2019 Vermont 50 Mile Ride & Run

We had a spectacular day at the 2019 Vermont 50 Mile Ride & Run. It’s been 20 years since Debbie and I met at the 1999 version of this awesome event. I’ve now done it 18 times. We have only missed one year, when we were in Japan so Debbie could run the 2015 ULTRA TRAIL Mt. FUJI. I also skipped in 2010 when I did the IRONMAN World Championships, but Debbie raced that year. Debbie has also done the race more than 15 times. Most of those have been on her feet, but the past three years, including this year, she has ridden the mountain bike race.

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This year’s highlight was that our son Shepard rode it for the first time. He had a very good day, finishing in 6 hours and 23 minutes. He was very happy with how he felt. The conditions could not have been better. The trails were dry and in incredibly good shape. The past week has been without much moisture and today’s weather was as good as it gets with the temperature in the mid-60’s Fahreneheit, a clear sky, and brilliant sunshine.

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As usual, I rode my Seven Sola SL singlespeed, but I opted to start 10 minutes after my wave so that I could spend the day with Shep. The good news is that we also got to spend part of the day with Debbie. She started five minutes in front of us, but we caught her after five miles or so.

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We passed her on a steep climb, but she pulled us back a few times in the ensuing miles, including on the way up Garvin Hill at the 17 mile mark. That was the last time we saw her, as we left the aid station a moment before her and Shep pushed the pace on the technical descent.

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I followed him and for the rest of the day, all we got was reports from other riders who caught us that she wasn’t far behind us. Shep had a few bad moments (of suffering), but he remained composed, mentally strong, and focused. Having a few bad moments during more than six hours of riding is totally reasonable.

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We saw a lot of adults having miserable moments too! I was happy to ride with him and I gave him a lot of tips and much encouragement. I could tell that he enjoyed spending time with me too, and there is nothing better than that.

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We also got to spend many miles with a fellow CCAP rider, Finn O’Halloran, and his dad. I think Finn and Shep were too of the youngest people in the race. Debbie and I are proud of Shep’s grit. He set this goal, and achieved it. We got through the race without any mishaps. Our bikes worked great and we didn’t have any falls. We had a good fueling and hydration strategy. We saw a lot off friends and that made it even more fun.

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Team HORST Sports had a nice turnout and some good performances. Art Roti and Mark Hixson finished second  in the tandem division. They had some bad luck with multiple mechanical breakdowns, but persevered. Anthony Eisley returned to top form and was our highest placed finisher. John Meyerle also had a strong race. Matt Domnarksi had a very good ride, and he was followed by Arlen Zane Wenzel. Anthony’s spouse, Carly, finished the 50 kilometer trail running race.

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Once again, we stayed with a group of friends from Connecticut. Tricia Dowcett- Bettencourt finished her first 50 mile trail run, so a big congratulations to her. Her husband Bryan had a strong ride in the mountain bike race. Joshuaine Grant also finished the bike race strongly.

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On Saturday, Debbie coordinated the Kids Races. Our daughter Dahlia participated in the run. Once again there were 1/2 mile, 1 mile, and 5 kilometer distances. There was also a 1 mile and 2 mile mountain bike race. The course is hilly, as you would expect for Mt. Ascutney. The weather on Saturday was also gorgeous, which made the entire VT50 weekend a weather success.

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As usual, Mike Silverman (also his 20th edition) and the staff and volunteers (of Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports) did an amazing job. The aid stations were stocked and all the volunteers and course marshals were fantastic. This event has grown to be quite large, yet it maintains its grassroots charm. The fact that it is run by a nonprofit organization and benefits a great cause is likely the reason why.

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I don’t have too much more to say about the race, at least in this post. It really was a great day.

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Race Results

1 Response to “2019 Vermont 50 Mile Ride & Run”



  1. 1 2019 NipMuck Trail Marathon | Life Adventures Trackback on 6 October 2019 at 5:39 pm

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#Cyclocross season is winding down. It’s time...but I will still miss it when it’s over. The race days/weekends spent with the @the_ccap #teamhorstjuniorsquad has been awesome. Yesterday’s @nbx_bikes G.P. of CX was another great day. The conditions were fun and challenging and the racing was fierce. @horstcycling #teamhorstsports #crossisboss #nbxgp
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Eneas Freyre from @ttendurance was proud of his lap one wreck and wanted the video posted. It helps that he recovered and went on to win the race (Masters 40+ @stage1cycling Belltown Cross). It’s a good lesson to get back up, straighten your bars, and start chasing. #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross #cyclocross

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