Category Archives: 2011 interviews

Ashley Munro

Describe your experience with the Equinox.  Have you participated in the full marathon, the relay, and/or the ultra?  How many times?

I did the full marathon once in 2010.  

When do you start training for this race?  How much of the course itself do you incorporate into your training?  How often do you incorporate the Dome into your training?

This year I did Team in Training, and we started the beginning of May. We spend a lot of time on the course, especially running up Ester Dome. We ran the Dome probably every other weekend this summer.

What are your key workouts in preparation for this race?

Mostly just running.  I try to get out on the trail a lot.  I was new to trail running last year, so getting used to watching out for roots, rocks, and sticks was completely different.

What’s your favorite thing about this race?

I love being able to run with other people, and not having to listen to my headphones.  There’s always tons of people I know out on the trail and participating in the race.  It’s fun to get to know and talk to other people who are out there running.

What’s your favorite part of the course? Your least favorite part?

I’m not a big fan of the out and back.  It’s kinda creepy out there, especially when you’re by yourself! It’s also a place where if I get hurt, how long would it be before someone found me out there? 

The Alder Trail is my favorite.  It’s beautiful, especially this time of year with all the leaves covering the trail, and the trees going over the top.  It looks like you’re running out in the middle of no where, but you’re not.  Especially in the race, because I’m so far behind the pack and everyone is spread out.  It feel like I’m out there all by myself.

Describe the best moment you’ve experienced during this race. Describe the worst.

I don’t have a worst moment.  I think I blocked out all the bad memories!

It’s the furthest I’ve ever run.  I’ve never done anything like that before, so when I came up on the trail behind UAF, and I caught my first glimpse of the white satellite, I almost cried because I realized where I was and how close I was to being done.  That was amazing.

Do you consider yourself a competitive runner? What are your running goals/fitness goals?

I definitely don’t consider myself a competitive runner.  I’m not fast by any means; I just try to go out and do my best.  I keep track of my times, and I try to beat my times from the year before.  I compete against myself, but not with anybody else.  

My running goals are to run throughout the winter, and to not have to start out each summer.

What’s the best advice or training tips you can share with others who are new to this race?

To find a running buddy to get out on the trail with.  It makes a huge difference.  Last year, I did my long runs mostly by myself, and it was boring.  This year, I have someone to go out with me, and we just did a 20 mile run last weekend, and it flew by.  It wasn’t hard at all.  You forget you’re out there running so long when you have someone to talk to.

Have you made any big training errors, or race day flubs that adversely affected your enjoyment or time in this race?

I did.  I actually wore tights that I never wore before.  My friend let me borrow them because I was so worried about being cold, especially going up Ester Dome.  I’ve never worn them on a long run before, and that was a mistake.  I was chafing in unexpected places!  It didn’t happen until the second half of the race, and I forced myself to forget about it because there was nothing I could do about it.  I definitely won’t be making that same mistake this year!

Any plans on participating in the Equinox this year? This race has been described as one of the most grueling marathons in the country!  What keeps you motivated to participate in this event?

Yes, of course!

The emotions at the end really got to me.  I was so proud of myself for having done that, and I wanted to make sure that I could continue to do it.  Overall, I had an amazing, fun time.  It’s definitely something that’s going to be on my list to do next year, too.

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Kathleen Hook


Greg Newby

Describe your experience with the Equinox.  Have you participated in the full marathon, the relay, and/or the ultra?  How many times?

This will be my fourth full marathon this year.

When do you start training for this race?  How much of the course itself do you incorporate into your training? How often do you incorporate the Dome into your training?

I did a lot more running when I lived in the Lower 48 because the seasons are so much kinder there.  I run more when it’s not frozen out.   I do try to keep up a relatively high level of miles during the summertime, but I have not done a lot of specific training for the Equinox.   BeforeI have never ever run on the course, other than in the woods behind UAF, but this year is the first time I’ve had a concerted training effort.  I did most of the Equinox Training Runs, and now I’m much more familiar with the course.  I’ve done the Dome four or five times this summer.  I think there’s a real advantage to being more visually familiar with the course.  I don’t have to pay quite as close as attention, because I have a tendency of either drifting off and tripping on a root, or I have trouble following the trail.  The Training Runs were very nice in that I did some more interesting runs, and it’s easier to keep up a faster pace running with a crowd.

What are your key workouts in preparation for this race?

