #2 = 1.5 lbs) by the amount of sodium in your sweat (per 16 oz of sweat), will net you a rough estimate of your sodium needs per hour.  So, in our above example (1.5 lbs weight loss during sweat test), let’s assume an average sodium concentration of 575 mg/16 oz sweat) = 862.5 mg sodium/hour.
  • So now that you’ve determined how much fluid you need to drink and roughly how much sodium you need, the next logical question might be – WHAT should I drink to meet these needs?!? Here is the answer: SPORTS DRINK!  Or, more specifically, an electrolyte and carbohydrate rich solution that provides roughly 500-700 mg sodium and 40-50 grams of carbohydrate/serving.  Many sports drinks meet these guidelines – Gatorade Endurance, Tailwind, Base Hydro (sports drink served on course at VT100), Skratch Exercise Hydration, and the list goes on and on.  In addition, remember you will be eating sport fuels and food that also contain electrolytes to help you meet your needs.

(file photo-our race is now cup-less)

It should be noted that “water” is not on the list above.  I simply do not recommend using it as a source of fluid in ultra distance events (or really any endurance events, for that matter), as it only serves as a “blank”, washing away critical electrolytes that you’ve already taken in and putting you at risk for hyponatremia.  Sports drink, on the other hand, provides the fluid simple sugars AND electrolytes that you DO need, all in one shot.  Seems like a no-brainer to me!  And my friend from the opening story would agree.  She uses sports drink now and has since seen multiple 100 mile finish lines.

  • Next, know how to adjust. You might see anything (and everything) on race day temperature wise, including heat, cold, humidity, wind, rain, snow? (I wouldn’t put it past Vermont…), etc..  So although you choose to do your sweat test on an 80 degree day, what happens if race day dawns 35 and wet with a high of 50?  Your sweat rate will obviously be lower in the cooler weather and higher in the heat, so pay attention to how you are feeling, if you are thirsty, and also the frequency and appearance of your urine.  A good goal is to urinate once every 3 hours.  If you are having to pee every 30 minutes, chances are, you are drinking more than you need to.  On the other hand, if you are 6 hours into the race and you don’t even feel like you HAVE to pee, you are likely very behind on the hydration front.  Also, you should urinate with some volume (a small “tinkle” doesn’t count!” and if you can see the color of your urine, it should be light yellow (vs a highly concentrated dark yellow).
  • I have one final tip in managing your racing hydration strategy. What you do in racing, do faithfully in training as well.  You cannot expect your body to tolerate X oz of sports drink in the race, if you do not consistently practice taking in X oz of sports drink on your training runs.  That would be like showing up at the VT100 finish line without having done any long runs!
  • Okay, wait – ONE MORE THING! (I promise this is it).  KNOW the signs of hyponatremia and discuss these with your pacer so that both you and your team can keep an eye out for impending trouble.  Things to be on alert for: headache, confusion, decreased consciousness (all of which my friend had!), seizures, muscle spasms or cramps and weakness/fatigue.

I hope these tips help you think about and prepare your hydration strategy well for race day!  If you are interested in delving further into your fluid AND calories needs (we didn’t even discuss what to eat!) and coming up with an entire fueling strategy, check out the fueling plans offered by The Core Diet.  As a VT100 athlete, you can get a 15% discount on a fueling plan with the code ‘VT100’!

Beth Shutt is a registered dietitian and the Operations Director at The Run Formula.  She’s been an endurance athlete for over 25 years, including racing professional triathlon for 6 years.  She has made every nutrition mistake in the book (including drinking water!) and loves to help people NOT make the same mistakes.  She can be reached at beth@therunformula.com.

The Run Formula

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What the Vermont 100 Means to Me

What the Vermont 100 Means to Me

What the VT100 means to me….As a rider and runner

By Krista Alderdice

The VT100…I wouldn’t miss the third weekend in July for the world. My family and I have been coming to the VT 100 since 2000, and it is one of the main reasons we live where we do today.

In the early years, I was a horse girl through and through. I remember walking by the runners as I led my horse to the vetting area… in complete awe of what they were about to embark on. A hundred miles! Can people seriously run that far?

I was giddy about taking on the challenge of my first 100 alongside these crazy ultra people.

For most of the VT 100’s, I was aboard my beautiful Morgan horse, Song. I always compared him to riding on a couch, he was that comfortable. He was smooth, all business, and was a bit of an underdog, in the sense that he didn’t look the part. He was a bit portly as some would say, but he had a huge heart and I have some of my fondest memories on him at the VT100. He took care of me as I did for him, and we were a perfect team.

As a rider, you are constantly managing and worrying about your horse; are they eating, drinking, how’s their heart rate, hydration, soundness…hmmmm, I’m sure that sounds quite familiar to all you ultra runners out there. The sports are so similar, in that you can have a crew who follows you around from hold to hold or aid station to aid station (thank you… I couldn’t do my races without you, you know who you are).

The one thing the horses have to do that the runners don’t, is pass a lameness and metabolic check by a veterinarian (I was glad I didn’t have to jog for Docs after the finish of my first 100).

I’ve completed eight VT100’s on horseback, winning it back in ’04 while I was four months pregnant with my youngest son, Jase. That day was pure magic, meandering through the VT hills, cantering through the fields, and seeing my husband Guy and our two year old son, Justin, at every hold and fly-bys was so uplifting for Song and I. Brings tears to my eyes thinking back to it.

Fast forward to 2015. A terrible horse injury brings my riding career to an abrupt halt. After the horse kick left my right elbow joint a fractured mess, I underwent three surgeries in less than a year, to repair it. I also suffered from a bit of PTSD from the kick, so I was left with the question…what now, who or what am I without riding?

I had lost my mojo for riding, but needed to somehow feel that endurance flowing through my veins. I then turned to running to fulfill that fire.

Running became my savior, healing me from the inside out with every mile. It’s funny how a person can truly reinvent themselves after an unfortunate event. Running allowed me to still feel the trails, feel the wind on my face, feel the connection to nature, feel all the feels of life.

Finishing the VT100 on foot last year was one of the best feeling in the world. I toed the line with 350 incredible humans, including my wonderful husband and got to watch many of my friends on horseback fly by me at mile 8.

 

It certainly was not easy, there were many highs and lows throughout the day, but I tried to pull strength from the horses who so giftedly carried me eight hundred miles of the VT trails and back-roads. When my boys met me at mile 99.5, the tears were flowing big time, I can still feel the hugs on my back.

I think the VT100 is a such a special event, more than just a race.

It will teach you about yourself, humble you, make you feel invincible, humor you, make you cry, make you feel all the feels. As you run, ride, crew, volunteer or spectate, you can’t help but think of why this event was started and who the event helps Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports are changing the lives of the folks they help, giving them hope and the gift of sports.

You ALL inspire me everyday…See you at Silver hill…

Krista xoxo

Editor’s Note:

You can follow Krista on social media by visiting www.vtrunnermom.com

And check out her business Red Horse and Co. www.redhorseandco.com
She makes some pretty awesome jewelry to fuel your soul and body butter and lip balm to soothe your body.

More information about the Vermont Endurance Rides please visit: http://vermontenduranceride.com/

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RACE GOAL SETTING

RACE GOAL SETTING

RACE GOAL SETTING  AND  EXPECTATION MANAGEMENT FOR MAXIMUM HAPPY FACTOR

May 1, 2018  Written by Jack Pilla, Run Formula Coach

Figuring out exactly what you want to achieve is the first and most important step.  Do you want to run faster, a podium finish?  Or just feel fitter at the end?  Or just finish?  When setting goals, there are 2 types of goals.  Outcome goals are a result you’d like to achieve, and process goals as the processes you will need to repeatedly follow to achieve that result.  Both are equally important in having a good race.

In setting your race day goals, here are some things to consider:  BE SPECIFIC WITH YOUR GOAL

What exactly is it that you want? Include an element of specificity for the outcome: “I want to run sub 24 for a 100 miles or maybe I want to finish before the second sunrise or I just want to finish.

A GOOD GOAL HAS PERSONAL MEANING:

Ask yourself why is it important to you?

They should be things you want to achieve for yourself, and not for someone else. Training to reach a goal requires a lot of hard work so if the goal you’re working toward has deep meaning for you, you’ll find a way to persevere.  Let your running be about your own hopes and dreams.

SET ATTAINABLE GOALS THAT ARE ALSO CHALLENGING

Your goals should require you to reach outside your comfort zone while remaining within the realm of possibility. And if you’ve done the training then you will be more confident in setting and working toward these goals.

A GOOD GOAL KEEPS YOU MOTIVATED SO WRITE IT DOWN

Write down your goals so there’s no question of what you are aiming for.  Regularly seeing your goals is a way to keep yourself honest and working toward that goal with your training and should create excitement to get you out of bed each day for training.

EXPECTATION MANAGEMENT FOR MAXIMUM HAPPINESS ☺

You’ve trained long and hard and have done the work, but in a long distance race like a 100 miles, things can and will happen.  More often than not, you will have to make adjustments on course.  Some are minor and will allow you to stay on track while others may alter your race day goals.  Plan ahead and think about possible challenges that might occur along the way and what you could do to keep moving forward toward your goals.  But also be realistic and think “ok, what if it’s 100 degrees on race day and it’s not going to be my best day, then look at alternate goals.”  I like to have a number of goals for race day.  “A” goal may be an outcome goal to PR or place in the top 10 or place in your age group.  But if you’re at mile 50 and you are way behind where you thought you would be, don’t punish yourself, be positive and go to plan “B”.  Think, “yes I’ve run this far, I may be off where I wanted to be but I still feel good.” Then go to your process goals as another way to measure success and work on things like executing your fueling plan and keeping the energy high and your hydration good all day long so you can still finish strong.  If it’s a really bad day but you are still moving and not ill or injured, then plan “C” may be to just finish to get that finisher’s medal.

While you are out there running, have a good attitude and enjoy the day. Think about all the training you’ve done with friends to get to this race, look around at your surroundings and views and the wonderful people you’ve met along the way, and just enjoy the race and smile.  Try to have fun with it no matter how the day is!  I’ve had some really good races where everything went according to plan “A”.  But I’ve also had some really bad races where the wheels have completely come off and I had to make the decision to either drop or keep moving forward.  I threw goal “A” and “B” out the window, went to goal “C” to just finish and then had fun chatting with other runners, spending time eating all the food at the aid stations and thanking the volunteers, and enjoying the night sky.

Either way, when you cross that finish line you will have an amazing sense of achievement that you should be proud of.  This leaves you with much more confidence to go on and achieve your next goal, from running races to other areas of your life!

The Run Formula

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History Lesson-The Vermont 100 Riders and Runners Together on Trails of Vermont

History Lesson-The Vermont 100 Riders and Runners Together on Trails of Vermont

A history lesson as remembered by Steve Rojek

The Western States Trail Ride and Run (Tevis Cup)

The Western States Endurance Run was first completed in 1974 by Gordy Ainsleigh. Ainsleigh had finished the Western States Trail Ride (Tevis Cup) in 1971 and 1972 on horseback, but in 1973 his new horse was pulled with lameness at the 29-mile checkpoint. In 1974, with the inspiration and encouragement of Drucilla Barner, first woman to win the Tevis Cup and Secretary of the Western States Trail Foundation, Gordy joined the horses of the Western States Trail Ride to see if he could complete the course on foot. Twenty-three hours and forty-two minutes later Gordy arrived in Auburn, proving that a runner could, indeed, travel the 100 miles in one day.

In 1977 at the pre-ride briefing of the Tevis Cup 100 mile ride in Squaw Valley California Wendall Robie in his how it all began speech made mention of the Green Mountain Horse Association and their 100 mile event that began in 1936. This inspired a rider from the Woodstock Vermont area.

Vermont’s 100 mile Trail Ride

When Steve Rojek got back to South Woodstock he was determined to have a Tevis like ride here in Vermont. Riders Betsy Cook and Sonny Holt and Steve along with Cornell Veterinarian Dr. Steve Roberts made it happen in 1980.

Cloudland Farm location

For the first 3 years the ride was held in Pomfret at Bill Emmons’s Cloudland Farm and attracted riders like Dr Matthew MacKay Smith, Maggie Price, Valerie Kanavy, Nancy Beacon, Robin Culver (now Groves). The ride was not held for a couple years because riders were not pre-entering and the volunteer workers felt it was too much work to do not knowing if riders were going to show up.

Smoke Rise Farm location

Then in 1985,  The Rojeks hosted the ride at their Smoke Rise Farm where it was held until 2004. Endurance rider Laura Farrell from Brownsville Vermont decided to run the Human 100 mile marathon at the Old Dominion in Front Royal Virginia winning the fastest woman award. Laura was hooked and approached me with the idea of combining our Equine 100 mile event with the Human 100 mile marathon and I thought that would be great.

Laura Farrell - VT100

The year was 1988 and the event would be a benefit for the Vermont Handicapped Ski and Sports Association (now Vermont Adaptive) a very worthwhile and appropriate organization.

Gordy Ainsleigh came to Vermont to run in 1999. Tevis, Old Dominion and Vermont were three events that had horses and runners on course at the same time. Eventually The Old Dominion and the Tevis ride/run split into two separate events leaving the Vermont 100 the last and only event with horses and runners competing on the same trail.

For many years, at Smoke Rise Farm, the Rojek’s had Tuxedo clad piano player (Ed Chenoweth) playing “Chariots Of Fire” under the light of a Liberace like candelabra beginning at 4 A.M. for the start of the run and again at 5 A.M. for the start of the horse endurance ride.

There were fireworks off in the distance announcing the start of each event as well. The night before was a sit down supper in the indoor arena for participants and their crews and the volunteers. Then on Sunday the Hartland Volunteer Fire department put on a Chicken Barbecue for the same group before the completion belt buckle awards were given out.

Silver Hill (our present home)

In 2004 the ride venue was moved just up the road to Jose Bernatchez’s Silver Hill (where the race has been held since) where her big field was perfect for horse rigs and Tents. Sue and John Greenall worked so hard to put on a class act for everyone involved. Managing Volunteers and there are so many,  getting permission from so many private land owners along with hiring Veterinary judges and marking trails is a monumental task. Sue and John are unsung heroes in my book.

VT100 Horses

Steve

See you in three months!

More information about the Vermont Endurance Rides please visit: http://vermontenduranceride.com/

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Wastin’ Away Again in Margaritaville at the Vermont 100

Wastin’ Away Again in Margaritaville at the Vermont 100

New, fun T-shirts on sale this year to help us celebrate 30 Years!

More Cool T-shirts to Come-With Your Help!

