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Brief Interviews with TALON Slammers After Vermont 100

Our TALON slammers headed to Vermont over the July 21-22 weekend for race #2 of the slam series, the Vermont 100. As the fastest course of the four-hundy journey, our tribe was ready for many nicely groomed running miles on scenic jeep roads and wooded trails intermixed within ~14,500 feet of climbing.

Paul Terranova of Texas, was our first slammer across the line in 16:19:30 which earned a fourth overall placing!

Brian Pilgrim of New Mexico, knocked out a solid 100 in 22:31:52!

Podog Vogler of Arkansas, struggled but would not be denied, finishing in a sub-24 hour time of 23:06:36!

Post Vermont Interviews

Paul Terranova

[EB – Post-race recovery from Western States and refocus on Vermont. What did your four week transition look like?]

Lots of easy biking on the stationary bike (with and without Powercranks), easy swimming, and light lifting for the first two weeks. No surprise that my legs were hammered after their first 100 miler.

Saw Dr Zelinski and his staff at Advanced Rehabilitation that first week for a post race tune-up. (I’ve been seeing them about every other week since February and it’s really helped us identify and treat any little issues before they become big issues, especially during the build-up to the GrandKonaSlam and now during it).

Then a massage early in week two which was MUCH needed. (My go-to masseuse hurt her back but Michelle Hittner at The Austin Bodyworker took great care of me, thank you Michelle!!!) Got in a hard swim and longer (2+ hour ride) on July 4th, and then finally resumed easy running at the end of week two. Couple of easy trail runs with the wife and dogs, one hill workout, and a 9-miler on the road, and it was time to roll again!!!

After Vermont, I hope to get in that first massage in week one, get a second massage before heading up to Leadville a week before the race, hopefully resume running a tad bit sooner, and maybe knock out a longer bike ride (Kona is only 11 weeks away – 5 weeks after Wasatch).

Can’t forget the strength work and swimming either!!

[EB – Thoughts on the Vermont course and a special memories across the 16+ hour journey?]

Relentless. Just does not quit the whole day, and it’s always changing from hard-packed country road, to wooded trail, to running through some farm pasture/meadow, with a little bit of asphalt road thrown in before diving back into the trail to be repeated all over again.

Not being familiar with the course, it was hard for me to get my bearings on, “where exactly am I?” relative to the start-finish, but the multiple aid-stations (29: most manned and some unmanned) made it easy to at least know how much further you had to go!

Luckily, when my first pacer and bad-ass ultrarunner, Glen Redpath, picked me up at Camp Ten Bear (mile 70), he knows the course like the back of his hand so that was a relief.

Somehow, we found ourselves in the mix with the top-5 guys, and at one time in second place, so that always ups the ante on how much you’re willing to push yourself, even if you had no intent of “racing” at the start. The fight in those guys was just incredible, especially Rob Bien, Mile Le Roux (2010 Ultraman World Champion and fellow ’12 Slammer), and Jim Sweeney.

Just when Glen and I thought we had an insurmountable gap…here comes “so and so”…to be repeated for the next 30 miles.

Meredith picked me up at Bill’s (mile 89), with the serious intent of us finishing before dark and maybe breaking 16 hours. We stayed on the gas as much as my legs could handle and comfortably finished fourth place in 16:19, just before dark, no lights needed!

Post-adventure smiles! Paul Terranova (center) with Meredith Terranova (left) and Glen Redpath (right). (Photo: Courtesy Paul Terranova)

My parents and young nieces Anna Paulina, Alicen, and nephew CJ were all waiting at the finish after missing me all day at every aid station (talk about outrunning your coverage!). They had little posters made to cheer me on, which was very cute. And the kid handing out finisher’s medals had a “Ranger” hat on but I couldn’t get him to knock out post-race push-ups with me – maybe he was really tired!?

Family support coming from all ages. (Photo: Courtesy Paul Terranova)

Super-fun, no-BS run in some BEAUTIFUL countryside. My super-pacers got some help from fellow Western States finishers Aliza Lapierre (Williston, VT) and Josh Katzman (Arlington, MA), his pacer Sam Jurek (Boston), and Glen’s friend Karen from the NYC so it was full on NASCAR pit-crew style work at the aid stations.

Always great to see smiling happy faces!!!

Paul’s Blog – GrandKonaSlam

Brian Pilgrim

[EB – Thoughts on the Vermont course and a special memories across the 22+ hour journey?]

