Best race experience:
Pumpkin Man Triathlon. All the races I considered were tris. This is truly where my heart is. This particular tri was new to me in 2013 and the biggest tri I have done. It was a blast. I swam in a weedy pond and didn't freak out, I actually beat 86 people! The bike was very fun. I was farther up in the field because of the way they did the heats so there were lots of people to pass. I beat 194 people! Fun, fun, fun. I did fine in the run. It was a fairly easy course and it was fun to have my friend there with me. It was the first time - ever - I got to stand on a podium. It was in Maine where I spent the weekend, another huge plus. I'll go back to this one.
This is a trickier run. I have had a lot of trouble with runs this year, mostly due to GI issues. I always like my vacation runs like the ones along the coast in Oregon and the very scenic running path. I'll go with those two as they were places completely new to me and I was running with my daughter.
Best New Piece of Gear:
Nothing comes quickly to mind. I'm going to cheat a little and say my Hokas. I believe they play a part in keeping the nasty PF away. I did get a new pair this year, slightly different than my old ones, so yes, my Hokas!
Best Piece of Running Advice You Recieved:
Enjoy the run for what it is. Don't worry that every run is the best one. If I am able to run and I'm not injured, it's a good run.
Most Inspirational Runner:
I still am very inspired by both of the runners I put last year, Super Kate and Christa. Kate continues to seek new challenges and races such incredibly long and challenging races. Christa continues to fight cancer with all of her heart. She isn't able to run but she still races through walking. Many people would just quit but not Christa. She is truly inspirational on many fronts.
I will add Emily this year. She inspires me with the distances she runs, the terrain she covers, the pace she pushes and all that she gives to running. When I am struggling on a run I try to channel her and pick up the pace. She is becoming a smarter runner as she learns when to push and when to pull back. She is new to ultra running and trails but her enthusiasm is great to see. She did an amazing job at the JFK 50 Miler.
If you could sum up your year in a couple of words what would they be?
Triathlons are so much fun I still can't believe it. Wish I had started them sooner!