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2021 Vermont 100 Cancellation Notice

2021 Vermont 100 – Cancellation Notice

2021 Vermont 100 – Cancellation Notice

From the Race Director – Updated 4/28/21

It’s with a heavy heart that the Vermont 100 Endurance Race committee voted last week to officially cancel the 2021 Vermont 100 due to COVID-19. This was an emotional decision and not one that was taken lightly or decided easily.

The race committee considered the health and safety of all runners, riders, volunteers, community members, and vendors at the forefront of the discussion.  We did look at many alternatives, including the route, timing of events, and alteration of the services provided, to consider if there was a feasible alternative.  However, we jointly were not able to find a way to provide anything close to the true Vermont 100 experience and felt like continuing with a stripped-down, much smaller, and incredibly altered version of the event was not the experience that we wanted for the participants, volunteers, or community members.  As said before, this was not an easy decision and ultimately was extremely emotional for all.

We truly look forward to 2022, when we are committed to providing the magical celebration and amazing atmosphere that is Vermont 100 and hope to see each of you there!

We acknowledge that the current situation is very fluid, making day-to-day and month-to-month planning difficult for everyone. We felt it was important to share this information with everyone involved as quickly as possible so you each can adjust plans accordingly.  We are now working on many of the unknowns (and questions) that you will have, and ask for your patience and understanding as we shift our focus to that.

Details we can share right now

  • 2021 Start List
    We plan to roll the 2020 start list over into the 2022 Vermont 100. If you do not want to remain on the start list for next year’s event, you can request removal from the start list using this form (https://forms.gle/8wrAVeigTRtRKWwU7).
  • 2021 Waitlist
    We plan to roll the 2020 waitlist over into the 2021 Vermont 100. We WILL NOT pull anyone off the waitlist and into the event until a later date (likely next fall/winter). If you do not want to remain on the waitlist for next year’s event, you can request removal from the waitlist using this form (https://forms.gle/8wrAVeigTRtRKWwU7)
  • Race Qualifiers / Volunteer Requirements
    We have not made any decisions regarding any adjustments to the volunteer and qualifier requirements for next year’s race (given this year’s race cancellation). We will communicate when we know more.
  • 2022 Race Date
    TBD

Further details coming soon

As we find time in the coming weeks to work out the finer details regarding this cancellation, we will release more information. We appreciate your patience, understanding, and support through these uncertain times.

Virtual Run (#myVT100)

There are a few options for anyone who wishes to still celebrate VT100, support Vermont Adaptive, or both!

  • For folks who want to celebrate VT100 in their own way: We will be again challenging folks to choose their own adventure regarding how they celebrate what is meaningful for them, and share their story, photos, inspiration via #myVT100.  (This will run for the entire month of July.)
  • For folks who want to celebrate VT100 while also supporting Vermont Adaptive: Again, folks who participate in #myVT100 and fundraise for Vermont Adaptive will be awarded some VT100 goodies. More details on this will be coming soon.
  • For folks who simply want to fundraise for Vermont Adaptive: You’re encouraged to check out the Vermont Adaptive Charity Challenge. More information is available here (charityride.vermontadaptive.org).

The impact on Vermont Adaptive & Local Businesses

I want to take a moment to acknowledge that while I’m bummed to not see you all this summer, the race cancellation will also have a significant impact on others – notably, Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, as well as the area businesses of West Windsor. And for the 2nd year in a row!

This race is annually one of the largest fundraisers for Vermont Adaptive. Their mission, providing the opportunity for athletes of all abilities to enjoy activities and challenge themselves through sports, is one that we can all agree is important right now. I know how much running has become my sanity through COVID-19; and I know that without Vermont Adaptive, countless folks don’t have the option to go out and run or otherwise work out their anxiety through sports.

Further, our event is one of the largest sources of income for many various West Windsor businesses, which will struggle financially with the cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 VT100 (among other events, such as the 2020 VT50 that also supports these businesses).

