I did the full marathon my first year in college when I was 18 years old in 2004, and I did the relay three times. I ran each of the legs in order in three consecutive years; so 1st leg one year, 2nd leg the next year, and then the 3rd leg last year. So I’ve done it all, except for 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?
When do you stop training for the marathon? I run during the winter and do all kinds of stuff. It kind of depends what else I have going on. I usually take a little time off in the winter. But I’ll start going on the Dome as soon as the trails are dry and get out there. They’re just fun trails to run, so I’d run them anyway. Even when I haven’t been training for the Equinox, I’ll run the Dome.
What are your key workouts in preparation for this race?
You certainly want to do a long run. And you want to get out and run the course, just so you can get familiar with it, specifically on the hill, or go up by the pipeline by Fox and just run up there. That’s a big hill, too. And do some kind of speed work.
What’s your favorite thing about this race?
I like the community atmosphere. This race is typical Fairbanks. I mean it doesn’t get more Fairbanks than a run into the woods for hours and hours. I know some people who’ve run the race who didn’t train a single day for it, and they just do it for the adventure of it and for the experience. The views, and sometimes the weather comes into play. It’s just really indicative of the community.
What’s your favorite part of the course? Your least favorite part?
I’m not too fond of the chute now that it’s kind of torn up. I don’t really have a favorite or a least favorite. The views on top are certainly awesome. When you get up on the out and back – some of the spots up there are really nice. Although I like some of the more technical rooty stuff at the start. Really the course as a whole is really beautiful, and I run those trails all the time.
Describe the best moment you’ve experienced during this race. Describe the worst.
Best moment was probably finishing my first Equinox. That was my first marathon I’ve ever run. I was young when I did it compared to what most people do. Just the sense of accomplishment and having family there at the end; walking over and eating that first marathon bar! Staggering around for the next week after. I was living in the dorms and going back and seeing everybody on my floor, getting pats on the back. It was pretty awesome.
Worst moment was probably in the middle of that race, and I got that feeling I’ve never had before. I was going to cramp up in the middle of the race and not be able to walk. If I had tripped over a root, I was going down, and ain’t getting back up! That was a new thing for me. It didn’t happen, fortunately.
Do you consider yourself a competitive runner? What are your running goals/fitness goals?
Competitive? I don’t know. I just have a love for it. If you talk with some of these other people I’ve run with in college, a lot of them are skiers, also, and they have lofty goals of wanting to ski on their country’s national team; be in the Olympics. But for me, I really don’t have a goal to pursue it professionally, or to take it anything beyond an enjoyable hobby. It’s certainly good for you and something I enjoy doing. It’s something I would love to be able enjoy doing for the rest of my life. I like to be competitive just because I find it more fun, but I also like to run with the other people around town. The running community around here is really unparalleled to anywhere I’ve ever been before.
I just want to maintain basic fitness. I don’t necessarily have hard-line goals; just to constantly improve upon my previous times. I’m certainly at a point in my life where I haven’t peaked yet, so I can still pursue those 5K times I ran in college or in the past, and try to better those if I can.
What’s the best advice or training tips you can share with others who are new to this race?
You really just have to run the Dome. I think I heard one year, maybe it was Wayde Leder… I heard he ran it like 40 times in the summer in preparation for the race. Sure enough, the year that I did it, he passed me on the downhill, cruising by me.
Have you made any big training errors, or race day flubs that adversely affected your enjoyment or time in this race?
Not really. Nothing that specifically comes to mind. Just not training enough.
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 think I will do it this year. Last year, I ran a flat marathon. This year, I’ll run this marathon. I don’t have another goal race in mind at this point. It’s a nice cherry at the end of the season; something to go for. I mean it’s one thing to train and be fit, but it’s another thing to have something in mind that you’d like to do to give you a little bit of motivation. I haven’t run the whole thing in so long. The last three years, I did each leg of the relay and I figure this year, I’ll put them all together and give it a go!
You might also like: