12. Waitsfield – 10 July 2011

Ski Resort. Should have known…

This was the hardest race of the fifty. Beautiful scenery, lovely day — but 13 miles all uphill!!

I kept running, thinking that just around the next corner there would be a little downhill bit — but it was not to be. I have not come across any other course that was so relentlessly uphill! This was the slowest time I have ever recorded.

Following the race, since I had flown in to Providence, Rhode Island airport (PVD), I headed back there. Its a relatively short drive from there to Waitsfield.

But — horrors! — I had somehow booked my return flight for a few weeks in the future. I normally tried to book two one-way flights when I had to fly to a race — this allowed for most flexibility and often saved lots of money. But, when I booked the flight back (on United) — I had failed to notice that their website defaulted to a future date when booking  (this was during the Continental merger days and has been fixed now).

So, I roll up to the airport and no flight! However, that day there were loads of cancelled and delayed flights, and the wonderful United agent guy worked his magic to enable me to fly home anyway, without needing to purchase an additional ticket! I have been fortunate while running The Fifty to have met many excellent folks around the country — and that guy at United at Providence airport was one of the many who have helped me achieve this goal. Thanks United guy!