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?


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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