We know you LOVE running into Margaritaville for the music, the cheeseburgers in paradise, the props and The Frozen Fins  The Vermont Parrot Head Club but what other aid stations are your favorites:

Camp 10 Bear

Sound of Music Hill

 

Spirit of 76

Silver Hill

Chime in with which 30th anniversary commemorative aid station t-shirt should be made next!

Send your choice to  vt100@vermontadaptive.org

Before April 30th! Subject line-T-Shirt

 

Editorial Comment April 11, 2018:

We will sell these at the merchandise area at the race. Colors will be online. Watch for the merch to go on sale pre-race to order your snazzy shirt!

They will be nice soft cotton (with men, women, and youth sizes).

Feel free to vote for whatever race location you want us want to do next!

Vote for Camp 10 Bear, Spirit of 76, Sound of Music Hill, Silver Hill, or whatever iconic VT100 location you think should be printed next!

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Calling All Vermont 100 Volunteers

Calling All Vermont 100 Volunteers

Time to  SIGN-UP for the 30th Anniversary of the Vermont 100 Endurance Race

A Message from our Volunteer Coordinators Carolyn and Kristin…

Hello All,  I cannot believe it is already the middle of March which also means only 4 more months until the VT100!  Woohoo! Please if you have not signed up already to volunteer for 2018 and you know you are able to, please sign up here.  You have until May 14th to guarantee a t-shirt.

General Volunteer Assignments

http://www.signupgenius.com/go/409044da4aa2fabf85-vt100 If you know what aid station you prefer to work at, please just reach out and I will give you that sign up sheet.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions at all.

Carolyn Stocker and Kristin Tetrault, Vermont 100 Volunteer Coordinators 2018 vt100volunteers@gmail.com

Doesn’t is look really fun Volunteering with the Vermont 100?

See You in July!

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From inov-8 “HOW TO JUGGLE A LOVE LIFE AND A RUNNING OBSESSION”

From inov-8 “HOW TO JUGGLE A LOVE LIFE AND A RUNNING OBSESSION”

Ask runners about the love of their life and the chances are they will say ‘running’…. before correcting it with ‘well, after my husband / wife / boyfriend / girlfriend / significant other, of course!’ Juggling a healthy love life alongside an often-selfish running obsession can be a balancing act that requires careful navigation to ensure all parties remain happy. Ahead of Valentine’s Day 2018, we asked some of our inov-8 ambassadors for their tips on this delicate matter of the heart.

*UK ultra runner Marco Consani, whose wife Debbie shares in his passion for racing over epic distances, has the following advice (Marco and Debbie are photographed above):

MARRY A RUNNER

We both have pretty hectic training schedules and a family life, but in many ways that makes it easier. We both appreciate and understand the commitment and time that’s involved, so there’s no resentment. Saying that, we still have to be mindful of each other. I can’t disappear to the mountains for the day when she’s got a long run to do too.

‘Cause when the feelin’s right I’m gonna run all night. I’m gonna run to you -Bryan Adams

READ MORE

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A Sweetheart Deal-February’s Top Fundraiser Will Get A Pair of Snow Shoes

A Sweetheart Deal-February’s Top Fundraiser Will Get A Pair of Snow Shoes

Be the TOP Vermont 100 Fundraiser for February, win a pair of DION Snowshoes

Thanks to race sponsor DION SNOWSHOES the top fundraiser for the month of February will get a pair of Dion Snowshoes!

The DION difference: They offer snowshoes as separate components (Frame, Binding and Cleat) instead of complete systems. This allows you to be sure of getting just the right system for your needs. This is what makes Dion Snowshoes the best choice and not “just another snowshoe”.  Just pick the Frame you want, then the Cleat, then the Binding! They will ship your snowshoe order assembled and ready to go.

Get fundraising!

Donate to an individual or team or start your own fundraising-it’s never too late to raise money for Vermont Adaptive


30th Anniversary Logo

Oh, and here’s a sneak peek at this year’s logo!

 

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Winter Training for Summer Success

Winter Training for Summer Success

Written by Lindsay Simpson, Run Formula coach

So you’re in, congratulations! You’ve marked your calendar for July 21 and it reads “VT100 Baby!” While July warmth and humidity may be hard to imagine when you’re blasted with sub-zero temperatures, snow, ice and 20 mph winds; it really is important that you get creative and disciplined with your training now to ensure that you’re ready for race day. Here are a few guidelines and strategies to build fitness and durability to handle more run training when the snow melts.

Time on feet is a smarter measure of volume versus mileage. You are going to be slower in winter at the same level of effort you might exert in warmer weather. Cold muscles simply do not work as efficiently. Footing is slippery and slow due to ice and snow. Plus, due to limited daylight hours, many runs are done in the dark which makes us instinctively more cautious. Plan your weekly and daily volume in hours and minutes so that you have measurable objectives and can let go of mileage as an indicator of training achievement.

Run frequency equals durability. A few run miles completed on most days of the week is far more advantageous for your VT 100 readiness than is completing only a few long runs per week. As runners, sometimes we hold a detrimental mindset of “all or nothing”. Life, sickness, and weather happen. If you find yourself unable to execute the entire planned run, try to do at least some of it, unless you are sick. Your soft tissues; muscles, ligaments and tendons become more durable with frequency of use over long periods of time; weeks and months. Prepping your body to handle running for a full day in July begins with consistent time on feet now.

Get run specific strong now to prevent injuries when run volume increases later in the spring. You don’t have to join your local gym. Focus on simple, body-weight exercises that you can do in three to four 15 minute sessions per week at home or on a break at work. Here are a few exercises we recommend for leg and core muscle that power your running: hack lunges, single leg deadlifts, monster walks with resistance band, eccentric calf raises, 3 minutes of continuous planks – front, then sides.

Enjoy other winter activities, but don’t kid yourself about their value as run training. Here are some guidelines. First, we recommend establishing heart rate zones and using this feedback as a reliable measure of intensity across different activities. Snowshoeing can be counted as 1-1 run volume, provided the effort is comparable to planned run intensity for that training session. We love Dion Snowshoes because they are small and lightweight, limiting changes to your run gain. Classic cross country skiing can be counted at 55% of planned run volume. So if you’re aiming for a run of 1.25 hrs, you’ll need to ski about 2.25 hours to meet your training objective for the day. Skate skiing can be counted as 35% of planned run volume. One solid day of downhill skiing, don’t count the chairlift ride time, is worth about an hour of strength work.

Above all, keep in mind that the toughest days only make you mentally stronger for the monumental challenge of running 100 km or 100 miles. When you’re on course in July, sweating and smiling up the hills, you can think back and draw confidence from all the hard winter training you completed.

 

Lindsay Simpson getting a 2015 VT 100 finish line fist pump from her husband John Spinney.

About Lindsay – I coach ultradistance trail runners with The Run Formula. My first crack at a race longer than 50k was the VT 100 km race in 2011 when I surprised my shorts off with a win in 12:18. I took a longer, much bumpier path to the 100 mile finish line, finally making it in 2015 with a time of 20:15. I am a lifelong runner, learner and lover of all things Vermont. Run coach bio here.

Official Coach of the Vermont 100
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Fundraising Wall of Fame

Fundraising Wall of Fame

2018 Wall of Fame

We are grateful to the people listed on this page – supportive, generous, enthusiastic and committed Vermont 100 participants who have fundraised for Vermont Adaptive this year. Each of these participants has invited their friends and family to sponsor them in the Vermont 100 – to join them in supporting Vermont Adaptive’ s important work.  Since 2015 (when the Team Run 2 Empower started), Vermont 100 participants have fundraised over $300,000 for Vermont Adaptive!

If you haven’t already begun, it’s not too late! Look up your fundraising page and ask friends and family to support you!  Thanks!

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Champion for Change

($5,000+)

Meg Cullings, Matt Klein

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Champion for Equity

($2,500)

Krista Alderdice, Lucimar Araujo, Maria Chevalier, Chris Eaton, Jessie Farnham, Tim Finke, Erik Glover, Jennifer McLaughlin, Keith McWilliams, Michelle Rice, Nathan Stanford, Allison Westhoven

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Champion for Empowerment

($1,250)

Rihana Azam, Adam Baker, Cara Baskin, Karen Benway, Dylan Broderick, Janna Chernetz, Leah Christensen, Jason Cousins, Bruce Dailey, Vanessa DeSota, Tim Dowling, Kevin Draper, Marc Eaton, >Sam Farnsworth, Ben Fiandaca, Sam Fiandaca, Robert Gill, Gene Gugliotta, Charlotte Healy, Tanya Holbrook, Gregg Holst, Celia Leber, Jon Mason, Thomas Nuovo, Melissa Ossanna, Chad Prichard, Joe Pulver, Brendan Pytka, Michael Rafferty, Robert Seaman, John Sheedy, Tiffany Sivco, Chris Straub, Kelly Tabara, Denis Trafecanty, Tammy Volock, Kelly Walsh, Caroline Williams

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Champion for Independence

($500)

Steven Benardete, Howard Breinan, Aaron Christie, Brian Emerson, Lori Emery, Maureen Gillespie, Jessica Goldman, Michelle Mccarthy, Alex Shaffer, Graham Sherriff, Erica Simister

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Champion for Opportunity

($150)

Ryan Couto, Katy-Jayne Dowd, Andrew Drummond, Tom Hooper, Sharon Knorr, Suzanne Marhesano, Jason Proulx, Lauren Santonastaso, Diane Souza, Christian Taylor

____________________________________________________________________________________

 

All-Time Fundraising Totals

Top 20 Fundraisers

1. Matt Klein – $54,825
2. Meg Cullings – $17,290
3. Neely Fortune – $16,0000
4. Keith McWilliams – $11,660
5. Maria Chevalier – $10,110
6. Chris Eaton – $10,050
7. Lucimar Araujo – $9,283
8. Erik Glover – $7,317
9. Neil Feldman – $5,610
10. Leah Christensen – $5,303
11. Tom Hancock – $5,000
12. E. David Granum – $4,516
13. Celia Leber – $4,270
14.Scot Binder – $3,930
15. Krista Alderdice – $3,815
16. Allison Westhoven – $3,782
17. Alex Shaffer – $3,301
18. Michael Rafferty – $3,140
19. Nathan Stanford – $3,100
20. Tim Finke – $3,000

(*Based on fundraising totals from 2013 – current, we unfortunately don’t have records prior to this time.  If you feel this information is incorrect, please email the RD.)

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Winners of Our #GivingTuesday Raffle are…

Winners of Our #GivingTuesday Raffle are…

Congratulations to Our #GivingTuesday Raffle winners: Emily Wivell who won a free entry into this year’s VT100, and Casey Fisher who won early entry into this year’s race.

Together we helped Vermont Adaptive raise $90,000!


A message from Erin Fernandez, Executive Director Vermont Adaptive

Donors Help Meet #GivingTuesday Matching Pledge and Raise More Than $90,000 for Adaptive Sports 

It’s a bit overwhelming to reach this amazing milestone – raising more than $90,000 in just one day during #GivingTuesday.

This incredible effort shows that people do pay attention to the season of giving and what it really means. The monies raised allows us to reach more people with our adaptive programs, regardless of their ability to pay, fund and keep current our fleet of expensive adaptive equipment, and continue to broaden our programming options with not just traditional outdoor sports and recreation, but also with our wellness and environmental programming.

If you made a donation yesterday – THANK YOU! And if you didn’t, it’s not too late to help!

More than 300 people gave to this effort and nearly 75% of those donations were $100 or less. This is proof that when a community rallies together around a cause it works! Please keep the momentum going, share your Vermont Adaptive story with friends and family today through email and social media and let them know why you support sports for people with disabilities. We must raise $300,000 from individual and corporate donors for 2018 programs and operations. Every penny counts, and we’re off to a great start. Without you, we can’t share the passion for sports and recreation with others.

Thank you again – have a wonderful holiday season.


A Note from Amy, our Race Director-DECEMBER SHOE RAFFLE

In December Vermont 100 will be raffling off 2 shoe certificates (1 for Hoka, 1 for Inov-8) to anyone who makes a donation greater than $20 to their favorite Team Run 2 Empower runner, or to Vermont Adaptive using this link! VT100

 

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#GivingTuesday for Vermont Adaptive

#GivingTuesday for Vermont Adaptive

Right Now, Your Gift to Vermont Adaptive Will Go Twice as Far in Supporting Athletes with Disabilities.

As Cyber Monday begins today,  Vermont Adaptive is prepping for a great #GivingTuesday tomorrow.

Your donation is doubled – up to $45,000 (thanks to a matching pledge!)

So $50 = $100. $100 = $200. $1,000 = $2,000!

Help Vermont Adaptive take advantage of this INCREDIBLE opportunity to raise more than $90,000 during #GivingTuesday’s global movement.

PLEASE MAKE A DONATION TODAY

Know that your donation today will count toward 2017’s #GivingTuesday, which is tomorrow, Nov. 28, and will have twice the impact. Vermont Adaptive’s #GivingTuesday campaign is live!

Without you, they wouldn’t be able to continue to share the passion of sports and recreation with others. Will you consider making a donation today and help spread the word? It’s easy, just copy and paste this link  and share it with your story as to why you choose to give to Vermont Adaptive.

Need some ideas? Check out their YouTube Channel to listen to the stories from the Vermont Adaptive Tribe.

And thank you from the Vermont 100 Race Committee!

Giving Tuesday

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You’ve Been Asking, We’ve Been Planning Registration News

You’ve Been Asking, We’ve Been Planning Registration News

Registration Dates Are Set! Woo Hoo!

Find all Vermont 100 registration information on our page Entry Process and Registration

Team Run 2 Empower registration opens today, Monday November, 20 Register Here

Early 100 Mile Registration-January 15, 7 p.m. to January 19, 7 p.m.  (details below)

General 100 mile Registration-January 21, 7 p.m.

General 100 Km Registration-January 28, 7 p.m.

Who Qualifies for Early registration :

  1. Runners who have finished the Vermont 100 mi at least 4 times in the last 8 years
  2. Runners who have finished on the overall (top 3 male/female) Vermont 100 mile podium in the last 3 years
  3. Runners who qualify as ‘local supporters’ (these are uber volunteers and should KNOW who they are)
  4. Runners who will register under the Athletes with Disabilities Division
  5. Runners who captain an adopted aid station at the 2017 VT100 (or their designee)

All qualified runners will get an email with a password for their early registration by January 8th from our Race Director.  If you don’t receive an email by that date, please contact our RD so we can get you an early registration password.

See you all July 21-22, 2018 for the 30th Annual Vermont 100 Endurance Run or Ride.

