Monday, July 27, 2015

Vermont 100 photos

Early on the misty morning of July 18, hundreds of badass runners and riders (the horseback kind) set out to race a hundred miles, or in some cases a hundred kilometers (you know, just a mere 62 miles), in central Vermont, at one of New England's premier ultrarunning events, the Vermont 100 endurance race. It's one of the four "Grand Slam" ultra events in the U.S., and based on the number and steepness of the hills I saw just trying to photograph it, it's REALLY HARD!

The light was dim at 6 a.m. when I arrived at the Taftsville covered bridge at mile 15 of the hundred-mile race, which makes race photos tough since the shutter speed needs to be set so slow and the ISO set so high, but I still managed to eke out some fun shots like this one:

mile 15 of the Vermont 100 ultramarathon
mile 15 of the VT 100 ultramarathon

volunteers from western MA's BURCS running club at the mile-16 aid station

Later, after a botched but enjoyable attempt to hike out to "Sound of Music Hill" (to protect private landowner privacy, there are no course maps for this race), I headed over to mile 49 just past Camp 10-Bear aid station and caught this shot of Scott Traer, the eventual winner of the men's full hundred race: 

Scott Traer, overall winner of the 2015 VT 100 ultramarathon (photo by Ben Kimball)
Scott Traer, overall winner of the 2015 VT 100 ultramarathon

Soon after, the sky darkened, lightning flashed, and thunder boomed. For a good ten to fifteen minutes, it poured hard and ensured that the dirt road would be full of mud puddles for passing pickup trucks to veer towards, hit, and splash me with for the next few hours (thanks for being so considerate, guys!). To protect the camera from the deluge, this shot was taken from inside my car: 

rain shower during the 2015 Vermont 100K

Late in the day, after spending over 6 hours taking shots of runners passing the mile 49 spot (and/or whatever mile that was for the 100K runners; I'm not sure!), I headed over to a site high on the hill above Brownsville / West Windsor, and got this shot of the women's 100-mile race winner with Mt. Ascutney rising majestically in the background before the sky got too dark for more photos: 

Ashley Lister, female winner of the 2015 VT 100 ultramarathon (photo by Ben Kimball)
Ashley Lister, female winner of the 2015 VT 100 ultramarathon

In the 100K race, the women runners triumphed spectacularly. The ladies took the top two spots overall, and the first 3 women all went under the previous course record. Impressive stuff! Here's a shot of first and second place winners, Emily LeVan (first place, #445) and Neela D'Souza (second place, #426):

second- and first-place winners of the 2015 Vermont 100K race

L: Men's 100K winner, Brian Marshburn
R: Running along the Ottauquechee River near mile 16

a reasonably iconic image of rider, runner, and verdantly pastoral scenery at the 2015 Vermont 100 race

My full photo galleries for each race can be seen at Northeast Race Photo:
Vermont 100 full hundred race100K race

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