As such, I know some runners may wish to donate some or all of their 2020 entry fee towards Vermont Adaptive and/or towards supporting a local West Windsor business. If you wish to do this, you may make your donation using this form (https://forms.gle/Mons5SQKf11g4EVEA). And don’t worry, unless you choose to remove your name from the start list, your spot will still be carried over to the 2022 Vermont 100. If you wish to make a donation to Vermont Adaptive (and support me running 100 miles on my own this summer, again), you may also do so here (http://www.PledgeReg.com/288835).

Thank you and rock on

More than ever, we look forward to seeing you at Silver Hill for the 2022 Vermont 100! Until then, stay safe and be well!

–  Amy Rusiecki and the Vermont 100 Race Committee

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2021 Team Run 2 Empower — What to Know

2021 Team Run 2 Empower — What to Know

Are you interested in joining Vermont 100’s Team Run 2 Empower for 2021? Here’s what you need to know.

How to Join

There are limited spots available in the Team Run 2 Empower for 2021. This is because folks who were signed up for the Team in 2020 had the option to roll their spots into the 2021 VT100… and there’s lots of interest for the few remaining spots available. Due to that demand, we’re changing the process for new registrants to join the 2021 Team — you have to apply.

This is the link to the application.

We will accept applications for the first round through December 31st.  Notifications on who is welcomed to the Team will be made by January 15th. Please feel free and encouraged to add in any info you think will help us in the selection of who joins the Team, and be creative — we want to know you and why this is important to you! Completed applications are to be sent to Race Director Amy Rusiecki at vt100@vermontadaptive.org.

About VT100’s Team Run 2 Empower Program

The 2021 Vermont 100 race will set aside up to 60 slots for our Team Run 2 Empower. Under this program, runners will be allowed free entry* into the Vermont 100 so long as they commit to raising a minimum of $1,500 for Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports (*and make a $100 donation towards their personal fundraising account). Of course, we encourage our Team participants to raise additional funds above the minimum requirement (and have
some awesome incentives for you as you fundraise)!

This will be the 7th year of this program. In the first year, we had 10 runners who participated and they raised $30,000 for Vermont Adaptive. We’ve come a long way since then, fundraising over $150,000 in 2019. The goal for this year is to fundraise at least $250,000, which would put the 7-year total to over $600,000!

Think of how much of a difference that makes in the lives of so many Vermont Adaptive athletes! Especially given the strain of COVID on the finances of Vermont Adaptive — our support is needed!

2 Guides and a Blind Athlete Race Along the VT100's Dirt Roads with Fields on Their Left

About Our Charity, Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports

The Vermont 100 is one of Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports’ biggest fundraisers every year. Our participants, volunteers, and sponsors help Vermont Adaptive provide access to skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, hand cycling, tandem biking, horseback riding, rock climbing, hiking, camping, and other adventure weekends to their participants!

Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing recreational and competitive sports opportunities to people with disabilities. We believe sports and recreation provide a physical, mental, and social experience that is immeasurable in promoting self-confidence and independence in an individual. More information on Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports can be found at vermontadaptive.org.

How Does Team Run 2 Empower Work?

If you chose to participate in the Team Run 2 Empower, you will register for the Vermont 100 under the Team Run 2 Empower registration. At this time, a fundraising page will be generated for you. Each runner joining the Team must kick start their fundraising campaign by making a $100 donation towards their personal fundraising. Once you have raised the $1,500 minimum, you are officially in (but encouraged to keep up the fundraising efforts)! On July 10th, if you haven’t raised the $1,500 minimum, your credit card will be charged the remaining funds (but we hope
that doesn’t happen!).

Runners have until July 1st to enter into the Team, and then any unused entries will be given to runners on the general waitlist.

Why Participate in Team Run 2 Empower?

Running an ultramarathon is challenging enough, but participating in the Team Run 2 Empower gives additional meaning to your race. You are running to support Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports; every step you take will benefit people with disabilities by giving
them an opportunity to participate in sports.

What are the Benefits of Participating on Team Run 2 Empower?