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What’d You Think of the 2017 VT100? Take the Post Race Survey Today

What’d You Think of the 2017 VT100? Take the Post Race Survey Today

Thank you ALL for attending our 29th annual Vermont 100 Endurance Run or Ride!

Whether you were a runner, a crew person, a family support member, a volunteer, a HAM radio operator, a horse rider, a horse crew person, veterinarian, medical staff… you get the picture… we want to hear from you!

Your opinions will help us improve the 30th annual and on into the future of this race.

It should only take a few minutes of your time and we really value your thoughts on how we did things.

Please share this link with anyone you might know that was involved with the race.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VT100

Thanks, and hope to see you all again next year.

– Amy and the Race Committee

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An Interview with Karen & Rob: The HAM Radio Operators Keeping Us Safe

An Interview with Karen & Rob: The HAM Radio Operators Keeping Us Safe

You may not notice them, but they’re there and they’re keeping us all safe during race weekend.

They relay info from the aid stations to the re-stock trucks. They call for rides back to Silver Hill if someone needs a lift. They keep track of the drops and the call for Emergency Services if needed. They are the eyes, ears, and voices of the VT100 that keep us all safe during the event weekend, and they are invaluable members of our team. They are our volunteer HAM radio operators, Karen Bailey Mather and Rob Mather.

Karen & Rob – The HAM Radio Operators Keeping Us Safe at the VT100

Recently, we caught up Karen and Rob to ask them a couple questions about organizing all the radio crews, and here’s what they had to share! 


Q. How did you originally get involved with the Vermont 100, as HAM operators at the Aid Stations? Which one(s)? 

Rob: For the Vermont 100 I have never worked an Aid station, my first year was Net Control.

Karen: I was originally a HAM operator at Brown School House.  Bob Stewart was having problems filling that spot because it was so remote.  He hesitated about having me cover that station until I told him I knew exactly where it was and didn’t mind.  


Q. Rob, you organize the HAM operators. How long have you done this for the VT100? Do you also train HAM operators?

Rob: I started working with Bob Steward early on, he said he had been doing this for almost 20 years and asked me if I would take over for him, it was time for him to retire. I learned a lot about the event, people and Vermont from Bob.  Shortly after learning the ins and outs I found a gap with our event starting with the supply trucks. I asked to put radio operators in the supply truck. I was told that there was no room in the trucks for anyone else.  I responded with ‘well then, I think you should all get your Amateur Radio licenses.’ Over the next winter I taught an Amateur Radio Technician course for many of the race committee.  As I learned more about the event and people behind the Vermont 100 I was drawn to them for their passion. For me it is a passion that I enjoy, mostly the people that have worked so hard for so long to ensure the success of Vermont Adaptive and the Vermont 100.


Q. Karen, you seem to be THE Net Control go-to person. Has this always been your main role at VT100?  

Karen: No, I originally covered Brown School House. Net Control has grown from having a single person at any given time to having 2 people and last year we started adding a 3rd person. It’s really a team effort and having 3 people allows time for breaks and if someone wants the opportunity to either learn Net Control or just observe, there is someone available that can explain the process to them.  The races can get pretty hectic at times and there is usually one person that covers the radio and a second that keeps notes on all of the radio traffic.  The third person can cover for breaks and answer questions that arise either from radio traffic or people just coming up to the trailer with questions.  


Q. What does CERT stand for? (You’ll see their trailer parked in front of the Big tent at Silver Hill)

Rob: Community Emergency Response Team


Q. How did CERT start? Is it a New England thing or country wide?

Rob: CERT is federal program under Homeland Security and FEMA, managed by Vermont Dept. of Emergency Management.


Q. What are your roles with CERT?

Rob: I have been a member, Instructor and have held the role of the Program Director for the Southern Windsor County CERT Team for a few years. Today I am member of the CERT TEAM.

Karen: I too have been both a member and Program Director.  


Q. What is your most favorite memory at the Vermont 100?

Karen: I try to be a the finish line when the first few runners come across the finish line.  I’m always in awe over how some literally cannot take another step while others look like they could go back and run another 100 miles!

Rob: For me it is Sunday morning watching the runners finish their 100-mile trek. For many of these folks their body gave out miles ago however their mind was stronger and allows them to finish.  

Side note as to why I do what I do: Vermont Adaptive has a special place in my heart, when I was 20 years old I was involved in a serious car accident where I fractured my neck ‘C2.’  I count my blessing every day that I was able to make a full recovery.  I could very easily have been a recipient of the services that Vermont Adaptive provides. For this I am grateful.


A Bit More

Rob and Karen were married last August after the Vermont 100 and before the Vermont 50. We sure couldn’t do this race without them!

Also! Polly & Ed! 

Here’s a picture of Polly and Ed. They are originals to the VT100 ever since the race first had radio operators, and we want to make sure they get a nod here too for all the years of amazing service they’ve provided. They typically work at Margaritaville, so be sure to say hi and give a big thank you when you’re cruising in.

Margaritaville - Polly & Ed

Remember, you can check out our blog for more VT100 interviews, race info, and lots more! 

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*Blind Dates at the VT100 – Pacing/Being Paced by a Stranger

*Blind Dates at the VT100 – Pacing/Being Paced by a Stranger

Some runners don’t have the ability to travel with pacers, so they rely on the generosity of strangers to pace them.

Are you a pacer seeking a runner or runner seeking a pacer to help you at the VT100?

Well, you’re in luck – no need to ‘swipe right’ – just click the links below, enter your credentials, and you’ll meet your match in the twilight on Silver Hill… *sorta like a blind date for runners! 


HERE’S HOW IT WORKS

You sign up through the form links above, then we do our best to make the match! If we find someone, we’ll get you synced up on Silver Hill on the Friday evening before the race.

Then following your initial introductions, you’ll both have a few hours to prepare for your first date, which begins after the runner’s second pass through the Camp Ten Bear aid station (~mile 31 for 100k, and ~mile 70 for 100m).

Runners, when you’re with your pacer during the race, your job is simple:

Run. And don’t let your pacer mule; you’re better than that… and it’ll get your DQ’d.

Pacers, once the race starts, you’ve got a bit more responsibility as your runner’s blind date: 

You will be responsible for keeping your runner on their target pace, on the correct trail, and regularly hydrating and refueling. However, don’t let the romance blossom too soon! Absolutely no physical aid may be given to your date. No matter how cute they are, you must not carry their food, fluids, or supplies of any kind. Muling is not a good look, and will disqualify your runner.


WHAT DOES THE IDEAL PACER LOOK LIKE? 

Think you’ve got what it takes to be a rockstar pacer at the VT100? Here’s what your blind date would love:

You should be cute an experienced runner, healthy, in good shape and conditioned adequately to run 30 miles over rough terrain.

It’s likely that your date will last overnight and into the wee hours of the early morning (no, not like that!); so you should be dressed accordingly, equipped with flashlights or a headlamp, and familiar with the distance between aid stations (pro-tip: pack an aid station cheat sheet and study the race profile! All of this can be found in our handy Resource Center).

Oh, and don’t forget, you can partake at aid stations and even have your own drop bags, but remember – you’re a cheap blind date; should also be adequately supplied with your own food and water at all times too.

Now go get ’em! If your date doesn’t have you swooning by sunrise, the finish line on Silver Hill will do the trick. And remember, while you won’t get any recognition for being a blind date at the VT100, your dating karma might and your running karma certainly will.


*Editor’s note: It should be fairly obvious, but pacing or being paced at the VT100 is not a romantic date. It’s a serious responsibility for those who are seriously interested in helping or being helped by someone to complete the race.

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Interview with Laura Farrell: VT Adaptive Founder, Former VT100 RD

Interview with Laura Farrell: VT Adaptive Founder, Former VT100 RD

Our VT100 Race History & VT Adaptive page on this website give you a bit of background on Laura Farrell, but we were also lucky enough to catch up with her more personally and in greater length in this interview.

Here’s what we asked and here’s what the founder of VT Adaptive and the former Race Director of the VT100 had to say:


Q. I understand you were a long distance horse rider for many years before becoming an endurance runner. How did you get into riding?

I was an endurance rider before becoming an endurance runner. I have ridden since I was 6 yrs old. I have ridden and competed in competitive trail riding, endurance, dressage, jumping and driving. I still ride in competitive and endurance trail rides.


Q. Ultra running attracts a diverse mixed bag of people and abilities. What made you want to try endurance running?

I  have always been a runner and rider. Around 1980, I went to ride the Old Dominion 100 endurance horse race. At the time Old Dominion had runners in the race too, like Vermont has. I saw the runners at this race and said to myself that I was going to come back and run the Old Dominion. So, two years later, I did go back and fun it and I became the first women to finish both a 100 mile ride and a 100 mile runner. It felt like a natural progression.


Q. Tell us about the first year the VT100 became a foot race alongside the horses.

The first year of the 100 mile, I did not run for I was the founder and Race Director.  The horse race had already been happening and they asked me to join the horse race with a running race. So I organized it and joined them. We had 114 runners the first year but otherwise it was a little the same. We had 36 aid stations and food and the course was mostly the same.


Q. Why did you start Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports (VASS)?

I was an athlete at the time and sports made a huge difference in my life. So I wanted anyone who wanted to enjoy and or challenge themselves through sports to be able to. It was that simple. I love being outside skiing, running, biking, riding and I want anyone to be able to  do the the same.


Q. Since their founding, both the VT100 and VASS have grown to become widely known and very popular, yet they both seem to stay true to their Vermont roots. Can you describe any challenges you faced along the way?

It is very important to me that we stay within our niche, do it very well, not try to compete or be something we are not, believe in what we do, and always make a difference in other’s lives.


Q. Do you have any advice for VT100 first timers?

I would advise them to think about how lucky they are to be able to spend all day doing something they love to do, run! They are a winner by just getting to the start line of a 100 mile. Plus, they are very very fortunate to be able to do an adventure like this.


Q. This year’s VT100 further demonstrated a deep commitment to adaptive sports by including an AWD awards division – the first ever at an ultra! What does the new division mean to you?

For me this is what it is all about. Making this opportunity available for anyone that has trained.


Q. Will you be at the race this year? Where and when can we meet you?!

I will be there. I might be horseback riding the 100 mile this year. Otherwise I am around on Friday night at dinner and Sunday clean up after the brunch.


A bit more about Laura

At 65 years old, Laura Farrell is semi-retired and skis, runs, bikes, swims, rides horseback, bikes, and hikes. Her two sons, Bobby and Brad (25 and 26 years old), have been to and volunteered at every VT100 since they were born. After directing VASS for 15 years, Laura still teaches adaptive skiing and provides sports programs and opportunities for individuals that otherwise would not be able to participate. Laura and her husband Jim live in Stowe, Vermont.


For more VT100 Interviews, check out our “VT100 Interviews” category in the Finish Line Blog. We have some amazing people featured! 

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A Must Read Interview with John Geesler: 24x VT100 Finisher

A Must Read Interview with John Geesler: 24x VT100 Finisher

VT100 rockstar, John Geesler, will be seeking his 25th finish at the 2017 VT100.

“I don’t train, so much as I just go run. Don’t have a log, or keep track of miles or time. I just want to enjoy the run.”  

In this brief interview, we tap into why this tenacious ultra runner has come back to Vermont, year after year without logging a single training run.


Q. You have 24 Vermont finishes under your belt. That’s amazing! How did that happen?

I ran a lot marathons and heard about ultras. I thought 100 miles sounded a little crazy, so I tried a 50-miler. That went so well [that] I figured I’d try a hundred. At the time, there were only 7 hundreds in the country. Being from New York state, Vermont was the easiest to drive to, so I signed up. That was the 3rd edition of the race. I came in 5th and never felt bad.


Q. Why the VT100 and not another race?

The scenery and atmosphere are intoxicating. It’s a very laid back state. I love the horses and the whole package.


Q. Have you ever started the VT100 and not finished? Do you have any advice for participants?

I ran 14 straight Vermonts coming in the top 10 each time. Then a 24-hour World Championship conflicted and I missed a year. I came back the following year very injured and barely broke 24 hours; devastating, but that’s life. I missed another year due to the 24-hour, but since then haven’t missed any more. Stomach issues keep me from doing as well, but I’ve always finished. When I finally finished in the daylight again, it was the wrong day. Dropping out is a personal choice, but don’t do it because you feel badly. That can change. You’ve got to give it your best shot, try and get fuel in yourself, and keep moving; even if slowly.


Q. What do you think of the changes over the years?

Races evolve. I do miss the Rojek‘s horse Farm and seeing the same people every year. It’s a much bigger sport and if you don’t change with it, it will leave you behind. Silver Hill was needed and it does the job wonderfully. The level of competition hasn’t changed that much at Vermont, but in the sport itself the competition has improved a lot. There were hardly any twenty somethings back in the day. Now we’re loaded with them. It’s not just for people too old to run fast anymore. It still seems to be a sport where everyone helps everyone. Vermont has had several Race Directors and they’ve all been wonderful. Fresh faces bring fresh idea’s. It’s good.


Q. Do you follow the greater ultra running community?

I read quite a bit but don’t surf the net. I’m usually out of touch because of a lack of time for the computer but enjoy reading about the racing. I’ll race the trails, on the road or the track. It’s all good. Mostly love being in the Adirondacks.


Q. How has your training been going for this year’s VT100?

I don’t train, so much as I just go run. Don’t have a log, or keep track of miles or time. I just want to enjoy the run.


A bit more about John

When John Geesler is not running, he enjoys the variability and challenges of working in maintenance at a textile factory (“not glamorous but I like my work, which includes almost anything”), he also raises animals and has a large garden. We know where we want to eat dinner next.

Thanks John, and good luck with your 25th finish!  Look for him wearing bib #25!

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A Note From the Medical Director

A Note From the Medical Director

One of the qualities that makes a good ultrarunner is stubbornness. However, this trait can also be a liability. It is critically important to be able to distinguish between when you should tough it out, and when you need to stop. That’s why we have skilled and knowledgeable medical professionals at the VT100 to help save us from ourselves when we truly need it.

The major addition this year is the Medical Director’s decision to immediately disqualify runners that exhibit signs of significant Rhabdomyolysis and Trench Foot. Once these conditions have developed, any further running or exposure to the elements can be life or limb threatening, even in the early stages of severity.


Here’s what the VT100 Medical Director, Dr. Rick Marasa, and his experienced team will be looking for:

Rhabdomyolysis

  • Rhabdo is muscle tissue breakdown resulting in the release of a protein into the blood that can damage the kidneys.
  • Symptoms include dark, reddish urine, a decreased amount of urine, weakness, and muscle aches.
  • Early treatment with aggressive fluid replacement reduces the risk of kidney damage.
  • The recovery can take several months and is a bigger problem in runners who have exerted themselves beyond their level of training.
  • Urine dipstick testing strongly for blood will be available (and used, as needed) at the VT100 stations with medical providers.  
  • Since there is no direct correlation of weight loss to Rhabdo or hydration/circulation status, VT100 medics will conduct urine tests only when clinically indicated.  

Trench Foot

  • Trench Foot is severe pain in the feet that is associated with prolonged exposure to wet/cool environments.
  • The feet might show only minimal physical redness or blanching.
  • Much like its “cousin” frostbite, re-exposure can result in severe symptoms, tissue damage (blisters, open sores, fungal infections, etc.) and even necrosis (cellular death).
  • As trench foot worsens, feet may also begin to swell.
  • Trench foot can be prevented by keeping the feet clean and dry. Runners should change out of wet, dirty socks and shoes, and into clean, dry pairs.
  • VT100 medics will be asking runners about foot pain only when clinically indicated.

“Both of these conditions are essentially silent killers. When runners try tough it out and overcome them, they put themselves at a very high risk of increasing the severity to life and limb threatening levels.”

– Dr. Marasa

All runners must follow the direction of the Medical Director and his experienced, knowledgeable team. Your longevity in this wacky sport depends on it!


Remember: Although medical personnel will assist you when possible, you are ultimately responsible for your own well-being. Monitor yourself and prepare to drop out at the nearest aid station if you don’t feel well.  As you run, be aware of the number of miles to the next aid station.  There’s no shame in knowing your limitations. Several drops have come back to finish (or win) the VT100 the following year.

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2017 Movie Night – 8% No Limit

2017 Movie Night – 8% No Limit

This year’s Friday Night Feature will be the documentary, 8% No Limitstarring ultrarunner Rhonda-Marie Avery.

Step into the shoes of a runner who is blind, as she traverses Canada’s longest trail. In the summer of 2014, Rhonda-Marie Avery set out to run 885 kilometers across Canada’s toughest terrain – the Niagara Escarpment on the Bruce Trail – a feat that most would doubt is possible for sighted runners, much less a runner with 8% vision. This intimate documentary of her journey will redefine how you perceive disability in sport and in life.

The documentary screening will be kicked off by a panel with Rhonda Marie Avery, who will be running the 100km; Maggie Guterl, an Achilles International guide, who will be guiding Kyle Robidoux in the 100 miler; and Nipmuck Dave, a mobility impaired athlete who finished last year’s 100 miler with 6 minutes to spare and will be running the 100-miler again this year. Ask questions about what their challenges are, how they overcome them, or even what it’s like to guide a visually impaired runner!

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Interview with ‘Nipmuck’ Dave

Interview with ‘Nipmuck’ Dave

After race directing the Nipmuck Trail Marathon in Connecticut for 26 years and retiring from 30 years of Occupation Therapy work, adaptive athlete Dave Raczkowski finished last year’s VT100 on his handmade titanium crutches with 6 minutes to spare.

Tenacious and gritty, this interview reveals Dave’s humility (“I don’t know if I like being called a rockstar”), his backyard training regime (“I probably should be doing more hills”) and respect for the distance (“the VT100 doesn’t just happen during a few days in July”).

Here we go!


Q. Hi Dave. The Race Director wants to interview a few Vermont 100 rockstars. Would you mind answering a few questions?

I don’t know if I like being called a rockstar. I’m more of a spiritual advisor.


Q. Give us an idea of your training. Where do you train? How has your training been?

I probably should be doing more hills, but I find myself just getting in long runs. On Tuesdays, I run 4 hours and do 1 hour of weights. On Wednesdays, I run 6 hours. On Thursdays, I run 8 hours. I’m kind of procrastinating about doing the weights. I train in my ‘backyard’. I’m pretty satisfied [about] how things are going mainly because nothing hurts. I have a neighbor at the end of my road you always says, “Have a nice walk today,” and I wave, muttering under my breath, “I’m not walking, I’m running.”


Q. How many times have you finished Vermont? Do you have any advice for the first timers?

6 attempts, 3 finishes. The Vermont 100 doesn’t just happen during a few days in July.  It’s all the time because I’m constantly training for it.  So, first timers should choose very carefully where they live.  As long as the house has a good roof and the toilet flushes, that’s good enough.  That house should be in the middle of at least 10 square miles of woods with many miles of trails going through it. And take [the race] mile by mile. You can’t think of the whole thing. When you’re at mile 49, think about mile 49 – not mile 50 or 60.


Q. What is your favorite part of the event?

The first 10 miles and the very last mile. The worst time is from midnight ‘til 2:30AM before the race starts.  I know I should be resting, but I’m just ready to explode.  After the race starts that energy just flows out. That first 10 miles is effortless, more like floating.  I don’t remember the specific aid station, but the one [where] some GAC members  dumped a bucket of ice water over my head [editor’s note: Birmingham’s Aid Station, mile 53.9]. Arriving at Silver Hill is like having a circle that is almost completed. All the preparation has been done. Now you just let the events unfold in front of you.


Q. Do you have any advice for race directors on including an Athletes With Disabilities Awards Division at their ultra?

We mostly accept what we got and just deal with it. We want no special treatment.


Q. Do you consider yourself an adaptive athlete?

Very much so. I worked for 30 years as an Occupational Therapist in a Nursing Home, so adaptation is kind of like my middle name.


A Bit More

Dave will be running without a pacer (“when my mind is dark, it’s best to deal with myself”) and using handmade titanium crutches he had custom welded (“it was hard to find a guy who’d do it”).

When Dave isn’t running, he voluntarily maintains 22 miles of trails for the Connecticut Forest and Park Association but, he remarks, “my main pastime is being very much in love with my wife. She’s not a runner but we see eye to eye on a lot of stuff. As love affairs go, we got blessed.”

Nipmuck Dave, we’re all excited to meet you on Silver Hill Meadow and will be cheering you on to your next VT100 finish.


For more VT100 interview, race day prep tips, FAQs, and more, be sure to peruse the entire VT100 blog or use the category sorter at the top of the blog home to find relevant article! 

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Team Run 2 Empower – Meet the 2017 Team

Team Run 2 Empower – Meet the 2017 Team

Every year, the VT100 reserves race entries for Team Run to Empower. Team Run 2 Empower is made up of individuals who commit to fundraising a minimum of $1,000 for Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports, a nationally recognized nonprofit providing sports and recreational programs to people with disabilities.

Team Run 2 Empower is a large reason why the VT100 is one of biggest yearly fundraisers for Vermont Adaptive. They spend many hours over several months training to get to the VT100 start line, and they are deeply passionate about our race and they believe strongly in its cause as an event that extends beyond themselves and into the lives of others. So, let’s meet this year’s *2017 participants.

To learn more about Team Run 2 Empower, make a donation to the team or an individual on this team, or learn more about Vermont Adaptive – Please visit the Team Run 2 Empower PledgeReg page.

Team Run 2 Empower – Meet the 2017 Team


Leah Christensen

I’m a wife, mom to four, elementary art/phys ed teacher and ultra runner.  I love dogs, poetry and photography.  This is my second year raising funds for Vermont Adaptive. 

Last year was my first experience with the VT100 race itself.  I was blown away by the family like environment, amazing volunteers, outstanding organization and fundraising for Vermont Adaptive.  I have to admit, at that point, I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting into raising funds.  I had heard very little about Vermont Adaptive, but boy did I learn!  People were so willing to give for such a wonderful cause, and the Vermont Adaptive presentation and speech at the pre-race gathering was so motivational, I knew that when the invite came around this year I would want to help again.

Although I am not directly involved with the program itself, I love being able to give what I can by doing this fundraising event.  My only regret is that more states do not try to mirror the fine work that Vermont Adaptive does in getting folks outside.  I am by no means a disabled individual, but I suffer from and battle depression, so I know what a great help it is to get outside and enjoy being active.  Ultra running has been a personal lifesaver for me in this regard. 

I am so honored to be able to run for Team Run 2 Empower and raise funds for this second year in a row!


Neil Feldman

I ran the race in 2010 and that was my 1st intro to Vermont adaptive and ski. It was very cool to see what is being done to help people with disabilities to have more of the life experiences they otherwise may be missing. I raised money for team Hoyt for 3 years even was able to have the privilege of pushing an athlete in a chair during one of the local races. I’ve enjoyed the feeling of supporting a cause beyond my own personal goals. I was going to participate in this years race, and when I saw the team being formed,  I jumped at the chance. It’s really an honor to be supporting this program and all of you who dedicate yourselves to improving the lives of others. So thank you!!


Sharon Knorr

 

This is my first year raising money for Vermont Adaptive. I have participated in sports and outdoor activities for as long as I can remember, but running is my greatest passion. It would really be impossible for me to describe myself without being able to share how much running is a part of who I am, whether it be out on the road or trails, or supporting and spectating others. At the same time, I have loved ones who have been sidelined due to lifelong disability, who dream of being able to join in with their friends and family. I also have loved ones who have lost, through illness or injury, their ability to participate in what they are passionate about, and while a few of those people were able to redirect their passions elsewhere, others still struggle. Being physical active provides an immeasurable value to one’s life not easily replaced by anything else. I wanted to run to raise money for Vermont Adaptive because they work so hard to provide equal opportunities for people of all abilities to participate in sports and recreational activities, giving them the experiences they would not otherwise have. I feel honored to be able to share my passion for running with others in this way, so that they may know the same joy and wellness through physical activity.  


James Lehneman

I decided to run to raise money for Vermont Adaptive because it allows me to do two things I enjoy at the same time, run and help people.

I feel very fortunate to be able to live a very active lifestyle, without any physical, medical or other challenges to overcome.  My first exposure to help people with disabilities was the Special Olympics when I was back in High School.  I was able to work with a young boy and teach him to XC Ski.  I was surprised how good it made me feel.  Since then I have helped raise money and awareness for several organizations that help people with all forms of disabilities and illnesses.  My first fundraising for Vermont Adaptive was in 2012 when I ran the VT50 for the first time.  That was my first 50 Mile race and it changed my life.  I believe joining Team Run to Empower is a perfect way for me to continue to raise awareness of Vermont Adaptive and take on the biggest physical challenge of my life, the VT100.  This will be my first 100 Mile run and possibly the first of many more to come.

I am proud to have been able to be part of the team. 


Robert Kintz

I need to run a 100 miler…a year ago I choose to raise money as a way to insure my entry into VT100…not much of a statement about Vermont Adaptive but I can say this…I’ve been on the board of the Krempels Center in Portsmouth, NH for 7 or 8 years where we help people with acquired brain injuries regain meaning and purpose in their lives. This includes connecting some of the members with adaptive bikes so that they can ride in an annual fundraiser called the King of the Road Challenge.  I have learned how these folks struggle each day dealing with their issues…yet they don’t complain or give up…and they’re always ready to aid others. It’s pretty motivating for me as I’m in a perpetual training cycle and I imagine that Vermont Adaptive is also providing folks with an opportunity to push themselves beyond their current injuries…I’m very happy to be part of Team Run 2 Empower and support the efforts of Vermont Adaptive.


 

Jim Hughes

My father and 5 brothers have been long time participants in the Vermont 50 since 2004; both running and biking. This is my first year running the VT100 with my longtime friend Neil Feldman and fundraising for Vermont Adaptive.

I’m excited to be both running the race for the first time; but also supporting this great organization!  

   



Jeff Stauch

This is my second year raising money for VT Adaptive.  I enjoy fundraising for VT Adaptive because I know that I’m giving folks who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors the chance to do so thanks to the amazing programming offered by VT Adaptive.  It’s an honor to be a part of the work that they do in this small way.

 



Scout Phillips

This will be my second year running the VT100 and running as a charity runner. I’m in the men’s solo division (same as last year).

 


Matt Klein

This July I’m going to be competing in my fourth Vermont 100 mile ultra-running marathon. I’m as excited for this race as I was when I ran my first VT 100. Running is something that I’m incredibly passionate about as it’s helped to change my life for the better. It’s also provided me the ability to help others through my blood, sweat and tears.

When I reflect on how I got to this point, there are clearly moments that are “life altering” as I like to say. There’s the obvious – like relationships and children – and then there are some that are not so clear at first glance. For me, the Vermont 100 is one of those moments (actually, more like 24+ hours of moments strung together 😉

The kindness and caring that was provided to me out on the course, by volunteers, is something that I’ll forever be grateful. And to know that I can help make some small difference is worth any “suffering” that occurs out on the course.

I first participated in this race in 2014. I was so moved by the prerace dinner and presentation, and then, as I mentioned above, the volunteers out on the course, that I decided to come back and put the effort to good use. The race itself, and what the body and mind go through over a day’s worth of straight running, is hard to define and articulate. But more so, I was incredibly moved and humbled by Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports. I’m happy to say that this is my third year in a row raising funds. And I’m super proud to say that I’ve been able to raise, with help from friends, family and folks in my community, more than $30 thousand over the last three years. 

Today I’m grateful to have the ability to even attempt to run 100 miles. It’s not lost on me that there are people out there for whom simply walking can be a challenge. The amazing work that VA conducts, as well as all the people involved are what keeps me coming back for more – year after year. Having the opportunity to put my legs to good use for VA is well worth any sacrifice on my end. 


Meg Cullings

Running cross country and track was an absolute lifesaver when we moved as my twin sister and I were starting 7th grade. It gave me goals; a “rabbit” ahead of me to chase; a rivals time; a hill; laps on the track;or the clock itself-to challenge myself. The sights and sounds of a trail race or a track meet were inviting and I felt “at home” and like I belonged. The move was full of challenges but gave me the biggest “gift” in finding running.
 
Finding out about Vermont Adaptive and running for Team 2 Empower feels like the opportunity to pay it forward for someone else…who may be at a similar unexpected crossroads & have no idea how beautiful and life changing and inspiring their journey is about to be enhanced. It’s the greatest gift ever to fuel your own freedom with a day skiing; or kayaking; or riding a horse; or a bike.my bike is my best friend. It gave me a favorite job ever as a bike messenger(every day in all 4 seasons-changing flats as quick as possible or you don’t make any money…)Running & cycling takes me through the highs; and then the tough days of losing my dad.it has been an honor to be a member of Team 2 Empower and Vermont Adaptive. What new adventure will you start with them?…..


Jack Bailey

This year is my fourth time participating in the Vermont 100, but the first time I’ve ever raised money for Vermont Adaptive.  It has been through my participation in VT100 that I’ve learned about Vermont Adaptive and I’ve always admired their work ever since first learning about them.  I have a background in sports medicine and once worked for an orthotics and prosthetics company where I gained a first-hand appreciation for crafting assistive devices for people to stay active.    I feel blessed to have my health and the enjoyment I get from being active through running, so this year I decided to put my time and talents to use for a worthy cause, and I couldn’t have chosen a better organization than Vermont Adaptive!  It is so motivating to see the determination, and enjoyment, of those who benefit from Vermont Adaptive, and I’m just glad I can give a little bit back.



Mark Ryder

I ran last year as a Charity bib runner for two reasons; i) I thought it was a nice idea, other of my friends ran different races and raised money, ii) It was a guaranteed entry.  I wasn’t able to finish last year so I still wanted that guaranteed entry. However, after guiding some visually impaired runners  a couple months after last years race and how much fun and what a difference it could make I thought this was a great idea, so I thought I would try it again.


Maria

I was matched with a little guy named Nick about 3 years ago. Nick, my WingMan, suffered a brain injury at birth and does not have mobility in one whole side. His parents have never given up on the hope that he might be able walk, and even run someday. He is excelling in school, very dedicated to all of his different therapies and loved by everyone he meets…his energy is infectious! He participates in a local adaptive sports camp where he lives, much like VASS, and largely in part thanks to the kindness of donors who support such an amazing opportunity. 

This is my 3rd year fundraising for VASS, and my 6th attempt at finishing VT100…I just love what this event is all about. There is a certain depth of humanity that is experienced out in those miles, and I can’t seem to get enough of it. When the chance came up to be a part of the fundraising team and do more for VASS, it was a natural choice. I love being a part of something bigger, something pretty special. 


Claude Parent

I just want to let you know how lucky I feel to be able to run for such a great cause.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Claude


*Note – The above list of individuals represents the majority of the 2017 Team Run 2 Empower team, however some participants didn’t submit their bios to us on time to get published. You can still find those unlisted individuals (as well as others) and donate to their campaigns within the Team Run 2 Empower PledgeReg page. Cheers!

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FAQs – Zeke’s Answers to All Your VT100 Questions

FAQs – Zeke’s Answers to All Your VT100 Questions

We get A LOT of questions from our participants every year. So, we’ve rounded up your FAQs and Zeke’s taken the time to answer each. There’s a ton of information here, but we promise it’s worth it. Enjoy!

  • This post is broken up into 11 sections.
  • Read start to finish, or click a topic to anchor to that specific section
  1. About Zeke
  2. The Course
  3. Your Gear
  4. Aid Stations
  5. Medical
  6. The Start and Finish
  7. The Schedule
  8. Running with Horses
  9. Weather
  10. Pacers, Crews, & Handlers
  11. Miscellaneous

We hope this will help you breathe a little easier going into the race!


About Zeke

If you have questions about the VT100, Zeke has answers. As a longtime member of the race committee for the VT50 and the VT100, Zeke Zucker is here to make sure you have the best experience possible.

Zeke is an experienced runner, having finished over 50 ultras in his career, including six Vermont 100 finishes, Western States 100, Leadville 100, Wasatch 100, Mountain Masochist, and Bull Run Run.

As a critical member of our race committee, Zeke ensures that the course is the correct length. As landowner permissions change, he coordinates substitutions and re-routes. He also checks the course to make sure that there aren’t any downed trees or other obstacles along the route.

And as if his rockstar status couldn’t be more solid, Zeke was the captain of the Spirit of ‘76 aid station for many years, before recently turning the reigns over to the 413 Trail Runners. He still volunteers there every year, so make sure you say hello when you pass through!

So, if you’ve got any questions – from how to prepare for your first 100 miler, your first Vermont, what the course is like, or what your crew should expect – Zeke has experienced it all and is super generous to share his wealth of knowledge.


The Course

WHERE CAN I FIND A MAP OF THE COURSE?
We do not publish course maps because most of the VT100 is on private land. We deeply respect our landowners privacy and are very thankful they generously grant us access to run on their land. Without these landowners, the VT100 would not be possible. Thank you, landowners!

WHAT IS THE COURSE LIKE?
Course Composition:

Gravel / Trail – Jeep road / Paved
100 Mile: 68.5% / 29% / 2.5%
100-km: 66.5% / 32% / 1.5%

Composition Details:

The 70 miles of smooth gravel roads, although hilly, are very runnable. The trails and jeep roads, for the most part, are also quite runnable, with a paucity of rocks or roots. Most trails are part of the local Horse Association trail network, and are well-maintained.

The Jeep Roads are hardly rutted, but occasionally a heavy rain will cause some erosion. One segment, just before the halfway point, is an old logging road with sizeable puddles that extend across the width of the road. Since your feet might get wet, you may want to include a pair of dry shoes and socks at the next drop bag aid station, which is Margaritaville at mile 58.5.

The total paved surface is about 2.5 miles. There are 6 sections of paved surfaces ranging between 1/16 and 1/2 mile. The longest paved surface is just shy of 1 mile and occurs after Lillian’s at mile 43.

VT100 Course

ARE THERE A LOT OF HILLS? 

There are hills throughout the course. The elevation again is approximately 17,000’ for the 100 Mile and 9,000’ for the 100 Km.

Vermont 100-mile Elevation Profile

Here are the hills that will get your attention:

  • Mile 4: Densmore Hill Road, moderate for 2 miles
  • Miles 10-16 & 19-21: Moderate rollers before Pretty House
  • Mile 26: moderate climb up to Sound of Music Hill
  • Mile 30: After Stage Rd. 3/4 mi. up thru meadow and woods. Steep then Mod.
  • Mile 38: Fletcher Hill Road, 1.5 miles of steep road

NOTE: 100K runners: you have one half mile moderate hill at 3.2 miles. For the following, subtract 38 miles or your mileage points. You can also access the 100-km elevation profile here

  • Mile 49: Agony Hill, moderate to steep for 7-10 miles
  • Mile 56: Tracer Brook up to Margaritaville aid station, moderate to steep for 2 miles
  • Mile 59: Prospect Hill, steep for half mile
  • Mile 62: Brown Schoolhouse Road, moderate climbs for 3 miles
  • Mile 70: Heartbreak Hill, steep for 7-10 miles
  • Mile 74: Calendar Hill Road, moderate to steep climb for half mile
  • Mile 76: Driveway approach to ’76 aid station, 0.15 mi. and very steep
  • Mile 87: Coon Club Road before Bill’s, moderate to steep roller coaster
  • Mile 90: Hewett Road, moderate 1.5 miles, then Hunt Road 0.3 steep
  • Mile 92: Marton Road, first third is VERY STEEP, then eases to moderate half mile
  • Mile 98: Trails before Blood Hill are short, mostly moderate with one steep

ARE THE TRAIL SECTIONS ROCKY?
For the most part, no. There will be some roots, small rocks and ruts, so pay attention and pick up your feet. We have driven or run all of the trails and cut downed trees and tossed limbs and branches, but some can fall the evening before or the day of.

HOW WILL THE COURSE BE MARKED?
The 100 mile course will be marked with large yellow plastic dinner plates, with bold dark black arrows indicating direction (right, left or straight). Where the course turns, there will be one arrow plate BEFORE the turn, two plates at the turn, and another plate AFTER the turn. On some stretches you will see confidence plates with a large C on it, to assure you that you are still on course. The 100K will be marked with LAVENDER plastic dinner plates only until it joins the 100 Mile course (at Lillian’s Aid Station), at which point everyone will follow yellow plates. At night, in addition to the plates, there will be green glow stick chem-lites marking the route.

VT100 - Yellow Course Markers

HOW MUCH DOES THE 100-KM COURSE OVERLAP THE 100-MILE?
The 100 K course starts at Silver Hill Meadow and proceeds 5.6 miles to Lillian’s Aid Station, which is the mile 43.3 for the 100 Milers. From Lillian’s to the finish, the two courses are identical.

WHERE DO THE COURSES GO?
The 100 Mile goes through parts of 9 towns in a three lobe cloverleaf pattern. The 100 K goes through parts of 6 towns on the latter two cloverleaf ‘lobes’.

HAVE THERE BEEN ANY COURSE CHANGES?
There are no anticipated changes to the course this year, however minor last minute changes seem to occur every year. Any course changes will be reviewed at the pre-race briefing on Friday.


Your Gear

CAN I USE DROP BAGS?
You can have a drop bag at any aid station that allows crews. Information about drop bags can be found here. Remember:

  • All drop bags bags must be in place on Silver Hill by 5:30pm on Friday, July 14th.
  • Mark each drop bag with your: Bib Number,  Last Name, and Aid Station Name.
  • Drop bags should be soft sided, waterproof and durable. A small backpack or gear bag about 9” by 9” by 16” (or smaller). We will not accept unreasonably large drop bags.

HOW SHOULD I MARK MY DROP BAGS FOR CAMP TEN BEAR?
Since runners pass through twice, Camp Ten Bear is aid station #11 and aid station #17. There will be 2 drop bag areas; one area for #11, and one area for #17. If you want to use one drop bag for both areas, clearly mark the drop bag “Camp Ten Bear #11.” After you use the drop bag on your first time through Camp Ten Bear, drop the bag in the #17 pile before you leave and the bag will be there when you return.

WHAT SHOULD I BRING?
The VT100 is a cupless race, so bring a water bottle. The race starts before sunrise, so bring a headlamp or flashlight. We suggest you wear trail shoes but you could get by with road shoes.

SHOULD I TAKE A FLASHLIGHT FOR THE START OF THE 100-MILE RACE?
Since the 100 mile starts before sunrise, you may want to bring a small inexpensive light that you can afford to leave behind at the first aid station. There will be a box at the first aid station (Densmore Hill, mile 7) where you can leave your light. The box will be returned to Silver Hill.

SHOULD I CARRY TWO WATER BOTTLES FOR THE RACE?
Yes, if the weather is above 85 degrees and you anticipate taking over 28 hours to complete the run. You won’t need two bottles if you have a hydration pack. The greatest distance between aid stations is 5 miles, which occurs 3 times in the 100 mile. Slower runners will take close to 1.5 hours to cover 5 miles.


Aid Stations

WHAT KIND OF HYDRATION AND FUEL WILL BE PROVIDED AT THE AID STATIONS?
New this year, the energy drink that will be provided at aid stations is Base Performance Hydro.  All runners will also be given a tube of the Base Performance Electrolytes, to use in conjunction with the Hydro.  If you plan on using these products, it is strongly suggested that you order and try both in your training. Aid Stations will also have an assortment of the following: chips, fruit, M&M’s, cookies, candy, peanut butter and jelly, turkey sandwiches, and potato chunks. There will be soup, broth, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate at some stations after dark. There will be burgers and hotdogs at Camp Ten Bear, and grilled cheese and chicken noodle soup at Spirit of ’76.

CAN I GET ENERGY GELS AT THE AID STATIONS?
Normally, no. When using your own gels, please hold the wrappers and dispose of them at the next aid station. Do not discard on the roads or trails. Absolutely no littering will be tolerated. We pride ourselves on being Green. After all, Vermont is the Green Mountain State!


Medical

WHAT IF I NEED FIRST AID OR MEDICAL ATTENTION?
The main medical center is inside the tent on Silver Hill. Minor aid can be obtained along the course at the handler stations if an EMT is present. All of manned aid stations will have basic first aid kits and electrolyte caplets. We have HAM Radio communication at all handler stations in order to connect injured runners with medical personnel.

ARE THERE MANDATORY MEDICAL CHECKS?
Yes, at Camp Ten Bear (miles 47 and 70) and at Bill’s (mile 88). At these checkpoints, every runner must check in with medical staff to undergo a brief evaluation that may include being weighed or otherwise evaluated. All decisions and evaluations are up to the medical staff.

FOR WHAT REASON(S) WOULD THE MEDICAL PERSONNEL STOP ME FROM RUNNING?
Medical staff will be monitoring for significant weight loss, weight gain, trench foot, Rhabdomyolysis, and Heat Stroke/Hyperthermia.


The Start and Finish

WHEN DO THE RACES START?

  • The 100 mile starts at 4:00 a.m. Saturday.
  • The 100 K starts at 9:00 a.m. Saturday.

WHAT ARE THE CUT-OFF TIMES? 

  • The 100 mile cut-off time is 10:00 a.m. on Sunday.
  • The 100 K cut-off time is 5:00 a.m. on Sunday.

WHEN WILL THE WINNERS FINISH? 

  • For the 100 mile, the first male will finish in about 15.5 hrs (around 7:30 p.m.) and the first female in about 17.5 hrs (9:30 p.m.).
  • For the 100 K, the first male will finish in about 9.5 hrs (6:30 p.m.) and the first female in about 11.5 hrs (8:30 p.m.).

WHERE EXACTLY IS THE START?
The races start slightly downhill from the main tent on Silver Hill Meadow, under the starting line banner. Both races proceed down the hill.

WHERE EXACTLY IS THE FINISH?
The finish line for both races is in the woods behind the main tent on Silver Hill Meadow.


The Schedule

WHEN AND WHERE WILL THE PRE-RACE BRIEFING BE HELD? 
4:30 p.m. Friday in the main tent on Silver Hill Meadow.

WHEN AND WHERE IS THE PASTA DINNER FRIDAY EVENING?
Immediately following the pre-race briefing. approx 5:00 p.m. Your Bib is YOUR MEAL TICKET! Family and friends and pacer meal tickets ARE NOT included in your entry fee. Extra meal tickets will be available at the Merchandise Table.

WHEN AND WHERE IS THE SUNDAY POST-RACE BBQ?
In the main tent at 10:30 a.m. Sunday. Your Bib is YOUR MEAL TICKET! Family and friends and pacer meal tickets ARE NOT included in your entry fee. Extra meal tickets will be available at the Merchandise Table.

WHEN ARE THE AWARDS?
Sunday at about 11 a.m., immediately following the post-race BBQ.


Running with Horses

WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT RUNNING WITH THE HORSES?
The horses will not run you over; they actually want to slow down to your pace. If a horse and rider want to pass you, speak with the rider and step aside if asked to. If you want to pass a horse, speak with the rider and wait until they says it’s okay. At night, in particular, talk to the rider as soon as you’re within earshot; until the horse knows you are a human, the horse may be frightened.  And above all, don’t point your bright flashlight towards horses – they like that even less than us runners do!

VT100 - Running with the Horses


Weather

WHAT TIME DOES THE SUN RISE AND SET?

  • Sunrise is approximately 5:26 a.m. Saturday and 5:27 a.m. Sunday.
  • The sun will set Saturday evening at approximately 8:25 p.m.

