Sunday, January 3, 2010

2009 - The Year in Review

Before 2009 has disappeared from view I thought I'd post a few random thoughts from the year...

  • Best race performance (according to me!): Voyageur 50M

  • Best "race shape": Leanhorse 50M

  • Most fun racing: Leanhorse 50M - correleted to above I am sure!

  • Most memorable training run: Eagle Mountain - a 10K return trip to Minnesota's highest point complete with a swim in pristine Whale Lake - try it sometime!

  • Toughest race: Hellgate 100K

  • Best organized race: Afton 50K

  • Best course finish: TFH at Chippewa 50K – I will miss it!

  • Smartest race: Hellgate 100K; Leanhorse also - both were negative splits which I guess says it all

  • Best fueling experience: That can of red bull at Oberg (Thanks Eric!)

  • Best supporters: Superior Trail Races (being among them all day Friday and going by them Saturday morning – it’s an amazingly well supported event considering the location)

  • Most awful race experience: Grandma’s Marathon; the race itself is still my fav marathon, it was just a very very rough one for me this year!

  • Smartest training decision: Going back to Hot Yoga after the most awful race - with the result that 2 months later at Leanhorse 90F felt like 70

  • Best race shirt: Afton 50K

  • Best pre race: Hellgate 100K. No doubt the midnight start helps. The pre-race dinner, briefing etc in the hours before the start make for a pretty intense build up.

  • Best post race: A tie - Hellgate for the cosy, warm surroundings, and getting to know new people; Afton for the fab sunshine, great food and good times catching up with training and racing buddies.

  • Best winner’s schwag: This is a tough one – I’ve amassed a rather wonderful collection of art courtesy of Wynn, John and Larry – but on a purely materialistic basis, the $225 Patagonia jacket from Hellgate is hard to beat.

  • Most fun event: Surf the Murph – as much as I love to race (and I do love to race), doing an AS at this race was so much fun. I suspect I will be making it an annual gig. Wild Duluth and FANS were other great volunteering opportunities – I will def be back to volunteer at FANS next year – but I may just have to run Wild Duluth!! Among your many New Year’s running resolutions make sure one of them is to volunteer at an event in 2010. It’s not just a way to give back; it truly is a very enjoyable experience.

  • Worst racing decision: Moose Mountain Marathon - racing with an injury is stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Do I regret it? Nah...

  • Best finish line feeling: Moose Mountain Marathon (‘Best’ as in “I’m done”, but definitely worst as in “What have I done?”)

  • Wisest RD words: A toss up between David Horton's "Keep your nose out of the dirt Helen" and John Storkamp's "Run as fast as you can for as long as you can"

  • Best volunteers: ALL of them!

No question it was an amazing year for me. Great results certainly, but what I cherish most are the hours and hours of training, both alone and with friends, the opportunities to take part in some of the best races the mid-west has to offer, running and racing with friends (sometimes involving a little friendly competition), meeting a ton of new people and generally having the time of my life. And on top of that I got to travel to a few races including two trips to Virginia where I just love to run for reasons that are hard to define.

Next up... 2010 plans & goals - which are changing by the minute and it's only January 3rd!


nwgdc said...

Great recap! Oh yeah, and didn't you WIN all of those too (outside of Grandma's)?
I'm looking forward to KC and better get running or things will be ugly for me there...and so will the 'friendly competition,' logically :)

Londell said...

Impressive and well rounded list... Envy you. Congrats on a great year and getting plans for 2010... What about a full ironman?

Beth said...

Congratulations on a great year. That is a wonderful list. Can't wait to see what you can accomplish in 2010. You will do great!

Chris said...

What a completely impressive year. With all your experience 2010 should be incredible. Best of luck with your dreams!

olga said...

And it is only the beginning...

Wayne said...

Congrats on a great year, Helen... looking forward to seeing what's in store for you in 2010! See you out there...

sea legs girl said...

Helen! Did you see you received 14 votes as the women's ultra runner of the year????

Karen G said...

Great year Helen. I liked your top honors review.

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