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


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