WHAT ARE THE AVERAGE TEMPS?
At night, it is usually in the 50’s, but could be in the 40’s or 60’s. During the day, it is usually in the 70’s, but could be in the 60’s, 80’s or 90’s.

WILL IT RAIN DURING THE RACE?
It could and has, but on average does not. We’ll give you the latest weather forecast at the pre-race briefing. Bring a raincoat and an extra set of shoes/socks just in case.


Pacers, Crews & Handlers

WHERE CAN I FIND A PACER?
You can request one in advance via the Pacer section on our website. On Friday at registration, look for John Bassette in the yellow West Point baseball cap. All pacers must get and wear a bib number during the race.

VT100 - Pacers

WHERE CAN I PROVIDE ASSISTANCE TO MY RUNNER?
Crews are allowed at handler access aid stations only. Helping your runner at non-handler access aid stations is NOT allowed and can be grounds for runner disqualification. There are 8 handler access aid stations for the 100 mile and 6 for the 100 K. It will take roughly 35 minutes for crews to drive from Silver Hill Meadow to the first crew access aid station. Please see the Handler Instructions for answers to the following common questions and more:

  • Where are the handler aid stations?
  • How do I get to Camp Ten Bear from Silver Hill?
  • Where can I park at the Handler access aid stations?

WHERE CAN I GET GAS, ICE, FOOD AND OTHER SUPPLIES?
There are a number of great, local country stores in the towns of South Woodstock, Taftsville, Hartland, Brownsville, Reading and Woodstock. For more information, see our blog post on local establishments.

WHAT WILL THE RACE OFFICIALS BE WEARING?
They will be wearing yellow t-shirts that say ‘Race Official.’


Miscellaneous

ARE THERE SHOWERS AVAILABLE POST-RACE?
There is one very rustic shower available in woods near the camping area on SilverHill. There is also a small pond for swimming.

WHAT IS VERMONT ADAPTIVE?
Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, a non-profit, volunteer based organization which provides competitive and recreational athletic opportunities, equipment and instruction for people with disabilities. Your entry fee and all money raised during the event goes directly toward provision of these services.

WILL THERE BE ROAD CLOSURES?
Our race depends on our neighbors and gracious landowners! The local landowners are extremely tolerant of us every year. We have been asked to reduce traffic and noise around the race course. We absolutely must keep the noise down at Silver Hill Meadow and keep event-related vehicles off of some specific roads. In an effort to maintain good relations with the local community, there will be some clearly marked road closures. Violation of these closures could easily result in the termination of our event. In 2015, we revised the driving directions to Silver Hill and between authorized Handler Access Aid Stations. Please be aware and respectful of all road closures and help spread the word.


Still have questions? Visit the VT100 blog for more helpful information, or of course don’t hesitate to ask me!

-Zeke

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Your Race Weekend Checklist

Your Race Weekend Checklist

There’s so much to do, know, and get ready for when it comes to arriving at Silver Hill on race day with a clear mind and ready to race. So, we want to arm you with a quick VT100 weekend checklist in hopes it’ll help you remember a couple key things! 


To Download

Download and read the following prior to arrival. Cell service on Silver Hill Meadow is spotty at best and there will NOT be copies available at check-in:

Additional “Important Race Forms & Links” available in our Resource Center.


About Drop Bags

Above all, be sure to fill and properly label Drop Bags with your bib number, last name, and the aid station name.


Remember to Pack 

  • Reusable water bottle or cup (VT100 is a cupless race!)
  • Flashlight and/or headlamp
  • Bug Spray for you and your crew
  • Rain gear
  • Sunblock and hat
  • Cash and credit cards, so you can buy race merch (personal and traveler’s checks are NOT accepted)

VT100 Light!

Don’t Forget to Bring

  • Your patience for other human beings.
  • Your cooperation in adhering to road closures and speed limits.
  • Your respect for the distance.
  • Your gratitude for the private landowners who make the VT100 possible.

See ya soon!

-The VT100 Race Committee

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Athletes with Disability – Divisions & Rules

Athletes with Disability – Divisions & Rules

In 2017, the VT100 deepened our commitment to adaptive sports by becoming the first trail ultra ever to recognize mobility and visually impaired athletes in their own division: Athletes With Disabilities (AWD). 

This post will cover *everything you need to know about the AWD division, from entry criteria to division breakdown to racer and guide rules.

*If there is anything you feel we miss here, please contact us in the footer contact form that follows this post.


Criteria for AWD Entry

Criteria for entry into the 2018 VT 100 AWD category is as follows:

  • AWDs must be able to run the course
  • Tethers may be used for athletes with a visually impairment
  • Leg prosthetics may be used for amputees.
  • Crutches, braces, or poles may be used if indicated/necessary, with approval from the RD.
  • Since there are plenty of mucky Vermont trails on-course, it is not suitable for athletes in wheelchairs (see more on this below).
  • AWDs must be able to finish within the 30 hour cutoff (100 mile) or 20 hour cutoff (100km).

AWD Entry Process

AWDs will follow the same registration process as the general registration, and will register for the distance race they plan to run. If an AWD requires additional time to register (e.g. due to visual impairment), contact the RD for early registration.


AWD Division Breakdown

Based on International Paralympic Committee impairment descriptions, the VT 100 will *recognize two types of AWD based on clearly defined eligible impairments: Visually impaired and mobility impaired.

*Depending on number of AWDs registered, the VT100 may choose to group all AWDs within one division or recognize each division listed below individually:

1. VISUAL IMPAIRED DIVISION 

Individuals with vision impacted by an impairment of the eye structure, optical nerves or optical pathways, or the visual cortex, may be granted registration as an AWD but will not be allowed extended time on the course.

A couple things to note about our course for visually impaired athletes:

  • Course Markings: The Vermont 100 uses colored plates (yellow) to mark the course during the day and glow sticks (yellow) to mark the course at night. AWDs, with assistance from their guide as needed, must be able to follow the course as marked. Unfortunately, the Vermont 100 is not able make accommodations for athletes with visual impairments by altering the standard course markings.
  • Canines: In general, dogs aren’t allowed at Silver Hill or at other venues associated with the VT100 (aid stations, race course, etc.). If an athlete with a visual impairment requires a guide dog, please contact Race Director for permission to have the dog at Silver Hill and the aid stations. Again, only at the start/finish grounds and designated aid stations. Dogs will still not be allowed on the course.

2. MOBILITY IMPRAIRED DIVISION 

Individuals with permanent physical disabilities that affect their ability to walk/run, may be granted registration as an AWD but will not be allowed extended time on the course.

This includes:

  • Limb deficiency: Total or partial absence of bones or joints as a consequence of trauma (e.g. car accident), illness (e.g. bone cancer) or congenital limb deficiency (e.g. dysmelia).
  • Leg length difference: Bone shortening in one leg due to congenital deficiency or trauma.
  • Short stature: Reduced standing height due to abnormal dimensions of bones of upper and lower limbs or trunk, for example due to achondroplasia (dwarfism) or growth hormone dysfunction.

Unfortunately, due to course restrictions and safety concerns related to the trails of the VT100, this does not include:

  • *Athletes in wheelchairs and duo teams in hand cycles, push-rim cycles, or racing wheelchairs.

*All AWDs must be fully ambulatory, the use of any mechanical device will not be allowed.


Rules for AWDs and Guides

AWDs and their guide(s) will follow the same rules as all participants:

Start times, Course, and Time Limits

  • AWDs will start with the rest of the athletes for their race (4:00am. for 100 mile, 9:00am for 100km).
  • AWDs will run the same course as the rest of the athletes.
  • The course time limit is the same for AWDs as for all participants for their race (20 hours for 100km, 30 hours for 100 mile).

Guide Rules

  • Guides are expected to follow the same rules as all other pacers.
  • AWDs may be accompanied by one guide at a time to complete the VT 100. Accommodations may be made if an AWD requires more than one guide at a time.
  • Guide exchanges will take place at crew-accessible aid stations. Accommodations may be made for exchanges at other manned aid stations upon request.
  • Athletes are responsible for bringing their own guides to the race.
  • Guides are not official entrants in the VT100 and are not timed, scored, or listed in the official results. If a guide wants to be officially timed, scored and listed in results, they need to register as a VT100 participant including paying entry fees and qualifying for the event.
  • Guides participate free of charge, but must sign a waiver prior to participation.
  • Athlete and guide are regarded as a team and must be together at all times along the course.
  • Guides must wear a GUIDE bib on the front and back of their outermost layer, kept visible at all times.
  • Guides may not use a bicycle or other mechanical means of transport.
  • Guides cannot pull the athlete, or propel the athlete forward by pushing.
  • Guides cannot mule for the athlete, or run ahead to aid stations to fill water bottles or otherwise unfairly advantage their athlete.
  • Guides must adhere to the same standards as Pacers (see Runner Handbook for full rules)
  • Guide may have a drop bag, separate from their athletes drop bag, at aid stations that allow drop bags.
  • Guides are encouraged to attend the pre-race briefing on Friday at 4:15pm, however it is ultimately the AWD’s responsibility to attend the meeting and inform their crew and guides of all race rules/regulations.

Guide Responsibilities

  • Assure that drop bags (the guide’s’ and AWD’s) are placed in the correct corral in the staging area, immediately following the race briefing.
  • Work with AWDs to ensure safety of the AWD. This includes communication between the AWD and guide to stay out of the way (typically running on the side of the trail/road) when being approached from behind by horses, faster runners, or officials on the course in order to avoid collisions.

Looking Forward to a Tremendous Race

Thank you for taking the time to read this post and VT100 - AWDget familiar with our new AWD division. At the end of the day, it is our hope that in disallowing extra time to complete the race (as well as other accommodations), we’re providing an opportunity for all abilities to compete on equal ground.

We’re open to feedback and improvements, and encourage other Race Committees to accept this challenge as well.

See you at the start line!

-The VT100 Race Committee

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Interviewing the VT100’s Camp Ten Bear Aid Station Captains

Interviewing the VT100’s Camp Ten Bear Aid Station Captains

A 4-Question Interview with the Camp Ten Bear Aid Station Captains

In this post, we chat with Carolyn Shreck and Josh Katzman. Carolyn and Josh of the TARC running club captain the Camp Ten Bear aid station, which plays a crucial role in supporting runners at both miles 47 and 70. This spot is known for being nearly half way to the finish and for where you can finally pick up your pacer.

Let’s see what they had to say!


Q. What are you responsible for at Ten Bear? How long have you been volunteering there? How did you get involved?

Carolyn Shreck: I’ve toed the start line three times at VT100. Ten Bear was, hands down, the most memorable aid station for me as a runner, so when I decided to volunteer I knew Ten Bear was where I wanted to be. In 2016, I shadowed Mike Silverman, Mark Kruger, and Josh doing anything that was needed. This year Mike, Surjeet Paintal &  I will be there with a team of awesome Trail Animals Running Club (TARC) volunteers to help runners accomplish their amazing goals.

Josh Katzman: I’d say that my role is mostly behind the scenes. I try to beat the drum to get as many people as we can to show up to make sure Ten Bear runs as smoothly as possible. Because it is used twice during the race, we’ve got nearly 24 hours we’ve got to cover!  I’ve been helping out in that capacity since 2015, but I have only been able to help out on site in 2016 because my family is usually on vacation during the VT100.  I’ve spent time at the aid station as a runner and crew though, and it really is the most energetic place in the race (except maybe the start and finish!).  In terms of getting involved, I blame Mark. It’s all his fault.


Q. Since runners pass through twice and it’s a crew access point, Ten Bear can be a pretty hectic aid station. How do you successfully keep the chaos in check? Is there a secret sauce to running a well organized aid station?

Carolyn: Runners, volunteers, and especially Crews all reported that the 2016 setup at Ten Bear was the most efficient ever. Mike Silverman and Mark Kruger reorganized traffic flow to a ‘one way’ and got permission from a landowner to use a nearby field for crew parking. These changes drastically cut down congestion and chaos. Some crews were initially a little resistant to not being able to drive through the aid station and park where they had in the past, but later agreed the new system worked well.

Josh: The absolute key is having people like Mike, Mark and Carolyn who have been running these events and aid stations at other events for a long time. Just like a race, you have to be unflappable. If issues come up, like parking, you just need to figure out a way to troubleshoot. Mike’s big win last year was talking to the farmer at the end of the road so that we could park cars in his hay field. That made a huge difference because parking is always so tight there. It’s also important to remember that this should all be fun. Because of the incredible team of people and the tons of experience they bring on both sides of the race, things definitely go well!


Q. What Camp Ten Bear aid station specific advice would you give to first time runners?

Carolyn: Runners have access to Drop Bags and Crews at Ten Bear. There is a lot of activity (and friends!) there that could add up to many minutes of wasted time if runners aren’t careful. I encourage runners to have a solid mental checklist as they come into Ten Bear of what they want to accomplish so they can efficiently get in and out without wasting time or forgetting anything. When I’m running into an Aid Station, I repeat the list in my head in the order I’m going to do things: “garbage” (dump empty wrappers), “water” (hand bottles to volunteer), “feet” (change socks, shoes and treat blisters), and, “restock” (grab what I need from my drop bag). After they have called out their bib number, I encourage runners to just shout out their needs  as they are running into Ten Bear, so volunteers can help them efficiently. Something like, “I have a drop bag, number 374,” or, “can someone please fill these with Tailwind,” or, “I need to see medical”. We want to help, please tell us what we can do to help make your race successful! And always, always, always thank the volunteers!

Josh: When you leave Ten Bear the first time, you’ve got a pretty tough road climb to get out of the aid station. Just remember, even though you will soon pass the halfway point after the first visit, you are going to need your quads for those last 30 miles. I think I went too hard between miles 50-70 and it forced me to drop at mile 92!  These miles will catch up to you if you aren’t mindful of the downhills, especially. When you leave Ten Bear the second time, you’ve got a pretty long trail uphill once you cross the street. Try to jog the flat out of the aid station, and know that in 4-6 minutes you’ll have a hill you can hike/recover on if you need.

In terms of getting through the aid station, I think you should look for ways to cool yourself down. In 2016, we had buckets of ice water that we sponged people off with. Get some of that on your neck/head! You have access to a lot of water and Tailwind on the course. You won’t have access to ice or sponge baths as much.

We’ve also got port-a-potties. Use them if you need! Drop bags will be on your left when you come in. There are a lot, so make sure your name and bib number are all on your bag really clearly and large. If you have a crew, tell them to pick up your drop bag before you arrive. If you are solo, write “SOLO” on your drop bag, just so we will know you’re on your own!  And it’s tempting, because Ten Bear has so much energy, but tell yourself that (aside from any acute issue that needs to be addressed), you will spend no more than 3 or 4 minutes when you visit.  If you know you get stressed out by a lot of movement/people moving around, plan on spending even less time at Ten Bear.

