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Open Letter for 2001 Vermont 100

Dear VT100 Race Directors,

I ran your race last weekend and had a wonderful time, finishing my first 100 mile race. Your volunteers were wonderful and I'm sure you will see me at the race again.

However, there was one thing about the race that disturbed me greatly. The course was full of litter. The things I saw most frequently were Gu wrappers, cups, and batteries, but I saw all sorts of litter including toilet paper left behind by people who chose to defecate right beside the course, rather than choosing a more discrete location.

I am sure that this litter was left there by a minority of the participants, but nonetheless, it is not acceptable.  I am a Vermont resident and this is a beautiful state.  I would be furious if I lived near the race course and found litter near my property, or if I was a hiker that encountered residual litter on the course.

I understand that you have a team of very dedicated volunteers that go out after the race and clean up all this litter. I think that your diligence should be commended, but I also adamantly believe that some runners need to straighten up.

Participants in the race need to understand that we are privileged to have access to those 100 miles of road and trail and that access could be revoked. It would be a tragedy for such a great race to go away because a few people were too lazy or too uncaring to get their trash to a proper receptacle.

I would encourage you to adopt stronger rules that would punish people who litter along the course.  If cups and Gu wrappers are issues, perhaps they can be eliminated from the aid stations and every runner can be required to carry a bottle or hydration pack.  It is my opinion that deliberate littering
violations should be met with immediate disqualification, and in extreme cases, lifetime bans from the race.

I know that some runners, especially the guilty ones, may disagree with my suggestions.  But, it would be a tragedy if such a fine race were to disappear due to the greedy actions of a few runners.

Thank you for your efforts on behalf of VASS and the ultra-running community.  I know that you have a difficult and frequently thankless job putting together such a logistically difficult event.

Damon Lease
Randolph, VT


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