I was REALLY excited to do this race. It has been my Vermont wish list race for 3 years now. It’s small, very organized, and sells out quickly.
You can read about the trip leading up to the race and where we stayed and what all we did here. Race day I woke up early and had my usual gluten free bagel with almond butter, a little coffee and nuun. Abby wasn’t running, and was kind enough to get up early and drive me to the start for the point to point course. The race day instructions said to be at the start line no later than 7:15 (I’m assuming so the road didn’t end up congested since it was a point to point and gave the cars enough time to get off the course).
I was a little panicked because I didn’t plan for cool weather and didn’t even think to pack a throw-away but Abby and I made a plan for me to throw her my long sleeve shirt at mile 3-4. She dropped me off at the start a little before 7:00 and I had an hour to chill before the start. I grabbed my bib (only have race day pickup) and just people watched the rest of the time. It was the first time in a while I toed the line alone at a race.
I wasn’t sure how I would feel for the race, but just figured I would see how my body would do. The start was insanely crowded. Even though they had pacers lined up, they weren’t spaced out so it was really congested at the start line.The first few miles felt easy and effortless and the scenery was gorgeous. We hit the downtown area around mile three or so and ran right past our airbnb house (and saw that Abby and our car were blocked in by the race course) and then ran through a covered bridge.The neighborhood and downtown area were full of spectators and I knew I would see Abby to give her my long sleeve shirt. As much as I wanted to be motivated, I just wasn’t feeling it (I put on a great fake it smile though!)
The next few miles were pretty in scenery but not in my head. As I hit mile 6 or 7 I really started to notice I am in no place to be running a half marathon so close after my marathon. My body just wanted no part of it. This is how it went down in my head. “What the hell am I doing. I should just walk. No, don’t walk, the faster I run the faster I finish. I must be positive splitting the shit out of this race. Why won’t my legs move. I feel like crap. Are we done yet.” Yep. This went on in my head for most of the race. It didn’t really make for a good time but I did my best to try and get out of that mental place. At mile 7 to 8 we hit the hardest hill of the course. It was just short and steep and I actually walked a bit of it because I didn’t want to waste any more energy (and I wasn’t in the mood).
The miles just sorta went on. The course was pretty all along the river, the volunteers were great, and it was a pretty much a continued mental fight the rest of the way.There weren’t a lot of spectators for most of the back half. I didn’t give up and kept pushing for what I had left in me, mainly to just be done. The last mile we passed another covered bridge and the crowd support picked up. I gave it what I had but honestly I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to finish a half marathon in my life.
Race Results1:40:42 223/1948 overall 22/361 30-39 females
Probably one of my most inconsistent mileage split races in a long time. But, I’m not at all surprised.
The post race was super quick. I literally had someone take my picture, grabbed a banana (there were a lot of good food options, I just couldn’t eat any of them) and walked to find Abby. She had called and was stuck in spectator traffic trying to get to the finish line so I walked to her and we made a U turn out of the mess and headed back to Woodstock to grab food and check out of our Airbnb place. We ended up stopping back in Middlebury on our way back to Burlington and flew out late that night back home.
- The scenery
- The volunteers
- The trip/new state
Not So Much:
- my own mental struggle
- crowded start
I love that, even thought it’s simple, the medal has the covered bridges on it and I actually really like the shirt (even though I rarely wear race shirts anymore)- it’s a good color and sticks with the theme. Apparently the color just changes year to year (I saw several people racing in the shirt from previous years).
I would 100% recommend this race to anyone racing the states or looking for a great New England long weekend trip. You really can do so much in a short period of time. I loved Vermont. And even though I mentally and physically weren’t prepared for the race, I still thought it was great. I didn’t know what to expect performance wise, but I can’t complain at all with my time or the fact that I didn’t give up.
I know that this race wasn’t the smartest thing to do 2 weeks post marathon, but as I have mentioned, I signed up back in December before I had decided on a spring marathon and I didn’t want to give up my entry. On that note- you HAVE to set an alarm for this one and don’t forget (December 7th at 7pm for 2016 if you are interested). I literally had 2 computers up at once trying to get registered and it usually sells out within an hour or two.