The Only 100-Mile Running and Horse Race On the Planet.
All Proceeds Benefiting Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports.
Like many grassroot events, VT100 has a hazy history, but we’ve done our best to uncover what we can.
Here’s a quick look at this storied race, from inception to present day:
Just a trail ride
For about a decade the VT100 was only horse endurance trail “ride.” It was not a “race” of any kind yet.
Let’s race a little
Horses and riders began competing, and the well-established ride became a 100-mile race. At this time, the ride started and ended at Cloudland Farm in Woodstock, VT. Now this spot is close to the “Pretty House” aid station on our present day course, approximately 21 miles into the race.
A short break
After many years of continuous rides, the horse race took a short hiatus and would not be revived again for a couple years.
VT Adaptive is founded
Though the horse race was still temporarily disbanded, great things continued to take shape in Vermont. Laura Farrell, a longtime endurance rider and sports enthusiast, founded Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports saying she “wanted anyone who wanted to enjoy and or challenge themselves through sports to be able to.”
Endurance ride is re-established
Steve and Dinah Rojek of Smoke Rise Farm in South Woodstock, VT, take the reins and get the equestrian community back in action, and the race is re-established.
Runners toe the line in first VT100 Run
Going out on a limb, Steve Rojek approached Laura Farrell to ask if she wanted to run the trails on foot this year. Considering that Farrell had become the first woman to complete a 100-mile ride and 100-mile run in 1982, she naturally agreed. That year, 114 runners participated in the first VT100 run.
The VT100 outgrew Smoke Rise Farm and finds it new home at Silver Hill Meadow in West Windsor, VT.
Add the 100km
The VT100 adds the now incredibly popular 100-km running race component to the event weekend.
Athletes with disabilities gain recognition
VT100 is the world’s first ultra race and first trail race to formally recognize visually and mobility impaired runner in their own awards category: Athletes with Disabilities (AWD). This choice naturally complements the race’s primary fundraising goal, acting as the largest annual fundraiser for VT Adaptive. Both VT100 and VT Adaptive encourage and allow individuals of all abilities to challenge themselves through sports.
Going stronger than ever
Over the years, the VT100 as we know it has been shaped by continuous growth and change. Yet, at its core, it still holds true to its humble roots. The running race is still simultaneous with the horse race, and this is the only known 100-mile race where this still occurs. The course continues to feature some of the most picturesque sites of southern Vermont, as it rolls along dirt roads and horse trails. And the participation numbers have only ticked up. Now within hours of registration opening, the event quickly reaches its capacity of 350 runners for the 100-mile race, 75 runners for the 100-km race, and 50 riders for the various horse race distances of 100, 75, and 50 miles.
The Vermont 100 takes a lot of time and dedication to string together and would not be possible without tremendous leadership.
Over the years, the race has seen several amazing directors come and go, and we want to share a bit aout each:
After the 1989 debut of the running portion of the VT100, Laura was a natural fit to become the race director. For many years, she captained the helm and helped shape this story.
A long time Vermont Adaptive volunteer, Laura handed over the VT100 to Jim. Jim gave his all to this race and it was only due to his sudden and unfortunate passing following the 2008 race that the VT100 found itself seeking its next RD.
In a beautiful way, Jim’s daughter, Julia, took over the race for several years. Julia did an amazing job carrying on her father’s legacy and we’re forever thankful for her dedication.
Amy is the current Race Director for the Vermont 100 and continues to do an amazing job year after year. She has truly helped make this race a world-class event and we look forward to her passion shining through each July.