Category Archives: last name H

Gary Holton


Describe your experience with the Equinox.  Have you participated in the full marathon, the relay, and/or the ultra?  How many times?
 
I’ve run the marathon three times starting in 2005; the relay (1st leg) once; and the 40 mile ultra course once.

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 transition to running in late March, right after the Sonot Kkaazoot. I run portions of the course regularly, including the Dome at least once per week.

What are your key workouts in preparation for this race?

Long runs, hill repeats, tempos, and track intervals. A marathon really requires a combination of all of these workouts. Lately, though, I’ve been incorporating a lot more hill work. The Dome is great, but there are other good climbs in Fairbanks, like the Moose Mountain ski hill.

What’s your favorite thing about this race?

The energy! I’ve never encountered a race with such energy — from runners, volunteers, spectators. It’s just a great time, all the runners in the crisp Fall air, reflecting back on a season of running, thinking ahead to what the coming winter will bring.

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

I love cresting the top of the Dome and heading out the out-and-back. I usually feel a surge of energy here (though it doesn’t always last). Least favorite part has to be the descent down Henderson road. My
quads are thrashed and I find it hard to keep a quick pace on the pavement.

Describe the best moment you’ve experienced during this race. Describe the worst.
 
So many good moments that it’s difficult to choose. The worst had to be bonking at mile 24 on Goldhill Road.

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

As someone who started running later in life I continue to be amazed at what the human body can do. I may not get any faster, but I’ll continue to explore the limits.

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

Here’s my advice for people wanting to transition from the Marathon to the Ultra. (1) slow down. Drop you marathon mile pace by 30-60 seconds. (2) go long. Unless you’re Geoff Roes or Ellie Greenwood,
ultra running is more about time on your feet than about running. Get used to being out for 4, 5, or 6 hours on your long runs, and don’t be afraid to walk. (3) learn how to fuel your body. See if you can eat a PB&J while climbing the Dome.

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

Going out to fast. I know it’s a cliche, but it’s a trap I often fall into. Those first eight miles are such a joy to run that it’s easy toget sucked in to going faster than I should. Best to take a reality check at mile 1 and get settled into a realistic pace.

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?

Unfortunately, I’ll be out of town for the 2012 event, but I’ll certainly be back again. This is a fantastic race, and though it’s still mostly a local event, I expect we will see increasing participation from outside Fairbanks in years to come.

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Bruce Gard

 

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


Matt Hays

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

I ran the full marathon last year for the first time.  I didn’t do as well as I thought I’d do, but I finished it around 6 hours 15 minutes.  I lost both big toenails after the chute, and basically, ran/walked the rest of the way to the finish line.  I wanted to quit, but that would have felt worse.

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 started running for the first time in my life while on vacation April 1, 2010, and I’ve been running ever since for stress relief.  I mainly do trail running with my dogs.  I hate running on the roads.  I was going to do the relay with my brother last year and for some odd reason, I wanted to do the whole thing, so I got a late start in training around July 2010.  We did up to an 18 mile run.  I ran the Dome numerous times.  

What are your key workouts in preparation for this race?

Last  year, it was getting out and running the trails. I did more long distance running than hill-training or fartleks or intervals.  One thing I’m doing differently this year is running without my GPS and heart rate monitor.  It’s more relaxing, and there’s more freedom to just enjoy.  

What’s your favorite thing about this race?

Probably the people.  That was my first marathon, and I want to say it was my first race.  I’ve walked in the Midnight Sun Run… Talking with everybody in the race is my favorite part.

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

Least favorite is Henderson Road and Goldhill Road.   I don’t like running on pavement with the cars.  It adds a lot of stress. I like being out on the trails, so my favorite is being out on any part of the Equinox that has trees.

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

It’s back to the people.  Last year, there was a guy around 80 years old and that Equinox was his 200th marathon, and he’s ran a marathon in every state twice.  There was a military guy with an 80 pound rucksack on, doing the ultra.  I was with him and talking about his experience.  

My feet actually grew over the summer, and I should have gotten bigger shoes.  I didn’t, and I paid the price by losing my toenails.

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

I wouldn’t say I’m a competitive runner, not yet at least.  My main goal is to keep up with my older brother.  I just want to beat my time, and get faster.  It seems like a lot of these guys out here are seasoned runners; these older guys are out there kicking my butt.  It humbles me.  I know what to expect out there on the trails, and I want to beat my time from last year. Fitness goals are to stay in shape and get some relief from a job that’s sometimes stressful.

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

Just finish it no matter what.  If you have to walk, then walk or walk/run. Just hammer it out and finish it.  The reward will be worth more than the pain you’re going through.  My daughter was waiting for me at the finish, and I got to run with her and hold her hand coming up the hill through the finish line.  

