2008 Ultimate XC: Vermont Edition

This past weekend, we made the trek to Jay, Vermont for the 2008 Ultimate XC: Vermont Edition. This is the race that was originally known as the Jay Mountain Marathon, but…it has never been 26.2 miles. This year’s race was around 33 miles, as it has been the last several years. This ultra-marathon trail running race used to be the middle stage of a three day adventure race known as the Jay Challenge. The Challenge (including kayaking and mountain biking)hasn’t been run for the past couple of years. It is now the second race in a three race series known as The UltimateXC. A June race was in Quebec and a November race will be in Utah. Regardless of what you call it, it is a hard run.

 

I didn’t run this year, but I crewed for Debbie (with Shep) and took a lot of photos. I had registered for the race, but illness, injury, and ultimately “Daddy Duty” kept me from running. No problem. This was Deb’s year to focus and she had a nice run, which was good after last year’s post-partum suffer-fest. She rebounded in 2008 to take 4th place, only 50 seconds off the podium. She was bummed to miss the third step by less than a minute after six and a half hours of running, but that is how it goes.

  

Aliza Lapierre won the women’s race after a tough battle with Jennifer Johnson. Jen is a multi-Jay Challenge winner and runs strong every year. Aliza has had some great results in New England over the past few years and made a nice comeback after a broken hip suffered at the Stone Cat 50 miler a few years ago. Third place went to a woman from Quebec, but I don’t have her name yet. As mentioned, Deb was fourth. On the men’s side, it was the Leigh Schmitt show again. He was way out front right from the start and was never threatened. I don’t even know who finished behind him, other than that they are collectively known as, “Everyone.” Leigh is a monster and this course is made for him. Tough, rugged, and at times, hilly. I know that there were a lot of folks having fun. Just look at the smiles and enthusiasm in the photos.

  

The weather was good this year, though a bit muddier than usual thanks to a week of heavy rain. The streams were running a bit quicker than normal and that added to the challenge. I heard the bog section was deep, so I’m glad I was watching and not running (walking). Shep and I got out to several good vantage points. We watched the start, then we made it 3/4 the way up Jay Peak. After that, we were in one of the streams, then we staked out the river crossing and checked out the blueberry patch (and sampled the berries). Eventually,  we saw the last aid station, then we were at the finish. It was an action packed day.

  

Once I track down the results, I’ll add a link. 

Race photos

Race results

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