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Vt 50 ?

3584 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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After all the good advice, I'm still leaning towards VT. Stonecat is in the next town over from me but later in the season then I want. I have done the 12 mile loop in training.<br>
Pineland was fun last year and despite my lack of planning I still managed just under 5 hrs. I treated it like a slow marathon for the first 25K, hung on at the end and didn't really walk much until my legs made me. And then I walked alot.I liked the course and did not find it difficult.<br>
I guess I picture the VT50 like the Seven Sisters I did 8?years ago but maybe with more flats.<br>
I'll keep training and will see!<br>
Thanks for the stories.
Ok.. The VT50 and the 7 Sisters... These races are NOT comparable.<br><br>
The 7 sisters is a rock filled trail race which consists of one short and steep uphill followed by SEVEN PUDS (Pointless ups and downs), followed by a short/steep decent.. runners then turn around and run back. If you've ever done the Pemi-Loop... its pretty much like running a mini Garfield Ridge. "Extremely hilly with 3,700 feet of climb consisting of many steep hills with hazardous footing in places due to the many sharp basalt rocks the comprise the elevated ridge of Mt. Holyoke."<br>
Check out this <a href="" target="_blank">map</a><br>
You can kind of see the contour lines in this image. You go up... roll along and then... go down.. turn around.. do it again. 12 Miles. I've run it and its prbably one of the most over exaggerated races in New England.. especially where Wikipedia sites: "a twelve mile "out-and-back" run that often leaves its runners bloody, bruised and exhausted." Yeah.. ummmm... no. <img alt="huh.gif" src=""><br><br>
The Vermont 50 is your classic Vermont ultra which consists of many sections of rolling farmlands. The hills at the VT50 go on FOREVER... 2-3 miles of up followed by 2-3 miles of down and it goes on and on and on. The course is run on mostly dirt roads and "mint" singletrack.<br><br>
I found an elevation profile on a runners site....<a href="" target="_blank">go here</a>. Scroll down to the elevation profile link and click on it (Awesome report by the way!) Its the last 30 Miles of the Vermont 100 course.... though its not the same race, the last 30 miles of the VT100 are run in the same general area as the VT50 Course. It will at least give you an idea of what is there as opposed to 7 sisters. You can also google earth the area around Woodstock, Brownesville and Hartland, VT.<br>
And the other difference is again.. dirt roads and pristine singletrack
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I kind of agree with Sarah that the VT50 is not the best initial 50. I can't speak for Pineland but as I read it is constant undulation. Races like Pineland are very deceptive in that you tend not to take enough walk breaks and get spanked later in the race. I'm guessing its more like Laurel Highlands once you get up on the ridge. Vt50 has some big pulls and it's very obvious you had best walk or you have a poor sense of direction or too high an opinion of your talents. <img alt="headbang.gif" src=""><br><br>
As a side bar I don't think the VT50k is the best initial 50k either.<br><br>
VT50 has about 9,600 as of last year. Also note that the VT50 is never the same course each year. Land owners change permission each year and the course is always tweaked albeit not big chunks lately. This includes 12 finishes, so I've been there the last 13 years. Did the 50k last year.<br><br>
From the who gives a rats posterior, I think Bull Run is a better first 50 with the HAT much nicer first 50k although both in the spring.<br><br>
Back to VT50. If it's your choice but you need to spend a lot of time pounding some serious hills and I mean long pulls. It's not the ups that will kill you but the downs. It just means a bit more preparation than many other 50's. The race is in September and the temps are almost ideal and the leaves are staring to turn. OTOH, if it rains it will be a bitch of a run as 800+ mountain bikes go off in front and you will run the entire race in deep mud. On a dry day road shoes are fine, on a wet day think about snow shoes.<br><br>
I would strongly suggest you get 2-3 5+ hour runs with 5-6K of elevation gain and loss and you'll get to the finish line race day.
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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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I don't know John. While I think there are probably tougher overall races, I too have run the course and I can think of no other race that is as technical (ignoring length) as 7 Sisters. I think the bloody and bruised is pretty well deserved. Do you know of any race that has more challenging/rugged terrain?<br><br>
Pemi-Loop (unofficial)<br>
Presi Traverse (unofficial)<br>
I could name a million routes in the Whites, and after you've run in the whites... nothing else matters. <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="">
Yup, the Escarpment 30k. As finish line captain, there is a lot more more blood and wounds in general than 7 Ho's. What I found particularly unique and nasty in 7S's was much the terrain was not level. You run a lot on a 10-25% list which can really screw up your legs if you don't train in those conditions.
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