Running and Roadfooding for the Covered Bridges Half Marathon (CBHM) in Vermont

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billyboy
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2011/06/20 03:55:03 (permalink)

Running and Roadfooding for the Covered Bridges Half Marathon (CBHM) in Vermont

Last year a couple of my friends from my Boston days had sent me pictures from their experience running the Covered Bridges Half Marathon through South Pomfret, Woodstock and Quechee, Vermont.  Inspired by their stories of the run and by the beautiful scenery of Vermont, I pledged to run it in 2011.  I signed up in the first 5 minutes the registration had opened online and it closed in about 20 minutes. 
Saturday June 4th - My friends Doug and Marisa gave me a ride up to Vermont and would be on hand to cheer me on from the sidelines.  As we passed through Springfield and West Springfield, MA we pulled over for gas and I saw this sign.  Very nice that the store was helping out the community after the awful tornadoes that swept through the area.  

As fate would have it the gas station was situated next to the West Springfield location of Donut Dip!  Chris & Amy (ayersian) had told me of this place and Chris had even brought some of these tasty morsels on the bus for the NJ Hot Dog Tour last fall and they were quite good.  Marisa said she had seen the place from the road and thought about stopping as well.  Great minds think alike!  

We bought a dozen for the road (jelly stick, coconut custard, honey dip, apple fritter and a variety of others I cannot recall)  I deeply regret not taking pictures of the contents of our box!  This was one of the best donut shop experiences I have ever had.  The people working there seemed to be mostly of high school and college age and were quite friendly and knowledgeable.  As we ate them in the car, our laps and the floor became covered with crumbs.  Each of us was amazed at how fresh these were and what blew us away the most was the awesome crunch on the outside, tender cakey insides and fresh tasting jelly of the jelly stick.. I am still haunted by it.  I would even go so far to say that if someone put it and a Doughnut Plant doughnut side by side I would immediately go for the stick!  Yeah, it's that good!

 

 

I love the old style signs here and just the whole feel of the place.  I can really imagine locals coming hear for their morning coffee and donut and to chew the fat with others throughout the day.

 

"What foods these morsels be!"?  I couldn't have said it better myself.  If I may paraphrase from another one of the Bard's plays, "Get thee to a Donut Dip!"

We made it to Woodstock, VT around 3:30pm and I realized that Wasp's Snack Bar (http://www.roadfood.com/R.../1618/wasps-snack-bar) was a mere 500 feet from our motel.  Sadly unlike the Rolling Stones, time was NOT on our side and we weren't able to get there when they were open.  I took this shot when we walked around town after the run.

My friend Amanda, who was one of my roommates in Brookline, MA, had stayed here last year when she ran the CBHM and had a very good experience. 

The Shire Riverview Motel was just a short 5 minute walk from the center of town and the hosts of the motel were very kind, accommodating and helpful, especially when I had questions about the Half Marathon and when sussing out good RF eats in the area!  We met up with my mom and her husband, Harold at our motel just to check in with each other as they were staying in the next town over and made plans to meet up for the pasta dinner later that evening.

The center of Woodstock, VT.  I love small towns and really fell for Woodstock.  I kept thinking that at any moment the mayor would come up to me and ask how I was enjoying my stay!

While walking down Pleasant Street (and what a pleasant street it was) we came across this little oasis.  I forgot to take  picture of the sign but a local resident, who has since passed on, had this area established so that people could walk down from the street and just sit and relax by the river.  The little things are so important.

The Norman Williams Public Library.  The CBHM volunteers had a table set up for a few hours just out of camera shot and were most helpful in letting us know where the pre-race pasta dinner was located and where spectators could get the best views of runners going by.  I have another picture of myself in a somewhat racy pose with a stone statue but I hesitate to put it up...

As we kept walking through town I saw that we were close to the RF reviewed F.H. Gillingham & Sons store, so a stop was in order.  

A breakdown of the different departments.  They had a great many made in Vermont and made in New England products in stock.  

Love the old scale!

