Covered Bridges Half Marathon

Covered Bridges Half Marathon

The Covered Bridges Half Marathon in Vermont is race I’d been wanting to run for a while. Boasting scenic views of green mountains, rolling pastures and three covered bridges, Jenna, Meredith, John and I signed up months ago. Last Saturday Jenna and I drove up to White River Junction with a stop near Killington for a short 3 mile hike called Deer Leap Overlook.

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Part of the trail to Deer Leap meets up with the Appalachian Trail–how cool!

The famous white blaze of the AT

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There was a rewarding view for such a short hike!

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After the little hike we met up with Meredith and John at Long Trail Brewery, one of my favorites! Can you tell why?

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We each got a sampler and went out to their back patio to enjoy the scenic views–it sits right next to the Ottauquechee River.

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We also enjoyed some pre-race snacks–nachos and the best truffle fries I’ve ever had. But anyway-I’m here to talk about the race! We stayed in White River Junction, a short drive from where we parked for the race in Quechee. After parking, we had to get shuttled to the start in the quaint town of Woodstock, Vermont.

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Oh, and it was raining…

The weather ranged from lightly misting to full on rain all throughout the race. I was semi-prepared and had a visor, thank goodness. I hate rain in my face!

The only covered bridge we actually ran on

They weren’t lying–the race was scenic! It was probably one of the prettiest I’ve run.

I was worried that it was going to be super hilly. I didn’t look into the course so I didn’t know what to expect. Thankfully there were only two major hills, neither of which were a big deal.

Around mile 10 I was starting to get cold and was wishing for some dry clothes and shoes-thankfully there was only 3.1 miles left.

I finished in 2:19:15–not too bad three weeks out from running a marathon and a half.

There was also delicious ice cream at the finish! Along with a Harpoon Beer. They actually had a decent selection of about six different beer flavors to choose from. I chose the pale ale with mango…yum!

Thankfully our hotel allowed a late checkout so we all had time to go back and shower and change into warm clothes. Overall it was a great race despite crappy weather. It was still beautiful. I’d highly recommend this race!

Race elevation chart

 

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Cycling Around South Hero Island, Vermont

Last week Jordan and I went on vacation to his family’s camp in South Hero, Vermont on Lake Champlain. The camp is right on the water and we got to enjoy many days sitting by the lake and enjoying some really pretty views.

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We drove into Burlington one night to catch the sunset and go out to dinner.

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It was one of the prettiest I’ve seen!

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We also spent a lot of time road biking! On Tuesday, we rode all around South Hero Island.

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We biked a total of Total of 38.4 mi around the island!
Total moving time:  2:50:30
Elevation gain: 1,050 ft

The views were gorgeous all over the island. Lots of these guys were hanging around.

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On Thursday we went for another ride. This time we rode to the bike ferry about 10 miles from the camp! The ferry took the us and the bikes to the other side of Lake Champlain so we could ride the bike path to Burlington.

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Riding along the Island Line Trail was gorgeous!

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Total distance: 43.1mi
Moving time: 3:30:24

We had such a lovely vacation! It was relaxing and I got to spend some quality time with my favorite guy.

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New Adventure: Winterbike 2015

At the end of February, Jordan invited me to go to Vermont with him and a few of his friends for Winterbike.

I didn’t know mountain biking on snowy trails in the winter was a thing until I met Jordan. He has his own fat bike and it’s pretty awesome. Fat bikes have huge tires that are bigger than your average mountain bike’s and they are meant for riding over any terrain.

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Since I don’t have a fat bike, Jordan rented me one from the local bike shop up in East Burke-a Salsa Mukluk.

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The festival was held at Kingdom Trails, a nordic adventure center that has groomed winter biking trails. It was gorgeous!

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We rode on the trails for a couple hours and I crashed a lot! But when I crashed I just fell into the deep snow banks, so I didn’t get hurt. It was fun!

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Jordan is pretty much a pro at fat biking. 😉

When we were done riding, we went to get out free beer that was included with the Winterbike ticket.

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Fat bikers sure do love their beer (as do runners!) It was so weird to be surrounded by so many of them. It was kind of like the same feeling of community I get after a race, surrounded by runners. Our tickets also included a lunch at a local restaurant,  after we ate I had to bring back the bike rental to the bike shop. Sad!

