Mom passed after battling cancer just before her 61st birthday. In under 61 years she fought like a warrior in five battles with cancer. She would retire 5-1...pretty good record of you ask me....
On my mother's birthday weekend September 13, 1959 I set out to prove that her offspring are kind of tough too. There's a bit of a back story so here it is...in 96 my parents moved us from the NY metro area to Vermont.....as an adolescent I made sure I gave my opinion on that move...I referred to my mom as somebody who "just wanted to be a country mom" and that's why we're here in our corner of the Green Mountain State. Well she embraced "country mom" even had custom coffee mugs made and ensured any mail you received had a return address of "c.o. country mom" label affixed in the top left corner.
"Well played ma!"
As time went on I found that this place was really home, and I learned to embrace it in my adult life, even so much that I have claimed #greenmountainboi as my own hashtag (In addition to #vanessavanderbilt of course).
With not a lot of planning or even preparation for that matter I wanted to honor her in an epic way...the only way I knew how was to attempt to break the FKT (fastest known time) for the Vermont peaks taller than 4,000' on her birthday weekend. Did she care about this? Probably not...but she was supportive and encouraging of anything me or my siblings would do.
I planned to run the route supported by my Girlfriend Chelsea. If you don't know her, you're missing out. Chelsea is a badass in the mountains, a mom of two, and a small business owner supplying NH's capital district coffee shops with baked goods (including vegan and gluten free options link below). Starting North to South I would ascend and descend Hell Brook to the summit and return the same route, after I would run Camels Hump via Monroe. The third leg would be a Gap2Gap over Abraham and Ellen. The final leg would be a grind up the "Beast of the East" Killington Via the Bucklin trail.
"My trail angel and straight up ryde-or-die partner sucking up the early fall temps in the van on 9-11-20"
Starting at 6:03 am on Mount Mansfield I ran the Hell Brook trail to the summit, and returned on the same route. I started Camels Hump at approximately 8:24 via the Munroe trail. Next I ran the gap2gap across Ellen and Abraham starting from the north at approximately 10:53. The last ascent up Killington's Bucklin trail started at 3:08 pm and finished at the summit at 4:15 PM. In hindsight I would have opted out of Hell Brook as it really beats your quads in both directions and probably would have done the AT route. The weather couldn't be more perfect at 70 degrees with negligible wind. The crowds were tough with the COVID-19 pandemic driving people outdoors. . .but the traffic was inconsequential. I loved every minute of this run as a Vermonter, and appreciate the opportunity and the efforts the made this route an FKT.
More to come?
"Chelsea and I after our epic day. You're only as good as your support and this day I am bold enough to say I was as good as I'm going to be"
Please support the folks at Fastestknowntime.com especially since the Covid-19 pandemic has increased their workload!
Until next time... Happy Trails.