Canadian in Candia

July 22, 2009

Vermont 100 – Race Report/Runners

Filed under: Races — Tags: , , , — Miriam @ 2:19 pm

Warning: This post promises to be much much too long!

So this weekend my husband did something truly amazing, he raced in the Vermont 100 Endurance Race. That’s 100 miles of running. On two legs and two feet, no swapping those out. But he did it. And I helped out by driving around and providing him with fresh shoes, socks, Vaseline, food, beverages and moral support.

I have to say that as far as ultramarathons go, it was actually a very enjoyable experience for me. My husband has started making friends in the ultramarathon world. So I made friends with their wives, girlfriends and crews. So over the course of 24 hours, I had a great time hanging out with my father-in-law, Sarah, Allison, Nicole, Mike, Steve, Keith and others.

I took way too many pictures. Well if you consider 700 to be too many. At one point I figured that random strangers might like to find free pictures of themselves on my flickr account. And I have this new 50-200 mm lens that I really wanted to play with. So I took pictures of people and horses I didn’t know. Well perhaps I took pictures of the horses because the horses were simply amazing.

So in order to spread out this blog post over multiple days (and reduce my guilt if I don’t get to post later this week), I’m dividing this post into several posts. I hope you enjoy a glace at what the race is like.

1.) Race report/results (this post)
2.) The horses in the race
3.) The people behind the racer
4.) The importance of a pacer

Race report from my perspective

The night before did not provide a restful sleep. It rained with sounded like popcorn popping on the roofs of our tents. Someone’s car alarm went off in the middle of the night. Wake up for most was before 3am. As the start of the race approached most runners joked about stretching as Chariots of Fire blared on the stereo.

At 4am the runners were off, it was more like the start of a large hike as most runners pace themselves instead of sprinting out of the gate. It was still dark and damp and we decided to wait to watch the horse start before heading to the first Aid station.

The scenery was gorgeous at the first Handler Aid station. The mist hung at the edge of the woods.
IMGP1224

It took a long time for the runners to reach that first Handler station, and at that point they had already run 20 miles. This was also probably the only Aid station were we really got to see all the front runners of humans and horses. All our runners looked great as they came in. They did quick shoe changes grabbed a bite to eat and ran off again.

The weather improved as we traveled from one Aid station to the other. We started a handler caravan with 3 to 4 cars traveling to find the Aid stations. Our runners continued to come in and we continued to have a good time hanging out with each other. I doodled on occasion to keep from getting bored. More often I would take hundreds of pictures to pass the time. Later when Keith was around with his family I took way too many pictures of his 2 1/2 year old boy. He was way too adorable.

I was actually grateful for the long distance drives between stations because it gave us something to do.

Adam would come in and refuse to even stop for more than a couple seconds. He didn’t even want to sit. He left his friends behind as they took better care of their feet. At one point our runners had spread out enough that we had to break up our little group and regroup while waiting.

The aid stations were all slightly different and the volunteers that manned them were incredibly helpful (Thank you volunteers!). They jumped on my very specific instructions for my husband’s soup. At that point he was starting to feel the fatigue and pain and having a smooth transition probably helped a great deal. I also loved how some of the aid stations were decorated. For example the Caribbean theme at Margaritaville and the pretty little Christmas lights as the sun was setting at West Wind.

IMGP1740The runners have to be awake for very long periods but so do they handlers. You don’t want to fall asleep and miss your runner. And this can lead us to become a little silly. At one point, after it had gotten dark, we found the fact that all the handlers were sitting in rows facing a single light on a building hilarious. We wondered what a random bystander would think if they saw us sitting there.

After sunset the trail is illuminated with glow sticks. It gives the trail an eerie glow.

As I waited for my husband I decided that I couldn’t sit still, so I followed the trail up from the finish. I cheered for runners from the middle of the woods. I took items of clothing that runners didn’t want in their finish pictures (it was dark, I’m not sure how good the finish pictures would be anyways). I found my husband in the middle of the woods and he didn’t recognize me at first. I jogged the last 1/2 mile with him, he was limping and hobbling so badly that I could keep up with him. He even said “you’re keeping up with me, I must be going slow” (I havn’t been able to run in several years because of foot issues). He asked me to go run ahead to tell them to get ready for him. I did and he sprinted past me. He finished well below his goal time, tired and sore but happy.

I should also note that that 1/2 mile also made me very aware of the wonderful effort his pacer Keith did in helping him out. I’m planning on writing a short post on that later.