As for Medical advice, I dropped at mile 92, so I’m probably not the best person to ask. In those last 30 miles, any difficulty or challenge gets compounded exponentially. You’ve got to be honest with yourself about your status, otherwise you won’t be able to change anything.  And this year’s crew at Ten Bear is, probably, the most experienced and knowledgeable that we’ve had there, so use them if you have any questions or problems. And address chaffing/blister issues. We’ve got a full medical staff at Ten Bear. They’re awesome.

Mostly though, DON’T FORGET WHERE YOU GOING! If it’s your first time through, you LEAVE UP THE HILL!  If it’s your second time through, follow the direction of all the parked cars – you’ll leave the same way they do!  


Q. What aid station specific advice would you give to first time volunteers? What makes a good aid station volunteer?

Carolyn: Anyone can volunteer! You totally don’t have to be a runner, know anything about running, or have ever volunteered at anything ever before. You will be parking and checking in at the volunteer desk at the start/finish area and then be transported by shuttle to Ten Bear. When you arrive please find me, Mike, or Surjeet to check in so we can assign you to a location like parking, food prep, traffic control, or water. Once you’re at your station shadow a veteran volunteer to see what they are doing and especially how they approach and talk to runners. Bring a small bag of personal items you may need for the hours you will be there, sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, jacket, special foods, etc. Home baked goods are always the biggest hit at an aid station, so if you want to bring cookies, rice krispie treats, other baked good please do! Runners might even hug you for it, I know I have! Do not bring valuables you might have to leave unattended, make sure everything like cellphone and wallets can stay on you at all times! And lastly, as much as we all love them, please do not bring pets of any kind.

Josh: If you’re helping out for the first time, there are definitely some things you can do to help yourself out:

  • Water: Bring a lot of water and don’t forget to drink it!  It will get hot/humid and you will be exhausted.  
  • Food: Bring some of your own food. Yes, enjoying the fruits of an aid station is wonderful, but one does start to feel a bit “blah” after many hours of potato chips, M&M’s, and grilled cheese.
  • Sun Protection: If you use it, sunscreen would be huge.  As would a hat.
  • Comfortable shoes: You’ll be on your feet most of the time, so I find I actually prefer to have my running shoes on (and you never know when you may need to jog up the hill with a runner!), and always bring at least two pairs in case one gets wet during the day.
  • Don’t be concerned about: “not knowing what to do.” Most runners simply need someone to speak to, to vocalize their concerns/worries. Tell them they’re looking good, and that you are impressed by what they are doing/have done. If you want some specific troubleshooting knowledge, talk to the experienced volunteers before runners start arriving. They can definitely give you some ideas that you can start helping runners troubleshoot with if you want.  But if in doubt, get one of those “vets” or the medical team to help you with a runner.
  • And never forget: the best volunteers are those that make every single runner feel like he or she is the most important person in the world.  If you can help people feel like a rockstar, whether he/she is in first or last, that is the sort of positive emotion that will get them to the finish line.  If you can make each runner you see on the day feel this way, well, you will be the rockstar!

Finally, and totally selfishly, those volunteers that bring some awesome food to share with the other volunteers?  Yeah, they’re always super popular!


Now that you’ve heard from the captains 

Are you interested in volunteering to help out at the VT100? Check out our post that covers all you need to know about volunteering, including links to sign up.


*Note About Interviewing

*The VT100 is proud of all of the participants of our events, from the racers to volunteers to land owners who grant us access to their beautiful property to enjoy the weekend. So, we like to take time to feature some of these people and get an inside look at their perspective on the race and how they help make it thrive. If you know anyone who would make a good interviewee, please contact us in the form below and we’ll see what we can do! 

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5 Questions with Kyle Robidoux – A 2017 AWD Participant

5 Questions with Kyle Robidoux – A 2017 AWD Participant

The 2017 Vermont 100 will be the first ultra ever to formally recognize Athletes With Disabilities with an awards division for ultra runners with visual or mobility impairments, and we’re so proud to bring you this interview with Kyle Robidoux in anticipation.

Kyle Robidoux: A 5-question interview on being part of the 2017 VT100 as an AWD


Kyle’s Story

Kyle Robidoux - at Pineland Farms 50-miler
Kyle at the 2017 Pineland Farms 50-miler, alongside his guides, Nat, Nicole, and Amy.

Kyle Robidoux is an ultra runner from Boston who will be among the historic inaugural cohort at this year’s 2017 VT100 recognizing athletes with disabilities.

Kyle has completed many marathons, including completing the Boston Marathon twice in one day by running out to the starting line, and then running back to the finish! He’s also run the Vermont 50 at Mount Ascutney, Ghost Train Ultra in New Hampshire, and Pineland Trails Ultra in Maine.

Born with retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye condition that gradually limits an individual’s field of vision, Kyle is a Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports participant and will be competing in the VT100’s new visually impaired awards division. This will be his first 100 mile race.

When Kyle is not running, you can find him hanging out with his wife and 9 year old daughter, Lucy, enjoying an interesting micro-brew, and advocating for inclusion as the Director of Volunteer Services at the Massachusetts Association for the Blind.


The Interview

Q. How has your training been so far? How do you train for trails while living in the city?

Kyle: My training has been on-point and I am hitting all of my weekly mileage goals.  Living in the city definitely makes it a challenge to run trails and hills. I spend a lot of time doing multiple hill repeats on the steepest hills in Boston. Thankfully, I have some great friends and sighted guides who also drive/run with me to nearby trails such as The Fells and Blue Hills.


Q. We’re about four weeks away from race day. What does your training block look like for the next four weeks?

Kyle: The last three weeks of my plan will be my largest training block to date. Each week will set a new weekly high for mileage which is exciting and keeping me motivated. I am focusing on back-to back-to back runs Fridays-Sundays to train my body and mind to run on tired legs. I am very thankful for my family’s patience with my training.


Q. What are your race goals and what is your race day strategy?

Kyle: My A+ stretch goal is just under 24-hours. This hopefully will keep me motivated to keep moving forward. My B goal is 26 hours and C is to finish. My strategy is to keep an even effort for the first half while knowing that the terrain is more challenging the last 30 miles. For trail running, terrain often dictates my pace/ability to run/walk (except for hills), so I will be smart and take what the trails give me. Quote from a VT finisher from last year: “Don’t run like an idiot the first 50, and don’t run like a wimp the second 50” will be my mantra.


Q. Who will be guiding you?

Kyle: I am incredibly grateful to have six runners who are sharing their sight as guides and some of whom are driving up from Pennsylvania and New Jersey. I’m honored to have Amy Rusiecki guiding me for the first 15 miles and whose leadership, along with the race committee, made the Athletes With Disabilities division possible. A few of the guides I train with on a regular basis, a few I will meet the weekend of including my Team Nathan teammate Maggie Guterl.


Q. Do you have any advice for race directors on including an Athletes With Disabilities Awards Division at their ultra?

Kyle: Much like other divisions, runners take great pride in being able to participate in a division of their peers. The same holds true for runners with different abilities. I encourage Race Directors to reach out to local athletes and organizations that support athletes with disabilities to begin a conversation on how they can make their race inclusive and open to all runners.


A little Extra


*Note About Interviewing

*The VT100 is proud of all of the participants of our events, from the racers to volunteers to land owners who grant us access to their beautiful property to enjoy the weekend. So, we like to take time to feature some of these people and get an inside look at their perspective on the race and how they help make it thrive. If you know anyone who would make a good interviewee, please contact us in the form below and we’ll see what we can do! 

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The 4 Best VT100 Spectator Spots

The 4 Best VT100 Spectator Spots

Want to cheer on the runners, but didn’t get asked to crew one? We’ll you’re in luck. Here are the best VT100 spectator spots. 


But First – The Rules

Please note:

  • Spectators Only! We mean it, these suggestions are only for spectators only – NOT crews or pacers, or aid of any kind.
  • Seriously! If any registered crew vehicles are found using these spaces, Race Officials will assume that you are offering illegal aid to your runner and we will disqualify them.

Now where were we? Oh ya – The spots!

Sorry, we have to get the rules out of the way first in order to keep this special weekend as smooth as ever. Now back to the good stuff, spectators.

Here is your list of amazing spots to watch the VT100 race. And as with every spot we enjoy, please be considerate and friendly to the employees and customers of the local businesses you’ll be near. Better yet; buy something!


Spectator Spot #1: Taftsville Country Store, Taftsville

In Taftsville, on Route 4, where our course crosses the Taftsville Bridge, there is a little space for parking on the lower road between Route 4 and the bridge. Runners will be passing through this area around 5:30am-8:30am.


Spectator Spot #2: Cloudland Farms, Pomfret

Heading out of Woodstock on Rte 12, take a right onto Old River Road, follow to the end of the pavement and take a left on Cloudland Road. Go about 3.5 miles to Cloudland Farm on the right. Turn right at the sign and park in the riding arena directly ahead. You can set up lawn chairs on the grass right by the sign to look over the road where the runners will be. Runners will be passing through this area around 6:30am-10:30am.


Spectator Spot #3: True Value Hardware, Woodstock

In Woodstock, on Route 4 across from Cabot Rd, just before the Lincoln covered bridge. There is parking at the town garage and at the True Value Hardware store. Runners will be passing through this area around 9:00am-3:45pm.

*Note – this is a non-crewed aid station this year.  Volunteers will direct you where to go.  Be sure to stay clear of the aid station!


Spectator Spot #4: Route 106 at Noah Wood Roads

In Woodstock, on Route 106, at the corner Noah Wood Rd, there will be an aid station.  You may drive past the aid station on Noah Wood Road and cheer your runner down the hill. Runners will be passing through this area around 9:30am-6:00pm.

*Note – this is a non-crewed aid station this year.  Volunteers will direct you where to go.  Be sure to stay clear of the aid station!


One More Time With Feeling!

Again, please remember:

  • No crewing is allowed at these spectator locations.
  • Do not park on lawns or in driveways.
  • Follow all posted speed limits.
  • Absolutely do not litter.
  • Be considerate and friendly.

The future of the VT100 depends on the towns and properties we pass through. So be good and have fun out there! 

-VT100 Race Committee

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Zeke’s Tips for a Great VT100

Zeke’s Tips for a Great VT100

If you’re normal, you’re beginning to get a little nervous, you’re wondering what you should be doing from now until VT100 race day, and you’re afraid that you haven’t done enough training.

What I’m about to impart is basically aimed at first-timers, though seasoned veterans may catch a new point or two, and a refresher can’t do any harm.

DROP BAGS

Make your drop bags ahead of time and don’t cram them full of everything you own. A small backpack or gear bag about 9” by 9” by 16” is sufficient. The bottom line is to keep it simple, with the basic items you might need during the race, so that you can find them quickly.VT100 Drop Bag Example

  • extra shirt
  • extra shoes, maybe a pair at about 30 miles, and another at 40 to 50, just in case
  • Gels, electrolyte supplements,
  • change of shirt
  • light jacket or long-sleeved top for the cooler nighttime running
  • some band-aids,
  • Tums or other antacid
  • changes of socks
  • Head lamp and small handheld LED flashlight, with extra batteries and at least one other headlamp at a later night station.  PUT NEW BATTERIES IN ALL OF THEM.

AID STATIONS

Study the aid station mileage chart and figure out approximately when you’ll be visiting them. For example, if I’m anticipating completing the 100 in 28 hours, that’s 28 x 60 min./hr. divided by 100 miles = 16.8 min. per VT100 Windy Roadmile. For the Pretty House aid station at mile 21.1, multiply 16.8 min. x 21.1 mi. = 354 min. divided by 60 min./hr. = 5.91 hrs. or 5:54. Since the race starts at 4:00 a.m., you’ll get to Pretty House at about 9:54 a.m. You can do the same for any aid station, and I suggest especially for those you’ll be reaching in the evening, in order to figure where to place your night gear so that you have it at least a half hour before the sun sets at 8:25pm. When I have a crew, I make a table of expected arrival time at aid stations where they’ll be meeting me, based on a range of finish times. I might choose 26 hrs., 28 hrs. & 30 hrs. I’d do the first one for Pretty House, since that’s the first place that my crew can meet me. If I arrive at 9:45, we can all see that I’m just a bit ahead of a 28 hour finish pace, so they should plan on meeting me at Stage Road, the next Handler Station, about 20 minutes earlier than what the sheet says for 28 hour pace. As the day goes on, you and they can develop a good feel for what kind of pace you’re maintaining.

CAPS

I don’t know about you, but I prefer to wear a light breathable cap to keep the sun out of my eyes, and also to soak with cold water, and even ice cubes if it’s hot. If not a cap, then sunglasses, but you’ll just have to soak your bare head. For me, glasses just fog up, so I don’t wear them.

HYDRATING

Plan on drinking regularly, by carrying water or a favorite energy drink in a backpack style carrier or in a water bottle in a belt unit. If you don’t carry any liquid you’re not going to be able to keep hydrating the entire time, and in a couple of instances you’ll be going without liquid for 5 miles, which is way too long to be without it, even if the weather happens to be cool. I’m trusting that you carried liquid during your training runs, so that you’re used to drinking on the fly. On the flipside, don’t over hydrate, because if you drink just plain water, and too much of it, you’ll flush most of the sodium out of your system.

RUNNING VS. WALKING

Run until that gets to be too hard, then walk until that gets to be too easy. As silly as this sounds, there’s wisdom to this method. Previously I talked about the hills. Many of them go up, and just as many go down. Plan on walking anything more than a gentle uphill, and plan on running anything that goes down. Early on modest uphills may seem like a piece of cake, but a dozen hours into the race, they’ll seem to be steeper and more difficult. Walk the uphills, but do it with meaning. It’s not just a slow Sunday stroll, but you’re attending to business. Just before you get to the top of the hill, switch into an easy jog, and then start running just after you get over the top. 5K, 10K, Half & Marathon runners consider that walking in a race amounts to failure. In a 100 it’s smart business, and the best way to prevent failure.

BONKING

In the process of walking, jogging and running 100 miles you are going to be on an energy roller coaster. That’s to say that at some points you can expect to feel really tired and down. When these lows happen, and I predict that they will, don’t get discouraged, but slow down, relax and you’ll work your way through them. Sometimes all it requires is some more hydration or ingesting an energy gel, blok or drink, and a brief break from running. Keep in mind that walking is quite OK, and a person moving at a brisk walking pace the entire way can probably finish a 100 in less than 30 hours.  On the flip side of the coin, there can, and most likely will, be times when you feel quite good and experience highs. These are great, but don’t get greedy. Savor these ‘gifts’, and don’t shift into a fast high gear. Keep moving along at a slightly faster pace and enjoy the feeling of well being.

