(Retro Photo from 2006)
This Sunday I'll be running in my fourth consecutive Vermont 50 Mile Endurance Run. The race motto is "Challenge Yourself"and this years race will be no different from the previous 3 in that regard. Of all the races I have done in the last 5 years, this one is one of my favorites. The majority of the course is run on magnificent single-track trails, shared with a few hundred other runners and about 600 mountain bikes whom head out before us. If you're not on one of these trails, you're running down classic Vermont dirt roads or through mountain top meadows. To top it all off, you do it all in the middle of Vermont's fall foliage, as the leaves tumble to the earth in a kaleidoscope of color. This race is one of the best from the course to the scenery to its top not organization. If you are looking for something to do this weekend and you are a runner... you need to be here. There is a 50K and a 50 mile relay as well. Bring your friends and sign up Saturday for Sunday's Run. You WILL NOT be disappointed.
But more than just the race itself, there is always a special meaning here for me. It was the September of 2004 that I decided to start running and it was that November that I knew I wanted to be an ultra-runner. This race serves as a milestone of sorts, a way to celebrate 5 years of hitting the roads and trails, propelling myself through life one fluid step at a time. I always afford myself the opportunity to look back on my short running career and see what I have accomplished in 5 short years and force myself to think of the road ahead. For the majority of 5 years I've spent my time giving people a reason to believe. Believe in what they thought as impossible, and showing them what IS possible. I turned members of my family into believers. Where they sat me down and warned me about setting myself up for failure, telling me running these long distances was impossible for someone who wasn't a runner... they believe now. They've all seen it with their own eyes, they've heard my excitement and those who at one time never believed.. certainly do now. Nothing surprises them anymore and the word impossible was removed from the dictionary when talking to and/or about me. So as I sit here and write this 5 years after I started running, I realize now that running has to take on a new meaning. No longer is it about "You say I can't, I'll show you I can," it's about something deeper, something more personal..
So with this Vermont 50 Mile Endurance Run, 5 years after I started left right repeat, I am left to remind myself what Human Potential Really is. It goes beyond what is possible physically, running now is about what it possible mentally. I challenge myself with this race and many others to strive to show myself that happiness comes in many forms. Its not just from proving the naysayers wrong or reaching the finish line. It's about the journey in between. Thats what running is about... the journey. JOURNEY. (Play: Don't Stop Believin') So with that.. I give you my fourth installment of the Vermont 50 Mile Endurance Run.
The Vermont 50 Mile Endurance Run
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Brownesville, VT - Mt. Ascutney
50 Miles and 9,000' +/- Elev Gain
Previous Results (Click for Reports)
Every year running the Vermont 50 my times have been better then the previous. And from the looks of last years time, I have quite a mountain to climb once again. This years race is different from last years, the climb up and over Garvin Hill is back which is sure to add some challenge back to the course both immediate and long term with that climb. So we'll have to see how that factors into the race. In terms of preparation, its the tale of '08 vs '09. Check it out:
Aug 2008 vs Aug 2009
122.4 miles vs. 122.9 Miles
Sept 2008 vs. Sept 2009
93.1 Miles vs. 60 Miles
I'm 30 miles short of last years training. Why? Easy, I've hit a mental wall. It's hard to motivate and with my new school schedule really throwing the wrench into things, I took a 4 mile week 2 weeks ago which could have and should have been that 30 miles. So.. call it a taper I suppose.. ::wink::
1.) FINISH THE JOURNEY
2.) Sub 10 Hours
3.) Course PR = 8:57 or Less
So we'll see how it goes. Looks like it's going to rain. That could change things drastically as well. But if there is ANY runner in this area who is accustomed to running in rain and slop... it's me. I think I'll have the upper hand in that department and I'm ready to role. I'm rested and chomping at the bit. LETS RUN!