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.
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.
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!!!...