Last night Jason and I made an agreement after looking at today’s forecast.
We agreed that if we woke up at 6:00 AM without an alarm and if it wasn’t thunder-storming, we would do today’s 1/2. Well as expected, we both woke up at 6 and it wasn’t even raining! So we put on our gear (I added a running jacket just in case it started to rain) and headed to Shelburne.
The race was organized by Race Vermont and they did a great job. There were 153 registered runners so logistically it was manageable. We got to stay inside the field house until the whole group of runners walked about .3 miles to the start line – which was just a guy and a timer – and when everyone was ready – he said Ready Go and we were off.
Registration was a breeze – the only bummer was I thought we got a regular cotton t-shirt with registration but it turns out you could buy a technical shirt for another $28. Registration without the t-shirt was only $30, which included 4 water stations with Gatorade, use of the Field House’s showers, saunas, and hot tubs post race, and a lunch provided by Starry Night Cafe.
The course was through the village of Shelburne, Shelburne Farms, and along Lake Champlain. It was a great combination of roads and trails – probably about 7 miles of roads and 6 miles of trails. The course had a few long grueling hills but overall I would say a moderate course in difficulty.
I was very impressed with the quality of runners at the start line. There wasn’t one person that looked like they weren’t a runner or would have serious trouble finishing the race. From the beginning, Jason and I planned to stick together for the run. We started in the middle of the pack and quickly caught up with a group that we ran the first six miles with. Around mile 3 it started raining (fairly hard at times), and continued for most of the race with a few short breaks. At six miles we decided to start pushing ourselves a bit harder, and passed about 20 people over the course of the next 3 miles. At 9 miles we hit the last hill and knew we could over take the rest of the folks just ahead of us. We caught up with the guy leading that pack and he said it had been quite a while since he had seen people ahead of him. We plunged ahead and picked up the pace a bit more. I was really wishing I had packed a goo around mile 10 – I was in desperate need of some fuel. Luckily the race had a Gatorade stand around there and I took a couple of cups – such a saving grace. Jason and I ran the next two miles continuing to push each other (Jason led for those miles and really was the one that pushed us to keep up our pace). At 12.5 miles we hit the last Gatorade/water stand and could see the finish area. Sadly there still were no folks ahead of us to try to catch (overtaking runners during the race is really the best way to motivate me). We made the last turn and say the finish line. They had created a small shoot for us to run through for the last .1 miles and as we entered it I saw our time – that helped provide the last needed boost to finish strong.
We finished in 1:43.33!!!! I was really hoping to finish at 1.45 but didn’t really think it was possible. Our average pace was 7.54 / mile. I ended up finishing 7th overall in the women and 4th in my age division. Jason also finished 4th in his age division. We crossed the line as the 31st and 32nd finishers!
Volunteers handed us water after the finish and we quickly headed for our car to get warm clothes and change. The lunch provided by Starry Night Cafe (which is an amazing restaurant) was great. They had cornbread, vegan chili, fresh fruit salad, a quinoa veggie cold salad, and greens with balsamic vinegar. Jason and I loaded up our plates and beelined for some comfy chairs.
The last runner crossed about 2 hours 36 minutes – and they quickly released the race results. Overall this is a great race that happens twice a year – the next one is in November and we plan to sign up to do it again!
Have a great Saturday! We are off to see a matinee of Iron Man 2.