Welcome! The intent of Anecdotes from the Trail is to share my experiences while trail running or racing (occasionally on the road too.) And to feature other trail runners and their accomplishments. You may see the occasional gear review or even contest. Please visit from time to time. Happy trails!
Roxanne Zobava tearing it up at the
'08 The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Miler in Wisconsin.
I've used this blog to mostly share my adventures while trail running or to post race reports, but I want to give the blog a new dimension. I want to explore connecting with other runners in the trail running community and sharing their love of the sport. I thought I'd start with a good friend of mine who I have had the pleasure of running many trail miles together, but who is an accomplished runner with an impressive resume.
TNFEC Madison finish.
And since I'm busy helping The North Face folks promote their upcoming Endurance Challenge in Georgia, what a better way to connect the two but to talk to someone who has run at three different TNFEC events. Rox took 2nd female at TNFEC Madison 50 miler back in 2008 and took 5th female at TNFEC Washington 50 miler in 2010. Her resume also includes winning her very first 50K in 2007 and standing on the podium at 16 more races after that including 2nd female at the 2009 Pinhoti 100. Rox is on the Rock/Creek trail racing team and is also a GUTS member. I had a chance to sit down with Rox and ask her some questions. Here's a recap of that interview: How long have you been running and racing on trails and what attracted you to ultra distance races?
My first ultra distance race was back in 2007, the inaugural SweetH2O 50K near Atlanta. I love being outside and being out in nature. I prefer wilderness and mountain running much more than the roads or city. I like the community of trail/ultra runners too. Its a very chill environment which suits me. Once I ran one ultra I was hooked and now I want to run all over the U.S and even the world.
Which race destinations have you run in The North Face Endurance Challenge race series and how did you place at each?
I first ran The North Face Endurance Challenge Madison 50 mile in 2008 and I was 2nd female. That same year I ran TNFEC San Francisco 50 mile where I was 12th female and third in my age group. In June of 2009, I ran my third and last for now TNFEC race in Washington D.C. I raced the 50 mile where I was fifth female and third in my age group.
Which one was your favorite and why?
I loved TNFEC Madison because my family was out there and it was a PR for me. TNFEC San Francisco was SOOOO beautiful. I take a little something from every race. They are all wonderful in their own way. I meet such amazing people at every event!
What first attracted you to racing a TNF Endurance Challenge race?
I wanted to run a 50 mile race that was close to my aunt. She had never seen me race before, so Madison was a perfect place for me to plan a race where at the time she lived close to that venue.
Sharin' the hardware with Nikki Kimball!
What is it that TNF Endurance Challenge races do better than others?
The event is VERY well run from course markings to the swag bag. It is a very well oiled machine and organized event! The fact that there are so many distances to choose is a great draw to TNF events also.
You haven't run TNF Endurance Challenge race in Georgia before, but you have run the trails at FDR State Park near Pine Mountain. How would you describe the trails and what would you advise to someone on how to get ready for them?
Pine Mountain has a little bit of everything. Some good climbs and descends with awesome single track. Depending on the time of year, the trail could get a bit technical with leaves covering the rocky trail segments. Recently, a tornado storm went thru FDR park and there is still some evidence of that. Its not a speedy course, but you definitely run well if you're trained and in the right mind set. It's a beautiful place to run. I wish it were even closer to Atlanta.
TNFEC Georgia will be your fourth in the series, what is your goal at this year's TNF Endurance Challenge?
This will be my first race back from injury, so I want to finish the race strong and feel good the whole time. I'M EXCITED!!
Thanks Rox and good luck at TNFEC Georgia in October. I can't wait to get some trail miles together while you get ready for the race. Thanks Javi! It's been my pleasure and I can't wait either! ~~~~~~~~~~ I'm excited to see how Rox does at TNFEC Georgia in about a month and a half. Her race calendar the rest of the year also includes the Duncan Ridge 50K in November, one of the toughest 50K courses in the Southeast. You can join Rox at The North Face Endurance Challenge Georgia which takes place at Pine Mountain, GA on October 13-14 weekend. Register at http://tnf.ec/0o and follow @TheNorthFaceECS on Twitter. Come back to the blog in a couple of weeks as I hope to interview and post about another local trail runner, John Dove, after he comes back from a unique mountain stage racing experience in Wales, the Dragon's Back Race.