Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Basically in the begining I just tried to pick out a person/group that looked pretty relaxed and just tagged along. So I picked two guys talking and just ran with them. Looking at the runners in front of me, I noticed a few guys just flying. I mean it seemed as if they were taking off for a 5k! At this point I thought to myself "Dang, these guys are SERIOUS!!!" But I tried not to let it get me down. I just stuck to my plan and tried to relax as much as I could. About a mile into the race the group grew to about 6 guys and we also hit the first hill. Not just any hill, it was a hill that climbed for a good 2.5 - 3 miles! it was on a crushed gravel road so it wasnt terribly horrible, but it was a nice introduction that basically said "F-U!"
The first trails came up about mile 4 which was also the first aid station. Decided to skip that station and kept on going with the group. I was on a plan to take a GU about every 30 min. I also had my handheld water bottle filled with Nuun, so I was sipping on that. First aid station came up about mile 8 and it came up fast. I decided to refill water bottle but I couldnt get the top off and had a volunteer help me out. This is when I lost contact with the group and was basically by myself. I tried to remain calm and I did. I told myself I tould make up ground in the end. (at least thats what I kept telling myself.) So I just tried to enjoy the scenery and remain on pace. Miles past fairly quick and the first drop bag station came up at mile 12. Saw Amanda pretty quick and she refilled my bottle, which she also had trouble loosening the top, and refilled belt with gels. After I took off from that aid station, we dove into more trails. Now I mentioned before how Hurricane Irene hit this area a few weeks before. Well one would think the trails would have dried out alittle. NO! it was probably the muddiest race I have ran. There was multiple parts of the course that basically were 100-200 meters long that was just pure slop! I mean it felt as if your shoes were being sucked off your feet type of slop! The mountain bikers were getting stuck in it so it was hard to past them. At first I was trying to finesse my way through but after a few misteps I just plowed through as best as I could.
After being by myself for a few miles, I came up along a runner seeming to be struggling. He introduced himself as George and he decided to pick up his pace to stay along side of me. We ran together for a few miles, which was nice I guess. This was his 2nd VT 50, and he lived in the area. He explained to me the blue like tubes attached to every tree was a suction devise to get maple off of the trees for syrup. He was def pretty knowlegable about the area. He did have a flaw and it was that he wouldnt shut up. It was nice for a mile or so but then it just got plain annoying. Im not trying to be mean but sometimes thses people just talk about nothing pertaining the current situation. George, if your reading this, your nice guy but I really dont need to hear about your past GI issues!! So I decided to put in a small surge and left Georgy boy behind. Now looking back its sort of funny, but about a mile or two after I put the little surge in a girl with a skirt ran up along side me. She was all smiles and her stride looked effortless. "how you feeling?" she asked. "not bad, you?" I replied. "GREAT" is was she came back with a took off ahead. Almost seems as if Karma came around to me after complaining about George. It got me a little frazzled but I recouped and kept on chugging along. By this time we hit another aid station around 27 and this is where the 50ker's joined us. So now we were with bikers and 50ker's the rest of the way to the finish. One thing I did notice at this station was two guys that took off at the very start were getting into a van. This made me feel good about not going out to fast. Also at this point in the race I knew this is the farthest I have ever ran, so I did get alittle excited just from that.
The next aid station was about mile 32 and it was the 2nd drop bag station. I saw Amanda pretty quickly with my bag. At this point I was just covered in mud. So I decided to change my shoes, socks and shirt. I reapplied body glide (thank god) and refilled my nutrition needs. The next couple miles were less entertaining, I was mostly by myself and passing alot of bikers and 50kers. I was mainly concentrating on taking my gels when I needed to and keep on drinking to make sure I made it. Didnt want to let anyone down!!! Gels were def getting harder and harder to take. My stomach was handling them just fine but just the act of getting it down there was a task. So at some of the aid stations I was taking a half gel and eating a pb&j and sippin on coke. Boy oh Boy..... let me tell you about the coke. I never trained with it but once I took a sip of it I was hooked! It was a instant pick me up! From there on out I was looking forward to coke!
About the 45 mile mile mark I hit a wide open field and noticed two guys infront of me about 400 meters away. At first I just thought it was a couple 50ker's so I didnt make a big deal of it, but as I got closer I realized it was one of the guys that I started out with and his pacer (a pacer was a person who could run the last 10 miles with you.) This was a huge encouragement for me, I picked the pace up alittle and just tried to pass him with as much authority as I could. I just wanted him to think there was no way he could hang. I did just that, even though I was hurting the whole time. The next and last aid station seemed to take awhile to get to. it was right about mile 48. This point of the race was on a back road that people lined and cheered. I remember asking a lady "where in the hell is that last aid station?" she laughed and said right there and pointed. I turned my head and saw it perched up on a nice little incline. "S.O.B" I only had 2 more mile sto go but I was hurting. Got in and out of that aid station with just some water and sip of coke, again!