Sunday, October 10, 2010

New Year's Resolution: October Race

Now that we're pseudo-Yankees, we still haven't figured out why we continue to torture ourselves at ski mountains?  Heather's theory is that it's because we don't have big mountains of land like this in the South.  Closest she's ever been to hills, even remotely similar, are the Crowley's Ridge in Arkansas (and if you know what we're talking about, you know it's not much!)  But when it came time to find a race for October, we found ourselves back in line to run up a mountain.

We heart North Face!
The "Race to the Summit" wasn't really a 5K, but it's counting for the purpose of our New Year's Resolution to run a race every month in 2010.  We headed two hours away to Stratton, Vermont to help them celebrate the opening of a new North Face store.  Enticed by the idea of a 'free' North Face t-shirt, we were super gung-ho when we signed up for this one!

Headed to the top!
There were less than 100 people in this adventure...and we think they were all probably better prepared than we were.  The course had us climbing 1757 feet with a 17.4% uphill grade!  The good news is that it only ran just a little over 2 miles, we probably would have died if it had been a full 5K.  Again, it was like we ran out of oxygen about halfway up...seriously, Vermont should do something about that.

You could almost touch Heaven
With plenty of friends running the Chicago Marathon on 10-10-10, we realized it could be worse.  But at 36 degrees, wind that could blow you off the mountain and ice patches on the course (that was a first for us!) it pretty much became the hardest run we've ever participated in.   And to say "run" is sort of a was really more of a hike!  But the view from the top was worth the trip!  Visibility was amazing and if it hadn't been so dang cold up there, we probably would have just hung out for a while.

Thanks for the lift!
Thankfully, getting down Stratton Mountain was a lot easier than going up.  It was Heather's first ride in a gondola!  It was exhausting amazing to see how much ground we had covered from the sky.  For two Southerners who stick to surfaces close to sea level, it was a huge accomplishment.  We both finished in less than an hour, with Heather only three minutes behind Brett.  It didn't win us a North Face backpack like the clown who did it in 24 minutes, but we were pleased to snag some North Face chap stick as a consolation prize.

With only two more races to go this year, hopefully we're done with snow-less ski mountains for a while!

Ice, Ice Baby... 
About 3/4 the way up.
Winner, winner chicken dinner!
Finally on top of Stratton Mountain!
Worth the trip!
Gondola grins :D