Conquering Cannon Mountain

Sunday was the first annual Littleton Bike and Fitness “Sufferfest” at Cannon Mountain. It was a cloudless day and hot. I arrived at the start at the Franconia Inn where around 100 mountain bikers and runners prepared to tackle the daunting trail and mountain course.

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Dave Harkless, owner of Littleton Bike and Fitness

Bridget and I met up with some of the other Pete and Gerry’s Organic Chicks before the start. Of course we had to show our chick power in our cute Skirt Sports skirts. What is more bada$$ than a strong woman racing to the top of a 3,150 ft mountain?

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Strong Chicks in Skirts (Skirt Sports)
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Ready to Conquer Cannon
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Best Training Partner and Friend

The race started with mountain bikers first followed by eager runners. Not sure how to pace this and still unsure of my post-marathon legs I decided to race and have a blast. The first part was on beautiful trails through the woods. The air was pretty motionless and hot. I was definitely glad I chose to bring my camelbak.

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Ready to Suffer
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On your marks, get set, bike! I mean hike!
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Runners Ready to climb
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Ham Branch Trail. Beautiful
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On the move

The trails wound around until we came out of the woods at the base of Mitersill adjacent to Cannon Mountain. At that point the climbing commenced and running turned into a steady power hike. I was definitely happy to be on foot and not on bike. The mountain bikers had to hike too either pushing bikes or carrying them. They definitely endured the true “sufferfest!”

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Are you ready? It’s time to start going up!
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I guess the chairlift is not an option
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Mittersill
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I think one of these trails is called “Gremlin.”
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Echo Lake . . .a swim would be nice right about now!
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Beautiful view of Franconia, NH
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Tough chick on the mountain

It was very hot on the way up so I was happy to be able to cool off along the way with fresh mountain water from the cold mountain streams. The volunteers handing out water were definitely busy and very appreciated!
I was thrilled to finish in a time of 1:33.28 and was psyched to find my friend Bridget the overall women’s winner in a blazing time of 1:13! The cheering at the top was extra awesome with super chick Tricia giving the racers energy into the finish line. Toni chick pushed hard to the top making a stellar comeback from a donkey related shoulder injury this winter (true story!).

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I made it! What an awesome adventure!
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Fastest chick in a blazing 1:13!
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Go Toni! Go! Pete and Gerry’s Organic Chicks were speedy up the mountain!
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Way to push it to the finish on your bike!!
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Love ya’ B!
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Pete and Gerry’s Organic Chicks! Challenge Accepted and Acoomplished!
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Ready for the ride back down on the tram!

Overall the race was a blast! The tram ride down was definitely welcome though (we rode in ketchup). I will definitely be back for more next year!

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Organic Runner Mom vs. Cannon Mountain

Run for yourself. Find peace before the start.

Tomorrow it is me against the mountain (for the first annual Sufferfest). I am looking forward to racing up Cannon Mountain tomorrow. This will be a race just for me. No expectations.  Get out there have some fun and run my own race. It is often easy to forget that part of running and racing . . . but that is my first and only goal tomorrow. Finishing the race at the summit will be an added bonus with the views as the reward at the end! (and I might even get to win some of our Pete & Gerry’s Organic Eggs at the race like I did during Winter Wild).

3,150 of climbing from the Franconia Inn to the top of Cannon
I will be needing my “extreme protein” to make it to the top of the mountain!

Sufferfest

This weekend (Sunday, June 10th at 9 a.m.) I am going to be running at the First Annual “Sufferfest.”  Sufferfest is a mountain adventure race put on by Littleton Bike and Fitness and sponsored by our family farm Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs.

Host of the first ever “Sufferfest”
Refuel with Pete & Gerry’s Organic Eggs

The race begins in Franconia, NH at the Franconia Inn and ends at the top of Cannon Mountain in Franconia Notch.  You can pick your “poison” for the race, run it or ride it (mountain bike).  The race will be a grueling 6 mile climb with an elevation gain of 3,150 feet.  For trail enthusiasts and mountain runners this will be an exciting challenge and may even be referred to as “fun.”  I’ll let you know how much “fun” I had post-race if I am still able to stand on my own two legs which are still in recovery mode post Vermont City Marathon.  I am hoping some of the other Pete & Gerry’s Organic Chicks will join me on the mountain!

This race definitely has some cool features not to be missed:

  • It is primarily a trail race (albeit a trail race that only goes up!?!?)
  • If you are running perhaps one of the mountain bikers might let you hitch a ride?
  • When you EVENTUALLY arrive at the finish you will be rewarded with sweeping views of Franconia Notch and beyond.
  • It will NOT be snowing! (and if it is I think I may need to move somewhere tropical)
  • If you actually make it to the summit you can officially call yourself a bada$$ for rocking this awesome challenge.
  • You might win some egg-cellent raffle prizes that include some EXTREME PROTEIN to refuel your body post race!

    EXTREME Protein

You do not have to run or ride back down! The Trams often referred to by locals as “ketchup & mustard” will be there to bring you back to earth the base of the mountain.

Ketchup
Mustard

***DISCLAIMER: If you do not like condiments then you are all out of luck and will have to run or ride back down.

SO who’s in? Are you up for the challenge? If so please register here on active.com and I’ll see you at the top!

Are you ready to “suffer?”

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Remedy for the winter blues

Class VI Road

Today was a tough 11 mile workout but well worth the adventure. Sometimes the best training run is one that is unplanned. This run was going to be long and easy however add in a little seasonal affective disorder, a week at home with the kids (one who is sick) while Dad is across the country for work, and then bring along another total running addict and amazing friend (Bridget you inspire me!) and the easy run quickly turns into a long, hard hill run (and by hills I actually mean small mountains). This run was exactly the right thing to refresh me today. It is funny how something that is so tough physically can be so energizing mentally.

The run began in Franconia, NH on this frosty 20 degree glowing morning sky day.  However today instead of choosing the long rolling run we opted to go left out of the parking lot, under the interstate and up the monster hill (Joanna, this run was for you!).  If you are looking for scenic views this is the run for you. All along the way we had glimpses of Cannon, The Presidential Range and also into Bethlehem. The amazing views were the reward for the taxing hill climbs.   The terrain for the run was mixture of pavement and a class VI road, uphills, downhills, snow and ice and beautifully frosted trees which led the way to more uphills and downhills (yes, as you can imagine my quads and hamstrings are now screaming)

Long runs never seem long with a good friend by your side. The talk and sometimes silence as we run together (although when running with Bridget it is more like non-stop talk and often bouts of hysteria) acts as therapy and motivation. We push each other during the tough parts of the run often without having to say anything.

This was the perfect remedy for the winter blues and the extra benefit is always the giggles that always seem to accompany my endorphin highs.

Nanook and Bridget