Emily: When I first started I didn’t want to train at all. I think I ran three times before the race. Then I tried to train with Becky and keep up with her. Now I set my own goals. This race, I’m not really going to kill myself. I’m going to focus on the long run and just get better. There’s always a point in the race when you’re like, Oh my goodness, and it’s really hard and you wonder: Why am I here? But you get past that. And when you’re done you think, Wow, I’d do it again right now.
It’s the funnest race. It’s an adventure. And because there are so many environmental challenges — some days you’re going to slip and fall or you’re going to wreck — you have to improvise.
Cynthia: She lost her front wheel one year.
Emily: It’s not like a race where there are just smooth surfaces and you’re burning your body out.
Cynthia: Most people who race Xterra are just, “Yes! I finished! I’m so proud!” It’s a bonus if you placed or did well in your age group. Last year, it took Becky a little less than three hours [to finish Xterra]; it took me almost four. Last year and the year before, Becky qualified to go to the championships in Maui. After this year, I don’t know that I’ll do the big Xterra again. [Points to her daughters] They’re getting faster every year. I’m actually getting slower. I’m not a speed person. I’m more of an endurance person. But I’ll probably do that X-T [half-size Xterra] as long as I can get up in the morning.
Emily: I think I’ll always do this. It would be nice if I had time and could train, to see how good I could be.
Becky: Last year I was trying to get permission to race pro because I won the amateur women’s last year and the year before. But then I got injured. This year I just want to finish it and have fun.
Emily: It’s really changed our lives. — As told to Brandon Walters
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