Thursday, July 25, 2013

Sweatfest 2013 - Vermont 100 Race Report

Brian's Vermont 100 Thoughts

No this is not the review of a new porno, although it does contain stories of nudity and chaffed genatalia. This is my 2013 VT 100 Race report.

On the Friday before the 100, Amy and I were home getting ready for the race. The temp outside was 97 degrees and I was worried. How was I going to run 100, in this heat. We packed up the car and headed to VT with the thermometer pinned around 98. Getting to VT the temp relaxed to a cool 89. Going to sleep that night was difficult, sweat was dripping off my body while I was just laying there. I tossed and turned getting about3 hours of sleep the night before the race. 

We awoke to a humid morning. I hurried to tie my shoes while fireworks were going off 5 min prior to the start. The gun went off and we headed down into the fog. While running down the first series of dirt trails the humidity was stifling, sweat was already dripping from my arms. This was not a good sign of things to come. The realization of running all day in the heat dripping with sweat crept into my mind and killed my spirits, I knew that this was going to be a day of survival. 

I kept the pace easy and relaxed and just ran on feel. Before I knew it I was on the race reroute section in Woodstock. I forgot how long the road section was through the town, I felt like forever to get back on the small dirt roads and this was another dagger in my mind about not wanting to run this race.

Running into Pretty House (mile 22.5) covered in sweat with soaked clothing, I saw my crew of Nick and Steph and asked how much off the pace I was from last year. Nick said a few minutes and I headed off down the road. This stuck in my head, I needed to pick it up a little to the next aid at 31 and see how many guys I could catch.

I picked it up a little and caught Bob Ayers just out of the aid station. 9 miles later, passing no one else, I started to get frustrated. I felt like I was working somewhat hard, but no one came back to me. I went through Stage Road (mile 31) in 10th or so and kept pushing just a little bit. My feet started squishing in my shoes not from running in water, but from the sweat running down my legs and onto my socks. I could feel the sweat dripping off my shorts and onto my calves – gross.

At Camp 10 Bear (mile 47.6), I still saw none of the leaders and I still was in 10th. I told Nick that I felt like crap and he said that I looked the same as everyone else. He said that there was of bunch of guys just a couple of minutes ahead. I changed my shirt hoping that would help my spirits, but still had the soggy shorts. I ran out of 10 Bear in low spirits. Ryan Welts ran with me up the hill out of the aid station. We passed Ian Sharman looking like death up the hill and this helped with my mental state a bit. I figured let’s see what I can do. I squished down the road and soon enough passed Justin Angle, then Josh Katzman. I figured I would see Josh again sinc he looked strong, Justin looked bad with a bit of a limp.
(Getting support from Ryan Welts)

Now I felt like I was making progress and I had a little spring in my step. I felt like crap, but figured everyone else probably feels like crap too. I caught up to Jeff Hanson running the 100k and tried to make conversation up the long climb. Every question I asked him he answered with “what”. I started to get frustrated, either I was not making complete sentences or he was hard of hearing.

At 54 mile aid station I passed Sebastian. The aid station workers told me now I was in 4th, and 2nd and 3rd was just a couple of minutes ahead. I headed off into the filed looking for the guys, but there were a bunch of 100k runners ahead confusing me who was the 100k and who was in the 100. Running down the road my penis stated to chafe, in a few miles it started to really hurt. I knew that this could be a killer if I didn’t do anything until the finish. At the aid at 59 I grabbed a band aid from my crew and wrapped it around my penis and headed off. Relief, I couldn’t believe how much better this felt.

Around 65 I saw Nick Clark and Jason Lantz ahead. I tried to sneak up behind them, but I think Nick saw me because they picked up the pace a little. It felt like forever to reel him in. I finally caught him and passed him with some weak authority. Down the hill back into Camp 10 Bear (mile 70), Nick flew by me. With broken spirits I started to feel worse with no energy. I mostly walked the uphill back into 10 Bear.

I coasted down the hill into 10 Bear almost getting run over by a pickup towing a trailer. I made it into 10 Bear to my crew looking like death. I couldn’t take the sweaty shorts anymore. I yelled out “no one look!” and stripped down naked in front of everyone. I grabbed a new shirt and some super short shorts and put them on. My pacer Chad Denning and I headed off to 77.

With Chad at my side I felt better. I gave me something to focus on and the miles passed by. We got to 75 mile aid and while filling bottles Nick Clark came up from behind be. Hmm, I thought he was ahead of me. I still felt like crap, but kept moving since now I was in 3rd. We shuffled off up to West Winds (mile 78) and it started to cool off and rain.

