Mountain Mayhem: On the Run
Among my favorite reasons to relish in fall: marathon season! This is the time of year my inbox is somewhat flooded with fundraising requests for marathon quests, I notice an uptick in mileage on friends’ Strava activity (one such runner posted a 45-mile — not 45-minute — training day this weekend, met with positive response from many inspired followers, myself included) and the anticipation is palpable for competitions held nearly every weekend. While some are more traditional races, others skew off the beaten path.
Last weekend, the Challenge Aspen Marathon Team was in Bariloche, Argentina, for an unforgettable race experience and the opportunity to explore one of Aspen’s sister cities. Participants had the option to choose from 10K, 25K, and 50K race distances, all on trail, while raising funds for Challenge Aspen and its efforts in “creating possibilities for people with disabilities.” As the team coach this year, Jennifer Mendez supported all through their months of training and made a major mark of her own by clinching first place for females in the 50K!
This coming weekend is the TCS New York City Marathon on Sunday, Nov. 4. Among the Aspen runners, the Chris Klug Foundation (CKF) will be returning with a team, all supporting its mission of promoting organ and tissue donation.
“The CKF team has been hitting the pavement for us for a while,” said CKF executive director Lauren Pierce. “It always humbles me how much time and effort they dedicate. It adds up to a lot of miles and hours.”
This year, the applicant pool for the NYC Marathon, the largest marathon in the world, was the biggest in the race’s 48-year history. The nine CKF team members will be running amidst 50,000-plus runners, with more than 2 million spectators cheering for them.
Following on the heels of New York are The North Face 50 races on Saturday, Nov. 17, in the Marin Headlands just north of San Francisco. Professional ultra-runner Dylan Bowman, who recently moved back to the Roaring Fork Valley with his wife, Harmony, will be toeing the line for the 50-mile course.
The following day is the Philadelphia Marathon on Sunday, Nov. 18, where at least a handful of Aspen locals will be on course — myself among them. Which means there’s some more training into November before it’s time to taper till race day.
As an aside, an ideal way to keep fit and maintain training for the fall race season is through the Hut Run Hut adventure produced by Aspen native and running legend Rickey Gates with guides including Aspen adventurer and extremely seasoned ultra-runner Ted Mahon. Offered in July, August and September, this six-day, 100-mile, Aspen-to-Vail mountain running adventure prioritizes “fun over fast” as the group covers 10 to 25 miles per day along the iconic and breathtaking Continental Divide. Learn more via http://www.hutrun.com.
To reach May with invites and insights, email allthewaymaymay.com
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Perhaps it’s because we are in the abbreviated days of winter and I instinctively know that the sun is shining down-under. But every January I go through a nostalgic period where Australian wine dominates my mind.