As Tough as Woodpecker Lips–2007 VT50

The Vermont 50 Mile Ride & Run has become a special ritual for our family and our team. I have done this event every year since 1999, when my friend, Arlen, first turned me on to it. That year, I had a great race, beating Arlen by two seconds after nearly five hours of riding. Still, winning the personal battle among teammates and winning my division were not the best things that happened. The night before the race, in the Ascutney Mountain ski lodge parking lot, I met Debbie, who would eventually become my wife.

We have been back to the race every year since then, with Deb running it and me riding it. Every year, a group of friends and teammates join us. Over the years, we have missed a lot of events (this year it was a birthday party, a wedding, and another party) in order to continue the tradition. At this point in our lives, we woudn’t miss it.

Scott’s worn Sidi’s after 33 miles of running.

This year’s race was a struggle for both Deb and me. At mile 17, I snapped my chain. I had trouble repairing it and lost a lot of time to Arlen, who I had been riding neck and neck with from the start. I could recount the whole saga, but in a nutshell, I ended up running with my bike for nearly 10 miles. Then, I got someone to take my bike to the finish and ran the rest of the way. I rode 17 and ran 33. That was a first for me. I proved that Sidi mountain bike shoes (with cleats and spikes) are not the optimal footwear for running that distance. I would have preferred to had my Montrail’s.

I can’t explain why I pushed on, but part of it was the fact that I just felt good and didn’t want my race to end. The weather was also spectacular. It turned out to be a glorious day on the trails. I could have spent more time trying to fix the chain, or accepted help from other riders who offered to help (Good Samaritans), but I was frustrated after having lost so much ground. Even if I fixed it, I would have been disappointed to continue riding. I resorted to Plan B. Sometimes you have to do that.

Debbie had a tough race and finished in just over nine hours. She hasn’t been able to regain the form that saw her romp at the Pittsfield Peaks (55 miles) race earlier this year. Running ultra-marathon trail races is a challenge, even when you are feeling good.  Deb has had to push through her own challenges and illness. Job one for her is being Mom, so training has taken a back burner to other responsibilities. A few years ago, I described Deb to a mountaineer/journalist friend. He was amazed when he heard about her adventures. He simply said, “She is a tough as woodpecker lips.”

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@thecubscouts #pinewoodderby never gets old. Pack 157 Bolton, Connecticut #cubscouts So that little injury caused by my @renocxnats crash on Saturday afternoon wasn’t so little after all. It’s a broken leg (fibula). Prognosis is good, but it hurts like heck. My blog post report with blow by blow details is linked in my profile. #cxnats #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #crossisboss - - -

This #lifedeathcyclocross stuff is true!!!! I crashed out of the Singlespeed Championship @renocxnats (on the dreaded off-camber) but not before having more fun. @artroti43 raced on the frosty course ❄️ at day break. 🚴🏽 We met a lot more @horsteng #crossspikes customers. I hung with little bunny hopper 🐰 Miles, the Junior 11-12 year old Silver Medalist.🥈I cheered for Nic, who represented @the_ccap in the Junior 15-16 age group. @sportstert and Iva came down from Tahoe to cheer LOUDLY for me. 🎺 I got my badly sprained ankle taped and iced. I had a beer. 🍺 I’m even looking forward to my red eye flight home ✈️ . Best of all, I’ll see @trailrunningmom and the kids on Sunday. I can’t explain the sensation, but despite the pain, I’m ready for next #Cyclocross season to begin... after some rest. #teamhorstsports #cxnats #horstengineering @parkavebikeshop #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross #crossiscoming You could say that at least for this week, I’m married to my #bicycle - - -

@renocxnats #cxnats @seven_cycles #sevencycles #teamhorstsports #horstengineering #crossspikes @horsteng #chapelofthebells #Cyclocross #lifedeathcyclocross Good day representing @horsteng at @renocxnats in the 45-49 age group. It’s a great course. The wind was blowing hard, but the sun finally came out. I’m happy with 37th place but should have made a move to get to 29th, which was 30 seconds ahead. That’s a long way when you are going flat out and cramping. 4,500 foot elevation was a factor. I’m disappointed that they cut one lap of my race when I wasn’t close to getting lapped by the leaders. You train this hard and come all this way; and you want to get the most racing for the $ and time invested. They only let 25 riders do the full six laps. The only positive to come out of that was that I watched fellow New Englander @adammyerson execute a perfect final sprint to win the Stars and Stripes again. Teammate @artroti43 had a good ride too. 
@seven_cycles #sevencycles #horstengineering #teamhorstsports @bicycleseastct #crossspikes #cxnats #renocxnats #Cyclocross #crossisboss @therichardsachs didn’t have the race he hoped for but it was still great to see him @renocxnats and “pit” for him. He said he officially started his second off season, but first of 2018. @artroti43 and I played soigneur/mechanic for 90 minutes, but minus the massage! atmo #renocxnats #richardsachs #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #hauteframebuilding #Cyclocross #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross I previously hadn’t published this image, but it recently received an Honorable Mention in the 2017 @appalachianmountainclub Photo Contest for the People Outdoors category. Check out my blog (link in profile) for the interesting story of his photo (shot with this iPhone 6s), a trip report from this amazing Maine adventure, and past contest history. I love this image of two of my favorite women. I’m barred from submitting images to the 2018 contest, but I’ll be back in 2019. #appalachianmountainclub #baxterstatepark #katahdin Congratulations to Master Park, the Park Family, and the entire team at Park’s U.S. #Taekwondo at the Grand Opening of the new facility in the former VFW building. Our kids love it! So much better than being next door to the pawn shop and liquor store.😊#tkd 🇺🇸🇰🇷 This morning, the @trinitycollege Main Quad was bathed in beautiful sunshine ☀️but it was frigid and the wind was blowing! ❄️ The chapel was packed with an overflow crowd to celebrate the (shortened) life of a lovely friend. She will be missed. #circleoflife 🌏

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