Running 200-on-100 (fkt)
Updated: Jul 25
Vermont was hit with heavy rainfall and flooding shortly after Shan's run. The damage was devastating and will take years to recover and rebuild. If you'd like to donate to those in need, you can do so here.
At the end of June 2023, I supported Shan as he ran the length of Vermont, setting a new fastest known time (fkt) for running Vermont 200 on 100: 3d 12h 3m. The temperatures were warm. It was muggy. It rained buckets at times. It was humid, humid, humid.
But he did it.
I was his support crew, with my mother keeping me company (the support crew also needs a support crew sometimes!). We met up with Shan throughout his day, sometimes by car and sometimes by bike. There was a big focus on hydration, especially on Day 1 when the temps reached the high 80s. Throughout the run, he fueled up on calorie-dense foods like eggs, pancakes, sandwiches, pizza, and a few sugary things. He sampled some Vermonty treats, too - apple cider donuts and a well-deserved (and much appreciated) maple ice cream milkshake.
His days started shortly after sunrise and finished with just enough time to shower and eat dinner before getting some sleep and doing it all over again. Route 100 is a charming Vermontesque road, taking tourists, cyclists, and runners past farms, churches, and ski resorts, through the woods, past waterfalls, and through the center of numerous little towns. The elevation is moderate, approximately 12,000 feet over 200 miles.
There are a few notable hills as the route skirts past Killington, Mount Snow, and Okemo ski resorts. One climb worth mentioning is Terrible Mountain coming out of Ludlow. Shan hit this stretch 35 miles into Day 3. It was hot and humid, on the verge of rain. The road climbs more than 1100 feet over 3 miles. I had decided to ride the bike while my mother drove up ahead, so I was able to experience the climb alongside him. This is a very steep hill, that seems to go on forever - I was able to zoom down the other side, while poor Shan had to rely on weary legs. So when we saw a country store that sold maple milkshakes we grabbed one and delivered it to Shan, and he loved it.
Despite the heat, humidity, and hills, Shan was able to keep a good overall pace. And I have to say, there's nothing like crewing for him - seeing him start every morning, being greeted with a smile at (almost) every pit stop, and getting a quick kiss before he shuffles off again. I love it! He makes it look effortless.
There was a moment on the last day, with 15 miles to go, when I suddenly felt guilty for suggesting this run in the first place. Even if he made it look easy, I knew he was digging deep and really pushing himself. I told him that I would never suggest he do something like this again, but he responded, "I love your suggestions!" What a rock star.
And then, before we knew it, he was gliding through the last 5 miles. He finished strong in the middle of a downpour with thunder and lightning in the distance. It was epic. He smiled as my mom cheered and I screamed and jumped up and down.
This was the 25th state that Shan has run through, so we'll probably be doing this at least 25 more times. Speaking of - the ACA Pacific Coast Route which will include Washington, Oregon, and California, starts in less than 2 months!
Side note: I've biked through 20 states, so his goals are pretty much my goals, too. I guess it's a good thing we love doing things together. :)