I run year round, and I do the elliptical at home.  It’s a beautiful machine.  It costs more than a lot of cars, but we’re on it every day in the wintertime, so we’re getting our money’s worth!

What’s your favorite thing about this race?

I like that there’s a lot of people along the route saying hi and cheering you on.  That people coming out for it is what I find to be most enjoyable.

What’s your favorite part of the course? Your least favorite part?

My favorite part is right after the chute where there’s some woods going along Ester Dome.  All of a sudden, it’s quiet.  You just went through this gauntlet of all these passes on the out and back, it’s relatively crowded, and getting onto this little stretch of woods is such a relief compared to what’s been going on the last couple of hours.  

I don’t have a least favorite part. I like going uphill, I don’t mind going downhill.  I don’t enjoy the roads quite as much.  

Describe the best moment you’ve experienced during this race. Describe the worst.

Not really a best moment, but a highlight was the first year I ran it in 2008, it was sleeting and miserable on top of the Dome, and then when I got down to the trail after the chute, it was sunny and 50 degrees.  It was such a physical relief.

I tend to wear the same shoes, but in 2009, I had some shoes that were a little too small.  They got dirty and I washed them, and I didn’t realize they got a little tight.  I went down the chute and jammed my toes. After that, I was miserable.  Every time my toes touched the front of my shoes, it was seriously painful.  I had to stop and retie my shoes.  I finished, but I was very, very slow.  If there was a bus or something there, I probably would have taken it!   Subsequently, over the following weeks, I lost five toenails.  

Do you consider yourself a competitive runner? What are your running goals/fitness goals?

Definitely not competitive.  I don’t have any standing goals, but I try to stay active.  In fact, because we live out-of-town, I haven’t pursued getting involved in any team sports, and running is the logical thing for me to do.  In previous places I’ve lived, I was on a soccer team, played racquetball, went to the gym more often.  It was all just a convenience factor.  I’ve always enjoyed running a whole lot.

What’s the best advice or training tips you can share with others who are new to this race?

If you’ve done marathons before, the main thing that’s different is the trail running and the hills.  And running single file on the trail is not something that too many marathons have. Otherwise, I don’t think the overall training regime is that much different than any other marathon.  The unique things are getting used to the trail running and the extreme ups and downs of the hills.

Have you made any big training errors, or race day flubs that adversely affected your enjoyment or time in this race?

Having shoes that were too tight!  And in 2008, I was stung five times by all those wasps, and still had a welt three weeks later!  It was painful.

Interestingly, last year, I got back from traveling around 12:30am, and ran the Equinox that morning, and it turned out to be just fine.  That’s the sort of thing that people would say is important, to have a good night’s sleep, but it was fine.  I haven’t had too many real problems. 

Any plans on participating in the Equinox this year? This race has been described as one of the most grueling marathons in the country!  What keeps you motivated to participate in this event?

Yes, I’ve signed up.  It’s hard, but I think if you maintain a reasonable amount of fitness throughout the year, then it’s perfectly doable.

I enjoy running and I like the crowd.  I really like seeing the fitness community of Fairbanks.  It’s visible if you’re in the right places, but it’s a lot easier to see the not so fit population in Fairbanks when you’re wandering around.  To me, it’s just exciting to see all these people who are putting in a lot of hours keeping fit.  

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David Leonard


Tim Doran

Describe your experience with the Equinox.  Have you participated in the full marathon, the relay, and/or the ultra?  How many times?

I’ve never done the ultra.  I’ve done the Equinox 13 times.  I did the relay once, the last leg.

The idea of running distance is relatively new in the last 12 years.  I walked the Equinox first because it was a great community thing, and I thought, how cool that people do this.  How do people run 26 miles?  The first Equinox, I only walked; the second one, I ran.  I went to Beaver Sports the night before, bought a pair of New Balance shoes, and ran in them at the race.  I finished it in 5:59.  Then I looked at my walking time, which was 6 hours 12 minutes, and I thought, only 13 minutes faster?  Was it worth it?  I thought it was cool, but it took me 20 years to run it again!  Except for the year my dad died, I’ve run it every year since.

When do you start training for this race?  How much of the course itself do you incorporate into your training?  How often do you incorporate the Dome into your training?

Training is not my thing.  I just go out and enjoy running, so I don’t train for it. Training and Tim Doran don’t connect!

What are your key workouts in preparation for this race?

Going out and having fun!

