Here is the RD (white hat) and runners mingling at about 5am. The small white sign says "Toughest 50 in the world"...it is not.
Our bud Paul Kearney from Burlington, Vt.
My camera had some funky setting that did this blurring effect. I have no idea how to fix it, it happened out at Hardrock one year.
This is Nikki Kimball, one of our old New England trail running friends, who has now moved on to world elitism. Nikki won the women's race, which we all expected she would.
More mingling and blurring....
The official Start/Finish Barn
Leigh Schmitt (sitting) who won the overall race in a new course record.
This would have been a great picture....Deb Pero, Nikki Kimball and Dot Helling talking before the start.
Brennan Wysong and Steve Pero of the Wasatch Speedgoat Mountain Racing Team
Just before the start
Heading up the first hill (one of many) This is flat in comparison to the rest of the course.
Looking back at some runners
Jeff Waldron, John Lacroix and Nate Sanel. These guys seemed to be around/near me all day long.
First view of the day
Some spectators lining the road. It's very "Vermont".
Paul Kearney and unknown runner. Paul and I leapfrogged all day long until I succumbed to the heat around mile 40. It was a hot and humid day, exactly the opposite of what my body can handle. Give me the dry heat of the west anyday!
Cool weathervane on a mossy roof of an old barn.
Typical of most of the good running roads. Most of this was in the first half....2nd half was lots of steep climbing on muddy trails.
Paul coming up behind me so fast, the camera couldn't capture the speed!
This was at the top of Bloodroot Mountain, which had a long steep climb up to it. I called this the High Aid Station and asked them to pose for the picture. Hurting runner in the background.
Smoky fire was to keep the bugs down....which were a nuisance all day long.
This guy was just coming into the aid station with that far away glazed eye, I'm a hurtin runner look.
Another nice from from the top of Bloodroot. Due to the humidity, everything was in a haze.
Typical of the trails we ran all day.
They were all pockmarked with mud holes hidden under the grass, so you had to go slowly to avoid breaking an ankle.
There were many really cool bridges out in the middle of nowhere. The snowmobile clubs in this area work hard to keep the trails in good shape for the winter snowmobile season, which is 9 months long ;-)
Another nice and well constructed bridge.
This might be my favorite section of the course. It was soft and rolling and very green. We might be around mile 25 here.
More nice trail.
Green tunnel....look at how lush the ferns are.
More green....Deb told me after the fact that lots of this was poison ivy....also in there was Raspberry bushes with the thorns and stinging nettle.
Yes, we were on the Long Trail for a bit.
Heading back down to Pittsfield! This is snowmobile highway 75 East...
One of the main aid stations, I believe this was mile 37.
This is a house of one of my friends that was on the course, so I had to take a picture.
I took a shot of myself after I puked. It was hot, very hilly here and my stomach was gone. I felt a lot worse than I look.
Olga (Goat teammate) inspired this shot ;-)
Finally reached the top of Joe's. What an incredibly hard climb it was to get here, basically straight up....and because I was no longer eating, I had no energy. Nice view though!
Same view with the camera moved to the right a bit.
...and then moved to the right yet again.
This is the aid station on top of Joe's....final one! I think this was mile 51, but was never really sure. I don't think "anyone" in the race knew what distance anything was, I got conflicting numbers at every aid station.
Final bridge crossing, maybe a mile from the finish. This last section was irritating because you could hear the finish line sound system, but kept climbing away from it.
One of the final hills I had just come up.
I think and hope that this is the last hill I'll have to climb.
The green carpet that leads to the finish. I just heard the runner before me announced and if I run hard I can get in under 13 hours. Ugh....just what I did NOT want to have to do.
One last look back at the hills I've learned to love to hate. That's where I puked and cursed John Lacroix at every right turn that brought me up yet another steep climb.
This is John....he is mean....for those of you who liked this run, there is a 100 and 200 mile run he's putting on in November in these same hills....probably in deep snow ;-)
My wife and honey, Deb who had an absolutely fantastic run. She was hoping for 16 hours and ran 13. I think she's ready for Hardrock Hundred in 4 weeks.
Steve, 25th in 12:56...Deb, 5th woman, 30th in 13:18. Deb is holding her finish hammer. Very interesting finish awards....a claw hammer with Peaks finisher engraved on the hickory handle.