Steve Hanzel: Grand Canyon

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Harper Habbersett

Harper Habbersett

Harper rowing on Morraine Lake, Banff National Park.

Betty Jane

Trail Creek Outfitters

Walking the shore line on Birch Bay in Washington State, about 5 or 6 miles from Canada. Wind was brisk but thanks to my awesome North Face goose down jacket, I stayed warm as toast.

Nikolas Toocheck

Nikolas Toocheck, Running the World for Children    Nikolas Toocheck

Nikolas is a local nine-year-old taking one million steps (about the number of steps it takes to complete seven marathons) to raise one dollar for each step, to help children in need. His campaign will raise money for a non-profit organization called Operation Warm whose mission is to provide new winter coats to children living in need so that every child wearing a new winter coat feels warm, valued and able to attend school on even the coldest of winter days, healthy, full of pride, and ready to learn.

TCO is sponsoring Nikolas on his amazing journey. To learn more, check out Nikolas’ web site here.

Like Nik Runs the World here.

Follow Nik Runs the World on Twitter here.

Jason Levin

Trail Creek Outfitters

The Trail Creek logo flies on the summit of Kaala Patthar, Nepal.

 

Trail Creek Outfitters

 

Trail Creek Outfitters

 

Thanks to Jason Levin for the great shots! Read more about Kala Patthar.

Major Daniel Toocheck

Trail Creek Outfitters Customer's in Action

The 514th Aerospace Medicine Squadron in Key West Florida on a Medical Readiness exercise sporting the TCO logo.
(Far right: Major Daniel Toocheck holds the TCO logo)

Meet Local Marathoner/Everyday Athlete: Beth Friedman

 

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7 Marathons, 7 Continents, 1 Runner

You don’t have to be a pro athlete to do something extraordinary. Check out Beth Friedman: you’ve probably seen her running on RT 52, or at one of the local races. Beth’s your neighbor with a vision that turned a dream into a reality. TCO talked with Beth about her running life and how she tackled running a marathon on 7 continents. Here’s what she had to say about staying motivated, wearing the right gear, and enjoying your life.

TCO: When did you start running competitively?

BF: In high school I was a 2-miler. Actually, I was one of the first girls allowed to run a track meet at that distance to compete (before 1978 the longest distance girls competed in was the one mile).

TCO: Then, after high school?

BF: In my early 20’s I ran for fun/fitness in college. After college I’d run the local races. When I met my husband—also a runner–we began running the race circuits every weekend. Our first dates were the races. It was a fun, social scene where for $5 you could run, get a free t-shirt and drink free beer. We had lots of friends that ran with us.

TCO: How old where you when you ran your first marathon?

BF: I was 24. I ran the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C.

TCO: How was it?

BF: It was really hard! I was much slower than I thought I’d be. This is typical for first marathons. I was in good shape, but so much of running a marathon is mental…especially at the end. I went back the next year and ran my best PR (personal record) at 3:13, which still stands as my personal best today.

TCO: What’s motivated you to keep running throughout the years?

I think of my running in terms of the time in my life: Before Kids and After Kids. Before kids it was all about my PR, after kids my focus changed. I didn’t care so much about my running time as the focus wasn’t just on me anymore. So, I ran for fun/fitness, “me time.” I stopped running marathons for about 10 years while I was working and raising my kids, though I did run some half-marathons and I never stopped running.

Beth with her kids in Italy

Beth with her kids in Italy

When did you decide to run 7 continents?

By the time my kids were ages 6 and 9, I started training for a marathon. In 1997, I ran the Marine Corps Marathon again. It was great! And I qualified for Boston, which I ran in 1999. In 1997 at the Marine Corps Marathon, it poured rain the entire time but my kids were there to cheer me on at the finish line. It was so cool.

After D.C. and Boston I wanted to try somewhere different and in 2001 ran the London marathon. Later that year I was running with a group of friends when someone suggested since I’d already run two continents, why not try for all seven? Yeah, sure, is what I thought. But then…

TCO: What came after London?

BF: In 2003 I ran Antarctica.

TCO: How old were you?

BF: 43.

TCO: Was it…really cold?

BF: I swear, I was so prepared! Ed and Sarah took great care of me before I left. Every time I walk in the store and see that sign that reads: There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing,” I think of my experience in Antarctica.

TCO: What was the hardest part?

BF: It was windy and cold, and we had a freak snowstorm, but the hardest part was running up a glacier.

TCO: How’d you do?

BF: I placed third woman overall.

TCO: Wow! Congratulations! What came next?

BF: In August, 2004 I ran Australia. My two kids joined me for that trip. We stayed a month..it was great. I was on antibiotics for strep throat and didn’t feel well, but there was no way I wasn’t going to run. I did ok. In December that year I ran Chile, and February, 2005 I ran Africa.

TCO: How was Africa?

BF: We ran at the base of Mnt. Kilimanjaro in 100 degrees heat. I came in 5th for my age group. The next day I began an 8 day climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro with the four friends that traveled with me.

TCO: Amazing. The day after your race. How was that?

BF: Really hard! I was in great shape, but the altitude is what prevents a lot of people from summiting. I had no idea it would take so much out of me.

TCO: And your last continent?

BF: In May, 2005 I ran the Great Wall Marathon in China. This one was physically the hardest. We ran up 600-700 steps, then down, and all along rolling hills.

TCO: Do you have a favorite race?

BF: No favorite. Each one has an incredible experience associated with it. I traveled with different people and each race was so different.

TCO: Was 2005 the last marathon?

BF: Yes. I ran some half-marathons, but, again, my focus changed. I began spending more time with my older kids, looking for colleges, attending sporting events.

TCO: What are you doing these days to stay fit?

BF: I continue to run for fitness and fun, and for the social part of it. But I have no goals. Instead I just enjoy the experience and roll with it. Running is what I do for fun, my stress-reliever. Also I am doing more cross-training…spinning, hiking. I’m giving my feet a break. This fall I have a multi-sport trip planned…

TCO: Do you have any advice for someone interested in setting new fitness goals?

BF: I’d say do a little at a time to avoid injuries that will set you back. Increase slowly so you can stay healthy…keep a long view of your goals.

And, remember that glacier in Antarctica? I had no idea how I’d get up that mountain of ice. So I asked a fellow runner who had run the race in the past how she had managed. Her advice: “Maintain a forward motion.” I’ll never forget her comment.

Today, that’s my mantra. In different stages of your life, you have different goals, so enjoy that ebb and flow. And always maintain a forward motion.