The best part of this company is seeing pictures and reading stories from our customers. This post is from Rachel and Roger.
How did you meet?
We met when I was in grad school at UF, and Roger was finishing up his engineering degree. I had just moved to Gainesville, and as a cyclist, my priority was to find some nice routes in the area - and other cyclists, too! One day, driving back from class, I just *happened* to see a rather handsome cyclist riding into my neighborhood. I promptly pulled him over (yes, I was still in the car, and probably terrified him), and asked if he would go for a bike ride with me. The rest is history.
P.S. - After 10 years of being married, he still has the piece of paper with my phone number on it, that I gave him that day.
What was the most challenging ride / run? Why?
Our most challenging run was the first ultramarathon we did together. It was a North Face Endurance Challenge Series event, outside of Washington, D.C. It was only a 50K - not too far - but we had no idea what to expect. In particular, I'd underestimated the importance of training for downhill running. Within the first 5 miles, the steep downhills got the better of me, and my quads started seizing up. It felt like knives stabbing into my legs, and I could barely walk. It was painful, but I was also mad at myself, and determined to finish...so I did. I had to stop and stretch after almost every downhill, and it took much longer than anticipated. Roger was there with me every step of the way. It was a learning experience for both of us - and it also got us both hooked on ultrarunning. Because as painful as that experience was, we loved the beauty of the trails and scenery, the friendly and welcoming running community, and the challenge.
...as a post-script: we've come a far ways since then! we regularly finish top 5 in trail and ultra-running events in NorCal, behind pro racers and the top finishers in Western States. There's still a lot of room for us to improve, though!
What's on your event calendar this year?
This year is about continuing to build a solid base of trail running events and training. This means a few select local races, like the Toro Loco 30K in August, and the Mt. Tam 50K in November. Our long-term goal (maybe for 2017..?) is to qualify for Western States. That's a bucket list item for us both.
Describe the perfect day...
Any day outside exploring is a perfect day. Whether chasing new trails along a skyline ridge, or riding our bikes across mountain passes, California has lots of opportunities for perfect days.
The first photo is from June 2016, and was taken at the summit of the Haleakala volcano in Maui (it was a pretty tough, 35 mile climb from sea level to 10,000 ft!)
The second photo is from September 2015, and was taken during our cross-country trip from NYC > San Francisco. This was at the top of the(in)famous Manitou Incline in Colorado Springs, CO.
The third photo is from January 2016 and was taken at the top of the Franz Josef glacier in New Zealand. We took a helicopter to the top of the glacier, and hiked around it - it was gorgeous.
Thoughts and hopefully inspirations from the Warmfront.