Saturday morning, 5AM. I wake up and can’t believe the day has finally arrived. Today will be the third running of the Mountain Madness 50K. Seems like only yesterday when I toed the line for the very first race. Like every year I spent a lot of time on the course training, trying to remember every turn, every hill, and anything else that would give me an advantage on race day. This 50K in my opinion is one of the toughest in the Northeast.
Well it has been a couple of weeks since Vermont 100 and I figure I better get my thoughts down before they fade away. Vermont 100 has a special place in my ultra running history as it was my first 100 miler. I ran it in 2007 and came in 10th place with a time of 18:55. I was very driven back then and followed a strict training program.
For the first time ever TNF 50 Miler started without rain. Yes, it was a little chilly at 4:00 am but they had heaters that you could stand by to keep warm before the 5:00am race start. They sent us off right at 5:00 am It was pretty tricky for the first 30 minutes with everyone crowding on a rocky trail in the dark but as soon as the sky started to lighten up our headlamps were no longer needed.
This race intrigued me the minute I heard about. It sounded like New Jersey's idea of a mini Barkley 100 mile Marathon Heck, only 3 people finished last year. You had to complete four 6 mile loops. Each loop had a two hour time limit. Over 90% of the course would be off trail going through brush, mud, small ponds, streams, rock beds, concrete swimming pool fills with putrid water, and three steep climbs