VCM weekend experience

This journal has been in draft since my finish – – but now finally with some time to finish it up — reflecting back on the Vermont City Marathon and my experience that glorious weekend.

It began with registration at the Sheraton – – long ride north with Schuyler, who couldn’t wait to play with Mark (his cousin) and playing car games to pass the time. Steve, Schuyler and I go to the expo – – do a little shopping and pick up my number — note my LOWEST number in my racing history – – (thinking about framing it for that reason alone). As an invited elite runner we had some advantages to this race that I have not experienced in the past and really did not expect. We stopped at the ACS booth and met Kate Kerrigan – the VT ACS Charity Runner girl who reminded me of the Hope Lodge reception and confirmed I would give some course tips (at that time, not quite sure what tips were expected but thought I could come up with something). I bought a VCM technical jacket with the race patch on the shoulder (I love this jacket!) as I am a jacket “hound” and love all my race jackets collected as of late.

Next we as a family venture to the Hospitality Suite where we were welcomed by Zeke and his volunteers. Schuyler had a great time decorating my fluid bottles as I prepared my Shaklee Performance for 5 of the 6 water stops. We had red white and blue streamers and stickers all over my bottles- and Steve wrote an inspirational note on each one too. I would read them when I picked them up and that power gave me an added push for real! Notes like “Run Faster!” – “No excuses” – “Dig Deep” – “I love you!” — I remember missing the first bottle and being really worried because I had the number wrong. When I went to register they had me listed as #40 and then when I looked at my number pinning it to my race shorts, I noted a F10 — not sure, but it messed up my bottle numbering. 🙁 The rest of the bottles were there no worries, but Steve was worried too – – rummaging through the car to see if he could find some “energy Shaklee mix” for me — and put together some Physique and water (yuck) :)) my love always there for me. 🙂

So we sat at that meeting — waiting for some late comers and I kept looking at my watch because Kate (from ACS) had asked me to speak to the group at the Hope Lodge and I didn’t want to be late. It was cool though, to hear the stories Zeke told about each and every one of those elite runners in the room, their best times and some stories of rival runners…. the look on the faces of the less experienced ones was nice to see, but knowing that the room was full of incredibly fast people had me just jazzed to run my best too! This one girl that won at the Cape, just a few weeks ago – ran the 2nd fastest 1/2 marathon in the country (a 1:12 if I remember correctly). There were a few runners that it was their second marathon – and some their first! But this one woman it was her 100th marathon – amazing! The other master woman, she spoke with a french canadian accent and was so sweet – from Montreal – – all running around a 2:50-3 hour time. I started to dream, that maybe….

Well we had to leave early from the meeting, told Zeke on the way out that I had to speak at this event and we really did miss the tactical and information on what was going on at the start and the finish for the elite runners, but it was fun to be invited and a part of that group of amazing runners. “see you in the morning” I said as Schuyler, Steve and I headed to the Hope Lodge adjacent to UVM where cancer patients and their families have a place to stay when in treatment as a benefit to them from the American Cancer Society. I have been to Charleston, SC and Atlanta, GA and this was such a beautiful new modern Hope Lodge – I was truly impressed. Hopefully I will get to see the recording of the presentation I gave, thanking everyone and sharing my experiences as a marathon runner is something I love to do – inspire and motivate!

We went to my sister Laura’s house and got to see Paige and her friends going to the prom as single ladies. They were so beautiful. I loved taking their photo and to be there for that special moment was very cool. Kimmy & Becca & Mom were there too — and it is always so great to be surrounded by the love of family.

The morning came quickly after putting together dinner – getting to be around 10 pm and 5 am seemed like minutes… I got some solid sleep, although Steve did not — he drove to the store for some coffee in Georgia and we hit 89 South to the marathon start.

The gathering of the elites in the morning was really a nice experience, talking to the other two girls that were master women, and sharing some stories. This was the 100th marathon for the woman that won masters and 2nd overall. The third place woman (second master) was from Montreal and so very nice as well. We stayed together and I got a great photo that Steve took before we headed to the start.

The beginning of the marathon was twisting around town in the rain on the highway — I was a little bummed at the first fuel point my drink was missing (i had the wrong number on the bottles) – but they were there the rest of the way. I felt steady and strong, although not fast, and I could tell it wasn’t one of my fastest races right from the beginning. My endurance held in and I never had any pains in my body / knees and really felt fine throughout the whole race (although as Steve would point out — i could have pushed harder).

I finished well – strong and felt good to be done! I saw Steve right at the last mile, but it seemed forever to connect him to the area where I was with the elite group — he came with the whole family, Schuyler, Kimmy, Becca, Laura, and Mom. I was in my glory and feeling great, although tough to stand after sitting. The experience of running a marathon no matter how fast or slow is overwhelming and a true accomplishment. #21 for me – – 4th master — didn’t quite make the top 3, but slipped in under 3:20 with a 3;19:59 — so that made me happy….

Next? Marine Corps Marathon in DC in October!

Leave a Reply

Nancy Cook 2021

About Nancy

Nancy Peck Cook is a trainer and speaker who has presented in front of large and small audiences for the past 25 years.  Her work as an executive and volunteer trainer for the American Cancer Society during the growth of the signature activity Relay For Life trained professionals to be more confident and successful in their roles. 

Recent Posts

Scroll to Top