TREAT YOUR CREW/PACER RIGHT

If you have a support person or crew, please keep in mind that he/she/they are giving up the better part of a day just to assist you in this somewhat unusual effort. As such, remember to treat them very well, because they are providing very valuable assistance. Unfortunately I’ve observed 100 mile runners yelling at, or otherwise mistreating those who are supporting them. When I’ve been in the midst of a low, I can get to be irritable, but I’ve NEVER taken it out on my crew. I’m basically mad at the world, or something that’s not going well, but I value my crew far too much to abuse them. Keep in mind too, that it’s accepted practice to reward any members of your ‘supporting cast’ with a gift, either just before or sometime after the run. If they’re coming from a longer distance, you should consider paying for their gas or their airfare.

HEAT

It can, and may, get hot during the day Saturday. I’d say on average that it gets at least up into the 70’s or low 80’s, and sometimes into the 90’s. In 1999, the year BEFORE I first ran Vermont, it was 97 on Saturday and 98 on Sunday. Those ended up being the two hottest days of that year. Just rotten luck for the runners. You should start checking the forecast for Windsor Vermont the week prior (see our blog side bar too!), keeping in mind that anything more than 4 days before shouldn’t be considered gospel. You will, however, be able to see trends, and should pay special attention if it looks like it’s going to be hot. If so, you need to modify your intended pace and estimated finishing time. It’s one thing to bull your way through a 5K on a hot day, but that just won’t work for a 100. One way I’ve found to keep cool is to wear a neckerchief, and keep soaking it with cold water at each aid station. If you have a crew, make certain that they’re carrying a cooler with ice. I put a wet washcloth in a Ziploc bag, and have them keep it in the cooler right down in the ice cubes. When you’re hot and sweaty, washing you head and neck with that cloth provides glorious relief.

RUNNING WITH THE HORSES

Before my first time of doing so, I was afraid that they were going to spoil my race. In the contrary, they VT100 Horsesprovided some distraction and made the event that much more special.Will they run over you? The answer is no. On the contrary, they want to slow down to your pace, though their riders may not like it.Horses love people and really ‘respect’ humans who run. (In most instances their owners don’t run) On running with horses, there’s one simple word to keep in mind: Communicate. When a horse can’t see you (i.e. you coming up from behind or at night), it doesn’t know you’re a person until you say something. Then, the steed immediately calms down. This is doubly important after dark, when the horse senses your presence well before the rider does. Regardless of the time of day, start chatting with the rider as soon as you’re within voice range. You’ll find that the riders are most friendly, and basically in awe of you because you’re doing 100 miles ON FOOT! If they want to pass you on the road, they’ll say so. If you want to pass them, usually on a trail section where they’re moving slowly and carefully, converse with the rider and ask if you can pass. They’ll tell you when you can do so

LIGHTING THE TRAIL 

I suggest that you plan on carrying a small, disposable flashlight for the first hour, which will be in the dark, VT100 Light!and includes some trail miles. It’s a small price to pay to ensure that you don’t trip early and mess up the whole race. Trying to ‘parasite’ off of others’ lights is inviting trouble. If you wear a headlamp, and plan on keeping it, keep in mind that the first place you can stash it isn’t until Pretty House at 21.1 miles.

THE WEEK BEFORE

You’re not going to get any better or stronger, so concentrate on just staying loose and resting up. You can do some easy miles, but don’t plan on anything aggressive. Just as with the Marathon, you’ll find your energy stores improving in the days prior, and you must be careful not to go cleaning the attic or piling cords of wood. Do some regular stretching, and enjoy resting because you, and your body, have earned it.

THE DAY BEFORE

Friday is check-in day, so you’ll most likely be spending some time at the Silver Hill Start & Finish area.

  • bib pickup
  • mandatory pre-race ‘physical’ ( heart rate, blood pressure & weigh-in)
  • pre-race briefing (bring a lawn chair to sit in),
  • great pre-race pasta meal right there under the big-top tent,
  • time to enjoy meeting other first-timers and veterans.

Of course, you may want to stick with your own meal, and not want to socialize, which is totally up to you. Personally, I feel that the camaraderie is one of the most important special features of a 100, and an opportunity to meet wonderful people who generally don’t take themselves too seriously.

THE NIGHT BEFORE

Lay out your running attire and peripherals now, so that you’re not trying to make decisions in the morning. VT100 Silver Hill CampingPin your bib on now, because that’s one of the most nerve-racking tasks if you wait until the morning just before you run. I suggest on your shorts, rather than your shirt, because you’re less likely to be changing shorts, and may be wearing a second layer on top when and if it gets cool. You may not sleep well, or much at all or for many hours (The 4:00 a.m. start means getting up rather early), but do your best to relax and remember that it’s the rest you got on Wednesday and Thursday nights that’s much more important. Even if you hardly sleep (that happened to me one time), just relax and know that your body is getting rest from the fact that you’re reclining.

THE MORNING BEFORE

Do get up early enough so that you’re not rushed in your preparations. There’s the basic shower and other bathroom stuff, of course. Treat your feet as you’re accustomed. Use Body Glide, or such on the rubbing locations, and take at least one electrolyte caplet if you use them. Make certain that you have your water topped off, and are carrying your gels or Bloks, etc..

I envy you if this is your first 100, because it’s a very special ‘first’, and mine was one of my most memorable experiences.

Have a Great Run!

Zeke

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Amazing Interview with 2017 AWD Participant Jason Romero

Amazing Interview with 2017 AWD Participant Jason Romero

As the first ultra ever to formally recognize Athletes With Disabilities in their own division, the 2017 VT100 race crew is proud to bring you this interview with upcoming AWD participant Jason Romero.

Jason Romero: His Story and the 9-question interview


Jason’s Story

Jason Romero is ultra runner from Denver who plans to toe the line in what is sure to be a historic 2017 VT100, marking a truly special moment for ultra running as a sport and athletes with disabilities everywhere.

In middle school, Jason was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, an incurable degenerative retinal disease.  The condition is characterized by night-blindness, decreased visual acuity and a consistent loss of peripheral vision.

Jason Comes to VT100 in Incredible Shape with Incredible Experience  

Jason Romero at Leadville 100
Jason at Leadville

In 2016, Jason ran across America in 59.5 days, averaging 51.5 miles per day. He is a member of the U.S. Paralympic Team, where he placed 4th in the world at the marathon in 2015. He has completed 12 runs of 100 miles or longer, including Badwater and Leadville, and a finished a solo Rim2Rim2Rim crossing of the Grand Canyon.

So, needless to say – Jason is a badass! But he’s not just in it for himself. He gives back so much to people and community, too.

When Jason is not running, he can be found volunteering at schools, service organizations, churches and youth detention centers speaking about overcoming adversity. He works as a motivational speaker specializing on business topics like teamwork, leadership, risk taking and change.

Jason is also a single father of three – Sierra, Sage and Sophia – and serves on the board of two nonprofits that help the homeless and provide mental health services.


The Interview

Q. How has your training been so far?

Training has been going well.  I’ve had a good base building spring with a couple marathons and a longer 81 mile race at Badwater Salton Sea that went well.  Since then I’ve been working on forcing my body to handle multiple 20+ mile sessions in a week.  No major injuries to speak of, so I’d say things are going well.  I’ve purposely not incorporated speed work, as all of this training and racing is leading to one race that happens at the end of September.  And that race requires Long Slow Distance (LSD) training, in my opinion.


Q. How do you train for trails while living in the city of Denver?  

When I stopped driving, I changed from being a trail runner to a predominantly road runner.  I had to get creative to simulate climbing and building leg strength.  I had heard that Marshall Ulrich trained for his run across America by dragging a tire.  So, I made a “tire drag(video content), and that’s how I build hip strength and simulate hills.  I also have a hill at a park close to my house where I will do hill repeats of an hour, and sometimes 2, if I’m feeling crazy.  I have a lot of experience running technical trails when I used to race trails like the Leadville 100 Trail Race.  I also trained on Pikes Peak and ran the Barr Trail to the top and back too many times to count.  I’m confident on my experience with foot placement and understanding how to handle scree fields, ankle biter rocks, rooted sections and culverts that drainage flow creates in trails.  That said, I expect to fall and be bloodied every time I run a trail. That’s just how it goes when you don’t see well. I’ve found that if I hold back, I get hurt worse than if I just let ‘er rip and run as hard and fast as my body will allow (regardless of what my eyes can see).


Q. Is Vermont a training run for something larger, or a recovery run from Bad Water?

Vermont is a training run in this year’s racing schedule.  As mentioned above, my A race is in September – Spartathlon.  For me, every step this year will lead to the foot of the statue of King Leonidas, the finish of the Spartathlon.  I have attempted the race for the past two years and timed out at mile 100 and 120.  This year, I hope to make it to the end – mile 153 in under 36 hours.

I’ll be pacing at Badwater the weekend before Vermont.  I’m helping the guy who is going to guide me for Spartathlon.  I expect to run 40-50 miles at Badwater, but I’m taking the night shift when it’s not so hot (100 degrees or so).


Q. We’re about four weeks away from race day. What does your training block look like for the next four weeks?  

This coming weekend I’ll run the Bryce 50 which should have similar terrain as Vermont and has a decent amount of elevation gain.  After that, I’ll be putting in a marathon every weekend, and running every day.  Usually, the week before a 100 mile race I stop running cold turkey.  No shakeout run or anything. I’m so old I like to save every step and ounce of energy for race day.


Q. What’s your A goal for Vermont?  

Finish with a smile


Q. Do you have a B and C goal?  

Finish without a smile


Q. What is your race day strategy?  

Stay relaxed and feel fresh at mile 70.  If I’m doing good at that point, I’ll fire the jets and race to the end.


Q. Do you have any advice for race directors on including an Athletes With Disabilities Awards Division at their ultra?  

This has been a dream of mine for a long time.  I have ran ultras for a long time, and I was “in the closet” as a blind person.  Only in the last few years have I come out of the closet.  It has long been a dream of mine to see the USATF and the IAU recognize records for athletes with disabilities in ultra-running events.  

Amy and VT100’s leadership in this area can go a long way toward making this a reality.  Records are made to be broken, and it will pull more people from their couches and isolation to running which combats depressive chemicals and builds community.  Life is better with running.  Challenged athletes will see that they are welcome at ultras, and believe it is normal for them to participate in the events.  The Boston Marathon was a pioneer in creating an AWD division for marathoning.  Now, there are multiple marathons, halves and shorter distance races that recognize the division.  And, I believe, as a result of these divisions we have more challenged athletes participating in these races.  I think it’s huge and inspiring for able bodied athletes to race alongside challenged athletes.  I think it’s also more eye opening for able bodied athletes to be beaten by challenged athletes (I hope to open some eyes at Vermont this year).


A little Extra


*Note About Interviewing

*The VT100 is proud of all of the participants of our events, from the racers to volunteers to land owners who grant us access to their beautiful property to enjoy the weekend. So, we like to take time to feature some of these people and get an inside look at their perspective on the race and how they help make it thrive. If you know anyone who would make a good interviewee, please contact us in the form below and we’ll see what we can do! 

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Know your VT100 aid stations

Know your VT100 aid stations

The BEST aid station competition can get hot and heavy at the VT100. Here are some highlights on who’s manning the spots.

Remember, these volunteers pour their all into this long day and at the end of the race we’re going to ask you who you thought was the absolute best. So, study up!

Pretty House (mile 21.3) – The Shenipsit Striders 

The Shenipsit Striders are a running club in northern central CT that enjoys being on the trails – whether trail running, snowshoe running, or orienteering. The Striders put on classic New England trail races such as the Nipmuck Marathon and Soapstone Trail Race. They have at least one runner competing, but as always, will be a great presence at the race with crewing and pacing duties. This club likes to have fun, and there is no doubt they will have a great theme and run an efficient aid station.

Stage Road (mile 30.3)

 

Route 12 (Mile 33.3) – The Western Mass Distance Project 

The Western Mass Distance Project is primarily a competitive road running club, based in Western MA, but has runners competing in trail running, mountain running, and snowshoe running. WMDP annually hosts a cross country race that is part of the USATF-NE series. The folks working the aid station will be crewing and pacing for their one runner after the aid station closes. We are sure they will have a great theme – these are the girls who ran around in ‘Team Amy’ shirts with pink feathers in their hair last year. The only thing they like better than running fast is having some fun (typically with a beverage in hand!)

Camp 10 Bear (47 & 69.4) – TARC

 

Lincoln Covered Bridge (mile 38.2) – Trail Monster Running

Trail Monster Running is a trail running group in southern Maine who are passionate about the trails and love to get dirty – whether trail running, snowshoe running, or competing in the National Wife Carrying Competition. They host numerous races, including the Pineland Farms Trail Running Festival (which is one of the best parties in New England!). They may only have a few runners competing in the 100 miler, but they will certainly bring a large and enthusiastic group to VT100. Their finish line party at the Pineland Farms races is legendary, they also have fun with some cowboy themed aid stations at that race – we anticipate they will have a great time and do a great theme at our race.

Birmingham’s Aid Station (mile 53.9) – Gil’s Athletic Club

Gil’s Athletic Club is a running club based on Topsham, MA, and beyond running, they have known to bike, swim, and drink plenty of beer. GAC puts on the popular Stone Cat races and a 6 Hour Trail race. As always, GAC will be at VT100 in huge numbers, to support the 6 GAC runners competing in the 100 miler. The Stone Cat races are named after a local beer (or maybe vice versa) – they are known to have the actual Stone Cat (someone in costume), as well as Stone Cat ale (and often other alcoholic options) at their races.

Margaritaville (Mile 58.5) – The Frozen Fins

The Frozen Fins from the Vermont Chapter of Parrotheads in Paradise, a Jimmy Buffett fan club, will be returning to run Margaritaville. This group has volunteered at an aid station since the beginning of the race! We hear they may have a Steel Pan group performing during some of the race. These guys have been voted BEST Aid Station a number of times and hope to repeat again this year. This is the aid station that set the bar for decorations, music, style & attitude!

Spirit of ’76 (Mile 76.2) – Zeke & the RWB Crew

Zeke and his red, white, and blue crew will be stepping up to bring you the best of Americana aid station food, drinks, and snack.

Bill’s (mile 88.3) –

 

Polly’s (mile 94.9) –  

Rob Mather will be organizing the folks from the Red Cross again to make you all feel welcome at Polly’s.

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