There are some special perks for folks on the Team:

  • Guaranteed entry into one of the oldest 100 milers, and one of the Grand Slam races (or the 100k race, if that’s your choice!)
  • Monthly coaching tips and articles of interest for both running and fundraising
  • Opportunity to participate in an exclusive training run on the VT100 course (which is partially on private property; a rare opportunity!)
  • Allowance to ‘swap distances’ between the 100k and 100-mile race at any time
  • Top 10 fundraisers earn bibs #1 through 10 for the race
  • Team Run 2 Empower singlet

“To see the support [from fellow Team Run 2 Empower runners] I had on a training run, where my only disability is my own mind – imagine the support Vermont Adaptive gives to athletes will different sorts of disabilities.” –Jessie F., Team Run 2 Empower 2018

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • When does registration open for the Team Run 2 Empower? For the 2021 event, applications for a spot on the Team Run 2 Empower will be accepted through December 31, 2020. After that, the first round of applications will be reviewed and new Team members will be welcomed (hopefully by January 15, 2021). Based on the availability of spots, additional Team members will be admitted on a rolling basis.
  • What’s the deal with the mandatory $100 contribution to my own fundraising? Research shows that others are more likely to contribute to your fundraising efforts if you are also invested in the cause. We hope this will allow you each to be financially committed to your efforts. Also, note that Team members don’t pay the race registration fee, so a $100 donation is less than registration.
  • Can I fundraise for another charity and participate on the Team Run 2 Empower? Unfortunately, no. While we appreciate anyone willing to fundraise for an incredible charity, the Vermont 100 and Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports are partners therefore this Team Run 2 Empower is specifically designed to benefit Vermont Adaptive.
  • If I am on the Team Run 2 Empower, can I run the 100km race? Of course! Members of the Team Run 2 Empower can choose to run either the 100-mile or 100km distance. Even
    better, Team members are allowed to change their race distance at any time.
  • If I am on the Team Run 2 Empower, do I still need to qualify for the 100-mile race? Yes, if you are planning to run the 100-mile race, you still must meet the qualification requirements for the event. However, if you’re a member of the Team then you can switch from the 100-mile to 100km distance at any time if you fail to qualify.
  • If I am on the Team Run 2 Empower, do I still need to complete the volunteer requirement? Yes, you are still required to complete the volunteer requirement. Alternatively, you can fundraise the $200 Volunteer Buy-out fee (total fundraising goal of $1,700) instead.
  • What happens if I don’t fundraise the minimum $1,500? There are a few options if you don’t fundraise the minimum amount. First, you can pay the difference to meet the
    requirement. Second, if there is a spot in the 100-mile or 100km race, you can switch to regular registration and pay the registration fee. It should be noted that in 6 years of this Team, we have only once had someone who failed to meet the minimum fundraising requirement.
  • What happens if I get injured and can’t race at this year’s Vermont 100? If a Team Run 2 Empower member has started fundraising and is not able to run due to injury or another issue, we are dedicated to working with the runner to find the correct solution.

A visual impaired athlete and their guide race along the Vermont 100 with open fields around them.
Not Finding What You Need?

For any questions regarding the Vermont Adaptive Team Run 2 Empower, or to officially join the team, fill out your application today, or contact the Vermont 100 Race Director at vt100@vermontadaptive.org. Thank you!

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2020 Vermont 100 – Cancellation Notice

2020 Vermont 100 – Cancellation Notice

From the Race Director – Updated 4/15/20

It’s with a heavy heart that the Vermont 100 Endurance Race committee voted last night (4/14/20) to officially cancel the 2020 Vermont 100 due to COVID-19. This was an emotional decision, but one we made with the health and safety of all runners, riders, volunteers, community members, and vendors at the forefront of the discussion.

We acknowledge that the current situation is very fluid, making day-to-day and month-to-month planning difficult for everyone.  We felt it was important to share this information with everyone involved as quickly as possible so you each can adjust plans accordingly.  We are now working on many of the unknowns (and questions) that you will have, and ask for your patience and understanding as we shift our focus to that.

