Pineland Farms 50m has been on my "to-do" list of races in New England, I've heard from several runners it's a fun event. I needed a 50m before VT so I signed up! It ended up being about a 4 1/2 hr drive, not horrible!
I checked the weather about 100 times before race day- it kept chaning from rain to no rain, to rain, to no rain! I packed my car with about everything I thought I would need-whether there was rain OR no rain! On my drive up, it was pouring the entire way! I finally got in mid afternoon and picked up my packet, by the time I walked back to my car I was drenched. No way did I want to sit at my campsite the rest of the day/evening. So I googled the closest Starbucks, which was about 45 minutes away. I ended up in Freeport, ME which is an adorable little town! Full of outlets!!! And not normal outlet shops- but North Face! Patagonia! LL Bean! It was an outdoorsy, outlet haven!!! By then the rain had dwindled so I was able to walk around a bit and enjoy the cute town. For dinner, I had to get the Maine specialty- lobster roll and a hard cider, YUM! On my way back to the campground, it started raining again, I decided to just sleep in the car- didn't feel like putting up a tent in the rain and then putting it away in the rain :(
Freeport ME in the rain
Morning of the race, it was... Raining, of course. Stayed in my car as long as possible to try and stay a bit dry. Finally made it out to the Start line.... and got drenched. After a few words from the RD, we were off!
I have never seen so much mud before! And I've even done a couple Tough Mudders! This was relentless mud, and for the majority of the loops. Each loop was about 16 miles, I would guess about 10 miles was in constant mud- thick, "get your foot stuck", slippery mud. It definitely slowed everyone down. And through each loop- it just got worse.
I ended up running with quite a few people- met a few guys that had run VT100 a few times, so I drilled them with my many 100 miler questions I had about the race. It seemed like quite a few of the runners I was around were also using this race as a training race for a 100 miler. Kind of made me think that I was on track with my training :) The loops were pretty, part in the woods on cross country ski trails that looped along- you could almost always see someone on another part of their loop across the way. The other half of the loop was out in the open in the fields- again, you could almost always see someone ahead or behind you.
I left a drop bag (my first time with drop bags!) at the start/finish which I saw three times, but I never ended up stopping- always felt like a waste of time. I did use my new Ultraspire Hydration pack, it was a small 1 L bladder that I ended up filling a few times, but my shoulders never hurt as they do with my larger pack! It has quite a few pockets on the front- kept stashing food from aid stations in there :) I did realize my new favorite aid station food- PICKLES!! It was an amazing salty, watery food! Besides the mud, the race went well- felt strong the entire time, and really tried pushing it so I could finish under 10 hours. I realized in the last 5 miles or so that I would make it under 10 and tried to keep picking up the pace. I finished in 9:46! I was very pleased with my time, given the muddy conditions. Not sure if I will go back next year- three loops is plenty of times to see the same course! BUT it was a great race, very organized and great volunteers/RD. Overall, great race!!