What’s your favorite thing about this race?

I love the start – watching the crowd of people cross that field and go up that hill.  The colors going across that field, the energy there, the sun rising… That is so neat.  And when you come in at the finish, people are there and they’re cheering you on, no matter how long it takes you.

Also, the people along the course.

What’s your favorite part of the course? Your least favorite part?

The least favorite, because it’s so challenging is where you start up Ester Dome.

I love the first third of the course, and what I call the Golden Mile, where you come down off the chute and wind your way through the woods.

Describe the best moment you’ve experienced during this race. Describe the worst.

I actually don’t have a least favorite moment.  I’ve enjoyed each one, or I’ve adjusted to make sure I’ve enjoyed each one.  If I walk, that’s okay.  If I’m running, I don’t worry about the time.  It doesn’t have to be a PR.

Probably one of my favorite moments is in retrospect.  A couple of races ago, I was coming in to the chute at the finish, and people were cheering and yelling.  I was thinking, wow, this is so cool!  I was just about to cross the finish line, and this young teenager got ahead of me.  And I thought they were all cheering  just for me!  I didn’t know anybody was behind me.  It wasn’t until I saw the picture in the paper later on that this teenager was working so hard to catch me.  It was beautiful!  When I look at that picture, I see he had to work hard. He was a lot younger than me, but he had to work hard.  I was able to pat him on the back in good sportsmanship! 

Do you consider yourself a competitive runner? What are your running goals/fitness goals?

Ha ha ha!  Competitive runner probably does not describe me!  I enjoy running, and there’s a little competition within myself to push myself as far as I can.

Glenn Hackney is such a wonderful role model.  I’ve looked at him for years, and I want to keep running just like him, and I’m determined to do that. The camaraderie of the running community here is phenomenal. Plus, running gives me an opportunity to see cities while I’m traveling, and enjoy them without all the noise when I go out for a run at 5:00 in the morning.  I can watch San Francisco wake up!  That has given me a whole new entrée to getting to know and enjoy different places.

What’s the best advice or training tips you can share with others who are new to this race?

Really enjoy it, and enjoy it for what it is on that given day.  Things might not go exactly as you hoped, but things may go better than you hoped.  I’ve had that happen to me.  My PR was the same year I had open heart surgery in January.  I was just out to see how I’d do, and if felt good.

Have you made any big training errors, or race day flubs that adversely affected your enjoyment or time in this race?

I probably have!  But I think what has made the Equinox so enjoyable for me is I shift gears when I need to.  I might have pushed it a little too hard in one race, so my legs were tired when I hit mile 21/22, and I needed to shift gears.  At first, I was really bummed about it.  I started walking and thought maybe I could still run, but if I finished, I would finish injured. So I decided it was a beautiful day for a walk, and I finished it by walking, and I enjoyed it.

Any plans on participating in the Equinox this year? This race has been described as one of the most grueling marathons in the country!  What keeps you motivated to participate in this event?

I plan to do it, but I will not run the whole thing this year.   I will probably run the first third, and walk/run/hike the rest of the race to the finish.  

The camaraderie and the community spirit.  The thing that always crosses my mind is that people are sharing their backyards with us, and that is a motivator for me.  I love going through and thanking them.  And it’s a beautiful course!

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Tristan Sayre


Bob Hildebrandt

Describe your experience with the Equinox.  Have you participated in the full marathon, the relay, and/or the ultra?  How many times?

I have just ran the full marathon 16 times.

When do you start training for this race?  How much of the course itself do you incorporate into your training?  How often do you incorporate the Dome into your training?

I’m retired now, but when I was a runner, I would run year round.  I would run a lot of races Outside.  Specifically, for the Equinox, my favorite areas were the first 10 to 12 miles and I ran that once a week in the summer.  I would only train on the Dome three or four times a year.

What are your key workouts in preparation for this race?

Long, slow runs.

What’s your favorite thing about this race?

Finishing!

What’s your favorite part of the course? Your least favorite part?

I call it Sleepy Hollow, it’s the Aspen trail.  And a lot of times, running through the leaves there is like running through a cocoon. The chute is my least favorite.

Describe the best moment you’ve experienced during this race. Describe the worst.

My first years were faster.  Running down the last five or six miles and feeling really good and doing a good job.

