(Full results can be found here
This year's Bitter Pill was our most grueling yet - the three top teams needed almost 11 hours to complete it all, but every team was finished within 13 hours. Some of the best racers in North America showed up for the challenge! 34 teams competed, including racers from 8 states and 2 Canadian provinces.
The race started just before dawn with racers sprinting to a line of canoes on a slippery muddy beach. After paddling down the Waterbury Reservoir for about 45 minutes, they set off on a short trek to their bikes. Riding up the cotton brook road took them to the start of the first trek. 4 points spread across area peaks and streams took from 3 to 5 hours to find before returning for between 3 and 7 hours of biking. Another trek back to the boats, and teams that made the cutoff were treated to a refreshing swim across the reservoir to pick up a point. Lastly, a paddle-rogaine took teams up and down the reservoir in search of 8 points scattered in the woods. Some were harder to find than others, with a few on the water's edge while others were up hills and defended by legions of prickly green defenders. A thunderstorm held up quite a few teams for safety reasons, but in the end almost every team was able to paddle to the finish line on the muddy beach where the race started, 12 hours earlier! Last but not least, a terrific dinner in true southern BBQ style at The Cider House BBQ in Waterbury. Everyone traded stories, ate, drank, got massages, watched the slideshow, and cheered for the winners.
There were lots of exhausted, grinning faces this year - it was great to see everyone have so much fun! There's no better feeling as a race director than hearing from the same person that they've never been so beaten, and yet had the time of their life. We couldn't ask for anything more!
Many thanks to all our sponsors - title sponsor MVP Health Care
, prize sponsors Eastern Mountain Sports
, Point6 socks
, Eddies Energy Bars
, North Star Sports
, Madhouse Munchies
, Catamount Outdoor Family Center
, Pop Soda
, and a huge thanks to our massage therapist Ginger Kipp. And of course, without our amazing volunteers, this never would have been possible. They gave up sleep, waded through the mud and braved a thunderstorm all while managing chaos - "thank you" could never be strong enough!
If you have photos you'd like included, contact photos at gmara.org. If you write a review, article, or blog about the race (please do!), send a link to tim at gmara.org and I'll add it to the results page - great free publicity, and I can guarantee at least a hundred eager page-views for your site.
See everyone at The Frigid Infliction
next March! You know you wanna...