Last week we met in Pittsfield, Massachusetts for the annual running of the Vegan Power 25k/ 50k Ultra. This is one of our teammates favorite races every year and many of use have come back year after year; this was my third time. The race director, Alex Bancroft, and crew put on such a well polished event it’s hard not to fall in love with it.
With a smooth volunteer troupe and aid stations that are always stocked with all sorts of vegan goodies; runners are taken care of extremely well. This year one of our own, Marie Gryszowka, was in charge of all the volunteers and aid stations. We all know her as the “van mom” so it’s no surprise that she did an amazing job. The timing table (old school, no timing chips) is run by a couple of dudes whose antics rival the epic nature of Statler and Waldorf. Ben Kimball (author, photographer and running extraordinaire) was in the woods providing encouragement and amazing photos for all the runners. Scroll all the way the bottom to see pics he took of the event, thanks Ben.
Before all that happened though, it wouldn’t be a weekend in the woods without some camping. As usual, we booked a group site and plopped down 7-8 tents and started hanging with the fam. We settled in the first night and grubbed on some veggie dogs and whatever else we could load up on. As usual, we all brought way too much food, but is there ever such as a thing as too much vegan goodness? I thought not! We all wrapped it up early to get enough sleep before towing the line bright and early; bib check was at 6am, the 50k and relay team started at 7am.
7am came quick and runners hit the starting line. We had a bunch of runners in on the 50k (individual and a relay team) including two new members, Leisa and Juliette. These two are amazing runners and people, they are a welcome addition to our team and hopefully you will meet them at Reach The Beach. (speaking of, did you sign up yet?) Shortly after, the 25k folks took off at 10am.
The course was a bit muddy in spots since it had rained quite a bit the days before. It made some of the bridge passes very tricky for sure. Other than that, the course was pretty well maintained and marked as usual. Of course there were the usual roots and ankle biters all over, but if you are running a trail race would you have it any other way? I personally love the adversity of trail running and I had a ton of fun.
At the end of the day, everyone had a great race and we had folks finishing their first 50k races as well as our own Dan Kelly crushing the 25k and taking a second place finish! Great job everyone!!
We all met back at the campsite for seitan ribs, beyond sausages and other cookout fare. S’mores were cooked and even hit a new level with Shawna’s s’mores casserole which some of us elevated even more with fresh raspberries!! Those were so good, I’m drooling just thinking about em!
When asked about the race we had a few members share some of their favorite times over the weekend.
Marie says he favorite part was marking the course, raspberry s’mores and maybe even being there with the team! 😛
Molly and Melissa had similar sentiments as they thought seeing teammates and friends on the course was great and helped them get through when times were tough.
All in all it was an amazing time! If you have yet to do this race you will now have to wait a whole year to get in on it, but you should!!