My least favorite was dealing with my IT band one year.  I could only run a couple of miles before I had to stop and stretch. That was really challenging.  Allen Doyle lived here then, and he was going by and taking pictures of the race.  I remember thinking about waving him down, getting in his car and calling it quits.

Do you consider yourself a competitive runner? What are your running goals/fitness goals?

I didn’t start running until I was in my 40s, so I was never a competitive runner.  My faster times were in my 40s, naturally.  I didn’t want to be last; I wanted to be in the last half.  My first Equinox was in ’93 and I ran it in 5 hours and a few seconds, and the next year I ran it around 4:50.  

The goal was to just finish the marathon.

What’s the best advice or training tips you can share with others who are new to this race?

Steve  had a good Equinox training program where you get to run the whole course.  Start out slow and get a good base to prevent injury.  Get in long, slow runs.  If you’re able to run a 20 miler, you know you can do the Equinox. There were several times, I’d go out for a 20 mile run and be gone for four to five hours, and I would stash water bottles around the route.  You can’t carry that much stuff with you and it’s best to have it along the roadway.

Have you made any big training errors, or race day flubs that adversely affected your enjoyment or time in this race?

None that I can remember.  My wife was always available, so if I wanted to pick up a jacket, or need GU or a fresh water bottle, she was available.  I think my longevity was that I was always planning ahead.  I realized what was going to happen.

There was the time that I had done the out and back and I mistakenly ran through some surveying tape.  I would have been in Minto if the person behind me didn’t yell at me!

Any plans on participating in the Equinox this year? This race has been described as one of the most grueling marathons in the country!  What keeps you motivated to participate in this event?

No, I don’t.  I had a mild stroke in February 2009.  I would like to run again, but currently I’m not in physical condition. For awhile, I was running a quarter mile.  In the winter, I walk laps in the Big Dipper.  I felt I was gaining a lot of weight, so I started walking in the winter and riding my bike in the summer.  I have a really bad equilibrium problem, so I had to buy a three wheel bicycle.

It was my hometown marathon, and I just enjoyed it.

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Bobbi Jo Katchmar


Lalida Crawford

Describe your experience with the Equinox.  Have you participated in the full marathon, the relay, and/or the ultra?  How many times?

I’ve done the Equinox three times. I have participated on a relay team at least five times.

When do you start training for this race?  How much of the course itself do you incorporate into your training?  How often do you incorporate the Dome into your training?

I would usually start training in May or June. I would occasionally incorporate some of the course into my training. One season, I ran up the Dome at least 12 times.

What are your key workouts in preparation for this race?

Long runs!

What’s your favorite thing about this race?

I love the community and atmosphere of this race. I also love fall. September is my favorite month. 

What’s your favorite part of the course? Your least favorite part?

My favorite part of the course is the first 8 miles. My least favorite is running down Goldhill Road.

Describe the best moment you’ve experienced during this race. Describe the worst.

The best moment has always been when I finished the race. The worst moment has always been during the out-n-back section. It’s a tough section for me mentally.

Do you consider yourself a competitive runner? What are your running goals/fitness goals?

Sometimes I am a competitive runner. My goals vary a lot. Mostly I just love to run.

What’s the best advice or training tips you can share with others who are new to this race?

It’s a challenging race. I recommend completing a few long runs before you do it.

Have you made any big training errors, or race day flubs that adversely affected your enjoyment or time in this race?

This is not a race day flub exactly, but during one race I was answering nature’s call when my relay team member came through the transition zone. Everyone was looking for me.

Any plans on participating in the Equinox this year? This race has been described as one of the most grueling marathons in the country!  What keeps you motivated to participate in this event?

No plans to participate anytime soon. The Equinox is a beautiful, fun, and challenging race, which has always motivated me to participate.

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Natalie Forshaw


Stephanie King

Describe your experience with the Equinox.  Have you participated in the full marathon, the relay, and/or the ultra?  How many times?

The full marathon, five or six times; and the relays, numerous times.  All different legs, but mostly the middle leg.

When do you start training for this race?  How much of the course itself do you incorporate into your training?  How often do you incorporate the Dome into your training?

I usually like to start training by April, but each year is different.  It just depends on time constraints.  I incorporate the trail almost the whole time.  Trails are my favorite part of running.  I love to run the Dome and the out and back.  Those are the fun parts for me.

What are your key workouts in preparation for this race?

Trying to get a long run in.  The longest run I ever did for my first Equinox was 17 miles, but I was young, and I could get away with that.  As you get older, I think you need to make sure to incorporate those 20 mile runs in.  So at least by July, I try to get in longer runs.

