Opening Day: A Time to Give Thanks

Written by Anna Husted on at

Part of me feels unoriginal and predictable in writing about things to be thankful for on Thanksgiving Day. However, I actually do have a lot to be thankful for and why not take at least one day a year to write those things down. I am thankful for:

1) Opening Day! Today is opening day at Big Sky Resort. Get out there and ride with us.

Peak Sign

2) Snow. Perhaps snow should be first on the list, as one can't have an opening day at a ski resort without it, but I am so thankful we are open for skiing once again. I have a pen pal in Fortaleza, Brazil, who has never seen snow. It is so hard for me to imagine her life-a life without snow. I see and play in snow every winter, and have a job thanks to snow, yet I am always surprised by it and thankful for it.

RDT Snow
Photo: Ryan Day Thompson

3) My family. They are always ready with a good joke after I've had a rough day.
4) My Big Sky Resort family. Not only do I have an amazing job, but I have great teammates and managers. The managers at Big Sky Resort truly care about where I am headed in my job position and in my career. This isn't something that happens everywhere and it is easy to take for granted so I am thankful for this great team at Big Sky Resort.
5) Skiing. Enough said.
6) Big Sky Resort purchasing Moonlight Basin. I can't wait to ski Moonlight Basin all the time this winter. I respect and thank all those involved in the merger who have a vision for Lone Peak and the Big Sky Community.

headwaters

7) A sense of humor. This can really help an office and a small resort community when stress is high. Something as little as a team member pranking every team member in the office with a plastic cockroach. Of course if we had cockroaches in Montana it might be a different story.
8) The lack of cockroaches in Montana.

9) Montana Wildlife. Even in winter you might see a Big Horn Sheep or a Pine Marten.
10) Pumpkin Pie (with a dollop of Cool Whip).

I have much more to be thankful for, but enough writing, it's time to give thanks out on the mountain.
-Anna


What is an ultramarathon and why would you run one?

Written by Anna Husted on at

ESPN defines an ultramarathon as any running race longer than the traditional marathon (26.2 miles). Ultramarathoners experience black toenails, twitchy legs, runny noses, headaches, side-stitches, sleep deprivation, and Crepitus (cracking knees). Ultramarathoners also may suffer from missing loved ones and the desire to keep pushing oneself. So why do they do it?

Marshal Ulrich, an ultra-marathon runner known for having pulled out his toenails so he could perform at a higher level, has also asked himself that question. His answer is complex enough to fill an entire book (Running on Empty: An Ultramarathoner's Story of Love, Loss and a Record Setting Run Across America), but the short answer is: "survivor's guilt and a need to punish myself, to prove myself, to face down my own mortality, to defy death. But my running is also a reflection of my upbringing, a work ethic, a personal challenge." This is passion at its best. A passion many of us up here at Big Sky Resort find in snow. Just as we ask why runners pursue marathons or ultramarathons, so we should ask ourselves why we pursue the waist-deep cold fluffy snow. Passion.

So whether you're a huge fan of Forest Gump and want to see that kind of running in person, or just want to experience the views and terrain the runner's will experience, get out there and cheer on our fellow passion-pursuers on Saturday in The Rut-the first ultramarathon to be held at Big Sky Resort. Spectator tickets that take you to the top of the peak are $55+tax (more than $20 less than the Lone Peak Expedition-the only other way to get to the top in the summer). Pick them up at Basecamp or online.

Go Rut Runners!

-Anna

The Rut


Training for a 50K?

Written by Lyndsey Owens on at

Training on the trail with Enthusiastic Training Partner

I love running. Running distances for fun, like on a Sunday- all day. I know this is not the norm because I only know a few people that get as excited as me when I ask if they want to go- and I mean I can count them on one hand.

It was a Saturday this past January. I had just returned from some morning skiing when my phone rings. It’s my friend Allison (she is counted on that one hand mentioned above). “Where are you? It is registration day and the 30k already sold out in 5 minutes.” she says. I reply “What? Oh better get on it” . So my race begins, at a computer, six months before the physical start line. There I was feverishly pecking away my information with credit card in hand. The result? Allison has the last spot in the Big Horn Wild and Scenic 50k and me close behind landing first on the wait list.

A few weeks later I am explaining my predicament to Mike Foote, accomplished mountain runner on The North Face Ultra Running Team and Race Director for the Rut 50k & 12K at Big Sky Resort. “You’re first on the wait list? Oh don’t worry, you will get in. You better start training.” Foote says. He was right. In April I got my confirmation, I was in!

Training….uhhh….Training for a 50k, I like running, but I am no expert on actually training for 31.6 miles. I sought out the internet for some advice.

“The 50K schedule alternates between hard weeks and easy weeks to allow recovery and help prevent overuse injuries that may occur from ramping up mileage too quickly. Rest is essential.”
http://www.trailrunevents.com/ul/schedule-50k.asp

“….there is no one-size-fits-all approach to a foray into ultra-running. Adapting to increased mileage, developing the ability to run while fatigued and experimenting with different nutrition and hydration needs are all very individual endeavors.”
http://running.competitor.com/2012/11/training/going-longer-how-to-train-for-your-first-50k_61887

I like that it is subjective to the person and I think I can work with this. Rest is something I have failed at in the past especially during the taper. I have definitely experimented with the ability to run while fatigued and with different nutrition and hydration, not that it was a success. With all that in mind I put together this checklist on what I essentially needed in my training:

1. Time
2. Enthusiastic and Willing Training Partners
3. Hydration
4. Nutrition

Time, where does it go? This was my biggest challenge. Trying to find the time to log all the miles. I found that I had to juggle priorities to hit the numbers. As always, I would have liked more time in the day to run more.

