Vermont 50 Mile Ride & Run

Today was the 10th time I started the Vermont 50 Mile Mountain Bike Race. This race is the most important one on our annual list. It holds particular significance for our family and is a tradition that is bound to continue. It is well known that Debbie and I met at the 1999 Vermont 50 and that we have returned every year since. The 50 mile event doubles as a mountain bike race and an ultra-marathon trail run. This year’s race was blessed with very muddy and wet trails, but the conditions didn’t do anything to dampen the spirits of the riders and runners. 

After three of four September weekends with 31, 26.2, and 38 mile trail runs, Debbie opted to run the “short” 50 kilometer race. What’s another 31 miles? She had a great day and was first woman and fifth overall. Course changes and the muddy conditions prevented her from beating her course record, but she still ran strongly, nearly catching Bob Sharkey at the end. Bob had another fine run and proves that 50-plus year old runners can hammer. Another 50-plus runner who had a fabulous day was Jack Pilla. In the 50 miler, Jack broke seven hours and wasn’t far behind repeat winner Leigh Schmitt. Leigh smoked the course again. 


I got through this year’s race without any serious mechanical complications and only one minor crash. The battle for supremacy within the Horst-Benidorm-PRC Cycling Team was won by A. Zane Wenzel. He made his “winning” move while I was filling my hydration pack at Aid Station #7. I was hurting at that point and told him as we approached the feed that I was going to stop. He asked if I wanted him to wait, but I said it was his call. He waited for a bit, but I lingered and he seized the opportunity to get the gap that he held to the finish. There was little chance I would catch him because I was pretty toasted. I suffered through the final 15 miles and finished in 5:39:26, good for 84th place or so. Teammate Spike McLaughlin had a great second half comeback and caught me in the last mile. He opted for a kamikaze descent to the finish, while I coasted in a few seconds behind him. Matt Domnarski, Ted Donofrio, Art Roti/Mark Hixson (on tandem), and Randall Dutton all followed us. It was a great turnout for the team. 

The Vermont 50 really is a special race. It supports a great cause, Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sport, it has great volunteers (especially RD Mike Silverman pictured below), fabulous trails, generous land owners, good post-race food, awesome aid stations, goodie bags, cool sponsors, and a great vibe.  There is no question that we will be back in 2009…we already booked the Ascutney Mountain condo, complete with finish line view. 

It is fitting that the last image is a muddy one!

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I never post about food. However, this is the second time this week that I’m posting about food. These #vegan dishes at Empress by @theprivegroup were awesome. #instavegan #singapore Everything worked out fine for @trailrunningmom After a little stress, they had her race packet and bib number at the @metasprintseries venue and she kept it upright on the bike! 🚴🏽 She was very pleased with 2nd place 🏆 in her age group at her first road #Duathlon.🏃🏻There are no mountains ⛰ and there isn’t much singletrack in #singapore but it’s still a great city for endurance sports. It looked like there were more than 1,500 athletes at the 3K/18K/3K race with LOTS of kids too. Great vibe! #triathlonsg #teamhorstsports 🇺🇸 Our kids may recognize this great Shoppes @marinabaysands feature from six years ago. I had forgotten how cool it was. #singapore #marinabaysands First time on a road bike for @trailrunningmom In advance of her first ever road duathlon @metasprintseries I taught her some tips & tricks including the do's/don'ts of shifting strategy, cornering, blocking (not), drafting (not), passing, flying mount/dismount, etc. It was fun! Even though she was on a "rental" too, I couldn't keep up on my "steed." #triathlonsg #singapore #teamhorstsports @thecheryltan #cheryltan #singapore #singapore Name those tunes. 11-year-old Feng E is making a name for himself in Asia and beyond. #guitar #fenge #singapore 🎸 @trailrunningmom led #yoga at #ypoedge #singapore 

@ypoglobal #yogini Tremendous #vegan dinner @metasingapore Without a heads up, Chef Sun and his team whipped up an amazing seven course + three “snacks” meal for @trailrunningmom and me, that was worthy of their @michelinguide star. We sat at the counter and watched every step in the process. Chef said that with advanced notice (of our diet), he “would have done better.” We appreciated his perfectionism, but it was just fine. #metarestaurant #instavegan #michelinguide #singapore

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