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Top 100 Mile Times in 2009: Chrissy Ferguson at Vermont 100

TALON athlete, Chrissy Ferguson, completed the 2009 Vermont 100 trail run in a time of 23:27:12. This performance occurred just three weeks after completing the Western States 100! Ferguson’s time was fast enough to include her in the list of fastest 100 mile trail running times in 2009.

Chrissy was kind enough to share her 2009 journey at the Vermont 100. A huge thanks to her.



Chrissy (left) and her pacer, Tracy (right), at Vermont 100

I’ve run the Vermont 100 nine times and finished eight out of the nine. I’ve finished seven of them in under 24 hours. This year, since I had run Western States 100 just three weeks prior, finishing under 24 hours was not a goal but it would be great if I did.

I’m sure most runners that have completed a 100 miler have three target times when they start a race; best case, what you will be happy with, and what I won’t beat myself up over.

This year’s race started out with rain ALL night and still sprinkling when the race started at 4:00 am. I knew from past experience that this would mean that the horse trails would be muddy. As soon as the horses started running an hour later and caught up with us, the trails would be trashed and they were!

The morning was humid and overcast, with little rain after the race started. As the day wore on the all of the overcast and clouds burned away and it turned out to be a warm, sunny day (I was in heaven). I prefer to run in the warm/hot weather than the cold/freezing weather, the lord had answered my prayers!

At no point in the race did I really have a bad spell or bonk which is very unusual. I’ve completed 28 100 milers and out of those 28 I have had three races where I felt great the whole duration of the distance, which are pretty low odds.

It’s okay if you feel bad in a 5 km, but feeling bad in a 100 miler can make for a VERY long day and a longer night.

Tracy R., a former team mate from the USA 100 km Team, was my crew and pacer. She met me at all the crew aid stations which makes getting in and out much quicker and it’s always nice to know that her smiling face would be there to great me and ask how things were going and how I was doing compared to the past race in 2008. As the day went on, I made more time to put in the bank from last year making me feel that there was a great chance to break 24 hours and get the sliver belt buckle instead of a sud-30 hour plaque.

At 70 miles, I was well over thirty minutes ahead of last years time. I was feeling good and picking up my pacer. Tracy and I made it to about 75 miles before having to turn on our flashlight. Running in the light always makes for better running and since the horse trails were so muddy and turned up from the horses, I knew as soon as it got dark the going was going to get slower and be much rougher.

When we reached Bill’s aid station, 89 miles into the race, there were many runners running back and forth as we jockeyed for the sub-24 hour finish. Many runners ask if we had the time to make it, I would reply, “We are ahead of my time from last year by a ½ hour. If you can keep the pace you are running now you WILL finish under 24.”

The last aid station, Polly’s, is a love-hate relationship. You have about five miles to go but it’s probably the worst five miles of the whole race. You are on a muddy horse trail and as you get closer to the finish you can hear and sometimes see the lights from the finish which seem to take an eternity to get to. This year was no different , even Tracy made the comment that it was taking forever to get there!

Tracy and I crossed the finish line in 23:23:47 on my watch time and 23:27:12 on the Vermont time. Tracy, Taylor (Tracy’s daughter), and Neil  (Taylor’s boyfriend) are the reason I finished feeling good and under 24 hours. Thanks to all of you, I couldn’t have done so well without you!


Thanks again Chrissy for sharing this with us.

Chrissy Ferguson is also the race director of the Ouachita Trail 50mile/50km and Arkansas Traveller 100 trail running events in Arkansas.

Be active – Feel the buzz!

David –

About the author

David Hanenburg David Hanenburg is the passionate dirt-lovin' creator of Endurance Buzz and has been playing in the endurance sports world since 2000 after knockin' the dust off of his Trek 950 hardtail thanks to a friend asking to go ride some local dirt. In 2007 he ran his first ultra on the trails and fell in love with the sport and its people. For more information on David's endurance sports journey, check out the About page.

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