And some of my favorite cheeses from Sugarbush Farms and Cabot.  We didn't have a cooler with us so I only picked up a few single serve cheeses for a snack.  Really sharp and great as always.  I had hoped to visit the Cabot Creamery but no time on this trip.  And I found out later from Amanda that the King Arthur Flour headquarters was only 20 minutes away!  D'oh!

And they also sell common crackers.  I'm glad I took a picture of them but would have been happier had I thought to pick up a box!  I did pick up some pasta sauce from a local restaurant and some locally made sweet pickles which are delicious.

And a very nice beer selection too.  

I was also digging this map of the Country Stores of New England.

As we left the store I noticed this blackboard.  A town crier?!  How cool is that?  I love that the town has this old fashioned way of letting each other know about events and goings on.  I just know a few of my NYC friends who would think this is giving away too much info to people they don't know!

And the flier for the pasta dinner that we would be attending with my mom and Harold in a couple of hours.

The Middle Bridge in Woodstock.  This is the first bridge I would encounter on my run the next morning around the 4 mile mark.

The smell of the wood, creaking of the boards and just being in Vermont drew me in.

And the river view was pretty easy on the eyes.  Our motel was just down the river a ways.

Even the "Phantom Runner" made an appearance.  Local legend has it that every day before the Half Marathon a pair of disembodied running sneakers appears on the Middle Bridge as a sign that the spirits of those runners who have come and gone are ready to run alongside those who have chosen to accept the challenge that awaits them the next morning.  Gotcha!!  Actually, I just took mine off and had Doug snap a pic when the coast was clear.

The Suicide Six ski area and the site of the pre-race pasta dinner and the start of the race the next morning.

Okay, this is REAL!  There is always a moment when I have that thought before the race and my energy level goes up and I get psyched for the race!

This is where I would be dropped off in about 12 hours to get my runner's bib, stretch, hydrate with some water and fuel up with a banana and a bagel before they kicked off the race of 2000 runners with Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger".

2012 will be the first year that the CBHM gives out medals to the finishers but I received an email that a local woodcrafter named David Fall, based just over the border in Hanover, NH was crafting medallions and selling them for $10.  

After seeing this online I knew I had to have one.  There really is an elegant simplicity to it.  My mom went to put it around my neck but I politely refused asking that she do so tomorrow once I had earned the right to wear it after I crossed the finish line. As an interesting follow-up note, I took this picture by hanging it on the mirror in the motel room and realized I had left it there somewhere around the MA/CT birder on the way back to NYC!  Panicked, I called the motel and they said they would retrieve it from the room and mail it back to me.  Three days later I received it and I am gazing at it lovingly as I type this!

I love it when ski resorts use old skis to make new furniture.  I found a set of chairs similar to this back in 2007 when Doug and I were at McCauley Mtn. in the Adirondacks in Central NY.

Th dinner was really good and very filling with local chefs making bolognese, pasta alfredo, salads and a local bakery donating fresh breads.  There was a huge selection of bananas and homemade brownies for dessert and a local rock band playing music throughout.  We ended up sitting at a table with a couple who as it turned out live in NYC right near Central park and run many of the same city courses that we do and we had a lot to talk about during our meal.  

I asked a woman in line if she would take our picture and she happily obliged.  From left to right:  Marisa, Doug, Billy, Billy's Mom, Harold.

 
Time for sleep now but more to come...!  Stay tuned!
 
 
 
post edited by billyboy - 2011/06/20 03:58:59
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    i95
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    Re:Running and Roadfooding for the Covered Bridges Half Marathon (CBHM) in Vermont 2011/06/20 07:36:53 (permalink)
    billyboy

    Last year a couple of my friends from my Boston days had sent me pictures from their experience running the Covered Bridges Half Marathon through South Pomfret, Woodstock and Quechee, Vermont.  Inspired by their stories of the run and by the beautiful scenery of Vermont, I pledged to run it in 2011.




    billyboy, I believe I speak for all RoadFooders when I ask, what is this running you speak of? 
    #2
    billyboy
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    Re:Running and Roadfooding for the Covered Bridges Half Marathon (CBHM) in Vermont 2011/06/20 13:52:30 (permalink)
    Sunday June 5, 2011 - I woke up around 5:45am and began my stretches to prepare for the run.  This is all of my clothing and gear I would need for the run.  I made sure I laid all of this out the night before as morning is not my favorite time of day.

    Billy, bleary-eyed and ready to go?  Yeah, I'm ready.  I don't have any pictures of the course which is a shame as it was utterly beautiful. I haven't yet mastered how to carry a camera with me while running.  It's harder than one might imagine.  The course went started in South Pomfret, went through Woodstock and ended in Quechee.  I ran by many farms, open fields, along dirt roads and beautiful old barns.  Many of the old homes I ran past had signs on the front like "Built in 1826" and such.  There were various bands (high school, marching, rock, polka, steel drum. etc...) serenading me along the way.  There was one point when I ran past a big old farm that really reminded me of the scene in "Shawshank Redemption" when Morgan Freeman is in the hayfields up in Maine.  It was just so peaceful.  The smell of the air and the sounds of the breeze rolling across the field...  I could listen to that all day long.

    One very sweet motivating factor was that there would be free cupcakes for the finishers at the end.  What?!  Guess I'll be picking up my pace!  I quickly spotted this lovely van of joy.  They were selling Triple Salted Caramel, French Toast, Mint Junior and other flavors but I made my way to the table with the free cupcakes.  Another great bit of motivation was seeing my friends and family cheering me on at the finish and spotting Dana (another roommate of mine from Brookline, MA) and her husband Mike shouting out my name about 100 yards from the finish line!!

    Oh so many to choose from.

    Being a finisher never tasted so sweet!  While I didn't finish with the pace I had hoped for and got through it and I look forward to tackling it again next year!

    A vanilla cupcake with maple-pecan frosting and a hefty piece and chocolate covered toffee on top.

    And a band for your listening pleasure.

    This very handsome Weimaraner seemed to be enjoying himself.

    After a massage and a very, very cold ice bath we made our way to the RF reviewed White Cottage Snack Bar in Woodstock, VT for lunch.

     

     

    The (cold) lobster roll looked pretty good although the inclusion of tomato slices seemed out of place.

    These onion rings were crunchy, sweet, greasy, salty and just right.

    Can't beat a split-top, buttered and grilled hot as a tasty bed for a hot dog!

    I tried a couple of Doug's whole belly clams and really liked them.

    My scallop platter.  These were very sweet and tasty even if the crust did fall off as I went to pick them up.  The tartar sauce was excellent as was the slaw.  The fries weren't anything to write home about.

    As we all sat around talking about the race and sharing stories and laughing (a lot!), Dana and Mike broke out this box of mini doughnuts they had made at a store in a mall on the way to Vermont.  They know me well!! 

    We said our goodbyes to Dana and Mike and to Mom and Harold as they were heading home.  The three of us drove back to the Shire for a much needed nap.  The plan was to sleep for a few hours and then stroll around town for some shopping and grab dinner before getting on the road.  However, after we woke we around 5:30pm we discovered that most of the town had closed for the day.  And there was a good looking homemade ice cream shop we had spied earlier! We did walk around for a bit and I snapped some pictures of various homes and sights that caught my eye.  As we were leaving I asked the man at the front desk about heading to P & H Truck Stop in Wells River, VT (I really wanted to try that Maple Cream pie!).  In a "did he ACTUALLY say that?" moment he said, "Well, you can't get there from here!"  Classic.

     

     

     

     

     

    Since we were leaving earlier than expected I suggested that we might be able to stop in New Haven, CT for some apizza at Frank Pepe's,  Doug and Marisa were excited at this possibility.  We soon realized that we wouldn't arrive in New Haven until after Pepe's had closed for the day.  What to do?  What to do?  A series of texts between myself and Chris Ayers and we had a few suggestions.  Chris is the E.F. Hutton of Roadfood.  When he talks I listen.  He said that Pizza at the Brick Oven is his favorite non-apizza place in New Haven and that was good enough for me!  The neighborhood did seem a bit dicey at night or maybe it was just my imagination?

    We started out with a slice of their cheese pizza.  This was one that they had already made and reheated for us in the brick oven.

    Look at the char on that crust!  That is perfection to me.  The sauce was slightly sweet and there was a nice balance between it and the cheese.  The crust had a chewy crispiness to it that was addicting.  I can see why Chris loves this place.

    We also split a Clams Casino (clams, garlic, basil, bacon and mozzarella) pie.  Wow!  Great combination of flavors.  Not sure if the clams we fresh shucked or caned but the texture and taste was right on.  They only thing we would do differently next time is to ask for more char on the crust.

    I found a Foxon Park Gassosa that Chris had told me about.  Very crisp, dry and refreshing.  After having tried their Iron Brew at a hot dog shop in Brooklyn and now this, I am officially a HUGE fan of these sodas.  They don't have that syrupy sweetness that bedevil so many brands.

    And the stack of wood for that amazing oven.  Thanks for the rec, Chris!!!

     
    I look forward to running the CBHM again in 2012 and spending a bit more time in VT to check out the sights and make stops at Wasp's, Simon Pearce, P & H Truck Stop and the Bryant House for some crackers & milk.  Back to Utica/Rome, NY next month to run the Boilermaker 15K, indulge in some local Saranac beer, tomato pies, riggies, Voss' BBQ sandwiches, half moon cookies and much more...  That's all for now!  
     
    "Eating is an adventure, enjoy the ride!" - Billyboy , 2011
     
    The 411
     
    1.)  Donut Dip
          1305 Riverdale Street
          West Springfield, MA 01089
          Ph# 413-733-9604
          RF review (East Longmeadow location):  http://www.roadfood.com/R...verview/5359/donut-dip
     
    2.)  The Shire Riverview Motel
          46 Pleasant Street
          Woodstock, VT 
          Ph # 802-457-2211
          Website:  http://www.shiremotel.com/
     
    3.)  F.H. Gillingham & Sons
          16 Elm Street
          Woodstock, VT 05091
          Ph # 802-457-2100
          Website:  http://www.gillinghams.com/
          RF review:  http://www.roadfood.com/R...w/1187/gillingham-sons
     
    4.)  Covered Bridges Half Marathon (CBHM)
          Website:  http://www.cbhm.com/
     
    5.)  David Fall Woodcrafts
          Hanover, NH
          Ph # 603-306-7593
          Website:  http://fallwoodcrafts.com/index.html
     
    6.)  Cupcake Queen
          Ph # 603-252-2065
          Website:  http://www.cupcakequeen.net/index.html  (I think they may only be web-based without a brick & mortar location but can be followed on Twitter for appearances)
     
    7.)  White Cottage Snack Bar
          462 Woodstock Road
          Woodstock, VT 
          Ph # 802-457-3455
          RF review:  http://www.roadfood.com/R...iew/1609/white-cottage
     
    8.)  Pizza at the Brick Oven
          122 Howe Street
          New Haven, CT 06511
          Ph # 203-777-4444
          Website:  http://newhavenbrickoven.com/
    #3
    eruby
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    Re:Running and Roadfooding for the Covered Bridges Half Marathon (CBHM) in Vermont 2011/06/20 14:15:31 (permalink)
    Fantastic report billyboy!! And I see, you are a wise runner using Body Glide.
     
    I have sometimes run with a disposable camera and it gave okay results. Not as good as a permanent camera, but I didn't have to worry about losing a lot of money if it broke.  I couldn't be more jealous of those finisher's cupcakes.  All I ever get is Gatorade and a banana.
     
