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By Dominique Gatto
When Kelly Walsh, our program coordinator for Bolton Valley Ski Area in the winter and all of Chittenden County and Burlington in the summer, was first asked the question of why she is running in the Vermont 100 Endurance Race, she burst out laughing.
“I am inspired to run in the Vermont 100 by all of the other runners and seeing the dedication from the runners to fundraise so much,” said Walsh. “I also just really like the run, and I like to be challenged.”
Running 100 miles in 30 hours may seem impossible to some, but there are around 400 runners challenging themselves July 21-22 to this endurance race all to benefit Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports.
This weekend more than 350 highly trained endurance runners from all over the United States and a few foreign countries will compete to complete the very challenging and scenic Vermont 100 Endurance Ride or Run. One hundred runners will attempt the 100 Km course and about 100 horses and their riders, from around the U.S. and world, will race either the 100, 75 or 50 mile courses set for them.
As the last race in the United States where horses and runners compete on the same course simultaneously, this race is unique and in demand.
After running in the Vermont 50 in 2017, Walsh is no rookie when it comes to long distance running. She prepared for the race by running, and as one might imagine, running a lot. Since starting her training in January, Walsh has built up the stamina she needs to run 100 miles. By doing research and using online resources, she came up with a plan that she has followed to get her racer ready.
“My training consists of running two long distance days back to back – 30 miles one day and 20 miles the next day. The rest of the week I run about 5 to 10 miles,” she said.
While Walsh pushed through all her training hours and fundraising efforts, she continues to be motivated by Vermont Adaptive athletes as well as the volunteers, staff, and supporters.
“As I struggle, because we all know it will be a struggle through the 100 miles, I will be thinking of all the athletes we have been fortunate to serve,” said Walsh. “I will remember all of the challenges they have had to overcome and be encouraged by all of their successes and achievements. I will smile at the many friendships I have seen formed at Vermont Adaptive, and I will be motivated by perseverance I see in my athletes everyday. Lastly, I will keep moving forward, knowing all of my Vermont Adaptive family, volunteers, staff, supporters, and athletes are there supporting me.”
Walsh has a goal of raising $2,000 for Vermont Adaptive. Please consider making a donation to her page by clicking here.