John "lakewood" Fegyveresi

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Vermont 50: Part 1

As if running the Rochester Marathon in 90 degree heat and 100% humidity wasn't enough, I decided to do something completely insane 2 weeks ago.......and I ran my first 50 mile ultrarun:  The Vermont 50

This was probably the best ultrarun I could have picked to do as a first attempt at ultrarunning.  The course was fantastic, and the aid stations were plentiful.

My philosophy going into this run was twofold.  First, I thought of my marathon two weeks earlier as simply a long training run....which it kind of was.  Second, I figured if I could hike 36 miles in 12 hours on the Appalachian Trail, I should be able to do 50 miles in 12 hours provided I just jog some of them....which
 is exactly what I did.

Getting There...
Before throwing myself into a 12 hour run, I had to first get there.  Of course this presented me with a nearly 8 hour drive.  I booked a small cabin at a the Crow's Nest Campground in Newport New Hampshire (about 15 miles east of Ascutney VT) and headed out of State College about about 6:00 am on Saturday.  I needed to get to
 Ascutney by 4 PM in order to register for the race.....because technically I hadn't registered yet.  

I got into town around 2PM and was able to get all signed up with no issue.  I had to fight my way through about 300 mountain bikers just to get into the registration area.  After getting my packet, number, and registration info, I headed back to Newport and planned on an early evening.  I had to be up at 4 am in order to make it to the mandatory check in meeting the next 
day.  I went out for a short 3 mile run to make sure all my equipment was good....and just to loosen up a bit.  Being my first ultra, I wasn't sure what I needed to carry, so I bought a very small Nathan water pack to carry my gels, nuun, salt tablets, gloves, and wind shell.  It turned out to be a good purchase.  Later that night, the campground was having a huge potluck dinner, so I brought a couple of large bags of chips and ate a ton of pasta.  I called it a night about 9 pm. 

Race Day...
I got up promptly at 4 am, took a quick shower, and headed over to the race.  It was still very dark out.  I got to the starting area right on time and listened to the director give his instructions on the race.   Starting at about 6:15,
the mountain bikes started heading out. For the next half-hour there were steady streams of bikes crossing the start line ranging from expert single speed, to clydesdales.  I know nothing about mountain biking, so I found it quite fascinating to see all the different classes.   At about 6:40 I toed the line and the director gave us final instructions over a megaphone (of which I didn't hear anything).

....See Part 2 above for the rest of the story!!!...

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