Here’s the recap of my weekend participating in the Middlebury Maple Run with the 2016 Cabot Fit Team.

Cabot Fit Team 2016

DISCLOSURE: This trip, accommodations, meals and activities (including race entry fee) was paid for by Cabot Creamery Cooperative. All opinions expressed here are my own.

CABOT supporting-communities-badge

Gah I feel like such a jet setter. Okay, not really. But for me, this spring has been packed full of travel. Since February I have gone to Mexico, Boston, Maine, Florida… and tomorrow I leave for Texas! This past weekend I was again on the road. The occasion: spending the weekend with the Cabot Fit Team in Middlebury, Vermont for the Middlebury Maple Run. I have a bunch of pics to show you, and I wanted to let you know how my 7-mile leg of the half marathon went (and how my hamstring held up.)

This was my third Cabot Fit race, and as always, I had an amazing time spending the weekend with the other bloggers and running in a road race. This year the team was made up of these lovely ladies.

Anne fANNEtastic Food

Jess Dietitian Jess

Roni Green Lite Bites

Amanda the Wholesome Dish

Danielle Food Confidence

Since 2013 Cabot has been bringing together healthy food bloggers, and wellness-focused members of the new media to share an experience of running in a road race, visiting farms and having fun with other bloggers. You can read about my previous times running on the Cabot Fit Team in Maine in 2013 and at the Vermont City Marathon in 2014.

Cabot Creamery is a cooperative owned by it’s 1,200 family farms in New York and New England. All profits go directly to the farmer owners.

The Swift House Inn, Middlebury VT

This year, we stayed at an inn in Middlebury called the Swift House Inn, which was built in 1814. I had a cozy room on the far end of the building which was very cozy and quiet. Good thing, since I am such a light sleeper!

Kayhart Dairy Farm, West Addison VT. The Cabot Fit Team 2016

On Saturday we went to Kayhart Brothers Dairy Farm, a family run Cabot Dairy Farm in West Addison Vermont. Steve Kayhart, a runner himself, led us on a farm tour. He was nice enough to spend several hours of his work day chatting with us and teaching us all sorts of things about Cabot Dairy Farms. I learned so much! And this was my third Cabot dairy farm tour. Not including the Webster family farm in Danville, owned by my husbands family for more than 5 generations! Check the Webster Farm out here. 

Kayhart Dairy Farm, West Addison VT. The Cabot Fit Team 2016

We learned about the highs and lows of the dairy market, and what milk prices can mean for the bottom line for their family farm. And about some of the sustainable measures that the Kayhart Brothers Dairy is considering in the next phase of growth for their family business. There was so much to hear about, and we asked a ton of questions.

One of the things we learned about was about manure digesters. Yeah, I’m talking cow poop. Seriously, this is a really neat technology that some dairy farms use to collect methane from the cow’s manure. There’s a cool infographic here that makes it easier to understand.

We got to see lots of baby cows.

Baby cow at Kayhart Brothers Dairy in West Addison VT, weekend trip with the Cabot Fit Team 2016

And they were very curious.

Baby cow at Kayhart Brothers Dairy in West Addison VT, weekend trip with the Cabot Fit Team 2016

And we got to see the mama cows too of course. These two had just had babies so they had special bands around their ankles which marks them as “fresh.”

Mama cows at Kayhart Brothers Dairy in West Addison VT, weekend trip with the Cabot Fit Team 2016

Farmer Steve showed us all around the barns.

Kayhart Dairy Farm, West Addison VT. The Cabot Fit Team 2016

Kayhart Dairy Farm, West Addison VT. The Cabot Fit Team 2016

Kayhart Dairy Farm, West Addison VT. The Cabot Fit Team 2016

After the farm tour, we headed back into Middlebury for some lunch and shopping.

Middlebury Vermont with the Cabot Fit Team 2016

I employed the shopping advice from the whole team to pick out a dress for my trip to Texas this weekend.

Flatbread in Middlebury VT with the Cabot Fit Team

Then we headed to dinner at American Flatbread. We had big salads and carbo-loaded on 4 different delicious wood-fired pizzas. Yum!

Flatbread in Middlebury VT with the Cabot Fit Team

On race day, we geared up, despite the threat of rain and chilly temps.

Cabot Fit Team 2016, Middlebury Maple Run

By the time we got to the start line it was drizzling.

Cabot Fit Team 2016 at the Middlebury Maple Run

I split the half with Danielle. My leg was 7-miles and I ran the whole time with Jess. We hadn’t really planned that out, but we decided to stick together. We talked the whole time. Which really helped keep my mind off my hamstring, which kept getting tighter and tighter. Thank goodness she was there. We kept a pretty great pace, considering both of us are injured (she has tendonitis in her foot) and that it started raining pretty hard. You can see our splits below. We really picked it up towards the end, even though there were some big hills!

Race Recap from the first 7 miles of the Middlebury Maple Run with the Cabot Fit Team 2016

When the race was over, we refueled with pancakes and maple syrup. And I chugged a maple water too.

Maple Water- natural sports drink

When we got back to the inn, I used up all the hot water in the entire building. Oops, sorry team. I didn’t know until I got out and saw the group text! 🙂

Cheese and Spirits Tasting with the Cabot Fit Team 2016

That afternoon we tasted local spirits and different cheeses made by Cabot Dairy Farmers. Some of them don’t have the actual “Cabot” label on them, but are made by Cabot Farmers. The farmers send milk to Cabot, but they also make their own cheese, like Neighborly Farms, which is an Organic dairy.

Cheese and Spirits Tasting with the Cabot Fit Team 2016

It’s hard to choose a favorite, but I loved the Cabot Cloth Bound which is a single source cheese (the milk comes from only one farm) that’s aged in the Jasper Hill caves. It’s won lots of awards. Before dinner, we had a little bit of time to spare, so we played a game of Pictionary.

Pictionary with the Cabot Fit Team

Oh, my I laughed so hard. At one point, Jess (who was paired with Danielle- a self proclaimed terrible artist) called out “Oh, I know a CD Rom!” I hadn’t heard that term used in forever! For the record it was not a CD Rom. Ha ha.

The next morning I was sad to say goodbye to the team. It’s amazing how quickly we bonded and became friends. I am looking forward to staying in touch online now.

As I drove home, I reviewed the fun filled weekend, and again  felt grateful for the experience of running with the Cabot Fit Team. Thank you Cabot Dairy Farmers for making this trip possible and for making the worlds best cheddar!

QUESTIONS:

Have you ever been to Middlebury Vermont?

Did you know about manure digesters?

Have you met a baby cow before?

Have you run a race in the rain before?

Have you had the Cabot Cloth Bound Cheddar?