Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Vermont 50, a pivotal 3 miles

This is one of the most beautiful races in New England, if not the entire country. Numerous times during this difficult ride racers are rewarded with 360 degree views of Vermont's hilly panorama. Rising above it all, lush gentle green whale backs surface through wispy white fluff. Fog burning off as rays of sun sear the morning haze while dull gray blue horizon grows to a deep Sapphire as the day is born. Drink it in and feel the reward of a fucking spectacular day. The last time I got into this race (2003 or 04) it rained all day. It doesn't get better than this year my friends, commence mother nature.

Photo credit, Ride Junkie!

I am peering off into the distance as I crest the highest point in the race at mile 22. I take a lone second to soak it in for a fleeting moment and store in an earmarked folder in my noggin, I have no camera aboard to capture this view. As I look to where the fence once stood the hurdle is no longer. I enjoyed hopping the fence in years past, then smelling the eggs cooking at aid 4, hearing Jimmy Buffet tunes and gorging on food. No fence, and no Buffet singing this year. Silent supporters starred motionless. I don't think they were fully awake yet, it seems that we were among some of the first 600 people to roll thru. Thom Parson's silhouette is climbing aboard his two wheeled rocket and dives down the slope. I am filling my bottles and stripping a layer as Thom rolls out of sight. It's for the best. I need to race my own pace. He is a climbing machine and my strength lies with a different stride.
I whisk past my good friend Jeff Whittingham, he is crouched in the high ferns shooting pictures with a DSLR and he yells, "3rd SS, 20 seconds!" That's the lead Thom has on me, and I know Brian Lyster has a couple minute lead on Thom, and his lead will grow, as will Thom's. I am satisfied with what I've got, "now just keep it together Andy" I tell myself. "Hold it fast, fight, get pissed." Twenty five formidable miles to go. Tear it up!
And that's pretty much as it went. Good hard earned memories and a few cold beers for desert.
Results here. Timing is screwed up and somehow put Thom in 136th place...he should be 6th overall, 2nd Single Speed. I grabbed 12th overall, 3rd SS'er at 4:47.
Thanks for the good times everyone that put this one on. Big Thanks to Jeff Whittingham for the support and photos, Race director Mike Silverman, Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, and all the people at the many aid stations.
Update, scroll to the bottom..they also have me as a DNF #361. Maybe I had an out of body experience?

Greg, Me and Thom after finishing...no dirt? We look as clean as roadies after 50 miles of Vermont roads and single track!


rick is! said...

nice job yet again. I guess you were born to ride a single 29'er.

Andy said...

thanks Rick. Have fun at Kingdom Trails this weekend!
very jealous.

doug said...

Great job! I tried to make a comeback but ran out of race. Perhaps another 25 or 50miles???