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

 


Kathleen Hook

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

I have formally participated in the marathon one time.  When I first moved here, back in 1981, I saw the Equinox crowd and it was so cool.  I would go to the start and watch, and think someday, maybe.  And then, after a couple of years, I would just run the first nine or 10 miles all by myself.  Finally, I had the courage to train and do it in 1988.

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?

Back in 1988, I was running 20-some miles a week in the winter, and it was important for me to chart out my schedule – increasing my mileage slowly each week up to just a couple weeks before the marathon.  And in that, I would incorporate hills, running the Dome, and any trail running I could do to get confident in running those hills.

What are your key workouts in preparation for this race?

Systematically increasing my mileage, and running hills.  I’m not real competitive, it was all about finishing, being strong, not hurting myself, and enjoying the experience.

What’s your favorite thing about this race?

I love September in Fairbanks. I love athletes.  I love the community of runners who participate in this race, and hanging with those folks.

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

This is very easy!  My favorite part is just beyond Ballaine Lake, where the nervousness, the butterflies have settled.  There’s not too much of a climb;  I’m in the beautiful trails; I’m just starting to gel into the run, and remembering why I love to run.

Least favorite = the out and back.  One of the best things is making it to the top of the Dome – you’re still going, you still have something in you and feeling good, then you see the chute to your left, and you still have to go on the out and back.  That is so hard.

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

Best moment is when I’m fresh, just after Ballaine Lake and I’m in the groove of running.  I love that.  I think that last mile, it’s kind of uncomfortable, but I’m going to make it.  I’m so proud and happy, and so that’s a wonderful feeling, too.  Wow, I’m worked hard towards this goal, and it’s going to happen, I’m going to make it.

I was pretty unhappy on the out and back.

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

No.  I do love to be out there and run, walk, and just be in nature.  So that’s my goal is to incorporate that into my every week – where I have time for running, walking, and being outside in some fashion. So my fitness goal is to keep moving.  Every year is a bit different as I get older and my fitness goals are always changing and evolving.

This year, I’m not training for the Equinox, but I’m training to ride a 500 mile bike ride.

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

To plan in advance in the winter when you’re building your fitness.  Build slowly and consistently, and work hills into it.

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

Funny story: On one of my test runs for the Equinox, I felt I had to pee, but thought it was a fake pee, and that I was just nervous, so I didn’t pee.  So I get beyond Yankovich, and dang it, I gotta pee!  But I was in a hurry, so I rushed behind some bushes.  Peed all over my right shoe, and so it squished and squished, and it was warm and wet!  It was a huge pee!

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.  What I may do is go to the start though.  I love going to the start and watching the racers, and being a part of that.  If I’m not at the race, I’m always aware of when it’s happening and what the weather is.  If I’m not in town, I look up what the weather will be like on Ester Dome, and what the environment is like for all the runners.


Corky Hebard

Corky has competed in 40 Equinox marathons, more marathons than any other participant.

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

To go back to the very beginning, I went to work at the DOT and George Bloom was my boss.  At that time, he had done the Equinox twice, and would go on to do 18 of them.   I made the mistake of asking him about it and his ears perked up and we became fast friends.  I hiked it the first year with George and his daughter, took 8 hours 45 minutes, then the next couple of years, did a little bit of training and hiked it faster.  By about the fourth year, we decided to try running, so we did a little training, and pretty much have been running it ever since.  The last two years, I worked myself back to being a hiker again.

My worst Equinox was my first one in 8 hours 45 minutes, and my best was 3:08.  I managed to get in the top five this one time.  Probably, the most disappointing experience was the year before that, I was trying to get in the top five, and I got 6th.

My family’s been involved in it over the years.  My wife has been on the pit crew just about every year. We have three sons, all have done it at least twice each.  And the last two years, my granddaughter did it with me, so we have three generations involved in the Equinox now.  My wife, Donna even when she hasn’t been feeling well has been out there.  Even in 1992 (the snow year), she was out there helping with Tom Wickwire and me.

