Next weekend over 350 highly trained endurance runners from all over the United States and a few foreign countries will compete to complete the very challenging and scenic 100 mile course in our area. One hundred runners will attempt the 100 km course and about 100 horses and their riders, from around the U.S. and world, will race either the 100, 75 or 50 mile courses set for them.
These are very tightly organized races. Race maps are not published and racers may not pre-run the course. In general, the course takes in 68 miles of dirt roads, 30 miles of bridle trails, two covered bridges and 30 pieces of private property by permission, through West Windsor, Hartland, Taftsville, Pomfret, Woodstock, South Woodstock, Reading, and Cavendish.
As the last race in the United States where horses and runners compete on the same course simultaneously, this race is unique and in demand. The run races typically sell out in minutes.
The race proceeds benefit Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, a non-profit located in Killington, that allows individuals to challenge themselves through sports. The Vermont 100 has become one of largest fundraisers for Vermont Adaptive, contributing nearly $200,000 this year to the organization.
100-mile run: Saturday, July 21 at 4 a.m. to 10 a.m. Sunday morning, July 22 July 22
100 km: Sunday, 9 a.m. with finish line closing at 5 a.m. on Sunday.
Horseback, from Silver Hill Meadow
100-mile ride: Saturday, leave at 5 a.m.; trail closes at 5 a.m. on Sunday
75-mile ride: Saturday, leave at 9:15 a.m.; trail closes at 3:15 a.m. on Sunday
50-mile ride: Saturday, leave at 2 p.m.; trail closes at 2 a.m. early Sunday morning. July 22
July 22 July 22
Both Vermont Adaptive and The Vermont 100 were founded by West Windsor resident Laura Farrell, who is still involved, marking trail and volunteering on the race committee.
In order to put on a race of this size, the race committee appealed to almost 60 area landowners for use of their properties for race weekend only. Permission to use their land and enjoy their Vermont views is one of the reasons so many riders and runners return year after year to this race.
The race committee and volunteers work for months performing trail maintenance and upgrades, keeping the area trail systems in top condition.
The horses and riders have mandatory hold areas where the horses are monitored by veterinarians. Many of the area landowners put out water and sponges for the horses in between their designated crew stations. And the “human” aid stations gladly provided food and water to the riders, too.
The race website, vermont100.com, tells you everything you need to know as a contestant, including a printable, shareable Runner Handbook.