Winter Wild or Winter Insane? That is the question of the moment. So I am contemplating running at least some if not all of the Winter Wild running series put on by the Western NH Trail Running Series.
Have you ever raced anything like this? This race series is composed of 5 races at 5 different ski areas All of the races start at the crack of dawn before the mountains open. You can choose your ideal mode of transport up and down the mountain: snowshoe, ski (with skins on the way up), or run . . . I think I may need my yak traks for this. (and if you were most people you might say, “I think I’ll ride the chair to the top!”
My favorite training friend and amazing inspirational runner Bridget completed this series last year and raved to me about how awesome it was. Last year I was in the process of regaining my former endurance after having given birth to my son Brock by c-section the previous August. As you can imagine running up a mountain at the crack of dawn in the middle of winter was not exactly on my list of things to do. As all moms know, sleeping is a cherished activity when you have little ones especially babies so the call of the warm and cozy bed is often more appealing than heading out for a freezing mountain run. This year however, I am back in my running groove and am looking for the challenge.
Ever since I found my love for running my favorite kind of running has actually been running uphill. In high school it was running up the Philadelphia Art Museum steps in with the crew team doing repeats and feeling like “Rocky.”
In college it was our beloved Wednesday Hill runs at Colby College (http://www.colby.edu/). Our rowing coaches Mark Davis and Peter Steenstra loved to impose this workout on us during the winter to help build strength. Everyone on campus probably thought we were nuts running up and down Heights Hill until the sun went down looking forward to the end of the workout to dive into dinner at one of the dining halls. I have great memories of post-run delirium which resulted in hysterical laughter over dinner which for me usually ended in a giant bowl of cereal. I have to admit my cereal choice was totally non-organic: ‘Lucky Charms.’ But hey, “They’re magically delicious!”
After college my love for running hills grew as I adapted to the terrain of New Hampshire and Vermont. It is pretty difficult to find a totally flat run around here and even from my house either way you choose to go you are faced with a hill waiting to challenge you at the end of the run. I love runs with hills in fact the more the better. My first marathon was the Nike Women’s Marathon
in San Francisco which as you can only imagine definitely had some monster hills. It was a great event to benefit The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. This race also gave me some great motivation to race for charity and also helped me to regain some balance in my life by providing me with a personal goal.Living in the sticks of NH I raised money as a part of the ‘Virtual Team in Training‘ since there are no physical teams in this area.
So now that I feel in my running groove I am ready to attempt this new challenge. The first race is January 14th at Whaleback Mountain. Check back soon to see how it went but for now here is a taste of what’s to come. Please click on the links below to see just what I’m in for and hopefully I’ll see some of you at the mountain!
Winter Wild: Uphill Ski Race
*Please take note of #94-My awesome friend and amazing runner Bridget Ferrin rockin’ the course!