Training partners. As I mentioned before there are a limited number of people I can call and say “What are you doing on Saturday? Want to run all day?” or “Meet me at 6 am for a trail run?” and get a “Yes, I’d love to” response. A good partner is essential and will keep me motivated and it’s always more fun to share the experience, especially in Big Sky, Montana and the greater Yellowstone ecosystem where the views alone are awe-inspiring. Another thing in our world today is “there’s an app for that” and guess what? There is an app for training! I found my iPhone app Runmeter to be an effective training partner for only $1.99. It logs my distance, time, pace and elevation. This app assisted tremendously by connecting my “how I feel today” to some hard numbers. Runmeter talks to me while I run, updating me on my distance, time and pace…I liked that a lot too. I have had many conversations with fellow runners and everyone seems to have an app that they like and use- that’s great.

Hydration, managing this is essential. More miles equals more water, hydrating pre-run is ultra-important and I have learned to drain my hydration pack (a Nathan pack) before the downhill to avoid back pain later. Have you ever heard of ancient medicine like Aruveda? I have tried it- Aruveydic practitioner Callie Stolz (www.santoshabigsky.com) introduced me to this rehydration therapy: a warm cup of water with fresh lemon in the morning. It’s a delicious way to start the day and I do think it has worked for me.

Nutrition, eating the right foods at the right time is important. I am still figuring this one out. Through much trial and error I have found what works for me and what does not. I have also learned to play it safe on race week with my diet. My husband and I have moved toward a plant based diet. We have kept our diet clean with organics and local when possible (sometimes hard to do, but worth it). I have found an Aruveyda approach to eating has been beneficial for me. Good websites like www.joyfulbelly.com and seeking advice from a professional- Aruveydic practitioner (Callie Stolz) provided more understanding on nutrition and digestion.

After all I hope all my training will make the day more fun, because for me that is really what it is all about. This Saturday, June 15 is the day I have been working for over the past 6 months. I am a little nervous, but mostly excited to spend most of the daylight running, because I love it. Wish me luck or better yet join me wherever you are by running a few miles on Saturday.

Looking for your next trail race? Big Sky Resort is hosting The Rut 50k and 12k September 14, 2013. Run the Rut- sign up today. There is limited availability and spots are going quickly. Oh and I recommend you start training!

-Lyndsey

Mile 20

I am still smiling at mile 20. After a down pour and lightning.

allison

Enthusiastic running partner- Allison looking fast on an all day training run.

Snow

Enthusiastic running partners found snow! Sometimes you got to grin and bear it.

Apps are fun! More App StuffRunmeter

Look what my app can do! Runmeter logs all the important stats.


Big Bite. Bigger View. Small Price.

Written by Chris Kamman on at

I've always enjoyed grabbing some food and drink on the deck at The Bunker Bar & Grill at Big Sky Resort's Golf Course. The Bunker's deck is the perfect place to sit and enjoy a beautiful Big Sky afternoon or evening surrounded by views of the Spanish Peaks, West Fork Creek and of course one of the best views of Lone Peak in the Meadow Village. The bunker always has a relaxing, yet fun vibe everytime I eat there.

Taps at the Bunker

The entire Bunker has recently been renovated; the deck, the bar and even the menu is new and improved. One of the latest additions to the lineup is Burger Night every Tuesday, where $7 gets you a burger and a beer (or soda). To me this sounded perfect for a cheap date night. My girlfriend Jamie and I showed up to the Bunker and immediately got a table on the deck near the new outdoor bar & taps. We ordered our cheeseburgers and choice of draft beer and were amazed at how fast our food was ready. Even more surprising to me than the speed, was the size of the burger. This was no small sized burger special I've had at other places, this was a huge burger topped with fresh toppings and side of chips. When I asked Jamie what she thought of it, all she could mumble out was "mmm juicy..." She was right, the burger was juicy, flavorful and definitely filling, exactly what you look for in a cheeseburger.

We finished up every last bite, every last drop of beer, then got our check for a measly $14-not bad for a good night out with my girlfriend.

Bunker Burger Bunker Burger Angle 2

We finished up the evening by working on our golf swing, hitting a bucket of golf balls at the driving range.

Burger being devoured.


Secrets of the Skim: Big Sky's 2012 Pond Skim Goes All Out

Written by Greer Schott on at

Pond Skims have become a spring staple at many winter resorts - skiers and riders try their luck gliding down a ski slope and then across an icy pond.

But at Big Sky Resort, the annual Pond Skim is a ritual in creativity and daring, pushing the boundaries of a ski culture classic. Last weekend, Big Sky pulled it off again, with these key ingredients for the perfect Pond Skim.

Power Ponds:
Big Sky's pond is never just a pond. Every year the shape and approach are a surprise - participants tackle double ponds, giant kicker entries, and s-curves. 2012 brought the most elaborate pond yet: a tetris-piece shaped pond with two separate entry points, a jump, and endless skimming path combinations.

Crazy Costumes:
Ballerina, banana, giant ape, beach babe - skimmers don't skimp on wild attire. And neither does the crowd.

Skim Strategy:
Rules are, there are no rules - Big Sky encourages the unexpected. Daffys, 360s, ski and water ballet moves are all fair game.

Sheer Volume:
Over 100 skiers and riders skimmed to the tune of thousands of cheering spectators this year. And every spring it gets bigger and crazier. There's just something about standing in a sea of neon onesies that makes you feel like you're part of something bigger.

- Greer


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