Vermont held a very special event this weekend. The Vermont 100 Endurance Race is one of the original 100 mile runs in the USA and a part of the Grand Slam Series of Ultrarunning. Each year, 300 runners attempt to finish this hilly race over beautiful Vermont back roads and trails under the 30 hour cutoff point. Running 100 miles…in under 30 hours…all night…on purpose!
Why is a bike touring company writing about an event like this? Well, the connection here is that over 200 volunteers are needed to help make this great event happen, before, during and after the race. During the race, medical help, radio communication and sweep support is crucial. And this is where the bicycling element comes in…and a very special connection to Discovery Bicycle Tours. Our daughter Sarah is a member of the Green Mountain Bike Patrol.
Sarah spends her summers working at the Montshire Museum of Science, and during the school year is a middle school science teacher. This weekend, she volunteered for the Vermont 100 as part the the Green Mountain Bike Patrol team. They started Saturday morning and continued throughout Saturday night and into the day on Sunday providing sweep and medical support to the runners. They were part of a great group of folks working hard to make this event successful. Green Mountain Bike Patrol members were able to get onto the Vermont trails, some not even passable by jeep, to make sure all runners were safe during this amazing endurance event. They all have their amateur radio technicians licenses and have skills such as outdoor first aid, trailside bike repair and off-road riding.
And what happens to the funds raised by this event? The Vermont 100 helps to raise money for Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports (VASS) which is the largest year-round disabled sports non-profit organization in Vermont and offers the most diverse program opportunities and unique, specialized equipment. VASS promotes independence and furthers equality through access and instruction to sports and recreational opportunities including alpine skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports; kayaking, canoeing, sailing, cycling, hiking, rock climbing, tennis, horseback riding and more. With nearly 400 active volunteers, plus general partners and sponsors, and an amazing base of clients and friends, VASS has been at the forefront of sports and recreation for those with disabilities in New England.
Feel like a challenge? VASS also runs the Vermont 50. Held in late September, the Vermont 50 has become a favorite race for ultra-runners and mountain bikers alike. The mountain bikers love the technical single-track and challenging climbs. Think about this for 2014, though, as the 2013 Vermont 50 Mountain Bike Race sold out in 23 minutes!
So, once again it was a great weekend in Vermont. Runners and volunteers were all amazing! And once again we’re very proud of Sarah!