Q: You recently competed in a rather long race. Will you tell us about it, what discipline you did, how well you did, and how you felt about your performance. What did the race fully entail. What made you want to do it? Have you done many races like this?
A: I participated in The Drift 28 mile ski just north of Pinedale, Wyoming on March 13, 2022. It was epic! They groomed the track the night before the race. By morning, it had snowed 3 inches on top of the groomed track. I’ve done a few ski marathons in my life and most had perfectly groomed tracks, aid stations about every 5km, and most people wore lycra race suits. My favorite event up until now is the Canadian Ski Marathon Bronze “Coureur des Bois” where I was able to classic ski all day long for 2 days with lots of other skiers. More info here: https://skimarathon.ca/the-event/ski-categories/coureurs-des-bois/ . I was looking for something a bit different than a traditional ski marathon race and a bit more like the Canadian Ski Marathon; I found it thanks to Jenny Charles who raced the 13 mile ski event in March 2020 just before the pandemic shut down. You have to sign up early since The Drift fills up and I missed out on it last year.
During the race I carried a small backpack with the mandatory gear and all of the recommended gear (One of my nicknames is Safety Celeste). The website descriptions are accurate to help you prepare for the race, For example, they remind you to bring sunblock and chapstick, “so you don’t come out looking like one of those sad gas station hot dogs that’s been on the heat-lamp roller thingy too long”. Also, “Food-use good judgment-physical output and winter conditions will necessitate more calories to sustain both endurance and body warmth. Plan your food wisely, and then pack more than you think you will need. If nothing else, you may be able to help someone else who is struggling. Remember, aid stations will have some food, but Drifters should be as self-sufficient as possible.” I certainly needed the chapstick to help mitigate the effects of the wind that picked up here and there, as well as lots of food to fuel me for the entire race.
I didn’t know whether it would take me 4.5 hours or 8 hours to finish! I skate skied the 29 or so miles of the groomed GTNP road last year in just over 4.5 hours, so I figured I wouldn’t be faster than that with over 2,600 feet of climbing in The Drift and only several hundred feet of climbing over the course of the park road. I surprised myself by finishing in 4 hours 36 minutes in 3rd place overall, 2nd place for the women. I am most excited that I was able to finish closer to 4.5 hours rather than closer to 8 hours! The strength and interval training paid off! The course was beautiful – it started out next to the Green River, then climbed into the pine forest, then meandered up and down through alpine meadows surrounded by aspen stands before finishing on a screaming downhill. It snowed lightly the entire time I was racing, which made it feel like I was in an enchanted snow globe. It was a great adventure. More info can be found here: https://www.thedrift100.com/
Q: How Long have you trained with WT?
A: I started with Wright Training in January 2020 right when the Victor gym opened and trained consistently 2x/week for 2 years. In January 2022, I started training 3x/week.
Q: You’ve been committed to coming to the gym in Victor regularly. Do you feel like your commitment to the gym helped in your performance?
A: Absolutely! I feel so much stronger than when I first returned to strength training in 2018. I feel more durable and am able to go the extra mile (or more) without injuring myself like I used to. I recover a lot quicker, too, then prior to strength training.
Q: Any other fun facts we’d love to hear about you.
I co-own Teton Nordic Ski School and teach cross-country ski lessons to adults. I am the head coach for the nordic Development Team with TVSEF (7-10 year olds) and am looking forward to coaching the Sprockids mountain bike program and a few mountain bike camps this summer with Mountain Bike the Tetons. My husband and I have a 4-year old Border Collie who keeps us busy!
We Love seeing our Clients thrive! Celeste, you’ve been an inspiration with your dedication! Thank you for sharing your experience with us! Great Job!