I have run it or hiked it 40 times, and that’s including 1992, the snow 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 guess my training now is certainly different than what it was back when I was a serious runner.  Then, I would run year round, still do, but now I run a lot shorter runs.  I used to start serious training in June.  We went by the George Sheehan 13 week plan.  Now I still run year round, and August I do a few longer runs, but the training is not as serious as it once was.  I get every bit as much satisfaction hiking and jogging it as I would running it.  Proudest patches are the early days, hiking it and it takes 8 hours, or 7 hours or whatever it takes to go that far.  It’s easier to be in really good shape and running it, than it is to be in moderate shape and try to hike it and survive it.  I’ve done it so many times, it’s sort of a routine.  I take it in sections, and finish a section and put another one in my mind and do it, and pretty soon, it’s over with.

I run the first part of it, which used to be called the six mile trail because I like to run the University trails.  We used to run Ester Dome a lot. One year, Tom Wickwire and I ran it 16 times.  Now I manage to get up there once or twice, and hike part of the hill.  In the serious days, we spent a lot of time running up the Dome and St. Patrick’s.  It’s a great place to train.  I used to  get so much hill training in, I’d usually get a sore achilles tendon and I’d have to cut back.

What are your key workouts in preparation for this race?

Anymore, my key workouts are just to up my distance.  I run four or five miles a few times a week, and when it gets closer, I up them to get in a 10 or 12 miler.  I don’t do anymore 20 mile training runs.  I used to do lots of those.  So basically, a few longer ones so it doesn’t hurt so much on race day.

What’s your favorite thing about this race?

The time of year with the leaves changing – it’s always pretty out.  All the people; the excitement.  Being out there is my favorite thing.  Having my family there being the pit crew; for the last two years, running it with my granddaughter.  Last year, she beat me by an hour. Allison’s a great runner. 

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

Favorite part of the course?  That’s easy – at the bottom of the chute at about 17.5 mile down to Henderson Road where it’s pretty through the trees and you can still run – gravity is helping you out.  That’s always been my favorite area.  I don’t know that I have a least favorite.  Coming up some of the steep hills on the turnaround are not my least favorite, but they are the most difficult.  Starting the Equinox, going up the ski hill. Actually, for three years, they did away with that and moved it up behind the dorms, but it didn’t seem right.  The Equinox is supposed to go up the hill.

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

Best moments – there are so many of them.  Just doing it and having my pit crew there – my wife and kids. It has always been great seeing them out there on the course and helping.  Best moments are just doing it, the whole thing.

Least favorite, I suppose I can blame some of  those on bad weather days, but even those are part of the Equinox.  The snow years – they can be a challenge staying on your feet, but I can’t say that I’ve ever really complained about them, or called them my least favorite.  They’re just part of the challenge.  Going down the chute with snow on the ground is not easy.  It’s hard to even say there’s a least favorite.  I just enjoy doing it, and have to have a positive outlook no matter how much it hurts.

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

I don’t consider myself a competitive runner any longer.  I did for years.  I would set goals early in the summer and try to achieve them, and try to do well in my age group.  Finishing high up used to be important.  Now my goals are just to stay in shape so I can continue jogging it and hiking, and collecting patches.  Staying ahead of Bob Baker and Tom Wickwire.  Continue running.  Running keeps you in enough shape to do a lot of other things — ride your bike, go on a long hike, or put on your cross-country skis and go ski for awhile.  Running has always been my base fitness program.  I’ve been really fortunate having very few injuries over the years.

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

Best advice is if you’re going to do the Equinox, do some hill training. It will really make the last half of your day more fun if you’ve done some hill training and your legs are used to going up and down.  Buy some good shoes.  Train the miles for the goal you have.  If you’re a hiker, you should go out and hike the hill (Ester Dome) some and do some hiking.  There’s a few people who show up who aren’t from around here and they do hill runs and do really well.  Hill training is critical.