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

Not really.  I was pretty well organized and knew what to drink and how often.  I didn’t necessarily hit the wall.  It was just the pain of my feet.  I should have gotten some proper shoes to run in.

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!

Lack of common sense!  This is much more than just running a race, it’s something special. It’s a challenge, and I like to set a goal because it keeps me going.

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Bob Perkins 


Mike Hays

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 run the relay once.  I did the 2nd leg last year, and I’ve actually only been running for a couple of years. My brother wanted the both of us to run the whole thing, but my work load wouldn’t allow me to train enough, so my wife and sister-in-law teamed up and we did the relay together.  I was a little disappointed that I didn’t do more – I didn’t realize that you could do two legs. 

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?

We ran the course two times total, but not all at once.  We typically did one long run a week, longest up to 18 miles.  Usually they were around nine to 12 miles.  

What are your key workouts in preparation for this race?

The long runs, and trying to learn about nutrition and eating and drinking along the way.

What’s your favorite thing about this race?

Being out there with everybody.  Taking off with the big group is exciting.

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

I like the first 2/3 of the race, even down through the chute.  The worst part would be Gold Hill Road.  It’s long and monotonous. 

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

I really enjoyed the out and back, and seeing everybody come back.  The camaraderie there was great.  Being out there was enjoyable, and I had no bad experiences.

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

I’m not a competitive runner, but I hope to maintain year-round fitness through skiing, hockey, and running.

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

Train!  Run the course, and be prepared.  I’m going to learn a lot this year because it’s going to be my full marathon year.  

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

I would say no, but I only did a short section, so I’m thinking this year is going to be a learning curve.

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.

Just the challenge of completing it.  I know it’s the second hardest one in the U.S., and I enjoy it.  I’m looking forward to it!

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Greg Petitto


Norma Haubenstock


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 full marathon maybe seven times, the relay a few times, and I’ve ran the 50K ultra one time.  I’m doing the 64K ultra this year.  I have ran the 1st and 2nd legs of the relay, but have not run the 3rd 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?

A few years ago, we started running the Dome once a week starting in April.  I try to run maybe once a week during the winter and do a lot of skiing.  I try to stay fit the whole year around, so I don’t really particularly train exactly for the Equinox.  Usually I run lots of the parts of the Equinox trail just because I love the trail so much.  

What are your key workouts in preparation for this race?

I do the Dome because I like it and it’s a good uphill workout.  I do at least three long runs of 18 to 20+ miles.  I run three or four times a week.  I try not to run every day.

What’s your favorite thing about this race?

Training is my favorite thing!  I love being out on the trails.  And running with other people, being out there.  On the day of the race, it’s fun seeing people out there and it’s my way of saying goodbye to summer. 

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

My least favorite is coming around Gold Hill and going up the power line.  At that moment, I’m thinking I’m almost there, but it’s really hard at that point and I’m dragging.

I always like coming off the Dome and running on Alder trail following the chute.  I also love the first five miles.  

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

There’s so many moments… A few years ago, it was rainy and foggy, but it was clear as soon as you got to the top of the Dome.  It was this total fog bank – Ester Dome was above the fog, but the whole valley was totally socked in and you couldn’t see anything below. It was so surreal.  No worst moment – I’m usually pretty happy.

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

I don’t consider myself that competitive.  I like to stay fit so I can be out there.  Every year I try to have some goal.  This year, my goal is to do the 64K ultra and see how that goes.

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

Find a friend to train with, and make sure you eat and drink.  Take it slow during your training and building up to the race.  If you feel any injuries coming on, make sure you take care of them.  Don’t just let them go. 

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

I always think I should run the Dome more because it’s so hard going up.  I just remember one day training, I hadn’t eaten enough.  I realized I really have to eat about every 45 minutes or so.

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’m going for the ultra.  I just signed up online!

It reminds me of Fairbanks.  The trails… The community.  I love being out there on the trails and this is what Fairbanks is to me.

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Jim Madonna


Ashlee Homan

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

My first time, I ran the relay (the 2nd leg up Ester Dome) and that was in ’08, and then I had an injury in ’09.  I ran the whole thing for the first time last year.  This year, I plan to do 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?

This is the second season that I’ve actually trained, and I started training because I ran this marathon and it was really inspiring.  I run the Dome and the trail as much as humanly possible every week, and ski the trails in the winter.  My theory is the more times I get up the Dome, the easier it will be, but I just don’t know if that’s true!

What are your key workouts in preparation for this race?

