Written by Elm City CrossFit Athlete Mike Guilford in the hours following his completion of Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Race…

ECC, helping ordinary athletes do extraordinary things since 2009. While I’m not your prototypical Crossfit athlete I still take a lot out of our community.  Over the last three years I have slowly built up my long distance running base through the Crossfit WODs and Endurance WODs.  Two years ago I wanted to try my first ultra-marathon and was able to talk two of the coaches into joining me for a 50K.  At the time the race was very challenging, but it made me realize that I was capable of more.  The 50K grew into a 100K and then the big one was looming in front of me; could I really run 100 miles? 

I had talked with my coaches about possibly stepping up to the next distance and they all had positive input that made me think I could do it.  So lo and behold, I was signed up for the event and worked with the coaches on a training plan for the Vermont 100 Endurance Race.  Over the past 7 months I have had one focus, and that was prepping for this challenge, and one of my biggest takeaways as I got closer to the race was how everyone contributed to getting me ready, whether through coaching me, challenging me in workouts, or just asking about my training.  So this past weekend the white elephant was in the room. I was in Vermont with a crew of 4 and there were 100 miles between me and the finish, and somebody needed to do the work to get there.  The race had its ups and downs (both literal and emotional) that are expected in an event that goes on for two days as noted on my bib number, but I had the mantra running in my head of just chip away.  It’s funny, I use the same strategy to get through a 5 minute WOD as a 100 mile race, but it works.  I can’t thank my crew enough for taking care of me throughout this adventure and turning a blind eye to any negativity that I had.  In this race you were allowed pacers for the last 30 miles and I was pretty excited to have some steady company until the finish.  While I was thoroughly enjoying having my team with me, the 20+ hours of constant movement had started to take its toll on me and I was struggling near the end, and was fortunate to have one of my good friends and mentor to shepherd me home.  While I complained that they had a hill to climb right up through the last quarter mile, my coach just laughed at me and said you got this.  He was right. 

The clock started at 4 a.m. Saturday morning, and over 26 hours later the quiet guy from the gym just completed a 100 mile endurance run.  Thank you to all of the coaches and athletes of ECC for helping me achieve this goal!