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

No, not really.  I guess I can say not running enough miles.  But when I was serious about it, I used to run 65 – 70 miles a week, and now I run 25 miles.  Race day flubs?  Not really.  I’ve taken a few falls here and there, but they haven’t stopped me and I’ve never had an injury that prevented me from finishing.  There have been times, I was wondering along the last few miles, if I was going to make it, but I just put one foot in front of the other.  It would be too hard to explain why I didn’t finish so I force my way through it.  Even though being tired or sore, I have never had anything affect my enjoyment.

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 definitely plan on doing it. My motivation is just enjoying the Equinox.  Sometime the string will have to end, but as long as I can, I’ll keep collecting patches and trying to stay ahead of Baker and Wickwire. It’s a fun thing to do, and it’s a good time of year to be out there.  If I’m around here, I’ll keep doing it.  I started out as a hiker, and I’m working my way back to being a hiker.  It’s just as much fun,  just as satisfying doing it as a hiker as it is a runner.  I’ll keep on doing it as long as I can put one foot in front of the other.


Glenn Hackney

Describe your experience with the Equinox.  

I ran it once, I think in 1971, the year before I ran for the state house. Unbeknownst to me, George Walton, my campaign chair at the time, cut a deal with the Kiwanis.  Either I finished the Equinox, or no backing.  Little did I know I had several hundred dollars riding on this race.  Once I make a pledge, once I state something to the world, then I finish it.  

At the time, I was in pretty good shape, though I hadn’t run a step to prepare for it.  A young neighbor of ours, a girl around 16 to 17 years old, decided to run it with me.  We did pretty well and got to the top of the Dome, but when I went down the chute I had to stop and sit on the side for a good 10 minutes before we started back up.  We finished together, but the backs of my legs would not stop shaking.  Our neighbor’s mother picked us up at the end of the race; a good thing because I couldn’t have driven home!

After the marathon, I found out about the deal George made and was happy to find out I picked up some campaign money!

[Glenn won the election, and served in the State House (1972-76) and State Senate (1976-1980).]

This experience didn’t give me the motivation to run this marathon again.  It was raw survival.  Fast forward to 1983… I was kidding with a friend about both of us running the Midnight Sun Run together. That was an entirely different experience.  Still no preparation, but we decided to fast-walk it and had a very enjoyable time.

After that, I wondered if I could run a mile.  I measured out a mile, and then ran it.  I LOVED it!  I went from there, and got involved with the running scene.  Later on, I ran the Honolulu Marathon and wasn’t scared of the distance because I had prepared by running all the races in Fairbanks.

In 1992, I ran the Law Days 10K.  Later that evening, driving on Airport Way, I noticed some trash on the side of the road; parked my car off the road and went to pick it up.  Some people drag racing, hit me, broke both my legs. That ruined the rest of that running season!

In 1996, I was selected as a torchbearer for the Olympic Torch Relay and ran with the Olympic torch in Olympia, Washington.

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

Favorite – the start up until I hit the first hill.  Least favorite –  the chute.

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

It’s euphoria at the beginning when everyone is starting out, something about a group of people doing something together – a real camaraderie.  

Worst moment – coming down that chute, the immediate aftermath.  At that particular point, I didn’t know if I could finish, but I did.

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

I do.  The competitiveness in the Equinox is finishing it.  Currently, I run as long as it feels good.  Rather than really push myself, I take it easy, and mostly walk.  My goal is to be running when I’m 90. [Glenn is 86 years old.]

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

The best advice is more than anything else, eat right, keep track of weight and blood pressure.  I’m utterly convinced I have decent blood pressure due to all my years of running; I give total credit to it.  Keep moving every doggone day.

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

There was one race, I remember eating an orange and then drinking a cup of water afterwards, and I sloshed all during the run. I’ve never been sick on a run though.

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?

A good friend close to my age has encouraged me to hike the relay with her.  I’m considering doing this.  I could do the first leg.  It’s the time of year I really appreciate, and running makes me feel great.  I don’t feel 86.


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