I awoke around 5am to a beautiful cool morning. I wanted to have a good breakfast with Guy before he was to be picked up by his buddy, Fred, who were both running the whole darn thing..50 miles! We took our obligatory selfie together after munching down our double egg sandwiches (thanks to our precious hens). I quickly fed the horses as I heard Fred pull up to the house blaring his radio with the song, “insane in the membrane”. I knew they were good to go!! Last minute preps for me, get the kiddos up, day bags packed, teeth brushed, alba, our chi fed and let out and so on….
My friend Carrie and her mom, Suzette came at 7am, one hour till race time!!! We finished up applying our VT 50 race tattoos and filling up our packs and water bottles with ice, it’s gonna be a hot one folks!! It was breathtaking on our drive down to the start, the fog had settled in the valley below Mt. Ascutney and the colors, oh the colors! Check in, check. Pictures, check. Find friends who were running as well, check. Fix hair for the 50th time. Check, well maybe.. I hope so. I suffer from migraines, so my hair has to be just right, or my bobbing pony tail for 31 miles will egg a migraine on..phew! We said our goodbyes to Justin, Jase, and Suzette, knowing we’d see them in a short 12 miles. The first third of the race flew by, with gentle hills, rolling dirt roads, the air was crisp and fresh, sun not quite ready to peak through the thick fog. After Greenall’s aid station, the more technical course ensues, and the sun had popped, not a cloud in the ever blue sky!! I love the snaking trails after the aid station, but it’s usually where I feel junky. I’m not the best eater on trail, but I was spared this year to only 2 minutes, (yes I checked my watch) of nausea, thanks to Tailwind Nutrition. It’s an endurance powder that mixes with your water and gives you calories, hydration, and electrolytes. It truly saved me in the heat, I only ate two crackers and three potatoes all day, so I really feel strongly about this product!! And I had the best partner, Carrie, cheering me up for the two minutes. She is awesome, and quite the runner I must say!!
I knew now I had only 15 miles until I had my pacers, Justin and Jase!!!! They were so pumped to pace Carrie and I in the last nine miles. They have been training a lot, running many 5k races and on their own. Plus running the Lost a Lot seven mile trail race in Lebanon, in memory of Chad Denning. I couldn’t wait to see their smiling faces, they were ready! The miles passed, as did lots of bikes!! It’s really neat sharing the trail with them, we pass them up hill, they cruise by us on the downs. They even joke about trading spots, uh….no! My thighs would be burning!! The hose was especially nice at the top of a big climb, sprayed my face and arms, what a nice relief!!
We climbed up to Fallon’s aid station, 18.3 miles in. What a spot, gorgeous foliage surrounded us atop this aid station. I grabbed a banana, didn’t want more than a peck of it and drank some cold gingerale. Carrie is a machine at eating, she is made for this sport, I was envious of the food she put down 😉 Now we were in my home turf. 4.8 until my boys! I knew they were anxiously awaiting our arrival.. Texts came pouring in from Justin.. “Where r ya?”, “Close yet?” , “How many more miles?”.
By now my camelpak was rubbing my back raw. I turned to Carrie and asked her if it looked red? I could feel a hot spot forming. She said Yes!! I took my packed and carried it over my shoulder for about a mile…I couldn’t wait to get rid it of. I had a large half dollar rub in the middle of my back, not good to run in a tank top with your pack, not much padding!
Finally…… The boys!!! This is what I had been waiting for all day! We practiced when I yelled “BIKES!!”, they knew to get way right. This was my only fear, that they would be trampled by bikers, sometimes I’m even slow to get out of the way! We had nine fantastic miles, chatting about their time with Suzette, treasures they found and enjoying the beauty of the woods. We wondered where dad was on the 50 mile course, how he felt and such. The boys took turns peeing, something I hadn’t done since the start. Must be hydrated, right?! We were closing in on Johnson’s, only 3 to go!!!!! We had heard the course was actually 1.5 miles longer, but absorbed throughout the day. We weren’t worried, this was the fun part! These are the trails my boys have been training on, they were gonna take us home!! Climbing up towards the mountain, we could begin to hear cheers from below, still a distance away. I was thinking, how lucky am I, to be here with my boys, doing something we are passionate about. Passion is the driving force, it gets you up and moving and excited!!! Those butterflies you feel before a race mean…YOU are EXCITED about something!!!!
What a feeling!!! Still on such a high to share this with my family!! I can’t wait to pace my boys in on their races, but let’s slow down and enjoy the moment!!!!!
One perk about being a mile from the start is finishing and then showering and going back out to find Guy and other friends in the 50. The boys ended up pacing Guy the last 3 miles of the 50…..all I can say is…..animals!!!! I’m so proud of the young men you are becoming!!!
until next time…
stay tuned for details about a fun run for all to Harpoon in October and Gobble Gobble Turkey Trot 5k In Brownsville.