Twenty years in the past this week, I ran my first Vermont 100 Mile and my third 100-mile race. As a relative newcomer to the game, I used to be considerably in awe of the expertise and talent within the discipline. As we began the race within the predawn darkness, I discovered myself operating alongside a handful of ultrarunning dignitaries, lots of whom I had heard of however few of whom I had ever met.
There was Belgium’s Hans Put, a multiple-time Hardrock 100 finisher in addition to a Barkley Marathons enjoyable run finisher. Together with Hans was Pennsylvania’s Joe Kulak, a newcomer to the scene with a quick highway racing pedigree. From New Mexico, Eric Clifton, full along with his trademark colourful tights, took it out exhausting, as he typically did in these days, and chatted the early morning hours away. Ian Torrence, already a star on the scene by 2002, was operating the second leg of the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning that day. After which there was John Geesler.
Because the solar rose and the day started to heat, I fell into stride with John and instantly took notice of his distinctive look and measured strategy. Clad in highway footwear and wool socks, Geesler had the visage of a hardened veteran. His salt-and-pepper ponytail bounced alongside as he ran. With a cotton T-shirt, a pair of lengthy, dishevelled shorts, and a waistbelt with a metallic army-issue canteen strapped to it, John was a man who stood out among the many relaxation.
We rapidly fell into a simple dialog. I realized that John was from upstate New York and was operating his twelfth Vermont 100 Mile. I stated quietly to myself, “I feel I’ll attempt to persist with this man.”
By mile 44, after operating collectively for a number of hours and embarking onto the camp 10 bear loop, John slowly pulled away from me. He would go on to complete third that 12 months behind Put and Kulak in a time of 16:01. I ended up ending about 50 minutes behind John that day, and I used to be so honored when he was there to greet me on the end.
Together with his metronomic operating model, deep course information, and innate tempo management, I’ve at all times considered John because the basic Vermont runner. Regardless that on the time he already had spectacular finishes at Western States 100, Massanutten Mountain Trails 100 Mile, Mohican 100 Mile, and Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile, I continued to think about him, greater than anything, because the consummate Vermont 100 Mile runner.
I ended up going again to Vermont 4 extra occasions within the ensuing years and every time I went, I loved catching up with John, operating just a few miles with him, and watching him do his factor.
And so it was, with nice curiosity and pleasure, that I realized earlier this week that John remains to be going sturdy. At this 12 months’s occasion, after two years of COVID-19 cancellations, he completed his twenty eighth Vermont 100 Mile. Now every year that he returns, race director Amy Rusiecki assigns him a bib quantity that corresponds to his variety of begins. On the age of 68, John is not the 24-hour runner he as soon as was.
However his 28:33 end final Saturday, carrying the quantity 28, proved to me that he’s nonetheless the consummate Vermont runner and has loads of gasoline left within the tank. On this age of bucket checklist races and “one-and-done” ultrarunners, it evokes and motivates me to observe as John goes again, 12 months after 12 months, to the race he loves.
And so it’s that I think, it doesn’t matter what else occurs on the planet between now and subsequent 12 months’s race, we are going to see John Geesler toeing the road at Vermont going for his twenty ninth end. I can’t wait to observe!
AJW’s Beer of the Week
This week’s Beer of the Week comes from The Alchemist brewery in Stowe, Vermont. Recognized most notably for his or her award-winning Double IPA, Heady Topper, in recent times The Alchemist has launched a wide range of completely different beers that they introduced out and in of rotation. Considered one of my favorites is their tackle the basic American Pale Ale, Damaged Spoke American Pale Ale. Balanced at 6% ABV and brewed completely with Amarillo hops, Damaged Spoke has a decidedly West Coast taste and a barely fruity end. If you end up within the North Nation, a cease at The Alchemist can be effectively value your time.
Name for Feedback
- Have you ever ever run with John Geesler or seen him in motion?
- What are your reminiscences of him?