“WE CAN BECOME GREATER THAN WHAT WE EVER
EXPECTED OF OURSELVES WHEN WE OVER COME
THOSE FAILURES BOTH HANDED TO US AND THOSE
FAILURES ACCOMPLISHED BY OUR OWN HAND”
By Steve Timko
After running an Ultramarathon back in 2013 – the Run Rabbit Run at Steamboat Springs, I realized that I needed some time off from serious running during the months of December, January and February. But I did not want to lose all of my hard earned aerobic capacity. XC skiing seemed to be the ticket. A winter cross training sport that would rest the knees and improve upper body strength. I find that Nordic skiing is a good diversion from doing Ultra Marathons in the warmer months. It can inspire the soul as well as improve your aerobic capacity.
This year I am training for the 42nd annual American Birkebeiner. I heard about this XC ski marathon years ago but never had the time to train for it until now. I did attempt it last year on skate skies but only finished about half of the distance of 51k or about 15 miles. This year I am going to use classical technique which I am much more familiar with and so far I feel pretty confident that I can do the whole distance.
It is an amazing XC ski marathon that draws about 10,000 skiers from across the country and around the world. The distances are 51k for skaters and 55k for classic skiers. The route is a one way distance between Cable Wisconsin to Hayward Wisconsin. A huge celebration of everything Nordic! Checkout the web site for more information: http://www.birkie.com
Most of my training this year has taken place at the Eldora Nordic Center. With a touch of new snow each week to freshen up the trails followed by mild days, XC skiing has been good the last couple of weeks. ENC is a great cross country area about 21 miles west of Boulder. I feel that it is one of the more challenging XC areas in Colorado which makes it a great training ground for the Birkie. It also has a nice downhill area nestled right next to it if you want to partake in a little Alpine Skiing.
Ultramarathon season is coming up for me and it will soon be time to put in more running miles. The first Ultramarathon scheduled this year for me is the Quad Rock on May 9th 2015. This is the fourth running of the QR. Last year I did the 25 miler and this year I plan to do the 50. I feel that it is a challenging run because of the elevation gain – 5,500 for the 25 miler and 11,000 for the 50 miler. It all takes place behind Fort Collins in Lory and Horsetooth Mountain Park. A great early season run that gives fantastic views of the Front Range to the East and the Rocky Mountains to the West. The race/run is hosted by the “Gnar Runners” out of Fort Collins. They did an excellent job at hosting the QR last year. To learn more check out their web site: http://www.gnarrunners.com
Well that is all for this post – see you next week!!