Monday, August 30, 2010

Run to the Top of Vermont Weekend

OK, So i know i haven't blogged in a while, as i was reminded over the weekend by another fellow blogger. So here goes....

Over the weekend the Turtles headed up to Stowe, Vt for the 3rd Race to the Top of Vermont up Mt Mansfield, the highest point in Vermont. Heading up on Saturday were Bob Jackman, Larry Walker, John Peabody, Vicki & Chris Jasparro and myself. We all made this trip last year only Vicki did not run, this was to be her first mountain run. We arrived at the Golden Eagle Resort on Saturday afternoon, we had rented the "White House" out on the main road in front of the resort. It was too early to go pick up numbers so Ken Skier of RunwithKen fame came over with a growler of Berkshire Beer and we all chilled out for a while, then it was up to the ski resort for number pickup and then dinner.

One thing we love to do is hit up brewpubs wherever we go and this was no different. Heading back from the ski resort, we stopped at The Shed Brewpub where we had eaten last year also. Sorry to say, the beer was just mediocre at best and the food was overpriced. Fifteen dollars for a quesidilla? Of course the real reason we went was for the beer, too bad all the beers i sampled tasted like the main ingredient was a handful of caramels. Now i've hit enough brewpubs and i also homebrew, so i know what a beer should taste like. I know...I am a beer snob. I just don't know how a brewer can not taste the off flavors in a beer. Maybe they like this "flavor". The IPA did not taste of hops. The DunkelWeizen did not have that wheat taste i like. The stout just tasted wrong. I could get more taste out of PBR's. I suggest they try a different yeast, it could make a huge difference. Of course, if you only want to sell so- so beer to tourists, keep doing what your doing. Looking for a beer in Stowe, don't go here. Funny thing is we went here last year and the beer wasn't bad otherwise i would not have returned this year.  I should have stopped at Millie's in Manchester, NH on the way home just to say i had some great beer on this trip. So much for my beer rant, on to the race.

Race morning dawns and everyone is up early for the 9am start, it is nice to be 10 minutes down the road from the race. Last years winner, Jim "DoubleJ" Johnson stayed with us Turtles and payed the price as the TV was on til 2:35 in the morning which doesn't help with sleep. You should have had a few beers with us JJ, that would have helped knock you out. My back was killing me in the morning, I popped a handful of Motrin and hoped for the best. Once at the race lot, i went for a warmup (do you need a so called warmup when it is 70 degrees at 8am?) with Bob and JP. The back really wasn't any better. We were at the start area with a half hour to go, i was getting hot and i could use more water.....water, at a race...nowhere to be seen. Why in hell was there no water before the race, i know we runners should always be prepared and there was more water in the car, but the cars were at least a 1/4 mile down the road, and i mean down! It is hot out, try supplying some water for the runners before the race next time!!

The race goes off on time at 9am. You start on an uphill so the pace goes out slow for me and John Peabody, who i started next to. I went through the mile in under 12 minutes and i knew today would suck. I got to the 1 1/2 mile point of the course just as a car! was coming up the road through the crowded dirt road which begs the question, WHY is there a car being let up the road right after the race starts? At this point i realized that my race was over, why should i suffer for 3 more miles when my back is stiff as a board. I turn around, remove my number and jog down the mountain. Now i know how Kevin Tilton felt at Mt Washington, only i am a slow middle of the pack runner, not a favorite. It was nice how many runners asked if i was ok as i ran past them on the way down, we really are a caring lot.

Up the mountain, Vicki was running good, taking 3rd place overall for the women. Bob, Chris and John were off last years times and Larry ran faster than the previous year. I heard the was a big lack of water at the top of the mountain too. Maybe one of next years sponsors should be a water company. Maybe they can import some from Maine.

I really want to like this race, but there are too many little things that seem to be overlooked. Oh well, it doesn't matter now, i won't be coming back again. I would like to do the 100 on 100 relay that starts in Stowe the day before and runs 100 miles down Rte 100 to the Okemo Ski area. Long relay races can be a lot of fun.