Battles with Deb & Her North Cove Outfitters Seminar

I’ve written much about my epic trail running battles with my spouse, Debbie Livingston. She got me into the sport of trail running 10 years ago, and I have hated every minute of it. She would say, “Not true.” Well, truthfully, I have grown to love the sport, but in the beginning, it was painful, and I’ve got the scars to prove it. I tried way too hard to beat her and I ended up paying the price. At one time, we were a good tandem adventure racing team, but the fierce competitiveness between us, often caused strife. Well, it wasn’t that bad, but it is fun to laugh about our bickering now. Mostly we argued over navigation and my wining. When we are battling each other, our true desires come out. I’ve learned that if you intend to match her stride for stride, especially on a steep and rocky descent, then you better be insured. Seriously, I’ve warmed to running trails, my legs are used to the feeling, and now I’m out there in the woods every chance I get.

Debbie Livingston at Bimbler's Bash Trail Race

A week from tomorrow, Debbie is speaking at one of Connecticut’s best known independent outdoor retailers, North Cove Outfitters. I don’t know what she is going to say. I expect she will discuss how she got started trail running, and how that took her to the even more specialized discipline of ultra-marathon trail running. I’ll be honored if she mentions me, because that means I rate in her world! She and I are pretty evenly matched up to marathon distance, but when it goes to 50km, 50 mile, and beyond, I’m dead meat (and that’s coming from a vegetarian). I would rather crew for her at that distance.

She has done some amazing races in the past 10 years, and I expect that she will reflect on those experiences. From the Arizona desert to the California headlands to the Blue Mountains of Australia to Table Mountain in South Africa to the European Alps; she has run interesting trails. Those trails have given her some great stories to tell and in appreciation, she has given back to the trails. As President of the Shenipsit Striders, and Race Director of the Soapstone Mountain Trail Races, she has returned much to the sport that has given so much to her.

Coming off a year of pregnancy and after the recent birth of our second child, she is primed to regain her form. My days of finishing in front of her are likely to be numbered. I had my chance when she was carrying an extra 20 pounds around her midsection. I’ll be afraid to challenge her on our tricky New England trails when she gets her fitness back to peak strength in 2010 and 2011. We have been compared to the tortoise and the hare. I go out hard and blow up. She paces herself and always gets to the finish first.

She has gotten amazing support from the Vasque US Trail Running Team. I think it is really cool that she stayed involved with the team throughout her phenomenally active pregnancy. In 2009, while her teammates were winning races all over the globe, she was setting a new fitness standard for expectant mothers. She is my inspiration and I know that she inspires others too. If you are in the area, join her at North Cove on Wednesday October 28th for a fun fall discussion about the joy of trail running.

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