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Vt 50 ?

3583 Views 26 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  pithydoug
Comments RE: VT 50 for 1st 50 miler? How difficult compared to Pineland farms challenge?<br>
Planning to do road marathon 1 month prior as part of training but will do other longer training runs, on trails as much as possible
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To answer the original question, I had a great time at the VT50 last year as my first 50 miler. I had run several 50k's a shade under 5 hours so far that year and had a fun learning experience trying out the 50-mile distance. The hills at VT are great because they force you to walk, which is something one definitely needs in a tough 50-miler. I ran Stonecat after that and ran slower because I found myself much more exhausted near the end. I also had some fueling issues. 50 miles teaches you the importance of getting lots of calories in and also managing your salt intake on a hot day. You can screw these things up completely and still drag yourself through a marathon or 50-k. At 50 miles you are in for a world of suffering if you haven't figured them out, so do your homework and <span style="text-decoration:underline;">run your own race</span>.<br>
Well, I'm not sure I agree that Vermont has an "easier" course than Stonecat insomuch as I'm not sure I agree that flatter always equals easier, but I agree with Sarah that logistical concerns are important. Being able to get to your bag and change whatever can be helpful. On the other hand, if you travel to the race with someone who is willing to crew for you, you might be a lot closer to the next crew station than 12 miles, the length of a lap at Stonecat. Stonecat is definitely a nice choice, though, and is also later in the year, giving you more time to train, and the weather is likely to be cool.
So that's three of us that agree on this. When you start the race at Vermont, within the first two miles or so you hit this nasty dirt road climb and you just <span style="text-decoration:underline;">know</span> that you are not going to run the whole distance. You are forced to take the hills seriously and walk. You don't have that experience at rolling races where you think, aw, c'mon, I can run this little guy. I made the mistake of underestimating the relatively flat terrain at Stonecat, and Trail Monster did the same at Pinelands, running the whole first lap, and that was <span style="text-decoration:underline;">his</span> race!<br><br>
I have to agree with John about the scene at Vermont, too. It's a beautiful place with an amazing crowd and energy at the aid stations. The terrain and foliage are just stunning. I can't say the same for the sandy woods at Stonecat. It's a great race, but just doesn't have the same electricity.
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