Hills, hills, hills!  And this season because of the ultra, I’ve put more miles on my legs than in my entire lifetime.  I’ve done a 40 miler – ran the Chilkoot and couldn’t get picked up on the highway, so had to run to the Canadian border… that was kind of interesting.  I’ve done maybe eight 20 mile runs, and I just ran a marathon two weeks ago.

What’s your favorite thing about this race?

I love the people. Everyone on the course is so friendly and encouraging.  It’s hard to feel discouraged at any point.  

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

The end is the best part!  I like when you get done with the out and back because you’ve got the chute, and at the bottom of the chute there’s these beautiful birch trees.  It puts a smile on my face every time.

Ester Dome – I should just make peace with it.  Give it a big hug!  That’s the part that gives me the hardest time.  It’s brutal.

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

The relay felt easy and awesome.  When I did the whole thing, definitely when I got back to the University and on the last hill behind the Botanical Gardens… This is totally cheeseball, but I remember saying “You’re doing it, girl!” to myself out loud!  I’m that crazy person!  I did it!

This year, I’m excited to push it even farther. The Equinox is a really challenging course and I think the organizers have done it justice with the extension of the ultra.  This is the first ultra I’ve ever run and I’m super excited about it.  

I don’t have a worst moment.  Every time I felt tired, there would be a kid at the bottom of a hill with something delicious.  And those cookies at the out and back!

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

I’m pretty new to this running thing, but I’m competitive with myself.  And I want to keep having fun.  When it stops being fun, then I know I’ve done something wrong.  Even when a run is long and brutal, 20+ miles, or doing back to backs kicking my butt because I’m already fatigued the second day of running.  As long as I’m having fun – that’s what it’s all about.  And feeling strong and healthy; hanging around cool people.  If I kick-ass along the way, then that’s a bonus.

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

Smile!  Pace yourself.  I’ve learned so much from other runners, and there’s some really inspiring runners in this community who are willing to share their expertise.  They’re amazing. What I love is when they tell me that it’s hard for them sometimes, and that they weren’t always good at this… Remembering their first marathon time and how much growth they’ve made… You’ve got to have that network, and people to run with.  It sucks to run by yourself.  Come to Steve’s Equinox Training Runs!  

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

Not yet!  Though I struggle with the taper.  I don’t like to take it easy; that’s really difficult for me. My husband is horribly injured with tendonitis this season.  He’s this great athlete and he really inspires me.  He’s not going to have an Equinox this season and that’s a really hard thing, so it’s a good reminder that we have to take care of ourselves and listen to our bodies.  

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?

It’s the people.  I was going to come back and do just the Equinox this year, but I had such a good training season and met all these incredible ultra athletes.  When I ran the relay, I felt I needed more, so I ran the whole thing, so now it’s like, why not do the ultra?  People in this community are incredible.  They’re inspiring and they do crazy things.  The Equinox is truly a community event, and you really see that and feel that, and you see it out in the community even when it’s not Equinox day.

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Trent Hubbard

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

This is going to be my fourth year running the Equinox.  I’ve run it the last three years.  

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?

The first couple of times I ran it, I didn’t hardly train at all.  Being in the field as a geologist during the summer, I don’t get a chance to train much, so this year is the first year that I’m actually going to train hard-core for it.  Usually, if I can run 10-15 miles that’s good, but this year, I’m aiming for a couple over 20-mile runs.  I’m really aiming to improve my time this year.

I haven’t been on the Dome very much before – two or three times a year, maybe.  This year, I’ll probably be up there four or five times.

What are your key workouts in preparation for this race?

I aim for about four hours with my dog on a variety of terrains from hills once a week to flats.  It’s mostly a motivation to run my dog.

What’s your favorite thing about this race?

Just being able to do it!  Just being able to say, here I am getting older, and I’m still in shape, and able to do this.  And I’m not sitting in front of the TV.  It’s just a lot of fun to be a part of this community event.

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

My favorite part is from the Musk Ox Farm to the base of Ester Dome.  My least favorite part is probably the out and back.

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

The best moment was the first year that I ran it, and crossing the finish line!  That was just fantastic.  The worst was probably last year, when my leg started hurting at the bottom of Alder trail and knowing that it was going to impact my ability to improve my time.  

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

No.  Mostly, I’d just like to get to where I can be middle to upper-half of the pack someplace.  In terms of fitness goals, I just want to stay healthy and stay active.  It’s more of me staying active enough to run with my dogs.

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

Get out and run the course, and uphills.

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

Last year, I carried a Camelbak, and I hadn’t been training with one and I thought that was a negative impact because it changed my whole way of drinking water.

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 do plan on participating this year.  I’ve done it a couple times, and I just want to get better and better!

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Bruce Sackinger

 


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