Describe your experience with the Equinox. Have you participated in the full marathon, the relay, and/or the ultra? How many times?
This is my favorite race for so many reasons. The smells of high bush, the camaraderie and meeting/reconnecting with friends. The epic nature of the whole up-the-dome thing. I’ve done the full too many times to count~ it’s just a ritual that needs to be done or the year isn’t complete. I once did the relay and we were on course to break Stan’s record! Pretty exciting- and amazing that three pretty good runners (I was younger then!) couldn’t beat Stan the Legend of the Dome. Caveat- I saw Stan run the race once and he was the closest thing I’ve witnessed to Mr. Natural’s (remember him all you ol’ hippies?) stride~ and the guy went up the dome as fast as he went down (or so it seemed!). He really rocked it- as well as Murphy, but Murph bounced along with a totally different look. Both legends!
When do you start training for this race?
I usually don’t really specifically train for it. I coach and travel in the summer, and bike a lot, so running takes a back seat. Maybe the month before I’ll get some long miles in. Not fast enough to be serious, and the one year I was training “seriously” for it, my dog took out my ACL in late August, so that taught me to keep it fun!
How much of the course itself do you incorporate into your training?
I love running the first two legs- trails are us:) Great workouts and Katie, the wonder dog loves the trails, too.
How often do you incorporate the Dome into your training?
Not much, but I do love going vertical, so at least a few times a summer.
What are your key workouts in preparation for this race?
Eating. Fishing. Moose hunting (tons of hiking really- not much finding)/ Riding my mountain bike on trails. I keep it low key- not fast enough to get too wigged out about times. It’s more about the event than results for me.
What’s your favorite thing about this race?
The people, the fall weather, and the course are what keep me coming back. And seeing Stan at the Sheep Creek crossing near the end. He’s always so encouraging and, when I see him, I know I’m almost done. Sweet!
What’s your favorite part of the course?
The finish line and the start line. And I do love the first 20 miles- the rolling trails and climbing. Those last six often do me in.
Your least favorite part?
Henderson and the power line. My legs are shot and the pavement hurts, and the unevenness of the power line trail knacker my ankles.
Describe the best moment you’ve experienced during this race.
Three times stand out. I made a pact with myself that I would come back from ACL surgery and run it the next year- I did and ran around 3:38, so that was cool. Another was running with a dude that was doing the ultra for miles. He was in his mid 20’s and had barely escaped meth and that whole life alive, and this was what saved him- running. His brother and dad were at every place you could see the race supporting him- pretty emotional for all involved. It was his first ultra- think he was second:) The third was the year George Bloom died and I watched Bobby Fyten veer off course and send some loving to George on the top of the dome where his ashes were spread. Pretty emotional.
Describe the worst.
Bonking so badly (about every third year) and having Bad Bob pass me every time in that last few miles! He’s a great guy and friend, and we like to joke about it.
Do you consider yourself a competitive runner?
Ha! NO!!! I’m an awful runner- work my butt off to make up for a huge lack of any kind of natural skill!
What are your running goals?
To see good friends, meet new people, and try not to get injured.
Just trying to keep that old slow fat and out of shape guy from catching me (that guy is the me if I stop working out:)
What’s the best advice or training tips you can share with others who are new to this race?
Have fun! Talk to people, don’t go out hard or you WILL pay, and look at the views at the top of the dome- you earned it. Oh, and stash warm clothes along the trail- I’ve gotten really cold, and it can really zap your energy stores and make the race no fun.
Have you made any big training errors, or race day flubs that adversely affected your enjoyment or time in this race?
All the time, and too many to mention.
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?
Because it’s one of the most grueling marathons in the country…
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