Normally I don’t write previews, but this year it feels different. John always talks about his annual camping trip up to the Whites in the springtime where he feels reborn. For me, it’s the Vermont 50. Tomorrow and Sunday will mark a decade of these things. 10 years! It boggles my mind that i've been doing this race for 10 years. (9 starts, 3 DNF, 2-50k, 4-50M)
Sure the tradition has changed a bit, the first year Rik had to pick me up and drop me off back at college. Camping in the parking lot has come and gone over the years. But the heart of the pre-race still lives on. Sleeping on the ground, in the cold, splitting a 6-pack of Long Trail and wolfing down meatball subs. Waking up at 430 in the morning to frost on your pillow. Trying to get dressed while shivering uncontrollably. Standing in the huge port-a-potty lines. Seeing all of the familiar faces. The fog that covers the mountain in the wee hours of daylight as the first wave of bikers starts off down the road. I don’t know exactly what it does to me, but I love it. The Vermont 50 is the reason I continue to do ultra runs. The trails, the smells, the course, the farms, the memories, it’s…just…home to me.
This year I am happy to say that Rik will return to be running by my side after missing last year with injury. Loni will be heading out later in the morning to continue to try to improve her 50k PR in hopes to crack the 50 miler status in 2010. I will continue my personal tradition of getting to registration early, followed by a late lunch at the Long Trail Brewery and enjoying a few pints on the deck on the banks of the Ottauquechee River.
Looks like a cold rainy race day forecast, perhaps reminiscent of the mud bowl from 5 or 6 years ago? Here’s to hoping so.