The 2002 Vermont 100
July 20, 2002
100 miles, 14K feet of climbing Almost entirely trails and dirt roads
On Friday, I tried to camp out but was just too keyed up, so I drove 45 minutes back home to my own bed.
At 2:30AM Saturday, while driving through the Dartmouth campus on the way back to Smoke Rise, I noticed that the Friday night student parties were still going on.
As usual, I had no pacer and no crew, although my wife said she MIGHT stop in at an aid station or two. At the Jimmy Buffett station (mile 60), I felt OK, but decided I'd rather take a shower and then spend the evening playing with my kids.
However, Nancy wouldn't let me in the car; she said she'd see me at 68.
It's widely considered that dropping out of a race, when there's no physical crisis or cut-off trouble, is morally wrong. Apparently that's what Nancy felt: she neglected to show up at 68, so the most pleasant course of action open to me was just to finish the darn race.
I kept flirting with 24 hours. My pace would pick up in the evening cool, but then a really long uphill would bring me back to my senses. Got into 96.1 at just over 23 hours. The last 3.9 are in very hilly, rugged trails. I'd been barely managing 20 minute miles on downhill pavement.
But, what the heck, this is what we run ultras for. I train on this stuff anyway; pretend it's a training run! So I had a go at a sprint... maybe I'd get a just-under-the-wire buckle, or maybe a just-over-the-wire heartbreak. Either way, it will be a good story!
And it turned out to be the former option: 23:53, the last under-24 finisher... Yee-haw!
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