The Viaduct 100 Post Race Report

posted Sep 4, 2010, 3:50 PM by Sam Pasceri   [ updated Feb 27, 2016, 10:36 PM ]

The Viaduct 100 Mile Trail Run

Race Report

By: Sam Pasceri

I signed up for the VTR (Viaduct Trail Run) about a year ago. I chose this race for several reasons. First it was close to home, fairly flat, free and I was hoping to actually go to my first race to “compete”. The Viaduct trail is an old rail road trail with the rails removed. There’s one area where a bridge has been removed that joined a steep valley. Other than that it's fairly flat. The one thing I never took into consideration was the stones, the very large stones that are used when laying a rail road track. It's these large rocks that would later take many people out of the race since they jammed into your foot when you least expected it and caused a great deal of pain.

I purchased a motorhome earlier this year for racing. I wish I would've done it years ago! It's very handy and my family is really enjoying it. I drove down a day early so I could relax and set up my “camp”. I was able to find the perfect spot right next to the start line.

For the first time, I promised myself I was going to limit my time at my time each stop spending no more than five minutes there. I didn't have any crew to help me out so I had to get everything ready myself.

Like the Beast of Burden, the course is a 25 mile loop course (OK, more like 26 miles) but, it was a pretty neat course. Since there is no entry fee the only aid offered was water at the start/finish, mid point and at the turn around. There was more than that but i was prepared with my own studff anyway. The race started at 6am under the Viaduct on August 7th. My birthday is August 8th. Since it was my birthday the race director surprised me by having everybody sing Happy Birthday to me before the gun went off. It was actually pretty neat since it echoed under the Viaduct. From that point on I was known as “The Birthday Boy!” Everybody was very nice and they had some great volunteers.

There was supposed to be 30 people at the starting line. The race director even had a waiting list for other runners. Unfortunately some people bailed out at the last minute. This is the problem that you run into when you offer a free race. The gun went off at 6am sharp and a small pack of four people including myself took off right away. We were running around a 9:30 pace. After 4 or 5 miles I backed off to a 9:40 pace and two guys (Denver Dill & Bill Cuthbert) picked up their pace a bit. The other runner (Tom Glenn) was about two minutes behind me. This left me in 3rd place. I would later find out that Tom competed in the Lake Placid Ironman two weeks earlier with me and had a time close to mine as well.

At the first turn around the two runners ahead of me had a 15 minute lead. I was baffled that they had such a huge lead after only 12.5 miles. A little while later I found out that this was their first 100 miler. My first thought was that they will blow up after 50 miles so I should just stick to my game plan. At the end of the first loop (25 miles) I came in at 4 hours 18 minutes. It took me longer than I wanted to at my motorhome but, I was off pretty quick.

About two miles into the second loop I was having some digestion issues so I had to back off and let my heart rate drop. This is where Tom Glenn caught up to me. He walked with me for a bit and did the usual introductions. This was his first 100 miler as well. Before I knew it he was off again and I was still walking. Now, I got bumped back into 4th place. I took it easy for a little while until I felt my stomach was able to digest properly. I was able to pick up my pace and started feeling a lot better. This time the two front runners were over 50 minutes ahead of me. As I was coming into the turn-around aid station Tom was just leaving and had about a 6 minute lead on me. I didn't spend much time at the turn-around aid station. I was out of there in less than 5 minutes. Here I learned that one of the front runners had to bail due to stomach issues. This put me back in 3rd place. Being in the top 3 was new to me and added a lot of excitement.

On the way back to the start/finish it's slightly downhill and I was able to make up some time here. I began to hold a 9:30 pace for some time. After a couple of miles I came up to Tom who was in second place. He was walking and I could tell he was beginning to struggle. When I came up to him he said that he was suffering from some stomach issues. I walked with him for a bit and then I was off. I was feeling really good now and felt very strong.

At the beginning of the race the RD told us to keep our heads up and make sure we didn't take the wrong trail. There’s really only 1 spot you could ever get lost, that's exactly where I did it. I decided to turn on my MP3 player for the first time. When I was doing this (with my head down) I missed a turn and ended up climbing a huge hill. I have no idea what I was thinking or why I kept going. After stumbling onto a beautiful lake I realized I better back track. This little wrong turn cost me about 25 minutes.

As soon as I made it to the bottom of the hill I realized where I went wrong. I was supposed to veer to the left instead of going straight. As I looked down the trail I noticed a woman running. She was a couple hundred yards up and moving well. Her name was Shannon and she was right behind Tom for some time and sitting in 4th place. While I was busy hiking up this hill she passed Tom and me. Shannon was now in 2nd place. I didn't push too hard but, I pushed it. She was running a sub 10 min. mile. We were approaching the end of our second loop and the start/finish was just ahead. I checked in and then headed for my motorhome. I quickly made a sandwich and noticed her walking out onto the trail already. I grabbed what I needed and I was off. I remember thinking that if I could stay behind her at least I wouldn’t get lost! Shannon had eased up a little bit and I slowly managed to put some time in between us. I love loop courses because it give you a chance to see everybody else and time yourself from other. As I continued I hit the turn around, grabbed what I needed and was off in 4 minutes. When I saw Shannon and noticed that I was about 8 minutes ahead of her.

The daylight was fading fast and I didn't bring my headlamp with me for my third loop. The last two miles back to the start are on a single lane trail and well shaded. I ended up running the last mile in the dark. I remember thinking this was it, this is my last loop and I still feel good! I had my Nathan hydration pack all setup with my headlamp and full of fluid so I wouldn't have to stop for water along the way. I even had my 3” folding knife on there! Oh yeah, I was ready for those monsters hiding in the woods.

For a while I ran with my music playing. I guess I should have left my headphones in because as soon as I took them out I could hear all the creatures in the woods. It sounded as if they were running next to me. There were a lot of coyote out there and I even saw two cross the trail in front of me. I heard a terrible screeching noise just around a turn. It sounded as if this thing was waiting just for me. The closer I got I could hear it from both sides of the trail. This is the first (and only time) I was glad that I was running on rocks. I scooped up a couple of rocks and pitched them into the woods ahead of me. As I got closer I realized the noise was coming from above, not from the sides. I shined my headlamp up and saw a huge owl. As I was looking at that one I heard another screech above me. There was two of them! After I realize it wasn't really the boogie man I took off again. I was shocked that I was still able to run at this point. I wasn't moving as fast as I was earlier but, I was still feeling strong.

As I approached the mid aid station I was greeted by the same friendly people that were there earlier. They were always very nice and eager to help. I started complaining about some stomach issues and the girl quickly handed me some ginger candy. I tossed them in my mouth and away I went. It took about two minutes for my stomach to settle and I was happy once again.

I reached the final turn around just under 18 hours. It took me 3 hours 7 minutes to get out there. I quickly filled up my water bottles and headed out. I spent a total of 4 minutes there. As soon as I started running I started doing the math. OK, to break 21 hours I need to run 2 hours and 50 minutes to the finish. I knew that I could run faster on the way back but, I just had to keep moving.

I arrived at the mid aid station and grabbed a couple of more ginger candies. No, my stomach was fine... I just really liked them. I checked the clock only to find out that I had slowed down a lot. I had an hour and 6 minutes to reach the finish line to go under 21 hours and I still had 6 miles to go. I took off and was really feeling good. Every so often I would step on a jagged rock and it would jab me in the arch of my foot. I'd let out an “Ewwwww....Ahhhhh!” And figured that noise alone would keep any animals away from making me their diner.

About 100 yards from the finish line you have come across an old train trestle. One false move and there goes your ankle. I remember thinking ok, go slow and don't screw this up, you're almost there. As I approached the finish line I heard, “Oh - Look! It's the birthday boy! Congratulations!”

I shook hands with one of the race directors (Carl), took a couple of photo’s and quickly made my way over to my motorhome. I knew I had to pack up my motorhome quickly because I wouldn't be any shape to do it later. Usually I had a support team with me but for this event I was on my own.

My finish time: 20 Hours 51 Minutes which was a new PR for me. I never felt so good after a race as I did here. There's a part of me that wishes I would've ran one more loop just to see if I could do it. I plan on returning in 2011.

-Sam Pasceri

2010 Ironman Lake Placid

posted Jul 27, 2010, 9:11 AM by Sam Pasceri   [ updated Jul 27, 2010, 9:13 AM ]

July 25th, 2010

Sam completes Ironman Lake Placid in 11 Hours 49 minutes which was a person best. 

The 363

posted Oct 14, 2009, 11:16 PM by Sam Pasceri   [ updated Jun 13, 2010, 2:59 PM ]

posted Oct 14, 2009, 11:11 PM by Sam Pasceri   [ updated Jun 2, 2010, 11:28 AM ]

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