So the rest of the story involved a trip to the medical tent where my hubby got the largest grossest blister I’ve ever seen treated (and I was a rower so I know blisters), watching our remaining two runners come in within the 24 hour belt buckle limit and a twenty minute walk back up the few hundred yards from the medical tent to our tent.

It was a memorable first 100 mile race for both of us.

Our runners

Although she wasn’t one of “our runners” I wanted to post about Serena. I have to admit that Serena Wilcox is one of the coolest people I have met recently. She talks at a million miles an hour and looks like she’s fresh and bubbly after 50 miles. We met her at the Wapack 50 where we got talking because she has the same last name as my husband. She adores Cooper so it was probably a good thing that he wasn’t there, it would have slowed her down.
IMGP1452She managed to finish 15th (3rd among women) with a time of 19:50:52

Last year my hubby paced his friend Nate for the last 30 miles of the race. I guess he struggled a bit at parts to a point that Adam took away his watch. This year, Nate was on FIRE. He looked strong and finished really really well.
IMGP1274He finished 18th with a time of 20:29:24

My hubby Adam Wilcox was way ahead of 24 hour pace for a long time. At one point he was at a 21 hour finishing pace. He looked great until we saw him at the 11 mile left to go mark. He had to remind himself to stay steady as he got onto the scale at that point. It was his first 100 mile race and he did great.
IMGP1387He finished 44th with a time of 22:40:24. Giving him 7th place in his age group.

Adam’s close friend “Sherpa” John Lacroix was Adam’s inspiration to get into this crazy sport. This was his tenth race of a 100 miles or more. Adam and John ran together for the first part of the race. But then Adam started skipping shoe changes and pulled ahead (which he is still paying for). John still finished in his second fastest time, which is impressive because he was actually behind pace at one point.
IMGP1558He finished 66th in 23:27:35. His third buckle in 3 attempts of the Vermont 100. His race report will be on his blog.

I don’t really know Drew that well (well at all) but his wife Allison became part of our handler/crew group and we had a great time with her and started cheering for Drew as well. So he’s part of this post as part of our runners.
IMGP1499Drew Haas finished 78th in 23:44:05.

The total amount of finishers under the 30 hour cut off time was 173 people, including 72 year old Karsten Solheim who finished in 29:54:40. You have to admire that achievement.

Another one of our friends, Jeff Waldron had to drop at the 70-something mile mark.
IMGP1483He looked great most of the race and did complete 70 miles, but his achilles tendon, which had been bothering him prior to the race finally got the best of him.

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8 Comments »

  1. What an amazing accomplishment! I don’t think I could even run 1 mile right now, I am so out of shape!

    Comment by Marin — July 23, 2009 @ 12:09 am

  2. I must admit, I think that’s a bit on the crazy side. That said, good for him…what an amazing accomplishment! And he couldn’t do it without you!

    Comment by Ronnica — July 23, 2009 @ 10:55 am

    • Well one does have to be a bit on the crazy side to put up with and marry me. He’s been very good about being appreciative of the effort I put into the race and the time I allow him to have to go training.

      Comment by Miriam — July 23, 2009 @ 11:49 am

  3. […] Race report/results […]

    Pingback by Vermont 100 – Pretty Details « Canadian in Candia — July 26, 2009 @ 12:39 pm

  4. Hello,
    I’m a rider and it was our 1st attemp to the 100 and we finished it in 14:28.
    I love the runners, we did 75 miles ride in 2008 and loved it so much we decided to try our 1st 100 in gorgeous Vermont with all the runners and crew.
    Usually when we ride we almost hardly see anyone except for other riders and our crew.
    So you guys are such a huge plus!
    We love you!
    See you next year, I’m hooked on 100 now!

    Comment by sandra — July 27, 2009 @ 2:38 pm

  5. […] adam, injury, race, sprain — Miriam @ 10:05 pm My husband is an outdoors person. He does ultramarathons, he climbs big cliffs, he does crazy hikes. His body is an important part of his life. He needs his […]

    Pingback by Urgent Care « Canadian in Candia — August 25, 2009 @ 10:10 pm

  6. […] in Candia was at the race. She is a fellow blogger and often writes posts about her husband’s ultra marathon races (100+ miles). So image how special I felt that she was there taking pictures of me and my measly 13 […]

    Pingback by My First 1/2 Marathon « — November 2, 2009 @ 5:09 am

  7. […] Race report/results […]

    Pingback by Vermont 100 – Pretty Details | FillyRunner — March 26, 2010 @ 1:19 pm


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