The Snake River Island Hop is about helping runners meet their goal of completing their first ultra marathon. That is why we are introducing a new program called "Trail-Side Mentor."
Have you ever run a marathon that had pacing groups on the course? A Trail-side Mentor is similar, but so much better. The reason is because the mentor is their to help you finish. You will not experience any pressure to run under a certain time from a mentor. How stressful/depressing is it sometimes when you fall back from the pacing group? It's not a good feeling so we won't create that opportunity to let stress enter your psyche on the course.
The mentor will be a seasoned endurance athlete who is not actually running the Island Hop. Rather they will be sweeping the course waiting to help you meet your goal. If you find you need a pearl of wisdom, a word of encouragement or maybe somebody to help you get past "the wall" look for a mentor and wave them over. They will be happy to help you "surprise yourself."
We will announce the 2015 Trail-Side Mentors here and on the run FB page.
Bio for 2015 Trail-Side Mentor Jason Reathaford:
Jason Reathaford is a seasoned ultra-runner with 16 ultras under his belt (not including “fat ass” runs). Six of those runs have been 100 milers so Jason knows a thing or two about having to dig deep and tap into your reserves. His mantra is “You can always run twice as far as you think you can.” Jason started running ultras back in 2009 with the Mt. Hood 50. To this day that is still his favorite run. Jason is drawn to ultra-running because it provides him with an opportunity to break away from the grind of a desk job and focus his thoughts. He also loves the opportunity to challenge and push his limits.
“I love trails and being outdoors, especially in the woods. I also love the sense of accomplishment, and the solitude and introspection that comes along with running a long time all alone…it gives me the opportunity to really listen to my own thoughts and to think without distraction…I also love the weird mental places that you go when you really have to dig deep late in a race, after your body has given out. When everything hurts and it becomes a 100% mental game, you really find out what you’re made of.”
Jason has kindly agreed to be a Trail-Side Mentor for the Second Annual Snake River Island Hop because he says every ultra-runner is cool and he looks forward to meeting everybody and helping you achieve your goals out there.
Bio for 2015 Trail-Side Mentor Hope Fox:
Hope Fox is the kind of woman you read about in magazines. She’s the woman who, when you meet her, you are scratching your head and wondering how exactly she squeezes everything in.
Hope is on her way to completing her goal of running 100 races at marathon distance or greater. She will accomplish this goal when she laces up for the 150 Mile Pigtails Challenge in May (for the record at the time of this writing she’s completed 96 runs). Her debut at the 100 mile distance was at Pigtails in 2013 where she was the first female and tied for second overall. Her time of 18 hours and 53 minutes also got her ranked as one of the top 20 women in the United States for that distance. As a testament to Hope’s humility, she conveniently left that out of her bio (but I made sure to throw it in).
Hope is also a certified personal trainer AND she has a family with six children. So how does Hope do it all? Hope is stubborn. She’s the only person who completed the 2014 Snake River Island Hop 100km Run. When everyone else was dropping out because of strong winds, Hope bore down. She turned her head to the wind and said “I’m flipping pissed.” Then she kept running against the wind until she finished. When she broke her foot at the Silverton 72 hour event, her husband Clay drove her to see a doctor, drove her back to the trail and she just kept going. That’s the beauty of having Hope out there as a mentor. She will push you, but she is not asking you to fight through something she hasn’t dealt with either, and all the advice she gives comes from pure love of running and pure love of helping people realize their goals. Hope believes fully in the transformative power of running and believes each race is not just a run, but a personal journey. We are honored to have Hope out there as one of our first Trail Side Mentors for the Island Hop.