What’s your favorite thing about this race?

The finish because you feel so accomplished.  I get emotional as soon as I see the big tower.

What’s your favorite part of the course? Your least favorite part?

My favorite part is the narrow trails, the first nine miles, though they aren’t so narrow anymore.  They’re twisty and turn-y, and you have to watch your feet.  Before you know it, you’ve already done nine miles.  But they’ve changed it now.  It’s not so woodsy to me anymore. 

Least favorite part is between mile 23 to mile 25 on the pavement.  Feeling the little rocks on your feet when I’m so tired!

Describe the best moment you’ve experienced during this race. Describe the worst.

Coming off the back side of the out and back and you look out and see this gorgeous view is the best.

My worst moment was a couple years ago, my legs were cramping so badly and I didn’t think I would be able to finish.

Do you consider yourself a competitive runner? What are your running goals/fitness goals?

No.

I just want to keep moving after I’m old and wrinkled.  I want to be heart-healthy.

What’s the best advice or training tips you can share with others who are new to this race?

Run your own race, and have fun.

Have you made any big training errors, or race day flubs that adversely affected your enjoyment or time in this race?

Not eating or drinking enough.  My first Equinox, all I had was water, and I know that completely affected my running.  I think hydrating and having the right food are important.

Any plans on participating in the Equinox this year? This race has been described as one of the most grueling marathons in the country!  What keeps you motivated to participate in this event? 

No, I have an injury from doing Granite Tors. 

Each year is different, and it’s always a challenge.

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Shirley Winther


Heather Tallman

Describe your experience with the Equinox.  Have you participated in the full marathon, the relay, and/or the ultra?  How many times?

I’ve only done it twice.  I’ve done the relay once, and I did the full Equinox two years ago.  I didn’t do it last year because I had broke my leg.

When do you start training for this race?  How much of the course itself do you incorporate into your training?  How often do you incorporate the Dome into your training?

I usually start thinking about the Equinox in the winter.  I try to ski and go to the gym, and start running in March.  If I don’t injure myself, then I run through the whole summer.  I’ve only done the Dome once, the time that I ran the whole Equinox.  So I don’t train that at all. It’s not my favorite!

What are your key workouts in preparation for this race?

I try to do some weights because I find that arm weights are helpful.  I like being out on the trails for longer than two hours.  I don’t get too many super long runs in, unless I’m out berry picking or hiking for hours and hours. 

What’s your favorite thing about this race?

The fact that it’s 26 miles, and I’ve actually completed it.  Probably running with somebody.  Heidi and I run with each other all the time, and I like that part.

What’s your favorite part of the course? Your least favorite part?

My favorite part is the beginning – the mass of people running up the hill, and also the Alder trail. 

My least favorite is going down the chute, but it’s not even that bad. 

Describe the best moment you’ve experienced during this race. Describe the worst.

My worst moment is having to pee or poo!  I don’t like having to squat down because I’m fatigued and I really can’t get back up.  It’s painful.

What I like best is the support that’s everywhere.

Do you consider yourself a competitive runner? What are your running goals/fitness goals?

I’m competitive as a person, but I’m not fast.  In my own little stage of running, yeah, I’m competitive with the people who are right with me.

My goal is to stay injury-free.

What’s the best advice or training tips you can share with others who are new to this race?

To have fun and relax, and to not push it too fast in the beginning. I think you have to have a consistent training plan, and a good night’s rest the night before.

Have you made any big training errors, or race day flubs that adversely affected your enjoyment or time in this race?

No.  The only time I’ve done the whole marathon was a really awesome experience.  I took each stage one by one, and I didn’t think about what was coming next.

Any plans on participating in the Equinox this year? This race has been described as one of the most grueling marathons in the country!  What keeps you motivated to participate in this event? 

Yes, the full marathon. 

Because if you do this, you can pretty much do anything!

Heather with her mom, Stephanie King.


Heidi Andre

Describe your experience with the Equinox.  Have you participated in the full marathon, the relay, and/or the ultra?  How many times?

This will be my third Equinox this year.

When do you start training for this race?  How much of the course itself do you incorporate into your training?  How often do you incorporate the Dome into your training?

This year, I started training in May.  I started doing the Equinox Training Runs and they have been helpful, and they’ve actually been my only time on the Dome.  I’m really just using the Equinox as another training run for the Twin Cities Marathon on October 2. 

