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.”

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Horst Engineering

Thread Rolling Inc.

Sterling Machine

Horst Spikes


Not a bad way to cap the weekend. @patriots #nepatriots #patsgame #patriots 🏈 Two days of #crawfordnotch views sandwiched with @appalachianmountainclub meeting. Cycling on Rt. 302, #trailrunning on the Crawford Path, and Mount Willard. #newhampshire 🚴🏽🏃🏻⛰ Sites and sounds from Day 2 @gpgloucester #gpgloucester The fog was burning off by the end of the Cub Juniors 9-14 year old race.

#horstspikes #cyclocross #lifedeathcyclocross #horstengineering #teamhorstsports #teamhorstjuniorsquad #madeinconnecticut #madeinnewengland #madeinusa 🇺🇸 It was great to see so many friends at today’s Western #Massachusetts Athletic Club Monroe (Dunbar Brook) Trail Race. We all ran the 2-Miler. We couldn’t stay long after the finish, but we did see Kelsey Allen win overall in the 10.5 Mile main event. Hooray! #trailrunning 🏃🏻 Before and after the Western #Massachusetts Athletic Club’s Monroe (Dunbar Brook) Trail Race in the #Berkshires I rode (very wet) over from Savoy Mountain State Forest where we camped last night. On the ride along the #DeerfieldRiver I checked out #ZoarGap and then we walked down to the river to see the Tooth. Sadly, the kayakers had already passed through. The foliage turned overnight. #trailrunning #cycling 🚴🏽🏃🏻⛰ #Cyclocross racing in the morning and downhill #mountainbiking @thundermountainbikepark in the afternoon. We got in two late afternoon runs on rental bikes and are pumped to return for more fun in the future. #teamhorstsports #teamhorstjuniorsquad #thundermountainbikepark #berkshireeast 🚵‍♀️⛰ 30 kids in the 9-12 year old Race at the #mansfieldhollow #Cyclocross That’s just awesome! @the_ccap #teamhorstsports #teamhorstjuniorsquad #crossspikes #crossisboss This image was from pregame, but approaching halftime @uconnfootball there aren’t many more fans than you see here. 35 (Memphis ) to 21 (UCONN) is a lot of points in 30 minutes of #football #uconn This morning I got to hear Warren Rustand, inspirational entrepreneur and fellow @ypoglobal member, speak at a #ypo Connecticut River Valley Chapter meeting. It was fitting that the event was @riverfrontrecapture and literally ON the #connecticutriver I walked from @horsteng via my favorite train bridge. The 10 minute trip back to the plant was ample time to reflect on the #leadership lessons that he shared with our group. @garyrome and I decided that we should memorialize our time with this dedicated athlete, by requesting that he join our photo. #horstengineering #business

Follow me on Twitter



Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 284 other followers

%d bloggers like this: