There is plenty of long distance running to be had on this, the final weekend of the month of September. We will begin with the only TWIR event that takes place on Sunday, September 26, the Vermont 50 Mile Run (Brownsville, Vermont). Ascutney Mountain Resort marks the start of this 50-miler that boasts 8,900 feet of ascent. For those familiar with the Vermont 100 course, the Vermont 50 is basically superimposed on the last third of it and actually shares less than 10 miles of it. About 67% of the course is on trails or jeep (unimproved) roads, 30% is on smooth, rolling gravel roads, and 3% is on pavement. It is a challenging course with good footing/traction, plenty of hills and classic Vermont scenery. If it rains, be prepared for some serious mud. The 50 mile mountain bike race kicks off on the same course just minutes before the runners hit the trails, and rain + mountain bikes = lots and lots of mud! In 2009, Brian Rusiecki (7:12:29) outlasted Glen Redpath (7:19:06) to take top honors, while Devon Crosby-Helms (8:06:16) took first for the ladies.
The third Virgil Crest Ultras (formerly the Iroquois Trail Ultras) take place on Saturday, September 25 in Virgil, New York (50-mile, 100-mile and 100-mile relay). The revised course uses a 50-mile out-and-back format for the 100-miler. Each 50 mile circuit includes 44.5 are run over hilly single-track trail with 3.5 of dirt/gravel forest road and 2 miles of asphalt. The 100 miler has roughly 20,000 feet of elevation gain and loss with half as much in the 50 mile race. The hills are constant and the terrain technical at times. Cut-off times are 16.5 hours for the 50-mile, 36 hours for the 100-mile and 28 hours for the 100-mile relay. Yassine Diboun (21:35) was the first ever winner of the Virgil Crest 100 in 2008. His course record lasted all of one year, with Jeff Browning (17:34) taking first in the 2009 edition (besting Glen Redpath – 18:56). The women’s course record is held by two-time defending champion Kelly Wilson (23:26 in 2009, 24:38 in 2008). Wilson is expected to defend her title in 2010.
What do you think of when you hear the terms “hallucination” and “L.S.D.”? Of course, it is the Hallucination 100 Mile and L.S.D. (Long, Slow, Distance) 100k, both on Friday, September 24 in Pinckney, Michigan. For those looking for something a bit on the shorter side, they also offer the Peace, Love & 50 Miles (Saturday, September 25). If the 4:00 AM start for the 100-miler and 100k doesn’t get you, the 16.6-mile loops just might. Each loop is comprised of 6 miles of single-track Potawatomi Trail in the beautiful Michigan wilderness, a couple of miles of gravel road, and the remainder on a mixture of single-track, horse trail and rail trail. Besides the stretch on gravel, runners cross paved roads 2 times each loop with no traffic control. 100-milers do 6 loops, 50-milers do 3 loops, 100k runners do 3 loops plus a 12 mile version of the 16.6 mile loop.
A few other events you might find interesting this weekend include…..
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What are your running plans for the weekend?