Going out of West Winds I felt like crap and wanted to drop. Chad and I were slowly moving through the trails and we could see Jason Lantz ahead. I told Chad I didn’t care that we could see Jason since I felt so low on energy, he persuaded me just to keep moving. We saw him just for a few minutes and it must have gave him inspiration because he took off.

(Finally having the company of Chad)
We weaved our way though the muddy trails, we both paused and noticed that we had not seen a confidence marker for a while. ‘Oh shit’ I though to myself, ‘I feel like death and now we are off course.’ I told Chad, “I am staying here, you figure it out”. Chad darted down the trail while I stared off into the trees like a zombie. I sat down on a rotten log and drank my whole bottle of hammer recovery. After a few minutes I could faintly hear yelling and headed towards the general direction. I finally found Chad after a few minutes of him yelling my name. We were now back on course, but I had lost some time. The 100k lead female I had passed a few miles back was now just behind me.

Chad said we had lost 5 min, I thought it was probably more. Whatever it was, it cost a lot of effort. The thought rang through my brain how hard I had worked to catch Nick Clark and now he was ahead of me, now Josh Katzman could be ahead of me too. Shit, now it was time to make up the lost time and I actually felt better. I don’t know if it was the recovery drink or sitting on the log or what but now I had some life back in my body. I told Chad I was feeling good and we took off. We moved well down the trail and onto the road section. Chad checked his GPS watch and he said were running 8:00 minute miles, we knocked of 4 miles of low 8’s in a row. It felt great.

Somewhere around 85 miles I paid for the effort. I didn’t have any more recovery drink only sugary sports drinks and gels. They just didn’t work anymore. No matter how many gels or sports drink I did, I felt the same – no energy. My stomach could no longer process any more sugar. It felt like forever to reach Bill’s (mile 89). Chad asked me what I wanted so he could take off and tell Nick to get it ready. I realize he was trying to help, but my brain could not process all the questions and I did not want to think about it or talk. I said some mumbled words about honey stingers and body glide and a new shirt and Chad darted off. Without him around I slowed to a crawl. I shuffled into Bill’s and stepped on the scale.

(Chad offers support)

I hit my absolute low. I could hardly move. I walked down the trail wanting to turn back and drop. I drank another bottle of Hammer recovery, but this time it did nothing. I complained to Chad how bad I felt and told him I wanted to stop and drop. As we turned on the road, my stomach felt bad I saw some big leaves and knew that it was a sign to take care of business. While squatting in the woods Nick drove by and stopped and talked to Chad. Chad told Nick I was fine and he drove away. I was mad at Chad for that, I wanted to get in that car and be done.

We started to run again and make some progress, I thought to myself only 11 more miles, I can do this. In one of the field sections around 90 I saw someone behind me. Oh well I thought, I have been moving so bad it was only a matter of time before I was caught. It was Ian Sharman, he had come back from the dead. We ran together for a mile or so and then he slowly dropped me on a hill. I didn’t really care about the spot I just wanted the pain in my body to end.

Mile 96, finally I saw Nick again. He told me I only had 4 miles to go and it gave me some spring in my step. At the time I thought it was 5 miles to go from the last aid. We ran down the road and I started to look for the table on the left side of the road that started the last trail section. From the table I thought it was 3 miles of trail to the finish. It felt like forever to get to the table, turn after turn it never came. I got mad at Nick, and thought that he told me the wrong distance to the finish. We finally saw the table and Chad said we had 1.5 miles to go. I scolded him not to bullshit me because I was convinced it was 3 miles from the table. A short while down the trail we saw the sign with 1 mile to go, I apologized to Chad about snapping at him.

(Crossing the finish line, finally the day is over)

We hit the final road crossing up the hill from hell and back onto the trail. We could smell the finish, the gallon jugs on the side of the trail the sight of the finish banner though the trees, this day was almost over. We hit the final stretch and jogged to the finish.

I sat down on the ground depleted. My time was over an hour slower than last year but this effort felt a lot harder. I took off my shoes and headed to the med tent. I laid down on a cot and felt the aching of my legs, feet and the burning of my chaffed body. I laid like a zombie for a couple of hours and wondered how Amy was doing.


  1. Just like Amy's story: a true showing of character. Nice job not giving in.

  2. "What?"....don't remember us talking much. You said it was hot....I said you were closing on Nick and Jason...but, yeah my focus may've been a bit off. Great race!