Posted on Jul 15
Outdoor Ambassador: Brandy Erholtz
Date of Birth: August 22, 1977
Sport: Mountain/Trail/Road Running & Snowshoeing
Years of Experience: 20+
Where do you live? Evergreen, CO
Your favorite New Balance running shoe I haven't found a pair I don't like yet! It depends on the purpose of the run and terrain I will be traversing. If I had to pick, I would probably say the 101's are my favorite, or the hybrid shoe 101/840.
Where are the best places for fans to follow you online (Twitter account, Facebook profile, blog, website, etc...) http://brandyerholtz.blogspot.com/
Events run (and personal bests) I am not very good at updating my own website--my husband has done most of the blogs. Here is the U.S. Mountrain Running Website which keeps pretty good "tabs" on current/past U.S. Mountain Runners: http://usmrt.blogspot.com/. I do have a Facebook account as well (Brandy Erholtz).
Major Accomplishments / Honors
- 4 Time U.S. Mountain Running Team Member-currently training for World's in Albania (Sept 11th, 2011)
- 2011 2nd Mt. Washington
- 2011 3rd Cranmore U.S. Mountain Running Championships & World Team Qualifier
- 2009 & 2011 U.S. Snowshoeing National Champion
- 2010 Long Distance Mountain Running World Champion (Pike's Peak)
- 2010 NACAC (North American Central American Champion) Mountain Running
- 2010 3rd Mt. Washington (2nd American—National Championship Runner-up)
- 2010 15th Place World Championships (2nd American)
- 2009 10th Place World Championships (1st American, Team Bronze)
- 2008 11th Place World Championships (1st American)
- 2010 & 2009 U.S. Mountain Runner National Champion Runner-up
- 2008 & 2009 U.S. Mountain Runner of the Year
- 2008 U.S. Mountain Running National Champion
- 2008 & 2009 Mt. Washington Champion (4th & 5th fastest female times on the mountain)
- Course Record Holder (Vail Winter Uphill, Barr Trail, Black Canyon Ascent)
What is the oddest trophy or prize you have won? Crystal Cactus Tucson Marathon 2007
How did you get started running? By accident! When I was in the 6th grade, the cross country coach came to talk about his program. You got to miss an hour of class if you stayed to listen. I signed up and my mom made me honor my commitment and I guess you could say the rest is history
What made you gravitate towards trails? Frustration with the marathon! Amazing scenery, love of nature/exploration, no need to worry about pace/distance, and the fact my dogs can run with me most of the time! Winning Mount Washington in 2008 was a HUGE break through for me. I had been chasing the marathon trials standard for about 3 years and just couldn't put it all together on the "right' day. I finally found an event that utilized my strength and endurance.! The opportunities I have been blessed with through mountain running are opportunities I could have only dreamed about before.
Who is your coach? Gary Lepisto
Favorite place to train Mountain Trails--the steeper the better!
What is your favorite workout (and why)? Long runs uphill on trail in the mountains. I love the peacefulness, scenery and the view when you get to the top!
What is your least-favorite workout (and why)? Speed workouts on the track---they are hard and running in circles around the track is not much fun! I rather run by effort/time!
What's the most awesome thing you've encountered in nature during a run? I am not sure I could pick jus tone, views of snow capped mountains, sunrise/sunset, changing colors of the leaves, the sound of rivers cascading over rocks, waterfalls, hail, blizzards, the smell of fall in the air, bears....
Favorite race I have three: Mount Washington, Pike's Peak and Sierre-Zinal
Favorite type of race Anything with the word ascent and/or climb!
What's the most grueling event you've experienced, and why? Flying home from Paris after the World Mountain Running Championships with 2 broken arms. (Not knowing at the time they were for sure broken!)
Do you have any superstitions related to competing or training? Not really-I put my faith in God and the hard work/training I put in. I believe I can do all things through him who gives me strength; the joy of the Lord is my strength. I do find it a good omen if "Eye of the Tiger", "Running on Empty", "Born to Run" or "Strong Tower" are playing the morning of the race.
What is your pre-race / warm-up routine? Coffee & chocolate chip peanut butter harvest bar Strong coffee & a Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Harvest Power Bar About 25 trips to the woods or port-o-potty about sums it up! Usually an easy jog-distance depends on race distance/weather. A few strides. Lots of prayer!
Piece of your kit you would never be without: Cross necklace & shoes
What gets you most excited to compete? Pushing myself to the limit to try and reach the goals I have set for myself. Using the gift I have been given. As Pre would say, "to give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift".
What is your favorite meal, the night before the race? Noodles with parmesan cheese, salad, bread, a glass of red wine and a chocolate chip cookie—if I can't find a chocolate chip cookie a few pieces of a chocolate candy bar.
What is your favorite post-race meal? Pizza—vegetarian with just about anything minus mushrooms—slimy! Wild Rice Veggie Burger & Fries (Brewhouse—Duluth, MN)
What gives you an advantage over your competition? Trust & faith in God. Discipline and hard-work. Living in Colorado with abundant trails/altitude can't hurt. In addition my two labs make for great training buddies!
What food / snack is your guiltiest pleasure? Chocolate! I LOVE to bake—-monster cookies (oatmeal, peanut butter, chocolate chips & m&m's.) Peanut or Peanut Butter M&M's & Starbucks!
Which character from a TV program or movie best resembles how you think of yourself? I watch very little T.V. Maybe Charlie Brown.....
What is something most people don't know, or would be surprised to learn, about you? I was a figure skater growing up. I have broken both of my arms at the same time twice. I have bunions. (Was born with them) Have literally worn NB shoes since I was 12 as they are the only ones wide enough! My husband and I have six pets! 2 dogs and 4 cats.
What activity, apart from running, most represents 'me time' for you? Being a full-time teacher, I don't get a lot of "me" time during the school year. However, I love to sit with a big mug of coffee and read anything I can get my hands on.
What person has most shaped your career or life? God, my mom & Grandma, coaches & support of my husband, family and friends.
What is the best piece of advice (not necessarily related to running) you've ever been given - and would be eager to pass along to others? More often, you will regret the things you didn't do rather than those you did. Take a risk and go for it. You only live once! Be thankful & appreciate today as you don't know what tomorrow will bring. No matter how bad things are someone else is usually worse off. Don't compare yourself to others, we all have our own "script" in life. Be the best "you" you can be! Last year's response also holds true: Enjoy and cherish every opportunity and moment you are given in sport. The successes will come and go. The memories of people and places and the adventures you experience along the way will last a life time. Embrace the moment so you can look back over your career with no regrets. Don't take yourself so seriously! "To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift."
Why do you run? I run for my sanity! I run for pleasure, pain as an excuse to "play" in the woods. To exercise my dogs. To stay fit. To travel and see new place. To set and accomplish goals. To visit with friends and to explore new trails and cities. To think, to vent, to let off steam, for inspiration and for a hundred other reasons. I run because it is part of who I am. I hope to one day be able to give back and inspire others through the experiences/knowledge I gain in my own career.
What was your most embarrassing moment? Probably tripping in Paris and breaking both arms. I have had many in my life, but this experience may take the cake. (Mountain Runner Trips on City Streets in Paris After Running World Mountain Running Championships--would make for a great headline!)
What is your proudest? Winning Mount Washington & Pike's Peak for the first time.
What tips do you have for new runners? Have fun! Dream big! Work hard, have persistence and don't give up on your dreams! You can achieve anything with dedication, perseverance and a positive attitude! Set small goals you can accomplish soon and big goals you must work for!