What are your key workouts in preparation for this race?

To run as much as I can during the week, and also to participate in all the runs that Running Club North puts on, especially the longer ones like the Gold Discovery and the Santa Claus Half Marathon to get me into that longer run mode.  Those runs really gear me up for the last couple weeks of training to get ready for the Equinox.

What’s your favorite thing about this race?

The atmosphere of the community involvement.  It’s fun, even though it’s painful at times.  The time seems to go by quickly, and you always see someone you know or recognize on the trail.  And the sense of accomplishment when you’re done.

What’s your favorite part of the course? Your least favorite part?

My least favorite part is the out and back, just because I tend to be extra cautious on the rocky sections of the course with all the roots.  Once you go out, you know you have to come all the way back before you can go anywhere else.

My favorite part is the 3rd leg and knowing you’re 2/3 of the way done, and it’s literally downhill from there.

Describe the best moment you’ve experienced during this race. Describe the worst.

My favorite moment was the first Equinox I did with Heather, coming down the hill right by the finish.  I was crying uncontrollably.  I was almost hyperventilating; I was so excited that I couldn’t breath.  I was a swimmer my whole life and to do something like a marathon and doing it with my best friend gave me such a sense of accomplishment. 

Worst moments are on the chute.  I have some knee problems that make it uncomfortable.  I look at my watch and it’s at a standstill while I’m going down.

Do you consider yourself a competitive runner? What are your running goals/fitness goals?

I consider myself a competitive runner with myself in attempting to beat my times from previous years.  I know I’m not the fastest runner, but I’m still competitive with myself, and I think that comes from my swimming background.  Competitive, but in a good way – friendly co-worker rivalry type way.

My running goals this year are to complete the two marathons within those two weeks.  I’ve never run an urban city marathon yet, so hopefully, the Equinox with the tough terrain will prepare me for a smooth, flat course.  I hope to come out of the Twin Cities Marathon uninjured and able to start running again within a few weeks.  My fitness goals are overall health, wellness, and stress relief.

What’s the best advice or training tips you can share with others who are new to this race?

No matter how much or little training you’ve done, it’s doable.  Just enjoy however long you’re out there.  We’re able to run a marathon in one of the most beautiful courses in the country so enjoy it.  Know you’re accomplishing something that many people don’t have an opportunity to do.

Have you made any big training errors, or race day flubs that adversely affected your enjoyment or time in this race?

I haven’t been consistent with my training.

Any plans on participating in the Equinox this year? This race has been described as one of the most grueling marathons in the country!  What keeps you motivated to participate in this event?

Yes, and I registered online!  Online registration was excellent!

The feeling when I get when I’m done.  The sense of accomplishment, it’s a great physical feat, and I like the way that I feel afterwards.  It hurts, but I know that I’ve done something amazing, and I’m very proud of myself.

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Wendy Zimmerman


Patrick Carroll

Describe your experience with the Equinox.  Have you participated in the full marathon, the relay, and/or the ultra?  How many times?

I’ve done it the last two years.  The first year I did it with my son,  and we had never done any kind of long distance race before.  Last year, I did it 50 minutes faster than the year before.

When do you start training for this race?  How much of the course itself do you incorporate into your training?  How often do you incorporate the Dome into your training?

Years ago, a friend of mine and I would run a lot of short races, and never thought much about doing anything over 10K.  I’m a two time cancer survivor, and at some point I figured I wanted to eat right and exercise.  Running seemed like a very healthy thing to do.  I don’t know how I got into this long distance thing.  It was there and I wanted to go for it and do it.  After I did the Equinox the first time, I thought I’d never finish, and when I finished after 7 hours 2 minutes, I collapsed, but immediately afterwards I decided I’d do it again the next year!

What are your key workouts in preparation for this race?

I’m not a cold weather runner, so it’s kinda tough sometimes.  I start off with the short races and build up.  I like running the ski trails around the University.  I don’t have any regimen that I follow.

What’s your favorite thing about this race?

Just doing it!  I just jumped up an age bracket this year, so hopefully I’ll finish better in that bracket.

What’s your favorite part of the course? Your least favorite part?

I like the area around the Musk Ox Farm because it has nice views and you can still feel your body at that point in time.

Least favorite is the out and back.  It’s a killer.

