Thursday, October 26, 2017

A 1-year Friend-aversary - Guiding at Ghost Train

I have met some amazing folks through my years of trail running.  And while no one should stick out more than anyone else in theory, the reality is that Kyle Robidoux is certainly one of the more special trail runners that I have gotten to share miles with.  Our friendship started with a typical 'Amy with her foot in her mouth' comment.  This year at Ghost Train, Kyle and I ran together exactly a year after we first shared miles on that exact trail.  It's amazing to think of the miles we've shared, the conversations we've had, the raw emotional moments that have come, the secrets that we've shared when no one else was listening, how much Kyle has taught me, and the times that he's made me laugh along the way.

I first got to know Kyle when he was emailing me with a question about a qualifier race for Vermont 100 - he wanted to know if running 45 miles at Ghost Train would qualify him.  I get so many of these emails, so my response was fairly standard 'you've gotta at least run 50 miles, especially on a course that easy!'.  His response got my attention 'no problem, I understand.  I've just got to find a guide for those last 15 miles'.  I looked at the signature line and saw that tag 'Blind Beer Runner', and everything clicked.  Congrats Amy, do you want some salt with that foot in your mouth?  Kyle's a runner who is visually impaired, so his ability to participate in races is dependent on his ability to recruit guides to quite literally be his eyes out there.  I immediately felt horrible about this, and offered to guide him myself if he needed.  I told him I had no idea what I was doing, but I was willing to learn.  Ultimately, he took me up on my offer to guide.

(Kyle and I ready to run at the Vermont 100 start line)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Grindstone and Product Testing for Inov8 - Part 2

I'm not going to lie - I've had so many amazing opportunities over the years through running that I am so grateful for.  I've gotten to travel the country, and the world, to run in amazing places.  I've gotten to meet incredible people, athletes who are as passionate about running as I am and who each have their own unique story.  I've gotten to test my limits, break myself down to the core, experienced incredible highs and devastating lows.  I am so humbled and grateful for all the experiences that have come my way, and always hungry for the next one!

One of the coolest opportunities that I've had was being asked to travel to the Lakes District in the UK for a week of photo shoots and product testing.  Chalk that up to another awesome experience that's been afforded me through running!  I didn't know much about the trip or our schedule beforehand - so I went in with enthusiasm and an open mind.  I mean, Inov8 was sending me across the pond to play in one of the most unique places to run!

(The beauty of the Lakes District, UK)

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Grindstone and Product Testing for Inov8 - Part 1

Early October was a complete whirlwind for me - too much adventure and not enough sleep.  But, when do we ever complain about that combination?  For most weeks of the year, I live the life of your typical 40-hour a week employee.  I sit at a desk, cranking out memos, answering emails, sitting in meetings to discuss necessary upgrades to our wastewater treatment plant or to strategize about the best method for plowing the 120 miles of roadway in our Town.  My time away from work is when I feel alive, when I truly get to follow my passion - so I take advantage of every opportunity that comes my way!

Grindstone 100

Brian decided to run Grindstone 100 to close out his season - and asked that I travel with him to support him during the race.  I was excited, since I really enjoy the Grindstone 100 event, so I was glad for an opportunity to return to the race...and even more excited that I would get to support Brian along the way.  The plan was to crew Brian for the first 80 miles, then pace him in for the last 20 miles.