Kasie Enman makes for a great interview subject, but where do you begin? She’s so versatile that you could easily bang out a thousand words on her trail running, or road running, or world mountain prowess. Now that I’ve seen she’s in involved in Running Saps Mapleworks, I was tempted to ask a bunch of questions about that. Putting my love of syrup aside, the focus was put on Kasie’s recent running accomplishments. She’s about to run the Vermont City Marathon and she’s on a roll heading into it:
Town: Huntington, Vermont
Originally from: Manchester, New Hampshire
College & Year: Middlebury College, 2001
Occupation: Mom, director of First Strides Vermont, Co-owner of Running Saps Mapleworks, plus a few other things on the side!
Club Affiliation: Green Mountain Athletic Association
Sponsors: Salomon, On Track Physical Therapy, Bliz Eyewear, Suunto
Recent Race Highlights: I had my second child in the summer of 2013, so my recent race results are a little sparse. I did finish the 2014 season ranked 2nd in the SkyRunning Ultra series by finishing 2nd place at the Speedgoat 50k, 2nd place at the Rut 50k, and 1st place at Trofeo Kima 50k.
Marathon PR: 2:37:14 in 2008 at US Olympic Trials Women’s Marathon
Half Marathon PR: 1:15:15 in 2008 at New Bedford Half Marathon
Other Racing Highlights:
- 2012 Vermont City Marathon Champion
- 2011 World Mountain Running Champion
- 2008 & 2012 Olympic Trials Marathon Qualifier
The Merrimack River Trail Race is no joke, and even though it didn’t make her list of recent running accomplishments (which were submitted before she ran that race), it needs to be discussed here. It was the 24th edition of the race, and Kasie rolled through the challenging 10 mile terrain in a new course record of 1:05:32.
Were you surprised to know that you had taken down the CR at the Merrimack River trail race?
I actually didn’t know enough about the history of The Rivah to be thinking about the course record. Now that I know some pretty fast ladies have raced there in the past, like Kelli Lusk and Nikki Kimball, I feel like I can gain some confidence from the result. Although, Petey told a story of Lynn Jennings racing there back in the day and getting taken out by an oncoming runner… if she had finished the race I’m guessing the CR would be hers.
How are you liking the ATR series so far this year? Looking ahead to the rest of the schedule, are you liking your chances?
I’ve made the ATR a do or die trying series for me this year. I love it. I do wish it was more clear who truly has their hat in the game though. Some of the people currently listed with points, I don’t think have any intention of doing the rest of the series and then there are others who are I thought were going for it who aren’t even listed, like Amber for example. I’ve been trying to front load the series because I know I can’t be at the road race. I plan to be at all the other races though and since it’s best 5 out of 7, that should do it.
Funny side story about ATR, one of my Salomon teammates, Theodorakakos Dimitrios from Greece, told me that he has trademarked himself as the All Terrain Runner. We got a little competitive about who was more deserving of the title.
Most people will be tapering for VCM this week. But you have a little race to take care of first. Will you be competing at Sleepy Hollow?
I will not be competing at the Sleepy Hollow Mtn Race. I’m still managing the same ankle injury that I’ve been dealing with for months and need to avoid things that will put me over the edge heading into VCM. I do get to run the course just about daily this week getting up signs and doing trail work.
What kind of course conditions do you think people can expect this year?
I’ve had a lot of people ask me, with great hope, if the course will be as muddy this year. Crazy mountain goats! Except I’m guessing you would prefer a dry course… Things were almost completely dried out, but then we got a fair amount of rain this week, so there is some mud back out there. I’d call it moderately muddy. The road is in much better shape. Folks shouldn’t even need 4 wheel drive to get up this year. Although there is one spot along the driveway that’s washed out, but only halfway across.
With all the traveling that you do, how exciting is it for you to have two big races pretty much right in your backyard on successive weekends?
When I was dragging myself out of bed at 4am last Saturday to get down to the Merrimack River Trail Race, I was thinking how nice it was last year when the trail race in the series was right here at Sleepy Hollow. That’s basically the reason I started up the SHMR - because I was sick of driving all over the place when there were perfectly good mountain racing terrain right here in my backyard. Yes, I’m loving that I can sleep in my own bed and eliminate the logistics of traveling on VCM weekend.
What do you love most about the VCM?
What do I love most about VCM? The post-race barbecues. I try to go to at least 3.
What’s your biggest strength as a runner? How do you think that translates to the VCM course?
My biggest strength as a runner is probably my mule headed stubbornness. As far as the VCM course, having the home field advantage is big. I’ve put in tons of workouts, runs, and racing on that course over the years. I’m really excited to be wearing the GMAA singlet and representing the state of Vermont out there on the course.
How has training been in ‘mud season’ so far? Think you might be close to PR shape for the marathon? Or in the vicinity of another OTQ?
Mud season has been surprisingly tame this year. Some years your out there on the roads and you get all kinds of aches and pains in your lower legs because you’re sinking in with every step, but we had a good stretch of sunny, windy, dry days. We still had mud season to be sure, but it wasn’t bad.
I can say with confidence that I am not in PR shape for the marathon. Training this entire year has been comically disastrous with injuries and illnesses abounding. The OTQ is my primary goal. If things start falling apart, I will use the team competition for the Grand Prix as my motivating force.
Do you have a nickname? Or do people just refer to you as the World Champion?
Ha ha. I do not have a nickname. Sorry, boring answer.
Do you ever find yourself thinking (mid race) “this marathon is fine and all, but it’d be so much better if we had to do a couple thousand feet of climbing on shaky footing right now”?
I do not find myself thinking that. Sometimes I wish for the opposite during a SkyRace. I guess if it’s a close race for the win and time has been thrown out the window, I might wish for a big climb and a scree field around mile 25.