Describe the best moment you’ve experienced during this race. Describe the worst.

Favorite part is coming out of the trees and seeing the finish line. 

Worst moment was last year going through the ski trails and I hit some roots and fell twice.  It didn’t stop me from running, but it was a nasty fall.

Do you consider yourself a competitive runner? What are your running goals/fitness goals?

No, the only competitiveness is against myself and to beat my son! I like to beat my time from the last race.

Running has become a fitness goal to me.  I want to run for life.

What’s the best advice or training tips you can share with others who are new to this race?

Just do it.  It’s an accomplishment.  Anybody can just go out and do it.  If you want to do it competitively, running is a kind of sport that takes awhile for training, so you want to slowly work your way up to the point to where you can run it most of the way.

Have you made any big training errors, or race day flubs that adversely affected your enjoyment or time in this race?

I should have paced myself better the first time I ran it.  I was running with my son and pushing it at first, and it was killer trying to finish it.  I think if you start off with an even pace, you’ll end up doing a lot better.

Any plans on participating in the Equinox this year? This race has been described as one of the most grueling marathons in the country!  What keeps you motivated to participate in this event? 

Yes, three years in a row, and I plan on beating last year’s time by a good half hour at least! 

It’s part of my training regimen for staying healthy.

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Describe your experience with the Equinox.  Have you participated in the full marathon, the relay, and/or the ultra?  How many times?

I’ve done the Equinox three or four times, not enough to feel like I know how to do it very well or go very fast!  I haven’t done the relay or the ultra.  

When do you start training for this race?  How much of the course itself do you incorporate into your training?  How often do you incorporate the Dome into your training?

I’ve never trained for the Equinox.  It’s not something that I train for.  I just train all year round.  I don’t live over by Ester Dome, so I don’t really train over there at all.  I do run in the hills off the Old Steese and off Farmer’s Loop.

What are your key workouts in preparation for this race?

I do some long runs, long skis, speed work, easy runs.  Recovery days!

What’s your favorite thing about this race?

I like the people.  It’s just so much fun to have everyone out there cheering, and cheering for one another.  Everybody’s happy, I mean happy in a happy sense of the way when you’re exhausted!  

What’s your favorite part of the course? Your least favorite part?

I like the Skarland trails, but maybe my favorite is the last six to eight miles to the finish line.  After you come done the chute, and the rest of the way to the finish.

Least favorite is anything that makes my knees hurt!  Going downhill.  

Describe the best moment you’ve experienced during this race. Describe the worst.

I like to cheer for people along the way on the out and back.  And afterwards, going back along the course and cheering people on who are still coming in.  My favorite part is seeing people I’ve worked with in my adult training group.  There’s a lot of people who weren’t athletic as children and want to do something now, or they quit athletics after high school.    I like to see adults be active, and see them out there at the race. I might be one of the top third people done, but I think about the people out there who are struggling for the next three or four hours still.  They’re having a much harder race than I am… I’m done. Encouraging those guys is just as important as the frontrunners.  

The worst moment was after the marathon and not feeling hydrated.  I almost put myself in the hospital afterwards.

Do you consider yourself a competitive runner? What are your running goals/fitness goals?

I don’t know about competitive.  I just love to run.  I used to love to do every race I possibly could.  Now, I jump in some races sometimes when I feel like it.  I want to be able to run for many, many years, and I want to stay active, fit, and healthy.  

What’s the best advice or training tips you can share with others who are new to this race?

I’d never run anything over 15 miles, so I thought I had to really train for the Equinox, and get in my miles.  I was toast by the time I got to the marathon.  So being prepared is important, but not overtrained and so tired the experience is not fun because you’re too tired to enjoy it.  

Have you made any big training errors, or race day flubs that adversely affected your enjoyment or time in this race?

Overtraining has been my worst training error, and not going into the race rested enough.  Not knowing how to hydrate and fuel along the way because I hadn’t really practiced it.  By mile 8 or 9 of that one Equinox, I was already cramping up.  It was a long haul from there with a lot of stopping and resting.

Any plans on participating in the Equinox this year? This race has been described as one of the most grueling marathons in the country!  What keeps you motivated to participate in this event?

I don’t know.  I don’t have any specific plans to run it.  I have a lifetime membership for the marathon, so I know if I want to run it the day before, I can go for it!

It’s a fun race being out there with all the people.  It’s something that people really train for and put their heart into.  The challenge is fun.

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