Batten Kill Valley Runners
Batten Kill Valley Runners
About BKVR Calendar Races Links
 
  In looking forward to a running odyssey in 2001, it was interesting to look back over the last decade and see how I got to where I am. I started running just over ten years ago, struggling through two mile run/walks until I got to the point where I could actually enter, and complete, a real 10K road race! Once I had accomplished that feat, I began to contemplate the marathon. At first an intimidating distance, I soon realized it was not too difficult (at least at my rather pedestrian pace). I've run nine more marathons since my first one at Burlington in 1992; they are now more a part of an interesting vacation destination than a rigorous athletic event for me.

  About five years ago, I started thinking about running fast. So I trained hard (at least for me), and watched my times improve right up until the fall of 1996 when I ran PRs at every distance from 5K to Marathon. About that time I realized that while my new-found speed was good, I was never going to do better than see my name at the bottom of the first column on the results sheet. At which point I decided that the top of the third column was just about as good and I didn't have to work quite so hard to get there. Soon my times slid back to mid-pack status, no one really noticed, and I found myself to be quite as content at 21:29 as at 20:09.   These days, my running is mostly about fun and adventure. I find these characteristics inherent in trail running and now run primarily over the river, through the woods, and up and down the mountains. I look forward to my daily trail runs and weekend trail adventures like never before. I couldn't have predicted ten years ago where my running path would have taken me, and I won't guess where I'll be ten years from now, but I do know that wherever I am, I will have gotten there with running shoes on.

  It appears that brings me back to the year ahead, which is what this column was supposed to be about. Well, we can all enjoy weekly group runs in our beautiful Batten Kill Valley and a great selection of unique BKVR races: a frosty 4-miler in March, the classic Bennington Road Race in May, an enchanting summer evening's Moonlight in Vermont, the challenging but scenic Maple Leaf Half Marathon to start the fall racing season, the family-friendly Running of the Turkeys on Thanksgiving, and a whole bunch in between! Of course there also is a superb selection of races put on by our neighbors, especially those just across the border conducted by The Adirondack Runners, including the second annual ABChallenge race between our two clubs (start organizing your team, we want to hold on to that trophy!). And if you can, plan a trip, near or far, this year that incorporates a race (we're off to do a trail ultra in Virginia in April). In the meantime, get out there whenever you can, whether you are training to go fast, far, or just for fun, and be thankful that you are fortunate enough to be a runner!

by Jim Sullivan