Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Vermont 100 - Countdown

The Vermont 100

The Vermont 100 Endurance Race is one of the original 100 mile runs in the USA and a part of the Grand Slam series of Ultrarunning. Each year, 300 runners attempt to finish this hilly race over beautiful Vermont back roads and trails under the 30 hour cutoff point, and a well-trained few finish in under 24 hours. The current course record is 14:53:09, set in 2004 by Leigh Schmitt of Conway, MA. The 2008 Edition of the Vermont 100 is the races 20th Anniversary!

The race starts and finishes at Silver Hill Meadow, West Windsor, Vermont. (all race activities are centered here). It is a "shamrock" loop, consisting of 70% dirt or jeep roads with the rest on woods trails (there are a couple miles of pavement). The course both climbs and descends 14000 - 15000 feet. The normal temperature in Vermont in July is 80-85 during the day and 55-65 at night (but anything can happen). There are 29 aid stations with a variety of food and drinks. There is good access for handlers at designated stations. Pacers will be allowed the last 30 miles. Pacers are allowed anytime throughout the course for those 60 years and above. And finally, Buckles are awarded to all finishers under 24 hours, plaques to finishers between 24 and 30 hours.

This year, to celebrate the races 20th Anniversary, the Vermont 100 Organizational Committee has added a 100K option. The 100K race has a 20 Hour time limit starting at 4am on Saturday, July 19. The course starts and finishes at Silver Hill Meadow. It is a single loop consisting of a mix of gravel roads, jeep roads and trails and is very hilly but not extremely steep. There will be 18 aid stations with a variety of food and drinks. There is good access for handlers at 4 designated stations and pacers will be allowed the last 15 miles. All finishers under the 20 hour limit will receive a custom designed trophy.

The Vermont 100 is also the only 100 Mile Ultra that affords runners the opportunity for the runners to run along side and on the same course as horses competing in their own 100 Mile Endurance Ride. 

The Vermont 100 is a fundraising event put on by and in support of Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports (VASS), a non-profit that provides sports and recreational opportunities to people with disabilities. This race was founded by Laura Farrell, an ultra-runner and the founder of VASS, who felt a strong link between the two events.

I am personally very excited about this years Vermont 100. As the days tick down to go time, I'm going to be pretty active here on my blog. I'm going to post my report from my duties as a pacer in 2006 followed by a link to my race report from my 2007 Sub 24-Hour Running of the VT100. I have an exclusive interview with course record holder Leigh Schmitt for your enjoyment, as well as interviews with a few first time 100 Mile Runners in Nathan Sanel, Jeff Waldron and Paul Kearney. For those of you who aspire to run 100 miles yourself one day, or if you are just genuinely intrigued; these interviews are for you. I'll then be giving the usual pre-race preview as well as my race goals for this year ending with a special VT100 Video I am making to help pump the buddies up and get the rest of us rockin' and ready to roll.

T-minus 9 days and counting!

“If humans could really walk on water, we’d run across the oceans. But then again, some humans enter the water up to their ankles, some to their knees, some their waist. I’m a dive in kinda guy.. and these 100 Mile races are my ocean. Amazed at how these green mountains of Vermont remind me of waves on the ocean.. I’ll just have to dive right in and let the tide take me to magical lands.” ~ “Sherpa” John Lacroix