Details we can share right now

  • 2020 Start List
    We plan to roll the 2020 start list over into the 2021 Vermont 100. If you do not want to remain on the start list for next year’s event, you can request removal from the start list using this form (https://forms.gle/8wrAVeigTRtRKWwU7).
  • 2020 Waitlist
    We plan to roll the 2020 waitlist over into the 2021 Vermont 100. We WILL NOT pull anyone off the waitlist and into the event until a later date (likely next fall/winter). If you do not want to remain on the waitlist for next year’s event, you can request removal from the waitlist using this form (https://forms.gle/8wrAVeigTRtRKWwU7)
  • Race Qualifiers / Volunteer Requirements
    We have not made any decisions regarding any adjustments to the volunteer and qualifier requirements for next year’s race (given this year’s race cancellation). We will communicate when we know more.
  • 2021 Race Date
    Please mark your calendars for July 16-18th, 2021

Further details coming soon

As we find time in the coming weeks to work out the finer details regarding this cancellation, we will release more information. We appreciate your patience, understanding, and support through these uncertain times.

The impact on Vermont Adaptive & Local Businesses

I want to take a moment to acknowledge that while I’m bummed to not see you all this summer, the race cancellation will also have a significant impact on others – notably, Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, as well as the area businesses of West Windsor.

This race is annually one of the largest fundraisers for Vermont Adaptive. Their mission, providing the opportunity for athletes of all abilities to enjoy activities and challenge themselves through sports, is one that we can all agree is important right now. I know how much running has become my sanity through COVID-19; and I know that without Vermont Adaptive, countless folks don’t have the option to go out and run or otherwise work out their anxiety through sports.

Further, our event is one of the largest sources of income for many various West Windsor businesses, which will struggle financially with the cancellation of the 2020 VT100.

As such, I know some runners may wish to donate some or all of their 2020 entry fee towards Vermont Adaptive and/or towards supporting a local West Windsor business. If you wish to do this, you may make your donation using this form (https://forms.gle/Mons5SQKf11g4EVEA). And don’t worry, unless you choose to remove your name from the start list, your spot will still be carried over to the 2021 Vermont 100 (July 16-18th, 2021).

Thank you and rock on

More than ever, we look forward to seeing you at Silver Hill for the 2021 Vermont 100! Until then, stay safe and be well!

–  Amy Rusiecki and the Vermont 100 Race Committee

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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!

 

vin-framularo-usaba-vermont-adaptive-ski-weekend-vermont-100
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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Fundraising Wall of Fame

Fundraising Wall of Fame

2020 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 $500,000 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

($6,000+)

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Champion for Equity

($3,000)

Krista Alderdice, Andy Alsup, Victoria Arel, Maria Chevalier, Meg Cullings, Kevin Draper, Chris Eaton, Robert Gantz

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Champion for Empowerment

($1,500)

Guy Alderdice, Jeff Beaudoin, Leah Christensen, Carly Eisley, Vin Framularo, Jonathan Kaptcianos, Jennifer McLaughlin, Scott Mitchell, Thomas Nuovo, Jed Putterman, Faith Raymond, Philip Sanderson, Kevin Sheedy, James Tillis

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Champion for Independence

($600)

Faye Benoit, Daisy Bicking, Michael Crutchley, Alicia Devero, Sarah Eaton, Jessie Farnham, Sam Farnsworth, Anya Federowski, Aiji Graham, Tanya Holbrook, Sharon Knorr, Kyle Robidoux, Tiffany Sivco, Rachel Stansfield, Miriam Weiskind

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Champion for Opportunity

($200)

Stephanie Abrell, Melissa Arnold, Rajay Bagaria, Heather Barachman, Nancy Broughel, Janna Chernetz, Rachel Clinton, Jason Cousins, Erik Glover, Brian Krisler, James Lehneman, Chris Straub, Steve Turner, Melissa Woods

____________________________________________________________________________________

 

