Sunday, July 8, 2012

Vermont Travelogue Part 2: Montpellier Mile Race Report

When planning my trip to Vermont I did my usual "find a race" research and stumbled upon the Montpelier Mile. I haven't raced many road miles because there are few opportunities to do so, but every year in September I do the 5th Avenue Mile. This smaller race in Vermont seemed perfect because (a) it would be a great opportunity to practice the mile and (b) it would be short enough that it wouldn't disrupt my otherwise relaxed vacation.

After several days of exploring, Tuesday evening rolled around. Both my Aunt and Uncle decided to drive me to Montpelier, which is only about 30 minutes from Stowe. They were even kind enough to let me listen to my "pump-up jamz" (i.e., trashy pop and hip-hop) on the ride down. We found parking without too much problem and walked over to the bib pick-up which was across the street from the gold-domed capitol building.

I got in some strides and some loosening up drills, made about fifty visits to the port-a-potties and then it was time to line up. The only downside to this race was the starting line. They have kids and recreational runners line up on one side and more seasoned runners line up on the other. Unfortunately both groups start at the same time. It was a little chaotic initially but I don't think it cost me more than a second or two overall and it was fun to see how speedy some of the kids were out there.

The course itself was great. It was flat (which is no small miracle in Vermont) and it was clearly marked every 1/4 mile. Although it was an out-and-back, the turnaround point was a rotary which meant you didn't have to worry about a sharp turn. Having it set up that way actually made it feel faster than courses that simply run in a straight line.

I came in at 5:39. Maybe I should be disappointed by this time but I'm not. I've done very little speedwork recently aimed at shorter distances recently, having taken things relatively easy lately. Hopefully between now and September's 5th Avenue Mile I'll be able to do enough speedwork to get my time back down.

After the race (and a quick change in a public bathroom), we went for dinner at the New England Culinary Institute's restaurant on Main Street. The food was great and we got done just in time to take in some of the fireworks. It was definitely a great evening and it more than made up for the fact that my flight home the next day prevented me from seeing the fireworks in NYC.

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