Race: Vermont 100
Runner: Brian E
Race Date: 07/21/2018
Location: West Windsor, VT
3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?
- The Vermont scenery. This race takes you through some of VT’s most scenic backroads and trails with mountaintop views, beautiful farmhouses, and lush forests.
- It’s hard but manageable. 17k feet of climbing and descent make this the biggest race I’ve run but the rolling nature of the hills keep things interesting. There are two really notable, epic climbs which add some drama!
- Horses are racing right alongside the runners!
Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?
Weird but cool is the horses. They are racing 100 miles too with a cutoff of 24 hours. For much of the race they are on the same dirt roads and trails as the runners. When you are feeling low or lonely in the pitch dark, it’s great to hear the clip clop of some horses coming up behind you. And the riders are all very nice and in awe of the runners.
Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?
The strategy of catching and passing runners late in the race.
Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner
Coach Matt helped me with the aspect of patience, that the race doesn’t really start until mile 70. I kept that in the back of my head all day and when the time came I still had a lot in the tank and was able to pass too many runners to count.
Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?
Difficulty – Is it a tough course?
Technically, no. But the constant ups and downs wear you down. Some people were slowed down by the somewhat technical single track at night.
Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?
TV100 is 30 years old this year and it feels like it. They know what they are doing and execution appears to be flawless. Some of the manned aid stations have vibe of a party attended by experienced ultra runners, it’s a fun place to be but they know there’s work to be done. Some of the unmanned aid stations did come up short on the basics like running out of water.
Competition – Is there a strong field?
Seems like there are strong runners but they were way ahead of me! There were many people I met who were doing their first 100 and seemed to be doing well.
Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.
You need to have a qualifying race and volunteer hours to run. General registration opens in mid January and sold out in less than 15 minutes this year and there is a waitlist. The race is a fundraiser for Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports so if you are on the waitlist, do the fundraising because people who are fundraising get priority should someone drop. Not many hotels nearby but there is camping in the field (which was pretty nice) and many Airbnbs in the area.
Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?
Polly’s makes fresh waffles all night! Cheeseburgers are on the menu at Margaritaville. You pass through Camp 10 Bear twice and they take really good care of you.
Weather and typical race conditions
The third week in July is usually sunny and dry in New England so there’s not too much to worry about. This year it was mid 70s to low 80s, low humidity, and partly cloudy. So, perfect.
Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next guy?
I brought my own supply of Tailwind as they provide BASE, which someone suggested tastes like dishwater… Other than that I didn’t bring anything out of the ordinary.
Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?
Spectators are fantastic! It’s almost embarrassing to run up to the aid stations with of the congratulations and “you look awesome” coming at you. It’s really great.
How’s the Swag?
Oh shit. Got me a hat and nice long sleeve shirt for the fundraising. A bunch of product (socks, salt thingies, etc) along with a technical t-shirt, and a sweet canvas bag for registering. A pair of Patagonia shorts, the “big” buckle for a sub-24 finish, and a nice mug for solo finisher. Pretty good swag in my opinion.
The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?
I love this race. I did the 100k last year as I was working my way up to 100 miles and I knew I would be back. It’s beautiful and difficult in its own way. And the horses!