Trail running and racing is one of my favorite things to do. My first real experience with trail running began when I moved to Barnet, VT and began running on the Kingdom Trails with a bunch of runners who like to call themselves the Kingdom Krazies. We would spend countless hours running the endless trails, uphill and down, up the mountain, through the winding beautiful Vermont wilderness. How could you not fall in love with trail running? Racing on trails means going fast and the additional challenge of navigating the rocky/root covered terrain (roots sometimes being referred to as chicken necks which I think is hilarious) sometimes made slick by the rain. Racing on the trails brings a huge endorphin rush but at the same time a weird sense of calm that comes from the intense focus required for the fancy footwork as well from the crisp fresh air in the woods and sounds on the trails.
I welcome the adventure that awaits tomorrow. What adventures do you have planned?
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.
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?
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.
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!”
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!).
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!
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).
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!
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.
***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.comand I’ll see you at the top!
So I have to admit I am a total running skirt addict! No more running shorts for me. Give me a running skirt, in any color and I am a happy chick. This week I was surprised to receive a package from my friend Michele (read more about Michele and her awesome athletic endeavors on her blog 2genim.com). She is an inspirational athlete who has completed several Ironmans as well as many marathons, half marathons and other races including running Boston this year in the sweltering heat followed by another Marathon three weeks later in California where she ran another Boston Qualifying Time (Go Michele!).
I was super excited to open the package having a great guess as to what might be inside. Feeling like a kid at Christmas I tore open the package and discovered an awesome Skirt Sports Marathon Chick in Pink Crush with Pow Print Spankies underneath.
Michele had given me my first running skirt several years ago and continues to fuel my addiction to the comfort and the fast feel. As I said in an earlier post (You’ve been chicked!), it is always super sweet to fly by a guy on the race course while wearing a skirt!
This new skirt looks super fast and I love the bright pink. It also has a nice large zipper pocket on the back, the perfect place for storing my GU. I am still contemplating my marathon day race apparel and this new skirt is definitely in the running (Ha!Ha!).
Thanks you so much for thinking of me Michele and for being one of my strong inspirations! I hope to be as fast as you on the course!
I am feeling super amped about the marathon now that my stomach is no longer doing triple backflips. This week is totally focused on super nutrition, rest, and getting myself and my kids back to 100% health. As an athlete it is hard being sick but I have been good and listened to my body this time and allowed for plenty of rest while trying to load in the calories to nurse myself back to health. Thankfully it seems to have paid off and I have bounced back.
So now with fresh energy I decided tonight I would try my first real video log. So here we go . . .