We all stayed at the WilloBurke Inn & Lodge, a few minutes away from Kingdom Trails. It was such a cute place to stay. The rooms were nice and clean, and the lobby was cozy (fireplace!). The view from our room was pretty sweet, too. They also included breakfast the next morning.

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We hung out around the inn until dinnertime. We went to a restaurant called Tamarack Grill located right at the Burke Mountain ski resort. The food was tasty but unfortunately I don’t have any pictures.

It was an awesome winter getaway to Vermont! And I got to try something new, which is always good. The weekend was perfect and I can’t wait to go on more adventures like it!

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More Burlington Highlights

So, on Sunday after the marathon, we showered and changed. Then Loretta, Tina (Loretta’s relay partner) and I went to the Magic Hat Brewery in South Burlington.

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They had a lot of cool merchandise and were letting us sample four of their beers. We each got a punch card for the sampler. The samples were free, we just had to tip the bartender. The Elder Betty, one of their summer beers, was my favorite!

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There weren’t any tours on Sunday, but we got to go look around at the factory from above.

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I kind of wish we could have had a pint of beer or two, but the samples were all we got. Blah.

Monday morning, the sun finally came out in Burlington! Loretta and I went back to Church street for breakfast.

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We found Henry’s Diner, which seemed like a reliable option! I was in need of hearty breakfast! I ordered the veggie skillet, which came out in an actual cast iron skillet! Home fries, veggies, eggs and an amazing whole wheat toast! The toast was my favorite, it was nice and thick!

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Henry's Diner on Urbanspoon

After breakfast we went back down to the Waterfront to finally see Lake Champlain in the sunlight! It was beautiful! The race course was on the bike path right on the lake like this. If it had been sunny we would have had these views. I remember during the race I had to force myself to look out at the lake to take advantage of the view. At that point looking at the scenery wasn’t my top priory since it was the last half of the race.

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At least I got to see it on a nice day! We headed home shortly after. I loved Burlington! I would definitely go back and I’m considering running the marathon relay next year since I loved this race so much.

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Burlington Highlights and Pre-Race Eats

I have to say, after spending a weekend in Burlington, Vermont, it is now one of my favorite places to visit! Despite the never-ending rain and clouds, it was still beautiful with lots of things to see and places to eat.

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Of course, I was there for the marathon and food was my #1 priory of the weekend.

Saturday morning Loretta and I had an early breakfast at the Skinny Pancake, down by the waterfront, also near where the marathon finished and started. It was a really cute crepery with a focus on local ingredients.

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They had everything from savory to sweet crepes so making a decision was really hard! I decided on the Atlantic Monster, made with a local farm egg, smoked salmon, scallions, baby spinach, and spinach artichoke cream cheese spread. It was delicious and filling!

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The Skinny Pancake on Urbanspoon

After breakfast, Loretta and I decided to hit up the expo again. We had gone on Friday to pick up our packets, but wanted to go to a yoga class they were offering for the runners. We wandered around for an hour and then did some much-needed yoga! After that, we were hungry again, so around noon we went back downtown to Penny Cluse Cafe.

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Only the day before a marathon are buckwheat banana pancakes an acceptable lunch after eating crepes for breakfast.

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I could only eat two of these monsters, so I saved the third to have sometime later. They were good, but nothing amazing.

Penny Cluse Cafe on Urbanspoon
We walked around Church Street again, and hit up a tea shop called Dobra Tea. They had every tea imaginable. They also had pillows on the floor to sit on and drink your tea, which was really cool. Had I not just drank two cups of coffee at Penny Cluse I would have got some tea to go.

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Of course, we had to make a stop for cupcakes. There was a shop called My Little Cupcake that had the cutest cupcakes. These were the malted milk cupcakes, the cake was moist and the frosting was plentiful (my favorite type of cupcake is when the frosting to cupcake ratio is pretty much equal). These were delicious.

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We had originally wanted to eat at American Flatbread for dinner on Saturday night, but after discovering they didn’t take reservations and the night before a marathon they were bound to be packed. We went elsewhere–a noodle place called Asiana Noodle Shop.

It was small inside, but cute and not too crowded. Perfect! I got the cold Yuki Noodles in the creamy Thai dressing with steamed veggie goyoza. The meal was very light and flavorful. I was impressed! It was a perfect pre-race meal!

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Asiana Noodle Shop on Urbanspoon

Saturday night we stayed in and watched a movie…we didn’t want to do much the night before the race. Don’t worry–there is more to come on what we did after the race, too! 😀

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