Vermont is an eminently runnable course. For runners more accustomed to mountainous or technical courses there is virtually no part of Vermont that can’t be run or at least jogged. Between about miles 40 and 70 almost all I could think about was how much I was running and how insane it was to do so much running. I actually had the thought several times, “Who runs this much, this is absolutely crazy” and this was my ninth 100 miler.

Now that’s not to say there aren’t any sections of Vermont that will make you walk or where you would be prudent to slow down and watch your footing so you don’t break an ankle, there are, there are also some long grinding climbs but they are not slogs, they are climbs where you can still hike briskly and steadily. In sum, Vermont is relentlessly runnable.

I have a lot of good memories from Vermont, I especially cherish memories of running with the horses who are also doing a 100 mile, 75 mile and 50 mile endurance ride at the same time and mostly on the same course but my most special memory involves my wife Misty. She ran the 100km, which starts five hours after the 100 mile race. I knew I would catch up to her sometime after the Camp Ten Bear aid station because of the course layout but I wasn’t sure when I’d see her. By the time I caught her she was very far along and I was inspired by her progress especially considering she has really had a difficult year in the training department. I asked my pacer to stay with her through the night. He agreed and brought her in safely and on time and then went back out to find another lonely soul to help bring them in as well.

He was a gentleman who lives in New Hampshire and had agreed to pace me through the Vermont website’s pacer/runner matching program. I felt proud of my wife and grateful for the generous and supportive nature of the ultrarunning community and that fueled me to a new 100 mile PR.

More goodies – Brian’s Vermont race report

[EB – Funniest moment during the race? (If any)]

Funniest moment during the race? I would have to say it was when the three kids, they looked to be about 12 or so, jumped out of the bushes at me during the night trying to scare me.

They were crouched in the dark near the edge of a field or something but there was a steeply sloping embankment dropping down to the road from where they were hidden. Two of the three leapt out at me yelling and waving what appeared to be toy light sabers.

Of course they tripped on each other and stumbled down the embankment while the third boy remained crouched in the weeds trying not to be seen though in my headlamp he was clearly visible and must have known he was clearly visible because he was completely illuminated. I just looked at them and continued on. As I was leaving one of the boys who had jumped out started shouting “Penis, Penis”, it was kind of bizarre because it seemed obvious that he wasn’t yelling that at me but he was just yelling it in general just to make noise.

PoDog Vogler

[EB – It sounded like you had a few more challenges to work through as compared to Western States. What challenges presented themselves and how did you work through it?]

My race did not go very well. My legs tightened up from the very first couple of miles and just never loosened up. By mile 10 my legs were tight and tired and I was trying everything I knew to try to loosen them up. I stretched, massaged them, slowed down, walked, sped up, tried to just relax, and nothing worked. So what was going through my head at that point was first of all, I was not enjoying my run at all, and that is not like me. Then of course I was concerned that if it got worse, that I might not be able to finish.

Though I will say that generally when I’ve had issues early, they might not ever go away, but often they do not get worse. But my main worry was that my quads were very tight and they felt just like they felt two years ago at Leadville where I ended up tearing my quad. The torn quad made me really suffer during the run and made my recovery much longer after the run.

So anyway, I decided in the first 20 to 30 miles that I needed to do whatever it would take to make sure that I didn’t injure my quads and still get a finish. All I could think about were the mountains at Leadville and how hard they are on your quads.

So that is how I ran the rest of the race. I did not run very much, but I hammered my walking. I had lots of energy and could walk hard. Running continued to be difficult. As I crunched the numbers about what kind of pace I was making I knew that if I could continue with the pace I was doing, I could finish in under 24 hours, get a belt buckle and get it done.

The saying that kept rolling around in my head all day was when Lance Armstrong said, “sometimes your the hammer, sometimes your the nail”.

[EB – Thoughts on the Vermont course and a special memories across the 23+ hour journey?]

The race itself was very good. I cannot think of a better way to see Vermont. It was a very beautiful state and so much of it was rural farmland down dirt roads, that running was the perfect way to see it. I’m just sorry that I could not enjoy the scenery more because of my personal issues.

Complete Vermont 100 results.

Congratulations to Paul, Brian, and PoDog on another 100 mile finish along their slam (and konaslam) journey.

Next up, Leadville 100!

Keep it rollin’ gentlemen.

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.

2 Responses to “Brief Interviews with TALON Slammers After Vermont 100”

  1. on 01 Aug 2012 at 9:58 pm Jonathan

    Excellent job guys. Relentless forward progress.

  2. on 03 Jul 2013 at 11:47 am Michelle Hittner

    Thanks for the plug Paul!! Glad I was part of your training and recovery. I am happy to play back-up any time. 🙂