2016 Boston Spartan Race Sprint

2015 Boston Spartan Sprint
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The 2016 Boston Spartan Race Sprint was held on June 4 and 5. I originally signed up for the elite/competitor’s grouping early in the morning, but soon realized that I couldn’t make the start time, so I changed my heat until the afternoon. After a nearly 4 hour drive, I arrived at the event located at the Carter & Stevens Farm in Barre, Massachusetts.

I arrived two hours early as noted in the instructions, but maybe next time I’ll just arrive an hour or so early. One thing that I quickly realized was that there was not enough shade or tents. Being a red-head, fair skinned guy, I was lucky that I brought my sunscreen and I applied generously hoping that the application wouldn’t grease my hands too much. I’m pretty sure I’m going to be sunburned by the time this blog entry is posted.
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List of Vermont birding resources

Bald Eagle over Shelburne Bay
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Over the last several months, I’ve been taking some wildlife photography of mostly birds. While winter isn’t the best birding season, I’ve been able to photograph quite a few species that’s visiting from the north during the colder weather. I’ve also spotted eight bald eagles in the last month near the Lake Champlain’s coast (three of those were within a couple blocks of my house while walking my dog).

Here’s a few resources for those starting out with birding/bird photography in Vermont that’s been super useful to me:
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Vermont Pub & Brewery

Part 8 of many. View the start of my Vermont Brewery Challenge here.

To most, the Vermont Pub & Brewery is the heart of the Vermont craft beer establishment. The founder established the brew pub after lobbying the Vermont legislature for three years in an effort legalize brewpubs. He also wrote several books and articles on brewing. His brew pub became a place where he could experiment with different concepts in small batches that help kick start and energize the craft beer business in Vermont.

I’ve visited the brewpub a couple times before, but that was before I knew about the Vermont Brewery Challenge, so I decided to stop by, have a beer, and get my Vermont Brewer’s Passport Card stamped.

A few days before my visit, the first batch of beer brewed exclusively with Vermont raised hops (part of the University of Vermont’s All Vermont-Grains and Hops Project). The first beer was a Rye IPA and I was looking forward to trying it out, but when I arrived they informed me that it sold out within two days and that the next batch will be arriving soon, so I ordered a Bombay Grab IPA.
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Switchback Brewing Company

Part 7 of many. View the start of my Vermont Brewery Challenge here.

The Switchback Ale was another of my first Vermont beers. One thing that’s nice about taking the Vermont Brewery Challenge is that it gives you a better understanding of both the local aspect of the breweries and the beer itself while allowing you to taste a few beers that you might have already had before.

The Switchback Brewing Company building looks like a big warehouse. There’s a tiny parking lot and the entrance to the retail store and tasting area is on the side of the building and obscured from the street. Follow the small signs that say “Main Office” to find the entrance. The warehouse area and parking lot felt a bit strange, since most breweries have the office/store facing the parking lot with bigger signs indicating you’re at the right place.
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