    Well Done sir!!!
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    ann peeples
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    Re:Running and Roadfooding for the Covered Bridges Half Marathon (CBHM) in Vermont 2011/06/20 14:29:49 (permalink)
    Beautiful-both the food and the scenery!
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    waltpiii
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    Re:Running and Roadfooding for the Covered Bridges Half Marathon (CBHM) in Vermont 2011/06/20 14:46:33 (permalink)
    On your next trip to Donut Dip try the apple cider donuts and cheese danish.
     
    I love the carb loading but forget the running.
     
    Great report
     
    Walt
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    billyboy
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    Re:Running and Roadfooding for the Covered Bridges Half Marathon (CBHM) in Vermont 2011/06/20 15:10:34 (permalink)
    i95, running (roo-ning, as it was pronounced in days of old) dates back to Cro-Magnon man days when early man (and woman) were forced to escape from Wangdoodles, Snozzwangers and Vermicious Knids on a daily basis. True story.
    eruby, Body Glide was one of the first lessons my coach taught me and it is my American Express...I never leave home without it!  Thanks for the advice on the camera.  Mine is so bulky I wouldn't have a place to store it anyway while I ran.  I usually only get apples and gatorade so this was a nice treat though aren't the fruit and fluids the BEST you ever tasted after a long run?  ;)  
    Ann, thanks!  It really was such a picturesque place.
    Walt, I'll definitely be heading back to the Dip.  I think I finally get why New Englanders are so crazy about old-fashioned cake donuts!   
    post edited by billyboy - 2012/07/18 23:14:56
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    MiamiDon
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    Re:Running and Roadfooding for the Covered Bridges Half Marathon (CBHM) in Vermont 2011/06/20 16:49:39 (permalink)
    Great trip, scenery and food, billyboy!  When I started reading the beginning, I was in I-95's camp:  "He's not actually going to run 13 miles!!!"  Damn, dude!
     
    BTW, did you get a new camera in the past year or so?  Your photos are pretty much impeccable.
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    DirtDude
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    Re:Running and Roadfooding for the Covered Bridges Half Marathon (CBHM) in Vermont 2011/06/20 20:02:54 (permalink)
    I loved that Donut Dip box.
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    billyboy
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    Re:Running and Roadfooding for the Covered Bridges Half Marathon (CBHM) in Vermont 2011/06/21 09:00:19 (permalink)
    Thanks MiamiDon!  Yeah, there are times when I can't believe I just ran 13 miles!  The camera is the same one I have always used.  Canon PowerShot A620.  I've been practicing, always take back-up shots and have gotten lots of good advice from fellow Roadfooders since I started posting reports back in 2007.
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    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Running and Roadfooding for the Covered Bridges Half Marathon (CBHM) in Vermont 2011/06/21 11:20:49 (permalink)
    Great report, Billy!
     
    Is there a story behind the red house that appears to either span or be cantilevered over the stream?  Looks really neat!
     
    Brad
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    Ralph Melton
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    Re:Running and Roadfooding for the Covered Bridges Half Marathon (CBHM) in Vermont 2011/06/21 15:58:25 (permalink)
    I really liked the report and the pictures.
     
    As I look at the toffee-topped cupcake, it seems that it would be hard to eat; it seems it'd be hard to bite through the toffee against the soft squishy cupcake. Was it easier than I think?
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    i95
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    Re:Running and Roadfooding for the Covered Bridges Half Marathon (CBHM) in Vermont 2011/06/21 18:06:35 (permalink)
    billyboy

    i95, running (roo-ning, as it was pronounced in days of old) dates back to Cro-Magnon man days when early man (and woman) were forced to escape from Wangdoodles, Snozzwangers and Vermicious Knids on a daily basis. True story. 
     

     
    You forgot Snuffleupaguses but I see what you did there. Oh, and great write-up, as usual, bb.
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    joerogo
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    Re:Running and Roadfooding for the Covered Bridges Half Marathon (CBHM) in Vermont 2011/06/21 18:18:17 (permalink)
    Hey Billyboy, As I got to the food pictures, I realized WHY you run.
     
