Letter: We Blew It, and We’re Sorry

To the Editor:

July 20 was the 25th VT 100 Endurance Race. Many already know this because they were once again inconvenienced by our runners and crews slowing down the traffic and turning their usually quiet towns into a very busy little city. As usual, you were all gracious hosts, allowing us to take over with no complaints, and many even helped out by giving directions, opening their homes to runners and working at aid stations.

We are very sorry that we repaid you for all your kindness and patience over the years by waking you up at 4 a.m. and again at 5 with unannounced fireworks. We completely understand your disappointment and anger. We are so very sorry to have caused the fright and shock of being woken at such an early hour.

We want to apologize from the bottom of our hearts. We know that it was terrifying, and we know that you are angry. We are sorry. It was thoughtless and downright selfish, and we wish we could take it back.

We did have a plan to warn you through the newspaper and with leaflets. Due to an internal miscommunication, this plan did not happen, and no one was warned.

The fireworks were a celebration of our 25th anniversary, a reminder of the fireworks that used to be lit off at the start, many years ago when we started our race at Smoke Rise Farms. We have no plans to repeat fireworks in the future. We never intended for the show to happen without notice or to scare and anger residents.

We know that words on paper can only do so much to repair the rift that we have caused. Please believe that we are prepared to do whatever needs to be done to regain your trust and that we’re open to suggestions. We love holding the VT 100 in this area, and every runner who participates comments on the area’s beautiful scenery and kind residents. They love coming here, and we love being able to raise money for the nonprofit program that benefits disabled Vermonters. We hope that you’ll allow us to make it up to you and prove how very sorry we are.

Julia H. O’Brien

VT 100 Race Committee