Christin Doneski is one of the fiercest masters competitors around, so it was a must that we interview her ahead of her Vermont City Marathon appearance. The only problem was, her responses were so jam packed with profanity that it made me blush. Okay, that’s clearly a joke. Christin is not only extremely talented but also one of the nicest runners you’ll come across. The responses we get from Christin are honest and insightful and always provides a candid look into the day to day life of a working class runner. Take a look at her highlights:
Town: Hopkinton, NH
Originally from: Jericho, VT
College & Year: University of New Hampshire, 1993
Occupation: Occupational Therapist
Club Affiliation: Whirlaway Racing Team
Sponsors: Whirlaway Racing Team
Recent Race Highlights:
- USATF Women’s Mountain Series Winner 2013 & 2014
- USATF Women’s Masters Winner (40-44) 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014
- USATF ALL Terrain Series Women’s Winner 2014
- New Hampshire Masters Runner of the Year 2013 & 2014
Marathon PR: 3:05:33 in 2008 at Manchester Marathon, New Hampshire
Half Marathon PR: 1:24:29 in 2008 at Swanzey Covered Bridges Half Marathon
Other Racing Highlights: At 44 I enjoy racing distances from 5k to 50k on roads, trails or Mountains.
Especially in the mountains, Christin is a threat to not only grab the top masters spot, but to also win the race outright. Running may not be at the top of her priority list (for reasons that you’ll soon see), but on race day winning is clearly the top priority and you’ll have to really push yourself to beat her.
How have you been racing so far in 2015?
I have had a quiet but great 2015 so far. I have raced only seven races but have been happy with all of them. My first race of the year was your crazy mile for the ATR (great experience but definitely not my thing). Next came the NEGP races, I was lucky enough to be first master at the NEGP 10 miler (1:04 at the 5 College Realtors aka Jones aka Amherst) and 2nd master at New Bedford (1:25:03). The other four races have been 5ks as part of the Capital Area Race Series. I have been very blessed and have won all four of those despite the incredibly fast Heather Mahoney always on my heels….at the last race I came in at 18:03 and she at 18:11. My days are numbered!!!!! Next race is the VCM.
Have you ever done VCM before?
I have to answer your second question with “sort of”. I have RUN the VCM marathon but have never RACED the VCM. Back in the 1990s I was not interested in competition. I ran for the pleasure of running and chatting with fellow runners. I was in no hurry….I was single, had plenty of time and did not have a competitive bone in my body. VCM was my first marathon, I am not a record keeper and I can’t remember the year or my time, that was 20 years ago!
What is your favorite race distance? Which one is your best one? Why?
I really don’t have a favorite race distance, afterall a 10k on the road is so different from a 10k on the trails. I really like challenges regardless of distance. I’d say I am best at the “in-between” distances. I am not fast enough for the 5ks and I always feel better after the first half hour of racing when I can settle in to a pace. However, after 2 hours on the road I tend to lose focus and thus the marathon has never been my distance. I’ve run at least 25 marathons and yet to feel like I have run a good one. I am hoping to change that at VCM.
How do you juggle family, career and training all while competing at such a high level?
As for the juggling act….I don’t sleep. I am up by 5 every morning and by 4 on Wednesdays. My training is done before my kids are out of bed. I start work at 7:30 and my afternoons are filled with running the kids to and from their activities and running a household. My running and racing are not going to be my legacy….hopefully my kids are. I can’t remember my own PRs and race results so I am sure no one else will. Keeping that in mind helps me to keep my priorities straight: family-then work-then running. It’s hard not to feel like a slacker when I see the FB posts of all my hard working speedy runner friends, but I’m pretty happy with how my running career has gone.
In a race like this, what’s more important, time or place?
The fifth question is the easiest…PLACE. I am competing for masters. I would absolutely love to win masters, but I can tell you for the record I have NEVER beaten Mary Lynn Currier. She loves the marathon and I definitely do not. I am going into this marathon with a healthy body (no injuries), a strong desire to perform to the best of my abilities for my team as well as to prove that VCM was not crazy to offer me a place in their Invited Runners Program. Here’s hoping after 20 years I can make peace with the marathon at VCM!
Is it enough to just be the top masters runner, or are you disappointed if a few wily open runners get away from you?
It all depends on the race. When I run a NEGP race I don’t even think about the open runners, it’s all about masters. When I run a local 5k I run to win (unfortunately I live next to Denise Sandahl, Jennifer Mortimer, Amber Ferraria and Emily Cousens so it all depends on who shows up). Similarly when I race in the mountains I don’t think in terms of masters or open, I just run.
Go-to post marathon meal (celebration mode)?
Post marathon meal: now you are talking. I love food and love to eat. My favorite foods for post marathon are actually the same foods I indulge in on a regular (possibly even daily) basis….just more of them. Peanut butter straight from the jar or smothered on a ripe banana, dark chocolate and ice cream.