    Beautiful area, great report.
    post edited by joerogo - 2011/06/22 13:24:51
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    billyboy
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    Re:Running and Roadfooding for the Covered Bridges Half Marathon (CBHM) in Vermont 2011/06/21 18:50:44 (permalink)
    Hey SceamingChicken, thanks!  I'm sure there is a story.  The sight of such a large portion of that building on beams was fascinating to me.  We had hoped to go in a number of shops and one of them was in that building.  Unfortunately, it and every other shop in town was closed by the time I took this picture!  
     
    Thanks Ralph!  It was somewhat like a rib sandwich in the South. Just take it apart and eat it separately.  Of course being me and having just run 13.1 miles, I threw decorum to the wind and just bit down and savored the mess I made!
     
    i95, you liked my Willy Wonka nod there, eh?
     
    Thanks Joe!  Indeed.  I do love running and I would be much bigger if I continued to Roadfood on a regular basis if I didn't.  I'll be having some Voss' BBQ next month after I run the Boilermaker 15K in Utica, NY and shall have some extra sauce on my sandwiches in your honor!  
    post edited by billyboy - 2012/07/18 23:17:47
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    leethebard
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    Re:Running and Roadfooding for the Covered Bridges Half Marathon (CBHM) in Vermont 2011/06/21 21:04:46 (permalink)
    Boy did I enjoy riding along with you on this trip....and that pizza looked great!!!
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    sk bob
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    Re:Running and Roadfooding for the Covered Bridges Half Marathon (CBHM) in Vermont 2011/06/21 21:26:25 (permalink)
    great report as usual Billyboy.
     
     just some observations;
    why drive 3 hrs. just to get there and run?
    why not just run to your destination?
    I don't run unless someone or something is chasing me.
     
    Donut Dip, Man I miss those independent donut shops.
    and boy do I miss those crullers.
    not much cheese on that slice, but that clams casino pie looks F#%^'n GREAT!!!
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    ann peeples
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    Re:Running and Roadfooding for the Covered Bridges Half Marathon (CBHM) in Vermont 2011/06/22 03:53:39 (permalink)
    sk bob-just had an awesome cruller from our local bakery. Thank God they are in abundance in my town.
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    karilyn
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    Re:Running and Roadfooding for the Covered Bridges Half Marathon (CBHM) in Vermont 2011/06/22 11:23:56 (permalink)
    I'm tempted to offer to join you and take pictures for you just so I can join in on these adventures.  I just ran 7 miles . . . can't imagine going further.  Congratulations Billy . . . you're amazing!
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    wanderingjew
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    Re:Running and Roadfooding for the Covered Bridges Half Marathon (CBHM) in Vermont 2011/06/22 19:15:43 (permalink)
    Billyboy
     
    I'm convinced the only reason why you actually ran were for those  free cupcakes at the end.
     
    Another excellent report- 
    #20
    callmebruce
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    Re:Running and Roadfooding for the Covered Bridges Half Marathon (CBHM) in Vermont 2011/07/19 23:56:47 (permalink)
    Great report, and I loved the pictures, Billy! Thanks.
     
     


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    Nancypalooza
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    Re:Running and Roadfooding for the Covered Bridges Half Marathon (CBHM) in Vermont 2011/07/25 10:28:01 (permalink)
    Billy you almost make me want to run something like that myself for that beautiful scenery.  Almost. :)
     
    We have a new local farmers market every Saturday ( http://www.localharvest.org/all-local-farmers-market-M18104 ) and there's an orchard there that's been selling apple cider donuts.  Now I've never had one otherwise, but there have been Saturdays that just the thought of those apple cider donuts have gotten us out of bed.  Unfortunately they're not doing them now; I presume they'll be back in the fall.  They're doing blueberry donuts now.  Dayum they are good.  But they are certainly not as lovely as the sheer bounty from the Donut Dip. 
     
    And the pizza . . . . /drool.  We suffered through another bad local pie Friday night.  People do not know how to cook pizza here, full stop.  They just don't.
     
    What's the tree with the fine white pompoms on it?  It's gorgeous.
    #22
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