All-Time Fundraising Totals

Top 20 Fundraisers

1. Matt Klein – $76,548
2. Meg Cullings – $32.803
3. Maria Chevalier – $17,731
4. Neely Fortune – $16,0000
5. Keith McWilliams – $15,505
6. Chris Eaton – $15,505
7. Erik Glover – $12,817
8. Krista Alderdice – $12,192
9. Lucimar Araujo – $9,223
10. Faith Raymond – $8,600
11. Jennifer McLaughlin – $7,851
12. Kevin Draper – $7,420
13. Leah Christensen – $7,277
14. Vin Framularo – $6,383
15. Tiffany Sivco – $6,067
16. Robert Gantz – $5,720
17. Neil Feldman – $5,610
18. Pam Eaton – $5,340
19. Sam Farnsworth – $5,305
20. Melissa Ossanna- $5,106

(*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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Giving Tuesday and the VT 100 Raffle Winners

Giving Tuesday and the VT 100 Raffle Winners

 

A Note From Our Race Director, Amy

I want to say THANK YOU for your donations on #GivingTuesday.  I wish I could send out personal emails to each of you…but there are just too many of you, so please excuse the impersonal, group note.

I am completely overwhelmed with what the VT100 did for Vermont Adaptive .  In total, between your donations plus the donations for our current Team Run 2 Empower folks, over $20,000 was raised for Vermont Adaptive (which will be doubled by their matching donor!).  That is amazing, and will have a remarkable impact on so many lives.

From The Executive Director of Vermont Adaptive , Erin Fernandez:

“We are humbled at the above and beyond VT100 runners do in order to raise more money and awareness for our athletes. You guys are heroes and don’t ever forget that. Your trudge through 100 miles has an impact way beyond each step you take. Your gifts and hard work will never be erased. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of others.”
So, on behalf of Vermont Adaptive, THANK YOU for what each of you contributed yesterday!

VT100 Raffle Results

As promised, we raffled off a free entry into the race, and an early entry (essentially a lottery bypass), and the winners are…(drum roll please)…

Curt Pandiscio won a free entry into the 2019 Vermont 100!

John Pierz won an early entry (lottery bypassed entry) into the 2019 Vermont 100!

Congrats to both of you!

I hope that many of you return to this year’s race.
We’re having the race lottery in January, however there will be a few more opportunities for folks to win spots in this year’s race (if not lucky in the lottery)…so stay tuned!

Happy trails!
Amy

 

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Giving Tuesday-Support Vermont Adaptive, Boost Your Odds for the VT100 Lottery

Giving Tuesday-Support Vermont Adaptive, Boost Your Odds for the VT100 Lottery

Hey Vermont 100 runners, crews and family members-Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Shop Local Saturday and Cyber Monday are great, but for us at the Vermont 100 the best day is-#GivingTuesday!

You know we run and fundraise for Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports but did you know we host a raffle for entry to the Vermont 100 on Giving Tuesday.
Yes we do and it increases your chance of getting into our race.

And this year your donations are doubled as an anonymous donor has pledged to match donations made to Vermont Adaptive on Giving Tuesday.

This year the raffle includes
One raffle ticket for a **FREE ENTRY** into the 2019 Vermont 100 (100 mile or 100k, your choice), for every $100 you donate towards Vermont 100’s Vermont Adaptive fundraising page on Giving Tuesday. The Vermont 100 fundraising page is here: https://www.pledgereg.com/vermont-100-endurance-race-vt-100-fundraising

Or, one raffle ticket for an early entry (i.e. guaranteed spot) into the 2019 Vermont 100 (100 mile or 100k, your choice), for every $30 you donate towards Vermont 100’s Vermont Adaptive fundraising page on Giving Tuesday. The Vermont 100 fundraising page is here: https://www.pledgereg.com/vermont-100-endurance-race-vt-100-fundraising

++You will still need to complete your qualifier (if running the 100 miler) and volunteer service requirement (for both the 100 mile and 100k) even if you are successful in these raffles.++

Thanks for supporting Vermont Adaptive!
Amy R. and the Race Committee

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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